Livid Instruments has announced the addition of expansion jacks to Block, a compact and programmable MIDI control surface.
All block controllers now come with our expansion module for added adaptability, flexibility and control. Two ¼” jacks allow you to connect Roland-style foot pedals and single analog controls. Put your feet in the mix for additional controls, or experiment adding different sensors and switches.
If that’s not enough, you can add up to eight more analog controls with the pin header connection. This provides a direct link into the block’s Brain so you can experiment with touch controls, sensors, accelerometers, faders, rotary knobs, and more.
Of course, our Builder series BYOB boards can be easily integrated for a totally customized and modular setup.
Parallelogram has announced its mlrv 2.0 a hypersampling instrument for grid-based music controllers like the monome, livid ohm/block, novation launchpad, and akai apc/mpd.
the software allows a sound file or live recording to be mapped across each row (or grid cell) and assigned a triggering behavior. within this simple set of constraints and a complete MIDI + OSC remote control system, the performer of electronic music can be freed from the laptop, and at the very least appear to be doing something interesting. mlrv is an refactoring of brian crabtree’s original mlr, extended by trent gill (galapagoose) and michael felix (%) of /parallelogram/
mlrv 2.0 is open source software. It will be available to download at no cost on 1 February, 2011. Two additional licenses are available to purchase as well: +supporter at $18 USD, +benefactor for $80 USD.
+supporters and +benefactors get their names displayed on the loading screen.
+benefactors get the added bonus of having their names shown in huge text.
+benefactors also receive a limited edition galapagoose + % collabo 7″ vinyl record.
polynome5000, amazing DIY controller by Colin Mann
Colin Mann on his polynome 5000 controller:
After more hours than I’d like to admit, even if I actually knew how many, I’m done. I started this, believe it or not, before the APC40 was even announced, and at the time there weren’t many products out there like it. Now, obviously it would make more sense to just buy one of those products, nevertheless, where are you gonna get an RGB monome with a nixie tube display that takes OSC commands? Exactly.
# Moogfest 2010, a three-day festival celebrating the innovative vision of sonic pioneer, Robert Moog, to be held Halloween weekend, October 29-31, in Asheville, NC.
Confirmed artists Massive Attack, MGMT, and Thievery Corporation will be joined by over 25 additional internationally renowned artists performing in multiple venues throughout downtown Asheville, including the Asheville Civic Center Arena, the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, and Asheville’s renowned world-class club, the Orange Peel.
The Drumssette was built by Mike Walters in 2010. The Drumssette is a Tascam four track cassette recorder that I turned into a programmable drum machine. A cassette with four tracks of repeating drum sounds can be mapped into a 16 step rhythm using the 64 switches on the interface. The audio on the cassette tape also clocks the sequencer. More details at www.mysterycircuits.com
Peter Kirn on the new controller by Livid Instruments:
Livid Instruments has just revealed their next hardware controller. Well, sort of revealed – this evening on Twitter, they declared that it was a “Top secret sneak peek of our new controller.” Top secret – you know, just on the Internet. No one will see it there. It’s full of encoders, if that’s your thing. It’s called, cleverly, the “Code.” In addition to accompanying Livid’s own grid controllers, put this next to a monome, and you can manipulate continuous parameters alongside triggers. I could imagine someone doing some insane granular patch with an absurd number of parameters using this.
Tom Shear lists some worthwhile freebies for Mac users:
The internet has its ups and downs as far as musicians go, but one of the great things is the abundance of free software available to pros and beginners alike. While the comparatively smaller user base means there aren't as many freebies for Mac as there is for PC, there is still some great stuff out there available for absolutely nothing. (Although many developers of freeware, do accept donations.)
Tim Prebble is looking for contributions for another "crowdsourced" fx sample library.
Seeing as how THE DOORS is hopefully going to finally kill the overuse of cliche doors, maybe we can also kill the over use of ‘DOG NEXT DOOR’ or at least provide some seriously good alternatives! But the world of dogs is vast & complex – some of the weirdest vocalisations I have ever heard were from a very small dog! So please comment on this post if you wish to be a contributor. As with the 1,000 doors aim (which we will easily meet) lets aim for 1,000 dogs so if each person records 5 dogs then we have a recordist limit of 200 contributors.
Sean Duncan demonstrates how to use Slicex and Edison to extract kicks:
Have you ever wanted to cut a kick drum out of a loop but found it difficult to do so without bringing the other instruments with it? Even if you’re dealing with loops that are drums-only, the vast majority of the kicks in these loops have cymbals and hats playing at the same time.
But there are ways to extract the kicks cleanly, without the hats and cymbals. This tutorial will demonstrate three surprisingly effective techniques, useful for three different situations ranging from simple to difficult.
“Ok, I was fed-up of searching around for decent Hi-Hat and Shaker REX Loops to use in propellerheads Reason, So I put a few together myself.”
This micro-pack contains 20 REX loops; 10 Shaker and 10 Hi-Hat loops.
Brilliant for glitch, electronica, IDM and experimental music. All the loops are completely royalty free and ready to use in your productions. The .REX files will load up perfectly in reasons DR.REX player [Or just about any DAW you could think of].
Machine – a single metaphor which has dictated the imagination of electronic music for decades. One word that has captured the attention of the electronic music makers from the early pioneers to big stars of today. As relevant as ever, we have chosen this term to provide a starting point for the Machine compilation album. With this compilation we have chosen to investigate various aspect of this worn term and bring some new interpretations on the table.
The album consists of 15 magical tracks of contemporary electronic music, crafted by artists from all corners of the world. The tracks and artists are united by the Machine concept, and the loud and proud use of Elektron musical instruments. The love of Elektron instruments has been a primary inspiration behind the album, and what united us in the first place.
Machine is the second compilation crafted by the Elektron-users community, and we hope it will bring as much joy as our first compilation, The 45 Tribute, did.
All proceedings of the album will go to the World Wildlife Foundation.
For some time, I’ve been a champion of Livid Instruments’ controller hardware, because I like the principles behind it. The devices are handmade in Texas using sustainable woods and environmentally-friendly stains, are standards-compliant with open specifications, open source software, and driverless class-compliant operation on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and lend themselves to programmability and customization. They certainly have some of the spirit of the open source monome devices, but for anyone who wished the monome grid also had knobs, faders, and such, and didn’t require weird serial-over-USB drivers, it’s nice that we have Livid, too. This is not by way of advertising Livid, either. I really believe that generally, open configurability and small-batch construction result in hardware that’s more fun to own and use.
But, oh yeah – there’s also the question of what you can actually do with your music using these controllers. With grids, crossfaders, and faders at the ready, the Ohm64 and more compact Block each have plenty of control possibilities. The gang at Livid, and the community of users this niche line has attracted, have been hard at work over the past months inventing new ways of controlling musical and visual applications. Here are a few of the best of those examples.
Livid Instruments has announced the Ohm64 Customizer, a web-based Flash application which lets you style and customize your own Ohm64 with over 100 different combinations.
We are really happy to now offer you the ability to create your own Ohm64 design in real-time, and order it directly from our shop.
The Customizer lets you design, preview, and order a custom Ohm64 and have it made-to-order and shipped in just ten days. Custom options include multiple color body finishes, LED colors, and faceplate colors. Since we make everything in-house, we have the ability to customize, create, and build everything under one roof, which is rare for an electronic music hardware product. The customizer allows you to stylize and design your Ohm64, and order it direct from Austin, Texas.
As an introductory offer and a way for us to test the process, each custom element is only, $10.
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.