Handmade Music Returns: DIY Music Tech in Brooklyn 7/8, Video

Create Digital Music Night at ETSY LABS from Etsy on Vimeo. Handmade marketplace Etsy.com, DIY "mook"/blog Make, and createdigitalmusic.com again team up for another Handmade Music Night at Brooklyn’s Etsy Labs! For an idea of what it’s about (or perhaps inspiration for starting something similar in your corner of the world), see the video above. On tap: Chiptune gaming systems for music, strange alternative MIDI controllers and sound-mangling custom software, repurposed vintage synthesizer chips made famous by the Commodore 64, digital visuals, a musical Nintendo Wii balance board, and wireless sensing controllers… And more. Where/when: 7/8/08 – 7pm onward (free!) …

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MIDIFY, Shipping Now, Adds MIDI to Nintendo Handhelds, Microwaved Corn Dogs

Here’s the one you’ve been waiting for. MIDIFY is a DIY board that lets you add MIDI to any Nintendo handheld game console – DS, DS Lite, GBA, GBA-SP, and (with some extra parts) other devices – even microwave ovens. US$34.99, a scant 2 oz, and you even get a MIDI cable. Wire that sucker in, and you can assign MIDI messages however you like, including either omni or channelized modes. This is a very direct solution: the board actually outputs signal directly into whatever you wish to control. Midify Product Page; story broken by hahafresh  It’s fitting that in …

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Beyond the Guitar: Hacked Instruments, 8-bit FX, Amp Simulators on Synths, More

The world this week lost one of its great musical innovators, Bo Diddley. DIY instrument builders and anyone who enjoys abusing their guitar (or, perhaps, any instrument), you owe a great deal to "the originator." In the service of his unique and powerful expressive imagination, Bo Diddly hacked and attacked guitars, producing for the first time many of the effects we take for granted as part of the guitar language. And, of course, there was also his signature, rectangular "Twang Machine" guitar, which is just plain brilliant. I believe the instinct to experiment with sound is the same, whether it’s …

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LittleGPTracker Hits 1.0; Free, GP2x, Linux, Mac, Windows, Does Lots of Stuff

LGPT, shirt optional. (Just in case you long for a tracker you can play topless.) Starpause jamming, via the LGPT site. Our friend Marc (“M-.-n”) writes to let us know version 1.0 of music tracker (think alternative sequencer / music making tool) LittleGPTracker is here, with quite a lot in the way of new features. As always, the banner feature of LGPT is its ability to run on the open, Linux-based GamePark mobile game console, making it an ideal choice for tracking on the go. But it runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux desktop systems, too, with features enhanced in …

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CSI: Chiptune – nitro2k01 Gets Scientific with Alleged Violations; Crystal Castles Responds

Game Boy musician nitro2k01 has taken on the controversy over Crystal Castles, the band that just joined the long line of artists recently appropriating sounds from the 8-bit musical underground. Get ready, CSIs: nitro2k01 uses spectral graphs to try to demonstrate the Crystal Castles song "Love and Caring" is also ripped off, with beats borrowed from Covox’s "Sunday." Crystal Castles and Chip Music Copyright Infringements [Gameboy Genius] Crystal Castles responds to earlier allegations via the 8-bit collective forum. Representative Andy writes: …songs with Lo-Bat samples were left off the CC album because we didn’t have the sample clearance. Many songs …

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Chiptune Music Theft Continues; Crystal Castles Abuses Creative Commons License

Crystal Castles: now under fire for abusing a Creative Commons license on a chiptune track. Photo by Oliver J. Lopena: oliverlopena.com. (And CC-licensed, via Flickr.) As using sounds produced on unusual 8-bit systems and game consoles grows in popularity, some artists are appropriating the music as their own. Sometimes, as with Beck, a well-known or better-marketed artist is using lesser-known artists for purposes of novelty. That alone has riled some in the hard-core chiptune community. In some cases, though, artists are resorting to outright theft. In the most recent case, part of the problem is people misunderstanding Creative Commons licenses, …

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Free Mario Paint Composer for Windows and Mac; Mario Does John Cage

Hidden as an extra, Mario Paint Composer was one of the first software creations to meld music creation with game. It’s been a novelty favorite among 8-bit fans — not really a serious tool, but a curiosity nonetheless. But that requires a copy of Mario Paint. Now you can get the Mario-infected goodness on your Mac or Windows machine, free. (Thanks, Wally!) Mario Paint Composer [unFun Games] The Mac software link is broken, so here’s a direct Mac download link (thanks, Hunter!) It’s not really about Mario Paint Composer the tool, though. For some strange reason, this creation has inspired …

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Pixelh8 Music Tech Pro Performer Brings Live Performance to Game Boy

The revelation of a Korg synth for Nintendo DS was big news for modern-style soft synths on mobile Nintendo game systems. But what about some good, oldskool 8-bit Game Boy sounds? Most cartridges have focused on sequencers, not synths and performance — that is, not playing your Game Boy like an instrument. The Pixelh8 project got our attention last summer by attempting to do just that. Now, project creator Matthew (Pixelh8 himself) lets us know his Music Tech Pro Performer, a complete remake of his original project, is available: Pro Performer Project Page V1+ brings new features, including nineteen (count …

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Handmade Music Strikes NY Yet Again, Thursday, 11/15; Your Projects Wanted

Eric Johnson’s musical wall of switches captivates the crowd at the last CDM + Make + Etsy Handmade Music night at Etsy Labs. Handmade Music, the semi-regular evening of DIY musical oddities brought to you by CDM, Etsy, and Make Magazine, will mercilessly descend upon yet another peaceful Brooklyn evening. Expect an informal, free party + show and tell + science fair featuring self-made electronic musical projects. Already confirmed for the lineup: The MIDI Pick, a pressure-sensitive DIY digital guitar pick by Roy Vanegas Mystery musical controllers from Eric Singer, the mind behind the world-infamous LEMUR, an educational outlet in …

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basic64: Free Commodore 64-Inspired Plug-in for Windows

basic64 is a free (donations accepted) VST plug-in for Windows. You can see the full specs on the developer site, but let’s skip straight to what sets this one apart: Oscillator sync Ring modulation Pitch envelopes Tempo-synced arpeggiator MIDI learn on everything Pretty powerful for free. It’s not a full SID emulation, but then, I think an “inspired” version is better anyway. Now, enough blogging, I’m off to go play with this thing. And yes, lots of weird and wonderful plug-ins is one excellent reason to use Windows, even if just a justification for throwing XP Home on Boot Camp …

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