As Battle to Define Digital DJing Heats Up, Dubspot Tests Novation Twitch

The evolution of what we now call “DJing” is inseparable from the turntables and mixer. So, what happens when you enter the digital domain and you really don’t need to refer to either device? Many digital DJ controllers have simply mimicked those previous inventions, with virtual tables and a mixer-style layout. To some extent, they must, not only for familiarity but to even make it possible to perform the kind of tasks DJs expect. Then again, the computer, endless shapeshifter that it is, can do whatever you like. And so we’re beginning to see mass-market controllers marketed at DJs – …

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Choppertone, Wooden Ableton Jazz Controller, and Folk Music of the 21st Century: Video

“Folk music of the 21st Century” – radio broadcaster, jazz aficionado, and jazz-based Ableton Live instrumentalist / remix artist Nick Francis really sums up what this whole site is about. As he chops up jazz greats in Ableton, his mash-up music chops are as much musical analysis as they are performance. He walks through his controller moves in a pedagogical way, highlighting the meat of the jazz legends he puts into play. It’s a kind of digital transcription, transcribing re-imagined for Ableton’s colored blocks in place of. Of course, you’ll only be able to reflect on this once you can …

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Tangible Music: The Reactable and Interactive Instrument Design, in Videos

Dig into humanity’s past, and alongside the earliest tools, you’ll find some of the earliest instruments. Designing objects for expression seems to be an essential part of civilization. Martin Kaltenbrunner, a co-designer of the Reactable tangible music interface, is also a professor in Interface Culture at the Linz University of Arts in Austria. There, in the land of Mozart and Haydn, he works with students to explore what interface design is. So, when I got to spend some time with Martin in New York in September, I was interested in more than just the flashy coolness of the Reactable, the …

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A More Robust Live Setup in Live, Free on Mac with Automator

In the ongoing struggle to make a laptop into an instrument, there’s inevitably the scramble onstage (or even in a studio) to get everything primed and ready to play. You want to adjust settings, launch certain applications, and generally get your laptop ready for actual music making. Wouldn’t it be nice to make all of that happen automatically, magically, instantly, and robotically? It is, after all, a machine. (They’re supposed to be working for us, I’m told, assuming they’re following the Three Laws.) Martin Delaney, London-based Ableton Live trainer, has put together a nice tutorial for production education center Dubspot …

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Survey Giveaway: Win $2500 in DubSpot Online Training, Reason+Record, or AdrenaLinn Sync

It’s time for a census of CDM readers. But we can give back to you for your time – some prizes, and more investment in the site. Photo of 1940 US Census, CC-BY-ND United States Department of Agriculture; Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-91199. Take a very short survey, and you’ll be entered to win some six months of intensive training in music production and Ableton Live, or copies of some of our favorite recent software, a two-app box set of Reason and Record from Propellerhead or Roger Linn’s AdrenaLinn Sync. Knowing more about our readers helps us develop Create Digital Music, …

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Tonight in LA, Music and Tech Talks, Richard Devine, Jimmy Edgar, and Reflecting on Performance

Photo courtesy Curious Josh. If you’re in Anaheim for the NAMM music trade show, or elsewhere in the LA area, it’ll be worth the trip tonight to downtown LA to catch the fourth annual Wham Bam. Jimmy Edgar and Richard Devine headline music performances that include WE ARE THE WORLD, Thavius Beck, Drumcell, Laura Escudé, DJ Kero, Derek Michael, Eezir, and Professor Nalepa vs It’s Not Over Quebec. CPU, CELL, KERO, and VJ Culture provide visuals and installations. You’ll also get a healthy dose of tech, as Laura Escude, Thavius Beck, Steve Nalepa, and Moldover talk about live performance techniques …

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Weekend Pick: Invisible Instructions in NYC Matches Art, Tech, Teaching with Music; Free Listening

I’m fortunate this weekend to be able to be part of Invisible Instructions, a combination art exhibit and music lineup at Culturefix, the same LES venue where we host Handmade Music. “High Priest” HPrizm of Antipop Consortium is playing and (see Soundcloud) this evening is teaching a “signal to rhythm” digital audio workshop with Spacecraft (Soh Nup Ink). (People know Anti-Pop’s music well; HPRIZM has actually done some significant sound design, something you might not know, including presets for the the ElecTribe EMX and ESX SD Edition for Korg.) Some psychedelic HPRIZM sounds to get you through your weekend: PROJECT-Xmp3 …

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Decibel Log 3: Murcof, Mount Kimbie, Modeselektor, Teebs and More

Still from Robert Henke’s set at Optical 1 Our man in Seattle, Primus Luta aka David Dobson, continues his video coverage of the Decibel Festival for CDM with another set of feature coverage. All that coffee out there must be working. Take it away… Despite being the first event after an incredible night, which for many extended well beyond the 2am last call, Pravda Studios is packed early on day three for a full schedule of conference activities.  It comes as little surprise though, the first workshop is one most who are involved with the release of music today are …

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This Weekend is Crazy in Austin: Handmade Music, Live 8 Sessions Tour

In LA’s DubSpot Live 8 Sessions, I shared a panel with Daedalus, talking about design, live playing, the monome, and how limiting tools for performance can be powerful. Austin gets its own cast of presenters this weekend. Sadly, I can’t be in all places at once. If I could, I’d be in Austin – twice over – this weekend. Handmade Music session two hits with an all-new set of learning and noise-making. Whether new to electronics making or an old hand, there’s something to absorb from some of the best mad sound scientists in the world. And our friends at …

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LA, Live, Lasers: Ableton Sessions, and a CDM Party Sunday Night in Hollywood

Daedelus joins me for a discussion on performance controllers, as part of an artist lineup ranging from dub pioneer Scientist to beatbox legend Kid Beyond and… a lot of other folks, too. Photo (CC) musiclikedirt. It’s music production. It’s … lasers. If you’re in the LA area, you’ll want to be there. If not, let us know in comments what you most want to see covered / interviewed / videoed for CDM. DubSpot’s Live 8 Sessions Tour heads to Los Angeles this weekend, for a set of workshops, performances, and demos on Hollywood Boulevard. I’ll be out with the crew, …

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