Archive for 'random posts'

Below is a list of posts in the 'random posts' category.

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Short links for March 14th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

Arcophone Mk II

# Arcophone Mk II

From the Perth Artifactory:

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.

More on the Acrophone here.

# A Gorgeous Compilation Benefits Cancer Research; Co-Creator Explains

Peter Kirn writes:

“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.

# Using EXE files to create found audio

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?

# 10 Handy Programming Tips for ReFX Vanguard

Tom at Waveformless is sharing programming tips:

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.

# Chaircrusher – For Delia Derbyshire 2010-03-10

Free 5-track album by Kent Williams.

Chairchruser For Delia Derbyshire 2010-03-10

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.

# Somatic Circuits VC-303

The VC-303 modular bass synthesizer, the worlds first and only TB-303 synth module.

100% clone of the classic bassline synth in a modern modular format. just like a 303 only modular.


Short links for March 7th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Mike Cook Hexome

A hexagonal monome – a Hexome, made using an Arduino. Containing RGB LEDs

More info at Mike’s website: Hexome

# Metasonix R54 Supermodule

From navs.modular.lab:

Tracks like a zombie, but kicks like a mule – my first taste of yellow.

Metasonix R54

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.

# Imagining a Tablet Synth: Developer Christopher Penrose Shows Us SynthTronica for iPad

Leisuresonic SynthTronica

Peter at CDM writes:

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.

SynthTronica for iPad is now available, iTunes link.

# Tibetan Singing Bowl

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]

Plus, a bunch of Absynth patches by Alan Stuart.

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!

# Tower Bawher by Théodore Ushev

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.

Details on Beep-it! at Michael’s website here

# Photo Journaling for Electronic Music Artists

Mark Mosher writes:

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.

# Derek Enos deMIDulator

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.

# Dark Energy Kick Samples (Analog)

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.


Short links for February 18th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Beat Meshing – Octatrack – Richard Devine takes the Octatrack for a spin. Want!

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.

# Dan303: Free Korg NanoPAD presets

Dan Weatherall has some presets for the nanoPAD available to download.

I know there are quite a few of you out there that own at least one of the korg Nano range of controllers.

The most popular of the Nano range has to be the NanoPAD. While the NanoPAD is a useful tool for laying down drum beats, I feel that It really shines when using it to come up with cool melodic parts.

This Preset collection contains a few useful scales and chords that I hope will help you in your productions.

Brett Martin iSound

# Apple themed Overnight Sensation MTM

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.

via Make

# melton.granular.01 & 02

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.

# Remember Chernobyl – 25th Anniversary Music Compilation by Ambientaria Records

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 (, a non-profit organisation with United Nations NGO status, in order to help people suffering from Radiation Poisoning.

Details at the official project page and the Facebook event page.

# fleet music

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.


Short links for February 16th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Visualized: 37 years of Roland synths in one awesome animated GIF

88 Roland synthesizers

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.

Check the Das Kraftfuttermischwerk site for the animated gif and a large image with all synths included.

# The Kitten sample pack (analog synth)

gnome at writes:

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.

# KVR: new skin (Triple Cheese)

New skin for u-he's freeware Triple Cheese software synthesizer.

u-he Triple Cheese
u-he Triple Cheese in a new skin

Download Triple Cheese for Windows and Mac (VST/AU) from u-he

# 72 New Hacks From Music Hack Day NYC 2011

Synthtopia has a round-up of the 72 hacks fro mthe Music Hack Day NYC, held this weekend in New York, NY.

The events are an opportunity for music geeks to get together and create new hacks, combining music + software + mobile + hardware + art + the web.

# The MC-20 Controller

The MC-20 Controller. Special build for iMS-20 APP from Korg, to use with the iPad.

MC-20 Controller

With iPad Slot to keep the iPad inside the case, and remove it, when ever you want, without opening the case.

# Waveformless: Free Sample Friday: Washer & Dryer

More free samples from Tom Shear:

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.

… and some more free samples from Dan303

# Microkorg and Monotron Basslines

Dan writes:

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.

# MPC Poster

MPC users rejoice with this lovely poster by Hip Hop Makers.

Hip Hop Makers MPC poster

# C64 LIVE DEMO – SID bassline (commodore cynthcart mssiah prophet64)

Live demo of one of my songs.
Bassline is played by an good old C64 equipped with Cynthcart.
Tune is called "we ain't finished yet" and has been featured on DEAD PIXELS long play.

In 2009 I began experimenting with SID chiptune (built-in sound generator chip of Commodore 64), and Cynthcart to create a blend of original 8bit sound from the 80's and Rock music.

More info at SH Music


Phantom of the Floppera, floppy drive organ

Related: , , , , , Posted in random posts on Feb 10, 2011 - comment 0 comments

YouTube user FunToTheHead turned a bunch of floppy drives into a musical instrument.

Test run of my (d)iskette (O)rgan doing Toccata & Fugue.

People have made floppy drives sing before, but this is my personal take on it.

Features two 3 1/2″ drives and two 5 1/4″ drives connected to a PIC18f14k50 microcontroller. It interfaces to any MIDI source via MIDI over USB. Straight MIDI would also be possible with an additional small circuit and some minor firmware changes. This initial version can respond to all 128 MIDI notes, and pitch bends +/- 2 semitones.

More info: Phantom of the Floppera


Short links for February 7th, 2011

James Blake @ 3VOOR12

Some interesting things I found recently:

James Blake: James Blake

Stream of James Blake's new album is available from the Dutch 3VOOR12 website.

British dubstep-pop up-and-comer James Blake’s self-titled debut album is out digitally next Tuesday, February 8, via Universal Republic in the U.S. (it’ll drop a day before in the UK via Atlas/A&M). Right now, the whole album is streaming over at 3VOOR12; you can head here to take a listen.

Furthermore, Listen Before You Buy points out that a bonus track from the LP, the haunting, sparse “Tep and the Logic”, is making the rounds.

Listen to the album at 3VOOR12
via Pitchfork

Improved Reaktor voice panning and a little digital archaeology

Peter Dines:

I was reading through the Reaktor application manual which is greatly improved in recent times, and came across this structure to pan voices in the stereo field

More at the Reaktor Tips blog

din: create sound with Bezier curves in free instrument for Linux

Make music with just your mouse and keyboard. 143 drones are created in the video below.

Peter Kirn writes:

“din is noise” is a newly-updated “tone board,” making the rectangular plane of its screen into a field of sound you can transform. The video above just begins to show some of what it can do. Pixels can be tones, transformed onscreen. A resonator editor uses Bezier curves to edit sounds across octaves. Each resonator, in turn, can be edited with yet more Bezier curves. Put them together into the drone editor (the bit you see in the video), and you can create vast, sculpted soundscapes from series of rectangles dragged around between octaves.

It’s all free, and it’s all doable for your mouse – a Linux exclusive that might convince you to dual boot, or take a second look at that netbook.

Read more at Create Digital Music


Short links for January 31st, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Touchscreen or Tangible? Use Both: A Practical, Affordable, Playable PC Rig with Usine

Peter Kirn writes:

Touchscreens? Good, old-fashioned faders, knobs, and pads? Why not just use what suits the job – especially when you can choose both on the cheap?

Nay-Seven shares some of his latest work with Usine, the brilliant, modular and touch-centric tool for Windows. It’s a futuristic rig that’s also down-to-earth. Touchscreen monitors can be had for around US$300 street, and the Akai LPD8 and Korg nanoKONTROL controllers each figure under a hundred bucks. Usine, the software, is a bargain for its depth at EUR120, and free and educational versions are available.

Nay-Seven: Here a work where i use the sequencer of Usine not to sequence audio or midi but patches : patches appear only when i need them , easy way to have only the controls you need on the screen, i also associate here works with faders and pads via personal patches for lpd8 and nano kontrol and the use of a touchscreen . Made with Usine ( ) thanks also to Michael Ourednik for his great vst Argotlunar

# – one year of drums

Here is my 365 days project. Every day I will compose/produce and upload here one drum break in CD quality format. It's simple – use it the way you want it. all files are copyrights free. This is not commercial project but if you like my work click donate button. have fun !

# John Olson: LIFE’s Young Photographer at Work – Rock Stars and Their Parents

LIFE - Rock Stars and Their Parents

They had fame, reams of money, and fans willing to do wild, unmentionable things just to breathe the same air — but in 1971, LIFE illustrated a different side of rock stars: Just like most of us mere mortals, they came from humble backgrounds, with moms and dads who bragged and worried about them every day. Assigned to take portraits of the artists at home with their sweetly square folks, photographer John Olson traveled everywhere from the suburbs of London to Brooklyn to the San Francisco Bay Area, capturing in his work the love that bridged any cultural divide that may have existed between his subjects. Now, as a special treat for Mother's Day, brings back Olson's nostalgia-inducing photos — check out the awesome '70s decor! — and talks with the photographer himself about his memories of those shoots.

Includes pictures of Frank Zappa, The Jackson Five, Joe Cocker, and more.

# Waveformless: Free Sample Friday: Distorted Snare Drums

It's the weekend! To celebrate, here are 12 snare drum samples that have been distorted in various ways. Some of the distortion on these is so extreme that the transients are pretty much totally sheered off, so if a particular snare doesn't have the oomph you want, try layering it behind an undistorted snare. 12 stereo samples, 24-bits, 1.3 MB.


The truth about the gentle reviewer

Carl at Plughugger:

Writing about and reviewing products is a subject that is brought up in forums and reader correspondence, and it generally follows the same story. Someone has read a magazine, got annoyed because 98% of the products got at least 8/10 ratings and/or a fancy award. Conclusion – the reviewers are in the pockets or the advertisers or simply bribed.

After working in the publishing business as a daily job for many years, I have to say that – sadly – I still haven't met a music technology journalist who drives a BMW or bloating around in a Hummer.

Writers in this genre are not bought, nor incompetent.

Carl brings up some excellent points in this article.

I generally don’t post any reviews of products I really don’t like. I just can’t be bothered to spend time on something really bad… Seems Tom at Waveformless is a different kind of reviewer… (not really of course, just pulling your leg, Tom)

# Canenero’ s Sketchbook Page – Idea e forma in Max/Msp.

# "Sounds from a Distant Outpost" Ableton Live Pack Experiment Update – New Compositions + 1000 Downloads and Counting

Sounds from a Distant Outpost

Mark Mosher writes:

On December 17th, 2010 I released the Sounds from a Distant Outpost FREE Live Pack.

Now, a little over a month later there have been over 1,000 downloads from!

The most exciting thing for me is that a two people have REALLY dug into the 12 instruments in the Live Pack and have taken the time to compose tracks using ONLY instruments from this pack.

I’ve attached their two songs plus a third I created below. It’s pretty fantastic that while we didn’t directly collaborate all the works are quite different yet sound they all sound like they are telling stories from the same universe.