How OSCiLLOT is the Smartest Way to Put a Modular in Ableton

Racks and knob-encrusted modules and wires tangling together to make sound – this is a perfectly lovely thing. But the computer sitting in front of you, the one you probably turn to when it comes time to record and produce, is also capable of vast sonic powers. Why force a choice between the two, when that machine can let you explore the frontiers of sound, too? The recent announcement of OSCiLLOT brought open-ended patching to Ableton Live users. But it’s only getting started. Today, we get to see it evolve, learn to use it to make the sounds we imagine, …


Reinventing the Wheel: Engineering arc2, Digital Instrument from monome Creator [Gallery, Interview]

Engineering a production instrument is a kind of study in compromise. For mass-produced musical instruments, it’s a fusion of practicality and economics, made affordable by a mass-market supply chain. What makes the monome creations special isn’t just that they look beautiful; the art isn’t aesthetic only. They are uncommonly uncompromising. They’re designed in such a way that tells a story about materials, one that weaves connections between suppliers – many of them local suppliers – and focuses the experience of the device on the interface. They have the kind of obsessive attention to detail associated with the finest acoustic musical …


Enter Calico: Cracking Good Listening in Compilation Album, App, Videos

tricil – The Emancipation from Clear Notice on Vimeo. stretta – Calculus from Clear Notice on Vimeo. Forget the iPad app or cross-media visual interpretation for a moment. “Enter Calico,” the compilation debut of new electronic label Clear Notice Recordings, begins with some damned fine music listening. In a world after shallow labels like “IDM,” this collection of independent artists represents the current generation about as well as any can. Meticulously-detailed sound designs stutter and shimmer through varied cinematic soundscapes, nodding at genres with only passing concern. Like a well-curated variety show, something is bound to grab you somewhere. But …


The Amazing Musical Grid and Electronic Performance Made Modular

7up 2.0 – Introduction from makingthenoise on Vimeo. What if the world of musical performance suddenly started moving a whole lot faster? That’s certainly the case among a handful of monome- and grid-wielding electronic artists. In an evolutionary breakthrough, what previously had appeared in a period of months is showing up in a period of days, as long-simmering ideas come to the fore. Spurred by the blank-slate, minimal grid of the monome (and its design as mirrored in similar controllers from Livid, Novation, and Akai), musicians are re-imagining the step sequencer in new permutations. Many of these creations in recent …