dewanatron

Pictures at an Exhibition: Essential New Gear and Reflections from NAMM

Dewanatron’s Brian and Leon were on-hand with their unique inventions. Photos by Marsha Vdovin for CDM. For the lover of musical instruments and technology, southern California’s NAMM show is a giant toy shop. It’s work for many of its attendees, of course, but we know many of our readers dream of the objects that will make their next creations. And sure, inspiring lust is not our aim; on the contrary, there is some love that goes into these things. In the ideal, that’s the relationship of creator and consumer. These are things not to be bought and discarded, but kept …

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Listen: LA’s Brainfeeder Label Shares Free Sampler; More Gilles Peterson Winners in London

Brainfeeder at work. Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Theo Jemison Photography. Writing about music may indeed be like dancing about architecture, so why not give music a listen? If you’re not already familiar with the terrific Los Angeles label Brainfeeder, founded by Flying Lotus, now’s the time to discover its artists. If you are familiar with them, you barely need read this blurb before skipping ahead to a lovely compilation. Onboard: Thundercat, Martyn, Samiyam, Tokimonsta, The Gaslamp Killer, Jeremiah Jae, Taylor McFerrin, Teebs, Austin Peralta, Matthewdavid, Mono/Poly (the artist, not the synth, but we can love both), plus (exclusive) Lapalux. BRAINFEEDER SAMPLER [Download, …

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debug

New NAMM Music Gear in a Nutshell (English + Deutsch) with De:Bug

Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Henrik Berggren. De:Bug is one of my favorite reads in music technology. And while I can fake my way through French and Spanish, De:Bug is also the one non-English publication I read daily. So I’m gratified to get to write a byline for the publication, which someone was nice enough to translate into German. For our German-speaking readers, you actually don’t have to read this one in English (though there’s an English version, to) In this story, I pick out the major themes in new music tech at the NAMM show this month in Anaheim, California: Winter NAMM …

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In Dreamy, Electrified Landscapes, Nalepa ‘Daytime’ Music Video Meets Rutt-Etra

The Rutt-Etra modular video synthesizer may be an early-1970s relic. But it’s an expressive visual instrument that seems even more contemporary and timeless today than when it first appeared. So it’s fitting that a new music video makes its intricate generated analog eye candy the star. Set to Nalepa’s track “Daytime,” the work – by noted visualists Benton-C Bainbridge and V Owen Bush – is an abstract visual poem. Clouds and planets drift out of the lacy, electronic tendrils. It’s a quick ticket to another world. (Watch it above; definitely watch it in “HD.”) LA-based artist Steve Nalepa tells us: …

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In Dreamy, Electrified Landscapes, Nalepa 'Daytime' Music Video Meets Rutt-Etra

The Rutt-Etra modular video synthesizer may be an early-1970s relic. But it’s an expressive visual instrument that seems even more contemporary and timeless today than when it first appeared. So it’s fitting that a new music video makes its intricate generated analog eye candy the star. Set to Nalepa’s track “Daytime,” the work – by noted visualists Benton-C Bainbridge and V Owen Bush – is an abstract visual poem. Clouds and planets drift out of the lacy, electronic tendrils. It’s a quick ticket to another world. (Watch it above; definitely watch it in “HD.”) LA-based artist Steve Nalepa tells us: …

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kaossilator2

Korg’s Kaossilator 2, Mini Kaoss 2: Handheld Sonic Fun That’s Not an iPhone

Photo: Marsha Vdovin for CDM. Remember when electronic sound gear hid in hulking, rack-sized cases? Korg’s Kaossilator series had already begun shrinking the desktop KAOSS Pad gear, but even the first-generation Kaossilator wouldn’t fit in your pocket, given its square shape and corners. (Well, unless you were wearing overalls.) The Kaossilator 2 and Mini Kaoss Pad 2, on the other hand, are scaled perfectly to your hand and would tuck neatly into a pocket in your pants or bag. And while I know some readers were hoping for a new Pro addition to the KAOSS line, these little bundles of …

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Tutorial: MadMapper Meets Processing, Modul8 Meets Syphon, Happiness Results

processing to MadMapper via Syphon [Test] from espadaysantacruz studio on Vimeo. Wish you could get Modul8 to take an input from some other tool, so that in addition to playing videos, you could “insert” custom visuals as you play? Wish you could VJ with Processing – without giving up your VJ tool, too? Wish you could use Processing with MadMapper for custom project-mapped generative visuals? (I’m going to pause at the tiny handful of people who know what that question means. If you’re still with me — congrats.) Wish you could do all of this with some other combination of …

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Like a Wheel Within a Wheel: Beautiful Optical Turntables Generate Spinning Rhythms

Music is deeply tied up with motion; seeing that in a machine is somehow satisfying. Soundmachines, from the enigmatically-titled Berlin studio TheProduct*, is an interactive physical installation made from optical turntables. By moving the “tone arm” – really in this case an optical sensor attached to an extended mount – you can change rhythms and sound sweeps. We’ve naturally seen many visualizations, tangible and digital, that make loops into wheels. But it’s worth noting the particular connection to a kinetic experiment by The Books’ Nick Zammuto from the film earlier this week. In fact, my one criticism of this piece …

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Will it Blend: Blendy for Mac Makes Your Multi-Projector Setup Slick and Seamless

We’ve seen lots of fancy projection maps, sculptural creations, and elaborate architectural facades. But sometimes, you just want to get rid of those awful seams when using a couple of projectors. And that can make all the difference. Enter Blendy. This friendly, simple Mac tool sits between two visual applications and gets rid of those seams. It simply blends two textures together, combining them using the inter-app visual texture tool called Syphon (the one we’ve been raving about so much lately). Using multiple projectors (two is just the beginning), ideally the same model for matched brightness, you can line up …

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Curating Sound: Exploring Performance and Embodiment, in Live Excerpts and Analysis from BodyControlled

Continuing our insight into this view into electronic music performance and art through the lens of BodyControlled in Berlin, we’re joined by guest writer Kristin Trethewey. Kristin, a Canadian-born video artist and curator, takes another look at LEAP and BodyControlled, on the eve of its second installment. She gets straight at the question of what “BodyControlled” means, and what it can mean for sonic performance and creation. And I wanted to make sure to subtract myself from this write-up, seeing as I was playing – but see the excellent timelapse of the evening, above. -Ed. LEAP is one of these …

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