The music Web is now so closed, you can’t share your favorite song

Jam Supercut from Matthew Ogle on Vimeo. Call it a jam session that has completely fallen apart. Having Web services go dark is certainly not news in this day and age. We’ve come to expect that Internet services won’t be there forever. (Google Reader, anyone?) But if you pull apart some of the backstory behind the end of a service called “This Is My Jam,” you’ll come across an unnerving reality of the way music on the Web is evolving (or devolving). This Is My Jam began life as a kind of hack – pick your one and only favorite …


LegoTechno: Sliding Lego Blocks Make Music with littleBits, Maschine, Arduino

Keep watching: this LEGO sequencer, playing a littleBits synth kit, does something amazing. Sliding tiles around actually changes the sequence, all reading the blocks, in a terrific real-world, physical user interface. (Well, it certainly pleased the crowds at the Music Hack Day at SONAR in Barcelona.) And yes, this means the team we saw earlier keeps working on this. Intrepid hackers can use the just-barely-hidden Lua back-end of Maschine to do their own custom scripting. More on that soon. In the meantime, let’s check out the details:


Events: Canada Gets Its First Music Hack Day, as Hackers Take Montreal

Good fuel for coding and hacking? Bagels, natch. Photo by Dac Chartrand for CDM. Music Hack Day is an event that’s been gaining lots of steam. Packing engineering experimentation into a marathon session of collaborative, improvised work, followed by lots of sharing, the event tends to focus largely on Web services but also includes novel musical instruments and other inventions. The events have grown in depth, quality, and attendance – the New York event I attended was just massive. (See the intro video below.) And now, for the first time, there’s an event in Canada, in the tech-rich Quebec hub …


At Music Hack Day, Amidst Listening Interfaces, Novel Performance Control a Winner

One top prize-winner: Stringer, which applied Kinect camera magic to simulated strings. More on how it was made below. Photo (CC-BY) Thomas Bonte. With Web data providers offering generous cash prizes and a strong emphasis on harnessing data to transform listening, music consumption took center stage at Music Hack Day’s debut in New York. But it was novel music controllers, the sort that once were commonplace only at academic music conferences, that stole the show. That suggests that whereas building the next MySpace was once the hot music tech, the future might look more like a race to build the …


Music Hack Day London Registration This Week; Your Music Wanted

Music Hack Day from Your Neighbours on Vimeo. Music Hack Day rolls into London September 4-5 with a huge lineup, ranging from Domino Records to Queen Mary, University of London, and I expect some real work on music creation hacking, not just the Web. If you want to register, time is short – registration closes this coming Friday August 6 (or, erm, 6 August). Dave Haynes also reminds us that the Music Hack Day is looking for musical contributions to give the above promo video a soundtrack. If you’re looking for a chance to promote your sound skills, upload a …


Don’t Mean A Thing: Swinger Adds Swing to Anything

Photo (CC) John Manoogian III. Wish you could make any track swing? Tristan Jehan, grad of the MIT Hyperinstruments Group and c0-founder of The Echo Nest, made that happen at San Francisco’s Music Hack Day. The Python code uses the Echo Nest’s sound-processing magic, available to the world via open Web APIs, in order to analyze tracks and re-synthesize them in swing form. The results are — well, somewhat terrifying, though in a cool way. Paul Lamere of Music Machinery points this our way and has a ton of examples on his terrific, sound geek-friendly blog. (The post must have …


Wild Musical Inventions from Berlin Hackday

Nodes of musical events, arrayed onto virtual tracks, in Jakob Penca’s iLoveAcid sequencer. Take a weekend, and make something: that’s the challenge behind the Music Hack Day, which joins a growing phenomenon of events built around collective creation. (CDM held its own tangible interface hackday online, which I definitely hope to follow up soon!) Initiated by Dave Haynes of music sharing service Soundcloud, the Hack Day has already hit London. Many of the events were Web app-based and focused on consumption rather than creation of music, but we also saw a chordal synth plug-in and beer bottle percussion instrument. The …