Happy Halloween: 8-bit, Creative Commons, Free Holiday Music Mix

An 8-bit Black Mage graces a very special Jack-o-Lantern. Photo (CC) Kevin Meehan / Coldways. If 16 bits spoil the mood of your All Hallow’s Eve, and you need some chips with your treats, the good peoples of the chip music community are hear to make sure the celebration of the visiting dead are properly accompanied by a free musical soundtrack. The download is free to grab, and fully Creative Commons-licensed for noncommercial, ShareAlike use. The lineup: The Guillotine Factory – Assembly Line NESMETAL – The Throes of Wickedness Heosphoros – A Traditional Childrens Waltz Chema64 – Mictlantecuhtli Norrin_Radd – …

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Happy Halloween: Exclusive Free Liz Revision Mix, Party in Chicago with Bitshifter

The veil between the living and dead is growing thin, and I… uh, have some free music for you. Sorry, it turns out I don’t have a clever lead for this story, and my segue makes no sense. So let’s get to it! Friend of the Site Liz McLean Knight aka Liz Revision aka Quantazelle of subVariant has put together a special, exclusive mix for CDM of 117-119 bpm musical goodness, excavated from the “_blippy” folder of sketches on her USB drive. Matt Moldover, who has been working on his CD-as-electronic-instrument album, lent his laptop. (Watch him assembling CDs in …

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Download (CC) Tracks, Vote Now for Efficient Music Competition

Ron from Indamixx has a mobile music making setup for a reason – it can run on Venice Beach, literally. Netbook + Renoise means this rig is a capable music production workstation. It’s nearly Election Day again here in New York. But it’s also Musical Election Day worldwide for the Efficient Music Competition with CDM, portable Linux-powered studio Indamixx, and modern tracker Renoise. In an age when technology tends to mean more, these artists are making music with less, carefully optimizing Renoise-powered tracks to operate well on lesser CPUs. Now’s your chance to hear the fruits of their labors, and …

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Free Soundtrack for an Imagined Tron Movie: Rise of the Virals

What if, between the original classic Tron and the upcoming Tron 2: Legacy, there were another Tron movie, lost forever in cinematic history? Between the soaring score by Wendy Carlos for the original and Legacy’s Daft Punk music, what would the soundtrack have sounded like? Of course, it would have absolutely had some Journey in it. Such a movie was rumored, but as with so many projects, leaves behind no evidence. What if it had left a score you could hear? The mysterious “Flynn 1.5” writes to share a free, downloadable soundtrack that answers that question. And you can argue …

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Virtual Radios Made from Paper, RFID

Digital technology has transformed the listening experience. But there’s little in the way of physical artifacts of that act, and a diminished sense of humanized relationships to an individual being at the other end. From modern radio to Internet-streamed playlists, our listening world is DJed by automated robots in streams that flow through generic, mass-market speakers. The object and the content lack the design intention that imbued, for instance, the gorgeous radio sets of the early 20th Century and the personalities that narrated the programming. Armed with a lasercutter, designer Matt Brown has a novel concept for how to redesign …

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More with Less:”Efficient” Renoise Music Tracks and Tips, Deadline Extended to 10/25

You don’t actually have to put foliage on your desktop to inspire you to conserve energy, unless it, you know, helps. A lovely Ubuntu screenshot by Akira Ohgaki. A challenge to efficiency brings some terrific results. We’ve got tracks for you to hear, a few quick tips on production with Renoise, a place to go talk about the tracks and how to optimize them for netbooks, and a new extended deadline. And if you’re curious what kinds of music can be made with trackers, now’s a perfect chance to give folks from this community a listen. You may be surprised …

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Signs of Change, Ingenuity in Music Distribution

Photo (CC) Clonny. Details on Flickr. With the weakened world economy, content in general faces plenty of gloom and doom. Advertising models are severely weakened. But, oddly, in the world of music, there are some positive signs that the shift to decentralized, online distribution might actually be going well — and maybe economic pressures are simply ensuring the parties involved find some way to make the adjustment. And music distribution is becoming wonderfully weird and diverse – maybe far more so than in recording’s so-called golden age, an era in the past dominated by racial division, predatory labels, and a …

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Happy 30th, Sony Walkman: Your Memories and the Best of Cassettes on CDM

The once and future Walkman. Photo: FaceMePLS. July 1, 1979: it was thirty years ago today that the Sony Walkman went on sale, launching mobile music for the first time. Wait – rewind (so to speak). That honor really belongs to the portable transistor radio – and, indeed, part of the reason America already knew and loved Sony by the time 1979 rolled around, having embraced their pocketable radios as early as the 1950s. In fact, if you want to blame a device for degrading audio fidelity, you should again look not to MP3s and iPods but back to — …

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Pirating a Fundraising Album for an Italian Quake – Really?

Ligabue, one of the contributing artists, live in Berlin. Photo (CC) Matthias Muehlbradt. Sure, many issues around intellectual property are gray. But contributor Jo Ardalan has a disturbing story: what happens when a fundraising album gets pirated? Did illegal file sharing users know what they were doing — is there a need for a donation mechanism for these services — or is it really this bad? Apologies if this is old news – catching up during travel – but a question well worth considering. -Ed. We all know piracy forces labels, artists and developers to incur a huge cost. Recently, …

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Scores, the New MP3s? Sheet Music Sales Online for Artists

Could the old tree-based technology and the new silicon-based technology actually coexist – or even help each other flourish? Photo (CC) Steve Wampler. While talk of notation is in the air, it’s worth noting that sheet music has a chance to make a comeback in the digital age. After all, passive musical consumption seems to have already peaked some time in the now-past 20th Century. The desire for fans to be able to play the music they love is strong as ever, evidenced by the popularity of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero phenomenon. If you really wanted to be …

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