figurekorg

Get simple cheap mobile music making tips in these videos

Backpack-friendly rigs on the cheap are yours – if you know how to put them together. Fortunately, we’ve got some expert help. For starters… fancy tools? No. Sync? Who needs it. Just a Korg Kaossilator and the Propellerhead Figure app are part of a little jam here from our friend Jakob Haq.

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chrisconnected

Watch iConnectAUDIO4+ Connect Absolutely Everything

I know you’ve been there. Somehow, even with a small assortment of gear, you find that you have exactly the wrong combination of plugs. It’s actually even worse if you’ve bought into the inexpensive mobile music revolution. iPads are chock full of apps; little boxes like the KORG volcas can be great fun. But… the iPads don’t have any ports, and compact devices (including our own MeeBlip) often have just MIDI in to save space. And then there’s trying to clock everything. That’s why I’m really excited by the promise of the iConnectAUDIO4+. (And I know from feedback, I’m not …

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syd

No Longer Invisible: Images of Women Working with Music Technology

Coinciding with International Womens’ Day, advocacy group and networking platform Female Pressure yesterday launched themselves on Tumblr. In a stream of photos, they’ve been sharing images of female-identified artists engaged in process with music creation technology. (Some randomly-selected images are here; see the rest via the link below.) The images alone are a humbling and inspiring for me, just because I see so many familiar faces – friends and artists that have been personal role models for my work, including in moments of personal struggle as an artist and writer. The idea, say Female Pressure, was partly a response to …

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Erika: Musical Restraint, Space, Future, BBSes, Detroit [Interview]

From being a long-time mainstay of the Detroit scene to, at last, debuting a proper solo LP with Hexagon Cloud, the one word that can sum up Erika for me is, simply, “inspiring.” And if Hexagon Cloud’s perfectly-calibrated analog sounds and imaginative musical frequencies indulge our futuristic sonic fantasies, here we get the chance to talk to Erika a bit about what lies beyond musical parameters, too. That ranges from Detroit (past the fetishization of ruined buildings, please) to the liberation of early-90s BBSing to the appeal of outer space. You can listen to Erika’s work and revisit some reflections …

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In Drawings, A Producer Looks at Big Acts’ Live Laptop Rigs, Deadmau5 to FlyLo

In a charming set of schematic doodles, self-described hip-hop producer deejers has assembled an exquisitely-researched compendium of live laptop rigs from top music acts. In the lineup: Flying Lotus, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Daft Punk – a reasonable sampling of artists playing big shows live on the US circuit. And, oh, yes, deadmau5, who despite claiming that everyone just presses play, has put together a fairly impressive controller setup with monome, Maschine, Lemur, and Pioneer EFX-1000. (Just one of those four controllers could let you assemble a track from scratch, let alone all four.)

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The VJ Rigs That Power Momo (for deadmau5), Eclectic Method, Live [VDMX]

What’s making performance video shows tick for the like of live visuals for deadmau5 and Eclectic Method? And once those tools are in order, how do the artists express their ideas live? Vidvox, makers of Mac live visual tool VDMX, have kicked off their own blog offering some insights into how people are actually making stuff with their software. We saw one very nice example portfolio yesterday working with VDMX. And here are two more excellent examples. First up, our friend Momo the Monster, who last guided us through his live Glitch Mob show, is now working on deadmau5. The …

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Can make the biggest acts' live shows tick - but can also rock a live performance like she's just landed from a flying saucer. Check. Laura Escudé, achieving superhuman levels of music-technological knowhow, can still share what she's learned with us Earthlings.

Live Music Tools at the Bleeding Edge: Laura Escudé, From Herbie Hancock Collabs to Solo (Live Berlin, Sat)

It’s one thing to talk about tools. It’s quite another to put them into action, to make them withstand the rigors of creative process and idiosyncracy, let alone the torture test of touring. Laura Escudé is as deep in the trenches, on a day-to-day basis, as just about anyone on the planet. The music tech guru has worked with some of the world’s best-known artists, bending technology to their imaginative desires and world-trotting live shows. (Think Herbie Hancock, Bon Iver, and Cirque du Soleil, among others.) But she’s still found time to develop her own, unique sonic voice and live …

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glitch_apclayout

Glitch Factory: A Complete Performance Environment for APC40 + Ableton Live

Some people release remixable stems. Some people release little tools or utilities. Glitch Factory is a complete tool set for live performance, combining performance presets, an Ableton Live set, and even remixable track stems. It’s like getting to borrow someone else’s computer to see how they play – after they first cleaned everything up and made it usable for you. It’s a chance to break out of your performance world and walk in someone else’s shoes for a bit, then use that starting point to warp things into your own musical aims. The work of Mr. Bill and Will Marshall, …

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Featured Live Reel: Dub Video Connection (Lisbon); a Look at What They Do

Lisbon, Portugal-based multimedia studio Dub Video Connection shares their 2011 showreel with CDM, as they play big-screen visuals with some of electronic music’s biggest acts. (Yes, it helps having this kind of showreel and documentation!) I love the high-energy abstraction and patterns amidst high-contrast ephemeral imagery, so I asked the artists to tell us a little about their inspiration and the rig that makes it happen. They tell CDM: We are a multimedia studio that explores video art as a tool of improvisation, speech, and ambient design. We are based on a premise of pure visual impact, where the influences …

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Colored Cubes Light Up in Responsive DJ Stage for "The Paranormal Unicorn"

So, you probably think that you can bring out a massive array of colored LED boxes, have them pulse hypnotically to your music, and dazzle us, because we love color and light. You’re probably right. CDM reader Stefan Yazzie writes: A few friends and I created this audio-visual DJ stage to accompany our live shows. We are the visual collective ‘The Paranormal Unicorn’ and this is our new baby. It’s made of wood, plexiglass, some custom programming, a lot of electronics and even more love. DJ duo Skitzophonics plays the music atop the stage, which involved, say the creators, “hundreds …

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