Live Artists as Free Ableton Live Artist Packs, Via Puremagnetik

I love the idea of artists translating their work into interactive packs of sonic exploration – like releasing an album for fellow electronic musicians. If you’re enjoying our exclusive 808 “less cowbell” Live Pack for Ableton Live and want more sound goodness for free, good news. Puremagnetik has released a set of entirely free “artist packs” with drum kits, clips, and (from Neon Stereo) effect racks. Note that even if you don’t have Live or just want to use a different app, the audio contents of these packs will work anywhere. In this lineup: Gregory Shiff, our friend Elijah B …

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NI Maschine: Fully Integrated Hardware-Software-Plug-In Drum Machine, Controller

If you could have an ideal drum machine and sample-slicing workstation, taking the physical control of hardware but the flexibility of software, what would it look like? We talk a lot about hardware control of software, but hardware usually comes second – software gets designed first, and then either you have to figure out how to map hardware to it, or someone else comes along and designs gear. That means there’s usually a disconnect in the design and workflow of the two, and most of the time, you have to reach for the mouse to make up the difference. Maschine …

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Last-Minute Meta-Gift-Guide: Music and Electronics Gift Guides from the Blogosphere

It’s either the last chance to rush delivery on gifts, or the first chance to start thinking about picking up some music tech projects for yourself to keep up with musical New Years’ Resolutions. Either way, it’s time to give a shout out to some of the great gift guides that have been going up around the Interwebs. And nicely enough, there’s a strong emphasis on cheap and DIY projects, meaning these can be ideal even in tough economic times. SX-150 button mod from Collin Cunningham on Vimeo. MAKE: Blog > Music Makers’s Gift Guide Assembled by our friend (and …

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Intua BeatMaker Arrives for iPhone/Touch: Sequencer, Sampled Drum Pads

Intua is the first to get a full-fledged music creation app on the iTunes App Store, with an MPC-style sampler and step sequencer, plus effects, for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This isn’t just a toy for triggering sounds or a useful utility like a guitar tuner; it’s an actual music app on which you can produce whole songs. As with any mobile app, there are tradeoffs versus a desktop tool – but its simplicity is likely to be part of its appeal. US$19.99. Most importantly, it’s available now. The basic features: 16-pad sample triggering. Drum kits and other samples, …

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ThingamaKIT: Thingamagoop Sound/Noisemaker Goes DIY

We’re celebrating 48 hours of DIY stuff here as we get ready for Handmade Music tomorrow night in Brooklyn! Thingamagoops are the friendly, optical emitter antennaed electronic creatures. Whether your cat / significant other / fan base would describe them as a sweet-sounding instrument, they do make a lot of noise and look cute in the process. Optical sensors onboard mean you can reposition the lights for some fun. They were fun to begin with. But in kit form, you’ve got even more good times as you assemble them / find an odd case to put them in. The kits …

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Guitar Pedals Go DIY, Open Source

Ever wished you could open up guitar pedals and make them work the way you like? This week brought good news for you, whether your flavor is hardware or software. Prefer to wire up a simple DIY project and learn about circuitry without soldering? Or want a mad eight-core food pedal with video output and lots of jacks? Whatever your taste, Beavis and Coyote can make you happy – all without needing a gigantic crucifix form factor. (Uh … more on that in a bit. Long story.) The Beavis, shipping now, offers everything you need to wire up 25 sound-shaping …

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How to Use Rock Band Controllers (And More) with GarageBand, Mac

Bill Pendry wanted to use his PlayStation 3 Rock Band controllers with GarageBand on the Mac, so he’s posted step-by-step instructions to do just that. The secret formula: a wonderful utility that helps you use HID-compatible game controllers on the Mac, sans drivers. GamePad Companion (US$15 shareware) Of course, the nice thing here is that the basic steps apply to other controllers, just in case Rock Band doesn’t float your boat (or rock your socks, or whatever). I ended up choosing kick, snare, two toms and one cymbal, since the other cymbal I wanted was in a inactive area of …

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