Elektron and KORG volca Jam, and Quick Thoughts on Why We Love Hardware

We’re not so much in the habit of posting jams on CDM, but this one is especially nice – even through the freak-out visuals. And it comes from friends – Nigel Mullaney, with recording and engineering by Ian Boddy. Seen in the film: Elektron Analog4 keys Elektron Octatrak Elektron Machinedrum KORG volca series Look closely through that shaky video, and you might get some clue as to why people love hardware. There’s plenty of reason not to go the hardware route: computers alone still offer more power, more flexibility, and more sound for your buck. But have a look at …

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In the Age of Beats and Spotify, Winners – and Opportunities

There is an accelerating transformation of music listening; that much is clear. And if you change the way people listen, you will change the way people produce. So who and what wins in this brave new world? Let’s consider. The month of May brought still more signs of tectonic shifts, with Apple buying Beats and Spotify showing no signs of slowing. The Apple acquisition of Beats can’t really be measured in dollars, because Apple has so much cash on-hand. (US$150 billion – and expect that dry powder to start getting loaded into cannons.) At least unlike Facebook or Google, Apple …

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An Entire Airport with Working Planes, in Miniature, is a Triumph of Real-for-Real

Even as studios abandon cell animation and all the attention in effects tends to go do digital rendering, there’s something to be said for real-for-real — photographing real-world things, making real things in miniature, and setting the real world into motion. While it runs afield of our usual subject matter, this video definitely qualifies as creating digital motion: marvel as an elaborate set of computer-controlled electronics makes tiny airplanes taxi, ad flags on the road flutter in miniaturized wind, choreographs intricate sets of perfect lighting, and even launches a plane on “takeoff.” These German engineers seem bright enough to put …

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Music Notation, What is it Good For? How About Humans?

Ding dong, the score is dead… or not, in fact. Photo (CC-BY) Steve Snodgrass. There’s a peculiar false controversy going on at the moment over music notation. First, the blog for online (Flash-based) browser notation editor Noteflight introduced a manifesto: Music Notation Today, Part 1: A Brief Manifesto The essay by president Joe Berkovitz is a good read, but it oddly makes the comparison between notation and recorded sound, which is a bit like saying a telephone is better than a DVD. One is interactive and intended for human conversation; one is not. So, go ahead and enjoy the copy …

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H.264 Advocates Get Out Their Tinfoil Hats in Wake of Chrome Decision

I’ll open with what I just said to some (perfectly reasonable) questions raised by Øivind Idsø on Twitter: most users make video with proprietary software and watch it in Flash. The idea is to change that. It turns out to be hard. Open video advocates have now gotten some huge gifts from Google; I’m disinclined to look that gift horse in the mouth, as the saying goes. If you do, though, I don’t think you see anything too terribly unexpected. Meanwhile… ah, Web commentary is adorable, isn’t it? The latest conspiracy theory is that Google dropping H.264 support from its …

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Aud’s Ode to Music Technology: Rant Haiku

Aud is either a “Music Industy insider with a finger on the pulse of more than BPM” or “consummate psuedonisticmusictechnophilosoph” or both. I got hip to his music through a friend who may soon be publicly identified, and have heard some really terrific productions (some not yet on the MySpace page yet). But I bring Aud to everyone’s attention in this case for his run-on rant poetry about the relative value of certain technological acheivements. If you could condense everything you feel about music technology into a 60-second speech in the local pub, it might come out something like this. …

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