Music Mash-Ups Tutorial, Using Free Traktion

paintingbynumbers has a full tutorial on creating mash-ups, remixes that combine two songs. This is a 'beginners' guide' but it's quite intense: author Philip Meehan covers everything from isolating beats to removing vocals via phase cancellation. It's inspiring enough to make me want to mash some of my own tracks. Best of all, the entire […]

Mac-Powered Punching Bag for DJs [Updated]

Sure, DJs could opt for products like Final Scratch that provide a traditional turntable interface for the computer, but why not . . . a punching bag? Version 2.0 of Max/MSP-powered SoundSlam lets you punch to trigger audio and even has a virtual trainer that coaches you as you go. Add a floor mat you […]

In-Time Tempo Tracking: New Mac Release (Mac/Win)

InTime Tempo Tracking software provides a flexible metronome that keeps time with your MIDI performance. Play fluidly with legato, and InTime syncs to your playing, for accurate transcriptions of real performances or to create flexible backing tracks that follow you. Sounds nifty, if it works; Windows users today got a 1.2 update while Mac OS […]

Unlikely Sound Equipment I: Drum Machine Made of Eggs

Breakfast: delicious. Drum machines: not so much. Until now. With contact mics hooked up to eggs (the kind that comes from birds, with various breeds represented), Los Angeles-based artists k.cain and b.crabtree have built an audio installation that's (insert egg pun here). A Mac LC sits behind the scenes doing the dirty work with custom […]

Unlikely Sound Equipment II: Synth-in-a-rock

I get these kind of requests all the time. "Peter, thanks for the helpful coverage on the USB MIDI controllers, but when will someone finally release audio hardware I can really use, like a concrete block that plays algorithmic music for 30 years?" Yes, folks: it's a piece of concrete. With a DSP chip inside. […]

Chip32: Free Old-School Wavetable Synth, Now on Mac (Mac/PC)

Apulsoft keeps porting plugins, and as I stock up on these new OS X versions, I'm finding some great Windows freeware in the process! The latest addition, Chip32, gives you old-school, graphically-edited wavetable synthesis. The instrument sounds great, and there's MIDI control of an ADSR envelope, a basic filter and a bitcrusher. If you're looking […]

Alesis Keyboards: Want a joystick, 3D air controller, or synth with that?

Keyboards are getting to be a lot of fun, on the cheap. The latest mini-keyboards from Alesis feature X-Y joysticks, audio I/O, and the psuedo-photo-theremin Axys dome (wave your hands in the air above the dome!). That I knew — but I hadn't checked prices to realize how cheap these things are. Alesis appears to […]

GuitarBot: Robotic Guitar Instrument

Weird Music Gadget Week Continues! Engadget and the New York Times are chatting about the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots' GuitarBot, so I thought I'd add my take. GuitarBot is perhaps best described in sound as an automated, electrified shamisen; it has a very Japanese sound and shudders and shakes fabulously as it plays. […]

[UPDATED] Warped Speak & Spell Sounds: Now in PC, Mac Software Form!

Have fond memories of Speak & Spells? Wish you could completely warp them, then turn them into a musical instrument? Too circuitry-challenged to circuit bend your own, and already got too many weird gadgets in your mobile music bag? (I know you've been buying everything mentioned on this site, so I understand.) Now you can […]

Pyrophone: Flaming Sound Organ Powered by Propane

Robotic guitars are cool, but you know what you really want: a propane-powered flame organ. Yes, as it turns out, enormous plumes of fire can produce pitched and unpitched sound. (Hint: it's loud.) This is a digital music site, mind you, so of course I've selected Eric Singer's Pyrophone, which can be MIDI controlled; Max/MSP […]