Cloud in a DAW: Free Plug-in Lets You Browse, Drag-and-Drop to and from SoundCloud

From iPads to desktop, apps have been adding SoundCloud integration. But this plug-in goes one better: you can navigate SoundCloud from an in-DAW browser, then drag and drop sounds to hosts like Ableton Live. (You can upload, too, also via drag-and-drop.) The plug-in is free for native hosts on Mac and Windows. One major criticism: without the ability to see SoundCloud’s licensing terms, you can’t be sure if the samples you’re grabbing are something someone wants you to use. Unless I’m missing something, it’d be great to have Creative Commons search support – indeed, it’d help people who do want …

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3-way-rand-seq

A New Sequencer Module, Open Hardware from Music Thing, Crowd-sources Manufacture

Sometimes, when you want something, you have to make it yourself – literally. The blog Music Thing, back in the day, was a favorite reason for any music tech lover to fire up the browser. Now, Tom Whitwell – whose day job at The Times of London keeps him plenty busy – is back, with open source modular hardware. The Music Thing Random Sequencer is an analog module you can examine and modify, one with completely open source licensing, inspired by classics like Don Buchla’s 266 Source of Uncertainty module. If you want one for yourself, though, the process is …

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dgphilly1

Music for Plants, Music by Plants, in Two Eco-Themed Album Releases [Listen, Galleries]

These green things, for once, are the stars, in Data Garden Quartet. From the installation version in Philadelphia. All Data Garden photos courtesy the artists. “On lead synthesizer, a philodendron …” (And the crowd goes wild…) Vegetation may not be the first association you have when thinking of electronic music. But two new albums, each released via Bandcamp, celebrate biological life of the green, leafy variety. One is a benefit compilation, with proceeds going to help trees and music inspired by that green goodness. The other uses plants as “performers,” generating its form from plant life in an installation and …

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instagramphotos

Music Making, Shared: Communal Ambient Tracks Explore Instagram Photos, Lisbon, and More

This collection of Instagram photos inspired an ambient compilation at the end of last year – one well worth adding to your listening queue now. Since then, challenges opened to a community on SoundCloud have produced hundreds of terrific tracks – and the latest weekly challenge is on now, with a deadline midnight Monday. Where do you get your ideas? Sometimes, it can be a challenge just to start a track, or can simply feel a bit, well, lonely. Finding fellow music makers can solve that. Artists gathering around SoundCloud and online ambient music chronicle Disquiet work together, with inspiration …

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worldsoundmix

A Small World, After All: Freesound.org Sounds on Earth, and an Ambient Musical Laboratory

Through the eyes of satellites, roving Google trucks, aerial imagery, and more, we have plenty of eyes on our planet. But what does it sound like here on Earth? In a Web application and accompanying art installation, the world turns as it echoes sounds recorded around the world on Creative Commons-licensed site Freesound.org. It’s stunning to hear our world’s acoustic diversity – in some strange way, even more than seeing it, in that sounds can instantly give you a sense of place and time. You can load a version on your browser or on the iPad; then, from the world’s …

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Goodies for KORG monotribe, monotron, from Japanese Overlays to MIDI Mods

monotribe, in limited silver and gold. Photo by Marsha Vdovin for CDM. It’s a beautiful thing when music hardware improves with age. And lately, that’s been what’s happening to Korg’s monotribe and monotron. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a major update from Korg for the monotribe that makes its sequencing functions easier and more useful. To save you the trouble of navigating the Korg Japan site – a difficulty for those of us who don’t speak Japanese – here on CDM, we’ve got a number of downloads for saving monotron patches, and the Japan-exclusive overlay for the monotribe …

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tkrworksmixer

New Open Grid Gear: DJ Mixer Meets monome Grid in MIDI + OSC Controller

It had to happen — button triggering, as popularized by the monome, here meets a conventional two-channel DJ mixer. But the layout I must say is quite spare and lovely, the work of the Japanese-based PICnome project. Furthermore, it’s Open Source Hardware, covered as I have recommended by a ShareAlike Creative Commons license (with no commercial restrictions) and GPL v3. (The creator prefers the term “Free Hardware,” which I love theoretically but have avoided for fear of people demanding we mail them MeeBlips by sending us a self-addressed, stamped box.) With clean, subtle markings and a nicely-composed layout, it’s hardware …

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In a Free Album, Community-Shared monome Samples Shine (Video and WINE Tips)

From the intrepid grid-playing monome producers comes a whole bundle of goodness: a free album, and along with it, a nice video that illustrates what’s happening on some of the tracks, some reflections on how 15-second samples can bind together a community of music makers, and even, as a bonus, some tips on running Windows software in Linux under WINE. (Whew!) Via Joshua Saddler, who illustrates his music creation techniques in the video at top, we learn of the monome Community Remix Project album, available as a free download via Bandcamp. (Full track lineup embedded below.) MCRPv10: MCRP​-​RP, by monome …

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DIY Ribbon Controller, Creative Commons-Licensed, with Arduino, Reaktor, Crackling-Good Case

Ribbons are so in this year. Thanks to Trent Reznor picking up the Dewanatron Swarmatron, they’re even winning Oscar Awards (after a fashion). Coagula aka Giuseppe Di Cillo has been in touch with me for some time about his evolving DIY ribbon controller. Now he’s pulling out all the stops: his full version includes a professional-looking case, extensive touch sensors, and even a display and menu system. It’s not quite the gorgeous, analog-savvy Eowave Persephone, but it’s a beautiful DIY project and a terrific learning opportunity, as well. He’s shared a complete tutorial, specifications, and tips, all under a Creative …

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vla

Music from Numbers: An Eclectic, Free (CC) Compilation of Numbers Station-Inspired Tracks

Photo (CC-BY) Chris M, of a Very Large Array. Number stations, making their appearance in the post-war radio landscape, were shortwave radio stations of streams of symbols, mysterious to their listeners and apparently code. Here, the idea of lost and indecipherable broadcasts inspires a wonderfully-varied collection of reflective artists, in a free, Creative-Commons licensed compilation by PublicSpaces Lab. That Barcelona-based netlabel has been reliably curating some of the smartest, most forward-thinking music collections around. This time, the artists are impressive not only in their output but in their range of backgrounds and extra-musical sources of inspiration. [PS025] Various Artists – …

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