Interview: Jon Hopkins Talks Live, Studio Process, Habit, Instinct

Jon Hopkins performs live at the ICA. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Matt Biddulph. Classically trained as a pianist, musician and producer Jon Hopkins has one of the richest resumes in electronic music. He’s a frequent collaborator with Brian Eno, wand has worked with artists like Coldplay (who featured his music on their last album), Tunng, David Holmes, and Imogen Heap. He worked with director Peter Jackson, and has a sci-fi score on the way. He also has a rich set of solo releases. And we’ve seen him here recently with remix swaps with Four Tet and contributions to Eno’s upcoming Warp record. …

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Batteries and Suitcase Music: Chris Carter’s No-MIDI, No-Keyboard Musical Rig

How much can you do with a suitcase full of soundmakers? Quite a lot, as it happens. The 20th Century gave sound two great achievements. One was the successful modeling of filtering in digital software form. The other was the production of the electronic filter, first in quartz crystal form. Today, all of those advancements are available in cheap, often battery-powered devices that fit in the palm of your hand. Spurred by yesterday’s discussion of sonic mobility and battery power, Sasa Rasa points us to the recent work of Chris Carter (of Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey fame). Chris …

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A Free Beatbox Plug-in, with Interactive KAOSS Pad KP3 Control

There’s a special love among certain Ableton Live users for the Korg KAOSS Pad KP3, Korg’s lovely and capable sampling/effects box. Al, aka DJ Chinkial (see his trippy MySpace page) has a free VST for free as a holiday gift to us all (Windows-only). The basic idea: make a beatbox plug-in for your computer, using the KP3 as outboard controller, complete with visual feedback. (If you don’t have a KP3, you can use any controller, minus the blinkie lights – monome hack, anyone?) The results are very wonderful: the KP3 becomes a synth drum machine. The only problem: some bugs …

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Monster Hybrid Kaoss Pad 3 Electric Guitar; Zoybar Modular Hardware Platform

Find more videos like this on Zoybar Ziv bar Ilan, founder/designer of Zoybar, has created a “modular hardware platform” for creating custom electric instruments and effects. The fruits of these labors: an insane cross-breeding experiment combining a Korg KAOSS Pad KP3 with an electric guitar. The results look like something the evil supergeek in an 80s movie would play. “So, Todd, you think you and your puny Goody and the Goody Two-Shoes can defeat me, Brad, in the Battle of the Bands Saturday? Ha! You haven’t seen my secret weapon, the Kaossitar. My band, The Black Death, will be unbeatable …

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Korg KAOSS Pad KP3 as Step Sequencer

We’ve heard from DJ Chinkial — and via several of you — that he’s working on a way of turning Korg’s KP3 KAOSS Pad into a step sequencer, by way of Reaktor. Each step lights up, causing him and others to use the phrase “Monome-like.” Monome as an adjective? Congrats to the Monome designers for that! The KP3 is a cool device on its own, so it looks fascinating to me. Just be prepared to try to read chinkial’s massive run-on sentence describing the project. He writes: just thought id let youse know im making a reaktor ensemble at the …

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All-Kaossilator Album Makes Korg King, Plus Not-Quite-All Monome Albums

All Kaoss, All the Time: In a world of endless choices, what happens to the creative power of limitations? Back in November, we saw Norman Fairbanks make an album entirely on Tenori-On, Yamaha’s interactive blinking-lights button pad. “Ah,” you said. “But that sounds suspiciously like the music of Toshio Iwai, the Tenori-On’s composer-inventor. And it costs a lot of dough. And I have to live in the UK to buy it.” Enter our friend Gary Kibler. He’s also a huge fan of the Tenori-On — he did cover the UK launch event for us, and then lauded its innovative design. …

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