5 Free VST Plug-in Picks for Windows, and a Site with Hundreds More

Crispin writes to tell us about his site, which lists a couple hundred free VST plug-ins (most are Windows-only). You can add that to the growing list of places you can find free music software tools, as well as "reasons no one can argue computer music is too expensive" and "reasons no one has an excuse to pirate software." With that many choices, I asked Crispin to tell us his top five favorites. Here’s what he came up with (in no particular order), plus a few words from me: DSK Brass: Sample-based brass instrument, with two layers and 23 waveforms, …

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Tenori-On: Hands-on, Chat with Yamaha’s Yu Nishibori, on CNET

Donald Bell, aka electronic musician Chachi Jones, nabs what I believe is the first hands-on time with the LED-and-button-laden Tenori-On digital instrument on American shores. Yamaha’s Yu Nishibori stopped by the music tech boutique Robotspeak in San Francisco for a chat; I got to play Robotspeak in January and it’s a brilliant place. Donald recorded the conversation for CNET. Hands-on with Tenori-On [Crave] Not convinced? Here’s a very different Tenori-On demo on Music thing. Tenori-On Stands Alone, and Praising Limitations Donald shared some of his personal (non-official CNET) take on the Tenori-On. It sounds like seeing it in person changed …

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Elsewhere: Throw Away Your Drums, Plus a Hands-On with eSession

David Battino sends along this image. What’s wrong with this photo? Yeah, I guess once you have a Roland Handsonic and M-Audio Trigger Finger you don’t really need drums, huh? Your neighbors / roommate / significant other / Mom are going to clip that sentence out and paste it to your studio door. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point to the story this comes from: author Spencer Critchley, via the good folks at O’Reilly Digital Media, takes on eSession. It’s a Web-based, collaborative recording system, and this has to be the most extensive feature ever written about it: The …

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Mix Online To Offer Monthly Game Audio Digital Magazine

Speaking of gaming, here’s more news that the fledgling game audio and music area is getting more attention — something that we at CDM see as very good news. (See our sometimes-obsessive gaming stories.) CDM’s resident game composer and sound designer checks in … In an e-mail he sent to me yesterday, Peter pointed out that Mix was soon to offer a bi-monthly newsletter on game audio. We were both summarily unimpressed – until we discovered that the newsletter was in addition to a monthly digital magazine, a sample of which is now available on the Mix website. The sample …

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Web: Want to Break Into Games? Nextcat Adds Listings

Amidst the social networking crap, there are gems offering real resources. Nextcat lies somewhere between LinkedIn and MySpace, offering places to connect with professionals in a range of fields. The site was founded by two Berklee College of Music alums, an alma mater for a number of our readers. I’m guessing "modeling" applies to very few of you, but music is included, and now the games industry, as well, including music and audio for games and related careers. (Our own W. Brent Latta broke into that field while writing for CDM.) Nextcat seems to do a pretty good job of …

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Mailbag: A Christmas Question – Too Much Techno?

CDM receives all sorts of fascinating emails, and it’s about time — especially in the spirit of holiday giving — that we share them. Cheryl writes us: interested in your dj11.My son who has the gifted ear for music has it on his x-mas list.Wondering if this is too much tecno for a precussor to a it guy with a great ipod at partiesand playing around at home Is it too much techno? If you have the gifted ear for music, please share your advice, if you can think back to those innocent, young days when you were but a …

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noatikl: New Generative Music Engine, So You Can Rock Out Like Eno

Soundscape #1 from Umcorps on Vimeo. Tired of waiting for Spore, the upcoming Will Wright game that will feature organic, generative music by musical legend Brian Eno instead of … looping … the same 8 bars of audio … over and over again? Want to explore your own oblique strategies in music making and create evolving generative compositions? noatikl could be for you. Co-creator Pete Cole, who evidently found us by googling Eno, wrote us last week with the details: intermorphic (http://www.intermorphic.com) yesterday launched the noatikl generative music engine. You can think of noatikl as a "spiritual successor" to the …

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Wormhole2: Tool Routes Audio Over Networks, Now Open Source

Wormhole2 is a powerful, cross-platform (Windows + Mac) VST plug-in capable of transmitting audio between computers over networks. It allows effects chain routing between networked computers, boasts low-latency performance on LANs, and even works over WiFi or Firewire. But Wormhole2’s niche audience kept it from catching on more widely, and we hadn’t heard much from it lately, leaving some users worried Wormhole had fallen into a black hole. plasq, the wonderful people who brought us Skitch and Comic Life, have been giving their audio tools new lives rather than orphaning them. We’ve already seen plasq’s live performance-savvy instrument and effects …

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Audiofile Engineering: Site and Application Updates from Mac Audio Developer

Awhile back, we reviewed Wave Editor, and deemed it one of our favorite audio editors for Mac OS X. Our friends at Audiofile Engineering have ushered in the holiday season with a complete site redesign and numerous application updates, including the highly anticipated Wave Editor 1.3, and Leopard-ready updates to apps across the board. You may also recall that Audiofile Engineering recently rescued the excellent instrument and effect host, Rax – formerly developed by our friends at plasq. It is clear that Apple borrowed heavily from Rax’s design choices and intentions with their new MainStage application (bundled with Logic 8) …

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Radiohead, Max/MSP, a Lost Authorization, and Self-Pricing

It seems even Radiohead sometimes lose their copy protection authorization for Max/MSP. That doesn’t stop our friends at Cycling ’74 support from getting a bit cheeky. But careful what you say: it might wind up as the lead to a New York Times article: SHORTLY after Radiohead released its album “In Rainbows” online in October, the band misplaced its password for Max/MSP, a geek-oriented music software package that the guitarist Jonny Greenwood uses constantly. It wasn’t the first time it had happened, Mr. Greenwood said over a cup of tea at the venerable Randolph Hotel here. As usual Radiohead contacted …

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