How to Add a Virtual Orchestra to your Score

Want your notation software's orchestral playback to sound more realistic? The February Keyboard Magazine (US) includes a tutorial (available online) on how to make use of Garritan Personal Orchestra with Sibelius and Finale. The process is a little involved, partly because of the limitations of MIDI itself and the MIDI support built into the notation […]

Study: Musicians Can’t Live on Royalties

Stop the presses! In the "news you already knew" category, a study by Martin Kretschmer in the peer-reviewed Internet journal First Monday says online distribution may not be revolutionizing professional, and most musicians in Germany can't live off royalty income. (via boing boing) [read more]

Echo Goes FireWire: AudioFire

Long known for its PCI and CardBus audio interfaces, Echo Audio has finally made the leap to FireWire with the AudioFire 8 and 12. Rather than put ourselves to sleep with more specs in this already-crowded category, what makes it cool: Looks: It's really, really pretty in its aluminum case Psychic powers: 2 inputs are […]

Reading into the Future: Book Lists

Sometimes, it's so nice to put away the blog and read paper. On the South by Southwest Interactive Festival blog, my reading endorsements get to sit next to craiglist founder Craig Newmark and Al Gore speechwriter Dan Pink, as well as my friends Fran Preve (Keyboard) and Chris Breen (Playlist, Macworld). Check it out — […]

Getting Started in Audio Anarchy: Circuit-Bending

As we've reported here before, circuit bender Noah Fleischman is a mad scientist of electronics destruction. We've seen software manglings like the Flash-powered software Speak & Spell, but Noah has continued . . . destroying things . . . from toy keyboards to a device created by grafting a cassette Walkman to a 5.25" floppy […]

Free Generator Synth (Mac)

Our free studio creation continues, with a terrific subtractive synth for Mac OS X. Generator had humble beginnings as the buggy and limited Buzzer, but the baby grew up. The latest release adds antialiased oscillators, a new filter and modulation engine, and an elegant new GUI. In fact, one advantage of this freeware in the […]

HyperEngine Audio/Video Editor Now Free (Mac)

Once commercial software, a powerful audio/video editor is now still supported, but at a new price of — nada. Our friends at Samplepoolz report that Arboretum has turned HyperEngine-AV into a free download. Better yet, the code is open source, so we could see some exciting developments with this program. (Programmers out there?) HyperEngine-AV is […]

Cypernetics to Forbidden Planet: The Barrons

NPR's Morning Edition had a story yesterday morning, now streaming online, on husband-and-wife electronic music pioneer team Louis and Bebe Barron, who birthed the score for Forbidden Planet. Together, they created an entirely new language of experimental sound, manipulating homemade circuitry and tape, going on to work for the likes of Cage. Like many of […]

Numark USB DJ Mixers

Audio jacks? We don't need no stinkin' audio jacks: two Numark 2-channel DJ mixers now connect via USB, instead. Hook up two Windows/Mac laptops to the mixer and mix directly without an audio interface, complete with cross-fader, gain control on inputs, the works. You don't even need USB drivers on either platform, thanks to class-compliance. […]

100 km/h Spinning Speaker

Yes, it's an award-winning piece of interactive installation art, but we're keyboardists here: it's also the world's largest, fastest, most terrifying Leslie rotary cabinet. Spatial Sounds scans the space for visitors, then spins up to 100 km/h in a circle, varying speed and direction. Understatement from the artist: "Closer investigation would be tempting fate, with […]