Real for Reel: The Amazing Sherlock Holmes Experibass, and More Winter Cinema Sounds

Sometimes, the best sounds come not from synthesis, not even from electrified instruments, but from the purity of a mic and acoustic instrumentation. It remains electronic, or even digital sound, but its source is organic. And so, one of the best reasons to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie in theaters is the wonderful noises that bounce around Hans Zimmer’s score. Behind many great film scores are great soloists as much as great composers, and Sherlock Holmes is no exception. Zimmer worked with Diego Stocco, sound designer, sound artist, inventor, and composer in his own right. To realize the inner …

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Upcoming Final Fantasy Album: Treating the Orchestra Like an Analog Synth

Photos by Hedi Slimane; courtesy Final Fantasy. Can you approach a symphony orchestra as though it’s an analog synth? That’s a question composers have asked since the first time they heard electronic sounds. It’s impossible to hear the 20th-century technology alongside the 19th-century technology without the one reframing your view of the other. Now, it will be tackled by the new album from composer/singer/violinist Owen Pallett, with an interesting cast of characters onboard, plus one imaginary ultra-violent farmer.

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Linux Music Workflow: Switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu with Kim Cascone

Here’s a switcher story of a different color: from the Mac, to Linux. It’s one thing to talk about operating systems and free software in theory, or to hear from died-in-the-wool advocates of their platform of choice. In this case, we turn to Kim Cascone, an experienced and gifted musician and composer with an impressive resume of releases and a rich sens of sound. This isn’t someone advocating any platform over another: it’s an on-the-ground, in-the-trenches, real-world example of how Kim made this set of tools work in his music, in the studio and on tour. A particular thanks, as …

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Record Beta: We’ve Got Invites, Thoughts from a Superfan

Given the passion of the debate, it’s easy to forget that Propellerheads’ Record has been firing up discussion from many people who haven’t actually seen it. Record is to audio recording, mixing, and mastering what Reason is to synthesized sound, and for Reason lovers, it finally delivers that holy grail – multiple racks. Record is a bit like Reason Studio, taking those instruments and giving them a full production context. Since its release, Propellerhead has amplified polarized opinions about this tool. It doesn’t support plug-ins (though you can use other ReWire clients), it doesn’t do things like film scoring, and …

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Tiny Music: Xenakis Synthesis, Curtis Roads Granulation on iPhone

140 / curtis + thumb piano from m~fischer on Vimeo. Synthesis geeks are creating some fun sonic toys for the iPhone. There’s no reason you couldn’t plug in an iPod touch or your phone into a mixer and use them in live or studio creations for a little variety. And as mobile platforms grow in capabilities, other platforms should be close behind. (Not to mention, you can always rescue an entire iPod or PDA and run Pd, often for just the few dollars an app costs!) At top, the granular sampling app Curtis captures sound from a thumb piano. Curtis …

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VBS Video: Curtis Roads on the Birth of Granular, Composing in Microsound

Sometimes, looking back at pioneers can be nostalgic. “Back in my day,” goes the story, “electronic composers were real electronic composers.” But then you hear from someone like Curtis Roads, and his mind-blowing ideas are coupled with a belief that we’re only now reaching the Golden Age of electronic sounds. Rory Ahearn writes to share the latest episode of the show Motherboard on VBS TV, which talks to composer Curtis Roads. Roads was ground-breaking in his early granular synthesis work in the 1970s as he continues to be today.

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The Internet, as an Avant-Garde Orchestral Suite – YouTube Mash-Ups

Via YouTube Doubler, a twisted online YouTube mash-up tool created by digital artist and Emergency Broadcast Network veteran Brian Kane, comes a strange new … orchestral composition. (EBN, for those not in the know, should translate as "video mash-ups before you knew what video mash-ups were.") Charlie Rose interviews Charlie Rose. "Google…" Just watch. (The video is embedded after the break, as it’s essential that both clips start up at the same time. Video will therefore naturally autoplay.) We’ve got two layers of mashing-up going on: the first layer of this mashed … cake is a new composition by Tan …

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GDC: Boiling Waterphones and Other Sonic Inspirations from Composer Troels Folmann

  Hot-boiled waterphone, coming up. Troels explains: “We boiled it at 4 different temperature levels and its a part of the massively multi-sampled waterphone (it’s over 2.900 samples).” Award-winning composer Troels Folmann has made a name as a video game composer on the likes of the Tomb Raider series, as well as espousing new ideas about adaptive music for games like his “micro-scoring” methodology. But speaking to a roomful of composers and sound designers at the recent Game Developer Conference, he turned to the topic of reinvention. Even having perfected signature sounds that keep him in demand on jobs like …

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Korg DS-10 in Ensemble Jams

The Nintendo mobile is a solo instrument no more. Lovers of the Korg DS-10 cartridge for the Nintendo DS handheld are making their own ensembles. And one such trio is a selection of who’s who in Japanese game music. The Korg DS Trio performed a celebrity concert after the Tokyo Game Show. GameSetWatch has an extensive interview with the three. Nobuyoshi Sano (composer, Ridge Racer series) and Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger) are two familiar names, joined by Michio Okamiya of Final Fantasy hard rock cover band The Black Mages. All three had input into the creation of …

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