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Mikme, GoPro of microphones, is also serious about sound

Being simple and mobile has its advantages. I bet at least once, you’ve recorded some audio sample on your phone. But simplicity often comes at the expense of audio quality – the phone being a perfect example. An upstart hardware project wants to change that, with a crowd funding campaign that’s winding up its final days now. The Mikme is a small rectangular box, with a single button for recording. It’s wireless, with the ability to connect to mobile apps for tweaking and sharing. Now, your first impression, then, might be that this is a consumer product – convenient, but …

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mi.1 Wireless MIDI: Will Cost US$45, Ships September; Crowd Funding Now

mi.1 : Wireless MIDI Interface from QUICCO SOUND on Vimeo. The wireless MIDI adapter we saw yesterday is now a crowd-funded campaign on IndieGogo. And we know more about it, too: the MIDI-powered device should ship in September at a price of US$45. (Funding backers will get their unit for as little as $35; other funding levels offer t-shirts, extra units, and even a party in Japan. European shipping is $5.) As various developers have pointed out, wireless MIDI over Bluetooth – not to be confused with audio streams, which use a different spec – can get real-world latencies below …

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Beats for your Feet: BeatBuddy Puts a Drum Machine in a Guitar Pedal

Drum machines — those are those big, luggable rectangular things used by electronic music producers, right? What if one could fit in a guitar pedal? And what if you could use your feet to trigger patterns and fills, leaving your hands free to play guitar (or another instrument)? That’s the idea behind BeatBuddy. Now, the basic notion is that it’s friendly for things like practice – and it should be helpful motivation. But clearly live performance, songwriting, and even dance music could benefit, too. And now it’s a fully-funded project. If the content in the video isn’t appealing, the makers …

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Jamming Without Wires: Thavius Beck, Hands on with the QuNeo Rogue

The freedom to go wireless means being able to take a controller and move about a venue or studio space. Visualists can eye their projections and lighting; musicians can check sound levels while walking around or more easily play with others. We’ve experienced this with iPads and the like. Now it’s time to do it with hardware. We covered the QuNeo Rogue in a look at two crowd-funded wireless projects late last month. But the Rogue now has just five days left on its crowd funding. KMI is at least no stranger to the model; they’ve shipped gear this way …

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Expressive NDVR Keyboard: New Hardware, Polyphonic Aftertouch Done Right?

The centuries-old piano keeps fighting back every time someone tries to improve it. Case in point: polyphonic aftertouch. The cause for something new was straightforward enough. On a normal piano, you lose expressive possibilities once you play a note. Because of the necessity of the way hammers work, your fingers are left holding down keys and doing, well, nothing. The piano continues to do beautiful things with the sound – resonating and such – but you’re no longer involved. after you depress a key, keep pressing down to add additional expressive input. (Various historical devices have used everything from keys …

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A Grand Piano of Light, Illuminating Rachmaninoff [Arduino+LEDs]

Nail the finger fireworks of a particularly hard Rachmaninoff, and you may well feel like blasts of light are shooting out of the piano. But to give the audience the same sense, a DIY instrument made of cardboard and homebrewed responsive lighting translates that keyboard virtuosity to an optical show. Reader Aylwin Lo sends us this project out of Canada: Rachmaninoff’s √Čtude-Tableaux Op. 39 No. 6, as performed by YT//ST’s Brendan Swanson from Aylwin Lo on Vimeo. I’m with YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN. We’re an art collective based in Toronto and Montreal that is most known for making music and …

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Wow… Mouse on Mars, Charting New Sonic Worlds in Two New Releases [Listen]

It’s a good time to be following this duo: Mouse on Mars seem to have entered a period of explosive creativity. And so it’s doubly a pleasure to be working with them now. As I hear younger artists complaining that they feel confined in musical expression, here are artists unafraid to explore strange, wonderful sonic worlds. What’s special about two new releases is that, while they still represent a tremendous amount of effort and labor, they’re also more spontaneous. As the press announcement that went out with WOW noted, the five-year project that was Parastrophics now gives way to music …

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Mouse on Mars Builds Open Mobile Instrument with CDM: Help Make WretchUp [iPhone, Pd]

With all the mobile apps out there, the person who can help build something a bit different is you. The idea is this: fund a new handheld instrument now, and you’re rewarded with music, knowledge, and involvement. You get a studio album produced by Mouse on Mars, and watch as the app is finished. There’s one more twist, too: in a world of fairly disposable apps, everything in this project will be fully open source and shared, from the Pd patch producing sound to project files. WretchUp is a mobile instrument built by Mouse on Mars, capable of both extreme …

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I Dream of Wires Documentary: Carl Craig, Canada, and Modular’s Beauty and Agony [Video]

Like the modulars themselves, an upcoming documentary on these analog synth beasts has been lurking behind closed doors. But that won’t be the case for long. “I Dream of Wires,” the crowd-funded documentary that probes artists’ fascination with making music by connecting patch cords, will see a public showcase at Montreal’s MUTEK Festival. This and an upcoming film release, atop a big get-together in New York, could make this a proper summer of modular. In anticipation of their showcase, MUTEK has released two significant excerpts from the film. One talks to Carl Craig, Detroit techno legend, top. Craig describes how …

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Modular Lovers to Gather in NYC, Celebrate Legacy of Buchla, CV

A look at a Buchla, up close, from Messe in March. Some of the most innovative modules – and certainly some of the strangest parameter and module labels – have come from this designer. And for lovers of all things Control Voltage, a coming event in New York seems a don’t-miss. You could almost call it Buchlafest. Led by Manhattan electronic music hub Harvestworks, fans of modular synthesis, composition and performance with patch cords, and Don Buchla’s modular synths are set to gather in New York this summer. In the video below, they introduce not only their event plans but …

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