Wild, Techie, Wonderful: NAMM’s Gear Delights [Gallery II]

Hardware and software continue to thrive (above). Pro audio lives on. People still make strange, wonderful products for tiny niches of people passionate about every element of sound. Marsha Vdovin is a veteran of the NAMM trade show like few people we know, so seeing the show through the eyes of her camera reveals some weirdness and wonderfulness we always appreciate. And Wonder Woman, too. Magic Kingdom, indeed. Gallery II, go! -Ed.

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On Hacking the New Kinect

Will the new Kinect be hackable for artists and developers? Some of the best speculation I’ve seen yet actually shows up here in CDM comments. So, it’s worth elevating this to a news story, just in case you missed it. In short, the answer appears to be yes. I’m hopeful in particular for Microsoft’s own official developer tools when Kinect hits Windows next year, as I think it’s really the PC world that will be the most expressive and open. From an anonymous CDM reader calling him or herself “n4cer”: Though the port for the Kinect on Xbox One is …

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3 Approaches to Accessorizing the Studio: SPL, Softube, UA at Musikmesse

How can hardware make the computer-based studio more productive? Each trade show invariably brings new offerings that seek to answer that problem as vendors hawk their wares. At Frankfurt’s Musikmesse, steps from one another, three well-known names each each offered their own take. It comes at a time when the industry is re-imagining the role of our machines. It used to be that big, metal boxes said “pro” – and the studio was no exception. (Cue flashbacks trying to set up Digidesign expansion racks in the late 90s. Okay, now putting that out of my mind.) That’s still true in …

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This holiday, take a holiday to another world, chip music style. An imagined NES dimension, here envisioned (CC-BY-SA) torley.

Cool Yule: Toy Company’s Free 8-bit/Lo-Fi Christmas Album, from Montreal

Whether you’re unwrapping presents or not, we’re spending these twenty four hours unwrapping some beautiful musical gifts: have a Yule that’s cool with fine, free/donationware releases. First in the queue… If unimaginative holiday music on endless repeat has given you the winter blues, the fine folks of Toy Company have the cure. The Montreal-based collective and 8-bit/lo-fi techno party series have brought together a number of friends with original tunes and noise and digital-fuzz-laden covers of tunes like “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night.” Meticulously-rendered, quirky music is free to hear, or thank the artists by naming your own …

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mixconsole

Cubase 7 Brings Mixing, Harmonic Chord-by-Chord Features to Steinberg’s DAW [Preview]

It must be the season of the DAW. After a bit of a quiet spell, we have DP8 (and moving in on Windows turf), SONAR X2 (announced at about the same time), and Live 9 all coming into relief. And now, it’s Steinberg’s Cubase 7. The surprise: these audio tools that seem to do everything keep finding more things to do. Generally speaking, you have to twist yourself into a pretzel to describe all those “it does this new stuff” features. That’s okay – developers and users alike built a list of stuff they want, and getting it, under-the-Christmas-style in …

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No-Input Pärt: ‘Fratres,’ Played on a Mixer, is Eerily Beautiful

Arvo Pärt’s music is always spare and gorgeous, inspired by Medieval counterpoint and voicings, and you’d expect it to be such on any instruments. But here, you get something truly unique: a transcription of the composer’s ‘Fratres,’ normally played on string quartet, on a mixer. The no-input performance uses exclusively tuned audio feedback to generate sound, creating an almost vocal quality to ringing timbres generates entirely in the mixer. Details: Camera : Jimmy Hayes Console : Christian Carrière Research residency, Summer 2011 OBORO, Montreal, Canada oboro.net/ Console : Allen&Heath GL2400-40 Thanks to Claus Frostell of Erikson Pro, who lent me …

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Interview: Sound Legend Paul Frindle, and a Story Behind the Digital Audio Revolution

Photo (CC-BY) Liz Bustamante. Ed.: Make no mistake about it: digital sound tech, from mixing to processing, has evolved to a fidelity on par with its analog predecessors and opening possibilities well beyond what they offered. But the making of that evolution wasn’t easy, and it was more than a technical challenge. You can thank the creative spirit of people like Paul Frindle. As contributor Primus Luta explains to CDM, his work is about more than just engineering or tools – it’s driven by creative, musical energy. -PK Author’s note: I wanted to bring this piece to the CDM audience …

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In-the-Box Mixing, Analog Console Style, on an Open Source DAW

Marrying open source and commercial development, or trying to bridge analog consoles and computers – either task on its own might seem improbable. But yesterday, a newly-announced tool promised to bring together all those dimensions. Ardour is the free and open source Digital Audio Workstation software for Linux and Mac. It’s widely underrated and has some terrific architecture underneath, with tools that are maturing at a healthy pace. Harrison is not an open-source developer – they’re a commercial manufacturer of analog and digital consoles and do proprietary DSP development. Conventional wisdom says the two shouldn’t be able to work together, …

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Instructable: How to Build a Music Studio in an Apartment

“Building an apartment studio” to many of us means adding a laptop, clearing off a desk, and donning some headphones. But Brooklyn-based Katherine Belsey Davis, who does all sorts of wonderful (non-musical) things in wood, glass, fabric, and other materials, had lofty plans for a NYC studio job: Since this studio was built for mixing sound and music for film and TV in a residential coop apartment building in NYC, both sound proofing and treatment had to be near perfect. It also had to look good for clients… on a very tight budget. The studio in question is for John …

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Authentic Chipmusic Soft Synth Emulation: Plogue Chipsounds Scoop from NAMM

  From top: ComputeHer, 8 bit Weapon. You’ve heard the chip hype. But there’s something behind it: vintage digital chips can make wonderful sounds. And I’m thrilled that someone has painstakingly reproduced those sounds in an upcoming package. Emulating analog circuitry, from amps to classic synths, has been long understood. But we’ve finally reached an age when people begin to appreciate the odd idiosyncrasies of digital technology, too. There hasn’t ever been a comprehensive attempt to emulate each detail of a range of 80s sound chips before – until now. Plogue (makers of the highly underrated Plogue Bidule patching environment) …

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