m4l_2

Ableton Delivers Max for Live Improvements and Guidelines, Responds to Feedback; Full Details

Max for Live, in action: a graphical programming environment inside Ableton Live. Photo (CC-BY-ND) akihiko.japan Max for Live, now into its second year, is a tool with an ambitious goal: take the custom music software creation, visual-patch-programming powers of Max/MSP, and put them inside live performance and production host Ableton Live. It’s not the only tool that allows you to hack your own instruments and effects, or customize how your music tool works – several hosts now offer scripting and patching options. But it’s both unique in its depth and breadth, and paired with the tool most popular with musicians …

READ MORE →

Music, Like Clockwork: Modular Music Boxes with Rotating Wheels, Inspired by monome

Working with music in software means thinking a bit like a music box maker, using sequences to create note and rhythm machines. Nick Rothwell sends a project in which he literally engages the mechanical music box, with rotating electro-magnetic discs and a set of digital devices that recall their 19th-century predecessors. The designs are modular, interconnecting with one another into a little music box ensemble. And in another sign of the influence of the design of the monome, they explicitly nod to that hardware and its community as an aesthetic cue. (I have to admit, though, I’m more envious of …

READ MORE →
galapagoose

Grids, Chips, and Blips: Handmade Music NYC, Saturday 2/5 Lab + Party, Video Samples + Listening

Galapagoose plays a Brooklyn rooftop at the monome community tour in the fall. Now he’s back to celebrate the release of new software, and meets up with artists from across the digital music-making spectrum. Handmade Music is back on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with an epic lineup spanning digital synths to monomes to interactive installations to chip music. It’s a bit like stepping into the music tech world described on the Web. (For the vast majority of you outside NYC, hoping to have good documentation of recent events edited and available shortly.) We’re moving to Saturday night and …

READ MORE →
mlrv-screen-1

Hypersampling, Whatever Your Grid: Free mlrv2 Instrument, to monome and Beyond

Owing to a tradition that goes back to the first samplers and hip-hop pioneers, sampling and digital performance have become a kind of instrumental technique. You might play well, you might play poorly, but even working with samples, you can actually play. You can look at the simple design of the monome as the hardware embodiment of digital, a reflection of an array of pixels. You can see it as an extension of Roger Linn’s MPC and other drum machine concepts. It’s probably both those things. But since the monome itself makes no sound, it’s been software that has made …

READ MORE →
rogerguitar

How to Get Poor with Prototyping: Advice from MPC, LinnDrum, AdrenaLinn Creator Roger Linn

New ideas and invention are wonderful things – so long as you don’t have any illusions about cost and payoff, that is. So, with that cheeky headline, here’s Roger Linn. He writes us: I thought you might get a kick out of this and maybe some of your DIY readers might find it useful. Occasionally I get an email from someone who thinks he has a great idea for a music product that will make millions, and asks for advice on how to make a prototype, or wants to tell me his idea so I can make it for him …

READ MORE →
arc-and-sixtyfour

Arc: New Music Controller in Video, Detailed Q+A with monome Creator Brian Crabtree

Can minimalist controller design make even two knobs into a digital instrument? We’ll soon see. The arc, the new controller from monome designer Brian Crabtree, contains just two high-resolution encoders (known to us in everyday usage as “knobs”). It makes no sound; every minute rotation and a push-button action are telegraphed to a computer. Everything that would make it musically interesting, then, is up to the makers of interactive software on the computer. At their disposal are interactive, brightness-adjustable LED displays that ring those encoders. At US$500 (or $800 for a four-knob model), the results aren’t cheap, challenging even loyal …

READ MORE →

LEGO Christmas Tree Plays Carols, Courtesy Max/MSP, Custom Electronics

Desmond Dodecahedron has the craziest way of celebrating the season I’ve seen this year: just build a giant Christmas tree from LEGOs, then use visual programming environment Max/MSP and some custom electronics to trigger tunes. Desmond writes: Once I discovered that the word “advent” was actually an abbreviation of “audio event” and the fact that we have had lots of snow in London – I decided to create this Christmas Carol note filtering tree. (in this case it is actually a midi event tree – but you get the general idea). Each pitch class of a Carol i.e. all the …

READ MORE →

A Free Mac Modular Sound Suite, and Sound Worlds of the Designers Behind the Tool

NOISEPLUG from smider on Vimeo. The art of making sound software and the art of making electronic music can be closely bound with one another. That means tools that embody a certain compositional idea. You can choose to use them or abuse them – or simply gain some insight into the sonic imaginations of the people who created them. Italy-based musician and software designer Guido Smider writes to share his free (as-in-beer), Max/MSP-built sound tools for Intel Macs. Most impressive is the new 1.8 upgrade to his Noiseplug, a collaboration with Tobor Experiment / Giorgio Sancristoforo, known also under the …

READ MORE →

Kflux, an Editable Granulator for Max for Live

Kflux looks like a killer patch for Max for Live, a granulator you can drop in for sound-bending effects and, if you’re decent with Max, open up to learn more about how it works or edit to customize for your own purposes. At EUR9,99, seems like a must-buy if you’ve got a copy of Max for Live. Features: Automate parameters on the Live timeline, envelopes thanks to M4L’s functionality Make streams of grains, big clouds, textures, and the like Multimode filter Transposition Static, sequenced, and MIDI-triggered modes Freeze or bounce tracks Unlocked; open, edit, and reuse. GPL-licensed, so you explicitly …

READ MORE →

Pretty, Nodal, Non-Linear Music, on iPad + iPhone and Big Dodecahedrons

Brian Eno should be proud. Generative sequencing – making lovely, shimmering music mapped to pleasant-sounding modes – is totally in this season. At top, exhibit A: Aura Flux, a new iOS ambient music generator. Priced at US$1.99, it nonetheless packs some 48 different instruments, ambient sounds, four keys, save/load capability, and multitasking support. Sequences are arrayed into editable nodes: touch and explore, or tweak specific settings like pulse speed and decay, trigger rates, and pitch to get the results you want. Generative music has a key advantage for mobile devices, too: it doesn’t take up as much space. In the …

READ MORE →