Making a light sculpture a musical instrument, played with Animoog on iPad

Light organs have been in use for generations. But this is the first generation that has grown up in a world of image and sound in which expression across electronic media might seem simply second nature. And oddly, as screens have become more ubiquitous, so, too, has thinking beyond them. What we see here, then, isn’t a projection. It isn’t a display. It’s a big bundle of lightbulbs, making rhythmic poetry in off and on once connected to a jumble of wires. Play the Moog app Animoog on an iPad, and that mountain of electronic junk winks back at you …


New Animoog for iPad Fixes Everything; Hear it Go Indian, Do Improv

Forget for a moment whether it says Moog or not. Maybe it could say “Rogue” or “Brogue” or “Kylie Minogue.” Animoog would still be one of the handful of software instruments that really make the iPad feel like a proper synth. And yes, it is also beautifully polyphonic, expressive, features an interface that could only work on iPad, and sounds amazing. There’s been just one problem: amidst an avalanche of Apple OS updates, that synth wasn’t always working reliably. And the love from the developer (yes, the famous one that rhymes with “Vogue”) didn’t seem to match the love from …


Making the Theremin Digital: How the Moog Theremini Works, What MIDI Brings

Let’s get one thing straight: Theremins aren’t digital. (Apologies for the headline for a moment, but stay with us.) Theremins are based on perhaps the most important analog process there is in sound, heterodyning. And Leon Theremin can’t claim credit for this, nor Bob Moog or USA or Russia or Germany – it’s initially Canada, in the form of one Reginald Fessenden. (Go, Canadian engineering! Later on, Edwin Howard Armstrong develops the superheterodyne circuit that most resembles the Theremin, so that’s actually one gold medal each to USA, Russia, Canada.) It’s a fancy word, but the concept is dead-simple: you …


See Moog’s Cool New Instruments: the Flying-Saucer-Shaped Theremini, the Packed Sub37 Synth [Details]

In two instruments, we’ve seen the latest future of Moog. One looks like the future, white and flying-saucer-like, a 70s retro-scifi egg/baguette with an equally futuristic sound. The other expands on the latest Moog synthesis ideas to create a vast timbral galaxy that we’ll hear more in the future. Moog’s Theremini gestural instrument and Sub37 synthesizer made their debut, and we’ve talked to engineering to learn what they mean. You might not knowing it looking at one of them, but the latest stuff from Moog charts new sonic territory by building on recent successes. Those first departures for the North …


Surprise! Animoog from Moog Shows Up on … BlackBerry Z10

In the exciting world of Things That Aren’t An iPhone, Moog Music have announced, out of the blue, a version of their popular Animoog synth for BlackBerry Z10. Animoog for BlackBerry Z10 In a tweet to CDM, Moog Music reflected, “The more creative tools artists have the more music the world will have.” I couldn’t agree more. But platforms have posed some serious hurdles to making development pay off for independent music software makers, with technical hurdles that can make performance a challenge. If BB10 is something different, that’s good news.

An update to Moog's massively-popular Animoog synth now gives you Audiobus compatibility, if you purchase the Audiobus app. That means easier recording and processing, in combination with other compatible apps. Photo courtesy Audiobus.

Major iOS Updates to Korg, Animoog, Magellan – And Audiobus Support Spreads Fast

iPad and iPhone owners got a nice gift recently. Over the Christmas holiday week, a whole slew of new iOS updates rolled in, perhaps caught in the holiday rush. Many of the improvements centered on Audiobus, a proprietary technology that, via a host app, allows iOS users to connect different apps for input, recording, and processing. And with those updates, the picture on Audiobus has become significantly clearer. Magellan, Magellan, Jr. Since Moog and Korg get plenty of attention, let’s start with the dramatic improvements to Magellan. Earlier this month, Magellan’s industrial-strength iPad app got a hand-sized companion in the …


In the Studio: Barker “Like an Animal” EP, Sam Barker + nd_baumecker [Stream + Gallery]

Surrounded by a whirlwind of gear, Sam Barker has been collecting musical tools – vintage and otherwise – since his first track, produced at age 13. Believe it or not, this is his old studio – the new one, with nd_baumecker, we profile below. Photo courtesy Leisure System Records. Being futuristic – really looking forward to music – has perhaps become less fashionable in some circles. Don’t tell that to people like UK-born Sam Barker, artist and co-founder of collective/label/party Leisure System. Sam is curating music tools and artists with the same electic passion, the same exploration of new sounds …


A Concerto for iPad and Orchestra, as a Composer Takes on Tablet as Instrument

For all the ubiquity of electronic instruments and computers in the past half century, it’s still comparatively rare for composers to add these sounds to the largely-unchanging makeup of an orchestra. Therefore, as composer Ned McGowan writes a concerto that claims to be the first for iPad, he’s forced to admit the addition of a computer remains somewhat novel. A composer himself, Frank Oteri has compiled a list of works for orchestra and technology. The scores typically call, however, for the integrated instrument of a “synthesizer”; computers are often relegated to making appearances on tape even in relatively recent works. …


Analog-Digital Marriage: iPad Meets Guitar and Keys, MIDI Meets CV, Putting Music-Making Together

It’s good to get out of your studio now and then, as Chris Stack does here, hauling a few instruments (including the Minimoog) our for a live gig. Photo courtesy the artist. It’s a collision between a twenty-first century tablet and some of the most iconic analog instruments ever produced. It’s MIDI and digital meeting up with control voltage and analog. It’s our friend Chris Stack, endeavoring to find the path that allows him to take the best pieces of his studio and put them together, pushing all that gear to its limits and finding a sum that exceeds the …


16-Week-Old Baby Plays Animoog on iPad, Spins Hypnotic, Trippy Solo

Deep thought: if this is what this young person’s baby toy looks like, what will his computer look like? Father Matt Durant writes to share a surprisingly spacey, expressive solo by his 16-week-old baby son: My baby son, Austin, touched an iPad for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I loaded up Moog’s new Animoog app and was blown away with what happened. Mom & I have never seen him so dexterous and thoughtful with any object before. Luckily I had my iPhone within reach so I was able to record his ‘performance’ in video. I’ve sent it …