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New tech makes it easier to connect audio on Windows, Mac

If you think computers aren’t advancing for audio, you haven’t been paying attention to connectivity. The latest generation of OSes, computer architectures, and audio interfaces can combine to give you lower latency and easier connectivity. They can even connect over long distances and networks. MOTU and RME this month unveiled cross-platform Thunderbolt support that works on Windows – and MOTU have been focused on connectivity in a series of updates.

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femalepressure

female:pressure seeks crowds to change the place of women in electronic music

Ed.: We’ve seen plenty of headlines about the role of gender equality in arts and technology. But what makes female:pressure unique, as their name implies, is that the organization is working to use the power of crowds to effect real change. CDM looks to its assistant editor and editorial intern Zuzana Friday to tell us more. -PK Founded in 1998 by Electric Indigo, female:pressure is a network of artists, DJs, musicians, journalists, booking agents, and other professionals in electronic music and digital arts. In those years, the organization has served some important roles: Highlighting the inequalities that dominates the electronic …

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Looking Beyond MIDI, What’s the Best Way to Represent Musical Notes Digitally?

Speaking in Hamburg to a terrific group of assembled locals from a variety of design backgrounds. And yes, this is the other part of my life behind me. I just seem to generally skip the years 1700-1985. Go figure. The history of music and the history of music notation are closely intertwined. Now, digital languages for communicating musical ideas between devices, users, and software, and storing and reproducing those ideas, take on the role notation alone once did. Notation has always been more than just a way of telling musicians what to do. (Any composer will quickly tell you as …

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OSC, Kyma, iPad, and Beyond: Your Networked Musical Future

Connecting stuff is one of the things musicians naturally do with gear. So, there’s really no reason that musical gear shouldn’t network as easily as Web servers. And yet a basic protocol, built largely on existing standards, meets with responses like this: “We’ll support OSC when there’s hardware out there.” “Name one piece of hardware that supports OSC other than the Lemur.” OSC has some major advantages as a network protocol, as a way of connecting software with software, software with hardware, and yes, even hardware with hardware. It doesn’t have to “compete” with MIDI – you can even send …

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OpenSoundControl: Now Compatible with Magical Unicorns

For anyone whose complaint about OSC aka OpenSoundControl is that it lacks broad hardware support, I have one word for you: Unicorns. OSC now runs on magical unicorns. (Would a unicorn not want high-resolution, human-readable messages encoded with time-stamps? I think they would. And because OSC is transport-independent, it can absolutely run on magical Unicorn Beams.) No idea what this post is about? Don’t worry — I’ll have a talking unicorn narrate a proper, sophisticated, complete introduction to OSC for beginners soon. They’re magical, so they can make complex topics lucid to any audience.

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Music Goes Peer-to-Peer, Multiplayer: Smule Leaf Trombone for iPhone 3.0

iPhone users today started downloading the new iPhone OS, 3.0. One interesting feature of the new mobile software is peer-to-peer communication for collaborating in person. If you’re looking for an app that takes advantage of that, and can embarrass you in front of friends / workmates, Smule Trombone could be your answer. The touch-and-breath-controlled social music app/game from synthesis wizard Dr. Ge Wang has a special 3.0-only version. It uses the new iPhone push notification for achievements, but more importantly, features peer-to-peer Bluetooth for in-person “Duet Mode.” I think these sort of networked features will increasingly become not only a …

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Game Day: Why Rock Band Demonstrates Musicians Need Friends

There’s been various speculation about whether the advent of the video game Rock Band will inspire real-world musicians. It certainly isn’t just a Simon-style button masher. Queue up Rush, crank up the difficulty level, grab real drum sticks, and you’d better actually have a sense of timing. But maybe the real message of Rock Band’s success is that musicians need some friends to jam with. Witness what happens to MTV Multiplayer blogger Tracey John when she tries to play all four instruments at once: ‘Rock Band’ Challenge — One Woman, Four Instruments, At The Same Time [MTV Multiplayer] Funny, this …

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