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This Computer Singing 90s Love Ballads will Break Your Heart

What do machines sing of? from Martin Backes on Vimeo. While Google has imagined how machines might dream, media artist and multi-disciplinary technologist Martin Backes has revealed how they sing. And not just bad karaoke, either. Following in the footsteps of a legacy of machine vocals that originates with Max Mathews’ Daisy Bell, a computer rendition so ground-breaking it was featured in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001, Mr. Backes has gone one step further. He wanted to produce an algorithm that would make a computer seem to emote. Grab a mic, and this is a sound art installation. A installation in …

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How Gestures and Ableton Live Can Make Anyone a Conductor of Mendelssohn [Behind the Scenes]

Digital music can go way beyond just playback. But if performers and DJs can remix and remake today’s music, why should music from past centuries be static? An interactive team collaborating on the newly reopened Museum im Mendelssohn-Haus wanted to bring those same powers to average listeners. Now, of course, there’s no substitute for a real orchestra. But renting orchestral musicians and a hall is an epic expense, and the first thing most of those players will do when an average person gets in front of them and tries to conduct is, well – get angry. (They may do that …

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Plumbing the Depths of Bass Music Culture: Listening, Reading, and Reflection

Against the sweeping tide of a term as meaningless as “EDM” – perhaps describing a commercial phenomenon more than a genre – or the historically-ambiguous “techno” or “electro,” there is “bass music.” There’s no “treble music,” but there is “bass music,” and even a “bass music culture” to go along with it. If the term is clumsy and foggy, though, the ideas behind it are potent, the latest blossoms in a deeply-rooted musical tree. And in its latest iteration, the music appeals to people well outside a demographic or commercial context or even continent. It appeals to people like my …

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Generative Genius: Free Max for Live Patch Lets You Schedule Scenes at Any Clock Time

Bars and beats are great. But people find applications for sound and music that go beyond traditional tools. That has already made Ableton Live a popular choice for triggering audio events and the like. But even Live tends to be biased toward conventional musical time. Sound and multimedia shop Aconica rolled their own tool to create a solution, the brainchild of sound and media artist Martin Backes, and now that tool is available to Ableton Live users for free. (Max for Live, now included with Live Suite as of Live 9, is required.) The name of the plug-in gives away …

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