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Words and Music: New Brian Eno Coming on Warp, with Rick Holland Poetry; Listen Now to ‘Glitch’

Artwork by Brian Eno. Courtesy Warp. Used by permission. (Click for full-sized version. I like to get my eyeballs up against this one.) Packed tightly with interlaced rhythms, set against crisp cool intoned lyrics, the first cut of Brian Eno’s forthcoming “Drums Between the Bells” from Warp can give us all reason to look forward […]

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Piano Lovers: Ivory II’s Resonance Modeling a Winner, Says Keyboard Mag

Steinways in a row. One example of how pianos can be tough to model: the distinctive Steinway treble “sparkle.” Photo (CC-BY-ND) mypouss. For something with a row of keys, the piano can prove surprisingly hard to model perfectly. But computer software, blessed with lavish storage space for samples and now-ample processing power, has a decided […]

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Music from Numbers: An Eclectic, Free (CC) Compilation of Numbers Station-Inspired Tracks

Photo (CC-BY) Chris M, of a Very Large Array. Number stations, making their appearance in the post-war radio landscape, were shortwave radio stations of streams of symbols, mysterious to their listeners and apparently code. Here, the idea of lost and indecipherable broadcasts inspires a wonderfully-varied collection of reflective artists, in a free, Creative-Commons licensed compilation […]

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A Tranquil, Twinkling Set of Synthesized Cycles, Made for arc’s Wheels

We looked at the arc controller, and interviewed creator Brian Crabtree, early this year. In a way, the design is as much conceptual, kinetic sculpture attached to a computer as it is music hardware. It’s not for everyone, but it does inspire some sound designers and composers whose work I love, giving it a secondary […]

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Hack by Day, Afrotronic Future Funk By Night: Handmade Music NYC Sat 4/2, Listening and More Free Now

If you’re in the NYC area, we hope you’ll mark your calendar; if not, we have some free listening for you to explore below. Hacking and inventing, creative musicians are making and modifying the tools of their performance to express the music they imagine, with stunning variety of results. And so it is that once […]

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Golden Age of Wireless: Korg iOS Sync, Android + MIDI Hardware, Enter Bluetooth MIDI?

Ready to cut the cord and go wireless? With mobile gadgets getting involved in music-making, it seems a logical solution – maybe not reason to throw away your MIDI cabling, but worth at least trying. Bluetooth could be an answer. In fact, it could work even without all those pesky, pricey mobile tablets and phones […]

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Create Analog Music: Free Listening, Free Techniques, from Patching to iPad MIDI MuRF Control to Tunings

Connecting something to something else – it’s a basic principle of musical composition, of improvisation, of conversation. It’s therefore an essential feature of software, code, and digital music interfaces. But sometimes, it’s awfully nice to turn a knob and plug in actual, physical cord. Our friends Ben Hovey and Chris Stack are here with more […]

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Useful Music Tools for Your Android Phone, and a New Sketchpad Joins Groovebox

Despite being a musical technology enthusiast, I really do think of my Android phone first and foremost as a communications device. I imagine I’m not alone, just as I’d guess that people who want a mobile music maker may look first at the iPhone. But that raises the question, are there tools you’d install on […]

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Prefuse 73 to Release Female Vocalist-Packed Record; Get Shara Worden Track Free

Prefuse 73 at work; photo (CC-BY-SA) Claudio Ruiz. Sonically rich, thickly layered with texture, crackles, and low end, the upcoming full-length by Prefuse 73 nonetheless promises a focus on songwriting and vocals. That could make it a highlight of the year – whereas dense production can often render singers almost decorative, early samples of the […]

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A Beautiful Compilation from 40+ Artists Shows Support for Japan

In a more connected world, we begin to understand more profoundly the life we share on a planet that is both fragile and potentially destructive. I remember the sobering feeling of listening to radio reports from Haiti during NAMM last year. There are countless calls for support for Japan, and I hope that, as in […]

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