It doesn’t have screens. There are no giant wheels or touchstrips. There’s no complex software integration, or built-in mixer, or pads for remixing.

But what the DJ4 is is what you might be missing in other DJ controllers. It’s got the controls you need in a tiny, tiny footprint that won’t have you hunting for new luggage or scrambling around a venue to find a bigger table because your gear won’t fit in the booth. (Ahem, yes, you know who you are, giant controllers.) And unlike the increasingly branded, computer-tied world of DJ controllers, this one also works with anything – now even as a MIDI controller without a computer in sight. In other words, it’s a Faderfox. Continue reading »


With a little setup, you can integrate a hardware synth with Reaper as if it’s a software plug-in. Check out the video tutorial from The Reaper Blog to see how.

Reaper is a terrific “indie” DAW for the budget-conscious. Just $60 buys you an individual personal license with a bunch of free upgrades. (“Commercial” use is described as anyone making more than $20k a year – plenty of very serious musicians make less than that.) Continue reading »


Five years ago this month, CDM unveiled the MeeBlip project. It was a chance to put our love of synthesizers into a physical form we could share. And we had no idea where it would take us.

Five years later, we’ve sold thousands of the musical instruments, all engineered by their creator James Grahame in Calgary, and all fully open source. In that time, we’ve also worked hard to make the MeeBlip constantly better, and easier for more people to get their hands on and use. Today, we celebrate five years, and what we think is our best MeeBlip yet. We’re also lowering the price. Continue reading »

Techno has become folk art, popular music idiom. Yet it’s still often viewed through the machines that first made it. What if you could give it some sort of physical, mechanical form?

That’s what Graham Dunning has done with Mechanical Techno. And in a new video (produced by Michael Forrest), he shows how it’s done. Continue reading »


You’re probably so used to sync being broken that the first time you see Link, you might not believe what’s happening.

Link began its life as a research project and has turned into a full-fledged product from Ableton. But unlike Push or Live, Link itself isn’t something you buy. Instead, it’ll be built into software you use, and unlock seemingly magical wireless (or wired) sync.

The upshot: the electronic jam session is about to get a whole lot easier. And with a beta out today, that’s not some unknown future. It’s right now. Continue reading »


Working with samples is great fun, but there’s a certain sameness to approach. Load a sample. Play back a sample. Slice a sample. FLESH takes a unique angle: it analyzes sound samples and mangles them into new animals.

And it’s the latest from Tim Exile, a one-man live performer of madness himself (Warp, Planet Mu), and one of Reaktor’s greatest patching virtuosos on Earth. His first two instruments, THE FINGER and THE MOUTH, were already weird and wonderful tools for performance, but FLESH could be the deepest one yet. (Yes, that’s just Flesh, not The Flesh. So it could be, basically, any flesh. Yours, mine, some random guy’s flesh… you get it.) Continue reading »

A kid and parent playing with a Benjolin

We have seen the future. And it’s strange – in a good way.

Bizarre Sound Creatures was an exhibition late last month held in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, accompanied by workshops and performances. The theme wasn’t just new instrument design and music making, but imagining a future world with peculiar evolutionary twists. These are musical objects with odd appendages and surprising interfaces.

Let’s take a look. Continue reading »