July 10, 2009

This Site is Moving to mansteri.com

Long time no update. But now I’ve got some big news.

First thing: Back in Finland! Well, I’ve been here over a month already, so not really a headliner. Montreal was good. Miss it and the people there a lot.

Second thing: New website! Update your bookmarks and RSS feeds!

I’ve decided to move all my stuff from originalhamsters.com to a new site mansteri.com. There are many reasons, but one of the biggest is because of mix ups with a certain gentleman from Chile. I honestly didn’t know about him when I came up with the name 6 or 7 years ago. Anyway, time to move on.

The move is still under progress and I haven’t decided exactly on how to organize the content. The layout needs some work also, but this is a good start.

This site is not disappearing anywhere. There are going to be some changes once I figure out how to organize my stuff. All the old content is going to stay here. At least the blog, since there are a lot of links pointing here from all over the interwebs. As you may have noticed this blog is duplicated at mansteri.com along with the comments and everything. Commenting on originalhamsters.com has been disabled for now.

Go check it out. All kinds of awesomeness coming up in the next couple of days. The first awesome thing is my very first Quartz Composer plugin that I made yesterday. It allows for easy control of Animata via OSC. This was previously impossible from QC as the default OSC sender couldn’t send messages that mix different data types. Download the plugin and source.

I promise to update more often. Holla at me on the comments or with email, if you feel like it.

Just clear something up Månsteri is pronounced Monsteri. The å is the Swedish-o letter. Sorry for confusing all the non-Scandinavians.

See you on the other side! Or site actually.

Filed under: Randomness — Posted by: Månsteri @ 18:39

May 29, 2009

Treasure Islands

Last week, I took part in the SenseStage workshop at the Hexagram BlackBox in Montreal. http://sensestage.hexagram.ca/workshop/introduction/. It was a workshop designed to bring together people from different disciplines (dance, theatre, sound, video, light) and cooperate in a collaborative environment with interactive technologies.

During the workshop, there were tons of sensors – light, floor pressure, accelerometers, humidity etc. – all connected to little microcontrollers which in turn were all wirelessly connected to a central computer that gathered all the data and sent it forward as OSC to any client conected to the network.

Basically, we had 5 days to complete an interactive performance sequence using the data gathered by the sensor nodes. This is what our group came up with.

We call it Treasure Islands and it’s a bit twisted interactive performance/game where a girl finds herself in a weird world where she is floating on a donut in the middle of the ocean with a mermaid talking in her head. She has to travel to all of the different Islands around her, and collect sounds from them in order to open a portal into this strange dream world for all her friends. Sounds like a good concept, doesn’t it? Check out the video and you’ll see that it actually makes sense.

There was a lot of sensor data available, but we ended up using just the pressure sensors on the floor and camera tracking. With a bit more time we could have evolved the world to be more responsive to the real world, but I’m pretty happy with the results we were able to achieve in such a short time. Our group worked really well together, which is not always the case in such collaborative projects.


Sarah Albu – narrative, graphics, performance
Matt Waddell – sound, programming
Me – animation, programming

And I guess I need to include some more technical details for all the people who check my site for that kind of stuff (I know you’re out there).

We used camera tracking with tbeta to track Sarah and used that data to move the doughnut and to make the environment responsive to her movements. All of the real-time animation was done in Animata, which really is a perfect tool for something like this, because it allows me to animate things really fast without compromising in quality. Max was used as the middle man to convert the TUIO messages and the OSC from the sensor network into the kind of messages Animata needs to hear.

sense hat
We sewed some IR LEDs on the hat to help with tracking in a dark space.

Each island is an instrument that you can play with. Stepping on a certain area would trigger loops, add effects to your voice etc. Matt could explain the sound part better than me, but the video should make it pretty clear. it doesn’t reproduce the effect of the quadraphonic sound system we used though. Some visual clues were also triggered in the animation based on her movements on the sensors.

That’s pretty much it. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

e-MobiLArt exhibition

For a little over a year now, I’ve been involved as an organizer in the e-MobiLArt project. It is a project between University of Athens, University of Lapland and University of Applied Arts in Vienna tailored around the process of collaboratively creating interactive installation artworks. More information can be found from the project website: http://www.media.uoa.gr/~charitos/emobilart/ Now the project is nearing it’s end and the e-MobiLArt group exhibition is on display in Warehouse B1 in Thessaloniki, Greece.


I know that this is a bit late since the opening was last week, but I’ve been really busy since it’s my last week in Montreal and didn’t have time to post this earlier. Unfortunately, I can’t make it to Greece for the exhibition, but I’m hoping to catch in Katowice, Poland this fall. Click here for exhibition details.

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Filed under: Stuff That I Like — Posted by: Månsteri @ 7:37

April 8, 2009

Product Placement

I tracked down some people who work or used to work in the advertising industry.

This is what they had to say about advertising today.

Watch in HD at Vimeo

Download the QuickTime movie (1280×720, 320MB)

The audio interviews were recorded by The Anti-Advertising Agency.

My workflow in creating ths animation was pretty unorthodox. Almost all of the character animation was recorded real-time with a custom setup involving Max/MSP and Animata. I created a patch in Max to control animation in Animata with the sound of the interviews. I also had some sliders and buttons to trigger things like blinking and arm movements. I used After Effects for compositing and for some additional animation.

Check out my tutorial to see the basic setup for connecting Max or PD to Animata.

April 3, 2009

Mixmaster 1200

The second installment of my Mixed Up series has now seen the light. Let me introduce you to the Mixmaster 1200.

mixed up

The Mixmaster 1200 is a wireless scratching device for the turntablist who prefers to deliver his/her scratches like a 5 star chef. As you can see, the Mixmaster does not have any beaters attached to it. This is because it has small laser powered plasma emitter beaters that actually heat up the airwaves around the device itself producing the unique sounding aural explosions.

More information: http://originalhamsters.com/motion/mixedup.php

March 18, 2009

Beat Blender Preview

Have you ever wondered what a banana mixed with a strawberry sounds like? Or how about kiwi-watermelon puree? Watch this video and you will find out.

I found this old blender from a flea market and noticed that the names of the different blending modes are very similar to the terminology used in DJing. So I decided to turn this kitchen appliance into a DJ mixer.

The audio tracks are triggered by inserting different fruits into the blender. The buttons on the front panel control the mixing modes and you also have two different types of transformer switches for cutting the sound in and out.

The options are:

  • Stir
  • Puree
  • Whip
  • Grate
  • Mix
  • Chop
  • Grind
  • Blend
  • Liquefy
  • Frappé

How does it work?

  • Arduino for brains
  • RFID reader
  • Different kinds of fruits made out of felt
  • RFID tags inside the fruits
  • Max/MSP for converting the serial data to MIDI
  • Ableton Live for playback
  • Mad skills to pay the bills

Stay tuned for more information, pictures and and better quality videos. This is just a preview, I’m hoping to improve it in the following weeks.

I also need to come up with a better name for this thing. Please leave your suggestions in the comments.

Beat Blender documentation page.

Vimeo link for the video.

Youtube link for the video.

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Filed under: Electronics,Music,Programming,Video — Posted by: Månsteri @ 8:51

March 6, 2009

Kutiman’s ThruYou

Kutiman just became my new hero. Finally someone makes YouTube mashups that don’t sound like shit. Check them out at http://thru-you.com/. Having a hard time deciding my favorite.



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Filed under: Music,Stuff That I Like — Posted by: Månsteri @ 9:27

February 28, 2009

The Fretless Fader – Why Didn’t I Think of This

I’m glad to see some really innovative stuff in the world of turntablism. I just wonder why no-one has thought of this before. It make so much sense once you see it. I’ll have to build one.

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Filed under: Music,Stuff That I Like — Posted by: Månsteri @ 10:02

February 22, 2009

Today Sun 22/2 – Månsteri & Chocobeets @ Blizzarts

It’s a party. You should come. And dance.


DJ Månsteri
VJ Chocobeets (http://chocobetterave.com/)
+ Special Guest Star Timsu (http://naisetlevyissa.wordpress.com/)

Sunday, February 22, 2009
22-03 (?)


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Filed under: Music — Posted by: Månsteri @ 22:32

February 1, 2009

DJ Månsteri Tonight @ Laika

Slim Jim was kind enough to let me do a 1 hour set tonight at Laika from 10 to 11. So come and check it out! I’ll be playing quite a lot of Finnish stuff also. These tracks could set the mood:

Sat 31/1/09
10-11 PM
4040 Boulevard St-Laurent

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Filed under: Music — Posted by: Månsteri @ 0:22