Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Roland TR samplesets

I found a few samplesets from the Roland TR series of drum machines. Thanks to the Music Machines for most of the samplesets. TR-505, TR-606, TR-626, TR-707, TR-727, TR-808, TR-909. You can find more 505, 606 and 707 samples here. All the samples are in ZIP files.
Load them into Lives Impulse or Reasons Reddrum and bob's your uncle you have an old skool set :)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Forget Technology Think Music

The Technos Acxel Resynthesizer is an additive synth developed in Quebec, Canada during the late 1980s. Basically it analyses a sound by putting it through loads of tiny band pass filters (a process called FFT analysis) which tries to break the sound down into it's most basic components. Then it tries to use this information to build up a new synthesized sound based on the sampled sound completely out of sine waves. Kind of like a mix between a sampler, a Vocoder and a Hammond Organ. The results mean that you have something that sounds like the sample but can be manipulated as if it was a normal synth. You can read more about it and download a brochure HERE.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Loads of vids from the RedBull website.

The Red Bull Academy website has loads of video interviews and lectures with past guests. There are loads of great interviews but 2 that stuck out were Bob Moog Part 1 & Part 2 and a lecturer by Dave Smith. Anyways you can see the whole list HERE. It'll take me a while to get through all of them.

Red Bull Academy

The Red Bull Academy has been runnning for the last 9 years. Every year it hosts an academy that brings together a small number of participants from all around the world with some of the greatest names in music. You have to fill out a long and slightly wierd application form which you can get HERE. A panel looks at all the applications and chooses 60 people for seperate terms of the academy. Those choosen go on an, all expenses paid, 2 week music academy in Toronto. Past guest have been people like Bob Moog, Dave Smith, ?uestlove, Bernard Purdie, Carl Craig, Dego, Gilberto Gil, Kode9, Krust, Madlib, Derek May, Shut Up & Dance to be honest they've had so many brilliant musicians and engineers as guests over the last 9 years that it's bit unfair to pick some over others.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Soviet Analog Synthesizer - The Polivoks

This is a demonstration of the Soviet Polivoks Analog Synthesizer. Which some say is like the Russia's answer to the MiniMoog. Thanks to MEMO on VSE for the demo.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Music Tables...

I posted a link up to the a website dedicated to Music Tables. I thought I might post a few more vids from there. The one above is simply called Music Table and was developed by Rodney Berry, Masami Suzuki, Naoto Hikawa and Mao Makino as part of the Augmented Composer project. I like the speed of interaction in this one.

The next one is called audio d-touch and was developed by Enrico Costanza and Simon Shelley at MIT Media Lab (poor old Ireland lost our MIT Media Lab whatever happened there?). Although not as fast as the one above I like that it looks very simple. Just a piece of paper and some wooden blocks... no fancy table or projector or special cubes. Just a camera, a computer, some paper and a few wooden blocks. Fair enough you are still locked into sheet music and all that entails but I just like the simplicity of it, the fact your not looking at a computer and also the fact that the super-awesomo technology isn't being unnaturally forced upon you.

The next one is called Block Jam. Basically there are 26 blocks with differing functions. These blocks can be placed side by side to effect or change a sequence of sounds. Multiple so-called play blocks can be used to trigger multiple sequences. I like this one because it looks great especially the way the blocks change function and colour depending upon where they are placed. Also I like the way more than one person can use it at a once either changing a sequence or building a sequence of their own in conjunction. This one was developed by Henry Newton-Dunn, Hiroaki Nakano and James Gibson for Sony CSL.

The last one is called the Sonic Banana developed by Eric Singer for the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots. Basically it's a 2 foot long rubber pipe with 4 bend sensors and a push button on one end. I like this because he just looks so serious as he caresses his sonic banana (phnarr phnarr).

There are loads more demo videos and links to interactice music tables and blocks HERE.

Behringer City

Recently AudioTechnology's Chris Holder visited Behringer's Chinese factory in Zhong-Shan. He recorded an interesting 2 part documentary. It's good to see where the magic all comes together... :)

Steinberg Sequel & Free Alternatives

Steinberg released a new budget entry DAW called Sequel. Running on both Mac and PC Sequel can record, edit, mix and perform music with great-sounding loops, instruments and effects. It features a massive library of more than 5'000 loops, over 600 of ready-to-play instrument sounds, stunning effects and the same state-of-the-art audio engine that is preferred by many world-class producers all around the globe. It's only $99 and you can record, edit, mix audio and MIDI can't be bad. You can see a tutorial video HERE. One of the good things about sequel is that it all seems to happen on one window. Your mixer appears below your arrangement window. Sequel has similar functionality to the phrase sequencer in Cubase 3 where you can assign sections of your song to specific command and then sequence your song based on phrases made from sections of your song. This is useful for remixing or doing Ableton style arranging.

There are of course free alternatives. The first one is called Ardour. Ardour is a MAC only DAW. You can record, mix and edit audio. You can also use VST effects. There is no MIDI so this is just a recording solution. Ardour is free but they do ask for a small donation if you use it.

Also there is Kristal Audio Engine which is similar to Ardour except it's a PC only affair. Again it has no MIDI but you can record, edit and mix up to 16 tracks of audio with 32bit floating point audio engine. You can also use upto 3 VST insert and master effects. It has a wide range of sample rates. Krystal is free for educational and non commercial use.

Also there is Audacity. Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Audicity is basically a multitrack audio editor like Adobe Audition without the video. It has some extremely useful features like the ability to play different tracks with different sample rates at the same time. Audacity can use VST plug-ins... infact they gave the code to Ardour. One of my favourite features in Audacity is the ability to save selection. So you can just highlight a piece of audio and save that piece without having to first make your selection a seperate audio window (like you have to in SoundForge). I find that really useful for sample editing ad loading up tunes and taking the best bits.

The last one I'll mention is Sonys' Acid Express 5. You can download ACID XPress software for free — "our free, 10-track version of ACID software. ACID XPress software will give you a taste of what ACID Pro and ACID Music Studio software have to offer. To make the music creation process especially easy, ACID XPress software has built-in Show Me How tutorials that help you step-by-step using interactive wizards and guides." Acid is very similar to Ableton so it's loop based music production.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Edgard Varêse and Le Corbusier - Poême électronique

First presented at the 1958 Brussels Worlds Fair with 425 speakers placed throughout the famous Philips pavilion, the placement of the speakers and design of the building gave the spectators a feeling of being housed within a concrete, silver seashell. A giant model of the atom hung from the ceiling and the sound & imagery premiered to standing room only crowds and I can only imagine was a complete mind-blower to all who witnessed the spectacle. Varese is considered to be the "father of electronic music", Henry Miller described him as the "stratospheric colossus of sound." When Philips (Philips electronic company) approached Le Corbusier to design a building for the fair, Le Corbusier said, "I will not make a pavilion for you (Philips) but an Electronic Poem and a vessel containing the poem; light, color, image, rhythm and sound joined together in an organic synthesis."

If you want you can find out more about early electronic music HERE.


In this one the video is modulated by the audio signal to create a scene where "buildings oscillate like square waves, triangular vehicles race along and are modulated through overlapping, skeletal trees branch out like neural structures and vibrate in a harmoniously blended context, where audio and video appear firmly bound in one sole, precise representation.
The metropolis cited in the title becomes a simple icon of the contemporary urban stereotype, not despised but dissected, analyzed, questioned together with the entire view of the world and of society." -
mmmm'kay... sounds like someones after an M.A. or a arts grant.

"The audio sections are created through sampling techniques and modular synthesis and are hooked up to a midi console for live control. The sound is surprisingly tactile and visual, inspired by the idea of movement and transit within a varied and mutable spatial context. The visual objects are programmed in action script as three dimensional carriers, thus rotated and projected in real time in a video where all the parameters of form and time, including the movement of the camera, are controlled live.
The audio signal is converted into numerical values that , in video algorithms, function as oscillators and, in accordance with the performer's actions, modulate the properties of the visual forms."
- Not 100% sure what that means but I guess it means there is an interactive link between the audio, video and live user. I think it looks great... sort of like a cut scene from Ghost In The Shell.

Loads of Music Tables

The vid above features the CreDio. It is another interactive musical table similar to reacTable. I found it HERE coupled with an "overview on tangible musical interfaces focussing on table-top controllers, such as music tables and audio building blocks, mostly chosen for their relation to the reacTable* project. It also includes a few additional projects, which we think are somewhat closer to the concept of tangible interfaces rather than simple musical controllers." There are loads of video demos and different examples of music tables. I like the idea of musical tables and cubes and anything that gets synthesis away from piano keyboards. It's very easy to suck at keyboards but i imagine it's quite difficult to suck at moving cubes around on a table.

Analogue Dreams

All the synths you'll ever need - under one roof!
One of the finest collections of Analog Synthesisers in the world.
Music: Cybernaut - Tonto's Expanding Headband,
EVA - Jean Jaques Perry

About half way through I got completely zoned out, I find the whole thing very hallucinogenic... synths and music just washing over you until your dizzy :)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ebbe Und Flut Filter Demo

HERE is an audio demo of the Ebbe und Flut filter. Thanks to Shaggie for putting it together. He also has a few vids on his myspace so make sure and check them out. For those who don't know what the Ebbe und Flut is it's a 2 channel analogue filter with soft knee compression on the input, loads of different filter types, distortion and tons of modulation sources like LFO, ADSR, S& H. The filter types are selected with a 12-position rotary switch – selects between 12 different characteristics of VCF 1: 24 db-LP, 18 db-LP, 2x12 db-LP, 2x6 db-LP, 6/6 db-BP, 12/6 db-BP, 6 db-HP, 12 db-HP, notch, inverse allpass. Everything is controlled either through the 41 switches and knobs on the front panel or through CV inputs on the back. You can go HERE to download the manual. And in case you missed it you can check out a SonicState video from this years NAMM.

Schneiders Buero is selling them at €1'666 and is selling them at €1'555. I'm sure though that Andreas Schneider will do a deal... but Thomann do free shippping to Ireland on purchases over €200 so it'll be a hard to beat at that price.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wendy Carlos Vid

A short video of Wendy Carlos talking about music, her work and reaction to her work. You don't see her everyday sooo... you can find it HERE. The video is accompanined by a long written interview.