With Creative Commons Support, YouTube Grants Remix Culture Official Sanction

VJs and visual artists remixing video have long simply grabbed what they want, when they want it. But now, the community increasingly faces a choice: will it play by the rules? The payoff could be more than moral good will or karma. If visual artists begin working with Creative Commons-licensed materials, they’ll add the incentive for other artists to remix their own work freely. And following official rules could mean the freedom to share your creative output without having to worry about navigating takedown notices or angry rights-owners. Given the importance of posting showreels to getting gigs, that could be …


DIY Ribbon Controller, Creative Commons-Licensed, with Arduino, Reaktor, Crackling-Good Case

Ribbons are so in this year. Thanks to Trent Reznor picking up the Dewanatron Swarmatron, they’re even winning Oscar Awards (after a fashion). Coagula aka Giuseppe Di Cillo has been in touch with me for some time about his evolving DIY ribbon controller. Now he’s pulling out all the stops: his full version includes a professional-looking case, extensive touch sensors, and even a display and menu system. It’s not quite the gorgeous, analog-savvy Eowave Persephone, but it’s a beautiful DIY project and a terrific learning opportunity, as well. He’s shared a complete tutorial, specifications, and tips, all under a Creative …


Audio-Reactive Music Video, Plus Free Quartz Composer Patch and iTunes Visualizer

Lit entirely by projector, a new music video by Finland-based artist Aku Meriläinen translates pulses of sound into pools of colored light. I love the personal, handcrafted feel of the result — pretty, but not too slick — and for Mac users, there are freely-licensed goodies you can use to either bliss out to music and visuals or try hacking your own reactive audio. Aku writes: We made a music video for Berlin based DJ/producers Moston & Mono. The song “Can’t Stop” nods partially to 90’s house music, so we tried to get the feeling of how things were done …


Music from Numbers: An Eclectic, Free (CC) Compilation of Numbers Station-Inspired Tracks

Photo (CC-BY) Chris M, of a Very Large Array. Number stations, making their appearance in the post-war radio landscape, were shortwave radio stations of streams of symbols, mysterious to their listeners and apparently code. Here, the idea of lost and indecipherable broadcasts inspires a wonderfully-varied collection of reflective artists, in a free, Creative-Commons licensed compilation by PublicSpaces Lab. That Barcelona-based netlabel has been reliably curating some of the smartest, most forward-thinking music collections around. This time, the artists are impressive not only in their output but in their range of backgrounds and extra-musical sources of inspiration. [PS025] Various Artists – …


Music with Faders: Faderbeat Performances

The beauty of physical, human motion is that just about anything kinetic, any gesture can work. If you were left only with motion in your toes, you could play a live set. And whereas these gestures were once tied to specific acoustic instrumental effects, in the digital realm, they can be anything. We’ve seen the rise of the grid controller, popularized by the monome and later seen in mass-market devices like the Launchpad and APC. And while it’s hardly the first “big knob as controller” concept, we’ve seen the encoder celebrated in the monome follow-up arc. So, buttons – check. …


Score an Operating System: Music, Sound, and Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase on SoundCloud

Natty Narwhal is the next release of Ubuntu. Now you could give it a soundtrack. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Ricardo Bernardo of, admittedly, vintage Ubuntu. Your OS is there, in front of you, daily – some of us for many, many hours a day. it often makes sounds at you, very rarely welcome sounds. Here’s an opportunity to change that. Computers are extraordinary creative canvases for our work, but corporate branding can’t really respect that. Because Ubuntu is a free operating system, it can provide content that is free to be reused, remixed, and re-imagined. An OS’ soundscape could be provided by …


Fill 2011 with 2010’s Best Music, as Chosen by Readers; 106 Listener Favorite Choices

Spend seasons with great listening. Photo (CC-BY-SA) hell*yeah. Given the vastness of music available today online, “best of…” lists, while nice to have, can be disappointingly predictable. Not so with music selected by readers of this site. We asked for your favorite albums of last year, and you responded with extraordinary variety. I’ve selected entries from readers – some must-have inclusions, some that were simply well-described or surprising – for your enjoyment here. In these mid-January doldrums, it’s a perfect time to catch up on musical inspiration, then hole up and create some digital music of your own. I’ve called …


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.


Pretty Wifi Lights Sync to Music, DJs, Thanks to Open Source Hardware and Software

Open source for the sake of it is one thing. This is open source hardware and software for the sake of making lighting more awesome. Open source hardware is the basis of a sophisticated, wireless lighting rig. It’s already syncing to music with Pd, and automatic lighting control right from free DJ software may be next. With the effort of the open source music and visual communities, that could be just the beginning. The SaikoLED is a project for wirelessly-controlled color LED lighting, based on several open source (or partially open source) projects. It’s not cheap, as such, though I …


Meet Meeblip, The Open Source, Hackable Digital Hardware Synth

Making music, making blips and bleeps, turning knobs, plugging in keyboards, and having the freedom to modify your gear – these are good things. And that’s why I’m so excited that today is the day the MeeBlip launches. It’s been several years in development, but now it’s finally here. It’s a hardware box that makes noises – virtual analog synth noises, chip-sounding noises, good noises, bad noises, noises you can make into music. It’s got physical knobs and switches on it, plus a MIDI DIN in port so you can connect that keytar you bought on eBay. It’s also a …