fluxpadpuppet

Exploring wild sound experimentation on iOS, Mouse on Mars style

When you pick up an instrument someone has designed, without even thinking about it, you absorb a little thinking about how to make sound. And just like singing with other people is different some singing alone, that feeling can be a great one. So why shouldn’t software or hardware instruments give you the same experience? What I like about Mouse on Mars is that Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma have something to say beyond their own music. They’re fierce advocates for experimenting with sound – in their solo projects, in teaching and lecturing, in their personality. And that’s embedded …

READ MORE →
triodeblack

MeeBlip couldn’t wait for Black Friday, so it’s Red November

The MeeBlip project reaches some important milestones this year – and we get to say thanks, and celebrate with a sale. And, really, why do that for one day called “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” or “Arbitrary Discount Saturday Dusk Hour”? Let’s just do it for the whole rest of the month. MeeBlip quietly turned six years old this month. That’s special in that it marks a collaboration between CDM and creator James Grahame (Blipsonic). But it also means we’ve managed to build a line of end user synthesizers that are free and open source. This isn’t a kit, it …

READ MORE →

Black Friday – Cyber Monday Deal Roundup, Codes

Black Friday, the ominous-sounding American retail holiday named originally for the day when retailers broke even (think black ink), is of course on today. Fortunately, for music and sound, there’s no need to get trampled to land some discounts. Here’s what’s in the CDM inbox – these aren’t paid placements and they’re hardly comprehensive, but some deals I thought were especially nice: Vinyl lovers everywhere, you may want to check your local store today. Record Store Day’s BACK TO BLACK FRIDAY is on. (I guess they resisted the urge to call it None More Black, Spinal Tap style.) Audiofile Engineering, …

READ MORE →
anodetop

MeeBlip anode: Compact Bass Synth with Analog Filter, A CDM Collaboration

The challenge: fit everything you really want from a bass synth into a 4″ x 4″ square. Make every parameter hands-on, with full-sized knobs and switches. Give it an analog filter that can be angry, not just nice. Our solution: MeeBlip anode. It’s the new collaboration between CDM and instrument designer James Grahame. Together with James’ engineering work, we’ve cooked up a little package that focuses on packing personality: Digital oscillators meet an original analog filter Grungy, bass-heavy sounds Compact, 4” x 4” case (approx. 100 x 100 mm) Modulation, envelope, tuning, and pulse width controls MIDI input for compatibility …

READ MORE →

Black Friday Deals: NI Half Off, Rain Computers, and Gorgeous $150 TMA Headphones

Photo (CC-BY) Lululemon. (Bonus points if you spotted their logo, yoga fans, though “ohm” works well for us, too!) Black Friday, named originally for the day on which retailers typically broke even for the first time in the year (think black ink), has become a holiday for sales in the US. I’ve seen a handful of deals even in our world of music making tech; here are a few of the best. Native Instruments has a sale through Monday that cuts prices in half on individual Komplete instruments and effects. Note that this is just for a la carte additions; …

READ MORE →

Cyber Monday, Ongoing: Delicious Synths, Effects for $5-20 from audioMIDI

The EMS VCS3 has inspired a virtual synth. You can try to get someone to give you a hardware EMS for $20 – or you can take advantage of this deal. Photo: Rosa Menkman. Online retailer audioMIDI has begun a new sale I really love called the “No Brainer” series. They offer some carefully-selected instruments and effects for prices like $5, $15, or $20. These aren’t clearance bin deals, either; they’re some of the best plug-ins on the market, in either full versions or slightly stripped-down (but fully-functional) editions. audioMIDI has exclusively released details of the deals they’ll offer Monday …

READ MORE →

Black Friday: $99 Each for Reaktor, Absynth, Massive, FM8

A Thanksgiving cornucopia of sound, made cheap. Photo (CC) Lawrence OP. Winter is coming. If you had to hole up with just one instrument, getting deep into programming sounds while venturing out of your abode only for essential supplies, any one of these instruments would easily fit the bill. Yes, Native Instruments bundles (nearly) everything they make into the Komplete bundle. But truly, any one of these creations would be a sonic rabbit hole into which you could climb. In ascending order of rabbit-hole-ness: Massive: Drag-and-drop modulation, rich wavetables, and an emphasis on bass and leads make this a sonic …

READ MORE →

Black Friday: Free Synths+Effects from Cakewalk, Plus Steep Discounts

Take my synth, please! Grab this instrument, the sample playback plug-in SFZ+, free for Windows. “Black Friday” has become a traditional date for talking discounts, but one price you can’t beat is free. Cakewalk is giving away some of their older effects and synth plug-ins. These aren’t just hand-me-downs – Cakewalk forum members lamented that a couple of these didn’t receive greater development attention. They’re eminently usable on Windows systems now. Available free: SFZ+: The real highlight here, rgc:audio’s excellent SoundFont sampler player, with built-in effects, various performance options, and an all-in-one interface Square I: A very lovely analog subtractive …

READ MORE →