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A powerful version of the Studio One DAW is now free

The very fact that a tool is called a “digital audio workstation” rather than “music making software” tells you something. Historically, these have been tools that do a lot of things in a fairly complex interface. And so a lot of DAWs seem to be counting how many windows and views and tools they can provide. PreSonus’ Studio One is among a handful of tools that has bucked the trend, putting everything in a streamlined single window view. The notion is to provide the multitude of features producers demand, but keeping everything close at hand and operating quickly. And now, …

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Reactable Mobile, on Sale This Weekend for iOS and Android; Watch the Full Table Meet OP-1

Reactable, now turning age five, still remains something that can take people’s breath away. Making the relationship of musical components into actual building blocks, it demystifies music making and makes it more magical all at the same time. And since the table itself is big, not-portable, and pricey, there’s also the iOS- and Android-compatible tablet edition. (The Android app is one of the few that gives my vintage Galaxy Tab something useful to do.) This weekend, you can grab Reactable Mobile yourself 50% off: 50% Off Fifth Anniversary But this is also a perfect opportunity to watch a tantalizing video …

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A DIY Multitouch Music Controller, monome-Style, Built From Scratch [Instructables, Arduino]

Complete with color LED display and interactive sensing, this clever DIY project from Amanda Ghassaei is the real deal: a multitouch table used for music, constructed from scratch. And step-by-step instructions on Instructables mean that you can try the same idea yourself. The 8×8 matrix and the notion of independent light-up LEDs, along with some of the firmware, come from the monome project (and the open arduinome clone). But here, that idea is extended to seamless touch sensing, measured by infrared. Multitouch Music Controller from Amanda Ghassaei on Vimeo.

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Breeding Beats: Pattern Mutation with Elektron Machinedrum + iPad

For all the variety in synths and control methods, patterns and sequencing often tend to be rather same-y. That’s why it’s wonderful to see things like this short video from Jakob Penca. In it, rhythms mutate and vary, all as clever gestures on an iPad manipulate the beat-making noises of an Elektron Machinedrum. The app is still under development, but it’s nice to see this early glimpse. Description: a quick improvisation demo of my upcoming iOS app for the Elektron Machinedrum. This shows how you can mutate a pattern with copy & paste operations directly on an iPad. This app …

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Look, Ma, Hands: iOS Theremin App Draws from Tannerin, Martenot, Trautonium

So, you want to go beyond conventional, piano-style keys and guitar frets. Even if the ultimate goal is hardware, the touch interface of iOS is a lovely blank canvas on which to experiment. In the latest app, the work of UK-based graphic designer Paul Betowski, the Theremin proves a jumping-off point to other instruments, like the 1928 Ondes-Martenot, 1929 Trautonium, and the instrument used on The Beach Boys’ legendary “Good Vibrations”: the Tannerin or Electro-Theremin. The new app is called the E Theremin – an Electro Theremin – but it owes more to the “Good Vibrations” instrument than the wave-your-hands-in-the-air …

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Fingertip Music: Reactable Mobile in a Tutorial Video

Weekend fun, part 1: as Reactable makes the leap from custom, tangible interface to go-anywhere iPhone/iPad app, here’s a look at what the fingertip-controlled music creation experience is like. The first of a series of tutorials, the video above walks you through some basic music production. It should lay to rest any question about whether this kind of interface can work in musical performance or live arrangement. I still think some artists will want to bang on something rather than just gently finger-paint their way through music, but as arrangement tool, it’s intriguing – and this video makes clearer what …

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Logic Adds Official Support for Wireless iPhone, iPad Touch Control via TouchOSC

If you’ve wished you could use your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad as a remote control for Logic, now’s your chance. And touch control continues to evolve as an additional option for manipulating music software, alongside good, old-fashioned knobs and faders. Handheld wireless touch control is certainly coming into the mainstream. As we see new controller integration in tools ranging from Ardour to Renoise, Apple quietly added support for iOS touch control in an update to Logic. One line in the release notes says it all: Supports iOS control surface apps that utilize the OSC protocol. Logic Pro 9.1.2: Release …

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iPad Sequencer Meets Vintage Oberheim, and MIDI Endures

StepPolyArp for iPad controlling an Oberheim FVS from Logan Mannstrane on Vimeo. Logan Mannstrane sends in this lovely video combining an iPad MIDI step sequencer — with an Oberheim FVS. It’s a striking intersection of analog and digital technology. But I wanted to ask Logan to explain why he’d use the iPad in this case instead of other MIDI tools — why crossing this generational gap mattered. He responds: That fact that I can interface a synth from the 70’s to new device in 2010 is pretty amazing by iteself. I can have the sequencer in my hands and pull …

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Drawing Sound: Crazy Touch Interface Sound Experiments with Usine, PC

The quickest route to expressing an idea remains the gesture of a hand. That gesture may be crudely interpreted through today’s touch displays, but the immediacy remains. Presumably because of some of the device’s limitations, a lot of the experiments with the iPad have involved controllers that operate independently from sound software, like a remote control. Those interfaces, while useful, largely simulate existing hardware controls in a more flexible form, rather than introduce new ideas. But it seems the long-term potential for touch devices is in designs that unite touch, graphic, and sound in a single piece of software, exploring …

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