Off-Topic: Deadmau5 Eats a Giant Epic Meal Time Tower of Grilled Cheese

North America: it’ll kill you, m***********. Sure, you know what the United States can do to destroy your taste in Dubstep, and how it likes to roll without health insurance. And you probably think USA when you think fatally-unhealthy cuisine. But meet USA’s neighbor to the north, Canada. The country that takes cheese, fries, and fat to a whole other level has made bad eating into a YouTube meme. I got to see the Epic Meal Time crew at a party in Toronto in June, but … uh … didn’t exactly have a reason to mention it on CDM. (Create …

READ MORE →

Letters to the Editor: We Get Some Strange Emails

Does CDM get a lot of email? Yes, yes, it does. Some of them are valuable and fascinating and – all apologies to all of you – manage to slip through the inbox. Some, however, are simply exceptionally strange. This is just from this morning: Topic: musis Message: i need pad Okay. Guess you do. Topic: Cassette tapes Message: I am having a “clear out ” at home and have several music cassettes What can I do with them.?? Includes, some Elvis, Christmas collections,Richard Rogers musicals,Andrew LLoyd Webber If you have some solutions you’d like to suggest to these folks, …

READ MORE →

Fun with Waves, As Videos Reveal Guitar String Movement – and iPhone Shutters

At bottom, a strobe and high-speed camera accurately represent the way in which a string is moving. At top, a video taken with an iPhone camera distorts your sense of how the string is moving by capturing instead images of standing waves, caused by the rolling shutter on the device. The video isn’t wrong – it’s just showing you beautiful visualizations of standing waves that make visible how the shutter works on the camera more than they do how the guitar works. Full disclosure: I love waves. Analog, digital, acoustic, we’re talking vibrations in sound (and other substances, as well …

READ MORE →

Digital Fireworks: A Very Audiovisual 4th of July from Nalepa + Johnny de Kam

For a very different aesthetic take on the United States’ Independence Day celebrations, here’s electronic producer Steve Nalepa joining visualist superstar Johnny de Kam for a collaboration. I find it makes for some nice, chilled-out Monday, July 4 inspiration, wherever you are – no marching-band bombast required. Nalepa has been sharing his Ableton skills with the Dubspot school, online and off, and Johnny de Kam, if you don’t know his work, is one of the leading visualists on the planet, a skilled craftsman of motion and live visual performance, as well as a founder of visual software maker Vidvox. See, …

READ MORE →

Off Topic: A Motorcycle, a Film, and the Sound of Machines

“Off the phovea” thinking describes, using the eye as a metaphor, focusing on a problem by reflecting on what’s not at the center of that problem. On this rainy Sunday, that’s how I’m starting my day, so I thought I would share. This film about motorcycle maker Shinya Kimura fits here, even off-topic, for two reasons: 1. The sound editing to me is extraordinary. Sound design and recording quality are important, but in this film, directed by Henrik Hansen, each gesture of the sound mix is likewise deliberate and meticulously paced. There’s a reason some of the best editors are …

READ MORE →

Happy 30th, Sony Walkman: Your Memories and the Best of Cassettes on CDM

The once and future Walkman. Photo: FaceMePLS. July 1, 1979: it was thirty years ago today that the Sony Walkman went on sale, launching mobile music for the first time. Wait – rewind (so to speak). That honor really belongs to the portable transistor radio – and, indeed, part of the reason America already knew and loved Sony by the time 1979 rolled around, having embraced their pocketable radios as early as the 1950s. In fact, if you want to blame a device for degrading audio fidelity, you should again look not to MP3s and iPods but back to — …

READ MORE →

Music Tech Pronunciation Guide

Pronunciation of some common music tech terms has been a source of debate. Generally, though, there’s only one right answer. I had hoped to kick off a pronunciation guide yesterday or today, but now I really can’t resist – not with none other than Tegan & Sara getting together to debate the right way to say Moog. Don’t get me wrong. I love cows, and the sound “moo.” I suggest if you have something you want to name Moo, you should, like your own MooVerb max patch or something. However, here goes, a few of my favorites: Moog: Rhymes with …

READ MORE →

Out of Control APC40 Photoshop Thread on Ableton Forums

I really have no words for this one, other than there’s a hilarious APC40 meme happening on the Ableton forums. Is it love? Disdain? The APC as the new “All Your Base” for the Live warping set? Does it really matter? http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=116396 It’s good to know that, even as Ableton Live use has spread, us computer music folk are really not normal. Via Tara Busch on Twitter of AnalogSuicide.

READ MORE →

Happy Image of the Day: More Cowbell

People seem generally glum/cranky today for some reason, so I offer this (non-digital music) image: a Carnaval parade of guys in wooden, mustachioed masks ringing cowbells. More cowbell, indeed. Wearing wooden masks and cow bells strapped around their waists, Germans defied the freezing temperatures to participate in the traditional cow bell-ringing procession in Mittenwald, in southern Germany. The century-old custom is celebrated around carnival. New York Times Pictures of the Day, 2/19 Just remember, folks: musical instruments are a wonderful thing.

READ MORE →

MeatWater “Survival Beverage” Offers Techno Stimulus Package for Economy

Photo: Todd Thille. Used by permission. MeatWater (C) Liquid Innovations. If this economy is getting you down, our friends at MeatWater, the “high-efficiency survival beverage,” have a prescription. A prescription for techno: MeatWater MP3 Techno Remix Now, perhaps this is just a crass ploy for MeatWater to sell more of their MeatWater-protein drinks, which come in flavors like Gyros, Beef Stroganof, Hungarian BBQ, and Dirty Hot Dog. But if there’s one thing I believe in more than the health-giving power of proteins, it’s in the stimulating power of techno. I’m steps away from the stock market, so I may take …

READ MORE →