Free Mod Squad v2 adds missing modulation, envelopes, and trackers to Ableton Live

It’s incredible this package is free – a full set of fifteen carefully crafted, native-feeling add-ons for Ableton Live that add everything from bread-and-butter modulation to dub-style effects. It’s a chance to dial in human expression and bring those sessions to life, all driven by probability.

NASA’s Webb telescope could transform how we imagine digital art, along with our cosmos

Amidst meaningful and justified disenchantment with digital media, NASA’s Webb offers a different course for understanding our relationship with technology. It offers a chance to peer into our existence with greater understanding. It could be this generation’s “Blue Marble” – looking instead outward and deep into time. And it promises to be more than one image – way more than just one.

Free Piloslib for Pd makes patching easier – and sounds totally hardcore

The modular sound environment Pd (Pure data) is wonderful. Pd is free. Pd runs everywhere. Pd is … frequently lacking some of the stuff you’d ideally want out of the box. Enter Piloslib, totally free and just released.

“Singing Daxophone” makes incredible eerie quasi-vocals out of an experimental instrument

The “daxophone” is a new acoustic instrument invented in the 80s. Its creator was a German typographer. It’s name is derived from “badger.” It sounds like an half-human, half-alien vocal. And virtuoso Kazuhisa Uchihashi has been able to coax a whole album out of it – with jaw-dropping results.

GForce Oberheim SEM, perfect £30 plug-in of a 1974 gem, made with Tom and Marcus

In 1974, lunar modules were landing in quick succession on the moon – and the Synthesizer Expander Module (SEM-1) landed here on Earth. Developer GForce turned to creator Tom Oberheim and 80s Oberheim veteran Marcus Ryle for input on this one – and it shows. This is a unique, very analog-y feeling software instrument. It’s simple, elegant – and at 30 quid, a no-brainer.

These custom keycaps give synth controls to your mechanical computer keyboard

Here is one tasty-looking custom keycap design, adding the faders, knobs, and synth-y visuals your mechanical keyboard so desperately wants.

It’s about time – Resolume 7.13 adds time readouts, slice options, Wire features to visual tools

Resolume keeps packing features into their Arena and Avenue VJ / live visual / media server tools every few weeks. This time – easier-to-read, customizable time readouts, and a bunch of new features for slices.

Watch Troika Ranch’s history in dance technology, then dust off your Wiimote with Isadora

Return to the days of MIDI-controlled LaserDisc players – Mark Coniglio, creator of Isadora, walks through this history of the work of Troika Ranch. It’s an incredible microcosm of where dance tech has come for – but you can do stuff today with Isadora, too, like finding a use for that Nintendo Wiimote.

Novation’s Launchpad 2.0 adds widgets that adapt to your DAW shortcuts, expands customization

More like this, please. Novation’s Launchpad 2.0 updates (for Launchpad Mini and X) are a great example of how manufacturers can make it easier to adapt hardware to your setup. Now they’ve added keystrokes to the custom faders and melodic and drum widgets you can lay out on your custom controls.

Roland SP-404MKII 2.0: TR-REC step sequencing, more FX, pitch and chromatic features

Roland just dropped a huge update for their SP-404 MKII, with a bunch of new features for playing and processing sound – including TR-REC step sequencing. Here’s your guide, if you’re lucky enough to have one of the units.