Short links for May 12th, 2010

Create Digital Music

Some interesting things I found recently:

# The Myth of Falling Fidelity, and Audio History Unburdened by Fact

Peter Kirn has a lengthy post on the matter:

With the regularity of clockwork, stories about how digital audio consumption is degrading the quality of music are published and then re-published. Nearly a decade after the introduction of Apple’s iPod, this still apparently qualifies as news. The content of the articles is so identical, you could believe the bylines are a ruse, a nom-de-plume for the same author re-publishing the same story.

Whatever the reason for their supposed newsworthiness, the problem with these stories isn’t their claims about the variable quality of music listening. I think it’d be hard to overstate just how sub-optimal real-world listening by real-world consumers can get. The problem is that these journalists, inexperienced in the actual history of the technology they’re covering, falsely identify a technological trend.

In the process, they miss the real story of how listeners listen.

All I can say is +1.

# Novation Nocturn Keyboard + Automap standard Review

Jon at Audio Geek Zine shares his experience with the Nocturn Keyboard:

It’s been about a month since I bought the Novation Nocturn 49 keyboard. I haven’t fully mastered how to use it yet, digging into the features to write the review has made me know it a lot better. Overall I’m really happy with it. It’s been a good investment, it works well, and looks cool (besides the pink lights). I haven’t had any stability issues with it. With any new piece of equipment there is a learning curve, not being able to find instructions doesn’t make it any easier. I did have some trouble with some functions at first, but it was because of glitch with the installation and reinstalling took care of that. If you’re in the market for a new MIDI controller with great feel and advanced features, definitely check this one out.

# Color a Sound

A demo/walkthrough of my installation entitled 'Color a Sound' which was set up at RPI's West Hall Gallery 111 for the month of April 2010.

The interaction is meant to be very simple and playful, hence the major scale. It would be much more difficult for someone to walk up and have fun with a chromatic scale. Like any instrument, one would have to spend a lot of time to make a composition worth listening to and this is just a demo of the sonic abilities/responsiveness.

# The Most Warped Drummer Contest

SABIAN’s Most Warped Drummer Contest gives aspiring musicians the chance to upload a video to showcase their talents and be judged by SABIAN artists on the Warped Tour. One grand prize winner will receive airfare and accommodations for one to Boston, two all-access passes to the Boston Warped Tour stop, a meet and greet with top SABIAN artists, their choice of a SABIAN Performance Pack of cymbals and a SABIAN Bacpac Cymbal Bag set.

Gijs Gieskes YouTube MIDI interface

# Youtube MIDI interface

Gijs Gieskes is back with something new:

A arduino usb hid keyboard emulator is used to convert midi note messages to keypresses. This can be usefull to controle online videos with midi, in combination with the youtube mixer (uses the youtube javascript api).

The midi part is from this script. And the keyboard emulator is from the arduino USB keyboard library.

# free plastic bottle samples

Here are 2 sets of original home cooked samples of an empty plastic bottle (24/44.1) wav + sfz (dry/ambient).

Some of them have been slightly tweaked (eq/dyn).
They might sound completely useless but I thought it would do no harm to share

Scroll down the post a little to find jpumphandle’s download with 8 additional samples.


Short links for October 6th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

Arduino Contest

# Arduino Contest

Show what you can do with Arduino!

Arduinos are awesome – with one simple controller, you can make almost anything! What new things can you make with Arduino? We've teamed up with the creative folks at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and the Arduino Team on an Arduino contest to find out.

The rules are simple: to enter you must make a new Instructable that involves the Arduino IDE. You can use any hardware that you like, or none at all. Be sure to provide the code you used so that others can follow in your footsteps. Make something amazing and win a sweet Meggy Jr RGB from Evil Mad Science or an Arduino Mega from the Arduino Team to power your next project!

So what are you waiting for? Document a project you've been meaning to write up, or make something new! We can't wait to see what it is.

The contest deadline is 15 November, 2009.

# Commodore 64 As Bitcrusher Audio Effect – Sebastian Tomczak of little-scale uses a C64 as a bit crusher effect (with visuals)

# Beaterator Music Challenge

Rockstar Games has launched the Beaterator and MySpace Music Challenge, a contest for the recently released music application Beaterator for PSP system. The aim of the Challenge is to highlight emerging artists using the Beaterator platform as a tool for music production. The Challenge winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000!


Artists that are chosen as semi-finalists will have the opportunity to have two songs featured on the Challenge promotion page, where MySpace Music and Rockstar Games fans will be able to check out the competition and vote on their favorite songs. The first song will be your “featured song” — the one that you feel best represents your sound.
The second song will be one that you create using Beaterator, which can be an original track, remix, or other song that showcases your use of the Beaterator software.
The winning artist or band will receive $5,000, have their winning track featured on the PlayStation®Network – which is visited by millions of PlayStation owners every day, and they will also have the opportunity to be featured on the MySpace homepage.

Beaterator is a music-making application for PSP system that acts as a portable 8-track music studio. In addition to the 3,000 included loops, it features a drum machine, full keyboard, synthesizer and sequencer; as well as the ability to import any sound via either a Memory Stick Duo™ or the PSP system’s built-in microphone. This is a true portable music studio.

# Modulate This Electronic Music Blog Turns 4

Modulate This!

Mark Mosher writes:

Modulate This has turned 4 years old! In year 3 the blog experienced non-linear growth in page views and subscribers.

Congrats, Mark! Love the blog.

If you’ve never checked Modulate This! before make sure you do. This blog on electronic music production and sound design is a wonderful source of articles, videos, downloads etc.

cl516 Omega 8

# cl516: Omega 8 as a Drum Machine.

cl516 turns a Studio Electronics Omega 8 into a drum machine.

Rather than play the usual handful of musical hooks, I thought wouldn't it be useful if it was drum loop time.

Well, long gone are my TR-909, TR-808, Machinedrum, Xbase09, MFB-502, and I haven't picked up those D16 plugins yet. So I decided, why not use the Omega 8?

# SampleRadar: 328 free drum ‘n’ bass samples

For our sixth instalment, our musical microscope has fallen on drum 'n' bass. This may be a genre that had its big moment in the mainstream more than a decade ago, but it continues to thrive and its influence is felt on the likes of grime, dubstep and ghettotech.

# Video Ram Synth 1

Gijs Gieskes uses the video ram of a Sega as an audio source.

Gijs Gieskes Video Ram Synth 1

The video ram of the sega gets slowed down by a binary counter, so it can be used as a audio source.

There are 3 oscillators that control a multiplexer, the multiplexer connects 1 out of 8 patch cables to the binary counters input, so there are some nice changing patterns in the sound.
Another multiplexer is connected to the same oscillators and makes some extra connections to glitch some more video.

There is a magnetic patch bay for the video ram, and the sega controller on the front can also be connected with magnets or metal wands.
The original idea was that the device can be used for drums, buts more a synth.. In another version i will probably build a small sequencer into it..

I will probably mainly use it for exhibitions, it is allot of fun to play with, because you control the sound and the video at the same time.

# Fresh Squeezed – Orange Tree Samples Blog

Orange Tree Samples' official blog will include articles, tutorials, videos, product demonstrations, artist interviews, and much more.

Subjects include everything from tips and tricks for using Orange Tree Samples libraries to instructions on how to create your own sample libraries! "Fresh Squeezed" will also discuss the sample library industry's latest technologies as well as explore sampling in pursuit of greater realism. Hopefully this will prove to be a useful resource for Orange Tree Samples customers as well as sample library users and computer musicians in general.


Short links for August 24th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

Cheap, Fat & Open

# CHEAP, FAT and OPEN – Jacob Sikker Remin's Arduino based syntesizer, his final project at the CIID (Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design).

Synth features

  • atmega328 processor
  • 12bit DAC sound
  • 16 LEDs run through shift registers for sequencing control
  • LCD display
  • rotary encoder for multi purpose tweaking
  • stylophone keyboard
  • expression control through body switches
  • wireless receiver and transmitter through infrared light (control your synth with your remote control!)
  • passive volume control
  • 5 navigational keys and 1 home key (can be expanded with shoulder keys)

# V3 SYNTH-CAR – Gijs Gieskes' Synth-Car V3: A fan, random sequencer, Gakken SX-150, drums, marbles, LDRs, nails, a circuit bent camera, and more!

Hemisphere Games Osmos

# Hemisphere Games Osmos – Enter the ambient world of Osmos: elegant, physics-based gameplay, dreamlike visuals, and a minimalist, electronic soundtrack.

Your objective is to grow by absorbing other motes. Propel yourself by ejecting matter behind you. But be wise: ejecting matter also shrinks you. Relax… good things come to those who wait.

Progress from serenely ambient levels into varied and more challenging worlds. Confront attractors, repulsors and intelligent motes with similar abilities and goals as you.

# Art of Sound Contest Winners – Instructables Zalytron, Bleep Labs, and Create Digital Music are happy to announce the winners of the Art of Sound Contest!

Sound and music mean many things to many people and that was very apparent in the entries to this contest. From building instruments from scratch to interacting with sound to analyzing and distorting the sound, the entries covered a wide array of possibilities.

Moldover CD

# Alternative Music Distribution: Moldover’s CD Case as Circuit Board Noisemaker

Peter Kirn writes:

Moldover is the latest artist to experiment with ways of re-imagining the musical object. Already a fan of custom sonic circuitry, he made his CD into a circuit board. Some of it is just aesthetic, like the printed lettering. But there is also integrated noise-making circuitry for a very simple optical Theremin (well, at least, a light sensor-driven oscillator), plus a headphone jack. There’s actually quite a lot of function you can get out of that when plugging into a computer.


Short links for August 10th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently, and not so recently (since it’s been a while since I posted short links).

Guitare à crayon

# Guitare à crayon

The idea behind “la Guitare à crayon” is to be able to paint and play music with the same instrument (crayon mean pencil in english). It’s a custom usb guitar with open source software: namely, pure data (for sound) and gimp, blender, flash (for visual).

Guitare à crayon

  • Hardware features:
    • Accelerometer X-Axis (for example controlling the octave)
    • Accelerometer Y-Axis (for example controlling an effect)
    • 6 analog strings giving around 10 bits of resolution
    • External input: 1 analog, 1 digital
    • 4 positions switch
    • 8 buttons
    • 4 pots
    • 1 piezo with velocity filter (for example trigging any sound)
    • 1 ir distance sensor (+-6cm – +-20cm)
    • 1 unuseful led (for tapping the bpm)
    • Pressure-sensitive tablet
    • Foot controller (using a led & a photoresistor)
    • Foot switch (looper, change sound, …)
  • Software features:
    • No driver (firmware & bootloader)
    • Linux, Windows, Mac
    • Pure Data poweful DSP (sample, soundfont, fx rack, multiple looper)
    • Gimp for 2d (drawing, painting, photo, …)
    • Gesture tracking on the tablet (linux only)

# Beem – The Future – Lego synth models, inspired by danmcp's paper models. Artwork to the album – Beem "The Future" at

XenonJohn 8 Track Walkman-Pod thing

# 8 Track Walkman-Pod thing (Retro-tech)

Instructables user XenonJohn writes:

This is an admittedly mad project to see what might have happened if Sony had invented the Walkman earlier than they did – and made it so it took 8 track tape cartridges (which came before cassette tapes were invented).

In other words, can I make a personal 8 track player with just headphones in the style of a Walkman?

# 8-bit noise synth

vtol's 8-bit noise synth project:

8-bit noise synth is my latest project based on HT-8950 voice changer chip. Like my Lo-Fizer and Noise guitar it can produce noises by itself or process sounds like a lo-fi ring modulator, 8-bit pitch shifter and simple guitar synth/digital fuzz. I've also added two body contacts that change pitch or trigger sounds – in particular mode they work like theremin sensors. Check also 8-bit noise synth ver.2 , ver.3 and Star Noise synth.

# CASSETTE IS NOT DEAD – A lamp made of cassette tapes by cassette tapes lamp
You can replace the cassette tapes with your own as well

Available in transparent and colored cassette tapes, 20x13x12cm, price 35 EUR.

# NESynth – Retro game sounds piano for iPhone. NESynth is a virtual synthesizer that simulated 8 bit sound of video games in the 80's.

# Palalab’s Free Music Loops, Samples in ACID™ .WAV format

Palalab is offering free multi-instrumental sample loops in a variety of styles designed to be different, inspire your songwriting and fill out your mix. All loops can be used royalty-free, are properly ACID™ized for quality pitch and tempo transposition, and loop seamlessly.

Every week Palalab posts a new sample pack consisting of 5 loops. Each pack stays up for 4 weeks only, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back regularly.

Korg nanoPAD / nanoKONTROL (image by Jay Vidheecharoen)

# Download Free Korg nanoPAD, nanoKONTROL Scripts for Ableton Live

Peter Kirn writes:

The KORG nanoSERIES has a rabid following among many Ableton Live users, and with good reason. The nanoPAD and nanoKONTROL street for about US$60, provide basic knobs + faders + transport (KONTROL) and pads and X/Y control (PAD), plus a fully-featured, cross-platform editor, but still fit in a backpack. They’re small enough to use in coach on an airplane.

Having to open Live templates, however, just to get the mappings you want is a big pain. So, instead I’ve created a basic set of MIDI Remote Scripts and Kontrol Editor templates for Mac and Windows, Live 6.x and later, and wanted to share them with you.

# Gijs Gieskes WalkSX – The Walkman has a audio recording of some sort, on one side.. (L) And a audio signal that is used to trigger the arduino sequencer on the other side (R), that sequences the Gakken SX-150.

# Techniques for dealing with Phase

Audio Geek Zine - Phase

Jon @ Audio Geek Zine takes a look at what phase is and how to avoid problems with it in your productions.

Phase is a constant concern for recording and mixing engineers. Problems with phase can ruin your music, they can be easily avoided or corrected, but first you need understand how these problems occur.

This guide will attempt to explain almost everything there is to know about phase, what it is, how it happens, what it can sound like and some techniques to deal with it.

# Samples | – Bunch of free samples including some REX'es of the Yamaha MP-1 and a ReFill featuring Mario Paint sounds.


Short links for March 2nd, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

DIY turntable by Paulo Paulo Rebordão

# The Oil Rig Turntable: The Turntable

Paulo Rebordão writes:

After coming across some DIY efforts at building turntables, I too decided to give it a try… For the turntable, I went for an all aluminium construction and a decidedly “mechanical” look.

# little-scale: SP0256-AL2 Sample Pack

Sebastian offers 59 samples (16 bit, 44.1KHz mono .wav files) that have been recorded directly from an SP0256-AL2 chip.

These represent all 59 sounded allophones that the SP0256-AL2 is capable of producing via its internal ROM. The included sounds are named by the allophone in terms of each audio file.

Gijs Gieskes Motor Keys - MK Tape 4 (GT 4)

# Motor Keys

This project can be used to make music with small dc electro motors, controled by a small keyboard.

Gijs writes:

A project i have been working on for to long..
In it i use a keyboard to control DC electronic motors to make music. There there are endless possibilitys.

# Tiny Subversions: First demo, MeggySynth – Darius Kazemi is writing a music synthesizer program for the Meggy Jr. RGB kit: This is my first run of a little live performance sound and video device I'm calling MeggySynth. It's definitely just a proof of concept, I'm hoping to make things more impressive all around. I'll be using the A/B buttons for pitch shifting, too.

# Fretless Fader Midi Prototype with Vestax Controller One

This is the first public view of the Fretless Fader system I designed for use with the Controller One (posted February 22, 2009). With this you can cut and change notes through 2 octaves without taking your hands away from the vinyl and fader.


# Max 5.0.6 – Lots of bug fixes and new features.

DIS.PLAY Impress

# DIS.PLAY » Blog Archive » Final documentation: Impress

Impress is the deliverance of the touch screen from its technical stiffness, coldness and rigidity. It breaks the distance in the relationship of human and technology, because it is not any longer the user which is subjected to technology, but in this case the display itself has to cave in to the human. Impress is a chance of approach of user and technology, above all, from technology.

It is a matter of a flexible display consisting of foam and force sensors which is deformable and feels pleasantly soft. Impress works with the parameters position and time like other touch screens as well, but in addition to that, it reacts, above all, on the intensity of pressure.


More posts that match this tag

Short links for October 15th, 2008

Some interesting things I found recently: # Gijs Gieskes Acid-Machine – A machine that makes sort of party like music.. (it can also make other types of music). Gijs explains: The circle with the lines … read more

Short links for August 6th, 2008

Some interesting things I found on August 6th, 2008: # Free audio recordings from the Berlin S-Bahn. – Oliver Chesler writes: Yesterday I took a trip to Ikea in Berlin. To get from Prenzlauer Berg … read more

Short links for April 21st, 2008

Some interesting things I found on April 21st, 2008: # 10 Myths About Normalization – The process of normalization often confuses newcomers to digital audio production. Normalization in REAPER The word itself, “normalize,” has various … read more