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GarageBand for iPad Hands-on: Why It’s Ideal for Beginners, What You May Not Know

Let’s get this out of the way: musicians are not a “niche” group. Recording has done some damage to the popular practice of live music, but still, you’ll find an astonishing number of people play instruments and sing. (New pop culture phenomena like Glee, the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, and the resurgent TV talent show have helped, too.) What’s “niche” is conventional music production software. While it’s a fast-growing segment, music making software remains elusive and befuddling to a whole lot of musicians. GarageBand for Mac was one answer to what software for the remaining group should look like. But …

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knobtee

Bob Moog’s Birthday: Learn Synthesis, Benefit Swag, Apps, and a Playable Google Doodle [Videos]

Sound technology pioneer Bob Moog’s birthday is May 23, and just about the whole Web will be in on the celebration. Play Google like a Minimoog: Google’s Doodle, the image you see on their homepage, is one of their best yet: it’s a fully interactive, playable Minimoog synthesizer. You can even record and playback little musical sketches and share with friends. Since the Earth is round, Google Japan gets an early scoop. (Yes, the Moog sun will rise first on the land of Roland, Yamaha, and KORG.) Bonus (for Web nerds): this all uses the Web Audio API, which promises …

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Once More, From the Top: Learn Ableton Live in Videos, from the Very Beginning

Whether you’re an absolute beginner – or just want to help turn on a friend or bandmate to computer music production – starting at the very beginning is indeed a very good place to start. So, it’s nice to see Ableton’s official channel this month covering the very first steps of working with their flagship Ableton Live. In fact, even if you don’t own Live, you can make use of the demo version and try this out. I typically find that getting audio interfaces working properly is the biggest hurdle for first-time music users. (Okay, sometimes it stumps us advanced …

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Last-Minute Holiday Shopping: Mom Asks, Live or Logic for a Beginner Teen?

What’s the best way to help get someone started on computer music making? From comments, we get this request from a mother looking to buy the first software on a budget for her teenage son. I’m, uh, hoping your son isn’t reading this (actually, he probably won’t mind – just remember, act surprised). I am completely new to this kind of software, but my teenage son is requesting the likes for Christmas. I started out looking at Ableton Live 8, but am a bit wary of the price. I’ve also looked at Reason and Apple’s Logic Studio. The price is …

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Pd MLR Tutorial: Learn monome, Sample Slicing, OSC in a Free and Open Source Tool

The monome phenomenon in music making owes a lot to a combination of powerful elements: elegant, human-readable messages that describe button presses (using OSC), open software built with a patching environment that anyone can modify and customize, and sample-slicing audio playback mayhem with the popular MLR tool. In one tutorial, you can learn about all of these elements. The idea here is to use the monome hardware, but this could be easily adapter to other grid controllers or a device of your own invention. You’ll also learn a bit of Pd (Pure Data), the free and open-source cousin to Max/MSP. …

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You, Too Can Learn Renoise: Video Tutorial from Dac Makes you a Tracker

Seeing a tracker interface for the first time can be intimidating. But dive in a bit deeper, and you’ll discover what’s actually a very efficient interface for programming in musical sequences and working with samples. With just ten days left in the Renoise – Indamixx music production contest, there’s still time to get up and running using even the demo version of Renoise (into which you can import samples). And this could be a great excuse to learn a new tool. Dac, who’s a big part of support and community for Renoise, has put together a nice tutorial showing off …

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Free Linux Studio: How to Use LinuxDSP Effects with Ardour

Alongside our Renoise + Indamixx netbook-optimized production competition, I’m kicking off this week a series of CDM and guest tutorials on working with Linux audio tools, Renoise, and more. First up, here’s a basic look at how to route the free-as-in-beer linuxDSP effects toolkit into the powerful, modern, open-source DAW Ardour. Correction: I implied that linuxDSP had an open source license, which is not correct. It should be considered “freeware” but not free software. Ardour, of course, is fully open source, and this is as much a tutorial on how to use JACK to route effects as it is linuxDSP …

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Everyone Needs a Vocoder: Live 8 Video Tutorial, Plus Live Live and Dummy Clips

Vocoding Voices in Live 8 from Bjorn Vayner on Vimeo. Continuing our growing collection of Live 8 video tutorials, our friend Bjorn of Covert Operators sends over a terrific tutorial on making use of the vocoder. Now, unlike the “misuse” tutorials we’ve been running, this is actually how this effect is designed to be used. On the other hand, if you’re still interested in misuse – and you’re not terribly interested in conventional effects – this can be a great way to wrap your head around the tool’s proper function, before you start warping it in another direction. I think …

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