Live Music Makers Ask: How Can We Get in Sync?

Sync or swim, indeed. Synchronized swimming performance in Brighton, which itself had to sync with live music and cinema – check out the details, as they’re perfect metaphorically for this story. Photo: Greg Neate. Laptop musicians are feeling out of sync — literally. But we can work together to help the situation. Computer music making can be an isolating experience. But when users try to use their eminently-mobile tools to play together in the same room, they often find that the technology resists. MIDI, as a serial protocol, isn’t designed for networked environments. Software interfaces are designed to be visible …

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Keyboard Geeking Day: Roland Answers JUNO Questions, plus 2.0 Sampling on JUNO-G

The Roland JUNO-G has attracted some interest from CDM readers since I mentioned Roland’s YouTube contest and talked a bit about the JUNO line’s history. (See previous story.) One of you by the name of “made” even asked comments addressed “Dear Roland.” I had to admit I was curious about those answers, so Roland responded. The JUNO-G feature a lot of readers wondered about was the onboard sampling functionality. That feature was beefed up in the OS 2.0. Personally, I’m still looking to keep my samples on the software side, but I can see this having some appeal for live …

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Giving Musical Thanks: Help Kick Off CDM Notes, Win T-Racks 3

Any holiday that’s an excuse to give thanks (not to mention, eat) is a worthy one, whether you’re an American or not. Photo ()CC) riptheskull/Dave. Thanksgiving is an American holiday on this international site, but the basic ideal for which the day has come to stand – giving thanks – is a noble one. So we want to do three things here for CDM: 1. Ask you what for you’re thankful, musically speaking. It might be a synth, or a collaborator, or an album, or a song, or the metronome you’ve used since you started playing, or having more discipline …

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Bandcamp versus SoundCloud: Online Music Sharing Services, Fight!

The wonderful wire to the ear beats me to raising the question of which online music sharing service should rule them all, Bandcamp or the just-public SoundCloud. I’ll be taking both for a test drive, but as I’m looking at them, any other services we should be considering for a prize fight? Any first impressions on which you like best? Be sure to vote in wire to the ear’s poll, too; we’ll be watching. Bandcamp Screencast from Ethan Diamond on Vimeo.

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You Decide, We Report: Who Do You Want Interviewed At Minitek?

Yep, we could even ask Matthew Dear (aka Audion) for tambourine playing tips. Photo: David G. Jones. Okay, readers around the world. There’s a convergence of electronic musicians and visualists here in NYC at Minitek this weekend. Here are your choices: Music lineup Innovation Day Artists Visualists for the Innovation Night Lineup I’ve got myself. I’ve got a video crew. You’ve got, I think, pretty wildly divergent tastes — and many of you aren’t electronic musicians. But I’m curious, which interviews would you most want to read / watch? (I promise we’ll ask probing questions, and we’re not just limited …

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Album Art and Design, Alive and Well in the Digital Age

Today’s reflections on the importance of album art: 1. Album art can be beautiful, whatever the recording medium. It can reflect great design, and extend the expression of the album itself (well, and it helps if the album is great). Justin and Colin have created the site Hardformat to celebrate design on everything from tapes and records to new releases. They have a gorgeous gallery of stuff, pictured above. I like what they have to say on their about page: It seems like everybody’s talking about the end of physical music media. Who knows whether they’re right or not, but …

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Mobile Music Platform Survey Results, Plus Beatmaker MIDI Export

Being expressive and productive creatively is all about finding a workflow that fits you. Form factor is part of that, because location matters. (I discovered this when trying unsuccessfully to operate my MacBook on a bus to Boston this week that wouldn’t accommodate my knees. Mobile devices suddenly had more appeal.) Naturally, not everyone has the same needs or interests. So today, we have some survey data on how readers feel about mobile tech, as well as an update to the iPhone/iPod touch Beatmaker app that could have a big impact on how you use that device in conjunction with …

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Two Crazy Ableton Live Sets, with Mario and Animation; Send Us Yours!

We asked to see inside the Ableton Live sets you use in live performance, and you’ve responded with an overwhelming variety of responses. There are plenty of very practical submissions, from beginners and advanced users alike, which should give us a real sense of the ways in which people are playing Live as an instrument. Naturally, there are also some more unusual entries. At top: Mark Gutierrez has used the Live arrangement grid as a palette for animated pixel art, with 8-bit game characters from Space Invaders and Super Mario Brothers dancing across the screen. At bottom: Manuel Palenque has …

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Music Tech and Music Education: Blogs and CDM on the ME Podcast

The connection between music education and technology has always been really significant to me. Aside from (sometimes) being a teacher myself and having spent a few years doing training for notation package Sibelius, to me learning and teaching are fundamental to musical activity even outside schools. I got to sit in as a guest on the excellent Music Tech for ME podcast last week: Music Tech for ME 2008.07.01-#030 Be sure to check out the whole Music Tech for ME series. There’s some great stuff in there, covering educational issues, how technology is evolving and how it fits in with …

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