Pictures at an Exhibition: Essential New Gear and Reflections from NAMM

Dewanatron’s Brian and Leon were on-hand with their unique inventions. Photos by Marsha Vdovin for CDM. For the lover of musical instruments and technology, southern California’s NAMM show is a giant toy shop. It’s work for many of its attendees, of course, but we know many of our readers dream of the objects that will make their next creations. And sure, inspiring lust is not our aim; on the contrary, there is some love that goes into these things. In the ideal, that’s the relationship of creator and consumer. These are things not to be bought and discarded, but kept …


Soundhack Goodness, Now as Pd and Max External Objects

Soundhack, the free audio tool for the Mac developed by audio wizard Tom Erbe, was long a beloved tool for doing strange and wonderful things for sound. It was followed by Spectral Shapers, Mac and Windows plug-ins that built on some of those ideas to do more “timbral morphing” with recorded audio. That includes “timbral filtering” and noise-reducing expansion with spectralcompand, drawn morphing filter shapes with morphfilter, audio positioning with binaural, and a terrific spectralgate for creative dynamics processing. In what can only come as great news to lovers of patching in the free and open source Pure Data (Pd) …


Extreme Time-stretched Hamsterdance and Free and Open Source Sound Treasures

Before Bieber, there was Hamsterdance – what in 1998 counted for viral on the Internet. In today’s ever-geekier times, even obscure sound software can go viral. Photo (CC-BY) twodolla / Wendy. In this age of the 24-hour news cycle and instant publication of stories, sometimes it’s good to slow down and wait. And thus, while for whatever reason I didn’t get around to mentioning the extreme audio stretching of a certain Justin Bieber track (see Synthtopia), I can’t let an ethereal, ambient reworking of 1998 Internet hit Hamsterdance go unnoticed, here shared on SoundCloud. As it happens, while folks have …