Interactive Table as Synth, Via New, Better Bjork Tour Vids; Microsoft Surface Snickering

There’s a simple problem: sound is invisible, and sound synthesis concepts don’t have any physical reality. Knobs, faders, patch cords, keyboards, infrared sensors, touchpads, and the like all work quite nicely for synthesizing sounds. But take a closer look at Bjork’s use of the reacTable, an interactive multimedia interface that uses a camera to track the movements of blocks on a surface. They really are using it to make sounds, those sounds really are visualized in a nice new way (watch the waveforms connecting the blocks), and while the result is some swoopy synthy sounds, the interface does make making …

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Future of Music Tech, As Envisioned by BBC Comedy Writers

The hilarious send-up of educational films that was Look Around You: Music was only the beginning. BBC comedy show Look Around You has its own fantastic website filled with still more goodies. And it gives us a much clearer idea of the future of music technology than, say, a teaser from Moog. Readers have been sending in “Life in the Year 2000” entries, which include the five-string bass guitar, sex changes using Bach violin concertos, and my personal favorite, Halson Hoek’s invention that improves your keyboard chops by sending electrical shocks through metal gauntlets. At this point, that might be …

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Look Around You: Mock BBC Educational Program on Music

This dead-on send-up of British educational programming takes a look at the world of music and music-making, from that music you young people like so much (“the Bensons, or the Ombudsman”) to the “Harrington 1200” music synth shown here, which you’ve probably never seen “because it costs almost a thousand pounds.” (Boy, would that you could get a Harrington for so little. Circuit benders and vintage synth collectors recently drove up the price to almost $50,000 on eBay.) Enjoy! Look Around You: Music [QuickTime video, DevilyDucky.com]

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Future Moog Gear: Silly Mockup Edition

As we reported last month, Moog Music is expected to announce new hardware at the Musikmesse show in Frankfurt, Germany. The suspense is apparently driving people nuts, reports Music thing. So, in a market where we generally don’t get the silly Photoshop mockups that, imaginary Mac gear and cellphones get, we suddenly have (tongue-in-cheek) ideas of what this future Moog equipment might look like. My personal favorite, from Vintage Synth Explorer, is Amos’ Femto-Moog, with ultra-simplified design and a one-octave keyboard. You know, for DJs.

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Watch Guitarists Die Horrible Deaths; Guitar Rig 2 Shipping

How would you sell guitar amp and effects software? In the fall, we watched IK Multimedia resort to the usual, sexist approach: hire a supermodel and make some pun on amp “modeling.” Native Instruments is taking a different approach, showing different ways conventional amps can kill you. Not since the Spinal Tap drummers has on-screen rocker mortality been this high. I suppose that’s one way to deal with people’s fear of computers for music: remind them why they should be scared of everything else. Oh, in other news, Guitar Rig 2 is hitting stores right now. (See past coverage. Rival …

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StratGame 64: Half Guitar, Half N64 Game Controller

Love your Nintendo 64 game controller? And your Fender Strat guitar? Can’t choose? Why not have both at the same time? Via Joystiq, Gin Blossoms lead singer Robin Wilson (who is also a contributor to Official PlayStation Magazine) had the idea to combine two classics. StratGame 64 [GuitarMania] Sadly, like the other guitars in that roundup, the result seems to be decorative only. If you really want a guitar for gaming, see the upcoming game Guitar Hero. But I’d sure love to see someone take this concept and really run with it. Us keyboardists get all kinds of crazy buttons …

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KVR.Almost: KVR Audio Gets Parodied

It had to happen sooner or later: audio plugin news and music software discussion site KVR Audio gets its own (loving) parody site: Almost KVR Sure, some of the fake news posts are sophomoric, but aside from the brilliant “Globosoft has updated Zenith Platinum Pro VX Plus + to v3.0.92.74c” news parody, you’ll find some great subtle details in the forum posts and database additions. Keeping looking. Thanks, Adrian!(So who’s next to be targetted? If anyone parodies CDM, I promise I’ll take it like a man. With a cease-and-desist letter. Just kidding. Almost.)

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