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. …

READ MORE →

Play a Retro-Sounding Commodore 64 Emulation in a Browser with WebSID

Dirty, low-fidelity digital sound comes to your shiny, high-fidelity digital device. Yes, WebSID is a beautifully-grungy emulation of the legendary SID synthesis in the Commodore 64. Because it runs in a Web browser, it’s also stupidly-simple to use. On computers, the keys are cleverly mapped to your keyboard, so you can jam by typing. On a phone or tablet with capable browser, you can use touch, meaning this is a bit like having an app. It sounds remarkable, all using the Web Audio API, with a nice filter, envelope controls, and delay, plus lots of authentic sound features (including properly …

READ MORE →

10 Great Releases From 2013 You Might Have Missed

Happiness is a list of new SoundCloud links to follow, records to go buy, artist names and sounds that are new – not the reappearance of repeated artists and musicians, usual suspects, and expected names, but something to actually discover. So, we’re grateful to CDM contributor Matt Earp, aka Kid Kameleon, for his selecting talents. Grab the headphones. -Ed. Top 10 lists are played out. Deconstructing what’s bad about Top 10 lists is ALSO played out. And people who make Top 10 lists miss a lot of music for all kinds of reasons – because an album isn’t in a …

READ MORE →

KORG M01D for Nintendo 3DS, Surprising Mobile Music Workstation [Listening]

The KORG M01D app, available now for about a month for Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, seems the definition of anachronism. It’s a mobile Nintendo DS music app in an age of iPhones and iPads. It’s based on a 1988 digital synth, even as analog is back and style. You use it with a stylus. You can look at the keyboard, which is essentially flat – in 3D. (Well, then you get to see the … flatness … really with some depth.) But guess what? It’s also wickedly good. Like, good enough to try to pick up a 3DS on the cheap? …

READ MORE →

Light Art, Music, and Audiovisual Creations, Stacked Vertically in 19 Floors: TodaysArt [Video]

Art in light and sound is routinely spread across venues, or sprawling through buildings in the horizontal. Not at TodaysArt. The festival in The Hague, Netherlands went vertical. Taking to the nineteen-floor tower of the former Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations (Binnenlandse Zaken) and the Atrium of the City Hall, the festival established their own space, even going as far as building a custom club (to house the likes of Clark, 2562, and Untold). In images and a beautiful documentary video, you can take a tour of the range of work they curated. It reveals that the latest trend …

READ MORE →

Hacking a TV, Remote Control into Music Tracker – And It Prints

It shows up on a standard (Teletext) television. It turns your remote control into a music interface. It makes glitching rhythmic music from sounds – even re-sampling bits of your TV. And then it prints your musical patterns. That’s the wild, far-out project concocted by chip artist goto80. The result is a “tracker, artificial intelligence, speech synthesis rap, stats sucker, printer, video feedback,” and music studio for your remote control, thanks to goto80, aided by the hackery of Peter Kwan and Raquel Meyers. Teletext may not be familiar to you depending on which part of the world you live in …

READ MORE →

Bleeding-Edge Musical Innovation, Live from CCRMA; Full Report, Monolake + Tarik Barri Live

Ivory tower, let down your hair. Make no mistake. The slightly-impossible-to-pronounce acronym CCRMA (“karma”), standing for the not-terribly-sexy “Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics,” is one of the world’s hotbeds for innovation in electronic music. From the lowest-level DSP code to the craziest live performances, this northern California research center nesting at Stanford is where a lot is going on. So, when they put on a concert, this isn’t just another dry exposition of “tape” pieces, academics scratching their chins and trying not to nod off. (Trust me: I’ve … on occasion darned nearly rubbed my chin raw …

READ MORE →
Photo courtesy the artist.

One Laser + Hourglass + Circuits = Crazy Gijs Noise Generator

Now, here’s the way to do an analog noise generator oscillator: use grains of sand. As falling sand interrupts the flow of a laser to a light-sensitive sensor (a photodetector), the circuit produces random oscillations of sound. It’s the latest brilliant creation of mad Dutch scientist Gijs Gieskes, the industrial designer-turned-musician whose inventions often center on some physical and mechanical apparatus. Just for good measure, the project is mounted to a clear frame so it can be fit to a Eurorack modular setup. You can try building this yourself; as with all of Gijs’ projects, the circuit is freely available …

READ MORE →

Morphing Abstractions to New Thom Yorke Superband, Tarik Barri's Poetry of Flatness

When Thom Yorke starts a new superband – and adds the Chili Peppers’ Flea, Radiohead producer and multi-instrumentalist Nigel Godrich, and percussion from both Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and Brazillian virtuoso Mauro Refosco (Chili Peppers, David Byrne) – you can bet people will pay attention to the music. Spoiler alert: the first single has the musical fingerprints of Yorke and Godrich all over it, of course. The album debuts February 25. But there’s also reason to pay attention to the visuals. Dutch-born, Berlin-based audiovisual programmer Tarik Barri got Thom’s call to add visuals to the catchy-but-chilly “Judge Jury and Executioner.” …

READ MORE →

Morphing Abstractions to New Thom Yorke Superband, Tarik Barri’s Poetry of Flatness

When Thom Yorke starts a new superband – and adds the Chili Peppers’ Flea, Radiohead producer and multi-instrumentalist Nigel Godrich, and percussion from both Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and Brazillian virtuoso Mauro Refosco (Chili Peppers, David Byrne) – you can bet people will pay attention to the music. Spoiler alert: the first single has the musical fingerprints of Yorke and Godrich all over it, of course. The album debuts February 25. But there’s also reason to pay attention to the visuals. Dutch-born, Berlin-based audiovisual programmer Tarik Barri got Thom’s call to add visuals to the catchy-but-chilly “Judge Jury and Executioner.” …

READ MORE →