3 Approaches to Accessorizing the Studio: SPL, Softube, UA at Musikmesse

How can hardware make the computer-based studio more productive? Each trade show invariably brings new offerings that seek to answer that problem as vendors hawk their wares. At Frankfurt’s Musikmesse, steps from one another, three well-known names each each offered their own take. It comes at a time when the industry is re-imagining the role of our machines. It used to be that big, metal boxes said “pro” – and the studio was no exception. (Cue flashbacks trying to set up Digidesign expansion racks in the late 90s. Okay, now putting that out of my mind.) That’s still true in …

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What NI Was Teasing: Monark Minimoog-Modeling Synth, Remade Battery, in New Komplete

Native Instruments has been teasing new instrument software in recent days, and now we get to see what they were previewing: a new virtual-analog monosynth and a remade version of their drum sampler. But, hold on, before everyone yawns and leaves the building – there’s reason to pay attention to this news. First, yes, there is something notably absent in today’s announcement. While NI is making Komplete, their bundle of their extensive stable of software instruments, available for preorder, there’s still no sign of a big upgrade to Reaktor. The fact that the Monark video showed Reaktor patching may have …

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3drecordtop

3D Printed Records: We Talk to the Creator About Her Work, 3D Printing Potential

3D printing is transforming digital information into objects in ways we haven’t seen before. However, a project has been making the rounds through online media partly because it recalls a familiar object: the musical record. Amanda Ghassaei’s 3D-printed record sounds crude, but it makes clear the connection of data to printed, physical form: take a music file, make a printed album. Amanda writes: I’m a really big fan of your blogs and I thought you might like a project I’ve recently published on instructables: I managed to actually print a working (although quite noisy) record on a 3D printer. I …

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Flying Lotus’ Effects-Laden Latest, and the Equally-Entertaining Process Montage

Flying Lotus – Tiny Tortures from dlew on Vimeo. Flying Lotus has been as sensitive to visual expression as to the leadership behind his label and musical circle, but it’s this fall that the rest of the world might know that, as the artist pulls out some music video grand slams. This week, it’s “Tiny Tortures” by director David Lewandowski. If FlyLo’s last album dealt with America’s domestic violence, this one – again, more poetic than preachy – plumbs the USA’s psyche, suggesting baseball dreams to amputation and war injuries. As before, that is channeled into something that feels like …

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Flying Lotus' Effects-Laden Latest, and the Equally-Entertaining Process Montage

Flying Lotus – Tiny Tortures from dlew on Vimeo. Flying Lotus has been as sensitive to visual expression as to the leadership behind his label and musical circle, but it’s this fall that the rest of the world might know that, as the artist pulls out some music video grand slams. This week, it’s “Tiny Tortures” by director David Lewandowski. If FlyLo’s last album dealt with America’s domestic violence, this one – again, more poetic than preachy – plumbs the USA’s psyche, suggesting baseball dreams to amputation and war injuries. As before, that is channeled into something that feels like …

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Fragmented Portraits, Made by 3D Scanner, of New Yorkers

04302011 from Sophie Kahn on Vimeo. A beautiful series of portraits, created on 3D scanner, looks simultaneously like a digital fragmentation of the face and one of the eerie reconstructions of human faces, as if produced centuries from now. It’s the work of artist Sophie Kahn, on exhibit now at an event in Reno, Nevada. The artist writes: 38 New Yorkers whose portraits I made, using a 3d laser scanner. The result is an identity parade of textured 3d scans of their faces, rotating in and out of the light. The glitchy, fragmented look of these scans results from my …

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In Mutemath Projection Mapping, Rabbit Hole Creative Melds Image with Stage Setup

MUTEMATH Stage Projection Mapping from Rabbit Hole Creative on Vimeo. A rectangle behind performers can work. It can fit the content, and the stage picture. It’s just that, very often, it — doesn’t. Projection mapping in the tour for the band Mutemath isn’t just a way to create the illusion of three-dimensionality. It’s also a means for creating a stage set in which projection is an integral part of the picture the audience sees. Rather than a jarringly-disconnected flat screen, the visuals are part of the overall stage design. What’s especially notable about this project is that it was produced …

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xcomp

Circuit-Modeled Dynamics, Plus One Free Plug-in, From FXpansion

Quietly, FXpansion have been making some well-loved, circuit-modeling instruments in the DCAM series. They may not be a household name, but just ask around artists – producers I know consistently bring up the DCAM name and just talk about it sounding damned good. Now, DCAM turns to processing and not just synths. DCAM Dynamics is a suite of plug-ins, each based on models of analog circuitry. There’s a good range of stuff here, covering the gamut from fine-tune adjustments to more creative applications, and I’m eager to try them. Best of all, the freebie here isn’t just a cut-down throwaway, …

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minimoog-v

Get Arturia minimoog-V, Free, Today Only [CET]

If you love that original Minimoog sound, but you’ve run out of space in your flat and money for used bank accounts and don’t like the notion of maintaining pots and oscillators and lifting heavy vintage gear, the Arturia minimoog-V remains a lovely, economical, liftable alternative. It’s the one software plug-in to receive the endorsement of the Moog Music company. (Bob Moog himself got involved when the software was developed.) And for one day, it’s completely free. You’ll want to grab it right away – that day, today June 21, ends when it does as the clock strikes midnight in …

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A Sphere, By Any Means Necessary [Cinema 4D Motion]

Spherikal from Ion on Vimeo. Speaking of Cinema 4D and eye candy, here’s a lovely set of etudes on the sphere, a compelling example of the many ways one can approach a modeling problem. Remarkably, the whole project was just a student project, but quickly ascended to popularity among the discerning eyeballs of the Vimeo community. It could be worth a visit any time your imagination is a bit stuck on doing something differently. Spanish artist Ion Lucin describes the work thusly:

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