The Dual SP0256 vocal synthesizer is the descendant of an earlier circuit of mine, Analog Controlled Speech Synthesizer. I crammed in all the features I’d want from a singing robot. It was a good challenge because it inspired some analytical thinking about the relationship between speech and singing.
The features of this circuit are:
2 trigger inputs to step through pitch and vocal sequences independently
speech data stored cartridge-style on EPROM
2-oscillator richness using dual SP0256-AL2 speech chips with crossfade mixer
optimized low-pass filtering for less strident tone
SP0256 crystal oscillators replaced with VCOs for pitch control
each chip has an independent / linkable 4-step analog step sequencer for pitch
lower step sequencer has switchable clock divider (divide/2 to divide/16)
glide and LFO functions
speech rate (slur) control
built-in realtime programmable sequencers for pitch and speech trigger
IR Sync input for wireless infrared tempo matching
Hello, my name is Matt. I record, edit, and mix music for a living. My profession requires an extremely discerning ear. This little listening test is to see if you can pick up subtle differences in pitch.
For all the hype around mobile music creation, here’s a story with an ending in the opposite direction. Independent developer Olivier Gillet is the reason a lot of people see handheld gadgets as potential music making devices; he’s the creator of the brilliant Bhajis Loops for Palm. But, as if to prove that hardware can be a digital platform, too, his latest creation, while it will fit in your palm, isn’t for a device like the overcrowded iPhone.
Sonic Wire Sculptor is based on a musical instrument by Amit Pitaru which has been shown in museums and galleries world wide. A great effort has been placed in reworking the app to take advantage of the the iPhone's unique audio and input capabilities. The Sonic Wire Sculptor turns your 3D drawing into sound. It introduces a simple yet deep connection between visual and audio composition.
John Fisher has released a free VOSIM synth for Reaktor.
Well, for all you poor bastards who don’t own a G2 modular, and can’t use the VOSIM patch I made for mine, I have put together a VOSIM patch in Reaktor. Actually, part of the reason I made it was just to implement some features I couldn’t get in the G2, and because I thought it might sound different in reaktor.
Interactive Musical Device that produces tones and loops. Sound can be manipulated by physically moving and controlling certain elements of the device. IR sensors detect the distances of propeller blades triggering a corresponding tone to emit from the device.
We have a brand spanking new show called Sound Builders where sound geeks create instruments from just about anything that will make noise and, well, to but it simply, build sound. The first episode is a visit to the home of Madison, WI duo Peaking Lights. During their time making bleeps and bloops and washes of noise, they've done a fair share of turning trash into sonic treasure and have had some literally shocking moments of discovery.
Audio editors are pretty lousy, you can’t use a graphical interface to do anything useful when editing sound mixtures.
In this demo we present an audio-driven interface which allows a user to vocalize the sound they want to select and an automatic process matches that input to the most appropriate sound. Once the selection is done then we can manipulate sounds independently and then throw them back in the mix. This ties in a lot of work on audio separation shown in a later section.
Check the audio demos on the page, pretty brilliant stuff!
This pack contains 7 multi sampled synthesiser patches and one pack of EFX taken from the Korg Microkorg synthesiser. Each patch has been pre-loaded into reasons NNXT sampler and ready to play. All sounds were made from scratch. [No factory presets are used]
The multi sample files [.WAV] are also included so that the sounds can be loaded up into a sampler your own choice.
The sample pack is available to download (and share) at no cost.
# Beat Feet, a pair of wireless shoes and hat that allow a solo performer to orchestrate audio loops in real time using dynamic, unexpected sounds.
Arturo Vidich writes:
This is the demo video we made for Beat Feet. I wish we had good video from the ITP Winter Show because after dancing in those shoes for 9+ hours I finally understood how to use them. www.beat-feet.net
# Pro Music Apps, new website a small team of Australian-based journalists, musicians and audio professionals that share a common interest in the growing number of quality iPhone apps designed for professional audio and music uses.
Promusicapps.com was conceived out of respect for the amazing pro audio and music apps the many talented software developers around the world are creating, as well as our passion for enjoying these incredible apps. Until now there has been a lack of unified information about this exciting area of app development, so it was decided (amongst several friends) to create a one-stop online source where developers and users can all come to share and learn about the latest developments in pro music and audio apps.
I have made a copyright-free and license-free sample pack of the Phillips SAA-1099 sound generator chip. It is a very straightforward sample pack, consisting of 96 pitched samples and 16 noise samples, across a range of frequencies. These samples have been recorded from hardware. The audio output stage of the sound chip has not been filtered.
Sebastian has also announced a music contest:
It's time to get your chipmusic on! This is your chance to win a SEGA Master System MIDI Interface. Be the coolest musician in your town with this brand new tool that lets you control the sound chip in your SEGA Master System with MIDI data.
The legend of the early sounds of the Mac remains, apparently, an alluring one. Here, Jim Reekes talks to a Dutch documentary crew (though in English) about his thought process in designing sounds for the Mac, including the famous Mac startup sound.
Jon at Audio Geek Zine lists his top 10 free RTAS plug-ins for Pro Tools.
I see this topic come up a lot, “what are the best free rtas plugins?” I’ve answered the question so many times but I’ve never addressed it on the site.<br />
Below is my list of 10 (in no particular order) free 3rd party RTAS plugins I think everyone should have on their system. There are many more out there but these are the ones I use on a regular basis, they are useful and are stable.
Improving on a design and sharing the results with our users is always at the top of our list at Livid. The Block controller has been a great success and we have just made some minor design changes to make it even better. Originally milled from a solid block of wood, the square body with thin bottom has had its challenges, mostly warping and cupping. We have experienced a bit higher reject rate for bodies at the shop before they were built then we would like. Thus, the up and coming stash of rejected bodies in the Livid Graveyard that were never meant to be!
When sampling technology finally became accessible to mere mortals and not just uber-rich Fairlight and Synclavier enthusiasts, the race was on to increase fidelity and leave behind the limitations of those first 8-bit samplers. Bit depth and sampling rates increased and memory capacity expanded until the average sampled sound was indistinguishable from the same sound recorded on a CD.
But sure enough, after many years of enjoying the pristine sound quality of the new sampling technology, musicians began to explore and exploit the limitations of the old school samplers. Suddenly the grain of low bit-rate samples and the metallic grit of aliasing is very much in style. So how can you emulate the sonic artifacts of some of the long forgotten vintage samplers? I'm glad you asked…
This is the plugin I am currently working on. It's called "Intello". Basically it's a glitch producing plugin and in this first short demo I'm showing you one of the 5 planned glitching modes. The plugin will be controllable by an iPhone application from a listening audience. So the listeners can interact with a performer.
I receved an email last night from the good people at audiotool. For those of you that dont know audiotool is a browser based music production platform that features emulations of the classic drum machines and bassline synth origanally made by roland. Along with the drum machines and bass line synthesiser, the audiotool also features emulations of guitar effects. The email I receved contained a link to test the BETA version of audiotool 1.0 [codename: Firestarter]. The BETA version of the audio tool has lots of intresting new freatures, such as a timeline, piano roll, automation and a new synthesiser.
The Smalls has launched Street Sounds, a new site created in association with Scion to capture location-based sounds that together reflect our surroundings and define our lives.
Street Sounds is a collaborative and interactive Web site where lovers of art, sound and humanity can document their lives through snippets of sound that are posted on a 3-D map. Filmmakers, musicians and other artists can then search for sounds by keyword and location to use when creating new collaborative works of their own.
Streets Sounds allows users to listen in on everything from such rousing moments as a campus protest in Berkley or subway performers in New York, to funny and intimate vignettes, such as one’s laughter, a patron ordering a beer, or the rain. For contributors and listeners alike, the experience can be enchanting and addictive.
“With The Smalls Street Sounds, we aim to create the largest online collaboration of free, user-generated sounds that will encourage people to listen to the sounds of America and stimulate creative expression,” said Anna Grund, Founder, The Smalls. “Most of our lives are made up of multi-sensory experiences. The Sound Map provides people with the opportunity to focus on one – sound – to present and explore their world, and most importantly to let their imagination wander.”
Every month, the biggest contributors of sounds can win a free iPod.
There are those who will throw away their old record covers but there are those that will use them to create some mind blowing artistic stuff.
One of them is definitely Christian Marclay, a New York visual artist, DJ and composer who used record covers of Michael Jackson , Doors, Donna Summer, David Bowie and many others for this piece of art. The relationship of sound, vision, music, art and performance is the focus of his work.
It's hard to believe another weekend is upon us, but it is, so here are some more free samples to get your weekend off to a good start. This time, it's a set of 21 24-bit synthetic percussion sounds I made on my Sequential Pro One
Say you’re an up-and-coming crew with a turntable and some mics. You’ve got a gig this Friday at the middle school gym (the janitor has been bribed appropriately) and the boys on the corner have been passing out your flyers to all the lovely ladies. Everything’s set, except you heard that Kool Herc is coming to battle. Herc and his mighty sound system schooled you last go-round, so you know you need something fresh to rock the bodies proper. Your DIY solution? The 55-gallon drum sound system.
The Control Centre has posted a sample pack features 38 piano samples in 44k 16 bit mono format.
This samplepack contains 3 pianos I recorded to tape in 1998. A Baby Grand, a Fender Rhodes and an old upright a friend of mine had in her back kitchen. I recorded the pianos using a Tascam 244 Cassette Portastudio and a Shure SM58 microphone. The Fender Rhodes was recorded to tape directly from it's line output. The recordings were then sampled using a Yamaha A3000 sampler.
I recently exported the samples from the A3000 sampler to my laptop computer via floppy disk, and then imported them into Ableton Live's Sampler. To save each piano into your Live Library, load the project, then save each sampler as a preset inside Sampler's preset browser. Live will copy the samples to your library automatically.
If you don't have Live 8 and Sampler, you can still use the samples to recreate these pianos in your choice of software.
The "Octapult" is a kinetic sculpture designed and built on commission by Bradley N. Litwin of Philadelphia, PA. With 8 synchronized catapults, 160 plastic balls per minute are launched, caught, and recirculated. Made mostly of wood, the work is ~36 inches in diameter. On permanent display in the lobby of Lower Merion Elementary School, Merion Station, PA. Also a performing jazz musician, more of Litwin's work may be seen and heard at www.bradlitwin.com.
XEROWorld is the next phase in the evolution of online arts & entertainment — a totally new and unique web destination that seamlessly integrates social networking, interactive events, magazine style-news, and online malls.
Kyle Evans modified a didgeridoo to experiment in the combination of the organic sound qualities of a didgeridoo with the advanced signal processing capabilities of modern computer programming and sound synthesis.
This custom built didgeridoo features externally mounted modules that allow the performer to process and manipulate the sound of the instrument in real time. All control data is transmitted wirelessly via blue tooth and is controlling several audio processes created in a custom-built software environment.
Synchronization is, by definition, a tough thing to do. But musical engineering is replete with challenges; it’s no longer acceptable to simply say “live with it” and walk away. It seems we need both better shared knowledge about what sync is how to make it work, and better engineering solutions on the software and protocols side to support the way users want to work. And yes, we need a new sync standard that goes beyond what’s presently available in MIDI alone
Tunited is a groundbreaking new independent music website which will assist new and independent artists and labels gain increased exposure, challenging the flagging music business’ growing reluctance to invest in this exciting area.
The top 100 artists will upload their music catalogue onto the website prior to launch; it will then be made available to the press and music industry for showcasing before the site goes live.
To become a profile artist, please click on the button below to enter your details and upload your track before midnight on 11.12.09. Your music will be judged by Tunited's panel of experts including Midge Ure OBE.
Josh made a LED sign which displays voicemails from his Google Voice account.
I made the LED sign following instructions from this tutorial on Nerdkits.com. The hardware is some LED’s, a nerdkit, a piece of cardboard and a bit of wire that I got from some Cat 5 cable laying around. I cut out the cardboard and printed a grid to help me lay out the LED’s. I think mine were 1 cm apart. The soldering took forever and it was the first real time I did any soldering so it looks kinda crappy. Oh well. It works. The sign itself is powered by a 9 volt battery and receives data from my laptop through the serial port via a USB adapter. All that stuff was included in the Nerdkit when I bought it. The microcontroller is running code from the tutorial I mentioned earlier. One of these days I’m going to make an enclosure for this thing.
Drone Machines are custom made machines fabricated from raw materials and utilizing open source circuitry.
The devices draw heavily on aspects of industrial automation, robotics and mechanical tools and devices, focusing on the eroticism of interaction with machine.
The machines require significant force from the performer, aligning he or she with the plodding drone and doom influenced sounds that are created.
# Masonverb by Brian Green: The masonverb is a diy mic with a reverb like effect to it, basically its a glass plate reverb, it was made by building a contact mic into a masonjar which leads to the name.
This video shows you how to use Ableton Live’s clips as chord banks and trigger them with one key. It also touches on the following features: Follow Action, Launch Modes, Midi Mapping & Routing, Pitch (midi plugin)
Interesting article by sound designer Tim Prebble.
Is there a problem with digital music? Its so odd reading about the endless piracy & copyright problems, and how the music industry is apparently suffering & dieing when to me, contemporary music feels more vibrant than ever. Every week I discover new music & not just ‘new’ bands, but often highly evolved music that has existed for a number of years, but for whatever reason I just had never heard before. In many ways I think what I am enjoying is the new democracy where I am more likely to discover a new independent band or composer, than have a new act promoted and/or forced upon me by dinosaurs…
But for the moment lets ignore music of the past & consider contemporary music, music that has been created with no involvement or reliance on the old music industry. What are the problems associated with it?
Youth Music Box is a free, interactive musical experience, allowing you to create your own unique track and video using cutting edge technology, all in under 10 minutes!
Youth Music Box is currently living at the Royal Festival Hall, London and is a chance for anyone of any age to take part in making music – whether you’re an accomplished musician or complete beginner.
Tom Shear lists some things that come in handy in your studio.
Being a musician can be expensive. I tend to break down musical purchases into "sexy" and "non-sexy" categories. Buying a new synth? Sexy. Buying MIDI cables? Non sexy. The thing is, a lot of the time, it's the non-sexy purchases that can make the biggest difference in our day to day lives in the studio. So today I'm going to concentrate on a few of these that I've found particularly important.
# d-touch.org – The d-touch sequencer and the d-touch drum machine are fully and freely available for download (Registration needed)! Please try them out and spread the word!
Audio d-touch is a collection of applications for real-time musical composition and performance, with very special user interfaces. The collection includes a drum machine and a sampling sequencer, both are controlled by spatially arranging physical objects on an interactive table surface. Each object represents a sound, and its position with respect to the surface is mapped to certain playback parameters. For example, the horizontal position of an object represents the timing of the sound. The system is extremely low cost and now it can be freely and fully downloaded from http://www.d-touch.org/audio. All is needed to get audio d-touch to work is a standard computer (PC or Mac) with a webcam and a printer.
Look out: Behringer, already a notorious rip-off artist, is taking the “first step in [the] company’s reinvention of online presence.” I shudder to think what the coming steps will look like. But yes, the new site looks a wee bit familiar. It actually gets worse as you dig into the layout.
Is anyone really surprised? Don’t we all know Behringer’s game already?
For more than 30 years the Shortwave radio spectrum has been used by the worlds intelligence agencies to transmit secret messages. These messages are transmitted by hundreds of “Numbers Stations”.
Shortwave Numbers Stations are a perfect method of anonymous, one way communication. Spies located anywhere in the world can be communicated to by their masters via small, locally available, and unmodified Shortwave receivers. The encryption system used by Numbers Stations, known as a “one time pad” is unbreakable. Combine this with the fact that it is almost impossible to track down the message recipients once they are inserted into the enemy country, it becomes clear just how powerful the Numbers Station system is.
CHAMPAIGN IL—August 27, 2009—Symbolic Sound Corporation has expanded the real-time sound-computing power of its Paca(rana) sound engine by making it possible for Kyma sound designers to chain two or more multiprocessor Paca(rana)s together via the built-in A/B Expansion ports. To the Kyma software, a network of Paca(rana)s appears as a single sound computation engine with multiple processors. Kyma automatically detects the number of available processors and schedules the execution of DSP-intensive signal processing and synthesis algorithms across multiple processors.