MPC Bling: Complete Technique’s Audio Jewelry, White Gold and Jewel MPC 3000

Love your audio gear so much you wish you could wear it around your neck, but a loudspeaker on your throat would a) strangle you and b) make you look like too much of a dork to attend high-society functions? Complete Technique jewelers feels you. From sterling silver turntable cartridges plated in gold with embedded cubic zirconia to tiny silver pendants of speakers, CT manages to say both bling and audio geek at once. (Prices hover at just over US$200 to start.) Their custom pieces are when things start to get really interesting, however. Via the always-hilarious Don’t Believe the …

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Bob Dylan Art: Opening Up a Big Jar o’ Stature-Free CDs!

Bob Dylan’s insight into CDs continues to inspire new art. (If you’ve just joined us: Dylan rips CDs — really rips them, and a reader suggests cautionary emblems for CDs.) Now, thesimplicity has illustrated his answer, and I’m beyond words. Tasty: Big ‘ol CD jam. Thanks, thesimplicity! Yes, we’ll work out how to put some sort of t-shirt version together of these. Meanwhile, what’s that? Dylan shilling for Apple, so he can sell his new CD, the mastering of which he’s trashing in Rolling Stone, in a lossy, compressed digital format encoded with DRM? Actually, it is a good song. …

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Bob Dylan CD Warnings: Apply to a T-Shirt, or Stature-Free Albums

Dylan’s poetic non-sequiturs make great t-shirts. Something about his recent complaints just beg to be turned into brilliant designs. Arru, a breakdancing Swedish musician and designer, is the first to respond to our Dylan design challenge with these gems: Bob Dylan puts it thusly [boombox.se] Truly great work, Arru! I’m not sure whether to throw these on a t-shirt or print stickers and apply them to my jewel cases. (Or, even better, slip them onto the CD racks at the local Starbucks.) But if you are thinking of t-shirts, my friends over at Make have a great tutorial: DIY t-shirt …

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T-shirt Challenge: “New records have sound all over them” – Bob Dylan

I admire someone like Bob Dylan who can combine producing fantastic music with producing outlandish, sometimes random statements. Vying for the dumbest music quote of the year, Bob gives us this gem: “New records … have sound all over them.” And goes on to say: “CDs are small. There’s no stature to it.” (CDs actually prefer “portability enabled.” And what’s this obsession with size?) Now, let’s see. At this point, I could talk about how I’m no fan of over-compressed and over-produced music, while criticizing the fact that Bob has ignored the bulk of music production in favor of the …

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The Crystal Method Composes Score for … Your Morning Jog?

Technology is creating some unusual new opportunities for composers. Aside from producing music for video games, we can now get inside your head while you’re working out. (Well, okay, we could do that before via, erm, Walkmans and such, but now it’s more interactive.) Electronic duo The Crystal Method has produced a continuous album called Drive designed for use in a 45-minute workout, promoting Apple’s new partnership with Nike. The Nike + iPod combination is more than just marketing: a sensor in the shoe transmits data to the iPod Nano and gives you aural feedback on how you’re doing. You …

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Max/MSP and Circuit Bending T-Shirts

Geek couture takes another giant leap forward: via the excellent bending blog Get Lofi, we learn someone has started selling t-shirts with Max/MSP patches and circuit-bent Speak-and-Spells: such a turn on: unlikely apparel Just US$9.99, too, and shipping internationally. If you get one, send us a photo of you in it, please. I do enjoy patching while wearing my Jitter t-shirt with the cat on it. (Thanks, Cycling ’74!) Now if someone could just print t-shirts with keyboard shortcuts on them, and resistant to coffee stains …

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The Sound of Clothes: Zipper Orchestra

Okay, easy on the Clinton jokes, kids, but just a day after we learn an online fashion ‘zine is making music by recording clothing, we see that a team at NYU is taking the next step: using zippers as musical controllers. (Safe for work — they didn’t get that carried away.) The neatest part of the installation is that you use physical zippers to zip and unzip the jackets and pants of people in video images projected on the wall. Now, how musical is this? Well, that’s up for debate. Maybe shoelaces next time? (I can finally learn to tie …

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The Sound of Clothes: Recording Nylon, Sequins, and Zippers in an Anechoic Chamber

Fashion and sound usually involves pumping soundtracks on the runway. SHOWstudio, an “online fashion broadcasting company,” has its own idea: they’re taking leading garments from this season into an anechoic chamber, where they’ll record the literal sound of the garments. “Feathers, sequins, glass crystals and beads, nylon, taffeta, leather, velvet, jacquard, zips and metallic chains” will all get recorded in this pristine audio environment. (They’re spaces that are almost entirely without echo; check out this Bell Labs story for more. John Cage was so taken by hearing the sound of his own body in a chamber that it helped him …

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Wearable Sound Tech: Sonic Fabric, Sonic Dresses, NYC Dorkbot

There are many high-tech solutions to making fashion into a musical instrument, like embedding sound circuitry, sensors, and wireless transmitters. Designer Alyce Santaro has found a low-tech, but ingenious, solution: weaving a special textile out of recycled audio tape. Dresses, flags, and even messenger bags can suddenly incorporate audio materials. In 2003, Alyce built a special commission for John Fishman of Phish that allowed him to play rhythmic sound collages on the garment. (Shown at right; thanks, Alyce!) If you’re in NYC, you can check out Alyce’s work in person at the January 4 Dorkbot meeting at the Location One …

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Analog Jacket Synth and Other Circuit-Bendable Oddities from Baltimore

Tim’s back with another tip. Baltimore bender Peter Blasser has created oddities like the much-blogged worm-powered synth (using worms as connections for a circuit-bend patch bay; via Music thing) and bent wooden synth kits (also via MT). But that’s not all. Blasser, aka Ciato-Lonbarseee, has plenty of other strange creations: Many odd synths, many odd names: Blasser catalog I love the eerie sounds of the percussive analog jacket. There’s another whole page of wooden and electronic oddities, like the “bass in a picnic basket.” Some things can be explained. Some cannot, like these pages of instruments. Go explore and enjoy.

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