Meet the Little-Known DIY Music Pioneer of the Czech Republic, Standa Filip

From behind the long-gone, so-called “iron curtain,” nearly-lost musical innovation is beginning to become available. But perhaps more than any geo-political change, the power of an Internet-based community hungry to share knowledge is making national borders that once isolated information melt away. Earlier this week, I shared reflections I wrote up for Amsterdam’s STEIM on the significant of DIY Music. But one group of artists, the Standuino team from Brno, Czech Republic, really exemplified that spirit. First off, their hardware is utterly brilliant and eminently practical, an Arduino-based platform on which they’ve made it easy to create and modify designs, …

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it-lives

Debut of MeeBlip micro Synth, Workshop, Handmade Music: Toronto on Friday

In Toronto this Friday, we’ll be connecting with InterAccess Gallery in a celebration of DIY, adventurous music making, and blipping synthesizers. It’ll also be the first public debut of the new MeeBlip micro, a pocket-sized version of our MeeBlip open source hardware synth. Part of why I’m excited to be hacking away with the fine folks of Toronto is that we’ll be able to document that new design and what you might make with it for everybody else. The MeeBlip micro and revised MeeBlip se will be coming very soon to everyone. What’s the MeeBlip micro? It’s the brains of …

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amstelriver

Musical Ideas into Musical Invention: Handmade Music at Amsterdam’s STEIM, Video, Open Call

Idyllic Amsterdam’s Amstel River, steps away from STEIM, makes nice inspiration. (Cross-processed film photo, which looks more like it feels being there.) In late September, CDM travels to Amsterdam and the legendary STEIM, a hub for research and experimentation in electro-acoustic music. The Patterns + Pleasure Festival will explore live electronic music practice and more, from controllerist laptop musicians like Edison and Moldover to the likes of sculpture-trained artist Nina Boes working with drawing and video instruments. The afternoon of September 28, we’ll have an open celebration of DIY electronic music culture with a special installment of Handmade Music. If …

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clusterflux1

Moogerfooger Cluster Flux Analog FX: Hands-on with Moog’s Chief Engineer; Sound Samples

There’s a new analog Moog effect in town. So who better to tell us about it and get us some hands-on time than Moog Music’s Chief Engineer? Moog’s next Moogerfooger, the Cluster Flux or “MF-108M” if you want to sound more serious, promises to be a versatile analog effect processor. It’s a flanger / chorus / vibrato unit with loads of modulation, meaning you can either go the classic chorus/flange route or go further out with your sound sculpting. Mono in, stereo out, all-analog signal path, coming soon at US$599 list (street should be lower). That’s the unit. But I …

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swarm_front

CDM + Handmade Music Lounge at Solid Sound: Meet These Sonic Builders, in 11 Noisey Videos

The Swarmatron, made infamous by The Social Network, is just one of the crazy sonic creations we’ll be seeing this weekend. Photo credit: Joshua Sarner. This weekend in North Adams, Massachusetts at MASS MoCA, the band Wilco is gathering their very own music and arts festival, Solid Sound. It’s become a real oasis of unique programming, musical and otherwise, and I’m pleased to be a part of it. Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen and I put together a showcase of some of the best musical builders and DIYers. We’ll be gathering this weekend and talking to all the artists, so any questions …

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peopleonsynplode

Bugs on the Game Grid: Synplode Makes Step Sequencing Tangible for an Interactive Dance Floor

Digital musician and artist Josh Silverman began the Synplode process with something familiar – a checkerboard. Play a game of checkers on its computer vision-equipped playing field and beats and loops triggered in Ableton Live generated a responsive soundtrack for the game. But as it’s evolved, Synplode has become a general-purpose musical grid. Whether with little robotic insects (the Hexbugs here) or full-sized human persons, the grid can turn any space into a dynamic, interactive dance floor. (I think I may actually prefer those cute little bugs to the people and dancers and whatnot. Robot rave, anyone?) I prodded Josh …

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Golden Age of Wireless: Korg iOS Sync, Android + MIDI Hardware, Enter Bluetooth MIDI?

Ready to cut the cord and go wireless? With mobile gadgets getting involved in music-making, it seems a logical solution – maybe not reason to throw away your MIDI cabling, but worth at least trying. Bluetooth could be an answer. In fact, it could work even without all those pesky, pricey mobile tablets and phones lying around, just with good, old-fashioned MIDI gear. (‘Bout time.) Bluetooth and MIDI are a logical match; the big surprise is that these two haven’t paired off (cough) much earlier. We’ve seen the occasional implementation or paper or rant, but not much real-world usage. That …

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thingamagoop

Synth Madness, as Sound-making Manufacturers of Austin Gather Today at Switched On

Images from Bleep Labs (top), Livid (bottom) — that’s a SxSW-only edition of Livid’s Block controller, complete with a Texas star. Not pictured: lots of insane analog modules and other audio gadgetry, because I couldn’t get good images. I’m quite excited about those, too, so stay tuned. I’m guessing a lot of gear is showing up later today. Analog and digital, gadgetry and module, DIY and ready-to-play, today in Austin we’re blessed with a get-together at the insanely-amazing Switched On music store. Austin’s noisiest manufacturers are dropping in to show some of their wears. If you’re not in Austin, have …

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hmusic1

Visions of Bleeps and Beats: Images and Video from Handmade Music

“Handmade music” has now been taken up by groups in cities around the world, without any central organization. It’s an open celebration of experimentation in music making and sound. Here, we get a look at the event series we’ve been running here in New York that helped spawn those others. Part of what I like about playing live is that it is unpredictable. We get to get together and try things, play wildly divergent styles of music, and explore ideas for what to play, all with a friendly group of people. So, here – thanks to the lovely videography of …

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galapagoose

Grids, Chips, and Blips: Handmade Music NYC, Saturday 2/5 Lab + Party, Video Samples + Listening

Galapagoose plays a Brooklyn rooftop at the monome community tour in the fall. Now he’s back to celebrate the release of new software, and meets up with artists from across the digital music-making spectrum. Handmade Music is back on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with an epic lineup spanning digital synths to monomes to interactive installations to chip music. It’s a bit like stepping into the music tech world described on the Web. (For the vast majority of you outside NYC, hoping to have good documentation of recent events edited and available shortly.) We’re moving to Saturday night and …

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