A Week of Spatial Sound on 4DSOUND at Amsterdam Dance Event; Open Hack Lab Call

As if Amsterdam Dance Event, the electronic music mecca of Europe and the world’s largest festival of its kind, weren’t packed enough already – there’s more. Tucked inside the festival we’ve got five days of programming devoted to spatial audio, on the 4DSOUND system. As part of ADE Sound Academy, itself focusing on threads between technology, practice, and music, the event at Amsterdam’s Companietheater will explore the frontiers of new settings for music and sound. From plumbing the possibilities of the 4DSOUND’s forest of speakers to opening a discussion of immersive sound and music now and in the future, a …

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Me the Machine: Imogen Heap Navigates Music, Music Video with Her Gloves

Watching Imogen Heap dance her way through cyber visuals and glowing-LED percussion, it’s easy to forget that you’re not watching a special effect. What was once a hypothetical, speculative scenario in sci-fi is now just what Imogen is doing with gloves and sensors. At the same time, the lineage to artists like Pamela Z or Laurie Anderson is clear, too. Now the question is, what’s next? “Me the Machine” debuted in a performance on her gloves. The music really is one that she can play with wearable tech. The music video just adds visualization to that performance – and, in …

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Cut From a Different Cloth: Threads and Circuits at MusicMakers Hacklab CTM [Video, Gallery, Pt. 2]

So much is possible when we just open up the materials of musical invention to a range of people – and those materials can be cloth, circuits, acoustic, electronic, light, sound. I was reminded of that yet again last week, thanks to an amazing group of artists, developers, facilitators, and organizers. I’m still recovering – in a good way – from five days last week filled with people sewing and soldering, wearable interfaces and constructed projection-mapped kinetic sculptures and new digital instruments. Native Instruments and Ableton took us inside their development process – and provided hardware, pretzels, pastries, and Club-Mate. …

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Live does lighting. Mattijs and Michel working on lighting compositions in Ableton Live. All photos courtesy Mattijs Kneppers.

Playing Live From a Giant, Toothy Monster Mouth: Behind the Scenes with Feed Me

Spectacular spaceship showmanship, or actually synchronizing live electronic dance music performances? For Feed Me, aka Englishman Jon Gooch, the show had to be both. Software developer Mattijs Kneppers harnessed Ableton Live, Max/MSP, and Max for Live to make it all work. You may have seen the video; Mattijs gives CDM a unique look even further into how this is working, sharing a gallery of the stage rig and some of the technical details. CDM: So, of course, this was the summer that brought “press-play” performances into the public eye – and we’re actually I think indebted to deadmau5 for blowing …

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Design to Address Visual Performance in Music, Explained by a Giant Robot Face

Computing technology is an inherently disruptive thing, wonderfully so. It solves problems you didn’t know you had. It creates problems, then creates new problems in even trying to understand those problems. Simply using a computer is a kind of design statement. You’ve seen questions about what happens with computer performance and audience interaction. But, in AMALGAM, design student Jacob Lysgaard asks those questions, and proposes solutions, in a new way: with a giant talking robot face. (See above.) Laptop and electronic performance produces a number of symptoms that can be problematic. As the video roboface above puts it, you might …

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1024architecture

With Neon Guitars and Immersive Projection, 1024 Architecture Become Audiovisual Rock Band

Euphorie live at the Elektra Festival. Photo courtesy Elektra. When a brainy, abstract audiovisual act can elicit some laughs and cheers, you know something is going right. Euphorie, the live music and projection act by Fran├žois Wunschel, Fernando Favier, and stage designer Pier Schneider of the collectives 1024 Architecture and EXYZT, isn’t brand new. But in the cavernous, packed Usine C at Montreal’s Elektra Festival earlier this month, it surely shone. Inside that booming rehabilitated factory, sound and video elements seemed to just click, the happy result of months of development, practice, and iteration meeting a highly appreciative crowd. Projectors …

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Behind the Scenes of Propellerheads’ Oversized Drum Machine

There’s obviously something about big. In the 1988 film Big, the iconic scene featured Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia tapping their way across FAO Schwartz’s oversized piano. Now, it’s the drum machine’s turn. David Crowder*Band drummer Bwack made the oversized stage version of an MPC-style set of drum pads, seen below and on CDM in 2008. That model featured a rack for a computer, making it a real workstation. This week, to celebrate the launch of their new releases of Reason and Record, Swedish music developer Propellerhead had their own entry. It features not only pads big enough to dance …

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