Yep, this is about to get as awesome as you think it is. Time for some Belgian bots banging beats.

Shiny Robot-Jamming Gear Pr0n, Cassette Labels: The Future Is What It Used To Be [Awesome Video]

Disappointed our electronic music present didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to when it was still the future? Sad you didn’t get shiny, knob-laden synths, robot masks, blindingly-colorful lens flares, funky-crisp electro jams, and beloved music distributed on cassette? Well, you could sit around getting all wistful, or you could simply make that future happen. Belgian synth collective Chrome Brulée chose action over nostalgia, constructing the universe seen in glossy Roland and Sequential ads from Keyboard Magazine, circa 1983. And the music video they’ve produced is just the teaser: stay tuned for music on, of course, cassette tape. …

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USB 3.0: Backwards Compatible in Theory, But Some Audio Drivers Aren’t Cooperating

One of the handful of USB 3.0 devices currently available: the new “SuperSpeed” port on a Verbatim hard drive. Photo (CC-BY-NC-ND) auxo.co.kr. “SuperSpeed USB” or USB 3.0 offers major forward advancement for hardware ins and outs, with faster throughput (yielding up to ten-fold speed gains over USB2), improved overall performance, and lower power consumption. That should be good news for music and motion users, who make heavy use of bandwidth for audio, storage, video, and other media applications. Real-world usage, though, has been scarce. The specification is nearly four years old, but extensive experimentation using USB 3.0 in the field …

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New Mac Laptops: As Apple Expands I/O Flexibility, Just About Any Model Great for Music

MacBook Air, now starting at US$999 and with USB3 and Thunderbolt onboard. Photo courtesy Apple. Apple, of course, rolled out new Mac laptops yesterday. The most desirable of these – new MacBook Pro laptops with ultra-high-resolution Retina Displays – will require a significant budget, with pricing beginning at US$2199. And it could be worth it for those who can afford them: while Apple has quietly eliminated its 17″ machines, the high-density displays should nonetheless make the 15″ real estate ideal for fitting pro app UIs on the go. But the most important thing to say about Apple’s machines from a …

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A Reader in Electronic Dance Music’s History and Creation, Now Available

I had the pleasure this year of working on a book that draws from over 30 years of coverage of Electronic Dance Music’s evolution. Collecting pages primarily from Keyboard, with additional content from Remix, we retrace the relationship of machines and music, technology and movement, in producing the sounds to which people dance. It’s impossible to be encyclopedic in such an endeavor, but part of what I enjoyed about working on the project was getting to see through the eyes of the artists. You hear them talk in astounding detail about how they actual craft what they make. They curse …

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Digimancy: A Commodore 64 Spouts Philosophy, Plays Modular Synths

In some cross between a self-aware, intelligent computer a la HAL and an experimental sound artist, the project Digimancy presents a talking, synth-playing Commodore 64. Get through a few minutes of it spouting theory, and somewhere at about 6 minutes, 30 seconds in this video, that Commodore 64 starts to jam with danceable, glitchy sounds. It’s a bizarre laboratory sonic production – white lab coat included – but eventually, this semi-evil computer makes songs. And it’s just the sort of convergence of analog and digital we love, as the C64 chips drive a nice set of boutique, analog gear. Patch …

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Pro Tools 9 on a Mobile Tablet, on Indamixx Pro and Windows 7

The jury’s still out about how many music producers will want to run desktop OSes on tablets. But here’s one thing that’s not in doubt: alongside dedicated mobile OSes like Android and iOS, you can expect to see tablets in 2011 that do the things your laptop does now. They’ll have standard ports (like USB), they’ll run full-blown desktop OSes (Linux and Windows), and you’ll be able to run traditional software on them. Don’t get me wrong: I think dedicated software design for tablets is a good thing, and the iPad isn’t going anywhere. But the imminent availability of Windows …

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The Most Out of Windows 7: Choosing and Optimizing Windows for Music

From our call for CDM reader studios, Eric Beam’s studio. In his setup: Windows 7 64-bit, Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5 DAW (with native 64-bit support), and the excellent modular patching environment Plogue Bidule. Click through to Flickr for a closer look. Photo (CC-BY) Eric Beam. This week, while we poll readers to find out what platforms they really use and care about for music, we’re launching a new series to help you get the most out of whichever OS you choose. We’ve been covering the complexities of Windows for a while, from the bumpy Vista transition to the smoother advent of …

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The Mobile Music Netbook: Linux-Powered Indamixx OS + Laptop Looking Slicker

Going ultra-mobile: Korg’s nanoKEY controller plus a svelte, two-and-a-half-pound netbook running Linux and energyXT. Laptops for music are nothing new. But better versions of Linux make no-hassle music production easier and more powerful – and new netbooks make it cheap and ultra-portable, too, for times when even that 15” laptop feels clunky. Netbooks aren’t for everyone, and I imagine some people will miss Windows and Mac OS, even with better compatibility and powerful features on Linux. But if you are looking for an additional, more mobile machine, the combination is definitely worth a look. A significant revision to the one …

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Cybernetics and Spare Parts: A Robotic Opera and Workshop in Ontario, Online

Before you correct me, this is actually a Commodore B128. But it’s one of the oddities you’ll see at the Personal Computer Museum. What if all the technology you loved, everything that ran on electricity, came to life and played one epic musical performance? That’s about as best as I can sum up the “Emergence” event happening in Ontario and in an online stream. It’s a workshop. It’s a performance. It’s Commodore 64s and surplus parts. It’s cybernetic theory. There’s a robotic singer. It’s at a computer museum. Nerdtastic. Rod Adlers describes his own setup: “3 Commodore 64’s running Cynthcart …

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Rain Diablo Audio Quad Laptop: Powerful Enough to Be Kind of Ridiculous

Rain Recording make audio-ready notebooks – that is, they’re pre-tested to function well with audio software, with Windows tweaks, driver selection, and configuration all chosen and tested for music and visual production, and no crapware installed. They’re one of a handful of music-friendly vendors that does that (see also: PCAudioLabs, etc.). Given that the PC music making experience can range from awesome to awful depending on which hardware and (particularly) drivers you’re on, that’s no small matter. Rain has always styled themselves a premium brand. But the latest Diablo really does go to extremes spec-wise. It’ll cost you – base …

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