Pixelh8 Game Boy Software Now Free for Your Vintage Nintendo Handheld

Monster from Pixelh8 on Vimeo. Game Boy superstar Pixelh8 is releasing his fantastic 8-bit music software into the wild. And it’s even being picked up in music education. From True Chip Till Death: Pixelh8 sez: After lengthy consideration, I decided I would rather have my Game Boy / Game Boy Advance music software be used by everyone it can be used by, instead of just the few. All of my software Music Tech V2.0, Pro Performer and more are all free for download at http://pixelh8.co.uk/software/ Enjoy! Please read the FAQ before emailing me questions about it, it’s pretty straight forward. …

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Be a Music Geek Ninja with Electronic Music Programming in Pd: New Book

Okay, it looks a little scary, but just think of that as an added way of convincing your friends you’re a total badass. You may have heard about Pure Data (Pd), the open-source cousin to Max/MSP and a powerful tool for visual programming or “patching” music and multimedia. Pd has even appeared in the iPhone app RjDj and creating generative music for EA’s hit game Spore. But actually learning how to use the thing? Or learning some of the more advanced possible techniques in sound synthesis and processing? That’s another matter.

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Ready to Learn Max/MSP/Jitter? Full-Week Intensive in NYC

We get the “where do I go to learn this stuff” question a lot in the inbox. With Max for Live coming later this year, bringing the powers of Max to Ableton Live, I imagine the hunger for knowledge on that tool will be all the greater. (At the same time, I think the growing popularity of DIY tools means that it won’t make alternative tools like SuperCollider, Pd, Csound and the like less popular — I think we’ll see a growing trend toward all of these tools, provided we can show folks how to use them and get better …

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GarageBand ‘09 Celebrity Lessons, US$4.99; But How to Really Learn to Play Music?

Photo: transcribed solos by Jamie Aebersold. Not high-tech, but invaluable. Now, let’s hope Apple’s latest is just the tip of the offering for tools to help make us better musicians. Photo here, below (CC) naturalkinds. What’s the biggest obstacle in music making? For most people, it’s basic musicianship. I’m not at the Macworld keynote, but the well-done TUAW liveblog tells me that Apple has in fact offered a product hoping to solve that. GarageBand ‘09 will come with built-in musical training, with add-on “celebrity” training packs for US$4.99 each. It’s great news, but it also makes me hopeful that the …

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Gestures, Mobile Music, and the “Low Floor” for Novices: ZooZBeat on iPhone, Nokia

From the time we’re kids, we use gestures to make music – shaking, tapping, moving our bodies around, and connecting physical movement to sound. The idea of using these kinds of gestures to control digital music has been something researchers have worked on for many years. But with increasingly smart phones, equipped with mics, tilt and acceleration sensors, cameras, and other inputs, it’s possible to actually deliver these tools to average users. The latest entry in the field is ZooZBeat. Its life as a mobile app is just a matter of months, but the research behind it involves years of …

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Music Tech and Music Education: Blogs and CDM on the ME Podcast

The connection between music education and technology has always been really significant to me. Aside from (sometimes) being a teacher myself and having spent a few years doing training for notation package Sibelius, to me learning and teaching are fundamental to musical activity even outside schools. I got to sit in as a guest on the excellent Music Tech for ME podcast last week: Music Tech for ME 2008.07.01-#030 Be sure to check out the whole Music Tech for ME series. There’s some great stuff in there, covering educational issues, how technology is evolving and how it fits in with …

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OLPC’s Sugar and Music Learning: Education, Not OS, is the Point

Looking beyond OLPC: The hardware is important, software is important — but there’s more. Photo CC Mike Lee, via Flickr. Ah, the seasoned OS zealot. Never fear: no actual issues of substance will ever distract them from one-dimensional tirades about how their platform is best. And so, in the last week or so, you may have run across angry Free Software advocates railing against the inclusion of Windows on the OLPC ("One Laptop Per Child") XO laptop — or, in a really surreal turn, people waxing poetic about XP, like this commenter on the Win Supersite: "We get a world …

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Kids Making Electronic Music, 60s-80s, on CD

When did you make your first electronic composition? Andrew Cordani points us to a find on WFMU’s Beware of the Blog — a CD compiling high school students (and a seventh grader, in the first example) composing electronic music between 1968 and 1984. Brian Turner at WFMU notes that right now the way to get it is via Meat Beat Manifesto’s tour (the compilation is the work of Jack Dangers), but here are some youthful blips and bleeps in the meantime: Randy Kaplan “Emission-Embossment” (MP3)David Brown “Willy Reverb” (MP3)Kenneth Ranales “Mind Clash” (MP3) Beth Bolton/Mag Johnson “Vietnam-Love It Or Leave …

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