A Very Acid 303 Christmas, and Pencil-and-Paper Roland Beat Patterns

Melbourne, Australia-based acid music lover dyLab posts 303-made goodness on the Acid Box Blues blog. And here’s a great way to get in the holiday mood — well, that is, if acid music gets you in the holiday mood. It’s a pattern laid out on paper, ready to program into your TB-303 hardware, software emulation, x0xb0x, Pd patch, or however you get your real/fake 303 on. The pattern is the work of Honeysmack (Soundcloud site), a fellow Melbourne-based artist. The December Acid Pattern I’m rather hoping that putting patterns and presets on paper catches on; I dubbed our MeeBlip version …

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Audio Damage Automaton is Here: Artificial Life-Driven, Stuttering Effects Plug-in

What’s in for this season in music software? Cellular automata. You may have been exposed to a cellular automaton in the classic Game of Life; it’s basically a very simple biological simulator exposed as an intuitive, 2-dimensional grid of squares. If tic-tac-toe, Charles Darwin, and a petri dish of bacteria got together in one wild evening, you’d come up with something like this as a result. The Game of Life has been around since mathematician John Conway invented it in 1970, but lately it’s been cross-bred with music software to help patterns escape the rigid, boring repetition of traditional sequencer …

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Intua BeatMaker: Music Suite for iPhone and iPod Touch

Mobile music suites date back to the first PDAs; the Palm has long been a stand-out platform with apps like Chocopoolp’s wonderful Bhajis Loops. The iPod Touch and iPhone have been a hotbed for development, thanks to sharing development frameworks with the Mac. That led our iPod/iPhone software round-up to be bursting with good stuff. But lacking a final SDK from Apple, many of the options were, admittedly, early in development or toy-like. Intua’s new BeatMaker, a complete music studio, looks more like a real music tool. The basic functionality: Mobile sampler: 16 pads for editable sample playback, slicing, and …

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GrooveStep: New Step Sequencer, Pattern Maker for Nintendo DS

  The DS’ stylus and touchscreen make an ideal pocket-able interface: they’re coupled with friendly, conventional arcade buttons, but provide precise control of visual interfaces without using a mouse. (Touch with fingertips is not nearly as accurate, especially on tiny screens.) That’s already inspired quite a bit of music software, but GrooveStep earns extra points for employing a friendly interface for easy, quick pattern sequencing.

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Akai MPK49 Keyboard: Keyboard Controller, MPC, Arpeggiator Love Child

Me-too 49-key controllers have been mind-numbingly dull for the most part. The new Akai MPK49, revealed in Frankfurt at Messe, easily qualifies as different. Not only does it add trigger pads as found on the MPC line, but there’s an onboard arpeggiator, functionality borrowed from the MPC, and additional MIDI control options, as well. It’s a control surface: 8 endless encoders, 8 sliders, and 8 backlit switches, each of which can be controlled via 3 selectable banks (8 x 3 = 24 “virtual” controls each, 72 controllers total). It’s a transport control: Start/stop transport buttons that actually send MMC or …

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