“What if, instead of targeting Web content to a single day, you turned it into an object that would last a season? What would you want to save and savor?”

That’s the question I ask at the beginning of the Create Digital Music Winter 08 guide. We’ve filled it with good stuff we love, plus good stuff we hear that you love (via our survey of hundreds of readers for the holiday guide). Via Creative Commons-licensed images, you’ve shared your world of music, and so we share the whole guide as fully free work (it’s got a CC Attribution / ShareAlike license).

Here’s some of what’s inside – we wanted stories that you’d want to live with the whole winter season:

  • Circuit bending 101 with Michael Una
  • Imagining synths: reflections on the design of electronic instruments with Dan McPharlin, creator of wonderful miniature synths handmade from cardboard
  • Tutorial on slicing audio to MIDI in Ableton Live 7, with tips from Live guru Francis Preve plus a free accompanying CDM pack designed by Covert Operators at http://covops.org/cdm
  • Holiday Guide, with your favorite gear and software of the year, listening and reading suggestions, and ideas on open hardware from monome creator Brian Crabtree
  • Creative tips for surviving winter in Berlin, courtesy monolake (Robert Henke)
  • Images from the CDM community and beyond

With the help of graphic editor Nathanael Jeanneret, the results are designed to be an object on paper or read on high-resolution displays. The PDF is available free, with an on-demand print version from Lulu available worldwide (US$19.99 before shipping). I just ordered my print copy rush, so I’ll let you know what it looks like as this is the first time we’ve tried this.

Print Edition + Free PDF Download @ Lulu.com

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

A big thanks to our sponsors for making this possible:

Ableton Live, our premiere sponsor; now with an unlimited 14-day trial

Audiofile Engineering, makers of Wave Editor for Mac

Highly Liquid DIY MIDI electronics maker

Covert Operators, creators of Live Packs and video tutorials for Ableton Live

I’m really eager to hear what you think.

  • FailedSitcom

    This is a beautiful surprise.

    Thank you so much.

  • Awesome! Can't wait to get my copy…

  • Nice! I'm definitely picking up the print version. And I was happy to see that Csound made its way in.

  • Wow! Brilliant job. I loved the inclusion of the pages of blank staff paper at the back – just in case inspiration strikes while reading. 🙂

  • mofuzz

    very cool!

  • Wow, this is really exceptional. What a fantastic idea – I wasn't really sure what I was participating in with the survey, but man…

    Great work, Peter.

  • tsi

    I had just settled in for a four hour shift at work with nothing to do when I saw that the guide was done. A perfect way to pass the time. Nicely done!

  • Oh my goodness, this looks perfect. I can't wait to read it.

  • This is super cool, thanks!

  • Inspiring
    Sparks Ideas.

    great work


  • voxish

    What a treat! Thanks and happy holler daze!

  • jim

    Topics, graphics, typography… it looks absolutely great!

  • this really ubercool, I love your dedication to this whole thing!

    Can i ask which font you used for the headlines?

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  • Wow, great topics, great layout – thanks! This will stress my laser-printer 😉

  • robb

    Amazing, took my whole attention at university but was worth it

    thank you

  • THanks a lot. it's not christmas yet:)

  • nylarch


    3 hours of fun with the covert ops slicing racks last night! amazing.

  • You guys have outdone yourselves, Peter, very nice work.

  • jkant

    Cool!! Thank you!

  • gbsr

    sweet. i vote for one each quarter 😉

  • Thanks for all the support everyone, seriously; it means a lot. We're well over 2000 downloads so far.

    @gbsr: as you may be able to tell from the title, the thought had crossed my mind. 😉 One way or another, we're definitely going to do more *like* this, if not in exactly the same format. So feedback is very welcome.

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  • Don't get me wrong, I think it's pretty, and I'll bet the print edition is nice, but isn't this essentially a step backwards for CDM? Why not do a really snazzy web version with sound and downloads and lots of supporting links etc. but with all the great photography and art direction (and I mean straight (X)HTML + CSS — not Flash)? You don't have to stick to the blog post format for everything published here, and the Web is the perfect medium for this sort of content. if you want to make a little money off of it (like with the print version), monetize the links to Amazon (or wherever you post the buy links to the stuff in the stuff guide). You can still put a big-ass Ableton ad on it, too.

    I hope you consider doing something in that vein if you do more of these (or for this one, too, though the Xmas buying guide aspect would want a quick turnaround). And I'd put my money where my mouth is and offer to help work on it, too.

  • In regard to my above comment, I meant do a snazzed-up web version alongside the print/pdf version, not in lieu of.

  • @Steven: oh, we're definitely experimenting with lots of different options. Part of the appeal of this to me was the ability to get away from the screen as delivery mechanism. I don't see that as a step backwards, because the content and on-demand delivery are both driven by the community and the Web. That said, you can bet I was thinking about just what you're suggesting, so I expect we may look at that, too. Everything is on the table; I don't think we can get everything in every format at once because I still sleep a few hours a day. 😉 But the idea is to experiment over time with some different options and get feedback just like what you're giving.

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  • I love it, and I love the format.

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  • SimSim

    I would really like to have a peek into that PDF but download stalls at about 3 MB (trying with FF, Epiphany, wget, curl,…). And the server does not support resuming. Is there some mirror site available?

    Kind regards,


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