DIY Ribbon Controller

Let’s hear it for the ribbon controller. If you’ve never seen one, ribbon controllers are touch-sensitive strips that let you control pitch continuously (i.e., not fixed to the pitches of a keyboard). The original Martenot instrument of the 1920s had an early ribbon controller, but rocker Keith Emerson probably gets the most credit for popularizing […]

How to Use a Moog Modular

Ah, patch cords. Routing is made real when you have to physically plug one sound module into another to do anything, telephone operator-style, as on vintage modular systems from Moog and Buchla. I was never a virtuoso with cords, kept running out of the things, forgetting what was plugged into what, and could never even […]

Gear Porn: Mac-Centered Studios on osxaudio

We’ve been watching studios for the past months (do a quick search for ‘studios’ on CDM and you’ll see what I mean), from dream DJ rigs to pro post as built by Peter Jackson. But I’m still impressed by the growing thread on the forum, complete with pics and specs. My favorite is the […]

Gear Porn: “Spinal Rape” Makes Gear Music Video Star

Eric Barbour (editor of Vacuum Tube Valley and owner of vacuum-tube music maker metasonix), has sent us a music video that looks like “Home Studio: The Movie.” It’s called “Spinal Rape.” (Nice name — let me try to picture that.) Heavy metal? Home computer audio studio? Why, who would ever think the two would be […]

Steam Driven: Computers and Steam Engines Performing Music

What happens when engineers and laptop musicians collaborate, brought together by love for a 16-ton steam engine? Something like Steam Driven, a site-specific music performance at the Brighton Fringe Festival last month. Laptop Jams, the laptop performance collective we’ve covered previously on CDM (see story on European laptop performing), got together with the British Engineerium, […]

MPC and Drum Machine Pioneer Roger Linn on Podcast

Behold the instrument-designing prowess of Roger Linn. You can check out his resume at the museum page of his site, but to make a long story short, it ranges from ground-breaking sampled drum machines to the legendary MPC sampler series from Akai. Without Roger, hip-hop as we know it would probably never have happened. Fortunately, […]

Steam Driven: Details of Coal-Powered Laptop Music

Here’s more on Steam Driven, the interactive performance that mixed music and steam-powered machines, from composer Stuart Smith. Stuart writes: The show went well and also sold-out. A nice piece of theater as every visitor had to manually stoke the fire with a chunk of coal, thus waiting for enough “steam” pressure to begin the […]

Best Platform for Music: Atari ST

There’s nothing that fatigues the CDM staff more than pointless platform wars. I have absolutely no sympathy for PC OR Mac snobs. Sure, you think you have superior music applications. The best OS. The ultimate UI. You’re all wrong. The Atari ST reigns supreme. In the spirit of bringing this issue to a close forever, […]

Interactive Musical Corset

Okay, bondage gear probably isn’t what designed Danielle Wilde had in mind when she created the stunningly gorgeous design of her Ange musical ribcage. The inspiration was “a woman whose back has been flayed, exposing the musculature and bone structure and creating the suggestion of wings.” But if this doesn’t suggest a future of (beautiful, […]

CDM Radio Pick: Free Beethoven, New Music – Radio 3

CDM Radio of the Week For music, you can’t beat the Beeb, and the UK radio conglomerate is now easy to hear in the rest of the world thanks to some of the best net radio support on the Earth. Just don’t overlook the high-brow Radio 3 because you think it might be stuffy. Quite […]