Fugue machine is how Bach would have made a sequencer

I have two words for you: multiple playheads. Oh sure, you’ve got your piano rolls and your step sequencers and your arpeggiators. But can you roll like Johann Sebastian (or Arnold… as in Schoenberg)? Can you take a single melody, and make more complex patterns by echoing them, turning them upside down? That’s the idea […]

Envelop Wants to Make an Ambisonic 3D Venue and Tools

3D, spatialized sound is some part of the future of listening – both privately and in public performances. But the question is, how? Right now, there are various competing formats, most of them proprietary in some way. There are cinema formats (hello, Dolby), meant mainly for theaters. There are research installations, such as those in […]

Don’t Miss Five of the Most Futuristic Music and Audio Hacks: Pictures from SF

Put some of the best brains in music and sound together in a room. Give them a deadline. Tell them to invent the future as quickly as they can. What results is crazy, from better ways of teaching music production to composing inside Minecraft to strapping displays on your wrist to simulate the Apple Watch […]

SF’s Robotspeak, Music Geek Heaven – And Elsewhere On Earth? [Video, Survey]

There are a few spots in the world that are active hotspots for music tech geekery, and in San Francisco, it’s definitely all about Robotspeak. CNET’s Donald Bell – known to some of us back in the day as terrific IDM producer Chachi Jones – visits the store that once employed him. (This gives me […]

In Videos, a Battle of Controllers and Live Electronic Performance

In a competitive show of virtuosity, artists at an event in San Francisco over the summer battled to show that live electronic and laptop performance can be physical. It’s dance music that makes the artist sweat, and not just the audience. Hosted by the new Controllerism.com blog with San Francisco’s LoveTech and Slayer’s Club communities, […]

Extended Through Friday: One Button Objects Call

You have until Friday to change the way we think about buttons. We live in the age of multi-touch, of sophisticated GPS and accelerometers tracking gestures, of augmented reality and $100 computers. In other words, it’s the perfect time to meditate on the lowly button. And as visualists and designers, you have a unique relationship […]

Through Friday, Making One-Button Objects, Chip-Infused Hackday Saturday

“Press play” … “button-mashing” … the very criticism of digital music is often directed at the button or switch, even as the cult hit monome spreads arrays of buttons like a virus. Well, we’re still interested in what you can do with a button, so to fully focus you, we’re only giving you one button […]

DIY Music Tech Community Round-up; Reflecting on the State of Music DIY?

The elegant patterns of a circuit board, as photographed by / (CC-BY) Last week, what was intended to be a day of posts wound up being several days of updates on events centered around music technology and DIY creation. Here’s a birds-eye view of what we covered, some of the events you can catch in […]

Participate: One Button Game Objects, Handmade Music in NYC, Amsterdam, SF

It’s a call for one-button works. Literally. Sorry. Photo (CC) Jeff Keyzer. What can you do with a button? What circuits can you bend? What software and hardware can you construct? Want to meet up with myself and fellow makers from the DIY music and visualist communities? I’m touring and looking for new works, we […]

dubSpot Kicks of Live 8+APC Workshop Tour in San Francisco – CDM Discount

Guitarist/composer/musician Christopher Willits is on faculty for the dubSpot series. Photo (CC) Buzz Andersen. dubSpot, the West Coast + East Coast music technology training center is doing an eight-city tour of the US to talk about Ableton Live 8 and the Akai APC40 controller. They’re enlisting some of my favorite people to do the workshops. […]