Your Belgrade Underground Connection: See and Hear Experimental Dance Music

From the beating heart of Europe, audiovisual electronic instrumentalism continues to thrive. We’re fortunate to bring a slice of that scene to you. CDM is in Belgrade, Serbia this week, where we’re pleased to host an event celebrating real-time visual expression. And we get to do it in one of the best underground venues in the city, Drugstore. Event details, for any of you here in the neighborhood: Drugstore, 17 January 23h We’ll start out with a workshop on making architectural space dynamic with interactive/generative sound and imagery, hosted by myself and Abduct. (More on that topic here and on …

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From Leisure System Crew, Meticulously-Crafted Techno Rhythms [Listening]

From Berlin and Britain, virtuoso producers imagine a futuristic take on techno that elevates technical craft. Among many fine labels that have somehow flown under the radar this year, the surging productivity of Leisure System is surely one that merits some attention. It’s a producer’s label, in a sense, dodging trends to find music that is both danceable and listenable, ready for brain and booty and ear. Berghain in Berlin celebrates its ninth anniversary Saturday, but let’s not overlook the Leisure System party on Friday – and the artists the label has brought together. For starters, there’s the evergreen genius …

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DRON-E Creates Ambiences, Cinematic Sounds – Now Free for Reaktor [Sounds, Tutorial]

Composition and invention are two tasks that always blur – there’s some engineering to making music, and that extends to sound design. But let’s get real: when you come across someone like Antonio Blanca, you reach a whole other level. Blanca does exquisite work in Reaktor ensembles and carefully-crafted Lemur templates to match. And DRON-E is a masterpiece, a Reaktor ensemble capable of generating entire universes of ambient sound. Eerie drones will transport you to feeling like you’re crawling about a distant asteroid or entered a convent that has retreated to an alien mineshaft. (I wasn’t the only person who …

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Learn Max for Live and Control Ableton: Exclusive Book Excerpt Download and Discount

Max for Live represented an important milestone in music making software. It paired one of the most popular music production tools, and easily the most popular real-time workflow, with one of the most popular tools for users wanting to realizing their own musical software ideas. Max for Live, as a result, can become a window into making Ableton Live your own. Of course, figuring out how to begin doing that can be a daunting task. For many Live users, it ends somewhere around downloading some neat patches someone else has made. What do you do when you want to attack …

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Grid Tricks: Mega-Bass 2020, Delicious Live Performance Groovebox [Launchpad + Reaktor]

Mega-Bass 2020 – Teaser Performance from Icebreaker Audio on Vimeo. Look through that VHS fuzz, and listen as a Casio VL-Tone and synth go ultra-retro – they even play a cover of Jan Hammer. But that’s not what this story is about. This story is about using more simple grid techniques to create something that lets you improvise using your hands, to play music freely without looking at the screen. And Mega-Bass 2020, while still building on the grid ideas of monome et al, is a very sharp user-created marriage of software and hardware. With electric-pink and grape-on-gray retro graphics, …

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Windows Touch and Music, Demonstrated with Surface and Reaktor

Big and healthy as the iOS ecosystem is, touch capabilities on Windows PCs means a whole, vast library of other tools becomes possible – without having to carry a laptop and a tablet. Having wandered the floors of Computex in Taipei, that isn’t just a feature you’ll see in a few models. Imagine if only a few laptops had trackpads, and everything else required you to use the cursor keys. Based on the lineups from makers like Taiwan’s Acer and Asus – and what Intel and Microsoft are pushing for the platform (including HP, Sony, Toshiba, and Lenovo) – touch …

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What NI Was Teasing: Monark Minimoog-Modeling Synth, Remade Battery, in New Komplete

Native Instruments has been teasing new instrument software in recent days, and now we get to see what they were previewing: a new virtual-analog monosynth and a remade version of their drum sampler. But, hold on, before everyone yawns and leaves the building – there’s reason to pay attention to this news. First, yes, there is something notably absent in today’s announcement. While NI is making Komplete, their bundle of their extensive stable of software instruments, available for preorder, there’s still no sign of a big upgrade to Reaktor. The fact that the Monark video showed Reaktor patching may have …

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Hands-on: Spacey Futuristic Beat Control, as Konkreet Performer for iPad Meets Reaktor

Connecting Reaktor 5.8 with Konkreet Performer from Konkreet Labs on Vimeo. Mapping control from one place (like an iPad) to another (Reaktor) is tough to describe, but easy to see. Watch as strange, spacey geometries control futuristic generative sounds and beats, and it all starts to make sense. And so, this hands-on video is a brilliant example of why we get excited about new control methods, here in the form of better OSC support in Reaktor 5.8. Konkreet Labs’ Konkreet Performer is an ideal candidate, eschewing traditional MIDI knobs for interfaces that delight and challenge the user. And it’s little …

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Chroma + Gris-Gris: Sequence Live with Anything, Then Let the Synth Run Wild [Reaktor]

Chroma and Gris-Gris are a beautiful pairing, a performance-savvy sequencer and a “monster” monosynth. If the release of the OSC implementation we dreamed of in Reaktor wasn’t enough to make you dust off NI’s modular flagship, this will surely do the trick. It’s the work of Montreal-based Reaktor guru Peter Dines, veteran CDM contributor and one of our favorite patchers anywhere, on any platform, for his eminently-practical, sonically-lovely creations. And just as the Chrome sequencer goes nicely with the Gris-Gris synth, the whole thing comes alive with Reaktor’s new OSC implementation, letting you perform sequences – alone or in public …

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Get Started with Reaktor + Reaktor Player + TouchOSC, Lemur: Open Source Templates [Exclusive]

Got a copy of Reaktor 5, perhaps via Komplete, or an instrument or effect based on Reaktor (running in Reaktor Player)? Got an iPad, and want to start touching sounds with OSC? Great! We’ve got some powerful tools and references that will make it easy to get going – and, for those who want to peek under the hood, can yield some nice tools for your own creations. Actually, maybe “un-exclusive” is the best way to describe this. In addition to official references from Native Instruments on how to use the tools, developer ClĂ©ment Destephen has built templates that make …

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