Grooves Magazine Carries Torch for Experimental Electronica Online

Grooves Magazine, dedicated to experimental electronic music and music tech, wasn’t exactly a formula for massive mainstream newsstand appeal. (I don’t think I ever spotted a copy in a truck stop. For a better example of how to make a magazine succeed, at truck stops and elsewhere, look at Easyriders: scantily-clad and topless women + motorcycles. See a comparison of the formula after the jump, in case this is unclear.) Grooves didn’t make it on the newsstands, but it’s been reborn as an online-only publication, and that’s a good thing: now anyone can get to it and browse through it …

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Pre-produce on Paper: DIY Planner includes storyboard and script-nerd templates

What are you going to do when the revolution comes and power goes out? You won’t be able to fire up your small form factor visuals bomb and knock out storyboard cells for that zombie/nature documentary that’s been orbiting your head all day. Don’t worry though, the GTD nerds have visualists covered too. D*I*Y Planner have been producing great CC licenced productivity tools for a while now. I’ve been using their Hipster PDA format To-do, Actions, and Grid templates, but somehow I’d forgotten that they also include: A series of cards to unleash your creative side — Story Idea, Plot …

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Kids Using High-Pitched Ringtones Inaudible to Adults (What About You?)

In case you haven’t seen it yet, The New York Times reports today that New York-area schoolkids have resorted to an unusual solution to cellphone bans. Apparently unaware of phones’ vibrate mode, the students have opted for an incredibly annoying ringtone pitched at 17,000 Hz. Theoretically, “adults” shouldn’t be able to hear that. (The real issue is middle-aged adults, an ironic choice in New York schools where many of the faculty are younger.) I also think that’s a liberal estimate of hearing loss; while most people lose some of their high-end hearing as they age, the numbers from the private …

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Free Plug-ins in Magazines: Lounge Lizard Session in Keys, Audio Damage Pulse Modulator in Computer Music

Pick up a European electronic music magazine and you can hit a jackbot of free software. Sometimes that’s limited to free samples, but sometimes you get some cool stuff you couldn’t otherwise. (For those of you outside Europe, they do make it to newsstands, albeit at an inflated price; I can usually find them at independent newsstands here in Manhattan.) Case in point: Found in comments, Keys (Germany) will have the full version of the fantastic electric piano plug-in, Lounge Lizard Session. Look for the issue out today, June 2. Meanwhile, plug-in developer Chris Randall (of Audio Damage) reports on …

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Why I Love Books; Learning Music Production with my Book on Matrixsynth

It’s easy to miss stories among the various cool distractions on Matrixsynth, like videos of synth pioneers Laurie Spiegel and Suzanne Ciani. So, I can’t help but point to Matrix’s extended review of my book, along with some words from me about why I wrote it, even though self-promotion makes me feel funny. Why? Because I think Matrix has something great to say about books and general. And because I couldn’t be happier to be reading some new books like the ones pictured beelow, now that I’ve finished mine: Real World Digital Audio review, interview [Matrixsynth] *Disclaimer: Boookshelf pictured does …

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Dude, Wanna Hear my GarageBand Loops Song?

Thursday rant time: It’s time to get over loops, stop generalizing about music technology, and find the record button. Poor GarageBand. Loops can be a fantastic tool, a way of sketching out ideas, having virtual instrumentalists with which to practice your chops, or remixed into something truly original, and they’re useful to beginners and pros alike in those roles. They don’t replace live musicians, but that’s not the point; they’re useful for what they do well. They’re also the most misunderstood of modern music tech. Unfortunately, non-musician journalists like The New York Times’ Michael Walker keep trying to squeeze some …

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Messe Winners and Losers: International Press Pick their Fave Gear

I’d like to thank the Academy . . . Yes, it’s that time of year when the entire global music press put their heads together to pick their favorite products. It’s a bit like an Editor’s Choice, only with all the editors. The results sometimes lack nuance, and I wouldn’t take them as product advice, but they’re always interesting. See the complete results, but here are some of the categories we care about:

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Academics Slam 8-Bit; Rockin’ the 386 on Wired News

Wired News has just stumbled onto 8-bit music a la vintage computers and Game Boys. Christopher Null compiles a terrific set of links in there, including Alexei Shulgin, who covers rock standards on a 386DX. (Via the always-excellent LSDJ mailing list, for users of that Game Boy cartridge — though Nanoloop lovers show up, too.) Mr. Null then makes calls to academic “experts” — and the sparks start flying. Nicholas Collins from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (improperly credited in Wired as the museum, not the school) says dismissively, “To imitate the wave forms of these older …

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Real World Digital Audio Countdown Begins

Sorry to disappoint you, but Real World Digital Audio will not be a new MTV reality show where participants live together in a boozed-up recording studio for a few months and have “issues” with their fellow audio engineers. Though I’m still holding out hope for that. No, Real World Digital Audio is my long-delayed book for Peachpit Press . . . and if you’ve noticed I’ve gotten increasingly flaky keeping CDM together, especially this week, the good news is I’m finally finishing the manuscript this week. Expect a party afterwards — and more on the book itself, once I can …

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Time Warp: Back Issues of Vintage Synth Mag Synergy (What About Keyboard?)

Back in the day, indeed. Cynthia at Cyndustries (see previous post) has been busily uploading scanned back issues of vintage late-70s electronic music magazine Synergy. There’s tons of vintage Oberheim, Moog, ARP, Yamaha, Korg, EMS and other gear, of course. But you’ll also find some great music: Allen Strange, Eno, Larry Fast (on the brain today), DEVO, Moody Blues, Jan Hammer, plus “serious” composers like Stockhausen, Meredith Monk, and Terry Riley — even Craig Anderton’s music (as well as writing) makes an appearance. I could go on . . . Great stuff. Synapse Magazine Back Issues (thanks, Lee, and Matrixsynth …

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