beatfader

Music with Faders: Faderbeat Performances

The beauty of physical, human motion is that just about anything kinetic, any gesture can work. If you were left only with motion in your toes, you could play a live set. And whereas these gestures were once tied to specific acoustic instrumental effects, in the digital realm, they can be anything. We’ve seen the rise of the grid controller, popularized by the monome and later seen in mass-market devices like the Launchpad and APC. And while it’s hardly the first “big knob as controller” concept, we’ve seen the encoder celebrated in the monome follow-up arc. So, buttons – check. …

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ubuntutyping

Score an Operating System: Music, Sound, and Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase on SoundCloud

Natty Narwhal is the next release of Ubuntu. Now you could give it a soundtrack. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Ricardo Bernardo of, admittedly, vintage Ubuntu. Your OS is there, in front of you, daily – some of us for many, many hours a day. it often makes sounds at you, very rarely welcome sounds. Here’s an opportunity to change that. Computers are extraordinary creative canvases for our work, but corporate branding can’t really respect that. Because Ubuntu is a free operating system, it can provide content that is free to be reused, remixed, and re-imagined. An OS’ soundscape could be provided by …

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recordsinthepark

Fill 2011 with 2010’s Best Music, as Chosen by Readers; 106 Listener Favorite Choices

Spend seasons with great listening. Photo (CC-BY-SA) hell*yeah. Given the vastness of music available today online, “best of…” lists, while nice to have, can be disappointingly predictable. Not so with music selected by readers of this site. We asked for your favorite albums of last year, and you responded with extraordinary variety. I’ve selected entries from readers – some must-have inclusions, some that were simply well-described or surprising – for your enjoyment here. In these mid-January doldrums, it’s a perfect time to catch up on musical inspiration, then hole up and create some digital music of your own. I’ve called …

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monomexmas

A Very Monome Xmas: New, Free, CC-Licensed Christmas Album

With takes on the Vince Guaraldi Trio and Tchaikovsky, the sound-slicing members of the monome community have turned their button-encrusted devices to spreading holiday cheer to you, for free. A new, CC-licensed album is available for download. (One caution: CC licenses don’t cover sample clearance for works sampled on these albums, so beware.) They wouldn’t be geeks if it didn’t have an acronym: http://mcrpmusic.bandcamp.com/ There’s some really creative stuff in there. I’d love to hear this live. Found other favorite holiday downloads? Let us know in comments and we’ll do a round-up later this week.

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meeblipblip

Meet Meeblip, The Open Source, Hackable Digital Hardware Synth

Making music, making blips and bleeps, turning knobs, plugging in keyboards, and having the freedom to modify your gear – these are good things. And that’s why I’m so excited that today is the day the MeeBlip launches. It’s been several years in development, but now it’s finally here. It’s a hardware box that makes noises – virtual analog synth noises, chip-sounding noises, good noises, bad noises, noises you can make into music. It’s got physical knobs and switches on it, plus a MIDI DIN in port so you can connect that keytar you bought on eBay. It’s also a …

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Creative Commons, CBC, and Music for Commercial Use: Addendum

The Canadian Broadcasting Centre, viewed from above. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Benson Kua. To me, a license is a tool: it’s a means to an end. But that means that the tool ought to be doing the job you chose for it. After news broke that the Canadian public broadcaster CBC was moving away from Creative Commons, we launched on CDM into a somewhat informal (and occasionally heated) discussion of CC licensing and specifically the non-commercial restriction most musicians attach to their music. Here’s a summary of what I can conclude from those conversations. Abuse of non-commercial CC material is rampant. Very …

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CBC Dumps Creative Commons; Non-Commercial Licensing to Blame?

I’m able to use this particular image as CDM is itself under a Share Alike license. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Andy Melton. I have no problem with copyrighting music. So I’ll be blunt: my ongoing impression of Creative Commons licensing is that you should either choose a license that allows for commercial use, or opt for traditional copyright and licensing. The popular “non-commercial” restriction is problematic. It does too little to prevent exploitation, and too much to prevent exactly the kind of use that’s the reason you’d choose CC in the first place. That’s not an effective compromise; it’s more like a …

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monome Me: Community Tour, Tunes to Hear

Pauk (Pau Cabruja) using a Monome 256 attached to a guitar strap, photo by Lara Jaruchik. Courtesy monome Community Tour The monome is coming to your town. Unlike tours organized by commercial product vendors, a grassroots effort by monome users pledges to share the music made with the monome and give back to a larger community. It’s hard to explain the monome. It’s part tool, part lifestyle. And its openness comes in large part from the community of artists who use it, and embrace the controller’s sustainable production and unique design. In fact, it’s hard to explain just what a …

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Free SoundCloud Sampling with Creative Commons Search, Player; Q+A

Creative Commons button. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Andy Melton. Finding samples and remix-able music — or advertising the availability of tracks you want to release for that purpose — has just gotten a lot easier. As part of a raft of improvements to the SoundCloud service – including some nice non-CC enhancements to search and tag browsing – the service has boosted integration with free licenses. You can now search for CC content, and the license is visible directly in the player, going beyond what even services like Flickr and Vimeo have done. You can add SoundCloud to CC-focused sites like ccMixter …

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Squeaky Shoe Core: Feel Good, Generative Acid Music, Free Patches

Sneaks are a good thing. Photo (CC-BY) Pink Sherbet Photography / D. Sharon Pruitt. Let’s start with what’s really important: Chris McCormick’s squeakyshoecore tunes may well make you tap your All Stars and smile. The words “algorithmically-generated acid” and mention of the multimedia patching environment Pd might not suggest feel-goody, cheery, geeky-sounding electronic grooves, but that’s exactly what’s come out. These robots know what they’re doing. And yes, even a tune named after Chris’ favorite fractal can be good summer fun. Behind the scenes, Chris’ music is produced generatively using algorithms created in the free and open source visual patching …

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