Four Tet Walks Through His Unique Live Rig for Red Bull Music Academy [Video]

Playing with laptops can become performative in conventional ways, just by adding instruments – voice, guitar, live drums, ukelele, or whatever it is you play. But it becomes more mysterious in the hybrid performance media that emerge from “playing” the arrangement directly, manipulating the larger bits of a track in the form of stems and samples. That can be really boring – the “press play” approach – or it can begin to embody an artist’s musical imagination. They can improvise with the composition. You’ll want to make sure you don’t tune out early in this video with Four Tet, shot …

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Discover Music, Get Free Samples and Live Packs, Get Your Ocarina On

Some CDM commenters accuse this site of being shills for Ableton, of giving disproportionate coverage to Ableton Live and Push. Others accuse us of being hipsters, endlessly talking about things like 8-bit video game consoles and Nintendo. And so, I’m pleased to come to you today with a 30,000 word, peer-reviewed white paper relating the latest developments in high-end studio consoles, using a highly disciplined double-blind test to evaluate the impacts of analog summing on the behavior of migratory birds. Or… no, actually, let’s feed the trolls. It’s hard to believe, but our friend Brian Funk aka AfroDjMac has been …

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Weekend Listening: Sounds from the Mindpirates Silo, And DIY Music Scene’s Underground Nooks

Off the commercial radar, playing often for the joy of it, the bedroom producers and music DIYers are now making their noises live and in person. Secluded in “home studios” no more, production is real-time, in the basements and abandoned spaces at the corners of the music scene. And yes, Happy Record Store Day – but that’s even more reason to cap off an afternoon of record shopping with an evening of live music, wherever you are. And we can offer some sounds direct from artists to discover here. Our friends at Mindpirates can help. We visited the archaic concrete …

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Damn, Son: VST Makes 80s and 90s Hits into Trap; Dubspot Nails It

This: April Fools’ Day is turning into an avalanche of PR stunts. (Want to really fool people? Release your fake product in July. Oddly, so much of the game is whether anything is real or to be taken seriously, maybe the Internet has sort of spoiled the whole thing.) But this is something different: spot-on parody from the crew at Manhattan’s Dubspot. And… just keep watching. You really don’t want to miss Celine Dion. My only fear is that something like this may soon be real, knowing the products that have tried to cash in on Dubstep. (That’s Dubstep, not …

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Phantom's Hanna Toivonen, live. Mask by Jenni Ahtiainen/ gTie. Photo: Kiki Ylimutka — at Flow Festival 2012.

Singing Serenades with Laptops: Intimate Sessions with Solar Year, Phantom [Video]

NFOP SESSIONS #13: Phantom – Albuquerque from Tonje Thilesen on Vimeo. Far from being an icy presence in front of an unmoving operator, the laptop has quietly become second nature. As tools mature and musicians gain comfort, music software can at last become another instrument. So, let’s get comfy and close with some musicians who are finding intimate, personal expressions with impromptu human-and-laptop ensembles. Our friends at No Fear of Pop – a top-notch, pretension-free chronicle of new music – have in the past year been doing live portraits of artists in their NFOP Sessions series. This is the feeling …

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Kidsuke, the joint project of Kidkanevil And Daisuke Tanabe on PROJECT: Mooncircle, was one big highlight for us. Matt Earp walks us through other discoveries of 2012 that could be worth a permanent place in your early 2013 listening.

Under-the-Radar Music From 2012 Starts Your 2013 Right [Round-up, Listen]

The beginning of 2013 is as good a landmark as any to begin a return to music making and creativity. But the top-ten lists that crowded the Web in the last couple of weeks may not be your best guide. Instead of working out what’s “best,” we invited CDM’s music contributor Matt Earp, aka artist Kid Kameleon, to let us know what music found a permanent home in his music library – not just streaming, not just a one-time listen, but repeat performances. That seems an ideal way to give yourself some listening inspiration to fight the darkness (in some …

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Artist Decktonic, aka Christian Montoya, hovers over his sound machines, as neon-fantastic as his music sounds. Photo courtesy the artist; (CC-BY-NC) Ben Mason.

Retro-futuristic and Free: All DS-10 Music from Decktonic [Download, Video, CC]

A generation of gaming has done something to our ears. It has primed listeners to appreciate the sound of digital instruments in raw form: dry and immediate, crisply-synchronized machine dance music. So, while I wouldn’t call the music of Decktonic “chip music” or “game music,” somehow it’s a modern take on each. It’s retro-futuristic, electro-techno unadorned with effects. And, hell, while Korg’s DS-10 running on Nintendo DS is far from a high-fidelity sound experience, there’s something irresistibly funky about its sound. Listening to the DS-10 dry in the hands of a creative musician can be a cure for the ear …

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The record lives. Drip.fm co-founders Sam and Miguel merge subscription ease and affordability with high-quality downloads you keep, and even closer connections to artists and labels. Think "fan club," not "utility company." Here, Sam tells CDM how it came about. Photo: Will Calcutt.

Saving Downloads, Fans? Sam Valenti IV Talks Ghostly’s Drip.FM As Label Roster Grows

PK: In the digital age, subscription services or “all-you-can-eat” music gives passionate listeners nothing if not flexibility and a wealth of music. But they can also distance music lovers from labels they care about – and the reliance on streaming threatens to sever the special relationship you have with albums that are really special. Drip.fm is different. Founded by Ghostly International, it has the affordable monthly subscription rate – but with actual high-quality downloads you keep. First launched with some of Ghostly’s boutique-quality electronic music, it has since expanded to some big names. Today could be a watershed moment for …

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Jace Rupture, the man who makes plug-ins mystical. Definitely counts as Advanced Ableton. Photo: Xabi Tudela, courtesy DJ Rupture.

Advanced Ableton Only: A Master Class in Live Music Making, from NYC, DJ Rupture [Video]

Tekserve is known to many New Yorkers as the place they go when their Mac is in trouble and need of repair – a place so infamous, it made an episode of Sex in the City, with a waiting room as tense as that in any hospital. But it can also be a terrific hub for tech and knowledge. Amidst many gatherings of Ableton users, the meetup that takes place at Tekserve is heavily tilted to advanced knowledge. Fortunately, you can absorb that wisdom from anywhere in the world, not just on the island Manhattan. Our friend Ben Casey shares …

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machinedrum

Get Inside the Musical Brain of Machinedrum [Free Ableton Downloads, Listening]

“Blah, blah, I use Acme MusicStation Pro because it sounds completely dope – I love that compressor.” Okay. Before we begin, you’re not alone. Yes, a lot of artist profile endorsements, even some well-meaning ones, can wind up being rather useless. But at the risk of being redundant – since many of you get their mailing list – what’s special about a new set of profiles and downloads from Ableton is, you have a rare chance to dig deeper into the world of some musicians, learning about their techniques and approach in a way you can apply to your work. …

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