Black Friday: $99 Each for Reaktor, Absynth, Massive, FM8

A Thanksgiving cornucopia of sound, made cheap. Photo (CC) Lawrence OP. Winter is coming. If you had to hole up with just one instrument, getting deep into programming sounds while venturing out of your abode only for essential supplies, any one of these instruments would easily fit the bill. Yes, Native Instruments bundles (nearly) everything they make into the Komplete bundle. But truly, any one of these creations would be a sonic rabbit hole into which you could climb. In ascending order of rabbit-hole-ness: Massive: Drag-and-drop modulation, rich wavetables, and an emphasis on bass and leads make this a sonic …

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Making it as a New Artist: Trent Reznor and Techdirt Founder on What to Do Now

We’ve all watched and commented on bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails releasing free albums and still profiting by them. Will this model still work for new artists, though? Trent Reznor posted yesterday that the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication reissue is “how you sell music today”. As a rebuttal to the usual “that only works for established artists” replies, he’s followed this up with an extended post on what artists who haven’t reached the Beasties or NIN level of profile can do to get established. NIN’s $300 deluxe edition of Ghosts sold out in under two days, grossing $750,000. …

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Native Instruments Komplete $399 Fire Sale; NI Noisepages Networking

Reaktor… you know, for kids! Oli, age 7. Photo (CC) Laura Whitehead. Normally, pricing announcements and sales press releases bore me to tears, but this is actually news – Native Instruments is selling Komplete for July only at just US$/EUR 399, instead of $1139/EUR999. That means if you were looking for Reaktor alone – about as good a desert island music software choice as you can find – this would be a good deal. You also get Absynth, the absurdly deep (if sometimes baffling) synth with surround sound envelopes and a workflow that could change how you think about sound, …

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Universal Music: Out with DRM, In with Google Android and Mobile

Photo (CC) lee leblanc. CNET has a terrific interview with Rio Caraeff of Universal Music Group’s eLabs. Caraeff is a new breed of record exec – the kind of people we’d actually want running the industry. He’s a software guy and a mobile guy. UMG digital chief on iTunes, DRM, and Android [CNET Digital Media] The record industry has clearly seen the light on DRM, so that’s not really news, except that now you can see them saying it in public (and I imagine there has been long-running internal lobbying from those in the industry who got it long ago). …

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Recession Specials: From Tenori-On to Little Phatty, Costco Blue Mic Deal to Soft Steinway

Illustration (CC) Dani Armengol, who just became my hero. Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Who need them? The entire month of December seems to be on sale when it comes to music tech. Christmas (and Hanukkah, for that matter) are nearly here. Whether it’s economic pressure or just some aggressive holiday pricing, there are some big deals out there that could make excellent gifts – or might just give you a nice list for shopping for yourself before or after the holidays. (Yes, it’s true: most of what readers suggested in our “gift guide” for the CDM Winter 08 special wasn’t …

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Keyboard + Monome = One Crazy DIY Instrument Hybrid by STS9’s David Phipps, Plus New Album/Tour

The Monome is small and elegant, but there’s something to be said for traditional instrumental controllers like a keyboard. So why not combine them? David Phipps of the electronic jam band Sound Tribe Sector 9 did just that, and sends CDM this photo of the project in process. He’s off on a five week tour starting Friday, so it’ll be on hold for a bit, but even not-quite-done I had to share it. David writes: i hope to bring ‘The Peaceblaster’ on tour in the fall. note the unashamed reference to our album available July 8th:) i picked up a …

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Exclusive: Free (Cardstock) Minimoog Model Offer Extended

If you missed getting a free Minimoog model with the purchase of landmark ambient album Gas0095 from label Microscopics and still want it, we’ve got good news for you. Microscopics have extended the offer, exclusively for Create Digital Music readers. Paul writes: "If they enter the code CreateDigitalMusic.com in the ‘Add special instructions for the Merchant‘ field in PayPal, we’ll extend the offer until July 14th. Not getting any promotional fees for pitching this; I’m genuinely excited about my papercraft Moog and the album! (Though I think I may have Microscopics buy me a beer if I see them…) In …

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Metallica Attempts to Be Beloved Trent Reznor, Fails

Eliot Van Buskirk has, as always, terrific music coverage for Wired. The story this time: how Metallica’s Radiohead/Nine Inch Nails-style Internet release, free of DRM, seems only to make people angry. It gives a glimpse into how the Internet release could evolve over time, outside the aura of joy in which the latter two bands are enveloped. I can make the story short, though: In many circles, Metallica is no longer cool or never was cool. Lawyer make people MAD. Angry. Smash. (Apparently in addition to going after 60,000 pages of fans on Napster, Metallica doesn’t even like fan-made buttons.) …

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Tenori-On is Shipping in US; Tenori-On Meets Kyma Synth

Tenori-on Meets Kyma from Nomad Cinema on Vimeo. US distributor Keyfax NewMedia reports that it has Yamaha’s Tenori-On in stock and shipping out now. (Pre-orders began at the beginning of May, but this is apparently the first the US unit has made it to our shows — unless you happened to win one from createdigitalmusic.com, that is, in April, in which case you know who you are.) Every time I mention Tenori-On, despite the awe and lust it inspires in some musicians, someone raises the point of its somewhat retro-styled, simple sound bank. Fair enough: the minimal sounds are fantastic …

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Microscopics Play with Scale on Gas0095, Give You Tiny Moog Model

Gas0095, the landmark 90s ambient release by Mat Jarvis (Gas / High Skies), is back in a remastered version. If you know the music, you’re probably already thrilled by the return of this epic sonic world; if not, even non-ambient fans are likely to get a kick out of the spacey, synthy goodness. (Best press quote: “the ideal soundtrack to an IMAX film on the history of space travel.” You had me at IMAX.) Paul from Microscopics (the label) writes to tell us they’re sweetening the pot with a 1/8 scale Minimoog freebie for all June preorders. (Nanomoog?) It’s brilliant …

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