Big in Japan: Audio-Technica Brings “Import Series” Headphones to US

Most of the world is living in the dark ages of headphones. (iPod earbuds, I’m looking at you.) That’s sad, because it’s a great time to buy pro-quality headphones: they’re better-sounding and cheaper than ever. One trusted maker is Audio-Technica, which has generously taken its previously Japan-only headphones and released them here in the United […]

New Intel Laptops: Good News for Mac, Windows Audio Users

Let’s cut straight through the marketing-speak on the Intel’s new notebook platform. As usual, Intel is likely to give its new platform a confusing name that sounds like a pharmaceutical product (Centrino?), and will make weirdly vague feature claims, like the new platform will be “better at running music.” (If they meant running Cakewalk SONAR […]

Robot Drummer Responds to Human Playing; How They Did It

Imagine playing a duet with a robot: that’s the idea behind Haile, a robotic percussionist that can “improvise” based on analysis of live playing. Project Page with Video Clips [] Gil Weinberg, Assistant Professor and Director of Music Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who created the project with the help of grad student […]

Simulating Phase Shifter Pedals in Software, Using Math for MIDI

In answer to my earlier question, yes, people are using circuit simulation software to develop music software. Chris Randall of the very cool plug-in development house Audio Damage writes us: We use SPICE when we’re modeling for Audio Damage products. We recreate the circuitry of whatever unit we’re modelling in order to better understand the […]

Sound Synthesis with Free Circuit Simulation Software

I’m still looking for scientist and engineer types who could make use of National Instruments LabVIEW for sound synthesis (I know they’re out there). The superb MAKE: Blog passed along that info, and got something else: synthesis using circuit simulation software. A reader on MAKE: Blog is apparently simulating sound synthesis circuits using University of […]

Best of the Rest: Underground Music Making Edition

It’s a sad day: you’ve dumped all those music site news feeds because you had real “work” to do. Good news: it’s time to take a look at the best of the rest on the Web. This week, I’ve got some great articles plus downloadable sounds, video, software, to keep you up with underground digital […]

Microsoft Excel for Music: Applications Bizarre and Useful

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are getting use in music, and not just for tracking musicians’ growing credit card debt. First, Tom Whitwell at Music thing discovered an Excel spreadsheet for additive synthesis: drag sliders, and you get real-time Fourier synthesis with both a waveform view and spectrogram. This is more than just a novelty: watching the […]

Holiday Gifts: Ableton Nerdbag Laptop Bag, Reviewed

I thought they might be sold out by now, but Ableton says they have a few more of their custom Ableton-branded Nerdbags for your laptop. They’re the perfect gift for your digital musician friends and family — or yourself, for that matter. I love mine, and would happily have two. It’s one of my favorite […]

Music as Activism: Covering John Lennon for Human Rights

These days, labels are coming up with all sorts of ways to reinvigorate their back catalogs for profit-making, but here’s a novel concept: putting them to work for peace. 25 years after the death of John Lennon, Yoko Ono has contributed the entire Lennon songbook (including “Imagine”) to Amnesty International, to help attract new supporters […]

Holiday Gift Guide: Moog CD + Soundtrack + Apparel

There are plenty of Moog-labeled goodies deserving of special mention in our ongoing gift guide. It’s a bittersweet pleasure since we lost Bob Moog this year, but the Moog film (above) and accompanying film soundtrack are simply must-have, and a worthy gift even for those new to synths. They’re available from your local CD and […]