We’re coveting this walnut desk stand for Push 2

Ableton’s Push hardware is making it onstage, but whether or not it suits that purpose for you, it’s an absolute godsend in the studio. Hands-on control of parameters, always-ready grid access to melodies and percussion, and tools for starting ideas from clips to sequences to playing live make it feel indispensable to those of us it’s won over. So, why not give it a handsome home?


What’s the electronic music that’s not on the top 2015 lists?

It makes some people cringe each December as much as the appearance of WHAM! and Paul McCartney (oh, “Wonderful Christmastime”). It’s the end of year lists in electronic music. I have no particular problem with them, except that they’re limited in what they tell us. We get surveys that allow people to learn what the most popular music is by determining which music they … already think is the most popular. It’s like the musical equivalent of the Myers-Briggs test, or reading a horoscope. Sure, it’s entertaining, but the secret is, you’re basically just looking in a mirror and confirming …


Happy New Year; Nominees for Stories Everyone Missed?

Happy New Year, everyone. We’re taking the day off, but while we’re putting together a year-end review of musical technology and invention, any nominees for stories that fell under the radar, that people might have missed? DIY projects, unique tools, or anything of the sort welcome; we do appreciate your ideas, as always. Let us know in comments, and we’ll pick out some of our favorites. Have a lovely evening – Happy rockin’ New Year’s, and to Germany, Guten Rutsch!


SF’s Robotspeak, Music Geek Heaven – And Elsewhere On Earth? [Video, Survey]

There are a few spots in the world that are active hotspots for music tech geekery, and in San Francisco, it’s definitely all about Robotspeak. CNET’s Donald Bell – known to some of us back in the day as terrific IDM producer Chachi Jones – visits the store that once employed him. (This gives me extra-happy memories, because years ago I was fortunate enough to play an A/V set at Robotspeak alongside Donald and Daedalus.) Donald explains more of why Robotspeak is cool on a CNET blog post: Robotspeak: An electronic musician’s toy store All of this gives me an …


What’s on Your Holiday Wish List – Beyond the Usual Suspects? (Open Thread)

Disco Christmas! Photo (CC-BY) paparutzi. Yes, it’s that gift-y time of year again, which naturally means among lovers of music technology, thoughts turn to gear wishes and dreams of new hardware. We’ve asked in the past what readers want in their stockings and presents – and, just as interestingly, what they’d give to others. And you’ve come up with fascinating ideas. This year, I’ll frame the question a bit differently: what, beyond the usual suspects, would you love to have? Books or music collections? Handmade or boutique items? Unique tools and toys that’d help you be creative? And what would …


Thanksgiving Open Thread, Delivering in Beta

On US soil today, it’s Thanksgiving. I’m over 3600 miles away, myself, from the place that began as home this year in New York, but ready to celebrate a day off anyway as I take in Eindhoven’s STRP Festival and prepare for performing on Saturday back in Berlin. But whether you’re in the US or in one of the many other parts of the world where we count readers, let’s pause to consider what makes us thankful. I’m immensely thankful to have the opportunity to make music. I find it’s always worth reminding myself of that, and reminding to fight …


Open Source Music Hardware: Got Gear? Fill Out Our Survey as We Look at the Landscape

If you do want to get religious about this, you may want to wear this around your neck: Open Source Hardware logo as jewelry! Photo (CC-BY-SA) MAKE’s Becky Stern. We’ve followed open source hardware – and generally hardware that is more open to user customization and modification – on this site since the beginning. As I prepare for a talk on the MeeBlip at Berlin’s Create Art & Technology Conference, though, I think it’s time to do a proper survey of the hardware that’s out there. The ability to modify music gear is something that’s important to a lot of …


Letters to the Editor: We Get Some Strange Emails

Does CDM get a lot of email? Yes, yes, it does. Some of them are valuable and fascinating and – all apologies to all of you – manage to slip through the inbox. Some, however, are simply exceptionally strange. This is just from this morning: Topic: musis Message: i need pad Okay. Guess you do. Topic: Cassette tapes Message: I am having a “clear out ” at home and have several music cassettes What can I do with them.?? Includes, some Elvis, Christmas collections,Richard Rogers musicals,Andrew LLoyd Webber If you have some solutions you’d like to suggest to these folks, …


What Visual Software Readers Use: Some Clear Favorites, Plenty of Diversity, in Census Results

Two clear frontrunner apps, among a number of superb, popular choices, are pictured here. At top, Resolume Avenue in action, in a photo (CC-BY-SA) Colombia-based artist Otto Nassar. At bottom, Deborah Johnson looks on as Modul8 glows onscreen, in a photo by Jaymis Loveday for CDM. (See that interview on her work with Sufjan Stevens – and watch for a new chapter soon.) Live visuals and VJing are growing and maturing faster than ever, but even as projectors beam stunning visuals into performances and installations, there’s surprisingly little light shed on the community behind the work. Earlier this summer, CDM …


Amon Tobin’s ISAM, Behind the Scenes; Ask Your Questions

By now, you’ve likely heard about the eye-popping, three-dimensional architectural live visuals for Amon Tobin’s immersively-transmedia tour ISAM LIVE. It’s clearly a new high water mark in live audiovisual experience. So, how were the visuals done, and who did them? Derivative, the developers and visual collective behind the Touch Designer software that powered the show, have written up a detailed look at how the show works. Isabelle Rousset sends her article: A Behind the Scenes Report on the Making of the Show Visuals and Delivery Systems We’re in touch at CDM with Derivative and the folks who worked on the …