Short links for July 12th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:


An interactive architectural mapping.
Fete des Lumieres / Lyon / France / 2010

A mapping by 1024 Architecture, projected on the facade of former Lyrical theater the “Celestins”. The building deformations and figures were controlled by the audience, using a microphone and an audio analysis algorythm.

More info at and

# Dan303: Tenori-On iPad app review

Dan Weatherall on the TNR-i for iOS:

Yamaha TNR-i

The official Tenori on iOS app enter the app store the other week but at £12 I was a little hesitant to buy it. After a little thought and a bit of googling I decided it was indeed worth the price.

The cheapest hardware Tenori-On (the TNR-O) is roughly £500 where as the current price of the iPad 2 is £499 (cheapest wifi only model) so considering that both the devices are pretty much exactly the same price (and I already own an iPad) it makes sence to get the iOS version.

# Thumbs Up for Madrona Labs AALTO Software Synthesizer (Modulate This! – A Blog for Electronic Music Artists)

Madrona Labs Aalto

Mark Mosher shares some info on the Aalto semi-modular software synth.

Peter Kirn over at Create Digital Music did a post on a new synth by Madrona Labs last month. Even though I wasn’t in the market for a new synth right now I ended up buying this Aalto within an hour or so of downloading the demo so I wanted to pass this along and help promote Madrona’s great work. At $99 this is an incredible value.

# From the Trenches of the Loudness Wars, A Broad Survey of Research
Peter Kirn writes:

You’ve heard the gripes, and heard and seen the somewhat unscientific demos. Now it’s time to examine the over-compression of music with – science! Earl Vickers of STMicroelectronics examines the Loudness Wars in an academic paper, as noted to us by reader photohounds.

# Flickr: LEGO Album Covers via wire to the ear

Flickr LEGO Album Covers

# little-scale: Tau Percussion Sample Pack

Sebastian Tomczak has posted a nice free sample pack.

I made a small set of percussion samples using a waveform generated from the first 614 digits of 2π. Download it here:

# Talking About The Upcoming Sound Packs With Elliott Fienberg

Nick of Nick’s Tutorials:

Elliot Fienberg aka MrTunes

I just finished recording a really enjoyable conversation with Elliott Fienberg, the man behind the Wobble Tech Radio podcast.

We chatted about some recording industry news and talked a bit about my upcoming Ableton Live packs that I’ll start releasing in the next month or so.

Check out the recording here, and be sure to check out Elliott’s other episodes:

# Dan303: Analog acid/minimal bass stabs (multisample)

More free samples from Dan303:

These multi samples were taken from my FreeBass FB383 bassline synth. It’s a rackmount analog bass synthesizer (clone of the Roland TB303).

Rockit 8-bit Synth Kit

# Open-Source Rockit 8-bit Synth Kit Coming

Peter at Create Digital Music:
Chicago-based hacker and synthesist Matt Heins is working on an open source synth kit. As a co-creator of the MeeBlip open source-synth hardware, I’m biased — I want more open synth hardware! So this is looking like some great company. The instrument is 8-bit, with analog filter circuitry, coded in C.


Short links for July 28th, 2010

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Nerdle Theremin Video

Wayne and Layne:

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.

# Deep Synthesis Made Free, Easy: QuteCsound

Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music writes:

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

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.

# Interview: Jordan Rudess and Morphwiz

From Sonic State:

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.

# :: soundcloud dj player 1.0 beta

Musikame has a beta of the souncloud dj player, the easiest way to dj your soundcloud tracks, allowing you to mix tracks from SoundCloud.

musikame soundcloud dj player
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.

via MusicRadar

# Resistor EP – Some Numbers…

Chris Randall shares details on the number of plays and sales of his latest Micronaut EP "Resistor", which was released as a pay-what-you-like download.

As promised, here's some initial numbers for Resistor, the EP I put out on Bandcamp last week. (If you're just joining us, scroll back a couple posts for the full skinny.)

# NXT-606 LEGO Drum Machine

A new video from Peter Cocteau’s 8bits Sample Based LEGO Drum Machine.

Liine Griid

# CDM: Griid, iPad Ableton Controller

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.


Short links for June 28th, 2010

Some interesting things I found recently:

# NXT-606 Lego Drum Machine

Peter Cocteau wrote in to let us know about his real LEGO drum machine that will make you dance !!!

I’ ve just put online my LEGO drum machine’s video. I’ ve made this MOC in August 2008.

The NXT-606 is a monophonic sample based drum machine with 24 percussion and fx sounds.

You can download the NXT-606 program from the forums

# cl516: Sounds from the Oberheim DX

Calvin Cardioid posted some new loops from the Oberheim DX.

One year ago I posted some loops from the Oberheim DX drum machine. Now I present some more. Build something of your own on top or add them to an existing mix. Tempo is clearly labelled in each track name. I really like the 5th one here, I can imagine some happy Ska tune on top.

The Loop Loft

# World Percussion Preview – Free Download!

The Loop Loft is offering some free percussion samples.

We're currently putting the finishing touches on our next major release at The Loop Loft, "World Percussion Loops", and we wanted to give you a sneak peek (or listen) of what we think is one of our greatest packs to date. Loaded full of a wide mix of ethnic percussion, including cajons, udu drums, frame drums and a variety of shakers, this loop pack is a must-have for anyone looking to round out their percussion library with authentic sounds and grooves.

Download available in AIFF, REX2, and Wav formats.

# Gotharman’s Anamono – Monophonic analogue feedback synthesizer with build in granulator/delay effects. via wire to the ear

retro game

# Sample Fodder: ZX Spectrum Games In Your Browser

Need 8bit sounds? Tom Shear at Waveformless has a good tip:

In need of some stylish 8-bit chip sounds, but don’t have any of the old classic machines on hand to sample? No problem! is an online emulation of the old Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer complete with a huge selection of games to choose from. Load up Audio Hijack or any other program that lets you record a computer’s audio, fire up your browser, and before you know it, you’ll have a whole ton of classic 8-bit sounds ready to be edited into your own custom sample kits.


Short links for December 22nd, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Make: Online : Open source hardware 2009

Make’s definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009.

Make:Online open source hardware 2009

Welcome to definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009. First up – What is open source hardware? These are projects in which the creators have decided to completely publish all the source, schematics, firmware, software, bill of materials, parts list, drawings and "board" files to recreate the hardware – they also allow any use, including commercial. Similar to open source software like Linux, but this hardware centric.

Each year we do a guide to all open source hardware and this year there are over 125 unique projects/kits in 19 categories, up from about 60 in 2008, more than doubling the projects out there! – it’s incredible! Many are familiar with Arduino (shipping over 100,000 units, estimated) but there are many other projects just as exciting and filled with amazing communities – we think we’ve captured nearly all of them in this list. Some of these projects and kits are available from MAKE others from the makers themselves or other hardware manufacturers – but since it’s open source hardware you can make any of these yourself, start a business, everything is available, that’s the point.

# fridgebuzzz electronics MK1 MIDI controller

fridgebuzzz MK1

The MK1 prototype is a user programmable midi controller featuring 32 LED pushbutton switches and 6 touch sensitive copper plate switches.

# satrap activ portable analog synthesizer (YouTube)

Flo Kaufmann shows his “satrap activ” portable analog synthesizer made out of a vacuum cleaner.

It contains 2 cmos based VCO’s , a Moog ladder filter, a 555 based ADSR, a cmos based 8 step sequencer, a PIC based vc to midi interface and a PIC based auto trigger unit. There are 4 tunable knobs on top, mostly to play base lines, and 2 conductable wires, which act as voltage dividers to generate variable tones. the wires do not vibrate. so it is not a cord instrument. satrap activ can also control other synthesizers either by midi or cv/gate interface.

Mark Mosher's Audio Cubes

# Percussa Audio Cubes: Lights & Tangible Interface with Ableton Live and Alchemy

Mark Mosher writes about his Audio Cubes:

I recently added Percussa AudioCubes to my studio and performance rig.

While I’m planning a longer post offering an overview of how AudioCubes work, this is a quick post to mention two applications of AudioCube technology I’ve been experimenting with.

# Larry Cotton’s MIDI Marimba

Larry Cotton’s 3-octave “player marimba” was featured in MAKE, Volume 4. Larry added two MD24 MIDI Decoders and the marimba can now be controlled by any MIDI sequencer or keyboard.

L2Ork (image by CDM)

# An Orchestra of Linux Laptops, and How to Make Your Own Laptop Instrument

Peter Kirn @ Create Digital Music:

For a generation of musicians of nearly every genre, the laptop has become an instrument. It’s easy to take for granted, but the rise of the computer for music has been remarkable. Less than twenty years ago, real-time digital synthesis and audio processing was the domain of expensive, specialized workstations. Now, $700 per seat can buy you a full-blown musical rig, with the computer hardware, gestural input courtesy the Nintendo Wii controller, and even a DIY speaker made from IKEA salad bowls. The next challenge is to make this setup as flexible and reliable as possible. Enter Linux.


# Marblephone

g000ze @ Let's Make Robots writes:

Inspired by Animusic's bodacious films, I was wondering whether a music robot in a much more simple way would be possible to make. Here is what my little boys and I created.

Still unfinished, but already working. Thank you Animusic for activating my imagination building the music machine that I am calling Marblephone.

# Line 6 JM4 Looper Review (with Video)

Joe Glider of Home Studio Corner has a reivew of the Line 6 JM4 Looper pedal:

I’ve always been absolutely fascinated with looper pedals. Any time an artist uses one in a performance, I’m spellbound. As soon as you introduce a looper pedal into your setup, suddenly all the rules change. You’re no longer a solo performer, you’re an entire ensemble. It’s like you brought a recording studio right on stage with you, and now you’re doing an overdub session for all of us to see. Fascinating.

Needless to say, I’ve wanted a looper pedal for years. Thanks to the good folks at Line 6, now I have one!* What I love about the JM4 is that it’s not JUST a looper. It’s an entire guitar workstation. It has both amp modeling and three different selectable effects.

PongThatBeat! (Vimeo)

PingPong sequencer made with max/msp and processing.

# Langjokull, Snaefellsjokull, Solheimajokull – Three glacier ice records, played until they melt.


Short links for December 8th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Dance music with MindStorms sounds

organfairy writes:

It has been a while since I made music on the MindStorms bricks. But now I present the longest and most complicated piece of MindStorms music I have ever made. The title of the melody is “the Future Child” and the idea is to make a cheerfull bleepy melody with the NXT’s tones and use the other sounds as effects while an organ and a synthesizer supplies the orchestra. Most of the pictures are robots made by myself. The rest is something I photographed at the First LEGO League competition in Herning back in 2007. The screenshots are from the NXT-G PC programming tools.

Tic Tac Tunes

# Tic Tac Tunes – Now with Tic Tac Beat Box

AndyGadget @ Instructables created a Micro-organ and drum-kit in a Tic Tac box

This tiny box will give you hours of fun composing your own tunes. You can vary the tune tempo and switch between a pentatonic and blues scale as well as producing a variety of percussion sounds.
Load up a different program and it will compose its own percussion rhythms(Tic Tac Beat Box) or play with half a dozen different musical scales (Tic Tac Scales). Another cool feature is no power switch – It will hibernate when it's not being used.

There are great musicians around . . . and then there's me with no musical talent at all, but even I can get some great sounding tunes out of this. Watch the video and have a listen to the MP3 files to get an idea of what this little marvel can do.

# Water drop sequencer

The Water drop sequencer is an interactive sound installation. It creates sound by water drops falling on suspended iron bars with piezo elements attached. The viewer or performer can control which tones will be played by placing water bottles upside down in holes that are centred over the iron bars. It is also possible to control the speed of the dripping.

# LividStep – Step sequence device for Max For Live

Livid Instruments LiveStep:

LiveStep is an extremely rich (as in “dessert”, not “money” – this download is free) step sequencer. With control of up to eight sequences, each sequence can be modified with a huge variety of hands-on control. You can even play synths and drum machines on top of the sequenced insanity, and record loops of improvised melodies to play back.

Glenn Marshall Zio

# Zio by Glenn Marshall

An interactive generative art visualizer from award winning computer animator and software designer Glenn Marshall.

Explore and interact with an endlessly generating world of organic visuals.
– Use drag and pinch to pan, move and rotate through space.
– Pause / play, save snaphots to your photo library.
– Switch on audio reactive visuals (for devices with mic only).
– Comes with 3 unique preset Zio worlds.- Shake to shuffle between presets.

Using the same Zio animation technology, Glenn collaborated with Peter Gabriel to create The Nest That Sailed The Sky music video which won at Prix Ars Electronica 2009, one of the biggest computer arts festivals in the world.

via Synthtopia

# Getting Ready To Mix – Part 2 – Jon @ Audio Geek Zine has some great tips on how to get ready to mix.

# Warped Piano, Zone Shift, and Sidechained Delay

Loudon Sterns writes:

Hello everyone, a student posted in one of my classes asking about this cool warped ambient piano he heard on a recording. It seemed like a cool challenge so I tried to make an instrument that would give a wide variety of spooky warped piano sounds. I created a really cool patch and used some of the more advanced features in Sampler and Instrument racks, so here is the video explaining it all.


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