Buddha Machine 2: All-in-One $25 Ambient Box Gets a Sequel

  In the midst of the US election, I missed an important announcement: the smash hit Buddha Machine, a mysterious little $25 gadget that generates its own ambient music, has a sequel. You might think of Buddha Machine 2 as Buddha Machine Pro. New features: A bigger sonic palette, with nine loops Pitch bend (which the creators describe as being “like a whammy bar for your buddha box”) Three colors (well, it is a consumer product of sorts!) Expanding the sonic capabilities will be a welcome change. The packaging is wonderful, with a symbolically-appropriate lotus flower and a round hole …

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Touch the Wave: Free Looping and Scratching Audio on iPhone, Elsewhere

Looping and scratching audio is so familiar at this point that it may be hard to know what more can be done with the concept. But I like the looks of Touch the Wave, a new iPod touch / iPhone app. It gets back to basics with some fairly simple audio looping and repitching. The twist: it uses multiple, color-coded loop points, and has the ability (if I’m looking at this right) to download audio from URLs. The app is the work of Yuki Yasoshima, and it’s free. Touch the Wave on iTunes App Store (in Japanese, but available outside …

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Korg Kaossilator 4-Bar Loop Hack

Intrigued by the Kaossilator, but annoyed by hearing two bars over and over and over and over…? Our friend David Battino has the solution, and while it’s a simple trick, it wound up being the deal-maker for buying Korg’s cute little “dynamic phrase synth”: What loosened my credit card was a secret hack Korg revealed during fact-check: If you power up the Kaossilator while holding down the Tap and Loop Rec buttons, the loop memory doubles from two bars to four. That may not sound like much, but it gives you time to set up tension and release; I find …

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Interview: Geeking Out with Fennesz on Sound and Performance

Fennesz at Mutek‭ ‬2008 Fennesz and Lillevan at Mutek 2008 from Create Digital Media on Vimeo. I met with Christian Fennesz and video artist Lillevan in the green room of the Theatre de Nouveau Monde, where they would be performing together at A/Visions 3. Fennesz had no idea what visuals Lillevan would be using that evening, but they say they have known each other for a long time and there is an element of trust there. The trust was well placed because their performance was lovely and memorable, often using oceanic and watery themes projected over the top of both …

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Beatburner, Loop Mangling Instrument for Windows, Now Free, and Mac Freebies

Windows is getting enough instrument and effect madness for free to make your head spin — a lot of it previously commercial software. Here’s the latest addition: Beatburner, a looping sampler combined with a wave shaper and enveloped filter. In short, Beatburner takes your loops and makes them into sonic insanity. I’ve been playing with it a bit this evening, and making things sound … well, scary. As the author describes it: BeatBurner, using innovative wave shaping and filtration methods, turns innocent drum beats, loops or sounds into new, fresh and vibrant audio parts for you to incorporate into your …

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Web Songwriting with ChordStudio.com: Like Online GarageBand, But With Chords

Apple’s GarageBand is a powerful tool for recording MIDI and audio and arranging loops. It can be puzzling to songwriters, though, because it doesn’t really understand chord changes. Sure, you can transpose MIDI loops or (more problematically) audio, but that process is a bit clunky and rarely sounds right. Many beginner-level GarageBand songs (especially by students) simply stay in one big, long I chord for an entire piece, which, by astounding coincidence, is what I sound like playing guitar. (Come on, I went to the trouble of getting my fingers on these frets — now you want me to move …

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New MOTU MachFive Sampler: Loopier, More Compatible, Tons of Sounds

MOTU’s MachFive is an oft-overlooked software sampler option for both Mac and Windows. The sampler market is a crowded one, but MachFive does have some nice features, not least being a unique, one-screen interface. The sampler hasn’t quite kept pace with recent releases from Native Instruments, Cakewalk, and others, so this week’s release of version 2 is a welcome development. New in this release: 32 GB of sounds: Four dual-layer DVDs for a total of 32GB of sounds, with sample rates up to 192kHz. There’s a 24-bit 96kHz 8GB sampled piano, and a MachFive adaptation of the very nice VSL …

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Loop Phasing: Steve Reich vs. Star Trek’s Worf vs. Orbital

For those not in the know, Steve Reich is one of the major so-called “minimalist” composers of the 20th Century; some of his early works of the 1960s focused on compositions made from tape loops falling out of sync or “out of phase” with one another. This includes the seminal works “It’s Gonna Rain” and “Come Out.” For those not in the know, Lieutenant Worf is the son of Mogh, and serves as Chief Security Officer on the Starship Enterprise NCC-1701-D. Now we know what life would be like if Lt. Worf were also a member of the Reich ensemble. …

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SciFi Channel Release Battlestar Galactica Music, Sound Effects and Video for Remixing

I’ve posted this news on CDMo, but we at CDM Distributed Global HQ love Battlestar so much, and I’m sure Peter would agree it would be a shame if anyone missed out, so we’re going to have a little news repetition. Executive Summary: SciFi channel have released a bunch of audio and video from Battlestar and asked that fans remix it. Score! Now if only they’d follow Trent Reznor’s lead and release the component track s in Garageband/Ableton Live/WAV formats, for super detailed remixing.

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