Ethnomusicologist Lysloff Responds: Finding Skillful 8-bit Music

It seems I may have misunderstood the comments of at least one of the experts quoted in’s recent story on 8-bit music. (See my original comments and ensuing discussion.) Ethnomusicologist Rene T.A. Lysloff, faculty at the University of California Riverside and author of Music and Technoculture, writes in response; here’s his letter in its […]

ReFilling Reason: Serious Session Drums, Miroslav Choir and Orchestra

Reason running luxurious choirs, orchestras, and multisampled drum kits? Absolutely. Sure, you could run sample libraries in any number of software samplers. But Reason is inexpensive, portable (thanks to ReWire), easy on system resources, and friendly to use (especially with Reason 3’s new features). Soundware libraries like the Sonic Refills series have been out for […]

CDM Readers: One-Man Band Gigging Live with Reason

As I continue this Reasonable Friday, here’s a reader report on how to use Propellerhead Reason live in performance. He’s making use of the terrific Windows-only MIDI tool Peter Tools LiveSet — more on that in an upcoming story. And he’s taking his one-man band to an environmental-activist music festival outside Sydney in gorgeous environs […]

Vestax Controller One: Turntable as Musical Instrument

Updated: Skratchworx has a great write-up on the Controller One as well as other neat new PLASA gear. See an in-action video there. Worth buying on its own for music? Naw. But an interesting extra on an otherwise great table. Turntables can slice, chop, juggle, scratch, and make all manner of noise. They can work […]

NYC Mayor Declares Music Player Day; NYPD Jails 8-bit Musicians

New York, New York: A wonderful town. Declaring random days for music conferences and — wait, huh? Jailing Game Boy musicians? Let’s deal with the weird news first. Remember how there’s a big 8-bit music concert tomorrow (Saturday) here in Manhattan? Our friends Nullsleep and Bit Shifter from the International Chiptune Resistance concert were arrested […]

Turntable-Controlled Vibrating Chaise Longue

Tokyo-based DJ Daito Manabe has devised a unique use for a turntable: he hooked it up to a multiple-PowerBook rig so you can scratch 34 tracks of sound or sit back in a vibrating chaise longue. I asked Daito how this works, and responded in an email that reads a bit like a poetic riddle: […]

Academics Slam 8-Bit; Rockin’ the 386 on Wired News

Wired News has just stumbled onto 8-bit music a la vintage computers and Game Boys. Christopher Null compiles a terrific set of links in there, including Alexei Shulgin, who covers rock standards on a 386DX. (Via the always-excellent LSDJ mailing list, for users of that Game Boy cartridge — though Nanoloop lovers show up, too.) […]

Waiting for Apple . . .

Ah, the life of a Mac user. You can buy your PC every time you want, but the Mac user lives in constant fear of buying a new PowerBook two days before Apple unveils a surprise upgrade. I’m in that very boat right now, and then Apple announces it’s holding a press event today in […]

Apple Introduces New PowerBooks: “Pixel Bump”

As CDM expected, Apple has unveiled new hardware: New PowerBooks are available now, with 1440 x 960 resolution on the 15″ (the old 17″ resolution) and 1680 x 1050 (equivalent to the 20″ desktop display) on the 17″ model. Battery life is improved by 22%, and the models support the Apple 30″ display, but prices […]

Super-Fast New Apple Desktops; Pro Music Heaven

Apple’s PowerBook announcement is a little disappointing for power-hungry mobile musicians (more pixels, but no more power), but their desktop news is drool-worthy. By next month, they’ll be shipping quad G5 systems (dual processor, dual core), and they’re shipping dual-core machines now, all with faster RAM and faster video. The Power Mac line, starting at […]