I am currently working on my DMA dissertation which ultimately consists of two parts: an hour long real-time multi-screen multi-channel network music performance, and the software I’m writing to make that happen. I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to create something that I have been wanting for a while now: a unified framework for the creation and performance of many different audio/visual network pieces. My primary motivation for this is that, regardless of the unique characteristics of every new work I create for this medium, there are a number of features which are always present and thus are tedious to constantly re implement. To solve this, I decided to create MantiCORE:
“The manticore is a persian legendary creature similar to the Egyptian sphinx. It has the body of a red lion, a human head with three rows of sharp teeth (like a shark), and a trumpet-like voice. Other aspects of the creature vary from story to story. It may be horned, winged, or both. The tail is that of either a dragon or a scorpion, and it may shoot poisonous spines to either paralyze or kill its victims. It devours its prey whole and leaves no clothes, bones, or possessions of the prey behind.” –Wikipedia
… while my system will not (hopefully) devour you whole, it is ment to act as the primary (read: CORE) system for creating this type of work. The whole MantiCORE system actually consists of multiple programs that each handle a specific aspect of a performance but here I am introducing the primary interface for performers:
As you can see, the interface is divided into various sections:
Main Interface Area
This takes up the majority of the window and is where each specific piece’s interface will appear. One of the key features of MantiCORE is that it is designed so that every work created for it can be a plugin to the system.
The chat window is exactly what you would expect: an area for chats between performers to be displayed, and an area for you to enter a chat. Communication is a key aspect of performing with any group… especially those who you can’t see because they are hundreds (or thousands) of miles away.
Having an interface is great but knowing what to do with it is nice too. One of the fundamental concepts that Glitch Lich has decided on is that we will always have some sort of score for every piece. Generally this consists of a set of instructions for each section (which can be as specific or vague as necessary). Here the “<<" and ">>” buttons allow you to go to the previous or next section respectively and the big text area will display any instructions for a given section. The “R”, “>” and digital number looking stuff in the middle of the bottom is a clock (because one usually likes to know how long one has been performing). “R” will reset the clock and “>” will play (and alternately pause) it. Keep in mind that the look of all this will become MUCH nicer later).
Every user logged into our network server will be listed here (along with what piece they are currently logged in to). This is handy to keep track of who is around and/or ready.
This lists all objects currently registered with our network server. These are things that some of all of the users in the system are using at any given point and can be helpful to see.
So that is a general overview of the MantiCORE GUI system. By itself it’s not much to look at but it sets up a framework for a modular performance interface for many different works using Glitch Lich’s standard performance practices. More about this and the other parts of the system soon!