Faders, Knobs, Crossfader: New VMX Control Surface

Don’t knock physical faders: they work. And with proliferating options, somewhere out there, there’s a control surface for you. The latest candidate: Codanova’s new VMX, yet another control surface for self-powered use via USB or standalone MIDI operation. 59 assignable controllers, including 2 jog wheels, a cross-fader, and various faders and knobs. The jog wheels […]

Multi-Touch Touchscreens for Music: More Reflections

Reflections, indeed, since last week we saw a music/multimedia interface based on a camera tracking system called Frustrated Total Internal Reflection. (Sounds like an apt description of some of our undergraduate college years?) Futuristic musical interfaces could take a radically different direction from what we’ve seen so far, and that distant future may be close […]

Graphics Tablets: Good Enough for Jazz (Ornette Coleman, Specifically)

With all this talk of experimental touchscreens for controlling music, don’t overlook a much cheaper and more mature technology: the graphics tablet. One of the gems that has appeared on the recently-overhauled Cycling ’74 site is a vide o interview with Matt Wright of the CNMAT research center at University of California Berkeley. Wright is […]

CDM2: What Do You Want From a Forum?

CDM2 (named a la a new cruise ship) truly is not a figment of my imagination. As we put in late hours working on it (or early hours, as much of the team is Australian), one of the issues we face is how to design the new forum. Now, of course, there are plenty of […]

Free: New Killer Synth, Graintable + Physical Modeling (Win)

This is by far the most exciting free-plug release so far this year. It’s comparable to Reason’s Maelstrom, but allows one to import any .wav files (mono only) into the plug for manipulation. Audio Demos: Grain_Demo_1.mp3 Grain_Demo_2.mp3 Grain_Demo_3.mp3 Grain_Demo_4.mp3 Grain_Demo_5.mp3 Grain_Demo_6.mp3 Grain_Demo_7.mp3 Grain_Demo_8.mp3 Direct Downloads of plug + support files: Grainz_0-1-0.zip Granular.zip SKGrains_manual_draft.pdf Developed by […]

Music Creation Book Reviewed; CDM/Book Interview

I’m flattered to share that multitalented musician MikeB reviews my book, Real World Digital Audio, and interviews me about the book and this site on GarageSpin: Interview Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music New Book, Real World Digital Audio, Rocks (His headline, not mine, but thanks, Mike!) The book is now actually hitting shelves. (I […]

Interactive Touchable Fabric: Music by “Casting a Spell”

As great as the potential of advanced touchscreens may be, for music and other media applications, touchscreens aren’t much fun to touch. Close your eyes and remove visual feedback, and you’re basically running your finger along a piece of plastic. (You’d think we could figure out a way to at least texture it without losing […]

Digital Wind Controller Discussion Group and FAQ

“MIDI is just for keyboardists.” Hearing generalizations like that must send shivers down the spines of the 1400+ members of the Yahoo Wind Controllers Group. They have enough to talk about to generate around 500 messages a month, chatting exclusively about MIDI and other digital wind instruments. If that kind of traffic sounds overwhelming, and […]

Cycling ’74 Relaunches Site, Forum; Max/MSP Knowledge Thrives

Looking for new wisdom and expertise on tools like the insanely deep Max/MSP/Jitter? (If you’re using Max, signs point to yes.) Cycling ’74 relaunched their site a couple of weeks ago, incorporating a variety of features that make this an indispensible resource for users of Max and other products. Since late last month, the new […]

AudioBase: Massive, Indie-Contributed Loop Library Online

Selling CDs? Not in 2006: now it’s about selling loops. AudioBase.com, just acquired and rebranded from the former identity appleLoops.com, already has 1,500 loops for cross-platform use. The whole library costs just US$99 (or $19.50 for a single 200-loop library), and you get instant online access rather than waiting for a shipment. Indie artists, take […]