In a World of Sonic Toys, Sound Design Craft Comes Alive: Simon Pyke Short Film

As pundits lament the loss of the album or conventional musical roles, it might be easy to miss a barely-hidden revolution in the craft of sound. Pieced together from the simplest of found acoustic instruments and strange electrified sonic organisms, fashioned with the most sophisticated of digital tools and computer music production machines, artists open an ocean of new musical and sonic discovery. The new venues and patrons proliferate, ranging from interactive installations to so-called “sonic branding,” sound design for games and motion spots and television, and yes, somewhere in there, even produce an album now and then. Just ask …


Modular Mega-Roundup: Some of the Greatest New Stuff in Analog+Digital Eurorack for Musicians

In action, a Eurorack module by superb builder MakeNoise, with whom we caught up in March in a get-together in Austin, Texas. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Andreas Wetterberg. Modular music making is a throwback to the early days of electronic music, in which a spaghetti of patch cords is the price of open-ended sound creation. Fairly or unfairly, it has often been viewed as the domain of the eccentric wealthy musician. You needed cash, endless patience, and lots of space – well, unless you happened to be lucky enough to pick up a vintage modular as people were getting rid of them. …