Plaid’s Tether is an Interactive Web Song You Can Remix – Music, or Code

Now that your Web browser can do what music creation software can do, presenting a song can be more than just giving people a play button. And allowing people to “remix” your music might mean sounds and software alike. First, there was Jono Brandel’s terrific Patatap with Lullatone. Press keys on your keyboard, and a warm, Lullatone-inspired sample machine delights with brightly-colored abstract objects and sounds, a sort of custom browser beat box. Patatap went viral, perhaps because it brought musical wonder to the carousel of distracting tabs on the Web. Now, Jono Brandel (of the Google Creative Lab, with …

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Quick Fix: QuNexus is a Great Way to Do MIDI and CV, Cheap and Mobile

Here’s a really quick tip, but it demonstrates something in one illustrative video: Keith McMillen’s QuNexus is a brilliant, mobile solution for MIDI and analog control voltage. Of course, time was when the mention of control voltage would say to people either eccentric vintage gear collectors or expensive racks of modular. But CV’s appeal is fast spreading. On the modular side, prices are tumbling, and compact suitcase rigs can easily cost less than some pricey plug-in bundles (cough). On the used/vintage side, there’s just a lot of gear you might want to connect. And now, there are affordable units like …

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Jamming Without Wires: Thavius Beck, Hands on with the QuNeo Rogue

The freedom to go wireless means being able to take a controller and move about a venue or studio space. Visualists can eye their projections and lighting; musicians can check sound levels while walking around or more easily play with others. We’ve experienced this with iPads and the like. Now it’s time to do it with hardware. We covered the QuNeo Rogue in a look at two crowd-funded wireless projects late last month. But the Rogue now has just five days left on its crowd funding. KMI is at least no stranger to the model; they’ve shipped gear this way …

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I Dream of Wireless: Two Crowd-funded Accessories Make Music Without Cables

There are still many situations in which cables have some advantages for control, as we saw in this week’s tutorial on iPad connections. But two separate crowd-funded projects are working on high-performance wireless solutions for music controllers. That could open up the chance for performers to move around, take advantage of tilt sensors and other location tools inside controllers, and work with gear in studio situations more flexibly. Keith McMillen already has a track record using crowd funding to support projects – and they’ve been getting better at it. After the “3D” grid-and-ribbon QuNeo suffered production delays, the keyboard-style QuNexus …

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QuNexus: Slim, Expressive Keyboard in Exclusive Hands-on CDM Review ($150 Street)

Computers and other electronic hardware can be anything as an instrument. But that means you may need something different when it comes time to play them. The first thing to say about QuNexus is that it isn’t a piano. But the first thing to say about pianos is that they’re not at all portable – and they are built for striking strings rather than playing synths. Think instead of QuNexus a super-portable controller for a variety of uses, with added sensors for expression. It’s a hybrid input controller that values expression and mobility above all else. Keith McMillen gave CDM …

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Extra Modulation, Extra Routing: What the QuNexus Keyboard is Good For [Videos]

Various keyboards this week are offering lots of extra features, and Keith McMillen’s compact QuNexus is no exception. The keys add pressure sensitivity, there’s a tilt sensor, and in addition to (driver-free) USB MIDI connectivity and pedal input, there’s control voltage output for use with analog gear. So, it’s worth asking: what’s this for? Do you actually want it? This week, we’ll have the exclusive first review of the QuNexus, but a good prelude to that read is to see how others are using the gear. The short answer is, if you’re using a synth in particular, yes, it’s absolutely …

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Keys and Knobs and Such, New Gear, in Photos: Notes and Gallery from NAMM Day 1

From the Prophet 12 to Korg’s MS-20 Mini (and King Korg – more on that soon), iConnectMIDI interfaces for your iPad to Arturia ultra-portable keyboards, from analog to digital, from big releases to oddities, CDM has some roving reporters out on the floor of America’s biggest musical instrument trade show, NAMM. James Grahame, principal engineer behind the MeeBlip, kicks things off. Looking through his photos is a bit like seeing the show through his eyes. The flagship keyboards you’ve heard of (though Moog-branded water is a surprise). Some of the other good news: the iConnectMIDI4 Plus looks very versatile, indeed, …

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A fully-functioning QuNexus prototype. It may look like the pads on the QuNeo, but Keith McMillen tells us new sensor tech should be more friendly to keyboard technique. And the fact that this is real hardware is important - Kickstarter has recently revised its rules. A look at the new hardware - and actually delivering on Kickstarter - as CDM talks to Keith McMillen.

QuNexus is Touch-Sensitive, Tilt Mini-Keyboard with CV, MIDI, OSC, as McMillen Returns to Kickstarter [Q+A]

Can a compact controller not only shrink the conventional music keyboard, but transform it, too? The layout on the just-announced QuNexus is something familiar to keyboard players. But the QuNexus assumes some new ways of playing, with keys that sense pressure and an instrument that you can tilt. Following in the footsteps (fingertaps?) of Keith McMillen’s QuNeo, the QuNexus is built around a custom-engineered set of pressure-detecting, touch-sensitive pads. But whereas previous hardware used USB for MIDI and high-resolution OSC (OpenSoundControl), the QuNexus adds Control Voltage for modular and vintage lovers, too. The QuNexus returns to Kickstarter for crowd-funding production, …

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3 Things You Can Do in Ableton Live Now: Modulation, Dual Displays – Sorta, Pressure Grids

The Ableton Live 9 beta is trickling out, but not officially released until next year. Ditto that saucy new Ableton Push controller. And some users are complaining about things that aren’t in the feature list for Live 9. Waiting’s no fun. Let’s do stuff now. Here are three examples of things you can do right now, today, with your current version of Live. In fact, all three wind up being applicable to Live 9, too. 1. Modulate anything. First, I’ll start with my favorite. EXT, at top, is a free Max for Live device that does modulation. Unlike the new …

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QuNeo Trades Tablets for Discrete, Pressure-Sensitive, Colorful Sensors, in Crowd-Sourced Touch Project

Between conventional knobs and hardware controls and “magical” tablets, might we yet see real action in a third category of controller? Keith McMillen Instruments, makers of the SoftStep foot controller and K-Bow controller, are now venturing into fingertip territory. The QuNeo is a “crowd-sourced” project with apparently some open components, available now in preorder form on Kickstarter. We’ve seen touch controllers that, in terms of basic form factor, followed similar design directions as the QuNeo but that didn’t take off. M-Audio (then Midiman) got only as far as the prototype phase with the Surface One; Stanton’s SCS series went into …

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