LEGO Christmas Tree Plays Carols, Courtesy Max/MSP, Custom Electronics

Desmond Dodecahedron has the craziest way of celebrating the season I’ve seen this year: just build a giant Christmas tree from LEGOs, then use visual programming environment Max/MSP and some custom electronics to trigger tunes. Desmond writes: Once I discovered that the word “advent” was actually an abbreviation of “audio event” and the fact that we have had lots of snow in London – I decided to create this Christmas Carol note filtering tree. (in this case it is actually a midi event tree – but you get the general idea). Each pitch class of a Carol i.e. all the …

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monomexmas

A Very Monome Xmas: New, Free, CC-Licensed Christmas Album

With takes on the Vince Guaraldi Trio and Tchaikovsky, the sound-slicing members of the monome community have turned their button-encrusted devices to spreading holiday cheer to you, for free. A new, CC-licensed album is available for download. (One caution: CC licenses don’t cover sample clearance for works sampled on these albums, so beware.) They wouldn’t be geeks if it didn’t have an acronym: http://mcrpmusic.bandcamp.com/ There’s some really creative stuff in there. I’d love to hear this live. Found other favorite holiday downloads? Let us know in comments and we’ll do a round-up later this week.

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A Very Acid 303 Christmas, and Pencil-and-Paper Roland Beat Patterns

Melbourne, Australia-based acid music lover dyLab posts 303-made goodness on the Acid Box Blues blog. And here’s a great way to get in the holiday mood — well, that is, if acid music gets you in the holiday mood. It’s a pattern laid out on paper, ready to program into your TB-303 hardware, software emulation, x0xb0x, Pd patch, or however you get your real/fake 303 on. The pattern is the work of Honeysmack (Soundcloud site), a fellow Melbourne-based artist. The December Acid Pattern I’m rather hoping that putting patterns and presets on paper catches on; I dubbed our MeeBlip version …

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All Christmas Music, Boiled Down to Sixteen Droning Singles

  Move over, Manchester Boys Choir. A computer can allow you to hear the digitally-reduced essence of all of these songs at once. Album image from Jacob Whittaker, who also offers some videos. It’s an old piece (Christmas 2004), but if you find your ears are ringing with retailers playing Christmas tracks on endless loop for the past few weeks, I can think of no better time for this. A Singular Christmas involved sixteen processors working for two weeks to compress the essence of Christmas music into sixteen singles. The results: tracks of droning, glistening sonic ice sculptures, like an …

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8-bit and Retro Holiday Cheer: Advent Calendar Albums, Casio and Coneheads

Kasio Kristmas from Jim McKenzie on Vimeo. Feeling a warm, holiday glow – or is that just nostalgia for simpler times, times when less digital information was needed to capture sound? Bits were real bits; sampling rates were low enough you could count to the top of them. Kids walked uphill through the snow both ways to buy a new Casio keyboard, and they didn’t yet believe Nintendo’s R.O.B. was a gimmick. They had none of your Grand Theft Audio nonsense: they hummed along to annoying tunes and watched sprites dance across the screen like a derezzed Sugar Plum Fairy. …

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