Reason 8 Overhauls UI, Adds New Softube Amp Models [Video, Gallery]

Let’s face it: Reason has started to look a little bit crowded lately. What began as a small rack of virtual effects and instruments has grown to add an enormous mixing console. Sequencing features have, since the beginning, been squeezed to tiny lanes at the bottom of the UI. And a browser floated around in a window. Reason 8’s individual parts aren’t so different from Reason versions you’ve seen before. But it’s the way they fit together that has changed – rather radically.

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Insane, Starship Control Panel Controls Sound Morphing-Synth in 3D: COSMOSƒ

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: manipulating sound presets should be as intuitive and powerful as regulating plasma coolant flow to the antimatter injector on a warp drive nacelle. I mean, knobs? How quaint. COSMOSƒ is a graphical morphing engine for sound, a standalone synthesizer with a wild, sci-fi interface. You can actually set up polar coordinates and navigate sounds through a sphere, in three dimensions. The sound engine is all internal, but looks like a lot of fun. (For more of this sort of thing, see the excellent, free and open source IanniX, which …

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A DJ App for iPad That’s Modular, For Exactly What You Want: d(- -)b from touchAble Creators

d(- -)b brings the colorful, visual, touchable waveforms that are part of the draw of iPad DJing. But to that, it adds another trick: custom, modular layouts, letting you choose up to six decks, for instance. Two decks, or more decks? Horizontal, or vertical waveforms? Which controls? DJ app designers normally have to make such decisions for their users – and users must, more or less, take what they’re given. Not so with the odly-named, just-released d(- -)b iPad DJ app. Using a grid to neatly-align elements, it lets you choose what you want on-screen, and whether two decks or …

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As a Musician Loses Her Sight, A Rush for Music Apps for the Blind [Hack + Listen]

Take a good, long look at your computer screen. Now imagine you can’t see it. That’s the reality Mandy Matz is facing. At age 36, she’s losing her vision to glaucoma. The musician and multimedia artist makes some beautiful, ethereal music, having cut her teeth on Buzz. Listen to the haunting “Alpha Waves,” her first song. EP by Theory Anesthetic And now, because sight is so deeply connected to the way in which music developers map your brain to software, losing her vision could mean losing her ability to work with digital tools. It shouldn’t be this way. As Paul …

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ipolysix1

Classic KORG Polysix, Reimagined for iPad, Becomes All-in-One Workstation

In designing for Apple’s mobiles, KORG has again turned to equipment from their past. Having reinterpreted the ElecTribe and MS-20, their newest target is the versatile, classic Polysix. The 1981 original brought programmable polyphony to keyboard lovers, with analog oscillators, memory storage, six-voice polyphony, and various effects and modulation. For iOS, Korg models that sound (having done so already with the desktop Legacy Collection), and mimics the front-panel. But even more so than on the DS-20 rendition (iMS-20), they pack in modern features that make this a production tool as much as a synthesizer. That should be welcome news for …

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serato_4decks

DJ Views, Any Way You Want Them: Next-Gen Serato DJ UI, In Screenshots [Gallery]

Now that DJ tools do a lot of the same things, part of what would prompt you to use one is what you see. And what you see is a lot of what a DJ tool offers. Serato announced earlier this month that it was overhauling its somewhat fragmented offerings and replacing them with one next-generation alternative: Serato DJ. But the one thing we couldn’t do was see it. We could see the Pioneer hardware designed to go with it, but not the new UI. That change today, as Serato releases a slew of images of the software, which is …

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Helix_iPad_mockup

Helix, A Digital Turntable Proposal, in a Visual, Touchable Circle [Kickstarter]

The basic idea of the turntable, its round rendering of sound as a physical object, still attracts fascination. But is there a way to truly make the same metaphor fit digital media? Peter Adany is the latest to try, with a design proposal and mock-up he’s trying to fund for iPad (and Mac and Windows) via Kickstarter. What makes his proposal compelling, like some of the best concepts in this field, is that the results are visual and sensitive to movement. It’s a design that stays true to the geometry and physics of the record that inspired it – rather …

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Generative Human Imagery: From a Branding Project to an Elegant, Custom Tool

What began as a simple branding project for a pharmaceutical company evolved into beautiful, generative imagery, produced by a custom tool. Built with Processing (and the controlP5 library), the Actelion Imagery Wizard takes parameterized drawing to explode and reintegrate particle-driven illustrations of DNA, and faces, in what the designers call, neatly, “digital molecules.” The project is the work of onformative, a design house uniquely dedicated to generative graphics. Source: onformative. Here’s what they say about the project (see also, from them, more documentation included here):

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Talking Head: Design and the Musical Tablet, iPad and Beyond

Normally, you hear my voice in words on the screen, so here instead – courtesy the talented video crews at Toronto’s NXNE – is me communicating on camera, prior to a talk on tablets, music, and design. The conversation is one I find myself having with a lot of people these days offline, away from the Web. It goes something like this: “sure, the iPad has been a big thing, and you can obviously do music with it, but what does that mean? Is it going to stay around? Does this change what we’re doing?” For my talk, rather than …

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Entering the Third Dimension: One Evocative Take on Real-Time Music Creation with a 3D Interface

AudioGL, a project teased in videos first in April and then again last week, is a new concept in designing a user interface for real-time music creation. Visuals and sound alike are generative, with the rotating, 3D-wireframe graphics and symbolic icons representing a kind of score for live synthesized music. The tracks in the video may sound like they’ve been pre-synthesized, polished, and sampled from elsewhere, but according to the creator, they’re all produced in the graphical interface you see – what you see is what you hear. The newest video, released this week, reveals in detail the project’s notions …

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