Get Inside the Musical Brain of Machinedrum [Free Ableton Downloads, Listening]

“Blah, blah, I use Acme MusicStation Pro because it sounds completely dope – I love that compressor.” Okay. Before we begin, you’re not alone. Yes, a lot of artist profile endorsements, even some well-meaning ones, can wind up being rather useless. But at the risk of being redundant – since many of you get their mailing list – what’s special about a new set of profiles and downloads from Ableton is, you have a rare chance to dig deeper into the world of some musicians, learning about their techniques and approach in a way you can apply to your work. …


Exploring the Jam, Supernatural, with Mindpirates Collective [Event Report, Videos]

Jam. Far out. The artwork of Lionel Williams served as backdrop for a set of live jam sessions. It’s a question so elemental in music, you might forget to ask it: what can you get out of a (music) jam? Electronic music worldwide is dominated by the DJ, the dance party. That, in turn, often tends to the safe playback and mixing of produced records. So, what happens when you let all of that go, invite your audience to get up and make strange noises with you and not only dance at a safe distance? What happens when you just …


Free Download, Dates: Sepalcure (Praveen + Machinedrum) Make Bass Music Proud

The duo Sepalcure – Praveen Sharma (aka Braille and PRAVEEN) and Travis Stewart (aka Machinedrum) – have already, as solo artists and as a duo, been a big part of the vibrations of so-called Bass Music. Originating from New York, the duo now champion their taste in sounds on two sides of the globe. Travis spends a lot of time in Berlin while Praveen anchors a scene that spans Brooklyn and the Internet in the form of Percussion Lab, with that group’s events, Web downloads, and Monday night live streams. (In fact, if you’re up against some deadlines or feeling …


Elektron Unveils Octatrack Sampler-Sequencer-Warper, Expands and Discounts Machinedrum

Elektron, those Swedish makers of the fabulously-beloved Machinedrum drum machine, have a range of new announcements this morning. They herald the power and appeal of digital hardware, gear made for people who have grown up with computer. The biggest news, of course, is the announcement of the Octatrack. Coming later this year, but shown in prototype form this week at the Frankfurt Messe show, the Octatrack is a multitrack digital sampler with onboard sequencer, real-time pitch shift and time stretch, and effects. That has caused some to get excited enough to dub it “Ableton in a box,” and it’s hard …


Artists we Love: Deru, in the Studio, Videos

Deru – Peanut Butter & Patience from Mush Records on Vimeo. 2010 is looking to be a terrific year for handmade computer music from Los Angeles. For one example of why, look to Deru, the composer and live electronic musician. His work continually grows more lush and more organic, drawing from musical strains as diverse as hip-hop and classical. And his upcoming album, “Say Goodbye to Useless,” takes all of that in. (Previously on Ghostly, Deru will release this disc on Mush.) I think it’s going to be a big year for warm, rich-sounding music. Deru also has what looks …


Video: Beloved Drum Machines Hit the Road

Would You Like to Tap My Box? from kamoni on Vimeo. Drum machine lovers, you now have the beat gear equivalent of Matt Harding and Where the Hell is Matt?. Kamoni, aka sonic creator, composer, and experimenter Micah Frank, takes his favorite devices out on the road, piecing them together into an epic YouTubular jam. Doepfer and Korg, Elektron and Akai, plus a lot of other devices make their way around New York and Brooklyn and other parts of the world. Ableton I think figured into editing the video clips in time — thank you, Live, for video. I could …


Hard-Core MachineDrum Geeking with Wesen, and the Joy of Live Online Streaming

Wesen of Ruin & Wesen has been doing some amazing stuff with the MachineDrum – and sharing every last detail with friends via the Web. Ruin & Wesen blog We’ve already seen his DIY hardware, including a joystick for the MonoMachine. Here’s my favorite hack so far, though: using the MIDI Command hardware, he’s set up his MachineDrum as a 16-voice polyphonic synth. That means, instead of just tweaking buttons and such, you can actually hook up a keyboard. (Hmmm… so, Keyboard Magazine, can I now write a MachineDrum + MIDI Command review for you?) Joy of Streaming: I like …


Ruin & Wesen: Lovely, Petite, Hackable Controllers for Machinedrum, Ableton, More

I’ve been following Ruin & Wesen’s development as they’ve been hard at work on new, petite MIDI controllers, promising to be the first of a line of DIY-friendly controllers. “Open source hardware” has been getting a lot of play as a concept, but the idea here is really built around the product: their stated claims emphasize musical usefulness, documentation, extensibility, and customization in addition to the making code and schematics available to hackers. Today, Ruin & Wesen have launched their website, with two nice-looking products ready for pre-order. The MIDI Command is a small box with five endless rotary encoders …