How They Work – NIN: Echoplex, Rehearsing Live with Lemur

NIN: Echoplex – Live at Rehearsals, July 2008 from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo. Jaymis at Create Digital Motion was admiring this video and watching the Lemur action at the beginning. It further inspires me to custom-install a touch overlay on my laptop, which isn’t terribly expensive – having touch in a live playing situation is really quite nice. But as I watched the video and its modular synth action and Novation gear, I actually found myself thinking about something else: why aren’t more bands this tight? Most importantly, why don’t more bands simply use in-ear monitors when they’re working? …

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Exclusive Behind the Scenes: Interpol’s Live Rig

You’ve seen plenty of live rigs with mile-high stacks of keyboards and sound modules. But this setup is different: one of the world’s best bands is using an elaborate setup of software synths. Binding it all together is one of the most sophisticated software configurations I’ve ever seen, the fruits of labors by of our friend Jonathan Adams Leonard – a talented musician and technologist – in Kore 2. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this kind of setup to anyone else; it involved pushing Kore to its bleeding edge. But Jonathan’s walk-through of the hardware and software programming for this show …

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Hello? It’s the Future Calling. We Have Your Synth, the Omega Orion.

The faux-Pan Am logo. The sleek, mod, curved white casing. The elegant controls. Yes, this is indeed a synth that would look at home in the space station in Kubrick’s 2001. Technically not the future so much as the 1960’s version of the future – but surely we’re getting around to reshaping our future to look more like that, right? At least for synths? The synth in question is the Omega 8, a “luggable” 20-pound, 8-voice analog synth with individual stereo pairs for each voice. It’s really, truly, old-school analog, with discrete analog oscillators, voltage-controlled filters of the 24dB and …

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More from Mutek: Tech and Gear Spottings, Ecology and the Planet

Liz and Peter Dines continue to send dispatches from the epic MUTEK festival in Montreal. Stay tuned to our events.createdigitalmusic.com page for the latest. Among the new reports: various Reaktor spottings among artists, insane turntable abuse, and even a discussion of how arts events can reduce their impact on the planet. (Oddly enough, that last panel evidently included Dan Seligman, with whom I worked at the Sierra Club on international trade and human rights issues in another life of mine.) Check out the ongoing MUTEK coverage while we wait for Liz and Peter to finish off their stack of interviews …

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NAMM Years’ Eve: Favorite 2007 Musical Moments

New Years’ Eve? What’s that? The music tech year begins and ends at the massive NAMM trade show, across from Disneyland in Anaheim, California. So, as we settle in for a few hours’ rest before the big circus begins, I asked Liz McLean Knight and Mike Una to offer some of their 2007 highlights. And this gives us some great music to listen to while we (invariably) edit the hours of footage of NAMM and my recent Australian visualist tour. Great music, great tools, and some personal highlights ahead. (Photo: moriza. Ah, sweet 2007.)

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LinnDrum II: Former BoomChik Gets More Delayed But More Mature

Amazing how time crawls when you’re eagerly awaiting something. Such is the case with the BoomChik: it seems like ages ago that drum machine legend Roger Linn and synth legend Dave Smith “pre-announced” this synth/drum machine. It was actually just this time last year. Unfortunately, you’re going to be waiting a little longer: feedback from musicians and the release of Linn’s AndrenaLinn III and Smith’s Prophet ’08 (easily two of the biggest products of last year) has delayed the BoomChik. Now the good news: in addition to a new name, the new design looks far more mature. And it’s going …

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Allen & Heath’s New “Compact” Surface: Controls Mixer, or Nuclear Submarine?

Rather than launch into technical jargon, let me summarize. It’s giant. It has lots of faders and knobs and color screens and such. Not only can you not afford it, you can’t lift it, either. It has an insanely stupid name. But it’s quite beautiful, like a 1979 vision of the future dreamt up by defense contractors.

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Hispasonic Messe Videos: Gear Lust, From Origin to the Modular Superbooth

CDM’s friends at the Spanish-language Hispasonic run one of the best music tech sites on the Interwebs. They’ve been kind enough to share some of their videos from the Messe show, and you won’t have to speak a word of Spanish to follow them. (The Arturia Origin was later overdubbed with Spanish.) Of course, I did just see some discount tickets to Spain, so maybe I should brush up. (Hispasonic links here are naturally in Spanish, but everyone can enjoy the videos.) My favorite: a tour of the Superbooth, an exhaustive mini-expo of modular music tech. Superbooth @ Hispasonic Plus …

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New Nord and New Gear: Photos from Musikmesse Trade Show

A new Nord: the Wave, keeping true to the red livery of its predecessors. New stuff with knobs, keys, and touchscreens: yep, it’s Giant German Music Tech Trade Show time. Our friend Rainer Knobloch got to spend a few hours on the Messe show floor, so we politely pointed him to some of the gear that inspired the most drool. Topping the list, of course, is Clavia’s new Nord Wave, just because Clavia hasn’t yet published anything on their site. (More Nord details coming later today; sorry for the delay.) But we also learn via these photos just how cool …

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