Portable Guitar Travel Rig, from Kevin of The Nettles

Now having seen fold-up guitars in briefcases, here’s another approach to what to put in your portable guitar rig, from our friend Kevin Johnsrude of The Nettles. Kevin plays both bass and guitar, but he has a more portable rig so he can play music everywhere. Kevin writes: In the photo: The diagonal headless guitar […]

Free Audio Pro Dashboard Widget for Mac

It’s been a while since I looked at widgets for music applications, but here’s a new one, and it might be enough to make me switch back to Dashboard from Konfabulator: BigBlueLounge Dashboard Widget The widget includes a keyboard with built-in sounds (though no MIDI sending, sadly), tap tempo, and three calculators. You can calculate […]

Hiromi, Super-Talented Keyboard Virtuoso: Video, How-To Links

Kevin says it all: Haven’t you always wanted to be a sexy Japanese lead keyboard virtuoso heading her own fusion power trio? Haven’t you always wanted to be Hiromi? I expect some of you would settle for being the bass player. Watch as Hiromi tears away a grand and a Nord synth, simultaneously: For more […]

Wusikstation v3 Arrives: Effects-Laden Monster Synth for Windows

We’ve been watching Wusikstation for some time; it’s a lovely, gigantic soft synth for Windows that benefits from a devoted community. Version 3 was promised back in February, and now it’s here — or most of it, as there are still new v3 features that won’t appear until a point-one update: Full details from KVR […]

Creating Guitar Hero: Josh Randall on Bringing Interactive Music to the Masses, Future of Music Games

The UK Sony PlayStation site has posted Josh Randall’s keynote at the Cybersonica arts fest in London. Josh Randall, a sometimes CDM reader (still out there, Josh?), is Creative Director of Harmonix, the groundbreaking game shop that created Guitar Hero and other interactive music games like Amplitude, Frequency (pictured), and (soon) Guitar Hero II. Interview […]

Alternative Music Distribution: Music on Sticks, Music on Mozilla, and Escaping iTunes Lock-in

I hate ending on sour notes. So, instead, let’s look at some positive opportunities for music distribution. Indie labels and music makers alike on this site I know have no love for Digital Rights Management, but let’s look at some alternatives, from Mozilla-based iTunes alternatives to music on sticks (and reasons to dump iTunes).

Microsoft and Proprietary Windows Media Players: Cory Doctorow Responds

Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing responds here to my commentary on platform-agnostic music listening. On a basic level, I’m not saying anything different than what Cory originally did: Windows DRM is broken and frustrates customers, and the MTP connection cripples Windows Media devices by limiting interoperability. (Try plugging a recent MTP device into a Mac […]

Liberate Portable Music Players: UMS, MTP, and Platform-Agnostic Drag-and-Drop Music Listening

My first MP3 player, an original Creative Labs Nomad (one of the first MP3 players), was simple to operate. I took MP3s I’d ripped and dropped them on the device like a drive. So, what’s happened since then? Now music players have grown much more complex, deeply tied to Digital Rights Management. Some new Windows […]

Create Musical Visuals with Rax and Quartz Composer on Mac: Free Software Download

Quartz Composer is a fantastic tool for interactive visuals, and it’s free with Mac OS X (you’ll need to install the developer tools). With MIDI and audio inputs, you can hook custom visuals up to your musical performance. But the program has some limitations: mapping MIDI is generally slow and arduous because of limited MIDI […]