Drawing Sound: Crazy Touch Interface Sound Experiments with Usine, PC

The quickest route to expressing an idea remains the gesture of a hand. That gesture may be crudely interpreted through today’s touch displays, but the immediacy remains. Presumably because of some of the device’s limitations, a lot of the experiments with the iPad have involved controllers that operate independently from sound software, like a remote control. Those interfaces, while useful, largely simulate existing hardware controls in a more flexible form, rather than introduce new ideas. But it seems the long-term potential for touch devices is in designs that unite touch, graphic, and sound in a single piece of software, exploring …

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Artist, Software Maker, monomist makingthenoise, Talks His New Album

mtn, at work in his bedroom studio, in medium-format film glory. All photos courtesy the artist. Artists and engineers, coders and musicians – maybe once these were perceived as separate cultures, but today, you can find people tap-dancing across the categories with ease – people like Adam. Adam Ribaudo, aka makingthenoise, is known in the monome community as the creator of SevenUp, an Ableton Live and Max for Live construction that is so named for combining seven functions. It is Navigation, Stepper, Sequencer, Controller, Looper, Loop Recorder, Melodizers, Clip Launcher, and Masterizer. But Adam is also a force in live …

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Try a Fully-Loaded, Pre-Tuned Linux Workstation on Your Laptop, Netbook: Sale

Renoise + Linux is a delicious combination. Ah, there’s nothing like bleeding-edge laptop performance. And to really convey to your audience that you’re indeed playing live, there’s nothing like glitches, dropouts, and crashing in the middle of a live set. It brings that homespun, digital authenticity to your performance, as you… Okay, who am I kidding? You may be longing for a more stable, predictable, controllable mobile music rig. One way to get there is with the Linux operating system. The problem, however, is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, that setup can wind up being less stable, …

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Obsessive Windows 7 Under-the-Hood Guide for Music; Can You Finally Dump XP?

Windows 7 running on a laptop, as photographed by / (CC) Luke Roberts. Windows 7 makes far subtler changes than Vista did, which gives it an opportunity to refine features by the ship date. And it’s been tested unusually widely, by testers like Luke. Windows matters. It’s what roughly half of CDM readers use, and – for all the attention Apple gets – it’s a big part of the computer music world. Windows today also faces many of the same under-the-hood challenges that other operating systems do, so even if you’re a die-hard Linux or Mac user, you may want …

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VJ Video Review: Uncompressed HD Mixing with Matrox MXO2 Mini and Laptops

Matrox MXO2-Mini review for VJs. Uncompressed HD mixing laptop to laptop. from vade on Vimeo. Enough of low-resolution hardware mixing. Our friend Anton aka vade has dreamed for some time of doing full, uncompressed HD mixing of two laptops. And he means laptops — not luggable towers or anything like that. It’s a common enough scenario. These days, most visualists practice their art on computers. To collaborate, that means mixing those visuals together. But by the time you plug in an Edirol V-4 or even our beloved Vixid – love that hardware as we do – you lose a significant …

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RED Digital Camera, Meet Sony Vegas 9: First Impressions

No, you’re not imagining things. That is in fact 4096-pixel-wide footage you’re editing, right in Sony Vegas. What happens when digital cinematography meets a favorite desktop video editing app for mortals? When our friend Nathanaël Lécaudé, also a talented multitouch developer, said he had encountered some work with RED, I was really curious to know first-hand what the experience was like. Sony Vegas is a curious creature – it’s the name you hear least when talking about desktop video editing, until you talk to users, at which point this Windows-only tool gets near-cult status. It’s especially big among visualists because …

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Gustavo Bravetti, Driving Crowds Wild with a Wave of His Wii-Enabled Hands

Gustavo Bravetti – Alternative Controllers @ Tribaltech 2009 (SC edition) from Gustavo Bravetti on Vimeo. Friend of the Site Gustavo Bravetti is back, getting the young Brazilian boys and girls on their feet with his virtual reality glove and Wiimotes and gesturally-controlled electronica. Gustavo sends us this video from the 2009 Tribaltech SC Edition in Campinas. Having seen a lot of DJs take the easy way out at festivals in front of throngs of people, it’s great to see someone really play his laptop – and while some of us, ahem, look goofy waving Wiimotes around, Gustavo makes it look …

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Rain Diablo Audio Quad Laptop: Powerful Enough to Be Kind of Ridiculous

Rain Recording make audio-ready notebooks – that is, they’re pre-tested to function well with audio software, with Windows tweaks, driver selection, and configuration all chosen and tested for music and visual production, and no crapware installed. They’re one of a handful of music-friendly vendors that does that (see also: PCAudioLabs, etc.). Given that the PC music making experience can range from awesome to awful depending on which hardware and (particularly) drivers you’re on, that’s no small matter. Rain has always styled themselves a premium brand. But the latest Diablo really does go to extremes spec-wise. It’ll cost you – base …

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Universal Audio UAD-2 SOLO Will Add DSP Power to Your Laptop for $499

I’ve been waiting for the near-ubiquitous ExpressCard slot on laptops to see some audio goodness, so one of the more welcome announcements of NAMM is that there’s now finally an ExpressCard-enabled version of the Universal Audio platform. The UAD is a DSP platform for computers, with an emphasis on high-quality, boutique mastering and effects plug-ins, including some recent, familiar emulations of classic Roland and Moog gear. UA’s stuff really does sound great, and host support has been improving (look for the key words “latency compensation” in your host of choice). So it’s about time that laptop users get in on …

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Gig Rigs: Girl Talk – PC, Plastic Wrap, and AudioMulch

Photo: Jordan Harris. Used on CDM by permission. Yes, for the record, that is a young woman screaming to the sounds of AudioMulch. Believe. Jordan Harris was able to snag some screenshots of Girl Talk’s rig. There’s not much to tell: a laptop, a mouse, and in a sign of the growing stature of Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis), some very practical plastic wrap to protect the machine. What’s unique about Gregg’s work is that this computer doesn’t clear out the room: it attracts screaming throngs of fans. Especially lady fans, proof that this does not have to be a sport …

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