CDM and Creative Commons “Non-Commercial” Images

(CC) Giulio Zannol. Sampling and online reuse are enormously common in our culture today. But if you really believe in making some of that culture freely accessible, it follows you must also make free licenses explicit. Simply taking something because it’s there isn’t fair to the person who created the content, whose rights should come first, and it doesn’t help advance the cause of free content. If we want content to be more freely accessible, we need to give first priority to those materials explicitly licensed for free use. All of that is to say, we need to obey the …

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Here Come the Fixes: Live 8.1.1 Begins Squashing Bugs

(CC) Pikturewerk. Minor releases and bugfixes don’t generally make CDM news, but this is a special occasion. Ableton founder and CEO Gerhard Behles got everyone’s attention this week by making the rare public announcement that Ableton’s development team was temporarily halting work on new features to focus on fixing bugs. That has prompted some seriously impassioned discussion, on the Ableton forum but also here on CDM. Look past some of the hyperbola and name-calling, and you’ll see some insightful comments on both sides. In fact, the whole affair reveals a lot about how music software customers view bugs, updates, support, …

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Round-Up: Robotic Drummers, Robotic Percussion

So, your human drummer can’t bang out the elaborate breakcore beats you’ve composed, huh? Build your own robotic replacement, putting the magic of positronics into rhythm. That’s what the folks of Texas Central Positronics and the David Crowder Band have done with Steve_3po, the robotic drummer. It brings new meaning to “drum machine,” blending acoustic sound with programmed rhythms. The secret to controlling this machine with MIDI is none other than one of our favorite kits, Highly Liquid’s MIDI Decoder. For more on that side of things, see the recent story by Mike Una here on CDM: DIY MIDI In, …

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Got a Product at NAMM? Get in Our Guide, Request Meetings; Correspondents Wanted

Yes, folks, NAMM is big. Photo (CC) bigdrumthump.com If you’re introducing or demonstrating new products at NAMM, and you’d like to be considered for CDM’s curated NAMM products guide, let us know. Incidentally, since I don’t represent the NAMM organization, that can mean anyone in LA around NAMM or otherwise timing announcements that week, whether or not you’re an exhibitor. One- and two-person shops are as welcome as big manufacturers, as always. There is no charge to be in the CDM guide, excepting the need to have something cool. We can’t cover everything and want to avoid information overload, but …

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Ableton Suspends Development to Focus on Bug Fixes for Live 8

Killing bugs dead, as pictured in a sign in Ikaho, Japan. Photo: Rick Hall. New features are great, and yes, it’s often us users asking for them. But reliability and stability are more important to most of us. It’s therefore a welcome surprise to see Ableton’s CEO post the following message on Ableton’s forum today, announcing that the company will put new features on hold until some reliability issues are fixed. For developers other than Ableton, it should be telling to see how users respond — if this kind of frankness inspires confidence rather than concern, it could mean that …

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Real for Reel: The Amazing Sherlock Holmes Experibass, and More Winter Cinema Sounds

Sometimes, the best sounds come not from synthesis, not even from electrified instruments, but from the purity of a mic and acoustic instrumentation. It remains electronic, or even digital sound, but its source is organic. And so, one of the best reasons to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie in theaters is the wonderful noises that bounce around Hans Zimmer’s score. Behind many great film scores are great soloists as much as great composers, and Sherlock Holmes is no exception. Zimmer worked with Diego Stocco, sound designer, sound artist, inventor, and composer in his own right. To realize the inner …

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Truly Last-Minute Gift: Osmos, the CDM Game of the Year, for Mac and Windows

For a truly unique and very much last-minute gift for anyone you know, look to CDM’s favorite game of year, the gorgeous, blood pressure-lowering title for Windows and – at long last – Mac. I may personally identify a little too much with the abstract protagonist of this game, as my holiday activities could well be described as floating around the universe, sucking particles into my gravity well as I grow in size. But whether or not I feel literally like an expanding bubble of matter, one of my favorite experiences this year was entering this ingenious physics-based game. It …

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Pro Tools Adds Snow Leopard, Windows 7 Compatibility; Other Fixes in 8.0.3

Pro Tools users, already switching to the latest-and-greatest Mac or Windows operating system? Avid has added compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Windows 7 in the company’s 8.0.3 upgrade to Pro Tools. Oddly, some of the Windows support is still listed as “beta,” while the Mac support is “official.” Nonetheless, I’ve heard reports of people using Windows 7 unofficially without issue. Here’s the status of the different operating systems and Pro Tools flavors:

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