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 […]

Odd Uses of iPod Shuffle

As I get ready to try to wow the audience at South by Southwest with — something strange with iPods — the incredible Phil Torrone has a sizable head start. Phil says on his blog flashenabled he's working on "shuffle sunglasses, universal IR remote, solar-powered and charged, network storage and syncing." (see flickr photos) Of […]

Apple Logic: Missing Latency Compensation, Performance Issues

While somewhat overdue, I wanted to clarify the discussion of latency compensation missing in Logic 7 but promised for a future update. Latency compensation describes host software's ability to calculate the lag introduced by some effects and instruments, particularly those dependent on external DSP hardware. As Cris 'atariboy' has pointed out, Logic does have latency […]

Crazy iPod Tricks with Linux

I'm off to Austin, Texas in March to speak at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. In an ideal world, the presentation topic would be "Survey of Alien Music 101: First Contact", but instead it's an iPod panel. Fret not: we can make iPods cool. Needless to say, step one will be to install Linux. […]