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A New Reaktor in Public Beta; First Look and Sweet Lazerbass Sounds

Reaktor 5.5’s refreshed interface. Click for a full-sized image. Reaktor 5.5, the software that’s both a giant bundle of out-there effects and synths and a visual development environment for making your own creations, has entered public beta. Despite the “point-five” appended to the name, it’s a major, new release, with new sound modules, streamlined multi-pane […]

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Björk and Dirty Projectors, Inspired by a Mountain and Whales, Back to Vocal Basics

The live session that inspired the album, in turn inspired by some whales. Photo by Ryan Muir, courtesy Motormouth. Digital music is of course created the moment you commit a recording to a file, so it’s fitting to me that we can take musical inspiration from acoustic sources as well as electronic. And one of […]

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Free Weekend: Creative Commons Workout, Moby, Samples, Inspiration, More

Yeah, for a lot of the northern hemisphere, one of these kinds of weekends. Photo (CC-BY) Frenchman Julien Haler. (Oh yeah, we really don’t say it enough – thanks, France! In fact, jeez, double thanks!) Summer days and evenings for a lot of us are a perfect time for buying new records, listening to new […]

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Free Stuff for Ableton Live: FM Drum Machine in M4L, Minus Artists’ Live Sets

The design of tools incorporates aesthetic ideas and values from the creator. With freer access to those tools, and easier creation of custom tools, the line between a music release and a tool release blurs. The difference: you can take someone else’s tool, and warp it to your own purposes. And so it is that […]

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Batteries and Suitcase Music: Chris Carter’s No-MIDI, No-Keyboard Musical Rig

How much can you do with a suitcase full of soundmakers? Quite a lot, as it happens. The 20th Century gave sound two great achievements. One was the successful modeling of filtering in digital software form. The other was the production of the electronic filter, first in quartz crystal form. Today, all of those advancements […]

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Don’t Mean A Thing: Swinger Adds Swing to Anything

Photo (CC) John Manoogian III. Wish you could make any track swing? Tristan Jehan, grad of the MIT Hyperinstruments Group and c0-founder of The Echo Nest, made that happen at San Francisco’s Music Hack Day. The Python code uses the Echo Nest’s sound-processing magic, available to the world via open Web APIs, in order to […]

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Autechre New Ten Track Unveiled; Hear and Download a Cut Free

Autechre are back, following up a set of live dates and March full length release with yet another full-length on Warp and more dates, this time beginning at the end of August in Perth, Australia and heading off to Slovakia, Poland, Japan, and Greece. Best to let you hear the new full-length track, available for […]

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The Myth of Falling Fidelity, and Audio History Unburdened by Fact

Photo (CC) Alosh Bennett. With the regularity of clockwork, stories about how digital audio consumption is degrading the quality of music are published and then re-published. Nearly a decade after the introduction of Apple’s iPod, this still apparently qualifies as news. The content of the articles is so identical, you could believe the bylines are […]

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Real Sound Synthesis, Now in the Browser; Possible New Standard?

Bloop HTML5 Instrument inspired by Brian Eno’s Bloom from Bocoup on Vimeo. HTML5 and Javascript Synthesizer from Corban Brook on Vimeo. Pioneers like Max Mathews’ Bell Labs team taught the computer to hum, sing, and speak, before even the development of primitive graphical user interfaces. So it’s fitting that the standards that chart the Web’s […]

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Listening: Paul Croker’s Sampled Vinyl MPC Collage, PublicSpacesLab

Photo (CC-BY) Hryck. / Todd. Barcelona-based, Los Angeles-edited PublicSpacesLab is an example of what a netlabel can be. Instead of just another dumping ground for sounds, it feels like a well-curated cafe, pairing regular but thoughtful releases with reflections on music making. Everything is Creative Commons-licensed, free music, from a variety of artists spanning geographies […]

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