Video: Remixing The Roots on a Monome

PEMF Sessions: Pilot from Primus Luta on Vimeo. It’s a bit trippy as you make your way through the opening of this video, which features a spooky song and, awesomely, a hooded man who has replaced his face with a certain hit open source controller. (“Darling, wake up, you’re shouting the names of Max/MSP patches again in your sleep!” / “I was dreaming – and I saw that man again. The man with the Monome for a face! He said – he said there’s something I must do. Where’s my MacBook?”) Ahem. Get past that bit, and your reward is …

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V-Machine: Dedicated Hardware for VSTs, for US$599?

Much as we love computers, who hasn’t dreamed of a dedicated hardware box for gigging that plays your plug-ins seamlessly? The Muse Receptor does this already, and it’s a very effective solution – everyone I know who’s got one loves it. But it is a full rackmount space, and prices start around US$2000 (though it does look like you can snag a refurb for less). That could be well worth it, but I’m sure for some potential customers, weighing the bulk and cost against a computer makes it tougher to bite. That makes the V-Machine pretty impressive on paper: it’s …

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Ableton Hack: Infinite Submix Group Folders

Ableton forum members are abuzz on this latest hack for Ableton Live: a specialized plug-in now enables a “bus group” that routes audio to a MIDI track for effects. Now, of course, group folders are a feature present in some competing DAWs, but it’s still nice to see it working in Ableton Live. (And if this is something you’ve wanted to do, I think you’ll probably spot it immediately – whereas, likewise, if it’s not your response is likely to be, “huh”?) There’s already a free Windows plug-in download. It looks like someone will have to do a Mac plug-in …

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Using Kore: Our Guide, Plus Mouse-Free Hardware-Only Control

Photos from Berlin’s fantastic Dense Record Shop by MPC2000xl / MIDI Mechanics, from his blog. To me, the ideal kind of music tech writing is when you get to spend quality time with tools for musical reasons – not simply to talk about the technology, but to make stuff. Over the past weeks, we’ve been gradually assembling ideas, sound designs, knowledge, and tutorials into a string of blog-style posts on the CDM Kore site. I’ve organized those into an evolving guide to working with Kore as a musician, from getting a handle on the basics (including some stuff that initially …

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Modular Sound by Touch: Usine

Sensomusic Usine Touch Screen Edition by sensomusic Touchable, open-ended, modular sounds and music – it’s an appealing idea. I’d be remiss in talking this week about touch apps if I didn’t mention the free/cheap Windows tool Usine, which has recently made the jump to a touchscreen-optimized version. (Big thanks to alby75 in comments on our Kore minisite for the nod.) Usine is a modular, patchable music and sound app that runs as a portable, USB-key-ready standalone app and VST plug-in. A free version is limited in I/O and track-count, with a pro version EUR50. The 4.0 “stable beta” offers touchscreen …

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News from Steinberg Land: Cubase 4.5, CC121 Hardware Integration

Integration with this hardware is Steinberg’s current pitch, with DSP in a FireWire audio interface and controller integration with point-and-click access to parameters. Cubase 4.5 is here, with CC121 controller and MR816 audio I/O hardware integration, some new sample content, and a mysterious new “media management” format called VST Sound. It is nice to see the hardware/software integration we’ve been clamoring for. But will developers actually start supporting VST Sound and VST3? Will I manage to find a way to get excited about Cubase? We can only wonder… and it’s time for some Steinberg advocates to speak up. Cubase 4.5 …

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Reaper, Elegant Mac/Windows DAW, Adds Gobs More Features

Welcome to Reaperworld. It’s an alternative universe, in which a “2.4.5” update is huge. Released yesterday, it’s a new build for what might best be described as an “indie” DAW from the original creator of Winamp. Check out the full feature list, but here are some highlights: “Solo in front” for easier soloing Track folding for MIDI to hide unused / unnamed rows Multimedia keyboard support, so you can use those silly, useless buttons PCs have for something cool Mute fades, so you don’t get that annoying pop on muting A ridiculous number of MIDI workflow and technical improvements What’s …

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The Ultimate Mac Music Rack? Rax 3, in Previews

I’ve been impressed by Rax, the virtual effects and instrument rig for Mac, for some time. I marveled at its musician-friendly fullscreen interface and live visualizations in Rax 2.0, lamented its lack of popularity and eventual demise at developer Plasq, breathed a sigh of relief as it found a new home at Audiofile Engineering, and noted the unmistakable similarity of Apple’s MainStage. (MainStage, for the record, still doesn’t do a lot of what Rax 2 does.) Now, Rax is due for a major update, and it’s getting one, in the form of a new UI, powerful routing, and clever MIDI …

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Ableton Live Demo Terms Get Still More Generous, Could Save a Gig

Quick! What do you do in an emergency when you need to re-authorize software for a gig? Good news: Ableton will not be “evil.” (see photo at right; thanks, Amanda.) It happens: a hard drive dies, or you lose an entire computer and switch machines. Now, in an ideal world with no copy protection, this wouldn’t be such an issue, but most of us are fairly resigned to some kind of copy protection being a necessary evil. There’s software we rely on that requires some kind of authorization or unlock, if not a hardware dongle. That means you need to …

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