Get some inspiration in the magic of field recording

Field recording isn’t just an empty exercise. It can change how you think. Just listen to Chris Watson, who records nature for a living: “Listening in a positive way – that is, actively taking the decision to focus on certain things and reject others … stimulates my thought process. It makes me think more laterally about problem solving. It makes me think in a different way.”


Finding beauty even in fiery oil refineries: meet Jonáš Gruska

From oil refineries to electromagnetic fields to bats, meet an artist from Slovakia discovering beautiful new sounds. Interview – and CDM events in Berlin.


These mics capture sounds from the edge of human hearing – and beyond

Here’s how much Slovak label LOM loves field recordings and strange sounds: they didn’t just stop with releasing a few wild experimental ambient albums. They’ve gotten into the boutique mic business. They’re creating new hardware that lovingly captures electro-magnetic fields. They’re printing t-shirts with custom designs to show their passion in illustrated form. These are people who are really passionate about recording. And you can get bit by the same addiction. Let’s have a look at what they’re offering.


Grab Free Drum Kits for Ableton Live and Other Tools: Vintage, Vinyl, Synth, Pine Cone

Sometimes, it takes just that one set of sounds to unfreeze your creativity and get a song started. And that’s why freebies are sometimes such fun: they’re even a bit more odd, a handful of offbeat sounds that just begs to be turned into … something. The folks at Puremagnetik have been posting some gems to their Tumblr account. This just in: “Wicked Kits” is a collection of five drum kits pre-configured for Ableton Live. (As with any Live kit, there are raw samples you can use in any tool you like – Renoise, MPC, whatever.) The emphasis here is …


AudioCopy, Updated for iOS 7, Now Includes Handy Free Pasteboard App for Sounds

In the long run, iOS 7 should be a step forward for audio. There are some pretty superb new features for routing audio between apps, better selecting from different mics, and other features. But as in many of these sorts of updates, we have to first navigate some compatibility issues first, and get the bugs ironed out. (Inter-app audio is coming to apps now, but there are still some bugs that mean it doesn’t behave perfectly yet – watch for updates from Apple.) AudioCopy and AudioPaste, the popular technologies for seamlessly “copying” sounds between different iOS apps, requires the use …


Zoom H6 Handheld Recorder, Now with Shotgun, Starts at US$399 [Preview]

Zoom has done a lot to popularize field recording, but perhaps equally impressive is how its products have improved. The first H4, for instance, earned the name “handy” recorder, but it was the successor H4N that finally provided dedicated controls, a body that better handled noise and that felt more professional, that didn’t require diving into menus just to set level. Some of the video recording options reverted to more annoyances – I was once in a cab in Philadelphia in which the driver volunteered that he couldn’t stand the Q3’s interface because he couldn’t properly set levels for his …

Peter Cusack, recording sounds at Chernobyl in 2007. All photos courtesy the artist.

“You learn a lot about the city by asking about its sound”: Peter Cusack Interview, Sounds

He calls it “sonic journalism.” From the Chernobyl site to inside London, Peter Cusack has been turning his ear to the world’s most interesting places. A leading practitioner of sound art at the intersection of ecology and music, Peter Cusack is a uniquely inspiring voice in music making. So we’re keen to welcome Czech-born writer Zuzana Friday Prikrylova to bring her conversation with the artist, for the first time in English here on CDM. We bring with that exclusive sounds for you to hear from the artist. -Ed. Peter Cusack is a musician and a sound artist with a long …


Mobile Studio: iMaschine And Making Drum Kits in the Sun [Tips]

Where I live, at least, the darkest winter on record has given way to spring. The trees outside my flat have sprouted leaves in the past 48 hours. And so, the idea of making electronic music out in the sun suddenly has a lot of appeal. This spring and summer, we’ll be featuring some ways to make music en plein air – even with technology. There are now a number of drum machines for iOS, and Native Instruments’ iMaschine hasn’t seen much of an update since its release. But iMaschine is my choice here for several reasons: It’s built for …


The Terror of Watermelons and Your Niece Screaming: Interactive Sonic Fear in Dead Space 3

Wilhelm wasn’t going to cut it for A-list game release Dead Space 3. Meet the young Amelia, instead, screaming. And behold the sheer horror that only a squishy watermelon can produce. I always knew fruit and toddlers were up to no good. Kill Screen, the indie game mag, collaborates with The Creators’ Project to go behind the scenes at developer Visceral Games to talk about the audio design and interactive sound system in Dead Space. Producer and editor Jamin Warren tells CDM it was his favorite of the series yet. In addition to examining sound design and field recording, the …

Okay, it's not as compact, but you can at least get input working with Apple's now-shipping Lightning adapter for 30-pin accessories and Sonoma's excellent GuitarJack.

Lightning Audio: Sonoma’s GuitarJack Meets New iPads, iPhones, Via Adapter [Gallery]

Apple’s mobile hardware offers some serious audio performance and a whole mess of apps to take advantage of it. But what it doesn’t have is the ability to connect inputs and get high-quality sound. Basic mics will work via the built-in jack, but if you want really good sound and more flexibility, you need to connect external hardware. Previous accessories worked with the Apple Dock Connector. I expect we’ll shortly see new hardware with the Lightning Connector built in – the whole thing seems like an opportunity for third-party vendors to sell more accessories. But in the meantime, here’s the …