networkawesome

Network Awesome Electronic Music Week: Way More Electronic Music Videos Than You Can Handle

Quit your job, leave your loved ones, stock up on food, and get ready to destroy your life with videos from YouTube. Network Awesome, a kind of curatorial “TV” network full of free online videos, has been assembling the best documentaries dealing with electronic music online, with hours and hours and hours of things that could basically keep you from, ironically, reading this site for the rest of the week if you like. This isn’t just some random assortment, either. There are thoughtful assortments and surprise discoveries, including a celebrity-chosen set of some pretty far-out live shows pulled by Jan …

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New Teasers: Urs Heckmann Modular Soft Synth, and the Fairlight CMI Returns

In some of the news I’ve missed in the last couple of days are some unusual announcements. Urs Heckmann can be fairly considered one of the great soft synth designers, with accomplishments like Zebra. His latest, Bazille, like many recent soft synths, is a hybrid: FM synthesis plus phase distortion plus the obligatory subtractive synthesis. In an early teaser video (he apologizes for audio quality), he shows off its modular design. Now, modular routing is something we’ve seen in some form in other recent synths, from Maschine to Future Audio’s Circle. But for Bazille, the layout of the whole synth …

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Video as Instrument: The Fairlight CMI’s Visualist Sibling, the Fairlight CVI

The Fairlight CMI, the ground-breaking digital synth created by Australians Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie, is well known for its contribution to music. Think names like Peter Gabriel, Hans Zimmer, David Bowie, Herbie Hancock, Kate Bush, Bono, and … hang on, I’ll stop before this becomes a very long list. With tablet input and sophisticated sampling capabilities, the CMI holds up reasonably well against even modern tech, even if it cost as much as a luxury car. (See Keyboard Magazine‘s 2006 write-up.) But less known is the CMI’s influential visual sibling, the CVI — Computer Video Instrument. Introduced to the …

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Music Tech History Day: Fairlight CMI in Videos, and the Computer You Can Play

$26,000 at the time, the Fairlight CMI was the commercial product that really launched the notion of computer as musical instrument to the general populous – along with various electronic cliches in its wildly-popular preset bank. Our friend James at Retro Thing alerts us to the fact that none other than Fairlight co-founder and co-designer Peter Vogel has been uploading vintage videos to YouTube. There’s a behind-the-scenes tour of the Fairlight factory, circa 1984, and below, a demonstration of the Series III instrument by Greg Sneddon: There’s also this charming 1980 appearance on "This Week" on Australian TV. What about …

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