monomexmas

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.

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iso50-midi_therm

A CDM Holiday Gift Guide: Musical Goodness, All Under $200

Photo (CC-BY) JD Hancock. We users may sometimes gripe, but music technology gives us an impossibly wide variety for which to be thankful. From free (as in beer, as in freedom) to high-end and spendy, from software plug-in to acoustic instrument to solid-state electronics to toy, you’d run out of time and money long before you ran out of exceptional, music-inspiring choices. I think the passion people feel for music is the cause: economics and logic be damned, we’re all glad to make music part of our life, both as makers and consumers. Tools aren’t everything – it can be …

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Wintry Samples: Recording Snow, Free Snow and Ice Drum Samples, Gnomish Choirs

Photo: Frank Bry, courtesy his blog The Recordist. It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For some of us, there’s little need to remind us of snow and ice. But if you fancy adding some frozen sounds to your music, we have both free samples and expert recording tips to help get your cold on. Frank Bry, a master sound designer, apparently has plenty of access to snow in his home of Idaho, but that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the white, fluffy stuff. He’s devoted an entire library to Ultimate Snow with some 300 locations. You can read an interview …

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A Very Visualist Holiday: Tell Us What Eye Candy is Worth Wishing For

Photo (CC-BY) Valerie Renee. Musicians get loads of gift guides. Still photographers, too. Visualists – people who care about live visuals, fun synesthetic toys, experimentation for your eyes, and visual innovation – not so much. Let’s change that. Whether it’s a book about Nam June Paik, a set of lenses, a novel live controller, we want to hear about it. If you make something you think would work as a gift, if you have something on your own list, or suggest something for someone just getting into this stuff, do let us know. And yes, we’re doing this on Music, …

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tosantaclaus

Dear Santa… Tell Us What Musical Stuff is on Your Wish List

Photo (CC-BY) magma666 / Scott. What’s truly wish-worthy? Is it a manuscript paper notebook? An iPhone app? A glitched-out hardware effect? A DAW? A sample library? A CD or book? Before we put together some of our own suggestions for this year’s gift guide, we want to hear from you. You can add to your own wish list. You can add something you’ve gotten yourself you think someone else – or even a beginner – might want themselves. If you make something you want people to know about, be you a large vendor or garage maker, you can pitch us …

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Ten Music Technologies to Be Thankful For Right Now

Photo (CC-BY-ND Dave/riptheskull. Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers. I was thinking about technologies for which I’m particularly thankful, some non-obvious, some perhaps so obvious they might be easily be taken for granted. Each I hope represents some opportunities for others. At the risk of starting a Thanksgiving roast, in no particular order, here are the ones foremost in my mind in the waning days of 2010.

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Happy Halloween: 8-bit, Creative Commons, Free Holiday Music Mix

An 8-bit Black Mage graces a very special Jack-o-Lantern. Photo (CC) Kevin Meehan / Coldways. If 16 bits spoil the mood of your All Hallow’s Eve, and you need some chips with your treats, the good peoples of the chip music community are hear to make sure the celebration of the visiting dead are properly accompanied by a free musical soundtrack. The download is free to grab, and fully Creative Commons-licensed for noncommercial, ShareAlike use. The lineup: The Guillotine Factory – Assembly Line NESMETAL – The Throes of Wickedness Heosphoros – A Traditional Childrens Waltz Chema64 – Mictlantecuhtli Norrin_Radd – …

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April Fool’s? Bah, Humbug!

April Fool’s, San Francisco style – with a parade. Now that’s more fun than sitting in front of blogs. Photo: Patrick Boury. Here’s a cruel joke for you: the first day of Frankfurt’s Musikmesse trade show? The date on which all the music tech press releases for the show have dated their embargo? April First. Now, to me, the whole point of April Fool’s is surprise, or at least humor. April Fool’s has become so obligatory that everything from faux press releases to blog posts are dedicated to the topic whether they were inspired or not. So, you know what? …

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Happy New Year Stop Action, From Karsten Schmidt

Happy 2009! from postspectacular on Vimeo. I can’t say it any better than this. A big Happy New Year to the planet. 2009 looks to be a breakout year for Create Digital Motion, with all we’ve got planned – starting with helping you get on top of your New Years’ Resolutions tomorrow as we start our new tutorial series. For more great work from Karsten, see: http://toxi.co.uk/ http://postspectacular.com/ And I’ll see you in 2009. For all the gloom on the Earth, I couldn’t be more bullish for what’s happening with expression and the opportunities that lie ahead. Peter KIRN, editor-in-chief, …

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All Christmas Music, Boiled Down to Sixteen Droning Singles

  Move over, Manchester Boys Choir. A computer can allow you to hear the digitally-reduced essence of all of these songs at once. Album image from Jacob Whittaker, who also offers some videos. It’s an old piece (Christmas 2004), but if you find your ears are ringing with retailers playing Christmas tracks on endless loop for the past few weeks, I can think of no better time for this. A Singular Christmas involved sixteen processors working for two weeks to compress the essence of Christmas music into sixteen singles. The results: tracks of droning, glistening sonic ice sculptures, like an …

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