Modeselektor Documentary to Chronicle a Duo Who Really Click [Trailer]

Electronic Beats, the editorial project sponsored by a certain major mobile carrier in Germany, has been doing extraordinary work profiling artists. (Their films are in English or have English subtitles.) The upcoming Modeselektor project, due out the 3rd of May, extends that to full-length documentary filmmaking. And the results look terrifically inspiring. But what’s significant here may not be a popular, influential electronic duo getting their due. Just as importantly, as featured here in the trailer, the creative coupling of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary is all about the energy of two people who really work together. This thing might …


2 Heads, Good Habits: New Collabs from False Image, A Guy Called Gerald and a Wunderkind [Listen]

January may be the season of New Years’ Resolutions and detox routines. But rather than force yourself into promises you can’t keep, why not find a friend with whom you can form good habits together? It’s definitely working for two pairings in Berlin. After the apocalypse-obsessed December 2012, and some end-of-year music reviews that seemed nearly as pessimistic, there’s plenty of music and musicians to make you feel optimistic. And one of these two creative marriages gives us reason to wake up bleary-eyed Thursday morning: I love the idea of dedicating every Wednesday night to music making. Oscar Burnside, born …


The Audiovisual Synth: VJ Fader + Mandy Mozart on Combining Visuals, Sound [Video]

VJ Fader and Mandy Mozart about A+V from LVX.TV Institute for Live-Video on Vimeo. Visuals can accompany sound, make elaborate light shows that splash color behind music, or turn music into a stunning spectacle. But really fusing visuals and music into the sense of one medium? That’s a bigger hill to climb. In another interview shot at Rome’s international LPM festival this year, artists Mandy Mozart and VJ Fader speak eloquently about rising to this challenge, and treating audiovisuals as a single instrument. Watch: We talked with Mandy Mozart and VJ Fader about their interesting audiovisual project A+V. The Visuals …


Cloud in a DAW: Free Plug-in Lets You Browse, Drag-and-Drop to and from SoundCloud

From iPads to desktop, apps have been adding SoundCloud integration. But this plug-in goes one better: you can navigate SoundCloud from an in-DAW browser, then drag and drop sounds to hosts like Ableton Live. (You can upload, too, also via drag-and-drop.) The plug-in is free for native hosts on Mac and Windows. One major criticism: without the ability to see SoundCloud’s licensing terms, you can’t be sure if the samples you’re grabbing are something someone wants you to use. Unless I’m missing something, it’d be great to have Creative Commons search support – indeed, it’d help people who do want …


GarageBand for iPad Hands-on: Why It’s Ideal for Beginners, What You May Not Know

Let’s get this out of the way: musicians are not a “niche” group. Recording has done some damage to the popular practice of live music, but still, you’ll find an astonishing number of people play instruments and sing. (New pop culture phenomena like Glee, the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, and the resurgent TV talent show have helped, too.) What’s “niche” is conventional music production software. While it’s a fast-growing segment, music making software remains elusive and befuddling to a whole lot of musicians. GarageBand for Mac was one answer to what software for the remaining group should look like. But …


Music Making, Shared: Communal Ambient Tracks Explore Instagram Photos, Lisbon, and More

This collection of Instagram photos inspired an ambient compilation at the end of last year – one well worth adding to your listening queue now. Since then, challenges opened to a community on SoundCloud have produced hundreds of terrific tracks – and the latest weekly challenge is on now, with a deadline midnight Monday. Where do you get your ideas? Sometimes, it can be a challenge just to start a track, or can simply feel a bit, well, lonely. Finding fellow music makers can solve that. Artists gathering around SoundCloud and online ambient music chronicle Disquiet work together, with inspiration …


Diaspora: On a Fledgling, Open Social Network, Users Gather to Make Noise

Diaspora is an attempt to build a social network that contrasts with the locked-garden vision of Facebook, one built on open source software, open exchange of information, and distributed – rather than centralized – communication. I already let slip that we’ll be rebooting our own social endeavor, Create Digital Noise, in the new year. But it’s also telling to see the first noises emerge on Diaspora. If you wrote off this service when it was in early testing, perhaps overwhelmed by its ambition and crowd-sourced nature, you may be pleasantly surprised. As users gain invites, the service is surprisingly stable …


Events: Canada Gets Its First Music Hack Day, as Hackers Take Montreal

Good fuel for coding and hacking? Bagels, natch. Photo by Dac Chartrand for CDM. Music Hack Day is an event that’s been gaining lots of steam. Packing engineering experimentation into a marathon session of collaborative, improvised work, followed by lots of sharing, the event tends to focus largely on Web services but also includes novel musical instruments and other inventions. The events have grown in depth, quality, and attendance – the New York event I attended was just massive. (See the intro video below.) And now, for the first time, there’s an event in Canada, in the tech-rich Quebec hub …


YouTube Jazz, in a New Musical Mash-Up, and Online Collaboration

Israeli funk musician and producer Kutiman, creator of the famed Thru-You, is back with an encore. Once again, he’s mixing the best performances of YouTube into a single video. Calling it a “mash-up” is perhaps unfair: this is really mix and remix. It’s no different than laying down multiple tracks in a studio, except that the players were working independently in different parts of the world. “My Favorite Color” is a jazzy, soulful number, particularly carried by those incredible vocals on the original song “Green.” The rest is really arrangement, and it works pretty darned-near perfectly. (An occasional ragged rhythmic …


Op-Ed: Music Abstraction for AV Collaboration, A Proposal

Ed. Our friend Momo the Monster (aka Surya Buchwald) joins us for a guest column with a proposal: what if messages sent between music and visual software could be expressive? His idea is simple, but powerful: it’s musical semantics for live visual messages, as basic as knowing when there’s a bass drum hit. Momo introduces the concepts here; more audiovisuals coming shortly, so feel free to hit him up with some questions. -PK Last October, I was approached by the management of American Werewolf about creating some custom visuals for their show. This was the first time I’d been contacted …