iphones

How to Make a Music App for iOS, Free, with libpd: Exclusive Book Excerpt

What will you do with this blank slate? Photo (CC-BY) Yutaka Tsutano. Apple yesterday described their iPad as “this magical pane of glass that can become anything you want it to be.” So – how about making mobile devices into what you want it to be? With the help of author Peter Brinkmann and publisher O’Reilly, we’d like to give you a taste of Peter’s new book, Making Musical Apps: Real-time audio synthesis on Android and iOS. Imagining that a lot of you are especially curious about iOS, we’ll include the chapter on how to get started with development. It …

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libpd_site

Pd, Everywhere: Free libpd Gets a New Site, New Book on Making Mobile Music Apps

Pure Data (Pd) is already a free, convenient tool for making synths, effects, and sequencers and other musical generators. But imagine stripping away all the things that tie it to a platform – UI, specific hardware support – so it will run just about anywhere, on anything, in any context. That’s what libpd, a free, embeddable, open source (BSD) tool for making interactive music, does. Coders can take their favorite language and their favorite platform, and just plug in the power of Pd. They don’t even have to know almost anything about Pd – they can let an intrepid Pd …

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Tom's FM radio-sequencing module project, in all its glory.

Music Thing: A Radio Sequencer, How to Get Into DIY Synth Modules, How to Have Fun

Lured by the siren song of modular synthesis and DIY electronics, but not sure how to navigate the piles of requisite knowledge – or uncertain what the trip down this rabbit hole might have in store? For years, Tom Whitwell’s Music Thing was a beloved daily read, as that site and this one were among the early blog-format destinations for music tech. Tom moved on – something about a major day-gig at a paper called The Times, perhaps named after the font? – but that makes us all the more delighted to get a dispatch from him. In this guest …

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mannheimsteamrollercover

It’s Good to Be Mannheim Steamroller: Egyptian Artefacts, Wolves, and a Cape to Wear in the Studio – WSJ

Image: Jason Hickey. As Christmas revelers head out for last-minute shopping in the last surge of pre-holiday capitalism, they might catch over piped music the ouvre of one Mannheim Steamroller. For all the electronic artists we might imagine as representing the genre, this guy has sold one heck of a lot of Christmas records, in a strange brew of hyper-active electrified timbres and New Age. How many records? Well, enough that he is able to, from his Omaha home, raise wolves. Not yet fully grown, they require a full-time trainer (they now respond to commands in German), walks up to …

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PC120612

A Reader in Electronic Dance Music’s History and Creation, Now Available

I had the pleasure this year of working on a book that draws from over 30 years of coverage of Electronic Dance Music’s evolution. Collecting pages primarily from Keyboard, with additional content from Remix, we retrace the relationship of machines and music, technology and movement, in producing the sounds to which people dance. It’s impossible to be encyclopedic in such an endeavor, but part of what I enjoyed about working on the project was getting to see through the eyes of the artists. You hear them talk in astounding detail about how they actual craft what they make. They curse …

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iphonesound

Mobile Game Audio 101: A Unique Reference to Crafting Mobile Sound; CDM E-book Discount

Charming, original hand-draw illustrations by Peter Jungers spice up the title. Sound and music for games is already a growing frontier for professional music careers; mobile, then, triply so. But with the expanded opportunities come unique challenges. Learning about them requires real-world experience, and short of word of mouth, that kind of knowledge is often scarce – even in the Web age. Composer, sound designer, and audio director Ben Long has put his sonic thumbprints on games and TV networks alike, and has recently turned his attention to sharing some of the industry secrets of the mobile realm, with work …

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Weekend Reading/Listening: 8-bit Operators vs. Kraftwerk, Commodore 64 Forever!

8-bit music has definitely caught the attention of the mainstream. GameSpy has a good five-way interview with part of the group behind the new album of Kraftwerk covers, 8-bit Operators: The Music of Kraftwerk. 8-Bit Operators: It’s More Fun to Console They miss my friend Kim Haeyoung (Bubblyfish), who made one of my favorite tracks on the album. (Hey, mainstream press, boys and girls can both play electronic music, 8-bit or 64-bit.) But it is a good read, and if you haven’t heard the album yet, it’s a lot of fun — partly for the broad range of interpretations on …

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