Moderat Debuts II, Pushing Electronic Supergroup Production Quality Again [Review, Links, Listen]

If you haven’t heard it yet, you owe yourself a listen to Moderat’s II, the second outing from the combination of Berlin electronic superstars Apparat and Modeselektor. A preview has launched on Spotify, but the best option to try before you buy is NPR Music (America’s listener-funded public radio tastemakers): First Listen: Moderat, ‘II’ First, the thumbnail guide to the cast: Modeselektor is Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, in turn behind Monkeytown and 50 Weapons. Apparat is Sascha Ring, who had a major role in Shitkatapult (the label founded by T.Raumschmiere, aka Marco Haas, and company) The boundaries between those …

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From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney's Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists Today, Rajinder Sodhi of Disney Research, primary inventor of the tech, answers CDM’s questions about what all of this means. CDM: What other research has gone this direction before? Raj: This research comes from a big …

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From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney’s Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists Today, Rajinder Sodhi of Disney Research, primary inventor of the tech, answers CDM’s questions about what all of this means. CDM: What other research has gone this direction before? Raj: This research comes from a big …

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Flying Lotus' Effects-Laden Latest, and the Equally-Entertaining Process Montage

Flying Lotus – Tiny Tortures from dlew on Vimeo. Flying Lotus has been as sensitive to visual expression as to the leadership behind his label and musical circle, but it’s this fall that the rest of the world might know that, as the artist pulls out some music video grand slams. This week, it’s “Tiny Tortures” by director David Lewandowski. If FlyLo’s last album dealt with America’s domestic violence, this one – again, more poetic than preachy – plumbs the USA’s psyche, suggesting baseball dreams to amputation and war injuries. As before, that is channeled into something that feels like …

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Flying Lotus’ Effects-Laden Latest, and the Equally-Entertaining Process Montage

Flying Lotus – Tiny Tortures from dlew on Vimeo. Flying Lotus has been as sensitive to visual expression as to the leadership behind his label and musical circle, but it’s this fall that the rest of the world might know that, as the artist pulls out some music video grand slams. This week, it’s “Tiny Tortures” by director David Lewandowski. If FlyLo’s last album dealt with America’s domestic violence, this one – again, more poetic than preachy – plumbs the USA’s psyche, suggesting baseball dreams to amputation and war injuries. As before, that is channeled into something that feels like …

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A fully-functioning QuNexus prototype. It may look like the pads on the QuNeo, but Keith McMillen tells us new sensor tech should be more friendly to keyboard technique. And the fact that this is real hardware is important - Kickstarter has recently revised its rules. A look at the new hardware - and actually delivering on Kickstarter - as CDM talks to Keith McMillen.

QuNexus is Touch-Sensitive, Tilt Mini-Keyboard with CV, MIDI, OSC, as McMillen Returns to Kickstarter [Q+A]

Can a compact controller not only shrink the conventional music keyboard, but transform it, too? The layout on the just-announced QuNexus is something familiar to keyboard players. But the QuNexus assumes some new ways of playing, with keys that sense pressure and an instrument that you can tilt. Following in the footsteps (fingertaps?) of Keith McMillen’s QuNeo, the QuNexus is built around a custom-engineered set of pressure-detecting, touch-sensitive pads. But whereas previous hardware used USB for MIDI and high-resolution OSC (OpenSoundControl), the QuNexus adds Control Voltage for modular and vintage lovers, too. The QuNexus returns to Kickstarter for crowd-funding production, …

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arc2

Reinventing the Wheel: Engineering arc2, Digital Instrument from monome Creator [Gallery, Interview]

Engineering a production instrument is a kind of study in compromise. For mass-produced musical instruments, it’s a fusion of practicality and economics, made affordable by a mass-market supply chain. What makes the monome creations special isn’t just that they look beautiful; the art isn’t aesthetic only. They are uncommonly uncompromising. They’re designed in such a way that tells a story about materials, one that weaves connections between suppliers – many of them local suppliers – and focuses the experience of the device on the interface. They have the kind of obsessive attention to detail associated with the finest acoustic musical …

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Universal Everything, Ongoing Beautiful Work with Digital Form, New Studio Tour Documentary

Tai Chi / 5 Video Artworks / Framed Gallery, Tokyo from Universal Everything on Vimeo. Universal Everything is a design shop that continues as a standard bearer for expressive digital forms, a high water mark in electronic expression. Founded by the UK’s Matt Pyke, the creative team now spans England and Holland. From top, two recent works: Tai Chi / 5 Video Artworks / Framed Gallery, Tokyo, and a group show of 3D-printed objects called “Voxel Posse,” with computational art maestro Karsten Schmidt at The Brewery, London. Now, Creators Project take a studio tour to see how Universal Everything creates …

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machinedrum

Get Inside the Musical Brain of Machinedrum [Free Ableton Downloads, Listening]

“Blah, blah, I use Acme MusicStation Pro because it sounds completely dope – I love that compressor.” Okay. Before we begin, you’re not alone. Yes, a lot of artist profile endorsements, even some well-meaning ones, can wind up being rather useless. But at the risk of being redundant – since many of you get their mailing list – what’s special about a new set of profiles and downloads from Ableton is, you have a rare chance to dig deeper into the world of some musicians, learning about their techniques and approach in a way you can apply to your work. …

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Not Just Sampling, Studying: Frente Cumbiero and Maschine, 1.8 and Human Upgrades

Yes, the tools are better and shinier – but there is a method to what musicians are doing with them. Maschine 1.8 arrives today, a bit early, a free update. I looked at this release when we went hands-on with the updated software and new color hardware. Whether or not you get the new controller, it features a new transient follower and tube and tape saturation effects, improvements to pitch and time shift, and better file handling. You also get a free serial for NI’s Massive synth. This is a good thing. But let’s back up and talk about what …

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