Short links for June 25th, 2010

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Beatfly

Beatfly is a small illuminating blimp for entertainment. Its light and movement can be controlled via various interfaces such as MIDI controller, iPhone multi-touch interface, Flash interface on a web site, computer keyboard, mobile phones and voice, and music. It flies, filling the space with colorful light, producing diverse styles of performance in the air.

A limited number of Beatfly DIY kits are available to purchase for $65 USD. The kit includes a soldered circuit board, motors, propellers, structures, screws, and balloon. Size of the inflated balloon is about 110cm * 40cm * 80cm. You need some additional electronic parts (Arduino, XBees, Battery, etc.) and helium gas.

# Free Sample Shootout #2: Acoustic Drums: Full Kits

Bedroom Producers lists a number of quality free acoustic drums:

When it comes to working with sampled acoustic drums, the advantages of using dedicated software like EZdrummer, Addictive Drums, or BFD2 are more than obvious. But not everyone can afford these, as they all come with quite a big price tag. Luckily though, there are many free alternatives available online. I selected only the best free sample packs for this list, and choosing only the ones that come with mappings in sfz format (among others, of course). If you don’t own a commercial sampler like Battery or Halion, I recommend using the free Shortcircuit sampler v1.1.2, as it supports the sfz format and also offers multiple outputs.

Peter Kirn speaking in Hamburg

# Looking Beyond MIDI, What’s the Best Way to Represent Musical Notes Digitally?

Excellent article by Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music:

The history of music and the history of music notation are closely intertwined. Now, digital languages for communicating musical ideas between devices, users, and software, and storing and reproducing those ideas, take on the role notation alone once did.

Notation has always been more than just a way of telling musicians what to do. (Any composer will quickly tell you as much.) Notation is a model by which we think about music, one so ingrained that even people who can’t read music are impacted by the way scores shape musical practice.

# Making A Drum Kit With Your Mouth

Tom Shear has some tips on how to create some cool vocal drum samples:

Before hip-hop hit the big time, it was a very underground phenomenon and as a result, most of the artists at the time had to make music as cheaply as possible. Indeed, some bands couldn't even afford a drum machine, so "beatboxing" was born where a performer would imitate the sounds of a drum kit with his mouth to create the beat for the rapper to do his thing over. While it seems kind of hokey now, your own voice is actually still quite a decent source for new drum and percussion sounds. Here are some tips on getting the best results from your vocal drum sample experiments.

Air Users Blog Bargain Basement

# The AIR Users Blog Bargain Basement

The Bargain Basement at the AIR Users Blog is an excellent resource for getting some plug-ins on the cheap.

The AIR Users Blog has teamed up with sellers to offer plug-ins and soon hardware with massive savings. What you get are:

  • low prices, in most cases insanely low!
  • unrivalled support.
  • free training videos and content.
  • the protection of Paypal should you have any issue with your purchase.

# CERN Sounds library

Some audio samples from The European Organization for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) Large Hadron Collider and computer room. Here you can listen to the sounds and download mp3 files, numerical files and explanatory notes.

via wire to the ear

# Alberto Balsam – Steel Version

"Alberto Balsam" by Aphex Twin Arranged by Ben Wallace for the CCM Steel Band June 2010.

# Review: Ohm Force Ohmicide Melohman

Tom Shear @ Waveformless checks out Ohmicide:Melohman, Ohm Force's distortion effect plug-in.

This is a product that has been out for a while, but when the Ohm Boyz themselves asked if I might like to take a look at it, how could I refuse? If you haven't heard of it by now, Ohmicide:Meloman (I'm going just called it Ohmicide from here on out) is a multi-band distortion effect on steroids. Multi-band distortion allows you to split a single signal into multiple frequency bands allowing you to process and tweak each band completely independently of the others. Let's see how it stacks up.

I don’t use distortion effects a lot myself but when I do it’s usually Ohmicide. Great stuff!

Packaged Piano by t_kondo @ Flickr

# Paper and conductive ink piano

From Make: Online:

Takashi Kondo of Ogaki, Japan, created this amazing foldable paper piano printed with conductive ink and embedded with an ATmega328. I'd love to see a video of this creation in action, as well as some more details of its creation — like, where is it getting its power?

Rob Papen Predator

Recommended sounds