The story of the Eventide gear that transformed music, coined “plug-ins”

From the extraordinary first digital breakthroughs of the 70s, when lightbulbs stood in for LEDs, to what may have been the first use of the word “plug-in,”* we the inventors of Eventide’s classics – who now have a Grammy nod of their own.

Free new tools for Live 10 unlock 3D spatial audio, VR, AR

Envelop began life by opening a space for exploring 3D sound. But today, the nonprofit, directed by artist Christopher Willits, is also releasing a set of free spatial sound tools you can use in Ableton Live 10. We’ve got an exclusive first look.

The 90s are alive, with a free, modern clone of FastTracker II

It ran natively in MS-DOS, then died by the end of the 90s. But now it’s back: one of the greatest chip music trackers of all time has been cloned to run on modern machines.

BBC gives away 16k WAV sound effects, but disallows some uses

Maybe it’s time for the idea of a “commons” to get a new boost. Whatever the reason, BBC’s 16,000 sound effects are available to download – but with strings attached.

Yes, Avicii’s death should be a wake-up call – and not just for EDM

The death of 28-year-old star producer/DJ Avicii comes as a shock to many. It’s also easy to reduce to another example of party world excess, or to say it’s just about big-money EDM and pop. But it should be a bigger wake up call than that.

Ranging from Neurology to Prince, Susan Rogers’ talk is must-watch

The music world is overloaded with people who talk about music – how it works, what has happened, what is happening. Few people can really delve articulately into questions of why. Susan Rogers is one of those few.

The amazing touch-controlled synth made in 1978 China

In the late 1970s in China, one inventor created a futuristic take on traditional instruments – and it easily still inspires today.

Mix Ableton and Maschine, Komplete Kontrol, in new updates

There’s a big push among software makers to deliver integrated solutions – and that’s great. But if you’re a big user of both, say, MASCHINE MK3 and Ableton Live, here’s some good news.

How to try GPU-accelerated live visuals in a few steps, for free

The growing power of gaming architectures for visuals has a side benefit: it can produce elaborate visuals without touching the CPU, which is busy on musicians’ machines dealing with sound.

This hidden gem adds a sub bass to anything, because you want that

Serendipitous collaboration can be magical. Combine an eccentric high-tech guitar company from Switzerland with some high-powered nerds from the USA, and you get some spectacular ways of adding sub octaves and picking apart and modulating sounds.