Call it cable addiction. Italian-born musician Alessandro Cortini, known for his live keyboard work with Nine Inch Nails, retreated into the studio with classic and contemporary Buchla modular synths to make “SONOIO.” Guided by his uniquely personal compositional style, he was able to wrangle that mess of chords and layers of analog sound into a genuine collection of beautifully-written songs, stacked high with Buchla timbral goodness.
Check some tracks from Alessandro’s new album below.
This is a question I see often: if the final form of the project is 44.1kHz or 48khz, why bother recording at high sample rates? There isn’t any one answer to that question, there are lots of answers. But I thought it might be useful to illustrate a reason by using a real world example…. And if you cannot be bothered reading all of this, then just remember this: Plugins LOVE dense data!
Tom Shear has had some time with the Monotron and shares his thoughts.
Whether or not the Monotron is for you really depends on your expectations. I've already outlined what it does best and if that sounds appealing to you, I can recommend you just place your order and get one now. You'll have an amazing amount of fun with this thing. If you're looking for a budget MS-20 to blast out some wall shaking basslines or other melodic bits, you're probably going to be disappointed.
Tom has also posted a free sample pack with some percussion sounds, sweeps, shrieks, and some tonal sounds from the Monotron. Get them here.
If you're a Beastie Boys fan Christmas has come early, folks. The brain/brains behind the sample source blog Miscreant Productions have compiled pretty much every single song that has been sampled by the Beastie Boys from Licensed to Ill to To The 5 Boroughs. As if that wasn't enough, they've even gone and thrown said samples on Megaupload for y'all to download. I know epic right.
In the words of the trio themselves “ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out”:
Inspired by the classic spherical speaker array Instructable from user mzed, Charles Visnic created these cool wireless speakers by transplanting the guts of a pair of RocketFish speakers into some birch bowls from Ikea, mounted rim-to-rim.
One of the unique features of the Nerdle kit is the use of touch-sensitive capacitive-sense buttons, made from copper foil pads inside the case. While meeting with the camp directors to prepare these activities, we decided to try linking the raw information from the capacitive sensors to the on-board piezo speaker.
We added two lines of code, uploaded, and jaws dropped. It sounded like the computers of the future were supposed to sound.
In this guest column, we turn to veteran synthesist and music tech expert Jim Aikin. When Jim wants to do digital synthesis, one of the tools to which he turns is a veritable favorite with a direct-line legacy to the beginnings of computer sound. That doesn’t mean Csound hasn’t kept with the times, though, or that it has to be unfriendly. If you’ve been looking for a way to dive into sound and code, this could be an ideal path.
The Chipophone is a homemade 8-bit synthesizer, especially suited for live chiptune playing. It has been built inside an old electronic organ.
All the original tone-generating parts have been disconnected, and the keys, pedals, knobs and switches rerouted to a microcontroller which transforms them into MIDI signals. Those are then parsed by a second microcontroller, which acts as a synthesizer.
The Morphwiz app from Jordan Rudess takes the concept of the Hakan Continuum – which Jordan was also involved with, and applies it to the touchscreen of the iPhone/iPad to create a totally new instrument, while adding some trippy visuals, effects and a healthy synth engine. Dream Theatre are currently on tour with Iron Maiden in the US, we caught up with Jordan the morning after the night before at his hotel while on the road. He gives us an insight into the features and thinking behind the app.
Musikame has a beta of the souncloud dj player, the easiest way to dj your soundcloud tracks, allowing you to mix tracks from SoundCloud.
The soundcloud dj player includes various controls like pitch control, dj fx, looping, etc.
At this stage all the mixing is done automatically by the app itself: the user just picks the tracks and the length of the crossfade between them. While it's not actually possible to beat-match tracks as yet, the software does have pitch control with adjustable range, FX, looping and reverse capabilities, hinting at more advanced functionality in the future.
Create Digital Music has some exclusive photos of Griid, the controller for iPad that offers four fluid ways to navigate clips in your Ableton Live set.
Peter Kirn writes:
The developers of Griid, the Ableton Live controller on iPad created in association with Richie Hawtin, have shared photos and screen captures early with CDM to give us a look at the upcoming app. Just over a decade after its original inception, Ableton Live itself remains a ground-breaking user interface design. Love it or hate it, it’s a benchmark in thinking about how music apps might look.
Griid is compelling in part because it re-imagines how that central Session View and clip launching might work, now in the context of a touch tablet. Personally, I like the results. As on the Lemur, bold, saturated colors and contrast on a black background are central, of course. It’s also nice to see extraneous visual information removed. And for anyone with epic-sized sets of clips in Live, you’ll like the massive overview.
If you woke up this morning thinking, "Gee, I wish I could download two gigabytes of 120 BPM modular synth loops", I have some good news for you.
I've been using the TipTop Audio Z8000 for a while now, collecting material for a video, but I also kept a DAW file handy and recorded bursts of interesting output at various intervals. This process generated a lot of materal, but it is clear to me it would be more useful in someone else's hands.
Beatseqr is an arduino mega based computer interface by Steve Cooley.
It is aimed at electronic musicians and visualists. By itself, it connects to a desktop app that runs on mac or windows and can send out OSC messages to arbitrary network ports. However, combine beatseqr with a tightly integrated sequencer like Dajis Systems' Steppa (included in the price) and you have a powerful interface to create a MIDI loop which you can use to control sounds from pretty much any music software that accepts incoming midi data.
We've tested it out with Logic, Live, Reason, Quartz Composer, Max/MSP, PureData, and Processing. It works great!
The CodeOrgan analyses the "body" content of any web page and translates that content into music. The CodeOrgan uses a complex algorithm to define the key, synth style and drum pattern most appropriate to the page content.
Matt Pacyga and I have teamed up to release some free sample downloads resulting from our respective field recording experiments. Matt has put together a superb set of crunches and splats which originally emanated from his kitchen and some very unlucky food items. The recordings are high quality and super-creative, so I highly encourage you to take advantage of his generosity and download these sounds!
I've also got a number of samples on offer here that came from some contact microphone experiments, but I'll defer to the official description (after the jump) for the details
Hubert is small but powerful device to use with your modular synthesizer.
On each hand side there is one force sensing resistor turning applied pressure into a steady CV output. Each channel has three outputs: CV Out, Inverted CV Out and Gate out. Each side is capable of holding the current voltage on CV Out, whereas the inverted CV appears on Inverted CV Out. If a CV is held in the CV Out you still can use the inverted out, even switching from positive to negative voltage as often as you want without disturbing the held CV output. In addition each of the two channels fires a gate signal every time pressure is applied to the pressure pad. The CV can go from 0V to +/- 8V and can be controlled in sensitivity.
Mark Mosher of Modulate This! talks with AudioCubes inventor Bert Schiettecatte:
I recently conducted a phone interview with Percussa founder and AudioCube inventor Bert Schiettecatte.
I think music artists, visual artists, sound designers, those interested in tangible interfaces for installations, and music technology fans will all enjoy this interview – even if you are not in the market for a tangible interface.
Yoshi Akai's Wireless Catcher analog synth derives control input from nearby wireless signals picked up by an onboard antennae. As if that weren't interesting enough, the copper control panel sports some elegant decorative flourishes typical of his impressive body of work.
A full preview of the new Nofi album, 'Elsewhere,' to be released on March 4, 2010. This is a return to a more abstract, ambient, chilled-out, laid-back, space lounge sound, featuring six extended pieces:
The music on 'Elsewhere' was created using Ableton Suite 8 with Max for Live, Nodal generative music software, Native Instruments' Reaktor modular sound studio and Massive virtual synth, on an Apple MacBook Pro with Novation ReMOTE ZeRO and Monome greyscale 64 controllers, and a Presonus Firebox audio interface.
Note: This exclusive preview will be available for steaming on SoundCloud only until the album is released.
This is the three-dimensional spherical labyrinth that challenges the limits of your manual dexterity and spatial understanding as you maneuver a 5/8" wooden marble through its entire course.
The Superplexus is a complex network of chicanes, multi-planar hairpin turns, spirals, and staircases–even a vortex. Hand made from 3- and 6-ply Finnish birch that form the track, over 400 hours are involved in its construction. The labyrinth is set inside a 36" diameter acrylic sphere affixed to a Jatoba base using a stainless steel gimbaled mount that allows you to tilt the sphere in any direction to guide the marble.
This lovely puzzle can be yours for a mere $30,000 USD.
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.
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.
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.
Gijs Gieskes uses the video ram of a Sega as an audio source.
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.
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.
WinkSound.com has posted the first in a series of videos featuring Rodney “DarkChild” Jenkins.
Grammy Award winning songwriter, record producer and musician Rodney “DarkChild” Jerkins invites us into his LA studios for a tour of the facilities where he’s recorded artists such as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Pussycat Dolls and Mary J. Blige.
In this segment Rodney explains the different types of setups he uses and goes into detail about his favorite outboard gear such as Neve EQ’s, Avalon Compressors and Auratone speakers.
Two other videos will be posted soon:
Oct 13 Sound Design Demonstration (feat. Waves Mercury Bundle and the SSL line of plugins which help him achieve his signature sounds.
Oct 20. Interview on the new music business and music licensing.
Time+Space has announced a Jordan Rudess competition, with prizes from Synthogy, Time+Space and Jordan Rudess.
For most Prog Rock and Synth fans, the name Jordan Rudess is instantly recognisable. A world-renowned progressive rock keyboardist for Dream Theater who is also enormously successful in his own right, Jordan’s playing technique is enthralling to listen to and purely hypnotic to watch with a level of excellence that also extends to his compositional and arranging abilities.
Fans of Jordan will know he is also a long-time fan and friend of Synthogy – one of the world’s leading developers of virtual piano software. Their Ivory product line which includes Ivory Grand Pianos, Ivory Italian Grand and Ivory Upright Pianos, has become the industry standard for music producers and composers all over the world. In fact, Jordan loves the sounds so much he recorded his recent solo album ‘Notes on a Dream’ entirely with Ivory!
We’ll be interviewing Jordan Rudess in October for a special Time+Space online feature and we’re giving you the chance to ask the questions!
Send your questions for Jordan to us and we’ll pick the ten best for the interview. The entrant for each question that is picked will receive a special Time+Space 25% discount code and the winning question (picked by Jordan) will win all three Ivory products plus a copy of Notes on a Dream signed by the man himself!
So, get your thinking caps on – what questions have you been dying to put to Jordan that other interviewers have neglected to ask? We’re looking forward to receiving some original and imaginative entries!
Closing date for submitting your questions is 30 September, 2009. You may enter more than one question, however only one question per person can be picked. Winners will be notified by email prior to the interview which will be published on the Time+Space website in October.