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Take Ableton sets Back to the Future with a time machine effect

It’s the future – this time, for real. Yes, today, the 21st of October 2015, is the destination “future” in the Back to the Future movies. (Photoshopping created some false alarms on other dates.) And that’s time to look back. Ha, remember 1985? An arcane format called “MIDI” was king. (Kids, ask your parents.) The big synthesizers came from Roland, KORG, Moog, and Yamaha. The most sought-after computer was from a company called Apple. People made electro and dance music hits using mono, analog synthesizers and and digital pads and samples and deep basslines, sought after the creations of the …

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Free Mark Eats Sequencer, A Beautiful Example of What Pattern Making Can Be [monome]

If we’re living in a golden age of resurgent synthesizers, we’re also in the midst of a renaissance in step sequencers. Faced with the challenge of making machines make musical sense, the lowly step sequencer – a kind of relic from the days of more primitive hardware – is getting renewed. The latest example is Mark Eats Sequencer, a labor of love for the monome platform. And just as we’ve seen with Tomash Ghzegovskyy and Traktor or Julien Fayard and his MTRX-8, this is not so much about reinventing the sequencer so much as getting as much mileage as possible …

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Grid Tricks: Mega-Bass 2020, Delicious Live Performance Groovebox [Launchpad + Reaktor]

Mega-Bass 2020 – Teaser Performance from Icebreaker Audio on Vimeo. Look through that VHS fuzz, and listen as a Casio VL-Tone and synth go ultra-retro – they even play a cover of Jan Hammer. But that’s not what this story is about. This story is about using more simple grid techniques to create something that lets you improvise using your hands, to play music freely without looking at the screen. And Mega-Bass 2020, while still building on the grid ideas of monome et al, is a very sharp user-created marriage of software and hardware. With electric-pink and grape-on-gray retro graphics, …

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TaggedFrog: Free/Donationware Windows File Utility Adds Audio Support

Mac users luck out when it comes to managing audio files, with exceptional choices like Snapper from AudioEase and the all-powerful AudioFinder, not to mention – if your needs are light – features like Leopard’s QuickLook. Windows users, by contrast, have been mostly left out. But good news: we’ve got a lovely solution for you. TaggedFrog is a free/donationware utility for Windows XP and Vista that brings some powerful file management facilities. And what’s great here is that it looks dead-simple to use. Lunar Frog TaggedFrog [Publisher Site, Free Download] As the name implies, the tool is built around tagging …

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IK Multimedia Rebuts Mag on Free Software; Why They Missed the Point

Times are tough, and folks are turning out those pockets for free… wear. Photo: Bert Heymans. There’s a strange debate going on over the free software (as in freeware, not necessarily open source) issue of Computer Music magazine. After seeing the magazine’s top 10 reasons to use free software, commercial developer IK Multimedia got surprisingly defensive, and issued a rebuttal: Why you shouldn’t use free software – a commercial developer’s view (at Music Radar, the online site for the magazine’s publisher) Now, there’s probably a much simpler way to put this. Why to use free software: It’s free. Why to …

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bucketEER: Free 16 Delay Line Experimental Reverb for Windows

In memory of Minazo: bucket lover, iconic animal superstar, Web meme, elephant seal among elephant seals. Daz Diamond is back with another wacky, experimental effect. When we last joined Daz, he was sharing strange and wonderful granular, delay, and sidechain effects. Now, he’s been thinking about buckets (as in brigades, as in sets of delay lines combined to form a reverb). He writes: Hi Peter, I’m at it again, and have just put out bucketEER MK I – a stereo reverb/delay fx inspired by bucket-brigade style machinery – simple, quite primitive, and surpirisingly good sounding – also interesting for unusual …

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PS4VJ: Homebrew VJ Software on PlayStation 2 Game Systems

London-based, French-born VJ and artist Pikilipita doesn’t touch laptops. He shows up at live visual gigs toting game systems. Having built mobile projects for the Game Boy Advanced and Linux-based GamePark GP2X, he’s now got a new machine: a Barbie-pink PlayStation 2. Novelty this may be, but don’t think that PS24VJ can’t hack it as a real VJ app, allowing you to leave the laptop at home: Plays footages compressed with the Kouky video codec v16 Supports two video layers Supports alpha channel Special effects and filters PAL video out signal And because it supports up to two PlayStation controller …

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whitelabel: Free VST Plug-ins for PC, with Cool Granular, Delay, Sidechain FX

Plug-in crafter daz disley writes to alert us to his Windows VST plug-in collection. The beta-grade plug-ins are all available as donationware. There are various warnings about “try at your own risk,” which reads to me as an invitation. Three effects have been polished into finished versions; you can get all three for EUR25 if you want to use them beyond 28 days. But the betas are free to try. There’s some nice-looking stuff in the beta-level collection, including: granulOSO: a granular “sample masher,” a bit like some of the Reaktor ensembles out there — and delicious as a result. …

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