Huggable Plush Synths and Soft Circuits, and Handmade Music NYC Thurs!

Electronics and synths are hard and you can’t hug them; plush animals and toys and blankets and pillows are soft and huggable. And we won’t even get started on the slightly-absurd gender associations of soft textiles and hard, toxic electronics. Or at least, so goes the traditional assumption. But increasingly, designers are becoming interested in soft design. So in a last-minute addition to Handmade Music NYC, Richie Brown has added plush instruments – a ring modulator and two synths, which in turn can be patched together. They’re instruments you can hug. (Next step: make the connections soft, too, I think.) …

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Designing Sound: Essential Blog Reading for Sound Designers, Plus Pixar’s Up

“UP” Sound for Film Profile from Michael Coleman on Vimeo. Miguel Isaza has created a must-read new blog for anyone interested in sound design, and much to our delight has put it on noisepages. He’s being incredibly prolific with posts, covering creative projects to get your ideas flowing, terrific overviews of leading people in the field with links to interviews and resources for learning about their work, and tons of links for learning your craft technologically and artistically. http://designingsound.createdigitalmusic.com/ Naturally, Pixar figures prominently, with some of the best sound design on the silver screen in recent years. I’m looking forward …

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Exclusive: Free Ableton Live Slicing Pack by Covert Operators

Slice of Winter from Bjorn Vayner on Vimeo. Hate soundware and generic downloaded samples? You’ll love this. The “Slice of Winter” sound pack created by Covert Operators for CDM doesn’t have a single sound in it – not one; you bring your own. Instead, install this pack and you get a whole mess of slicing presents for use with Ableton Live’s Slice to New MIDI Track feature. Grab an audio clip (or record your own), hit Slice to New MIDI Track, apply a preset, and you get a new Drum Rack instance with slices mapped to pads, effects, and live …

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Free Patches for Cakewalk’s Rapture Synth, Plus FL Studio, Reason, More

If you’re hungry for some patch content, the download-rich PatchArena has you covered, with a massive library of free, user-created content: PatchArena Downloads There are particularly large sections for the all-in-one studios EnergyXT, FL Studio, and a number of others. (Correction: Intua BeatMaker for iPhone/iPod Touch is promised, as well, though I got my categories confused — no files there now, so we’ll check in if some get posted! But it could be a great place to upload BeatMaker presets; see the thread on PatchArena’s forum.) Francesco Silvestri writes CDM to let us know about his latest addition, a huge …

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Hello, Maker Faire Attendees

Hello, coming to you live from San Mateo and the Maker Faire hosted by Make Magazine. If you stopped by the CDM booth today, I hope you stick around a while. This site, for musicians, DJs, composers, and soundmakers, covers the audible side. Create Digital Motion covers VJing and live and interactive visuals (for an audience we like to call visualists). We cover store-bought hardware and software as well as DIY, and love having everyone from beginners to advanced readers around. Here are some links to more information on some of what I was showing: Sensors and MIDI: Working with …

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Macworld: Becoming a Mac Visualist – Live Visual Resources

Once, digital image editing was a fringe medium. Now, almost everyone who uses a computer does basic image editing. So, I’m pleased to get to talk today at Macworld Expo about live visuals and reactive/interactive animation. I chose some relatively simple examples since time was short, just to cover the basics. I think some of these might be useful to people at the show and away from it, so I’ll share them here. Visualism 101 DJs and computer musicians have turned electronic and electrical music into live, improvisatory forms. Likewise, motion graphics, video, and animation are evolving from being exclusively …

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Get Your DVD Distributed on Amazon.com in Seven Easy Steps (and Countless Difficult Sub-Steps)

Studiodaily has a fluff piece for Customflix which caught the attention of HD4NDs. Step by step instructions. Pretty easy looking, actually. If you have an indie produced film with no distribution deal, this is one way to get it out on the market (albeit with no marketing, and closing off other distro deals). But it is there. For an indie filmmaker who’s spent a chunk of their life and all their savings on a project this may be a last resort. For a visualist producing loop or installation DVDs this looks like a great option, giving you a professionally printed …

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Arduino and Processing Beginner Links: LEDs, Physical Sensors, Lighting

I received my Arduino today, and in preparation I’ve been saving up some Arduino/Wiring/Processing links of interest to a newbie physical-computerer. If you haven’t Arduino’d before, here’s Todbot on why it’s a rocking little microcontroller. Tod also tells us how to make an Arduino Breadboard Shield, for quick circuit prototyping. You should probably familiarise yourself with the Arduino Board, then have a look at ARDUINO meets PROCESSING – physical computing and computer graphics site: Projects containing the basic physical interactions mediated by an Arduino board. The Arduino meets Processing project intends to make it as easy as possible for anyone …

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Data Mining for Fun and Projection

I pulled Digg from my RSS reader soon after they opened up more categories a month or so ago. That site was killed by Popular Website: Retard Influx Syndrome faster than anything I’ve ever seen. So I wasn’t up to date enough to check out the 20 million “private” search queries AOL published before it was pulled on the weekend. Fortunately some enterprising souls have mirrored the files and created sites with searchable databases, so we can all practice our online private eye skills, or even better, get all visualist and create projects using the data! (Un?)fortunately AOL doesn’t seem …

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Monetize Your Clips: iStockPhoto launches iStockVideo

Welcome starving visualists! I know there’s plenty of you reading this. Well, perhaps not starving, but you’d definitely like more pocket money so you can buy some of the cool stuff you’re seeing on CDMo or CDMu. You’ve got plenty of original material right? Now all you need is a way for that material to make you some money, a way that doesn’t involve carting all of your precious gear to some grimy club and producing beautiful live imagery alongside music of questionable artistic merit. Make money while sitting at home in your socks watching My Name Is Earl. Sound …

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