battles

Watch Battles Reflect on Loops, Ableton in a Live Band Setting

On some deeper level, maybe it doesn’t matter how something repeats – whether it’s looped in a pedal, looped in software, or simply repeated by a human player, for instance. On another level, given just how much repetition matters to music, maybe that’s why we care so much about how it’s accomplished. Ableton this week released a visit to New York’s experimental rock trio Battles, in a film and interview under the header “The Art of Repetition.” There, we get to learn more about the process behind Battles’ dense, hypnotic sound. The film is a bit long, but there are …

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Eerie Resonance: Listen as a Synth Accompanies Singing Architecture

Dancing about architecture? How about singing about architecture – or architecture that sings? Burnley England’s Singing Ringing Tree is an abstract sculpture that resonates with the wind. Rising above the grassy hills of Burnley, England, it seems to live at some strange intersection between future and past – a sci-fi Stonehenge. And the project, the 2006 work of British architecture firm Tonkin Liu, makes lovely otherworldly sounds. John Keston, sound designer and the writer of audio invention recipe blog Audiocookbook, has been making a set of “duets,” coupling more conventional electronic synthesis with the wind-blown ambiences of the SRT construction. …

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Wild, Techie, Wonderful: NAMM’s Gear Delights [Gallery II]

Hardware and software continue to thrive (above). Pro audio lives on. People still make strange, wonderful products for tiny niches of people passionate about every element of sound. Marsha Vdovin is a veteran of the NAMM trade show like few people we know, so seeing the show through the eyes of her camera reveals some weirdness and wonderfulness we always appreciate. And Wonder Woman, too. Magic Kingdom, indeed. Gallery II, go! -Ed.

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Beats for your Feet: BeatBuddy Puts a Drum Machine in a Guitar Pedal

Drum machines — those are those big, luggable rectangular things used by electronic music producers, right? What if one could fit in a guitar pedal? And what if you could use your feet to trigger patterns and fills, leaving your hands free to play guitar (or another instrument)? That’s the idea behind BeatBuddy. Now, the basic notion is that it’s friendly for things like practice – and it should be helpful motivation. But clearly live performance, songwriting, and even dance music could benefit, too. And now it’s a fully-funded project. If the content in the video isn’t appealing, the makers …

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Hear the Gorgeous, Ethereal Vocal Music of Georgina Brett, and More Live Looping

London’s Georgina Brett is part of a generation of solo artists who use layered loops to build trascendental, rotating textures from repetition. Hardware loopers and effects pedals remain the preferred tool here for Brett as for many such artists. But Brett’s work is worth a particular mention for its ghostly, ethereal quality and thoughtful, delicate compositions. There is for me a continuum connecting to the Minimalists, of course – as a soloist, she’s doing some of the things that the Meredith Monk Ensemble did (minus the loopers), and there’s a feeling of the “discovered folk music” that Monk used in …

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Music from Patch Cords, in the Studio with Jimmy Edgar and KOMA Elektronik [Create Analog Music]

Modular music may be associated with densely-layered, sometimes-indecipherable ambiences, but Jimmy Edgar weaves funk and synthesized electro-dance into songs fed by his Detroit roots. (Jimmy’s now on Hotflush, formerly Warp Records, !K7, Poker Flat) In a studio tour with boutique analog maker KOMA Elektronik, he shows off their FT-201 sequenced filter and gestural control on the recently-introduced Kommander X/Y CV controller. I hope Jimmy’s natural musicianship also comes across; having watched him make some quick connections in the studio, this really is a rack he plays like an instrument, not just a fascinating spaceship control panel for sound design. (Not …

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taurus_heels

From a Little Droid to a Big Moog Taurus Pedal, Analog to Digital, More Experimental Sound Tips

Chris Stack, maker of the Experimental Synth series (and formerly of Moog Music), is back with new ideas for what to do with some great gear. Analog and digital meet here: everything from Nanoloop running on an Android handheld to the mighty Moog Taurus 3 pedal make appearances. That means that you ought to be able to glean some ideas from Chris’ sounds whatever your tastes and whatever your gear collection. -PK The Moog Taurus 3 springs from a very iconic lineage. Because of that rich history, it’s easy to type-cast it and not fully explore the full sonic potential …

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VOX Gets in Looping Game with Dynamic Looper – 90 Seconds, But with Live Features

For one candidate to challenge the reigning BOSS Loop Station line, there’s rival VOX. While they’re both loopers with some things to stomp on, the designs are quite different. The BOSS units can store up to three hours and 99 phrases; the VOX VDL1 stores two loops with a total recorded time of 90 seconds. Nor do you get the utility of the BOSS’ USB storage transfer. And the Vox is mono, whereas the BOSS is stereo. In place of those features, the VDL1 focuses more on live looping and effects: Live effects: Pedal/Wah (Clean/Comp/Crunch/Overdrive/Distortion), Mod (Chorus 1/Chorus 2/Flanger/Phaser/Tremolo), Bass …

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Goodies for Guitars: IK’s Wah Pedal That’s Also an Interface, Official Fender Software

Today is set to be an orgy of computer music-y, Abletronic, drum machine-loaded, Max-patching news, so let’s throw one out to the guitarists. IK Multimedia has two new announcements today that are actually quite cool. The StealthPedal is a Wah pedal that’s actually an audio interface, sort of like a James Bond pen that’s also a gun. And IK also landed the only official Fender-endorsed software amp emulation. Here’s a quick look at the specs. By the way, I’ve consulted everyone I know (especially as I’m not a guitarist), and basically what we’ve come up with is that a whole …

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