What Really Makes Rhythms Human? New Research Investigates Perception, Preference, Tech

Machine rhythm: the steps on a Roland TR-808. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Brandon Daniel. What makes rhythm human? Music technology has introduced machine rhythms, perfectly-calibrated to electronically-perfected grids, yet we know that natural playing is more organic. Or, that is, we know we have certain intuitive preferences. How do those preferences and rhythms really work? And what does that mean for music technology? Fascinating new research investigates more deeply, using – you know, science! Here’s the summary of the research itself: Although human musical performances represent one of the most valuable achievements of mankind, the best musicians perform imperfectly. Musical rhythms are …


Ableton Live 8 Creative Tutorial Videos: Misusing Frequency Shifter

“Frequency Shifter”: that’s for, um, frequency shifting, right? Not necessarily. As Ableton’s Dennis DeSantis shows us in our final video tutorial of this series, in addition to the usual special effects, frequency shifting can be used for subtler results, like fine-tuning percussion. He shows us how to make the Frequency Shifter into a powerful tool for sound sculpting and sound design. I’ve always enjoyed Live’s effects and the approaches they encourage to sound, so I really welcome this example. Got more tutorials you’d like to see? Let us know. Subscribe to CDM TV: Our video series for music and motion …