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.
Marv can play music of high complexity, far more complex than a human player could ever achieve, as Marv is capable of striking any and all keys simultaneously, as well as damping each key individually. Marv can play much faster than a human vibraphonist, repeating single notes as quickly as 25ms apart. Marv can play with sensitivity and feeling limited only by MIDI programming effort. Marv is a platform for further research on musical automation and real-time musical interaction.
Noteput by Jonas Friedemann Heuer is an interactive music table with tangible notes, that helps students to learn the notation of music.
“Notput” is an interactive music table with tangible notes, that combines all three senses of hearing, sight and touch to make learning the classical notation of music for children and pupils more easy and interesting.
All basic clefs, note values and accidentals exist as single wood elements. Whole, half, quarter and eighth notes differ not only in their form, but also in their weight: Long note values are heavier than short ones.
Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the relatively boring grooves of a vinyl record using the institute’s electron microscope. Well, not boring for me.
A single record groove, magnified 1000 times
Awesome images! Lots more on Chris’ website (note to those who are entomophobic; includes ladybug and fly images).
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.
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.
Mark Mosher of the excellent Modulate This! blog has released REBOOT, a new album featuring some great electronic music.
Mark Mosher is an electronic music artist from Louisville Colorado just outside of Boulder. He is a BMI recording artist and composes and produces electronic music and sound completely in the digital realm using state-of-the-art virtual synthesizers and instruments within Ableton Live.
Two years in the making, REBOOT is an album containing 7 richly layered electronica songs that blend contemporary synthesizer sounds with classical music motifs. The end result is dark electronica for those who love synth "ear candy" with a “dirty” industrial edge.
While the songs on REBOOT stand alone as singles, the collection is an album in the true sense of the word. They share a common palette and when played in sequence conjure an epic and dynamic story for the listener.
Prior to the release of the album, the first three tracks were released as singles. "Midnight" and "Stealth" went to #1 and "They Walk Among Us" went to #2 on the Soundclick.com electronica charts.
REBOOT is available to download at Bandcamp. The album is currently being offered using the “pay what you will” model. Although the suggested pricing is $6 for the 7 song album + digital booklet and $1 for singles, users can name their own price including specifying 0$ for free downloads. There are future plans to make the album available on iTunes and Amazon’s MP3 store.
I have started working on what I am calling "RAM Music" after my previous exploration of EPROM Music. In many ways, this is an extension of EPROM Music, as it shares many traits. In particular, this idea of manipulating digital sound directly, without the need for pre-programmed parts, or anything that computes (such as a microcontroller).
Filter control via light blob tracking in Processing This video shows how I can set and control a filter's parameters via MIDI mapping, creating a control surface via a webcam and a torch. I realized a little Processing sketch that tracks the light blob I shot in front of webcam, normalizes X and Y coordinates to MIDI acceptable values, and then sends them to a filter effect in Ableton Live. I also realized the little control panel that allows to correctly make the MIDI mapping and set some blob detection's params. My toolkit: Processing MIDI
It’s been a while since we had a celebrity saying things that didn’t really make sense. It’d be unfair to ask Ricardo Villalobos live up to some of the titans – Bob Dylan saying CDs have “no stature” and “have sound all over them,” and Elton’ John’s classic call to “tear down the Internet.” (Not to mention, in the end I think we wound up agreeing with them and turned Elton’s quote into a brand-new verb.) As with Elton John and Bob Dylan, I love and respect Villalobos’ work, no less so as he says things with which I disagree. But Ricardo Villalobos does get special credit for claiming in a recent Resident Advisor interview, among other things, that what has really hurt sound quality today is the lack of cheap drum machines from the 80s, because they were analog. Or they weren’t, but it was as if they were. Or something. (If you think this might earn some ire from Ableton loyalists, you’re right.)
Are old digital drum machines better than your Ableton Live?
Plugins are great, they’re very close to the real hardware counterparts, sometimes better. I don’t want to debate that. This article is all about options for getting electrons flowing through gear to get better mixes.
There are very few (if any) professional mixing engineers that work 100% ITB (in the box), at some point you’ll need to get outside.