Over the past few years, we have shown everyone a fair number of controllerism tricks and techniques on this site. Through that time, everyone has consistently expressed a desire to see them used in the context of a real dj set. While it’s not realistic to beat juggle for 30 minutes and keep a dance floor rocking it IS realistic to sprinkle the mix with some amazingly fun routines. In the video above I condense a 30 minute set into 10 minutes of quick mixes that use controllerism as a tool for creative transitions.
Read on for the full 20 minute mix, and a contest in which you can win the midi-fighter controllers.
Open hardware means the ability to create exactly what you want. But it doesn’t have to intimidate the newcomer – not so long as you’re up for a project and a little creativity. The monome grid controller, long a sensation with digital musicians, finally sees a major update in its kit version. The “kit” isn’t built from scratch; instead, it includes the major components largely pre-assembled. A US$60 logic board contains the brain and USB port, with all surface-mount soldering done for you. (You don’t even have to upload firmware to make it run). A $40 driver operates the grid. $120 buys you the main guts – just add LEDs yourself (allowing you to pick a color) – and put the grid and pads into a housing.
Pre-orders july 16. shipping late july. More info at monome.org
# Kaossonome, inspired by Korg’s Kaoss Pad and the Monome.
It features Kaoss Pad-like sampling programs and is fully Monome 256 compliant. Additional programs include an algorithmic step sequencer, a beat synced sample chopping performance controller, and many more.
Alexander Randon writes:
The Kaossonome is my first electronic music controller design. It interfaces the musician via a touchscreen, resting on top of a 256 LED matrix, and eight rotary encoders with push‐buttons. Enclosed within an aluminum front panel, a dark wooden frame, and a clear Plexiglas back panel, the controller is protected from external forces and is less than an inch thick. The touchscreen can be controlled with either a finger or a stylus and the knobs turn and toggle with ease. The Kaossonome powers and transmits serial data over USB. The serial data is then intercepted by a modified version of ArduinomeSerial, which transforms the data into MIDI and OSC. The software savvy electronic musician can design intermediate software devices to grab data from the device, route touch-screen presses and rotary encoder changes to musically defined parameters, and then send data back to the device to control the LEDs.
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.
The monome Community has released HAITI2010, an album available to the public with 100% of the sale proceeds being donated to Médecins Sans Frontières (msf.org).
The monome user base is a collection of people from across the world (Pin drop map here: http://tinyurl.com/yh53lwf), brought together via the innovative, open source music production hardware that is the monome (monome.org), They pride themselves on a tight-knit, proactive, and helpful community (post.monome.org), where collaborations and projects are frequently happening, the outputs of which range from new software patches to share, to Creative Commons track and album collaborations.
When the community came up with the idea of a compilation album to generate charity donations in light of the terrible disaster in Haiti, einpuls started gathering tracks for the album and the monome community answered swiftly with more than 25 tracks being submitted in just a couple of days.
The community teamed up with Summer Rain Recordings (summerrainrecordings.net) to compile the compilation, with the end result being a 27 track album, each track contributed for free.
The minimum price for the compilation has been set to $1 with no upper limit. Every penny helps, so please donate what you can.
The 27-track HAITI2010 album is available as an immediate download in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
Make’s definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 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.
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.
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.
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.
Matthew Davidson (stretta) has released the maxforlive monome suite, a collection of devices for Max For Live.
There are seven maxforlive devices (not counting some minor variations of each) that are designed to work together in any combination or number of instances within a maxforlive project.
maxforlive monome suite
obo – my matrix step sequencer. usable on any monome, or even monomeless operation(!)
pitches – this is like polygomé without the step sequencer bits (like fourths/malbahabla for you monome-people). Transforms your monome into a playable surface.
polygomé 64 – I think you know what this is by now. bleep boop bleep.
press cafe – this version is based on press cafe 2.0 that has been redesigned and re-oriented more sensibly to make it playable with any size monome. “HEY! This makes music!” - my wife Nov 29, 2009
spectral display – adapted from tehn‘s vu_spec, there is a version for every size monome. Drop it on a track (or more) and watchen das blinkenlites.
step filter – one upon a time I built a step sequencer application and used it to control a doepfer vocoder filter bank. Now the filter bank is built-in. Usable with any size monome, but limited to eight bands.
automatorgator – there are two versions of this plug in for the 256, the audio version is a monome-controlled pattern gate with adjustable volume levels and slew. The MIDI version generates MIDI CC and OSC messages smoothed out at a high resolution for gooey OSC goodness.
The maxforlive monome suite is available to download as freeware.
AudioCubes designer Bert Schiettecatte will be hosting a series of one day workshops at his private workspace, for a select number of artists, starting November 10th 2009.
Workshop description: Starting with some theory, you will discover the history of AudioCubes, tangible interfaces, and their applications. The practical part of the workshop will let you master the technical aspects of using AudioCubes in sound, music and visual creation, and let you work on your own project using AudioCubes.
history of audiocubes
overview of tangible interfaces
why were audiocubes created / fundamental ideas
how audiocubes work
the audiocubes hardware
audiocubes software for live performance, sound design and music production
how to use audiocubes to control MIDI software and hardware
Google plans to launch a music service, Wired.com has confirmed with sources familiar with the situation. Next to nothing is known about the service at this point, rumored to be called “Google Music,” “Google Audio,” or “One Box,” although we have confirmed that it will be announced next Wednesday, and that it will link out to two music services: Lala and iLike.
What excites me most about Chipsounds is the possibilities for the future. I’d love to see a couple options that weren’t present in the original machine introduced here. A filter section would definitely expand the possibilities (a handful of chips have filters available as their chip-specific settings), a more useful and flexible Portamento function would be great, and, as mentioned before, a wider array of effects would be a nice addition. That said, imposing the limitations of the original chips is not a bad thing in my opinion. It encourages the same kind of creative thinking and workarounds the original programmers used to use back in the day to get sounds you wouldn’t expect to be possible with such limited means. Plogue has approached this softsynth with a palpable sense of reverence and their affection for these outdated sound makers shines through in abundance. An exceptionally fun and unique instrument! [8/10]
This demonstration uses my crude DIY flux capacitor for the Livewire AFG, basically 5 switches and 10 jacks corresponding to the flux cap pins. Two pin pairs are attenuated by two VCA's controlled by the makenoise/wiard wogglebug, crosspatched with the malekko/wiard noisering, which drives the melodic noodling, via a A-189-1 used as a bitcrusher, to perform cheap quantizing.
The sine output is sent to an input of a makenoise QMMG, driven by the A-143-1 envelope. About halfways through, a feedback path from the animated pulses, animated by A-143-1 LFOs, into the A-106-6 xpander filter (wogglebug controlled) goes into one of the pins on the flux cap expander, resulting in strange noises and unpredictable overtones.
This is a simple sequencer machine which uses Capacitative Sensing Code for input to the Arduino. It is is a combination drumpad and sequencer. It has just two modes, record, and playback, and needs very few components; an Arduino (of course), and just 3 resistors and a piezo speaker. If you're feeling decadent, you can add an LED (with a resistor) for more "ooomph".
For those starting out in electronics as a hobby there are some tools that are required for the job. To begin with, a soldering iron, some screw drivers, perhaps tweezers and of course a multi-meter are probably what you would consider essential.
After a while though, you are going to be looking for more. Amongst the other goodies out there to help you on your way are oscilloscopes. In the past, advice on forums has always tended more towards purchasing a second hand scope. These tend to be had for around £100 on places like E-bay and most certainly will be a few years old if available at this sort of price. Well that is changing and I was excited yesterday to get my hands on a “Scope” that may just re-write the forum advice. Meet the Nano DSO from Seed Studio…
Eric posts some samples of his mini space rockers analog percussion synthesizer.
Here are over 80 different electro drum / noise samples from the mini space rockers circuit… but you should really build it because its analog and it sounds a little different every time. and its cheap, so no excuses. I am offering these samples under a Creative Commons Attribution license. That means you are free to use them for whatever, but please credit me where appropriate.
Kseniya Simonova is an Ukrainian artist who won Ukraine's Got Talent 2009. She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and "sand painting" skills to interpret Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.
Testing m4l interfacing capabilities with arduino through max's [serial] object. A simple 4-sensor controller for an FM synth. Analog and digital information is mapped onto midi control messages that can be routed inside live for events or modulation.
This is a sneak peak into Max4Live. This will show you a basic intro into what you will see in the M4L environment.
# 7up Live – a Java application that combines 8 different monome applications into one interface.
With it, your monome communicates with Ableton Live 7 via MIDI and allows MLR-like functionality along with other goodies like sliders, sequencing melodies, creating patterns of beats, saving/loading/queueing your songs, and more.
# sammichSID – designed to be the “no excuses” MIDIbox SID synthesizer kit – i.e. for all those people who want a MIDIbox SID but consider building it with modules too time-consuming, too newbie-unfriendly and/or too hard to design and construct a control surface, and where MB-6582 is too expensive, too daunting and/or too hard to source all the parts.
sammichSID therefore has the following design constraints/features, which support each other:
DIY newbie friendly
minimal control surface
single “walwart”/AC adapter supply, no C64 PSU brick!
stereo SID, optimized for 8580/6582A, 6581 optionally supported
“sandwich-style” stacked PCB design, no wires!
laser-cut 3mm acrylic case by Ponoko, customization possible
industry standard 2×20 character LCD with low-power LED backlight, customization possible
common control surface parts used, customization possible
To be available as a complete kit, including PCBs, components, case, hardware and (optionally) two 6582A SIDs!
MIDIbox SID Synthesizer V2 features
One Core module and one stereo SID module, fully integrated on one PCB with power supply.
Five “BankStick” slots, so you can store 4 banks of 128 patches, plus 128 “Ensembles” (engine and patch configurations)
Jumpers to configure the power supply, allowing a regulated 12V input to power 6581, or unregulated AC/DC input to power 8580/6582A.
Minimal control surface with three user-customizable buttons and LED matrix for maximum bling.
2×20 character LCD with support for low-power (25mA) or high-power (250mA) LED backlight.
Potential for future upgrade to MIDIbox SID Synthesizer V3 using add-on board