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Short links for February 18th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Beat Meshing – Octatrack – Richard Devine takes the Octatrack for a spin. Want!

First session with the Elektron Octatrack. Checking out some of the capabilities of this new machine. No drum loops used in this short jam. Just triggering single shot samples of nord percussion and analogue drum sounds. Using the three stages of LFO's for each track to control effects animation and various other parameters. Making some use of the re-trigger sample functions spanned across 4 patterns.

More info on the Octatrack at Elektron, and Peter Kirn at CDM has some more thoughts + a video by Matthew Dear here.

# Dan303: Free Korg NanoPAD presets

Dan Weatherall has some presets for the nanoPAD available to download.

I know there are quite a few of you out there that own at least one of the korg Nano range of controllers.

The most popular of the Nano range has to be the NanoPAD. While the NanoPAD is a useful tool for laying down drum beats, I feel that It really shines when using it to come up with cool melodic parts.

This Preset collection contains a few useful scales and chords that I hope will help you in your productions.

Brett Martin iSound

# Apple themed Overnight Sensation MTM

Brett Martin aka PCmofo has finished his DIY desktop speaker system project. Nice job!

Finally the speakers are finished! Now for the fun part….. The final pictures!

Assembly went great, I was able to stuff them and the bass sounds much better as do the mids. I am really loving the black coated screws, from some angles and distances they completely disappear, then up close the detail comes out and they look pretty cool.

I plan on using these speakers with Apples 27" cinema display, as they are both the same height. Unfortunately, I dont have mine yet so I borrowed a 26" iMac which is also the same design for a few photos to get an idea of the size of these speakers.

via Make

# melton.granular.01 & 02

Jeffrey Melton has released two collections of ambient, freeform and microsound compositions.

melton.granular.01 and melton.granular.02 collect my recent work in microsound-scapes, featuring granular and pulsar synthesis, freeform rhythms and tone colors. Tracks can also be streamed on my Soundcloud page.

All sounds were created with Density GS and Pulsaret instruments (both the standalone apps and Max for Live versions). Arrangement, mixing and mastering was done with Ableton Suite. Processing effects were limited to resonant filters, grain delay, reverb and EQ.

# Remember Chernobyl – 25th Anniversary Music Compilation by Ambientaria Records

For the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl Accident, Ambientaria Records has gathered many Dark Ambient artists, including famous ones like Northaunt or Atomtrakt, for a Compilation project.

The album will be released on April 1st, 2011.

All the benefits shall be reversed to Chernobyl Children International (, a non-profit organisation with United Nations NGO status, in order to help people suffering from Radiation Poisoning.

Details at the official project page and the Facebook event page.

# fleet music

Louis Fleet wrote in to let us know about his blog “fleet music”, a site that focuses on the production of electronic music, using Ableton and its built in synths and effects.

It’s called “Fleet Music”, the strap line is “a blog that takes a critical and instructive look at electronic music production”, what this essentially means is that I will be focusing on current themes within house and techno and investigating the relevant production techniques.

Synthesis is the main focus of the blog but as I said previously there is a ‘critical’ aspect to the blog, this is not be confused with bitchy, but instead the idea is that all the video postings and other content is focused on a ‘theme’. This approach can be evidenced in my most recent post which is all about the ‘stab’ in electronic music.

Short links for February 16th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Visualized: 37 years of Roland synths in one awesome animated GIF

88 Roland synthesizers

Engadget reports on an animated gif which holds a collection of 88 Roland synths:

You know how much we love our vintage MIDI gear, and apparently our friend Ronny from Das Kraftfuttermischwerk is every bit as big a fan as we are. To that end, he's taken Music Radar's recent guide to all-things Roland and turned it into an awesome (and headache-inducing) animated GIF.

Apparently the collection lacks the TR and TB series instruments, otherwise everything the company has produced between 1973 and 2010 should be there.

Check the Das Kraftfuttermischwerk site for the animated gif and a large image with all synths included.

# The Kitten sample pack (analog synth)

gnome at writes:

A small sample pack of The Kitten by Octave. This was recorded and compiled by me. I would like to do some more packs with this synth. So please let me know what you think of this curent pack and how it can be improved.

# KVR: new skin (Triple Cheese)

New skin for u-he's freeware Triple Cheese software synthesizer.

u-he Triple Cheese
u-he Triple Cheese in a new skin

Download Triple Cheese for Windows and Mac (VST/AU) from u-he

# 72 New Hacks From Music Hack Day NYC 2011

Synthtopia has a round-up of the 72 hacks fro mthe Music Hack Day NYC, held this weekend in New York, NY.

The events are an opportunity for music geeks to get together and create new hacks, combining music + software + mobile + hardware + art + the web.

# The MC-20 Controller

The MC-20 Controller. Special build for iMS-20 APP from Korg, to use with the iPad.

MC-20 Controller

With iPad Slot to keep the iPad inside the case, and remove it, when ever you want, without opening the case.

# Waveformless: Free Sample Friday: Washer & Dryer

More free samples from Tom Shear:

Today's free samples are various sounds made with a washer & dryer. I slammed lids, dropped coins on it, twisted the knobs, removed the lint trap, and a bunch of other stuff to provide a bunch of metallic percussion sounds or just good fodder for sample manipulation. 8 24-bit, stereo WAVs weighing in at 3.3 MB.

… and some more free samples from Dan303

# Microkorg and Monotron Basslines

Dan writes:

Here's some new samples for all of you music production lovers out there.
It's just a small pack this time but I hope you'll find them usefull.

This pack contains: 10 basslines made by running the Microkorg through the filter on the Korg Monotron. There's a little bit of background noise from the Monotron filter but a little bit of grit never hurt anyone.

# MPC Poster

MPC users rejoice with this lovely poster by Hip Hop Makers.

Hip Hop Makers MPC poster

# C64 LIVE DEMO – SID bassline (commodore cynthcart mssiah prophet64)

Live demo of one of my songs.
Bassline is played by an good old C64 equipped with Cynthcart.
Tune is called "we ain't finished yet" and has been featured on DEAD PIXELS long play.

In 2009 I began experimenting with SID chiptune (built-in sound generator chip of Commodore 64), and Cynthcart to create a blend of original 8bit sound from the 80's and Rock music.

More info at SH Music

Phantom of the Floppera, floppy drive organ

Related: , , , , , Posted in random posts on Feb 10, 2011 - comment 0 comments

YouTube user FunToTheHead turned a bunch of floppy drives into a musical instrument.

Test run of my (d)iskette (O)rgan doing Toccata & Fugue.

People have made floppy drives sing before, but this is my personal take on it.

Features two 3 1/2″ drives and two 5 1/4″ drives connected to a PIC18f14k50 microcontroller. It interfaces to any MIDI source via MIDI over USB. Straight MIDI would also be possible with an additional small circuit and some minor firmware changes. This initial version can respond to all 128 MIDI notes, and pitch bends +/- 2 semitones.

More info: Phantom of the Floppera

Short links for February 7th, 2011

James Blake @ 3VOOR12

Some interesting things I found recently:

James Blake: James Blake

Stream of James Blake's new album is available from the Dutch 3VOOR12 website.

British dubstep-pop up-and-comer James Blake’s self-titled debut album is out digitally next Tuesday, February 8, via Universal Republic in the U.S. (it’ll drop a day before in the UK via Atlas/A&M). Right now, the whole album is streaming over at 3VOOR12; you can head here to take a listen.

Furthermore, Listen Before You Buy points out that a bonus track from the LP, the haunting, sparse “Tep and the Logic”, is making the rounds.

Listen to the album at 3VOOR12
via Pitchfork

Improved Reaktor voice panning and a little digital archaeology

Peter Dines:

I was reading through the Reaktor application manual which is greatly improved in recent times, and came across this structure to pan voices in the stereo field

More at the Reaktor Tips blog

din: create sound with Bezier curves in free instrument for Linux

Make music with just your mouse and keyboard. 143 drones are created in the video below.

Peter Kirn writes:

“din is noise” is a newly-updated “tone board,” making the rectangular plane of its screen into a field of sound you can transform. The video above just begins to show some of what it can do. Pixels can be tones, transformed onscreen. A resonator editor uses Bezier curves to edit sounds across octaves. Each resonator, in turn, can be edited with yet more Bezier curves. Put them together into the drone editor (the bit you see in the video), and you can create vast, sculpted soundscapes from series of rectangles dragged around between octaves.

It’s all free, and it’s all doable for your mouse – a Linux exclusive that might convince you to dual boot, or take a second look at that netbook.

Read more at Create Digital Music

Short links for January 31st, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# Touchscreen or Tangible? Use Both: A Practical, Affordable, Playable PC Rig with Usine

Peter Kirn writes:

Touchscreens? Good, old-fashioned faders, knobs, and pads? Why not just use what suits the job – especially when you can choose both on the cheap?

Nay-Seven shares some of his latest work with Usine, the brilliant, modular and touch-centric tool for Windows. It’s a futuristic rig that’s also down-to-earth. Touchscreen monitors can be had for around US$300 street, and the Akai LPD8 and Korg nanoKONTROL controllers each figure under a hundred bucks. Usine, the software, is a bargain for its depth at EUR120, and free and educational versions are available.

Nay-Seven: Here a work where i use the sequencer of Usine not to sequence audio or midi but patches : patches appear only when i need them , easy way to have only the controls you need on the screen, i also associate here works with faders and pads via personal patches for lpd8 and nano kontrol and the use of a touchscreen . Made with Usine ( ) thanks also to Michael Ourednik for his great vst Argotlunar

# – one year of drums

Here is my 365 days project. Every day I will compose/produce and upload here one drum break in CD quality format. It's simple – use it the way you want it. all files are copyrights free. This is not commercial project but if you like my work click donate button. have fun !

# John Olson: LIFE’s Young Photographer at Work – Rock Stars and Their Parents

LIFE - Rock Stars and Their Parents

They had fame, reams of money, and fans willing to do wild, unmentionable things just to breathe the same air — but in 1971, LIFE illustrated a different side of rock stars: Just like most of us mere mortals, they came from humble backgrounds, with moms and dads who bragged and worried about them every day. Assigned to take portraits of the artists at home with their sweetly square folks, photographer John Olson traveled everywhere from the suburbs of London to Brooklyn to the San Francisco Bay Area, capturing in his work the love that bridged any cultural divide that may have existed between his subjects. Now, as a special treat for Mother's Day, brings back Olson's nostalgia-inducing photos — check out the awesome '70s decor! — and talks with the photographer himself about his memories of those shoots.

Includes pictures of Frank Zappa, The Jackson Five, Joe Cocker, and more.

# Waveformless: Free Sample Friday: Distorted Snare Drums

It's the weekend! To celebrate, here are 12 snare drum samples that have been distorted in various ways. Some of the distortion on these is so extreme that the transients are pretty much totally sheered off, so if a particular snare doesn't have the oomph you want, try layering it behind an undistorted snare. 12 stereo samples, 24-bits, 1.3 MB.


The truth about the gentle reviewer

Carl at Plughugger:

Writing about and reviewing products is a subject that is brought up in forums and reader correspondence, and it generally follows the same story. Someone has read a magazine, got annoyed because 98% of the products got at least 8/10 ratings and/or a fancy award. Conclusion – the reviewers are in the pockets or the advertisers or simply bribed.

After working in the publishing business as a daily job for many years, I have to say that – sadly – I still haven't met a music technology journalist who drives a BMW or bloating around in a Hummer.

Writers in this genre are not bought, nor incompetent.

Carl brings up some excellent points in this article.

I generally don’t post any reviews of products I really don’t like. I just can’t be bothered to spend time on something really bad… Seems Tom at Waveformless is a different kind of reviewer… (not really of course, just pulling your leg, Tom)

# Canenero’ s Sketchbook Page – Idea e forma in Max/Msp.

# "Sounds from a Distant Outpost" Ableton Live Pack Experiment Update – New Compositions + 1000 Downloads and Counting

Sounds from a Distant Outpost

Mark Mosher writes:

On December 17th, 2010 I released the Sounds from a Distant Outpost FREE Live Pack.

Now, a little over a month later there have been over 1,000 downloads from!

The most exciting thing for me is that a two people have REALLY dug into the 12 instruments in the Live Pack and have taken the time to compose tracks using ONLY instruments from this pack.

I’ve attached their two songs plus a third I created below. It’s pretty fantastic that while we didn’t directly collaborate all the works are quite different yet sound they all sound like they are telling stories from the same universe.

Short links for January 15th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# The Father of Drum Machines and the Father of MIDI Talk About Design and the Tempest

Dave Smith and Roger Linn (image by CDM)

Peter Kirn talks to the people responsible for one of the most exciting things over at the Winter NAMM show, the Tempest drum machine – Roger Linn and Dave Smith.

In songwriting, there was Rodgers and Hart, Gilbert and Sullivan. In music gear design, it’s hard not to assign a similar degree of expectation to the pairing of Dave Smith and Roger Linn.

Between them, these two designers have been a major part of what music technology is today. Dave Smith pioneered MIDI (even giving it its acronym), the first microprocessor-based instrument (the Prophet-5), the first programmable polyphonic synth, and other innovations at Sequential Circuits. Add to that landmarks in physical modeling research (at Yamaha) and the first PC soft synth. Roger Linn built the first programmable sampled-sound drum machine and with the LM-1, LinnDrum, Linn 9000, and his work on the MPC60 and MPC3000, introduced workflows and ideas in drum machines we now take for granted. It’s not easy to overstate the contributions of either designer.

Ambientaria Records Remember Chernobyl

# Chernobyl 25th Anniversary Project « Ambientaria Records

For the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl Accident, Ambientaria Records has gathered many Dark Ambient artists, including famous ones like Northaunt or Atomtrakt, for a Compilation project.

The album will be released on April 1st, 2011. It will be sold at a low price.

All the benefits shall be reversed to a Chernobyl Children International, is a non-profit organisation with United Nations NGO status, in order to help people suffering from Radiation Poisoning.

Check this Facebook page for details.

# Zimoun : Sound Sculptures & Installations

This is Compilation Video V2.2 (updated January 2011) of sound sculptures and installations by Swiss artist Zimoun. I can watch this for hours.

Zimoun's sound sculptures and installations are graceful, mechanized works of playful poetry, their structural simplicity opens like an industrial bloom to reveal a complex and intricate series of relationships, an ongoing interplay between the «artificial» and the «organic».

He is interested in the artistic research of simple and elegant systems to generate and study complex behaviours in sound and motion. He creates sound pieces from basic components, often using multiples of the same prepared mechanical elements to examine the creation and degeneration of patterns.

More on Zimoun here.

# Emu Planet Phatt Hits

Cyberworm has another free sample pack out, featuring 61 Emu Plantet Phatt hit&stab sounds (wav+kontakt format, 24 bit, 44100 hz, stereo, 7 mb).

Short links for January 11th, 2011

Some interesting things I found recently:

# OP-1, NAMM 2011

Teenage Engineering: If you're at NAMM, please come by our booth, we'll be showing alot of new crazy features!

# BLEEP – The Top 100 Tracks of 2010

The Top 100 Tracks Of 2010 features 100 MP3s in 320 kbps. Over 9 hours of music, over 1.2 GB, available to purchase until February 10th 2011, priced at £30 / $50 / €35

# Open Thread: What is Virtuosity on a Drum Machine?

Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music:

Electronic music has always had a funny relationship with musicianship. It isn’t playing a traditional instrument; instead, it lies somewhere between instrumentalism and composition, between playing and conducting. Sometimes, that scale is tipped away from virtuosity of any kind.

But lately, I’ve had an increasing number of conversations with people who make the tools with which we make music about what this all means. I’ll be able to share one of those conversations in a bit, but I’m curious to hear what readers think.

Jeff Mills comes to mind. He doesn’t just DJ with three decks, he also uses a TR-909 in his live sets.

# Radium Audio Labs

Radium Audio Labs is a blog with some interesting sound design articles on things like frozen contact mics, recording guns, coil pickup and printer recordings, and more.

Explorative adventures in sound – Part of Radium Audio, a leading music and sound design company based in London. We work with agencies, cg & animation houses, digital agencies, game developers, brands and manufacturers.

Amidio introduces OMGuitar, guitar synth for iPad

Related: , , , , , , Posted in random posts on Jan 07, 2011 - comment 0 comments

Amidio has announced OMGuitar, a guitar synthesizer app for the iPad.

We’re extremely happy to tell the world that the long-awaited OMGuitar – the most realistic iPad guitar synth – will soon be submitted for review to Apple. If all goes well, you can expect it in the middle of January.

Meanwhile, take a look at this video, which gives a good impression of OMGuitar

More information: Amidio (via Create Digital Music)