Watch Kate Simko mix Classical and club music with her ensemble

A friend of mine joked recently that someone having “classically trained” in their bio probably mean they’d had three months of piano lessons once. I’m sure that’s true for some people, but the fact is, there’s a growing population that mixes experience in electronic music and the club. And Kate Simko is one of the people pushing that boundary – just as she exemplifies some of the best technique in production generally.


DRON-E Creates Ambiences, Cinematic Sounds – Now Free for Reaktor [Sounds, Tutorial]

Composition and invention are two tasks that always blur – there’s some engineering to making music, and that extends to sound design. But let’s get real: when you come across someone like Antonio Blanca, you reach a whole other level. Blanca does exquisite work in Reaktor ensembles and carefully-crafted Lemur templates to match. And DRON-E is a masterpiece, a Reaktor ensemble capable of generating entire universes of ambient sound. Eerie drones will transport you to feeling like you’re crawling about a distant asteroid or entered a convent that has retreated to an alien mineshaft. (I wasn’t the only person who …

You know, a happy-go-lucky party venue for the summer. Um... Berlin style. Photos courtesy Berlin Atonal.

Dark Shadows: A Selection of Sounds and Images from Berlin’s Atonal

Only Berlin would go this dark, musically speaking, in second half of … July. Atonal Festival, an event founded in a very different city way back in 1982, has been resurrected. And the sounds set to echo through the concrete cavern of a former power station represent the cross-currents of an international scene of experimental music. No longer about what happens in Germany (the artists come from every corner of the globe), Atonal – like winter’s CTM Festival – represents an angle in electronic music that is growing in popularity but decidedly anti-commercial, adventurous without necessarily being overly cerebral. It’s …


Hands-on: Spacey Futuristic Beat Control, as Konkreet Performer for iPad Meets Reaktor

Connecting Reaktor 5.8 with Konkreet Performer from Konkreet Labs on Vimeo. Mapping control from one place (like an iPad) to another (Reaktor) is tough to describe, but easy to see. Watch as strange, spacey geometries control futuristic generative sounds and beats, and it all starts to make sense. And so, this hands-on video is a brilliant example of why we get excited about new control methods, here in the form of better OSC support in Reaktor 5.8. Konkreet Labs’ Konkreet Performer is an ideal candidate, eschewing traditional MIDI knobs for interfaces that delight and challenge the user. And it’s little …


New Music for 10-Piece Stylophone Band in LA, and the Stylophone Revolution

What’s the sound of ten Stylophones buzzing? Truly awful — deliciously so. Answering the question on everyone’s mind, “how could we form a band using nothing but Stylophones, and what timbres would result?”, the Los Angeles-based troupe LA Stylophonic here plays original music for the stylus-controlled electronic instrument. Adding that many Stylophones together produces a sound that can best be described as … well, unique, certainly. Composer Paul Fraser does actually give them some musical meat into which the ensemble can sink their teeth, with a minimal music-inflected, rhythmic composition that lets that buzzy, edgy sound fly. I love it. …


Joys of Reaktor: How to Build Sequenced Instruments, Free Goodies, and a New Lazyfish Creation Teaser

Reaktor is a massively powerful toolkit for building instruments and effects, but that power can easily be overwhelming at first. Peter Dines has completed a five-part introduction tackling sequencing events. It’s one of the trickier bits, but also the skill that will help you have the maximum amount of fun. Be a Reaktor Sequencer Ninja Here are the five parts for CDM’s Kore minisite: Part 1 – introduction Part 2 – the X+ module Part 3 – the event table Part 4 – the snap array Part 5 – the mouse area (See the clocks/events refresher to get going.) See …


All-Handmade Mister Resistor Music Ensemble, Live in NYC Sunday

Tired of conventional instrumentation? How about toy robots named Freddy and Teddy, a violin with a bow made out of cassette tape, and a synthesizer assembled from a 1960s electric guessing game? We have a special guest performance for the next Handmade Music party, organized by CDM in New York with Etsy.com and Make Magazine. The Mister Resistor ensemble features various musical oddities — electronic and acoustic — created by students at Parsons The New School for Design. Mister Resistor – the video from ranjit on Vimeo. Mister Resistor Preview 1 from ranjit on Vimeo. The course is taught by …


How to Record Laptop Performances – And Make Them Sound Live (Keyboard Mag)

We’re serious when we say laptop performances — the Moscow Laptop Cyber Orchestra (“CybOrk”), influenced by similar groups like Princeton’s PLOrk, uses laptops as instruments, augmented by alternative controllers. Here’s the surprise: when they record it, they intentionally treat it as you would an acoustic ensemble. Photo by Elena Krysanova. My feature story for Keyboard Magazine on recording live laptop performance is now available online at keyboardmag.com (as well as in the July print issue). When I got the assignment, I think my editor imagined futuristic, sci-fi like network recording, in which audio was streamed entirely virtually from players to …