IMC Expo 05: Toy Piano-to-Mac Interface

Two- or three-octave keyboards from M-Audio? Whatever. Try the “original” mini-keyboard: the toy piano. Doron Altaratz hacked a toy piano for use as a video controller: play keys, and this visual organ responds with smoothly-shifting visuals. (VJs will know Doron as the alter-ego of VJ Sputnik.) For more on IMC Expo plus pictures, see the […]

More Musical Oddities, Toy Dub Plate Recorder

I don’t care who you are. Odds are, your musical instrument collection is nowhere near as large, strange, and wonderful as Eric Schneider’s. I covered his vast Web collection in March, and he wrote to let me know that it’s gotten larger: near 200 pieces, more than can fit online. Recently, Eric did manage to […]

CDM Asks: Your Favorite Video Game Scores

Once upon a time, “composers” wrote only for Classical instruments. The greatest found ways of pushing their instruments — even violin pizzicato was once avant-garde extended technique. Now, of course, composers are writing for film, digital media, multimedia, robotic guitars, cell phones, and yes, video games. While Hollywood movies have remained conservative in their taste […]

Ping-Pong as Musical Instrument [Updated]

We heard about it first here in CDM’s comments (after I made a joking comment about music via ping-pong), but Music Thing gets the scoop on it in action: students in the New Interfaces for Musical Expression course at NYU have in fact rigged up a ping-pong sample playback controller. (Photos & descriptions at MT) […]

More Free Software: Report in Progress

As some thought my post about Pd was meant to convey all available free software, I am rounding up the major free applications, open source applications, and commercial applications for DIY sound-making. (Wasn’t my original idea, but, hey — good idea!) We’ve covered them routinely, but it would be great to have them linked from […]

Sonicforms: New Sound Interfaces/Instruments Go Open Source

“This new media stuff is great, but it’s like it’s never developed very far. It’s like it’s technology for its own sake. How do you make music?” How many times have you heard that? One of the major causes of the “technology for its own sake syndrome” is simple: smart people are spending so much […]

Tiger Compatibility: Korg, Wave Arts, Others; Reader M-Audio Reports

Reports keep coming in on OS X Tiger. Honestly, I have to say I’m impressed for such a major update to Core Audio that the transition has been this smooth – 10.4 is only on par with things like the relatively minor 10.3.8 update. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to check compatibility. It […]

Orchestras Take on Mario, Zelda, Aphex Twin

Relic? Think again. Orchestras are taking on digital-age music. IGN reports video game composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall have become orchestral concert producers with “Video Games Live,” an “immersive” audio/visual experience. Part of the immersion involves the L.A. Philharmonic playing Mario and Zelda. Wall says “Videogame music is not bleeps and bloops anymore.” Um, […]

Max/MSP and Pd: Political Manifestos and Free Music Software

“Give it All, Zero For Rules!” shouts Mattin. For some, free music software isn’t just a way of saving money. It’s a way of life. At the center of the debate is a semi-rivalry between two similar programs: Pure Data (aka “Pd”), and Max/MSP. Both Pd and Max/MSP use a similar interface, allowing you to […]

DIY Music Software with Free Pure Data (Pd)

DIY hardware is all the rage these days (see the Make:blog), but how about DIY software for music? An increasing number of free and commercial tools on every platform makes it possible to create wild, custom software configurations for real-time music and video without code — or cash. OS X Tiger users have access to […]