May has brought two new Web projects from manufacturers – one a titan name from analog hardware, another the king of the software studio. In each, the product itself is downplayed to focus on artists actually making music. That means if you’re looking to kick off your summer music making with a little inspiration, you’ve got some video to watch, and not just the usual gear lust. I don’t think I can be an entirely objective judge of websites, since I do work for The Internet, but that seems like a good trend. (So, yes, I’m not only being partial to Moog and Props here – I always welcome real musical discussion from the folks who make our music tools!)

First off, Moog has a much-welcome rebuild of their previous site, replacing a hard-to-navigate kludge with tiny images. The new site I have to say is one of the best I’ve seen yet from a vendor. Of course, it’s the actual content we still care about. For that, turn to a lavish legacy section. (You can even reminisce about the year 2000 and those heady Big Briar days.)

The nicest feature – back to the idea of getting to the music – promises to be the Sound Studio. First up is The Dandy Warhols, surrounded of course by tasty Moog gear. They have a mixed lineup coming – and don’t worry; that includes the likes of Thereminist Dorit Chrysler, lest you think Moog is abandoning their synthy roots. Now, if they could just find a way to put the pronunciation of their name front and center. (Hint: if you sound like a cow, you’re saying it wrong. Rogue.)

Moog Sound Lab

Propellerhead has a unique approach in May’s “Music Making Month.” Hands-on how-to videos appear first as live webcasts, then on-demand YouTube clips, showing how to get into some real music making. Reason and Record are featured, of course, but the series is as much about production and performance as those tools. Check out the start of the terrific series by Josh Mobley on keyboard finger-drumming, for instance. (Skip a couple of minutes in, and check out Josh’s percussive dexterity.) Artist guests are doing Q&A and video how-to installments on everything from control voltage to sequencing to songwriting, and it looks like there’s a nice artist/tech balance. I like the first week’s videos; tune in for more to come. (This also, though, confirms some of my reservations about the “Like” button; I wouldn’t read too much into those numbers.)