Laurie Anderson, in video, on the stories behind her custom-built instruments

A violin can be totally transformed – and the performance with it – from ice skates to neon instruments to ventriloquists’ dummies. Laurie Anderson in this film talks about her many ingenious instrumental inventions.

Attacco turns any mic – and any surface – into expressive percussive music input

Attacco’s Virtual Controller, now in beta, makes anything into a percussive MIDI controller – not just for triggers, but expression, too. And you don’t need special hardware, either.

Rejoice, for Destroy FX has updated their free plug-ins, including legendary glitchy Buffer Override

The sacred timeline has been restored. The greatest, strangest, glitchiest, most destructive plug-ins of the early 2000s are here with 64-bit support for Mac and Windows, Apple Silicon support on Mac, and UIs that look even more horrible than before. And they’re still free.

Polyphonic noise generation from Indonesia, in squaresolid’s Chaosbyte synth

We live in a chaotic world; only Chaosbyte and – I think that might be a wind-up chicken etched into the front – can truly express the entropy.

In FRKTL’s Azimuth, an ethereal world of undulating sonic and visual surfaces

In fragmented, alien futuristic materials, FRKTL – aka Sarah Badr – has produced another spectacular release. This project fuses her evocative sound design with increasing virtuosity in digital visuals, as generated surfaces melt into synesthesia. Sarah to me was already pushing the envelope of sound design in organic, flowing compositions, and now all the little […]

FUSE for vvvv is a visual revolution – free, always-runtime patching right on the GPU

Add free, open-source visual programming on the GPU to the free-for-noncommercial-use vvvv – and get materials, lighting, effects, particles, and generative geometry. Here’s the twist: you do all of that without code or scripts, and it’s all on the GPU, live.

Plogue has made a chip-perfect emulation of the Yamaha FM synth line

Transport yourself to 1983. Sure, analog emulation is all the rage. But leave it to Plogue to do bit-for-bit digital recreation – with a precise reproduction of the Yamaha 6-operator FM synth range, including the legendary DX7.

Apple’s Spatial Audio experience comes together with head tracking, even for stereo music

Apple is filling in a key piece in the Spatial Audio puzzle – tracking the position of your head through the company’s headphones for more realistic immersion. Spatial Audio is already popular just weeks after launch on Apple Music, backed by a full-court press from Apple themselves on their own platforms and in the media. […]

Top music gear news from Superbooth 2021 – the CDM monster guide

The music nerd cultural happening – modular pilgrimage is back, and with it… way too much gear to wrap your head around. Here are the not-to-miss picks and of course the exhaustive CDM monster guide.

Afrorack is back with cheap DIY modules, from African percussion to MS-20 filters

Afrorack continues to make richly textured polyrhythmic music and share secrets for cheaply producing powerful modular instruments with open tools. Here are some tantalizing updates from Uganda.