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 …

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A New Sequencer Module, Open Hardware from Music Thing, Crowd-sources Manufacture

Sometimes, when you want something, you have to make it yourself – literally. The blog Music Thing, back in the day, was a favorite reason for any music tech lover to fire up the browser. Now, Tom Whitwell – whose day job at The Times of London keeps him plenty busy – is back, with open source modular hardware. The Music Thing Random Sequencer is an analog module you can examine and modify, one with completely open source licensing, inspired by classics like Don Buchla’s 266 Source of Uncertainty module. If you want one for yourself, though, the process is …

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Music for Plants, Music by Plants, in Two Eco-Themed Album Releases [Listen, Galleries]

These green things, for once, are the stars, in Data Garden Quartet. From the installation version in Philadelphia. All Data Garden photos courtesy the artists. “On lead synthesizer, a philodendron …” (And the crowd goes wild…) Vegetation may not be the first association you have when thinking of electronic music. But two new albums, each released via Bandcamp, celebrate biological life of the green, leafy variety. One is a benefit compilation, with proceeds going to help trees and music inspired by that green goodness. The other uses plants as “performers,” generating its form from plant life in an installation and …

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Learning Max/MSP and Jitter, and Remixing beeple: 50 Recipes, Results

If you’re trying to tackle visual programming to move your art forward, know this: you’re not alone. And so it is that Mike Todd writes us to share Andrew Benson’s ongoing series of Jitter tutorials. I remember reading Andrew’s tutorials years ago, but the guy just keeps going – “recipe” number 50 for Max/MSP’s matrix/visual tool Jitter is now available. Mike is generous enough not only to point to those tutorials, but share some of the work he’s done with them. beeple’s videos are Creative Commons-licensed, so here, Mike takes on one as a learning etude. He writes: I’ve been …

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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 …

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A Small World, After All: Freesound.org Sounds on Earth, and an Ambient Musical Laboratory

Through the eyes of satellites, roving Google trucks, aerial imagery, and more, we have plenty of eyes on our planet. But what does it sound like here on Earth? In a Web application and accompanying art installation, the world turns as it echoes sounds recorded around the world on Creative Commons-licensed site Freesound.org. It’s stunning to hear our world’s acoustic diversity – in some strange way, even more than seeing it, in that sounds can instantly give you a sense of place and time. You can load a version on your browser or on the iPad; then, from the world’s …

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Beeple: Brilliant Visuals, as Creative Commons VJ Clips, Cinema 4D Source Files

Beeple isn’t just one of our favorite animators. He’s also a creator of open-licensed VJ content that you can use in live sets and other works. In addition to video clips, you get the raw materials on which those animations were based, in the form of Cinema 4D files you can open and manipulate. That sets him apart from someone who just provides clips. In fact, the biggest challenge may be how to take work that looks wonderful and finished and not in need of your help, and make it your own. But perhaps that’s reason to do it. You …

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Animate Everything: Musical Beeple Film IV.10 is Like if Drugs Were a Video Game

Finding something intelligent to say after watching Beeple is like trying to compose a work email after sex. You just want to sit in the afterglow. Beeple’s tenth instrumental film is full of three-dimensional goodness, a joy ride through a fantastic, videogame world. It’s also eminently musical. As fanciful characters pop out of a rotating globe in some dream combination of Shigeru Miyamoto and George Dunning, you get a sense of popping, Alice-like, into the world of the music. Animator Beeple, aka Mike Winkelmann, created music and visuals alike for real audiovisual instrumental art. It’s Merrie Melodies for the digital …

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Goodies for KORG monotribe, monotron, from Japanese Overlays to MIDI Mods

monotribe, in limited silver and gold. Photo by Marsha Vdovin for CDM. It’s a beautiful thing when music hardware improves with age. And lately, that’s been what’s happening to Korg’s monotribe and monotron. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a major update from Korg for the monotribe that makes its sequencing functions easier and more useful. To save you the trouble of navigating the Korg Japan site – a difficulty for those of us who don’t speak Japanese – here on CDM, we’ve got a number of downloads for saving monotron patches, and the Japan-exclusive overlay for the monotribe …

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New Vimeo is Here, and It’s Brilliant; Creative Commons Visualist Community, Anyone?

You’ve likely already seen it, but now that we’ve had some days to adjust and it’s rolled out to everyone, it’s worth noting that the new Vimeo is simply awesome. (It’s available to all, though you do have to opt in, which I recommend.) I don’t want to get carried away with fanboyism, but to me, Vimeo has become the content production, content distribution, and creative portfolio to beat – even as YouTube firmly entrenches itself as the “just go viral” platform for everybody else. While some other rivals have stumbled around trying a new formula, Vimeo has waited patiently …

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