Recently I bought a turntable to use it for an experiment, but that didn’t turn out as I was expecting. Then, I noticed the equally spaced ridges on the plate and got an idea for something else.
For about an hour I recorded short musical phrases by rubbing leaves against the turntable (the type of leaf, angle, pressure and fold determined the sound), then I combined the different takes together. Every element comes from those recordings, including the bass, kick and snare sounds (shaped with EQ, compression and resonators).
Diego Stocco has presented his Custom Built Orchestra, a project in which he created a an orchestra of handcrafted, unique instruments, and performed each part of a composition written by Diego himself.
I always been fascinated by the raw musical power that an orchestra can express, so, after creating a series of videos where I’m performing a multi-track piece with an instrument I designed, I decided to take the concept a step farther and create my own orchestra made of unusually unique instruments.
The project started by handcrafting a diverse selection of instruments, then I wrote a composition where I could fit them all in and finally performed each part. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed doing it!
Music sound designer, composer and performer Diego Stocco has posted another video demonstrating you can make some lovely music using non-traditional sound sources.
Almost everyday, on my way to a local bakery, I walk in front of a dry cleaners. When they have the front door open, I hear a lot of interesting sounds coming from their work equipment. Eventually, the different mechanical and steam sounds sparked something in my mind, so one day I asked the owners if I could record a piece of music by using their machines as musical instruments.
I used a puff iron, press and dry cleaning machines, a washer, clothes hangers, and a bucket full of soap. The bass and lead sounds were created from the buzzing tones coming from the conduits and engines. There are no additional sounds from any traditional or electronic instruments. Enjoy!
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.
Geert Bevin wrote in to let us know about his experiences with the Eigenharp Alpha:
I've been playing the Pico since November and then moved on to the Alpha. After three months of playing the Eigenharp Alpha, I've now published an in-depth review about it from the perspective of a traditional musician.
From Geert’s EigenZone website:
For the past three months, Eigenlabs has loaned me an Eigenharp Alpha. I’ve been playing it every day, discovering the instrument and working on my technique. This has allowed me to write this review from the point of view of a musician that has already spent quite some effort on it. During this time I worked closely with Eigenlabs and related all my gripes and pain points so that they could be improved upon, and they have!
The instrument that I had at my disposal was the final prototype before the actual production models that are being sold now. Many things were different and now that I’ve actually bought my own personal Alpha and sent the review model back, I clearly see how much better the final version is, even though I already found the prototype amazing.
The Occurrence is a hybrid project of Science Fiction and Techno Music. It displays the innovations of our time and space, an era of change with minds that intensely stare forward to the future.
The Occurrence on hybrid CD, refugar CD on one side, 5&inch; vinyl on the other
The playable format and Technology of this album is also a hybrid. The parallel mix of vinyl and digital formats are brought forward in a unique way that gives the listeners and programmers more options in which to enjoy. (see product photos). The Occurrence. The next installment of Sleeper Wakes. Explored and produced by Jeff Mills.
Few days ago I started thinking about how I could re-purpose the keyboard of the dismantled piano I keep in the garden, so I thought to build a new instrument by combining it with some other parts I had laying around. I ended up with this mechanical hybrid thing I thought to call "Bassoforte" (bass + pianoforte).
The neck is from a broken electric bass, as a bridge I used a cabinet handle, the pickups are from a guitar, and the part at the top where the strings are attached is a chimney cap, which works as resonator as well as percussive sound.
The track I created is a tribute to my Dad who is a big fan of Western comic books and “spaghetti western” films, and because of him I am too.
A closer look at the OP-1 portable synthesizer and controller (no release date yet though).
Last week, Ihavesynth.com got the chance to meet up with Teenage Engineering to get a closer look at the OP-1 synthesizer/sampler/controller/you-name-it. Teenage Engineering revealed their eye-catching OP-1 at Musikmesse in 2009 and the hype around the synthesizer has been massive, even though it is not yet released. We have posted about the OP-1 before and offcourse we are as curious about the OP-1 as the rest of the world seems to be.
Teenage Engineering is a great gang of 7 tech guys in a white painted garage filled with wonderful stuff like computers, synthesizers, all sorts of tech gear, an electronics shop, 3D printers, bikes, mopeds and a little dog which you can hear in the interview. The Teenage Engineering crew has experience from a lot of different areas, like the gaming industry, programming, electronic music – and it all comes together in their cozy garage.My mate Bjorn had a chat with David at Teenage Engineering, check it out in this clip.
One of my favorite hacks at last weekend’s Music Hack Day is Tristan’s Swinger. The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any song and makes it swing. It does this be taking each beat and time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half. It has quite a magical effect.
This project demonstrates how to use the Xbox Rock Band Stage Kit with Micro framework using GHI's USB Host feature….no Xbox is necessary!
This kit uses USB and it has special requests to set the strobe speed, LEDs and fog. But no worries! This still works with GHI NETMF devices. We use USB host on a low level using USBH Raw Device. This allows us to control the Stage kit as we like! It is actually easy if you know how USB works.
Tom Shear is back with another pack of free samples:
Today's selection is what used to be one of my favorite bass sounds I'd programmed for my old SQ-80 back in the day. It's very digital sounding and can add a nice bite to other bass sounds when layered. (The name of the patch was inspired by the liner notes of a Shriekback album that listed not only the gear used, but the name of the synth patches they used which pleased the hell out of me for some reason…)
The download includes 8 mono 24-bit/44.1k WAV samples of the C and G keys for 4 octaves.
Diego Stocco @ Soundcloud: In the past months I've been working on some new tracks with my Experibass. Since I built it, I discovered many new ways of interacting with it Take a look at this gallery to know more about the Experibass: http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Experibass/312989
David M. just sent us useful information on how to add internal pitch controls for both Kaossilator and the Kaoss Pad, below are his words of wisdom…
After reading about the GetLoFi Tutorial for 1799 oscillator circuit mod on the KORG Mini KP/KO and with a few of the LTC Modules on hand I decided to give it a go on a brand new Kaossilator. The conversion took about 45 minutes to do, but the results just blew me away. A real transformer for this instrument.
The Creators Project event series—a roving global celebration—launches this summer on June 26, when The Creators rolls into 80,000-square-feet of display and performance space honeycombed throughout the legendary Milk Studios in New York’s Meatpacking District.
The event is going to be a groundbreaking combination of interactive art and installations, panels, workshops, screenings, and live performances. As much as The Creators Project is a digital archive of our digital world, it is also a testament to the enduring appeal of the Real. Many of the artists within the program explore the way that digitally manipulated images, sounds, and motions converge in real time, in real spaces.
Few weeks ago I visited a luthier looking for instruments parts, I had an idea in mind for an instrument I wanted to build. My curiosity was to hear the sound of violin, viola and cello strings amplified through the body of a double bass. I came up with a quadruple-neck experimental "something" that I thought to call Experibass.
To play it I used cello and double bass bows, a little device I built with fishing line and hose clamps, a paintbrush, a fork, spoons, a kick drum pedal and a drum stick. I hope you'll like it!
Thanks to luthier John Wu for providing me the parts, even though I warned him that I was probably going to create a "monster" : )
Sound designer Diego Stocco (producer for Spectrasonics) creates dynamic and innovative music experiences.
His music extensively uses unique sounds created specifically for each project through custom built instruments and techniques, allowing him to produce eclectic compositions with sounds never heard before.
Diego recently posted a new musical piece, created on a tree.
In the garden of my house there’s a tree with lots of randomly grown twigs. It looks odd and nice at the same time. One day I asked myself if I could create a piece of music with it.
To tune the tree I picked a fundamental note and tuned the twigs by trimming them with a pencil sharpener. I used two Røde NT6 and a NTG-2 as microphones, combined with a customized stethoscope.
I recorded the tracks live on a Pro Tools LE system. I didn’t use any synthesizer or sampler to create or modify the sounds. All the sounds come from playing the tree, by bowing the twigs, shaking the leaves, playing rhythms on the cortex and so on.