Can Stems Finally Make Multi-channel DJ Audio a Standard?

The path forward is clear: there’s no reason in this age of digital producing and DJing that music needs to be stereo. The need is there, but so far, not the solution. A file format announced in a press briefing at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and made public today wants to succeed where others failed. It’s called Stems, and there are a few details that make it different. It’s simple. “Stems” – the format – include four tracks. So that could be bass, drums, melody, vocal, for instance. (Or bagpipe, castrati chorus, tambourines, and banjo. But the point is, dividing …

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Real Sound Synthesis, Now in the Browser; Possible New Standard?

Bloop HTML5 Instrument inspired by Brian Eno’s Bloom from Bocoup on Vimeo. HTML5 and Javascript Synthesizer from Corban Brook on Vimeo. Pioneers like Max Mathews’ Bell Labs team taught the computer to hum, sing, and speak, before even the development of primitive graphical user interfaces. So it’s fitting that the standards that chart the Web’s future would again turn to the basics of electronic sound synthesis. A group of intrepid hackers and Mozilla developers and community leaders are working to make an audio API a standard part of this generation of Web browsers. (Note: not some unspecified future browsers – …

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Novation Launchpad: Impressions Video, Questions and Answers

I got to spend yesterday working with the Launchpad; see the video above which I think should help you get a sense of scale and what it looks like. (Also on YouTube) We have additional videos from other sources below. It’s only been public for less than 24 hours, but as we did with the APC40, I think it’s time for a superguide answering questions about the Novation Launchpad controller. The Launchpad and the way it works reveals a lot about how controllers work with Ableton Live. You may be surprised to learn a lot of this doesn’t require a …

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Democratizing Creative Tech: Julià Carboneras, OFFF (English + Espanol)

Gijs Gieskes setting up, as I look on (bottom left). Photo courtesy OFFF Festival. What does it mean to truly democratize technology? When is DIY more than just the creation of an object? That’s the question asked by our friend Julià Carboneras, who curated the new Nerdeferences feature of the OFFF digital design conference in Portugal last week. DIY is more than just cool devices, argues Julià: it’s social hacking, too. He brought together myself, Instructables.com founder Eric Wilhelm, and musical inventor and artist Gijs Gieskes (who stole the show, showing some creations live onstage). But there was a bigger …

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Garritan Rescues Giga Sampling Technology, Talks Open Standards

Should sounds be part of a closed format that may not last? What happens if the format and platform that once were trusted by musicians and sound designers ceased to be? That’s the hard lesson learned by users of a popular sampling “standard” – but for once, the news is good. GigaSampler has been a huge part of the sampling landscape since its introduction a decade ago, and users have massive investments in Giga sound libraries. As I noted over the summer, however, Tascam ceased development on the aging Giga platform, leaving users without an important tool – and some …

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