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Watch: McRorie, Legend of Wearable Music Instruments, Still Rocking

The one-man band from the future, McRorie, is still going, it seems. Unbeknownst to us, the artist – real name, Stuart McRorie Tait – revealed a new live electronic show reel at the beginning of the year. See top: he’s still tapping his shoes for drums and beating his chest for toms, but he’s swapped out Starr Labs for his original, more conventional keyboards. The kilts are gone, sadly, but there’s an acid-distorted VJ mix in the background. And if the mood is right, lightning bolts apparently shoot from his crotch. MIDI keyboards strapped to the body have perhaps become …

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The Human Drummer Battles Drum Machine, in Poetic Film with Jojo Mayer

Between Zero & One from ApK on Vimeo. What does it mean to be human in a world of drum machines? Not just whether drum machines have soul – how do you define your soul? Drummer Jojo Mayer doesn’t shy away from the deep issues around digitality in the brief film meditation that is Between Zero & One. He reflects on the states of being that the computer and machine represent, and then he does what any great drummer would do. He doesn’t get mad. He gets even. He refines drum technique to play what a drum machine can’t, framed …

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Hands on with Akai’s $199 Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine, More Details

As I suspected, Akai did not have a working, sounding model of the upcoming Rhythm Wolf drum machine. But I did get my hands on a prototype with sequencing firmware, got a sense of what the build will be like, and got to talk with Akai more about the design ideas behind this groove machine. Here’s what it feels like to pick it up: This thing feels great – not toy-like. This was the big (and pleasant) surprise for me. Whatever the Rhythm Wolf may sound like, at least it feels serious. In fact, it’s: Real metal. Fake wood. The …

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Elektron Analog Rytm Drum Machine: Specs, Pricing, Photos

It may lack every feature of the Octatrack or the digital drum workflows of Machinedrum. (At least that’s what some of you have told us – attached to your gear, perhaps?) But I’m betting for many, Analog Rytm’s combination of dedicated analog architecture and sample support is attracting some interest as a balanced solution for hardware drum machine design. And now we know roughly when we’re getting it. Analog Rytm is due Q1 2014, with “preliminary” price at US$1549/€1489. And we know a bit more about the architecture. The sample engine is “customizable” and “highly bendable” and can be layered …

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Roland Aira TR-08: Remix, Not a Reissue, of 808 – But What Does That Mean?

Roland, it seems, is not interested in reissues. Each time the company has revisited its past classic models, it has reinterpreted those nameplates with new designs. And for lovers of the originals, that has caused mixed emotions. The obvious comparison is Korg, who dominated last year’s NAMM headlines with a surprisingly-authentic remake of the MS-20, to say nothing of MS filter recreations across their products. Moog, Dave Smith Instruments, Novation, and others have also more faithfully reproduced some earlier models. But the Aira TR-08, a new drum machine Roland is now teasing, could still be a new direction. Labeled the …

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Goodies: Free Sounds from Prophet 12, volca beats, Moog Minitaur, and More, Ableton and Beyond

Hardware is beautiful. But until we buy that private 747 and outfit it with an in-flight lounge, for instance, portability still matters. And that means for some of us even keeping both hardware and samples. Let’s get down to it: it’s time for another installment of the CDM “goodies” series, where we point you to free downloads to keep your hard drive happy. And this time, we get some of your favorite gear in the act: Prophet 12, volca, Minitaur. (Also, most come from Austin, Texas.) Many of these are already assembled into Ableton Live kits, but if you prefer …

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Ableton Goodies: Free volca beats Drum Rack, Drums Smash Effects Rack

We give you news of the thing. Then we give you a virtual thing that helps you with the thing. Then we give you a virtual thing for when you don’t have the thing with you or want a taste of the thing before you get the real thing. Or something. And we’ll keep this Ableton Goodies series going as long as people keep sending nice freebies and treats for Ableton users in our inbox. In our last volca-related episode, we shared some free control patches built in Max for Live that make automating and manipulating the volca series from …

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Bleep Drum Machine Gets MIDI, $110 Assembled, Glories of “Rad-Fi” Digital [Gallery]

In the box, inside the world of the computer, sound has few limits. It’s clean, it’s pristine; mimicking perfectly-miked drum kits or high-fidelity sounds is as easy as dialing in the gigs of samples you’ve assembled. But … wait a minute. It’s too clean. There’s something beautiful about a digital circuit, screaming and crunching as it cranks out every last bit. Those bits … hurt. There’s some personality to a peculiar machine that seems like it crawled out of a heap of circuit boards, staring back at you, blinking – winking? And in that world of anthropomorphic alien sound machines, …

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Hands-on Visual Tour: What’s New in Maschine 2 Software, Maschine Studio Hardware

Native Instruments’ groove-centric production studio Maschine today gets its most significant update ever. The software has been completely rewritten from the ground up, bringing expanded editing and sound capabilities and enhanced performance. And alongside the software release, there’s also a new, “flagship” controller, called Maschine Studio (above) – a big (but lightweight) beast with bright, crisp color screens and a price to match. I took a tour of the software and hardware upgrades in NI’s offices, and so we can bring our own hands-on look at both before they ship. Please note that this is a first look at a …

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Drumactica Augments Percussion with Gestures, Ice Cube Trays; Here’s How it Was Done

Bacon and eggs on a drum snare? Hands-through-the-air gestural control with Leap Motion? Water pianos in ice trays and a hacked Makey Makey, all talking to Ableton Live? Drumactica has a little bit of everything. London-based percussionist Dr. Enrico Bertelli shares with us how he “augmented” percussion for his latest project – with all the details – for a guest post on CDM. Just make sure to give due respect to John Cage.) -Ed. Drumactica 2.0 is a solo, augmented percussion set up, created for Hack the Barbican, London. The piece is about the creative bond between the desire to …

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