Touchscreen Music Controller Reveals Star Trek-like Future

Weren't those touchpad controllers great on Star Trek? Every control was projected from behind, so controls could change flexibly based on what you were doing, and everything could be manipulated by touch. Guess what? Star Trek-like control has arrived for music. Witness Lemur, a digital touchscreen controller for music and VJ applications. Customize your touchscreen surface using editing software for Windows, Linux, and Mac, then use the Lemur to control OSC-compliant apps like Max/MSP and the free Pd (Pure Data). But you'll never see this experimental French device in the US, right? Au contraire, says JazzMutant's Guillaume Largillier: "We're manufacturing …

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Digital Music Pioneers Converge on NYC, Look to Future

The Electronic Music Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary by holding a panel on the future of electronic music at New York's Chelsea Art Museum; the guest list reads like a who's who of music. These are the people who literally invented the technologies we now use: Jon Appleton: worked on the team that built the Synclavier Max Matthews: pioneered digital audio technologies at Bell Labs Robert Moog: first commercially successful synthesizer Laurie Spiegel: first software instrument (in 1985!) Morton Subotnik: worked with Buchla on one of the first synths Daniel Teruggi: worked on the SYTER digital synth in the …

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QWERTY Keyboard Instrument: Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee

Samchillian, the oddly-named, circuit-bended (and spray painted) ergonomic QWERTY keyboard that New Yorker Leon Gruenbaum invented is more than a wierd name: it could be a chance for keyboardists to finally cure themselves of guitar envy, AND look nerdy while doing it! Since QWERTY keys are mapped to pitch change, not specific pitches (stay with me, here), simple key patterns can generate wild, screaming solos. One key press can equal 'one pitch higher' in a scale. Suddenly a scale is just a repetition of two keys. Scale too boring? Create a microtonal flurry of notes that sounds like Hendrix and …

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Choosing an Audio Interface

I've loved MacInTouch's reader reports since I bought my first Mac in 1996. Today there's a lively discussion going about audio interfaces for mobile recording. It's a natural for the CDM 'fine reading of the week' award. Only problem is: too many interfaces. In fact, you can see why consumers are likely to gravitate to any new Apple audio interface. On the other hand, you'll also see why anyone whose needs are more than entry-level are likely to choose from the rich range of boxes available at every price point, each catering to specific needs. That said, let's assume for …

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Reason 3 Announced: Full Details

Enough of the speculation: Propellerhead today has formally announced Reason 3 and posted full details. Here's what's new, boiled down: Combinator will let you build combination patches of multiple Reason instruments, as I and others had predicted. MClass mastering suite includes EQ, stereo imaging, compressor, and maximizer.  'Performance' features: better control surface support including motorized faders, new browser, new soundbank with Combinator patches and "more sampled instruments" instead of just loops.  6:2 Line Mixer / submixer. Improved automation Improved sample quality, dramatically shorter load times

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Space Box: Theremin + Effects Box

You heard it here first. Tony Amendolare of ElektroKraft, creator of the Axe*Synth we covered here on CDM, writes today to tell us about his newest creation: the Space Box combination digital photo-theremin + effects. [Press release] It's a light theremin: Wave your hand above the photocell, and the box will respond to light and dark. It's an effects box: Tony says the box is capable of 'frequency multiplier' effects. Read: cool, odd, fuzzy, distorted sounds. (sample sounds on the site) You can use it in a standalone mode, with a digital oscillator, as a theremin, or plug your instrument …

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M-Audio Keystation 88es USB Keyboard; Product Line Explained

M-Audio has released its USB-powered, 22-lb., 88-key semi-weighted keyboard, the Keystation88es; list US$299. What? You're as confused by M-Audio's revamped product names as I am? Here's the new lineup: Keystation es: Semi-weighted, no knobs; 49, 61, 88 keys Keystation Pro: One 88-key, fully weighted 'hammer action' keyboard with a control surface (knobs and faders) Radium and Oxygen: Semi-weighted with 8 faders; 25 keys (Oxygen), 49 or 61 keys (Radium) Ozone and Ozonic: Controller plus audio interface; the Ozone is an Oxygen with audio I/O packed in, while its new apparent replacement, the Ozonic, adds more controls and bumps key count …

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Reason 3 Beta; First Device Revealed

Propellerhead is now soliciting beta testers for version 3.0 of its wildly popular synth workstation software Reason. As reported on Music Thing, Propellerhead has been titillating its Reason users by leaving tiny fragmented images of a new module in the upcoming version, which forum members bravely sorted out and reconstructed into the 'Combinator' Device. Bizarre publicity stunt, but there you have it. (Now, if you read every 10th letter of the 2nd news story . . .) So what the heck is this Combinator which the image claims "will change Reason forever"? It seems to be a device that answers …

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MegaSeg 3 DJ Software Released (Mac)

MegaSeg 3, the OS X-only DJ package announced last month, was released today. The developer says there are more than 100 improvements, but here are some big ones: Redesigned hardware-style Dual-Deck Mixer Direct open/save to iTunes (with full support for AAC songs purchased from the iTunes music store!) Library and playlist printing, HTML logging, playlist sorting Better sound quality: smooth pitch returns, treble and bass controls New UI with 2-button mouse support, multi-select editing I'll still go with Native Instruments Traktor for vinyl-style DJing with insanely detailed controls (PowerPage.org's Jason O'Grady likens the Traktor interface to a 747 airplane cockpit), …

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iBoom iPod Boombox

1980s, meet 2004: DLO (Digital Lifestyle Outfitters) is shipping their new iBoom iPod boombox. What makes it cool is that it runs on D batteries or plugs in, so it's a true portable solution, without having to bother with those annoyingly unreliable FM radio transmitters. Bonus: built-in FM radio with digital tuning and preset buttons. Looks great, brilliant idea — now CDM just wants to know how it sounds. It's not hugely powerful, 20W per channel, but it could be just the thing for playing at parties by the pool; stay tuned for a review. Compatibility: All iPods and iPod …

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