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Q+A: How the THX Deep Note Creator Remade His Iconic Sound

How do you improve upon a sound that is already shorthand for noises that melt audiences’ faces off? And how do you revisit sound code decades after the machines that ran it are scrapped? We get a chance to find out, as the man behind the THX “Deep Note” sound talks about its history and reissue. Dr. Andy Moorer, the character I called “the most interesting digital audio engineer in the world,” has already been terrifically open in talking about his sonic invention. He’s got more to say – and the audience is listening. (Sorry, I sort of had to …

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Can Stems Finally Make Multi-channel DJ Audio a Standard?

The path forward is clear: there’s no reason in this age of digital producing and DJing that music needs to be stereo. The need is there, but so far, not the solution. A file format announced in a press briefing at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and made public today wants to succeed where others failed. It’s called Stems, and there are a few details that make it different. It’s simple. “Stems” – the format – include four tracks. So that could be bass, drums, melody, vocal, for instance. (Or bagpipe, castrati chorus, tambourines, and banjo. But the point is, dividing …

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A Surround Sound System You Can Carry Like an Umbrella, ‘Anywhere’

Music is transformed by context, by instrumentation and space and setting. With amplified music, thinking about content alone isn’t enough. Visualists now work with projection mapping and lighting constructions and lasers and the like. It seems electronic musicians as a scene may benefit from thinking more about speakers. We saw recently 4DSOUND, an immersive architectural installation. But that requires carrying around columns. Here’s a multichannel system you can tote along with you, like an umbrella. The results look like a prop from a post-apocalyptic Terry Gilliam movie; it’s sound as object. pseudo multichannel personal autonomous sound installation with 10 panning …

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Full Immersion in Audio, as Artists Explore 4DSOUND in a Spatial Grid [Ableton, Max, Lemur]

New sound experiences demand not only new content, but new terrain – architectural audio, spaces that can take on new meanings. And that’s why 4DSOUND in Amsterdam is such a compelling canvas. 4DSOUND is a unique installation, 256 square meters (2700+ square feet) of floor, divided into an equal grid. On that grid, columns house 48 omnidirectional speakers, as nine sub-speakers rumble beneath the floor. The result is a sonic bath, a three-dimensional audio environment. Ableton Live (with Max for Live) and Liine’s Lemur iPad app work with that system to finely position sound in the new space that’s created. …

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Wander a Garden of Light, Shape, and Sound, with ANTIVJ's THE ARK

We see audiovisuals routinely in darkened, air-conditioned room. The Ark invites viewers to wander a botanical setting, plant life bathed in hard-contrast light and shadowjo, architectural forms animated through the vegetation. Set in Mexico’s Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, multiple works from visual label ANTIVJ create an open-ended environment of image and sound. Concept & Visual design by Romain Tardy Music composed by Squeaky Lobster (we’ve heard his fine music before in Mapping Festival trailers, among other places) Project Management by Nicolas Boritch THE ARK from ANTIVJ is a visual label on Vimeo. Presented in April, ANTIVJ has just released their …

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Wander a Garden of Light, Shape, and Sound, with ANTIVJ’s THE ARK

We see audiovisuals routinely in darkened, air-conditioned room. The Ark invites viewers to wander a botanical setting, plant life bathed in hard-contrast light and shadowjo, architectural forms animated through the vegetation. Set in Mexico’s Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, multiple works from visual label ANTIVJ create an open-ended environment of image and sound. Concept & Visual design by Romain Tardy Music composed by Squeaky Lobster (we’ve heard his fine music before in Mapping Festival trailers, among other places) Project Management by Nicolas Boritch THE ARK from ANTIVJ is a visual label on Vimeo. Presented in April, ANTIVJ has just released their …

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djay Enhanced for iOS 6, iPhone 5; Meet Multichannel iOS Audio Support

Algoriddim’s djay, aside from being a very nice Mac app, has demonstrated that an iPhone or iPad can be a serious DJ tool. For many DJs, they’re just a handy, portable backup or compliment to the full-powered DJ setup, one that nonetheless gives you familiar tools and options. But they really can do most of what desktop software can do, and you can add on physical controls with accessories. New versions of djay are nicely optimized for Apple’s newest hardware (iPhone 5) and software (iOS 6, which also works with a lot of existing iOS gadgets). As such, they also …

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Major Traktor Software, Audio Hardware Updates; DJs and Live Electronic Artists Alike May Be Pleased

Traktor 2 is a new “generation,” says Native Instruments, of its flagship DJ software, along with upgraded hardware interfaces. The upgrade is so capable, simply calling it a “DJ” product may be inadequate. Just as Ableton Live’s user base grew to incorporate DJs, Traktor’s capabilities move easily into live performance and remixing, too. It’s still Traktor. But drawing on Traktor’s background, it’s Traktor as a DJ tool that, aside from just playing auto-beat-matched tracks, can transform into a sampling and remix tool with some far-out sonic effects, for a more dynamic live show. However you classify yourself, the update promises …

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XO Wave 1.0 Released: Free for Linux, Free or Cheap for Mac, Multichannel Audio

XO Wave is a basic multi-track audio tool with multi-channel recording and mixing, video support, plug-in support (in the Pro version) and built in DSP, double-precision math, and non-destructive editing. It looks like it could be a strong choice for basic multichannel tasks. And it has some less-common features, like automatic softening to remove clicks/pops at edit points, and versioning so you can go back to earlier versions of files. A very capable version is available free, and a “Pro” version is just US$95 (though that admittedly puts it in slightly more competitive waters). Interestingly, this is also one of …

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