BBQ Chicken Ambiences, and Ten Other Inspiring Sound Design Stories

Whether your trade in audio is in soundtracks for screens and games, or you’re just exploring strange, new worlds and seeking out new life and new timbres in your music, the discipline of sound design is as rich and deep as cooking. It’s something you can do every day. Okay, now just put that “cooking” metaphor out of your mind and steel your stomach. Sound maker and dirt bike rider Jim Stout of Austin (Roland, Sound Ideas, The Hollywood Edge) does some ungodly things with raw barbecue chicken and dog food. For more on Jim Stout, check out the exclusive …

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A Blog Focused on Sound Design, Special with Game Sound Veteran Rob Bridgett

Designing Sound, as the name implies, focuses entirely on the craft of audio from film to games. While there are industry-driven sites devoted to the topic, this blog is entirely the labor of love of composer and sound designer Miguel Isaza, whose writing has also appeared on Spain’s Hispasonic and Monofónicos. (Miguel also tweets to Reaktor aficionados as reaktorlovers.) That personal perspective has imbued the site with the feeling of artists talking to artists. http://designingsound.createdigitalmusic.com/ All week, Designing Sound has focused on Rob Bridgett, who has worked on numerous sound designs for games. Despite the massive growth of the game …

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Max for Live Beta is Here; Final Version November 23

Max For Live Sneak Peak from max4live on Vimeo. Suddenly, I have an image of American Ableton hackers patching on their MacBook over Thanksgiving turkey. After a long, long wait, a public beta of Max for Live is available. The software incorporates the full version of Max/MSP/Jitter – complete with visual output, video processing, and 3D capabilities – with the Live host. Max patches operate with all their usual capabilities as devices inside Live. User interface elements are available to give Max patches conventional Ableton device interfaces, and there are even pre-built elements for useful functions like frequency displays and …

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Handmade Music Spreads to Austin, Teaches You Awesomeness, Andromeda-Style

Autonomous bassline generators? Wireless, modular, infrared sync? Tiny drum machines networking together? Welcome to Texas, and the minds of Eric Archer, Bleep Labs, 4ms Pedals, the Church of the Friendly Ghost, and Andromeda Space Rockers. One look at a floor full of blinking circuits, and most ladies and gentleman might assume they’ve stumbled upon some alien technology. “Imagine the things we could learn from this civilization – advancements far beyond our own,” as the stock line from sci fi goes. “Man and woman are not meant to learn such things. You’re meddling in things beyond your comprehension.” In other words, …

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Designing Sound: Essential Blog Reading for Sound Designers, Plus Pixar’s Up

“UP” Sound for Film Profile from Michael Coleman on Vimeo. Miguel Isaza has created a must-read new blog for anyone interested in sound design, and much to our delight has put it on noisepages. He’s being incredibly prolific with posts, covering creative projects to get your ideas flowing, terrific overviews of leading people in the field with links to interviews and resources for learning about their work, and tons of links for learning your craft technologically and artistically. http://designingsound.createdigitalmusic.com/ Naturally, Pixar figures prominently, with some of the best sound design on the silver screen in recent years. I’m looking forward …

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Lounge with Ableton Geeks, NYC Sat, Online Soon

RJ Valeo (Isomer Transition) is offering some music – join us for what it’s like when computer musicians lounge around and relax. Reminder: we’re meeting Saturday in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District to chill out, hear some music, and share strange and wonderful and hacked hardware controllers for Ableton Live as part of DubSpot’s Live Sessions tour. If you’re in the NYC area, you won’t want to miss out on music-controlling ironing boards, handheld controllers, and folks like RJ Valeo (Isomer Transition) above. Full details Facebook event But if you’re not in New York, DubSpot and CDM are working together to make …

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Tangible Interface Hackday: Music with Soda Bottles, Floor Toms, More

Fritzcrate Project / lusidLearn Early Demo from Michael Schieben on Vimeo. Knobs and faders can be rigid. Fancy multitouch devices can be expensive. But for the cost of a webcam and some spare materials, you can build computer interfaces with objects around the house, thanks to the power of open source software. In just one day, a group of artists in the CDM community, from Austria and Germany to New York to Australia, got quite a lot working with tangible interfaces. At top, Michael Schieben and Christophe Stoll experimented with using soda bottles to control software like Future Audio Workshop’s …

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Plogue Bidule Modular Music App: Get Started, Meet the Creators

PEMF Lessons: Bidule – Direct Cabling & Your Default Layout from Primus Luta on Vimeo. Ed.: Music creation is all about the special relationship we have with certain, powerful tools. And one app that gets very little attention is unquestionably the deep but elegant modular patching environment Plogue Bidule. CDM turns to power user Primus Luta to kick off a series on learning this tool, starting with an exclusive interview with Bidule’s creators. And if the interview sounds, at times, more than a little pro-Plogue in bias, make no mistake: this is love. Primus Luta takes it away, as we …

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Exclusive Behind the Scenes: Interpol’s Live Rig

You’ve seen plenty of live rigs with mile-high stacks of keyboards and sound modules. But this setup is different: one of the world’s best bands is using an elaborate setup of software synths. Binding it all together is one of the most sophisticated software configurations I’ve ever seen, the fruits of labors by of our friend Jonathan Adams Leonard – a talented musician and technologist – in Kore 2. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this kind of setup to anyone else; it involved pushing Kore to its bleeding edge. But Jonathan’s walk-through of the hardware and software programming for this show …

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Live Inspiration: Latest from Mutek, Movement Music + Visual Festivals

Photo: Peter Dines for CDM. CDM’s Peter Dines and Liz McLean Knight (Liz literally on her honeymoon) are keeping us posted with the latest events from Detroit’s Movement and Montreal’s MUTEK festivals. You can keep track of their travels and live impressions on our new CDM events blog, and I look forward to some artist interviews planned with some of our favorite people, coming soon. So far, Peter is getting his synesthesia on with live audio and visuals at A/Visions, while Liz notes the spooky near-ubiquity of UC-33e controllers running Ableton Live at Movement. (Guess they need to invite us …

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