iOS Arrivals: A Serious Mobile Studio for Producers, AmpliTube for Guitarists

With previews and teasers, it’s sometimes easy to miss when useful new tools actually become available to you. Two tools this week became available, each potentially high on the utility end of the spectrum. There’s no shortage of variety in iOS music creation apps, but when people really want to get down to music making, many of them want to focus on one tool, not twenty. (That’s not universal – ask Richard Devine‘s screaming VST plug-in folder – but you ought to at least be able to make such a choice.) It’s therefore little surprise that there’s been a lot …

READ MORE →

Diego Stocco’s Bassoforte, an Incredible Instrument Made from a Dismantled Piano

Diego Stocco – Bassoforte from Diego Stocco on Vimeo. Odds are you don’t have a dismantled piano you keep in the garden, awaiting conversion to a fantastic, imaginative electro-acoustic instrument. But that’s unlikely to make you covet the instrument above any less. Diego Stocco is a composer, instrumentalist, sound designer, and mad inventor. Among many recent accomplishments, he’s responsible, in collaboration with Hans Zimmer, for some of the imaginative sounds that populated Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes.” In many ways, he’s a reminder that the expressive potential of digital music isn’t limited to the virtual. He couples raw acoustic materials from …

READ MORE →

Virtual Reality: Guitar Notation, Amps, and Effects Appear on Apple Mobiles

Competing solutions from IK Multimedia and Peavey extend the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad with custom hardware for connecting a guitar. Here, the AmpKit LiNK, by Peavey and Agile Partners. All images courtesy the vendors. Ah, amplifiers and stompboxes. We hardly knew ye. Once exclusively the stuff of tubes, wires, cabinets, aluminum, and electronics, guitar amps and pedals have for years been available in growingly-sophisticated software models. Once the electronics of sound become software, there’s nothing stopping them from running on any computer – which now includes computers disguised as mobile phones, like the iPhone. (In fact, I expect that …

READ MORE →

iPhone Gets New Groove Boxes: Is it Live Synthesis, or is it Canned?

The iPhone has become an almost absurdly-popular platform for music apps this year, even given more capable, more plentiful PCs. But to those who don’t yet “get” the appeal, talk to a mobile music addict: having the ability to be creatively musically in corners of time that would otherwise go unused, like a cramped bus ride, can be a beautiful thing. (Now, you start talking about taking away my PC/Mac experience, and I will start screaming in agony – but that’s a topic for a separate post.) The question is, what form should that app take? Today, I’ve got an …

READ MORE →

Goodies for Guitars: IK’s Wah Pedal That’s Also an Interface, Official Fender Software

Today is set to be an orgy of computer music-y, Abletronic, drum machine-loaded, Max-patching news, so let’s throw one out to the guitarists. IK Multimedia has two new announcements today that are actually quite cool. The StealthPedal is a Wah pedal that’s actually an audio interface, sort of like a James Bond pen that’s also a gun. And IK also landed the only official Fender-endorsed software amp emulation. Here’s a quick look at the specs. By the way, I’ve consulted everyone I know (especially as I’m not a guitarist), and basically what we’ve come up with is that a whole …

READ MORE →

Still Time to Win T-rackS, Get Personal Notes, Be Thankful

A turkey. Photo (and crafting) (CC) Patti Haskins. Americans are busy getting ready for Thanksgiving and … everyone is busy, anyway. But there’s still time to: 1. Tell us what makes you musically thankful – we’ll feature your responses on CDM. 2. Tell us if you’d like to get handcrafted, human-written exclusive notes in your inbox occasionally from CDM (totally optional). 3. Get a chance to win the deluxe edition of T-rackS 3, the tasty mixing and mastering suite, with lots of new routing, models, and metering. I’m actually working on a way to visualize all of these “reasons we’re …

READ MORE →

Giving Musical Thanks: Help Kick Off CDM Notes, Win T-Racks 3

Any holiday that’s an excuse to give thanks (not to mention, eat) is a worthy one, whether you’re an American or not. Photo ()CC) riptheskull/Dave. Thanksgiving is an American holiday on this international site, but the basic ideal for which the day has come to stand – giving thanks – is a noble one. So we want to do three things here for CDM: 1. Ask you what for you’re thankful, musically speaking. It might be a synth, or a collaborator, or an album, or a song, or the metronome you’ve used since you started playing, or having more discipline …

READ MORE →

IK Multimedia Rebuts Mag on Free Software; Why They Missed the Point

Times are tough, and folks are turning out those pockets for free… wear. Photo: Bert Heymans. There’s a strange debate going on over the free software (as in freeware, not necessarily open source) issue of Computer Music magazine. After seeing the magazine’s top 10 reasons to use free software, commercial developer IK Multimedia got surprisingly defensive, and issued a rebuttal: Why you shouldn’t use free software – a commercial developer’s view (at Music Radar, the online site for the magazine’s publisher) Now, there’s probably a much simpler way to put this. Why to use free software: It’s free. Why to …

READ MORE →

Contests Round-Up: Guitar (and Violin) Rig Heroes, Audion Remix, RiffWorks

Every time you turn around, someone else is holding some sort of promotional music contest. But this week, we have not one but three contests I think will really appeal to CDM readers — and I’m especially eager to hear what results you might submit. Guitar Rig action shot, by way of Felix E. Guerrero. Guitar Rig Hero is a huge contest with some big prizes. Native Instruments notes that users were already, without prompting, posting Guitar Rig videos to YouTube. So, they’ve put together a jury to properly judge the best possible contributions, with jurors including the likes of …

READ MORE →