Way Too Many Moogerfoogers: 18 Moog Pedals Become a “Modular,” Shout Out4 in the Studio

Steve Reich had his Music for 18 Musicians. Here’s a modular made of 18 Moogerfoogers. And for those of you who complain that modulars can become large, expensive, hard to carry, and unwieldy… This absolutely, positively … doesn’t help with that at all. (Happily, new desktop modular tools do, but… this is… also possible.) And to those of you who say this seems impractical or silly, well, maybe you have five friends, and each of you has three Moogerfoogers, and you’ve wondered if you could ever form a band. Yes. Yes, you can. This is the creation of Shout Out …

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King Britt, in the Studio: Fhloston Paradigm and Making Music Like It’s 1983 [Video]

We’ve heard the new Fhloston Paradigm; here’s an up-close look at the studio setup on which it was made. Making music can be about collecting the best, not just the newest, finding what’s inspiring to build your own tradition. Perhaps that’s why so many artists increasingly turn to vintage analog gear not just because they idolize the sound, but because it opens up working techniques that move their music forward. After all, digital emulations get better by the day at copying sounds, but it may be less a matter of old and new and more unlocking some personal creativity. In …

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Making Digital One-of-a-Kind: Inside Icarus’ Generative Album in 1000 Variations

Even the artwork changes. This is my personal copy – #148. Digital: disposable, identical, infinitely reproducible. Recordings: static, unchanging. Or … are they? Icarus’ Fake Fish Distribution (FFD), a self-described “album in 1000 variations,” generates a one-of-a-kind download for each purchaser. Generative, parametric software takes the composition, by London-based musicians-slash-software engineers Ollie Bown and Sam Britton, and tailors the output so that each file is distinct. If you’re the 437th purchaser of the limited-run of 1000, in other words, you get a composition that is different from 436 before you and 438 after you. The process breaks two commonly-understood notions …

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Pugs Luv Beats Marries Music, Gaming on iOS: How it Was Made, How Free libpd Music Tool Helped

The iPad becomes a canvas for a game with an atypically-musical, interactive sound score. All images courtesy the developers. Photos by whatkristensaw. Truly generative musical scores in games have been few and far between, and “music games” has traditionally meant arcade-style rhythm games in which you repeat phrases or whole songs as accurately as possible. Pugs Luv Beats breaks those molds. Part of a vanguard of new gaming creations that generate dynamic music on the fly, it marries grid-based sequencing and resource-gathering gaming, as music making and gameplay blur together. The interactively-produced music could itself become a new way of …

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Dimensions, iOS App Powered by Pd and Hans Zimmer, is Sound-Augmented Reality Game: Behind the Scenes

Graphics are good. Graphics are shiny. But when it comes to reality-bending, emotionally-immersive, perception-shifting power, look to sound and music. At least that’s the feeling you could get after playing Dimensions. Following their reactive music tools and Inception dream states for iOS, RjDj have turned their mind-altering sonics to gameplay. As with previous releases, these tools are powered by the open source visual development environment Pure Data. Pd engineering wizardry here meetings the compositional and sound design prowess of Hans Zimmer. You can see a bit of how the musical world works in the teaser video above, and the music …

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PreenFM, Open Source Hardware Synth: Behind the Scenes with the Creator

First revealed last month, PreenFM is an open source hardware synth. As the name implies, it’s an FM synth, with some very serious specs: up to six-operator FM synthesis with some nine algorithms, up to 4-voice polyphony (depending on algorithm), glide, selectable LFOs, modulation matrix, and preset banks with SysEx support. It’s all usable via a display and MIDI support. It’s also fully open source hardware; whereas early efforts often had commercial restrictions attached, PreenFM is free for use under the GPLv3 and Creative Commons. And it’s got a unique platform under the hood: the open source LeafLabs 32-bit development …

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What You Don’t Need to Make Music: With A Poly 800 and Renoise, Dkon Talks Music Making, New Label

Deceptikon morphs into Dkon — and talks to us about doing more with less. Photo courtesy the artist. Artist Zack Wright, for a handful of followers of what we used to call IDM, will be a blast from the past. Recording as Deceptikon on labels like Merck and Daly City Records, Zack is back. His name is now Dkon, and the story is more than just him: in the absence of a Merck to release adventurous music, Dkon is helping launch a new label entitled Tokyo Ghost Island, with an EP to be followed soon by new records from Jemapur, …

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Turntable Meets Cello, Sax, Laptop: How Archie Pelago Uses The Bridge and Ableton Live

With laidback, exotic grooves and richly-coordinated interlaced cello, saxophone, turntable, and electronics, Archie Pelago’s music relies on some serious technological savvy. To be sure, all you really need to play instruments and computers and turntables together is to get into a room and start jamming. But to realize their specific musical vision, the trio of Hirshi, Cosmo D and Kroba have turned to an advanced Ableton Live rig, centered around The Bridge to couple Serato and Live. Here’s a look at their music – and all the gory details that combine to make their setup tick. Grab the free EP …

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Novation + Serato Touchstrip Twitch; Pics + Inside Details on the DJ ‘Controllerist’ Collaboration

The question of how to build controls to fly today’s live laptop music sets – whether “DJ,” “live PA,” or something else – remains open. We’ve got an inside look at the newest entry, the most recent device to explore just what should be mapped and tactile, and what should be left behind. Amidst various look-alike mixer-and-deck controllers, it fits in with those pushing to make computer control a hybrid of traditional DJ metaphors and new computer ones. Meet the Twitch. The result of a collaboration between New Zealand DJ software developer Serato and UK hardware maker Novation, Twitch deviates …

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Rock Band 3, Behind the Scenes: When A Music Game Gets More Real

Play testing Rock Band’s challenging new play modes. You know, challenging — kind of like music. Alli Thresher, community moderator, and Jessa Brezinski, intern. What Harmonix has achieved with Rock Band, and their original Guitar Hero, is remarkable. At their core, these games are descended from arcade rhythm games, reducing music to simple coordination of a few buttons. Yet numerous studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that, in an age in which recording has made musical experience passive for many, the fantasy of holding a plastic instrument is enough to convince people to explore music making again. Rock Band’s collaborative gameplay …

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