Some interesting things I found recently:
Christopher Locke made an Analog Tele-Phonographer, a sound amplifier for his cell phone/portable music player.
I made it from a broken trumpet and a fistful of scrap metal. The unit uses no external power or batteries, has no moving parts, and is entirely self-contained.
More info: Heartless Machine
Peter Kirn writes:
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.
Dan Weatherall has posted a new sample pack featuring 10 hand played percussion loops in .wav format.
I'm not saying I'm the best percussionist in the world but I played these percussion loops myself.
These loops are an ideal way to give your track a little bit of human feeling.
All loops are played at 120 bpm.
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.
Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World tells the story of the wah wah effect pedal, from its invention in 1966 to the present day.
Some recent goodies Tom posted about on his blog:
- Korg Radias samples from Waveformless reader Psyche Poppet.
- A small selection of free one shot samples from Studio Wormbone’ Animal Robotix release is available from Producer Loops.
- Alchemy Snares 02: ten snare sounds built, destroyed, mangled, and layered in Camel Audio’s Alchemy.