Mouse on Mars: In the Studio, and Reflecting on Performance, Listening, and Melody

Mouse on Mars’ Parastrophics for Monkeytown has been an early highlight of the year, a record packed with musical ideas in densely-configured arrays of sound. The duo is now taking that music on the road, in ambitious, improvisatory live performances. Perhaps all of this can be summed up in one word: energy. Their studio and its arrangements of objects has an energy, an energy that’s present in the craft in the record. And talking to the artists, you get a sense of energy, of enthusiasm, crackling away like an amped-up oscillator. It was therefore a pleasure to get to hear …

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Musikmesse Wrap-up, with Keyboard Magazine: The Latest Gear [Gallery, Roland Wireless Vid]

Like a World’s Fair of all the invention in music technology, the big trade shows still gather many of the latest creations from around the globe. And while the NAMM show in California is big, Musikmesse is bigger: spanning some 11 halls (together with a live lighting and event show called Pro Light+Sound), it’s the biggest on Earth. Having covered NAMM for German publication DE:BUG, I’m thrilled to get to do the reverse and highlight the best of Messe for California-based Keyboard Magazine. Musikmesse 2012 Gear Report [Keyboard Magazine] Instead of trying to cover absolutely everything, this is the stuff …

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Spotted: Analog Goodies, Doepfer Prototypes at the ALEX4 Messe Booth [Gallery]

You’d expect that holding the world’s largest trade show in Germany would mean some serious analog and gear love – and you’d be right. Andreas Schneider of SchneidersBuero/SchneidersLaden, the famed Berlin gear hub, was this year gathering some of the finest analog gear at a booth for ALEX4, a European distributor for some of these names. Now, in the meeting room there was of course real business to do, but that shouldn’t stop drool from pooling on some of the equipment. Among the highlights: Doepfer Musikelektronik, the company that perhaps more than any other ignited the current modular fever, was …

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A World of Sounds: Academik’s Francis Preve Shares Label’s Music, Studio Advice, Samples for Live

Francis Prève works the crowd. Photo courtesy the artist. The abundance of music, and the preceived ease of producing it, comes to some as bad news – or even harbinger of apocalypse. But load up a craft with quantity, and quality is what stands out. Francis Prève is a perfect Renaissance producer. With years of experience as a music technology journalist and sound designer, his own, signature flavor of tech-house is uniquely focused on timbre. His label, Academik Records, debuted last year at Austin’s South by Southwest, but it’s just now kicking into high gear. (If you are in Austin …

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Remixing Via Colored Pads: NI Reveals New Kontrol F1 DJ Hardware and Remix Decks

Adding pads to a digital DJ setup: here, the new Kontrol F1 hardware, with its colored matrix of pads, nestles in between more conventional mixers and decks. Image courtesy Native Instruments. Native Instruments had already revealed that it would add new hands-on remixing capabilities to its flagship DJ hardware and software line. But today, we get to see precisely what form that will take, with a grid of light-up, colored pads that seek to make DJing with Traktor as much about remixing tracks as playing them. Plenty of DJs and electronic musicians have been doing just that via a variety …

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Not a Tablet: Android-Powered Touch Music Keyboard is Just for Music

Looking a bit like the love child of a Nintendo DS and a microKORG, the Miselu neiro is a different animal in mobile music. The upcoming device is powered by Android and has a touchscreen – a bit like a tablet – but it’s hardware dedicated to music-making, complete with a compact, piano-layout keyboard. The gamble is that people wanting to make mobile music will choose this dedicated device instead of a general-purpose gadget like an iPad. Whether they can pull it off or not is a big question, but in the meantime, the specs are intriguing. And it’s worth …

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Mouse on Mars Release “Parastrophics” LP; Tech Talk Video in Studio, Listening

Inside their Funkhaus studio, records ready for release. Photo: CDM. In one of the records we’ve been most anticipating this year, Mouse on Mars today release Parastrophics, a densely-layered Magnum Opus of a full-length album. If you want to audition the release before buying, there are two places where you can do so: SoundCloud has a set that will give you a taste XLR8R has the full stream But the overwhelming sense I’ve gotten talking to the duo (Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma) is that you should resist the temptation to stream this is the background whilst you respond …

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dewanatron

Pictures at an Exhibition: Essential New Gear and Reflections from NAMM

Dewanatron’s Brian and Leon were on-hand with their unique inventions. Photos by Marsha Vdovin for CDM. For the lover of musical instruments and technology, southern California’s NAMM show is a giant toy shop. It’s work for many of its attendees, of course, but we know many of our readers dream of the objects that will make their next creations. And sure, inspiring lust is not our aim; on the contrary, there is some love that goes into these things. In the ideal, that’s the relationship of creator and consumer. These are things not to be bought and discarded, but kept …

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New NAMM Music Gear in a Nutshell (English + Deutsch) with De:Bug

Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Henrik Berggren. De:Bug is one of my favorite reads in music technology. And while I can fake my way through French and Spanish, De:Bug is also the one non-English publication I read daily. So I’m gratified to get to write a byline for the publication, which someone was nice enough to translate into German. For our German-speaking readers, you actually don’t have to read this one in English (though there’s an English version, to) In this story, I pick out the major themes in new music tech at the NAMM show this month in Anaheim, California: Winter NAMM …

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Music Geek Christmas: 10 Cool Things That Make NAMM Show Worth Getting Excited Over

You kneed KNAMM knobs. The Metasonix Wretch – photo (CC-BY-SA) Brandon Daniel. I sure hope we can look forward to Metasonix at NAMM – stuff that makes me love NAMM from someone who doesn’t. Trade shows aren’t what they used to be. For those of us who love music technology and the spirit of invention, it’s a good thing – why shouldn’t people be coming up with ideas year round? Why not spread them in places other than the gray, fluorescent glow of a big trade show floor open only to the industry? On the other hand, there’s something to …

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