cables.gl, free generative visual tool, adds skin and bones, new UI, new FX and media recording

cables.gl is the powerful modular visual creation tool you can patch together in your browser, free. And no sooner than I finished that free sound round-up than I saw news they’ve got a major new update, complete with new visual powers and – finally – direct recording.

The best free tools for working with modular synthesis and music

Patching for the people – there’s no reason cost or access has to keep you from the powers and fun of modular synthesis and music making. VCV Rack’s launch this month got lots of attention, but there are other options, too. Here the latest, best picks.

Roaches, mealworms, shrieking bubbles, and more in free Richard Devine sound samples

The chalk is underwater, screaming like a chattering alien. Or that’s how it sounds through a hydrophone. Enter the weird world of some of Richard Devine’s field recordings – then grab the sounds for your own Creative Commons-licensed creations.

Afrorack with a DIY MIDI-CV converter on the Nile, robotic shakers and kick drum

Our friend Brian aka Afrorack has kept up his must-see series of DIY video tutorials in his home Uganda. And as ever, he’s producing brilliant instruments and fantastic music on a budget, thanks to some serious ingenuity.

From Hong Kong, broadcasts of expansive experimental and underground music

It’s another winter of tough commercial pressures and pandemic limits on gathering. But Hong Kong Community Radio – and now CFK Radio – provide some shining examples of how to create new spaces for far-out sounds.

SOMA has a new compact 8-bit noise synth and sequencer for 130€

The romantic engineering synth maker has something small and affordable, a post-apocalyptic weirdo instrument from designer Kakos Nonos. It’s part chip music, part noise experiment, in the grand tradition of stuff like the Atari Punk Console. Meet Rumble of Ancient Times aka Грохот древних эпох. It’s great to see Soma using some of their recent […]

MadMapper MadLaser video tutorials have arrived, for your live laser instructional needs

Create Digital Laser Motion? The laser control tool from the makers of MadMapper now has a video tutorial series to walk you through its workflow.

8-bit painting – watch a DIY light pen for the IBM PCjr

Jozef Bogin, Slovak engineer and hacker, has just posted this short video of a light pen – PCjr interface, and whenever we have events planning again, I really want to see it as a VJ act.

Alvin Lucier, who saw sonic poetry in pencils and soundscapes everywhere, has died

An imaginative generation continues to pass away from us, now with the death of Alvin Lucier.

Here’s a free custom VCV Rack module controlling tempo and time in Ableton Live

Now that VCV Rack Pro 2 is here, Rack works properly as a plug-in. And here’s an advanced application for it – trying new ways of working with clock and time.