We built the site especially for F5 Motionographer Creative Festival in New York, which we've attended this year to raise awareness of the ways in which bespoke sound and music, crafted with love and care, add depth, emotion and impact to creative projects.
Highly Evolved Sound shows our latest work, as well as a little film we made to show you what we get up to in the Radiumphonic Workshop, the engine room behind everything we do at Radium Audio & Interactive!
Tim Thompson is a software engineer, musician, and installation artist. He was recently mentioned in Roger Linn’s post “Research Project: LinnStrument — A New Musical Instrument Concept” where Roger credits Tim with writing a program that “translates the TouchCo's proprietary USB messages into TUIO messages sent over OSC.”
I met Tim at my recent concert at the Art Institute of California/Sunnyvale and he was kind enough to invite me over to see his latest development project, the MultiMultiTouchTouch. This custom solution offers players any number of arbitrarily-shaped multitouch areas with three-dimensional spatial control. Interaction with this space allows users to control and play virtual synthesizers using nothing but a Microsoft Kinect as the controller.
This is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for recording enthusiasts and professionals, audio engineers, producers, music composers and arrangers. It's 100% free, no registration required.
Number stations, making their appearance in the post-war radio landscape, were shortwave radio stations of streams of symbols, mysterious to their listeners and apparently code.
Here, the idea of lost and indecipherable broadcasts inspires a wonderfully-varied collection of reflective artists, in a free, Creative-Commons licensed compilation by PublicSpaces Lab. That Barcelona-based netlabel has been reliably curating some of the smartest, most forward-thinking music collections around. This time, the artists are impressive not only in their output but in their range of backgrounds and extra-musical sources of inspiration.
Instructables user capricorn1 shows how to create your own antique light bulb organ to add nostalgic ambiance to any midi instrument.
12 light bulbs correspond to the 12 notes in an octave (minus the octave note). The rectangular box unfolds to position the light bulbs vertically for display, while at the same time providing a platform for the keyboard in use. Playing a note on the keyboard directly via midi, or through the usb port illuminates the light bulb for a particular key. Releasing the note, releases the key. Pedal presses are also recognized and keep the bulb maintained. The bulbs can be controlled without a computer by using the front mounted midi port, or via computer which allows for remote control via midi or osc messages.
Peter Kirn rounds up some music making tools that take the circular approach.
There’s no reason apart from the printed score to assume music has to be divided into grids laid on rectangles. Even the “piano roll” as a concept began as just that – a roll. Cycles the world around, from a mechanical clock to Indonesian gamelan, can be thought of in circles.
Imagine an alternate universe in which Raymond Scott’s circle machine – a great, mechanical disc capable of sequencing sounds – became the dominant paradigm. We might have circles everywhere, in place of left-to-right timelines now common in media software. Regardless, it’s very likely Scott’s invention inspired Bob Moog’s own modular sequencers; it was almost certainly the young Moog’s exposure to the inventions in Scott’s basement that prompted that inventor to go into the electronic music business, thus setting the course for music technology as we know it.
Get more out of your Launchpad + Ableton combination.
The aurex sequencers for the Novation Launchpad are devices and tools to compose, sequence, alter and remix music within Ableton Live. You don't need M4L / Bome / … to use them, just make sure you have a Launchpad and Live 8.1.3 or higher.
Owing to the Arcophone Mk I being stuck somewhere on the Nullabor owing to damage to train tracks from the recent rains.
As we had a gig at Scitech we needed a new Arcophone, using the prototype batch of v1.2 coil drivers, Brett, Simon & Daniel spent the better part of the last week building the Arcophone Mk II. The case was designed and cut by Simon Kirkby and the electronics designed and assembled by Brett Downing and Daniel Harmsworth.
“Gem Drops” is a rich, varied compilation covering “experimental electronic hip-hop inspired” music, with artists such as Anenon, yuk., Juj, Devonwho, Shigeto, and Sumsun. The 21 tracks were selected by curator Aaron Meola. It’s the sixth release from the collective Dropping Gems, and 100% of revenue will go to the American Cancer Society.
Pay what you want for the download; a “very limited” run of handmade CDs with artwork will go to people who donate US $15 or more.
Turning data strings like DNA and what-not into audio can produce interesting results. YouTube user r2blend says, "If you import an EXE file into an audio program as audio data, you hear all kinds of cool stuff. The most awesome by far for me was MS Paint." Fisco130 then made a club remix of the MS Paint data audio. Wonder if any scans of great works of art contain secret music? Does malware translate to sad trombone sound, or Rick Astley?
If you haven't checked it out yet, head on over to the Programming Tips section of the Waveformless-Soundware site for 10 random programming tips on programming your own sounds for ReFX Vanguard.
The plan is to post programming tips for different softsynths as I release new soundsets. And yes, I am hard at work on the next release. No idea when it will be done. I'd rather get it right then get it out right now.
This EMS Putney came into my hands when I purchased it from Iowa City South East Junior High School in 1997. It is one of the unique artifacts of electronic music. The Putney & it’s close relative, the attache-case-housed Synthi, were workhorse synths at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and was a favorite of musicians like Brian Eno, Pink Floyd, and other Space Rock bands of the 70s.
It’s sonic character derives in large part from the cheapness of the design and construction. Moog Synthesizers were laboratory grade audio equipment; the Putney is cheap and difficult to use in a traditional musical context. And yet it was seductive. It’s limitations and imperfections enlarged musican’s ideas of what sounds could be musical.
Delia Derbyshire was one of the pioneers of electronic music during and after her tenure at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She was both a gifted composer and an audacious and precise engineer. Since seeing her in documentaries, and hearing her music I’m both awed by her and have a synth-geek’s crush on her. She was on my mind as I recorded these pieces, and I dedicate them to her memory.
The 5 parts of this piece were recorded in one evening, with no editing or overdubbing. The Putney was plugged into the Stereo Memory Man pedal, and the pedal was plugged into my computer.
The only post processing applied was normalization. These recordings are as close to the original, raw sound of the instrument as I could make them.
Tracks like a zombie, but kicks like a mule – my first taste of yellow.
As Metasonix own video makes hilariously clear, you're never going to play Switched on Bach with the R54. Feed the Supermodule with the appropriate combination of CVs, however, and you can coax deep drums, watery plops, rubber basslines and tortured-animal sounds from this unruly, tube-based VCF/ VCO.
What can a new digital synth be in 2011? How will it work and sound? And given access to so many excellent tools, how can it stand apart?
In place of a press release and some marketing-speak, developer Christopher Penrose (Leisuresonic, Cosmovox) sent us an extended essay explaining his thinking behind his imminent SynthTronica synth for the iPad. Aside from getting into the nitty-gritty technical details, it cuts to the crux of the issue: how to make something personal and new that nonetheless can work for other people, and how that idea can be tailored to a tablet.
More free samples at Waveformless’ Free Sample Friday:
Today's free sample is a single sample of a Tibetan singing bowl. The singing bowl is essentially an inverted bell that is used by Buddhists to accompany meditation or chanting. It can be played either by rolling the padded mallet along the inside rim, or by striking it. The sample I'm providing is of a single strike. It's an extremely long sample that reveals just how this instrument got the name "singing bowl". The note of the strike is an E. 24-bit, 44.1k WAV sample. [6.07 MB]
A little something different this Friday… instead of free samples, today we have 50 free patches for Native Instruments Absynth submitted by reader Alan Stuart. You can download them directly from his website. Thanks, Alan!
# Dustland – Real-time Live performance by Diego Stocco.
"Dustland" is a cinematic sounding improv that I recorded with the Fence Bass. This instrument has a rough and edgy sound since it's all made of metal, so I imagined a piece that could work in a modern Western film, I'm a fan of the genre.
Everything is created in real time, no pre-existing loops, additional tracks or post-efx involved. I built a chain of processors in Live that I control with a pedal board, all rhythmic parts and ambiences are derived from whatever sound/noise comes from the Fence Bass. I hope you'll like it!
This animated short by Theodore Ushev is like a whirlwind tour of Russian constructivist art and is filled with visual references to artists of the era, including Vertov, Stenberg, Rodchenko, Lissitsky and Popova.
# Beep-it! – Michael Una's Beep-it! device, an optical theremin.
It outputs a square wave whose pitch is controlled by the amount of light striking a photoresistor. You control the pitch by casting shadows over the light sensor, or by pointing it towards/away from a light source. Flashing lights induce an interesting oscillating effect. A single momentary button turns Beep-it on or off.
There is an 1/4″ output jack for connecting to audio equipment like amplifiers, guitar pedals, recording, etc.
I’ve been a bit “heads down” working on all sorts of fun music projects over the last month and half and of course learning lots of new things along the way. As I work away, I always take a moment to shoot photos.
Short: MIDI-controlled 8-bit digital synthesizer and audio sampler
Long: Device generates several different sounds based on incoming MIDI Note On/Off, Pitch Wheel and Control Change messages. Default waveforms are Sine and Square. An audio sampling function is available to record custom waveform samples that can then be played-back similarly to Sine and Square waveforms (think Impulse Tracker or Scream Tracker or any other tracker from 1997). Audio input is switchable between on-board microphone and external 4-conductor headset jack.
Free sample pack by dubstep forum user Project EX:
A small collection of kicks, recorded and collected by me. No processing on the kicks, just normalized. Will try to make some more samples at some point. Will get it on the sample swap when it's back up.
First session with the Elektron Octatrack. Checking out some of the capabilities of this new machine. No drum loops used in this short jam. Just triggering single shot samples of nord percussion and analogue drum sounds. Using the three stages of LFO's for each track to control effects animation and various other parameters. Making some use of the re-trigger sample functions spanned across 4 patterns.
More info on the Octatrack at Elektron, and Peter Kirn at CDM has some more thoughts + a video by Matthew Dear here.
Brett Martin aka PCmofo has finished his DIY desktop speaker system project. Nice job!
Finally the speakers are finished! Now for the fun part….. The final pictures!
Assembly went great, I was able to stuff them and the bass sounds much better as do the mids. I am really loving the black coated screws, from some angles and distances they completely disappear, then up close the detail comes out and they look pretty cool.
I plan on using these speakers with Apples 27" cinema display, as they are both the same height. Unfortunately, I dont have mine yet so I borrowed a 26" iMac which is also the same design for a few photos to get an idea of the size of these speakers.
Jeffrey Melton has released two collections of ambient, freeform and microsound compositions.
melton.granular.01 and melton.granular.02 collect my recent work in microsound-scapes, featuring granular and pulsar synthesis, freeform rhythms and tone colors. Tracks can also be streamed on my Soundcloud page.
All sounds were created with Density GS and Pulsaret instruments (both the standalone apps and Max for Live versions). Arrangement, mixing and mastering was done with Ableton Suite. Processing effects were limited to resonant filters, grain delay, reverb and EQ.
For the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl Accident, Ambientaria Records has gathered many Dark Ambient artists, including famous ones like Northaunt or Atomtrakt, for a Compilation project.
The album will be released on April 1st, 2011.
All the benefits shall be reversed to Chernobyl Children International (http://www.chernobyl-international.com/), a non-profit organisation with United Nations NGO status, in order to help people suffering from Radiation Poisoning.
Louis Fleet wrote in to let us know about his blog “fleet music”, a site that focuses on the production of electronic music, using Ableton and its built in synths and effects.
It’s called “Fleet Music”, the strap line is “a blog that takes a critical and instructive look at electronic music production”, what this essentially means is that I will be focusing on current themes within house and techno and investigating the relevant production techniques.
Synthesis is the main focus of the blog but as I said previously there is a ‘critical’ aspect to the blog, this is not be confused with bitchy, but instead the idea is that all the video postings and other content is focused on a ‘theme’. This approach can be evidenced in my most recent post which is all about the ‘stab’ in electronic music.
Engadget reports on an animated gif which holds a collection of 88 Roland synths:
You know how much we love our vintage MIDI gear, and apparently our friend Ronny from Das Kraftfuttermischwerk is every bit as big a fan as we are. To that end, he's taken Music Radar's recent guide to all-things Roland and turned it into an awesome (and headache-inducing) animated GIF.
Apparently the collection lacks the TR and TB series instruments, otherwise everything the company has produced between 1973 and 2010 should be there.
A small sample pack of The Kitten by Octave. This was recorded and compiled by me. I would like to do some more packs with this synth. So please let me know what you think of this curent pack and how it can be improved.
Today's free samples are various sounds made with a washer & dryer. I slammed lids, dropped coins on it, twisted the knobs, removed the lint trap, and a bunch of other stuff to provide a bunch of metallic percussion sounds or just good fodder for sample manipulation. 8 24-bit, stereo WAVs weighing in at 3.3 MB.
Here's some new samples for all of you music production lovers out there. It's just a small pack this time but I hope you'll find them usefull.
This pack contains: 10 basslines made by running the Microkorg through the filter on the Korg Monotron. There's a little bit of background noise from the Monotron filter but a little bit of grit never hurt anyone.