Listen as a Compiler Makes Weirdly Good Blippy, Glitchy IDM Sounds [Free Tools]

What’s the sound of a computer program running? Normally, nothing – the number crunching that takes place as software allocates memory forms patterns, but not ones that might immediately make sense of sound. “malloc” is a C function that allocates memory in which code executes. But a simple hack takes the output of a compiler, and makes sound files out of it. It’s the equivalent disconnecting the pipe from a widget-making factory, and instead of producing useful tools, making cool shapes out of sugary icing – useless and delicious. It’s a sonification of the memory allocation and reading process itself, …

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Doom 3, Game Engine and Rendering, Now Under GPL Open Source License

3D developers had real reason to be thankful last week, on the occasion of American Thanksgiving. Doom 3, after some wrangling, was set free with a GNU GPL open source license. The game data itself isn’t free, covered by the existing proprietary EULA, but you get all the logic and rendering of the game on Mac, Windows, and Linux. While the game dates to 2004, the visual engine remains nothing to sneeze at, capable of some impressive capabilities. And the way the engine and game themselves behave are compelling studies, too. In a world in which software is disposable, abandoned, …

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Qeve: Free Live Visual – VJ Software, Built in Pd

Qeve is a promising-looking, open-source visual performance tool built in visual patching environment Pure Data (Pd). It was built primarily on Ubuntu Linux but should also run with some adjustment on Mac. (Pd itself runs on Windows, but some of the visual dependencies are not available on that platform. I’d still recommend Linux.) Aside from being free and open, and a set of patches you can go in and modify, there are some nice-looking features here: Audiovisual mixing and step sequencing, transitions Video browsing Beat sync and master clock 3 layers, supporting multiple formats (video, 3D, photos, text, paint), 3D/2D …

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Linux Music Workflow: Switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu with Kim Cascone

Here’s a switcher story of a different color: from the Mac, to Linux. It’s one thing to talk about operating systems and free software in theory, or to hear from died-in-the-wool advocates of their platform of choice. In this case, we turn to Kim Cascone, an experienced and gifted musician and composer with an impressive resume of releases and a rich sens of sound. This isn’t someone advocating any platform over another: it’s an on-the-ground, in-the-trenches, real-world example of how Kim made this set of tools work in his music, in the studio and on tour. A particular thanks, as …

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