Off Topic: A Motorcycle, a Film, and the Sound of Machines

“Off the phovea” thinking describes, using the eye as a metaphor, focusing on a problem by reflecting on what’s not at the center of that problem. On this rainy Sunday, that’s how I’m starting my day, so I thought I would share. This film about motorcycle maker Shinya Kimura fits here, even off-topic, for two reasons: 1. The sound editing to me is extraordinary. Sound design and recording quality are important, but in this film, directed by Henrik Hansen, each gesture of the sound mix is likewise deliberate and meticulously paced. There’s a reason some of the best editors are …

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BBQ Chicken Ambiences, and Ten Other Inspiring Sound Design Stories

Whether your trade in audio is in soundtracks for screens and games, or you’re just exploring strange, new worlds and seeking out new life and new timbres in your music, the discipline of sound design is as rich and deep as cooking. It’s something you can do every day. Okay, now just put that “cooking” metaphor out of your mind and steel your stomach. Sound maker and dirt bike rider Jim Stout of Austin (Roland, Sound Ideas, The Hollywood Edge) does some ungodly things with raw barbecue chicken and dog food. For more on Jim Stout, check out the exclusive …

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Designing Sound: Essential Blog Reading for Sound Designers, Plus Pixar’s Up

“UP” Sound for Film Profile from Michael Coleman on Vimeo. Miguel Isaza has created a must-read new blog for anyone interested in sound design, and much to our delight has put it on noisepages. He’s being incredibly prolific with posts, covering creative projects to get your ideas flowing, terrific overviews of leading people in the field with links to interviews and resources for learning about their work, and tons of links for learning your craft technologically and artistically. http://designingsound.createdigitalmusic.com/ Naturally, Pixar figures prominently, with some of the best sound design on the silver screen in recent years. I’m looking forward …

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Danger Mouse / Sparklehorse Album to Get Blank CD-R Release; How to Grab the File

We’ve heard lots of ideas for alternative musical distribution in the digital age, but this has to be a less popular idea: How about “releasing” your album as a blank, recordable CD-R? If you think about it, it’s the natural evolution of CDs. After all, in the age of widespread digital download stores and file sharing, if you bother to buy a physical CD, aren’t you really buying it just for that jewel box and liner notes and packaging, for that satisfying snap as the disc hits the plastic spindle? Aren’t you just doing it to flirt with the CD …

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Music Video Inspiration: Music Meets 1970s Human Biology

From musician Jeremy Linzee and Ethan Vogt comes this lovely fusion of re-cut educational film with music. Ethan and Jeremy work together live, with Ethan recutting the video on the fly. It’s a really terrific way for this filmmaker and musician to work together. Normally we run this sort of thing over on Create Digital Motion, but since it’s by definition a 50/50 collaboration, I thought I’d spread the love and kick off the weekend with a moody reinterpretation of human biology. (Warning: mild, biology-class nudity appears briefly.) Hopefully we’ll have Jeremy and Ethan together for one of our future …

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Exclusive: Free (Cardstock) Minimoog Model Offer Extended

If you missed getting a free Minimoog model with the purchase of landmark ambient album Gas0095 from label Microscopics and still want it, we’ve got good news for you. Microscopics have extended the offer, exclusively for Create Digital Music readers. Paul writes: "If they enter the code CreateDigitalMusic.com in the ‘Add special instructions for the Merchant‘ field in PayPal, we’ll extend the offer until July 14th. Not getting any promotional fees for pitching this; I’m genuinely excited about my papercraft Moog and the album! (Though I think I may have Microscopics buy me a beer if I see them…) In …

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MOTU Digital Performer 6 Released, With Tasty Sound Tools

DP6 is here (or will be here soon, say commenters), with a badly-needed UI update and a number of new features. The results still look like DP – in the way that should appeal to current users, that is – but enhancements demonstrate that the ongoing DAW battles carry on. DP6 New Features In the usability category: Updated UI with vertical track resizing (about time, jeez!) and better zooming and resizing Window tabs, which are a pretty cool way of switching between windows and tabbing views a la Firefox, Safari, et al (I’m surprised we haven’t seen more tabs in …

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Microscopics Play with Scale on Gas0095, Give You Tiny Moog Model

Gas0095, the landmark 90s ambient release by Mat Jarvis (Gas / High Skies), is back in a remastered version. If you know the music, you’re probably already thrilled by the return of this epic sonic world; if not, even non-ambient fans are likely to get a kick out of the spacey, synthy goodness. (Best press quote: “the ideal soundtrack to an IMAX film on the history of space travel.” You had me at IMAX.) Paul from Microscopics (the label) writes to tell us they’re sweetening the pot with a 1/8 scale Minimoog freebie for all June preorders. (Nanomoog?) It’s brilliant …

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Obituary: Bebe Barron, Pioneering Electronic Composer

There are pioneers and artists — and then there are people whose impact is great enough that they become inseparable with the history of a medium. Bebe Barron, along with husband Louis Barron, was far enough ahead of her time that her ideas remain futuristic today. The Barrons didn’t just produce the first full-length electronic film score with Forbidden Planet; they created an ambient sonic world between music and special effects, and tied it to cybernetic theories. That score stands in contrast to films still dominated by Alfred Newman-style, post-Wagnerian theatrics. Today, artists are only just re-discovering the possibilities of …

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