Five Musical Tech April Fools’ Jokes We Almost Wish Were Real

Like the proverbial Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day, it seems that music tech writers this year saw their shadow and decided to stay in their hole rather than deal with the yearly deluge of fake news that arrives on April Fools’. That’s a shame. Because this year, a few ideas are preposterous enough that we wish they weren’t jokes. (Turning that fool into something real was something I proposed last year, too – and just heard we might see some fruits out of that. Stay tuned.) Emerson, Fake, and Palmer. Moog Music has a tradition of jests on the holiday, …

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Watch Flappy Bird Make Ambient Music, Billiard Balls Bounce, in Lemur Hacks

If Brian Eno were scoring the dreams of a gaming addiction, it might go something like this. Yes, we already told you previously that Lemur 5 adding a canvas object would mean anything could be a controller. It makes the iPad controller app as much a blank, well, canvas, as your Web browser window, more or less. But with relatively scant documentation, Lemur 5 assumed a lot of its users. I mean, it seems like you’d almost need some ingenious coder/hacker to turn this into something completely ridiculous, right? Okay, that didn’t take long. Someone going by the name “saveas909” …

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A Surround Sound System You Can Carry Like an Umbrella, ‘Anywhere’

Music is transformed by context, by instrumentation and space and setting. With amplified music, thinking about content alone isn’t enough. Visualists now work with projection mapping and lighting constructions and lasers and the like. It seems electronic musicians as a scene may benefit from thinking more about speakers. We saw recently 4DSOUND, an immersive architectural installation. But that requires carrying around columns. Here’s a multichannel system you can tote along with you, like an umbrella. The results look like a prop from a post-apocalyptic Terry Gilliam movie; it’s sound as object. pseudo multichannel personal autonomous sound installation with 10 panning …

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vs Ableton Push

This is … real. This is really the famed “crack-smoking” mayor of Toronto, laying down a beat live with Ableton Live and Ableton Push. And it’s definitely not an official Ableton artist endorsement, nor is Rob Ford a certified Ableton trainer. (Though if he does want to consider another career…) Well, some people do find Push addictive. Next: Putin on monome? If you aren’t impressed by Ford randomly jabbing pads, you might watch this instead, via Synthtopia:

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Play a Great-Sounding Theremin in Your Web Browser: Distraction of the Day

If you want an explanation for why you’d want to build sophisticated audio into the Web, maybe it’s just because you don’t like fun. Fun is what you get out of this Web Audio Theremin toy, the work of one Luke Phillips of Femur Design. The web audio theremin is a touch friendly & responsive audio synthesizer built in javascript using the Web Audio API with HTML5 canvas. As the user interacts with the screen synthesized sounds are generated in the style of a moog theremin and the canvas displays a visual representation of the audio. “Theremin” is a loose …

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Make Modular Musical Mayhem Telegraph-Style, with Make Noise Teleplexer

Introducing the MakeNoise Teleplexer Module (First Look) from Richard Devine on Vimeo. Conductive plates have let telegraph operators tap out messages and Stylophone players sing sweet melodies. Now, running a patch cord along the plates of the MakeNoise Teleplexer lets you turn signals in a modular synth rack into new musical patterns. Touch here – get wonderful, delicious chaos. It’s the latest module from Make Noise, the modular makers who are perhaps the black sheep of Asheville, North Carolina. And at a NAMM music trade show this week dominated by gear with, you know, more conventional appeal to musicians, these …

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Belgian Gabber Music, Rehabilitated by Playing it at Half Speed

Yes, in addition to the revolutionary step of playing audio in reverse, you can radically alter music by playing it at half speed. And so it is that Belgian gabber tunes many would fine unlistenable suddenly sound fresh, grimy, contemporary, and irresistible. Who knows what other life experiences could be transformed by simply altering the speed? (Maybe we need to be half speed.) Not embeddable, so listen here: This Is Belgium: Conceptuele Post-Hipster Neo-Gabber By Radio Soulwax [Light Sound Dimension] The “remixers” explain: Even though these Belgian records sound very “now”, they are actually 20 years old and were meant …

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Hacking a TV, Remote Control into Music Tracker – And It Prints

It shows up on a standard (Teletext) television. It turns your remote control into a music interface. It makes glitching rhythmic music from sounds – even re-sampling bits of your TV. And then it prints your musical patterns. That’s the wild, far-out project concocted by chip artist goto80. The result is a “tracker, artificial intelligence, speech synthesis rap, stats sucker, printer, video feedback,” and music studio for your remote control, thanks to goto80, aided by the hackery of Peter Kwan and Raquel Meyers. Teletext may not be familiar to you depending on which part of the world you live in …

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Deconstructed Dance Floor: EVOL’s Strange Experiments with Light, Sound, and Acid

For all the years of “classical” electronic music performance from academia, the experience of entering a club or dance music program can be awfully avant garde and surreal. There’s a barrage of sensory input – flashing lights, strange, repetitive sounds. The Spanish/British duo Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp, aka EVOL, have taken that feeling to its extreme. And the results are weird, wonderful fun. (The two play Berlin Thursday night at N.K. on a diverse program including Chris Douglas and Bill Kouligas; N.K. is one of Europe’s most consistent venues for electronic experimentalism, and somehow will keep feeding …

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Web-Connected Analog: Synths Render Sound From Your Browser, Remotely

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog. But they just might know you’re an MS-20. Hector Urtubia – aka Mr. Book – has connected his synths to the Web and set them up for the world. Submit a music pattern, and send it off to the synths to be rendered to sound. It’s like Kinko’s, if they did analog synths instead of printers. Hector explains more: I created a web app (http://analogalacarte.com) which allows you to create a synth pattern, submit it and it will get rendered live in hardware on one of my synths at home. I …

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