Protect Your Hear-Holes: Etymotic ER-20 Earplugs on CreateDigitalMusic

I posted this last night on CDMu, but thought it would be worth mentioning here as well, for those hard-line visualists who don’t read both sites. VJing is an extremely varied art form, but long sets is one thing most visual performers have in common. Whether at a festival, or playing club nights, it’s not uncommon to have a single visualist running the stage for an entire show. Usual gripes about pay-parity with the ear-botherers aside, this is also a quite dangerous situation for your hearing. I’ve always used the squishy, disposable foam earplugs at gigs, but last year I …

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Video Gallery: Live Acts – Live Electronic Performance, Done Right

As a companion to Primus Luta’s story on artists and live electronic music performance, we’ve compiled a gallery of videos of the artists featured in action live. Daedelus

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How to Record Laptop Performances – And Make Them Sound Live (Keyboard Mag)

We’re serious when we say laptop performances — the Moscow Laptop Cyber Orchestra (“CybOrk”), influenced by similar groups like Princeton’s PLOrk, uses laptops as instruments, augmented by alternative controllers. Here’s the surprise: when they record it, they intentionally treat it as you would an acoustic ensemble. Photo by Elena Krysanova. My feature story for Keyboard Magazine on recording live laptop performance is now available online at keyboardmag.com (as well as in the July print issue). When I got the assignment, I think my editor imagined futuristic, sci-fi like network recording, in which audio was streamed entirely virtually from players to …

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Thomas Dolby Extras: Live Performance Technical Details, Logic + Max/MSP

Photo randomduck. At the 1985 Grammies, Thomas Dolby played alongside Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, and Howard Jones. It was the golden age of synths and keyboard-driven pop. (Yeah, I know, some of us kinda miss those days.) But Thomas Dolby is significant, as well, as one of the pioneers of the computer-driven one-man band. Almost a decade into the age of soft synths, at a time when Logic Pro’s most punishing physical-modeling synths and convolution reverbs run just fine on a $1000 laptop and Ableton Live is becoming commonplace, musicians still struggle with some of the technical details of how …

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Therry Wants You: Thereminists to Descend on UK in July

The Purcell School of Music is host to a massive event for Theremin lovers near Watford, Hertfordshire, UK July 27 – 30. The weekend looks really epic: performances, workshops, and master classes on playing and building the instruments. On the bill: the awesomely talented Lydia Kavina on the Classical side, and raising the flag for the avant garde, Wilco Botermans, both headlining, in addition to UK theremin makers Jake Rothman and Tony Bassett, Barbara Buchholz, Carolina Eyck, Charlie Draper, and Jon Bernhardt of The Lothars. I don’t think I’ll make it to Hertfordshire in July (wouldn’t that be nice), but …

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Bjork + ReacTable and Lemur = Tangible Interactive Musical Fun

Being an international music superstar means you can tour with whatever fun toys you like. In the case of Bjork’s new Volta tour, that means the JazzMutant Lemur multi-touch interface and, even more fun, the fantastic reacTable, a research project involving projection and multiple objects for a tangible interactive table experience! CDM reader Mike Cohen smuggled this video out of a recent Bjork performance: It really does work nicely in action, in terms of expressing to the audience what the performer is doing, and making nice eye candy, to boot. More details on Bjork’s futuristic touring rig: multitouched bjork [Byron …

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Thimbletron: TradeMark’s MIDI Thimbles Make Illegal Music

Cassette-tape DJ battles are just one of TradeMark G.’s retro, regressive, subversive musical creations. He also likes to put on glasses, a white lab coat, and interactive sewing thimble gloves, in order to produce illegal, copyright-crushing musical performances. Many of the techno-gimmicks seen here on CDM are one-offs and prototypes. The Evolution Control Committee, by contrast, has been producing “illegal art”, often with the aid of technology, for some 20 years. They’ve been “culture jamming”, dropping Napster bombs (remember Napster?), infamously attracting the ire of CBS, and dressing up as giant pairs of trousers and cans of Parmesan cheese ever …

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Ableton Live: Are You a Dragger, or a Freak?

Whether you’re an avid Live user or wonder how it works from a performance perspective, CDM reader Fabio FZero has managed to express in simple terms a basic binary split (originally in comments): Ableton Live: Draggers vs. Set-freaks … between those who drag-and-drop on the fly in their sets, and those who configure everything in advance in a superset. To that, I’d add a third category, though I don’t necessarily advise it: the Multiple Setters, who switch between set files for each song. (It’s dangerous because of load times, particularly with samplers. I’ve recently become a Set-freak instead. Though I …

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