WMC: Ultra Music Festival Closes Out a Great Conference

Still not jealous that you weren't at Miami for the WMC? This should do the trick — and here's the right way to record a concert: in HD 5.1! (Photo: DJ Eldorado — gallery coming soon.) Miami — Ultra Music Festival (UMF) is an all-day outdoor festival that acts as the official closing ceremonies to […]

Brain Caps: Brain-Music Interfacing

Is the real future of music interfacing directly with our brain? Jon Appleton, the composer and electronic musician who was on the team for the ground-breaking Synclavier keeps talking about how he thinks a 'brain cap' will be the interface of the future. Put it on, and it knows what music you're thinking. He talked […]

Laptop Musicians Do Battle

NPR Morning Edition's David Malakoff yesterday covered the Laptop Battle phenomenon: competitive laptop composition contests that are spreading across North America, thanks to fourthcity's LAPTOPBATTLE.ORG. NPR caught the recent Mid-Atlantic laptop battle. Players are given a time-limit and are actually forbidden from using external controllers. The music must be laptop-only. Then it's a slam — […]

LiveFills: Load Up Ableton Live with Great Sounds

Ableton Live is a brilliant piece of software, but aside from some great presets in the new Operator synth (sold separately), you'll find yourself very quickly starved for some usable effects presets, drum kits, instruments, and the like. (Oh, I know, SOME of you are synthesizing that using hand-built oscillators, but come on, haven't you […]

Covert Operators: Free Sounds for Live

Ableton Live 4.1, which now includes the demo of Operator, has 145 presets. Yeah, whatever. Covert Operators Volume 1, a free download available on the Ableton forum, can boost that to a full 400. The Covert Operators team have powered up Ableton's brilliant FM/hybrid synth with more drums, synths, FX, pads, rhythms, and more. Still […]

WMC: Moby Q&A Session at the Wyndham ‘Hotel’

In support of his new CD, "Hotel", Moby gave an exclusive Q&A session for Winter Music Conference attendees. From his new album and musical tour, to his appearance on NBC's The Apprentice, Moby has been all over the place and in the musical limelight. It was a great opportunity to see Moby up close and […]

M-Audio Goes Virtual with Key Rig, Drum and Bass Rig

Remember hardware? Seems this year is all about trying to cash in on budget virtual instruments. M-Audio has now "released" (I think that means shippin!) Key Rig and Drum and Bass Rig, as promised at NAMM. Think bread-and-butter virtual instruments. Key Rig: "Stage keyboards": grands, Wurlitzers, electric pianos, FMs, clavinets. Polyphonic synth Hammond organ + […]

NyquistEq: Free Parametric EQ (Mac, Windows)

Magnus of Smartelectronix is apparently very excited by his new Mac Mini, because he says it's inspired him to port his plugins to Mac OS X! To get you started, try out NyquistEq, a gorgeous parametric EQ that can process treble right up to the Nyquist frequency — the highest frequency that can be represented […]

Your Favorite Instrument: Only One Can Win

Well, it's another gripping poll going here at CDM headquarters. Here are the stats so far: Guitars are beating keyboards, 46% to 35%. None of you plays the kazoo as your primary instrument. This site has 26 readers. (meaning, based on our server logs, a sampler error margin of about 5,000%) Now, obviously, none of […]

Finger-Puppet DJing

One thing you probably didn't see last weekend at Miami's WMC: this DJ. (via audioserve) Call it world's cutest scratching. Netherlands-based Lejo specializes in this unique hand + props marionette theater. And the show tours — if you happen to be passing through, say, Segovia or Mechelen. What, you say? You don't think DJs are […]