Loops for Real Drummers: Musicianship, Technology Don’t Have to Compete

Loops have gotten an unfortunate reputation as being a stand-in for real musicians or real musicianship – perhaps because, too often, they are. That’s why it’s always refreshing to see a discussion of how looping can incorporate musical technique. Like many electronic musicians, I have zero background in drumming; I’m a keyboardist and was trained in Classical Piano. But then, part of the gift of being a composer is getting inside the heads of musicians who play instruments you can’t. And when it comes to understanding rhythm, there’s a limitless supply of work to explore from around the world. Ryan …

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End of an Era: Music Thing on Hiatus

It’s official: Music Thing, the benchmark music tech blog, is no more – at least for now. Post volume had dropped off of late, so it’s not a complete surprise. And Music Thing’s voice, Tom Whitwell, has gone on to shake up the online world in other ways: running the online output of The Times in London. (Yes, that’s The Times, founded in 1785 and the paper for which all those fonts are named.) Still, it’s sad that Tom will be focusing on a highly-paying job and the Future of News because, well, we really still all like that synth …

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Last-Minute Meta-Gift-Guide: Music and Electronics Gift Guides from the Blogosphere

It’s either the last chance to rush delivery on gifts, or the first chance to start thinking about picking up some music tech projects for yourself to keep up with musical New Years’ Resolutions. Either way, it’s time to give a shout out to some of the great gift guides that have been going up around the Interwebs. And nicely enough, there’s a strong emphasis on cheap and DIY projects, meaning these can be ideal even in tough economic times. SX-150 button mod from Collin Cunningham on Vimeo. MAKE: Blog > Music Makers’s Gift Guide Assembled by our friend (and …

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Gift Guides for Visualists, Video DIY

CDMotion’s contributors haven’t come up with a wish list this year. Maybe that’s because we’re most wishing for time to work on all the projects we’ve got planned! (No material goods needed – unless it’s a Time Freezing Machine or Brain Accelerator!) But there are a couple of really fantastic visual gift guides out there. MAKE: Blog: Video makers gift guide KipKay writes up this great guide, packed with gift ideas and DIY projects from the pages of MAKE, like hacking a single-use camera and sending it up on a model rocket. Never use boring footage in your live visual …

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Squarepusher Takes Over the Guardian, and All is Right with the World

Squarepusher has taken over the music page of the Guardian, and the results bring joy and smiles to children and the young at heart. Just how great is it when Squarepusher is in charge? Music singles are complete and utter fluff, and he’s not afraid to say so, picking them apart one at a time like an angry, deconstructionist Casey Kasem. Noise and Italian Futurists get their due. Fluxus is the sort of cinema that accompanies your popcorn. A gentleman drops by to talk about aesthetic theory, and … uh, something about how great Steve Reich is. Got a little …

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Sound Design Recipes, in Blog Form

Sound design secrets have traditionally been closely-guarded secret sauce. But in the age of the Web, the opposite is happening: people can actually enjoy sharing what they’re doing, just as passionate cooks chat about recipes on food blogs. Case in point: reader John Keston writes to tell us about AudioCookbook.org, on which he’s blogging a new sound each day. Not only is this a nice way to talk about techniques with fellow enthusiasts, but it’s a great example of how you can use blogging to encourage you to get things accomplished, rather than just distracting you. John writes: I’m a …

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Music Tech and Music Education: Blogs and CDM on the ME Podcast

The connection between music education and technology has always been really significant to me. Aside from (sometimes) being a teacher myself and having spent a few years doing training for notation package Sibelius, to me learning and teaching are fundamental to musical activity even outside schools. I got to sit in as a guest on the excellent Music Tech for ME podcast last week: Music Tech for ME 2008.07.01-#030 Be sure to check out the whole Music Tech for ME series. There’s some great stuff in there, covering educational issues, how technology is evolving and how it fits in with …

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Musics and Other Stuff on One Page at Alltop; How Do You Read?

RSS readers can be terrific; I use FeedDemon and NetNewsWire, both of which recently became free. (Yeah, after I bought them.) But sometimes it’s just too much to wade through RSS, especially after you get back from vacation. Alltop, a site headline aggregator, recently added CDM to its music page, and I’ve started using it as a quick way of glancing over topics like “Music” without cluttering my RSS reader more. Oh, yeah, and it’s nice to see CDM next to KEXP. Alltop is the product of Guy Kawasaki; he’s been a hero of mine since he introduced evangelism to …

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Update: Warner Exec Just Brainstorming, Oddly Ignorant of Reality

Suggesting taxes in March makes Americans nervous — who knew? Photo: romanlily. Wait … crap. It’s almost April, isn’t it? It seems Warner exec Jim Griffin was unprepared for the rancor of the Interwebs, because he’s backpedaling on a proposal to create a blanket fee for ISPs on music. All of that was just part of a “dynamic conversation,” says Griffin in a statement, and “It would be unfortunate if a creative and fruitful dialogue were sidetracked by a rush to judgment about what was simply my own illustrative example of one of many concepts I have in this space.” …

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The Problem with Music Taxes: Where Does the Money Go, and How Much?

I’ll never fully understand technology bloggers when it comes to music policy. Here’s an obviously stupid idea: Warner Brothers, the label, comes up with a scheme to add a surcharge to ISP bills to allow, supposedly, “legal” use of music file sharing services. Stupid, yes. Here’s the response from Michael Arrington (Techcrunch): “It’s clearly good for the music labels, who are facing their imminent extinction.” He claims that this is the plan the “labels” (actually one label) don’t want you to know (except that they’re sitting down for long interviews with Conde Nast Portfolio). Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan just regurgitates and …

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