The Monster: DIY Project Looks, And Sounds, Like Alien Spacecraft Control Panel

Leave it to the DIYer. Alex Pleninger’s name isn’t just marketing. This is one monster of a synth creation, looking and sounding like it was ripped, circuits still humming, from a wrecked UFO. Retro trackball, keyboard? Check. In-built computer display? Check. Makes … a mind-boggling array of sounds? Oh, yes. It’s retro-future goodness, powered by the legendary SID, Robert “Bob” Yannes’ synth-on-a-chip that powered the Commodore 64. (In fact, get Bob and Wolfgang together, and you have a fair amount of digital synthesis history – with Ensoniq and PPG represented. See today’s other story.) Thanks to Marc Resibois for the …

READ MORE →
"Look, [darling significant other], it'll even be totally at home in our modern decor!" Photos courtesy the artist.

Flying Saucer UFO Controller, Ultrasonic MIDI Instrument; Coming as Kit [Arduino]

The desire to be a little different in a band might drive someone to choose a custom guitar, or maybe, you know, change their hair. For some, it drives them to build a giant flying saucer they can play like an instrument by waving their hands. No, MIDI controller, don’t destroy Earth. Klaatu barada nikto. That’s the case with Helsinki-born artist Tommi Koskinen, now doing this as part of an MA thesis in the Media Lab of Aalto University. Another strange gestural controller? Yes. But this flying saucer might just land a bit closer to home. This is just the …

READ MORE →

Dear Elektron: Do You Need Some More Natural Sunlight?

Jeez. Maybe you should just pick up a Monomachine from Craigslist, because it seems like life with the Analog Four might be a bit … uh … apocalyptic. Other thoughts: 1. Winter in Sweden: it’s dark. Not a lot of sunlight. Your synth teasers can start to get a bit … odd. 2. First Aid kits. Keep them around the house. (Alternatively, speaking of Sweden, keep First Aid Kit around to sing you something cheery.) 3. “ATTENTION!!! POLICE ARE WATCHING! IS THERE A VIRUS? IS THIS THE SOURCE? 3 BILLION DIE?” Sorry… I may have just confused Elektron’s analog synth …

READ MORE →
"I don't always make music by the pool, but when I do, I use Roland." Like a boss: Giorgio Moroder.

Giorgio Moroder Rarities Free on SoundCloud; The Most Interesting Electronic Man in the World?

He’s been called the father of disco. He has Oscars for Top Gun, Flashdance, and Midnight Express. (Impressive with or without Oscars.) And he scored the epic of 80s youth childhood, The Never-Ending Story – and the original Battlestar Galactica. He’s worked with Bowie, and Freddy Mercury, and Blondie. He’s a pioneer in composing for electronic music, but he’s also earned honors for automotive engineering, with a hand in developing his own 16-cylinder sports car. Even the man’s mustache is legendary. Giorgio Moroder is obviously a very smart man. And so he’s smart enough to use SoundCloud to earn yet …

READ MORE →

Pedestrians, Re-Sequenced: Walking Becomes Audiovisual Performance in “LAYERS”

LAYERS (teaser) / Audiovisual performance from NOhista on Vimeo. In Madeleine L’Engle’s seminal science fiction novel A Wrinkle in Time, the characters on Camazotz walk in time to a pervasive beat produced by a telepathic brain known as IT. In “LAYERS,” synchronistic pedestrians are perhaps not so sinister. But in a more playful experiment, those figures become part of an audiovisual composition, a kind of beat-sequenced set of sampled walking people moving through volumes of color. The result is that an otherwise ordinary, mundane feature of the landscape becomes aesthetic. Pedestrians, in other words, need not be pedestrian. More information:

READ MORE →

Pedestrians, Re-Sequenced: Walking Becomes Audiovisual Performance in "LAYERS"

LAYERS (teaser) / Audiovisual performance from NOhista on Vimeo. In Madeleine L’Engle’s seminal science fiction novel A Wrinkle in Time, the characters on Camazotz walk in time to a pervasive beat produced by a telepathic brain known as IT. In “LAYERS,” synchronistic pedestrians are perhaps not so sinister. But in a more playful experiment, those figures become part of an audiovisual composition, a kind of beat-sequenced set of sampled walking people moving through volumes of color. The result is that an otherwise ordinary, mundane feature of the landscape becomes aesthetic. Pedestrians, in other words, need not be pedestrian. More information:

READ MORE →

Minority Report Meets GarageBand: Airborne Beats is Hand-Controlled Music Making

From the Lab: Airborne Beats from Oblong Industries on Vimeo. With hand gestures recalling those that first reached the mainstream in Minority Report, “Airborne Beats” lets you make music just by gesturing with your hands and fingers in mid-air. You can drag around audio samples, and make gestures for control, controlling both production and performance. Coming from the labs at Oblong, it’s the latest etude in a long series of these kind of interfaces (see below). They in turn point out this could work with any time-based interface. And because of the nature of the interface, it also makes those …

READ MORE →

Bitwig in Staged Beta; Video Reveals Features Up Close, Strange Song Lyrics

Live performance DAW Bitwig Studio is now moving forward with their beta, and a video demo this time provides a clearer look at what the software actually does. Ableton Live users, just be prepared for more of a sense of deja vu all over again: “Bitwig Studio has two views: the Arranger View, and the Mixer view. Both views share a powerful non-linear environment called the Clip Launcher.” Let’s talk for a moment about why that similarity has people talking. How is this any different from other DAWs that share common editing paradigms? Is Bitwig any more a “clone” of …

READ MORE →

Ments, Short Animation, Transports You To Wondrous Underwater Alien World

Ments, an audiovisual collaboration between sound creators Echoic Audio and London-based motion artist Jordi Pages, almost needs no introduction. It jacks your brain deep into the oceans of some alien world. There’s no clear narrative, but perhaps this is what Pixar narrative is like if you’re from a different solar system. Jordi offers up some of the technical details: The main software used is Cinema 4D R13 with the dynamics simulation and optimize afterwards for time remapping and texturing. Coloring and grading was done in AE and credits and post effects were done with Plexus. Have a look, and if …

READ MORE →
kingbritt_sns

Analog Frontiers: Listen to King Britt’s New Fhloston Paradigm EP [CDM Track Stream, FACT Mix]

Finding new sounds in our pulsing electronics means refining our working techniques isn’t just a technical matter. It’s a musical one. King Britt, who has been granted many successful musical incarnations over the years, set off on just such a quest under his new identity Fhloston Paradigm. In a much-watched debut EP for brilliant UK imprint Hyperdub, the Philadelphia artist produces an out-of-this-world, cinematic sonic journey. King is perhaps best known as a name in house music; here, the style is experimental, but the groove rolls behind each track, sequencers softly shuffling along in a way that makes them seem …

READ MORE →