Push play, eh? Photo (CC-BY) Annie Roi.

Taking On Controversy, with RA Critics Roundtable, from Pressing Play to Running for the Border

Sometimes, it’s worth pushing pause on overheated blog diatribes and angry Facebook threads. Step away from the computer, you can have a real conversation. Resident Advisor, in the latest installment of their regular Critics roundtable, takes on three hot-button issues with a mix of people able to bring some nuance to the chatter. And since it’s a podcast – part of their excellent RA Exchange series – you can listen while doing dishes or driving to work. I’m one of the panelists in the series, but all three are touch some vital issues: Visas and cross-border international shows. Australian-born DJ/producer …

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Volume Wars: Dynamic Range Strikes Back with Campaign, Plug-in

Photo: Orin Zebest. Are you sick of the death of dynamic range? Are you mad as hell at squashed audio that means to be “loud” and only wind up with the actual sounds smooshed out? Alternatively, are you guilty of some detail-squishing dynamic abuse yourself? A campaign is on to get the dynamic war out of comment threads and forums and onto the streets. Taking a positive tack, the Pleasurize Music Foundation isn’t simply attacking overcompression and dynamic distortion: they’re suggesting an alternative path, in which restored dynamic ranges bring back joy to your life. There are opportunities to sign …

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Round-Up: Samples, Stealing, Fakery, the Law, and Lots of Sample Shenanigans

Deadmau5, acting mousey. Photo (CC) iamdonte. Who’s sampling what? When is sampling stealing? Who’s stolen sampled samples, and was the sampling stolen stealing? Is anyone actually playing live? Does anyone know what the law is? Does anyone care? Yes, it’s been a lively November so far for massive, complicated legal battles, PR battles, who-said-who-sampled-what battles, and general sampling messiness. Here’s a quick round-up for those of you who haven’t been able to keep up (understandably). And we’re going to play a game. I’m going to start talking, and you can see at what point your head starts to spin and …

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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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Ableton’s Robert Henke, And Why Sometimes Less (‘Fidelity’) is More

Ableton co-founder and general visionary Robert Henke (also known as Monolake) gave a full-length workshop in New Zealand recently. If you’re up for 90 minutes of discussion of musical and sonic techniques in Live, plus a look at his unique Monodeck controller, the whole video is there. But that’s not the main reason the video is making its way around the Interwebs. It’s because there’s a bit of a bombshell right at the beginning of the footage: He says, outright, you don’t need 64-bit sound to get “audio quality.” You don’t even need 16-bit all the time. Okay, maybe that’s …

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Bill Milbrodt Talks More About Ford Focus Car Part Music Ensemble

Advertising, having devoted decades to building elaborate fantasies, now has a new problem: making things seem real and believable. But that’s nothing new to people doing sound design: tiny details of sync, spatialization, and content can trick the mind into different perceptions of what they’re seeing and hearing. The release of a TV ad showing a music ensemble made from Ford parts triggered waves of skepticism online, partly because the ad’s producers and director wanted the composer and instrument builders to make a car part ensemble that sounded quasi-Classical — rather than pushing its “car-partiness.” Singapore-based blog fanatic fandom has …

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Flame-Throwing Keytar; Players, Not Instruments, Are Cool

Not just any keytar: this one shoots fire. And you can make music by punching the dummy on the right in the crotch. No, really. Photo: Jeremy Mullis. As a follow-up to my controversial defense of the keytar attempt to get people to stop complaining in comments that they can’t buy a keytar and excuse to needle Roland again. This is CDM reader Billy Hunt. The bright spot in the upper right hand of the screen is fire — a fireball launched from his keytar. Billy modded his Roland AX-7 for wireless MIDI control (okay, logical, practical choice there) and …

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Yes, Virginia, There Really is a Ford Car Part Musical Ensemble

It’s always fascinating to me how people hear, what they thing of as “real” or “authentic,” and what meaning they find in the things they listen to. Yesterday, we got a glimpse of a new car advertisement for Ford in the UK featuring instruments constructed from automobile components: Interview: Building a Musical Ensemble Out of Ford Focus Car Parts What you see on the screen, of course, is not literally what you hear — the TV ad and soundtrack are edited together, and this is a car ad, not a documentary. But quite a few readers (and even blogs elsewhere) …

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On DJing, Twinkies

Overheard on Steve Cooley’s Twitter: "I could care less if the dj is mixing with two paper plates and a twinkie" – derek scott Sorry, controllerists. I feel like I’ve had a window into the DJing world after manning the Artificial Eyes VJ rig as drunken people came up and told us they liked the music we were playing. (I attempted to show them the projectors, the identical visuals on the computer screen, the fact that we had neither decks, nor records, nor headphones for that matter . I pointed at my ears, then the DJs, then my eyes, than …

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With Music Torrent Site OINK.CD Busted, Are Users Next?

So, you thought only Americans would be the target of anti-piracy crackdowns? Think again. Shortly after the raid of popular music torrent swap site oink.cd, British authorities now say they’re looking for a legislative anti-piracy remedy. They’ve got the backing, not surprisingly, of the British record industry, and it seems continental European nations might follow. Blogger and controversy-magnet Cory Doctorow is even getting to the debate, along with angry UK Internet Service Providers, as reported by BBC News. The apparent solution seems worse than the problem, as British officials propose monitoring individual data packets. (I’m not usually one to agree …

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