Kitten Does Electro 101; Where are the Synth Pooches?

Pictures of cats and blogging are a cliche — but that cliche happens to be true. And it extends down the long tail (ahem, so to speak) to our little niches. Yes, there really is a blog dedicated to pictures of cats and synths. Not weirded out yet? Via Matrixsynth earlier this month (and evidently not an April Fool’s joke), someone has made a tatoo. Very … uh, meta. Good grief; the cats have already started making tutorials: Assembling electronic beats, starring Convoy — a slide show So, my question is, where are the synth and computer music dogs? Dachshunds …

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Evening Bits: Music-Playing Cats and Conceptual Designs, Bathroom Distribution

Cat power. First of today’s evening diversions: Analog Industries discovers Nora the piano-playing cat. We don’t want to put Nora up on the main site, though, lest she scare the infinitely more talented Hatebeak the parrot. Conceptual albums. The folks at BornRich.org have a beautiful music tablet PC design up. (Thanks, Gizmodo.) Only problem: it’s basically a Windows tablet PC with a prettier body; the real magic in portable music tablets would come from smarter software. See also their computer in a drum case, which might allow drummers to sneak Ableton Live onstage. The Long Tail and the Toilet. Lastly, …

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Music of Snakes on a Plane: Trevor Rabin, Former Yes-Man Now a Mac-Using Composer

It’s impossible to continue just to make music and ignore the serious threats to our security and the safety of passenger aviation. Tightened security has focused primarily on threats from the past, and reactive measures that can only prevent existing, known dangers. You know where I’m going with this: we need to evaluate screening methods and other security provisions to respond to the significant issue of snakes on a plane. I just can’t believe no one is doing anything about these motherf****** snakes. Cult-hit-before-it-was-even-released movie Snakes on a Plane has none other than Trevor Rabin composing the musical score, as …

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Adorable Animals with Synthesizers

I love controversy. But after a week in which US politicians were talking about World War III (or was that IV) and somehow CDM’s great comment threads wound up on the topics of whether hardware or software was better (discussion = not allowed on this site), and whether starving children would be able to eat affordably-priced laptops, I decided it was time for an experiment. Could I write an entry with total appeal and zero controversy? I present, as mind candy for the weekend: adorable animals with synthesizers.

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Beatboxing Parrot on YouTube, Beatboxing Human in Austin

Ah, musical parrots. While I continue to obsess over Hatebeak, the heavy metal parrot, here’s a video that claims to show a beatboxing parrot: At first, I thought this might be faked, but it does appear to be the real thing, and having known a few parrots, these birds will do far stranger things vocally. Via Signal to Noise, via GoogTube. If human beatboxers are more your speed, the supremely talented Kid Beyond will be in Austin, Texas, this time doing a full-on gig rather than the shorter tech demo for Ableton he did at NAMM in January. Beatboxing parrots …

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A Real Web Music Success Story: A Death Metal Parrot Clears the Way for Avian Vocalists

You may have heard a lot about the InterWeb, a new network that magically connects people around the world through their Compute-trons. You might have heard about its powers to promote music, perhaps by an ill-researched story yesterday where I stupidly pointed to a UK artist who will go unmentioned here. (As it turns out, which I would have known had I bothered to, um, read, all of the following did indeed happen: “girl produces webcast from basement,” “girl gets fan following,” “girl makes it big,” “girl signs record deal,” “girl hires publicist.” Just in the reverse order. It doesn’t …

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Analog Jacket Synth and Other Circuit-Bendable Oddities from Baltimore

Tim’s back with another tip. Baltimore bender Peter Blasser has created oddities like the much-blogged worm-powered synth (using worms as connections for a circuit-bend patch bay; via Music thing) and bent wooden synth kits (also via MT). But that’s not all. Blasser, aka Ciato-Lonbarseee, has plenty of other strange creations: Many odd synths, many odd names: Blasser catalog I love the eerie sounds of the percussive analog jacket. There’s another whole page of wooden and electronic oddities, like the “bass in a picnic basket.” Some things can be explained. Some cannot, like these pages of instruments. Go explore and enjoy.

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Chicken Little Toy, Remixed into a DJ

The crew at Remix Magazine got a chance to (literally) remix a Disney Chicken Little toy; they’ve posted the process and results. So what gear does DJ Chicken Little use? Pioneer CDJ-1000 Allen & Heath Xone mixer Virus Indigo keyboard PowerBook G4 running Ableton Live Hmm, absurdly cute, gets all the “young hens,” and has a dream rig — I have to say I’m a bit jealous. This is about the most fun toy I’ve seen since the Moog action figure. So, Keyboard Magazine, do we have a response toy?

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Interactive Music Tracks Fish Movement

Here’s a twist on interactive aquatic music: how about letting the fish be the music-makers? BBC News reports that digital artist Julie Freeman has created an installation out of a fish tank, installed in a silo at the Tingrith Fishery in Bedfordshire, southern England. Surgically-implanted radio tags track the movement of the fish, which generates music and animation. (via Gino Robair at Electronic Musician) I think this is even better than the MIDI hamsters.

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Pianoquarium

This week's understatement of note: "Sometimes I am self-driven to do some weird stuff. I have no idea why." Indeed, Troy Errthum. Like turning an old upright piano into a 20-gallon pianoquarium, complete with live fish. (via hackaday) The piano itself is no longer playable (guess that's what happens when you replace the soundboard with fish), but there's room for an electric piano. CDM challenges its readers to start building fish storage into digital instruments. Maybe there's a market here.

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