Tech Blogger Michael Arrington Thinks You Musicians Owe the Web Money

Image: cigarboxguitar, from Etsy. Trust me, it makes sense — real, physical, handmade instruments and music distribution is the perfect antidote to a lot of blogger hot air. I apparently had better things to do this weekend than hear the latest self-righteous, all music is free, the Web changes the fabric of reality post about the music business, this time from Michael Arrington of Techcrunch. The title is intended to get a rise out of people. (“These Crazy Musicians Still Think They Should Get Paid For Recorded Music.” Uh … thanks?) But tracking through links, I came upon this quote: …

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Skullphone on LA’s Digital Billboards – Rental, So Save Those Pennies

In case you haven’t seen the stunt spreading, meme-like, around the blogosphere, graffiti artist Skullphone hacked ten Los Angeles-area billboards owned by ClearChannel. It’s the coolest thing to happen to LA’s billboards since L.A. Story. And that was a movie, not real. See it on Skullphone and Curbed L.A. via Textually and Supertouch, and F.A.T. and Anti-Advertising Agency, via Gizmodo and MAKE. Now, this deserves special mention here because I imagine almost everyone here has dreamed of hijacking giant digital billboards — the way musicians dream of playing the Hollywood Bowl or being on the cover of Rolling Stone or …

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Skullphone on LA's Digital Billboards – Rental, So Save Those Pennies

In case you haven’t seen the stunt spreading, meme-like, around the blogosphere, graffiti artist Skullphone hacked ten Los Angeles-area billboards owned by ClearChannel. It’s the coolest thing to happen to LA’s billboards since L.A. Story. And that was a movie, not real. See it on Skullphone and Curbed L.A. via Textually and Supertouch, and F.A.T. and Anti-Advertising Agency, via Gizmodo and MAKE. Now, this deserves special mention here because I imagine almost everyone here has dreamed of hijacking giant digital billboards — the way musicians dream of playing the Hollywood Bowl or being on the cover of Rolling Stone or …

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FL Studio Rants and Raves: All in One, One for Not Quite All

Not everyone agrees with all my raves about FL Studio 8 — including some loyal FL users. Whereas Ableton Live has taken some flak in recent upgrades for catering to requests for more conventional functionality, even some FL lovers are frustrated with the program’s quirkier bits. Evan X. Merz writes a rant on FL Studio and version 8: FruityLoop’s approach is so unique that it negates the value pricing. If you want to use FruityLoops, you basically have to commit to another DAW. So while you will save money by getting everything you get with FruityLoops, you will still find …

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How Much Will Your Fans Do – And How Many Do You Need?

There are two phenomena right now on the Interweb. One: access to self-distribution (for artists and small labels) means artmakers can explore new models for the business that supports their work. Two: an open market for ideas (the blogosphere, namely) means if you can come up with some pithy something or other, you can achieve overnight fame. Of course, the former is considerably tougher than the latter. And don’t make that idea too complicated or nuanced, because you’ll lose the link-happy bloggers impatient for you to help topple the conventional Record Industry. Latest case in point: Kevin Kelly posits the …

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Gizmodo Uses TV-B-Gone Screen Killer for Evil

In case you haven’t seen it, several readers wrote in to tell us about how the “journalists” at Gizmodo went around CES disabling video screens. The invention used to do it — the TV-B-Gone — is capable of far more worthy goals, like disabling the invasive crap on Fox News at an airport. (Addendum: unless anyone mistakes me as someone brave enough to operate a TV-B-Gone, see comments. I’m not. I’m a wimp. But just for the sake of argument, let’s assume this could be used for good.) Here, Gizmodo simply tortures presenters at press events they were invited to. …

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VCI-100 DJ Controller Mod with Arcade Buttons, DJing with Toys

Finding the perfect controller for DJing, laptop music, and so on has tended to mean either buying an off-the-shelf solution, or building one from scratch. But a growing number of users is choosing a third way: find a nearly-perfect controller and mod it to perfection. DJ Tech Tools, a new blog from three DJs that has grown out of stories for Remix Magazine, has a great story on adding arcade buttons to a Vestax VCI-100 controller. And yes, that’s “arcade” as in gaming — those fantastic, tactile buttons found on vintage game cabinets. Tutorial on adding arcade buttons to a …

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DIY Guitars, Floppy Albums, More on Music Thing

Thanks to the AES audio show here in New York this week, for the first time I hope to meet Tom Whitwell, the writer behind the blog Music Thing. That should be fun, as we both appreciate robotic Japanese vocals and Flight of the Conchords. There have been some other great posts lately: Experimental DIY guitars by Yuri Landman (hey, if any of you do this in the NY area, feel free to drop by the next Handmade Music event!) If you liked the albums released on NES cartridge, someone else has an album on floppy disk Electro-mechanical keytar Radio …

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Music things: Lego Synths, Max/MSP Vids, and PC World Love for MT + CDM

Posts had gotten thinner over the past couple of months (do I ever know that pressure), but if you missed the torrents of blog entries over on Music thing, blogger Tom Whitwell has sprung back into action. And, as usual, he’s got lots of great goodies. Among my favorites: A Nord Modular made of Legos Ten Entertaining Videos about Max/MSP (Not to be confused with 32 Short Films about Glen Gould, made back in 1993 before the Web and digg had made “x-number lists” of things hot.) Tom also notes that CDM and Music thing were each mentioned in PC …

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Geek Gawking: An Opticon Podcast and a Plogue Maestro

Chris Randall of Analog Industries (and, of course, Audio Damage) is on a roll in his latest around the Interwebs roundup. Not to steal your post here, Chris, but on the off chance someone missed this, he nets both: 1. A podcast episode with music made entirely on the Optigan, Mattel’s bizarre “optical organ” of the 70s. (See Optigan.com for more on that.) 2. Stefan Goodchild’s blog, aka “Stabilizer”, who’s on Peter Gabriel’s multimedia team (nice work if you can get it), and — in addition to having lots of wonderful goodies built in Mac/Windows music patching software Plogue Bidule, …

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