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Watch Mechanical Techno, Dance Music Made Organic, Physical by Graham Dunning

Even in hardware, the repetitive patterning of dance music remains invisible to the eye. Sure, you might get a blinking light here and there, but otherwise, the process is virtual, whether the sound process is analog or digital. Graham Dunning’s Mechanical Techno project is different. Every pattern is made physical and tangible, every machine rhythm mechanically constructed rather than abstract. As such, the UK-based experimental musician, composer, and sound artist makes sounds that evolve organically from the devices that make them. As contact mics brush against physical objects, those rhythms are often slightly imperfect, emerging from a kind of kinetic …

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With Just One Contact Mic, Any Surface Magically Becomes a Gestural Instrument

Look around the room you’re in. Drum your fingers against some of the objects around you. Now imagine that you could turn those touches into any imaginable sound – and all you’d need to play them is a single contact mic. And we’re not talking just simplistic sounds – think expressive, responsive transformation of the world around you, all with just that one mic, thanks to clever gestural recognition. Bruno Zamborlin has made that idea a reality, with hold-onto-your-chair results. It’s not available yet for public consumption, but it’s coming. Bruno explains to CDM:

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Easy, Durable Contact Mics How-To, with Sample Audio

You’ll find plenty of contact mic tutorials floating around the Web, but bassling (Jason Richardson) – working with a learned technique – has what I think is a really nice example, one that sounds really good. It’s easy to do, but unlike a popular tutorial (and one I’ve tried myself), you won’t wind up dis-assembling a Radio Shack piezo speaker. The result is an inexpensive, versatile microphone that will happily go places your conventional mic won’t, giving you new possibilities for sampling and sound design. bassling credits his source: This technique was taught to me by Alan Lamb when we …

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Ten Music Technologies to Be Thankful For Right Now

Photo (CC-BY-ND Dave/riptheskull. Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers. I was thinking about technologies for which I’m particularly thankful, some non-obvious, some perhaps so obvious they might be easily be taken for granted. Each I hope represents some opportunities for others. At the risk of starting a Thanksgiving roast, in no particular order, here are the ones foremost in my mind in the waning days of 2010.

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Playing Music with Light Pens, Flourescent Bulbs, Brought to You By … Sony?

The urgency of being way behind a single dominant player can make electronics makers do some odd stuff to promote their products. iPod, once an icon of digital cool, has achieved such ubiquity that it doesn’t even try to be hip any more. The thing is being promoted with American Idol, for crying out loud — not exactly indie cred. We saw Microsoft enlisting indie musicians and animators to sell Zune, of course. But here’s where things get surprisingly amazing: Sony is using weird and wonderful Japanese experimental music to promote Walkman. Now we’re talking. And whether or not Walkman …

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