A Free Mac Modular Sound Suite, and Sound Worlds of the Designers Behind the Tool

NOISEPLUG from smider on Vimeo. The art of making sound software and the art of making electronic music can be closely bound with one another. That means tools that embody a certain compositional idea. You can choose to use them or abuse them – or simply gain some insight into the sonic imaginations of the people who created them. Italy-based musician and software designer Guido Smider writes to share his free (as-in-beer), Max/MSP-built sound tools for Intel Macs. Most impressive is the new 1.8 upgrade to his Noiseplug, a collaboration with Tobor Experiment / Giorgio Sancristoforo, known also under the …

READ MORE →

Free, Creative Commons-Licensed Album of IDM: Subvaritrax Compilation

To kick off your weekend listening with a full album of delicious IDM, our friend Quantazelle / Liz McLean Knight offers up a compilation from her label subVariant. While big-name artists have gotten lots of publicity for doing free or pay-what-you-will albums, oddly a smaller group of them have chosen a Creative Commons license. subVariant does do that with a noncommercial / no derivative license – a bit restrictive, in that it doesn’t allow remixes, but perhaps a decent start. And licensing aside, this is a lovely, clever compilation of tracks. Interestingly, the physical object did sell out on eBay. …

READ MORE →

XLR8R vs. Daedelus Video: On Musical Influence, Monome pr0n, Obama

XLR8R TV Episode 71: Daedelus from XLR8RTV on Vimeo. XLR8RTV has a fantastic video interview with one of my favorite artists, Daedelus. The man is, as always, like pure musical joy. He talks about his musical influences, the early connections he made (including at USC, alma mater of a number of the CDM community), his approach to live performance, the virally-popular open source monome controller, and, yes, that pro-Obama song. (The original lyrics were catchier.) The monome connection is an interesting case in music technology. Daedelus was the first artist to gig regularly with the device, possibly helping both him …

READ MORE →

Archivist Responds: Yes, Virginia, Delia Derbyshire Really Was That Awesome

A sadly out-of-print album of Delia Derbyshire’s music, with Brian Hodgson, Don Harper. It came as no surprise to me that Delia Derbyshire, composer and BBC Radiophonic Workshop maestra, would have created incredibly forward-thinking music in the 60s. But when one track seemed to predict IDM and modern electronica, the story of Derbyshire’s vintage “dance” track spread over the Interwebs, and even aroused suspicion of fakery. Delia Derbyshire Recordings Found, Including Ahead-of-its-Time Dance Track David Butler of the University of Manchester was one of two archivists who started undertaking the work of assembling a library of Derbyshire’s ground-breaking work. He …

READ MORE →

Ableton Live Tutorials: DIY 808, IDM 101 – Gustavo Strikes Again

When we last joined our friend Gustavo Bravetti, Uruguay’s Ableton maestro, he was showing us how to glitch out with Live. Now he’s on Hong Kong-based DJ site djvox with a comprehensive set of Live tutorials. These are not necessarily the usual “how to use Live” fare. Instead, they focus on musical techniques, with Live as the tool — a means to an end, and a way to approach Live as an instrument, rather than a duplicate manual. First up — one of my favorite tricks, which is building bass drum sounds in Operator. Not everyone loves Operator, but this …

READ MORE →

Gustavo Bravetti Show Us How To Glitch out Ableton Live

If your musical production sense tends to gravitate towards the clicky, minimal, and weird, you will appreciate the results you can achieve with Ableton Live by employing a few well-placed tricks. Gustavo Bravetti–the Uruguay-based producer / DJ / maker / tinkerer / entrepreneur we interviewed last year–walks us through his process of glitching out Live with a few tweaks, namely some well-placed volume envelopes, using follow actions and legato and then adding swing to groove-ify the whole thing. Ed.: Okay, this isn’t necessarily helping Live shake its reputation as just this — a wonderland for glitchers. You really can make …

READ MORE →