King Britt, performing in the garden. Photo:

The Bee and The Stamen: Complete Live Stream, King Britt Interview, As Nature Meets Electronic Music

For just a moment, take your mind somewhere a bit different. First, imagine the computer as part of nature, not something separate from nature. And then, put your head inside the mind of a bee. (You might not want to operate heavy machinery, just in case you start to imagine you’re seeing things through a compound eye.) That’s the journey we’re on with King Britt, the veteran producer from Philadelphia. He’s remixed everyone from Miles Davis to Tori Amos, but now, he remixes the world of the bee. And given how small we ultimately all are, perhaps that’s a worthy …

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If Your Body Were a Moog: Experimental Voyager Sounds + Contemporary Dance Portraits

six short stories about… from Vlaicu Golcea on Vimeo. The ubiquity of the classic subtractive synthesizer could make you think that its sounds are limited to familiar sounds. But it simply ain’t so. Part of why I think these designs endure is that it remains possible to coax new musical gestures, to voyage through new timbres. And so, with a small dose of Reaktor, Romanian composer/musician Vlaicu Golcea coaxes beautiful and surprising sounds from the Moog Voyager. In a strangely synesthetic experience, these sounds match perfectly the choreography. I’m often a fan of creating musical spaces that don’t touch each …

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Mostly Robot, Behind the Scenes: When Electronic Masters Form a Band [Video, Panel Audio]

It began as a way to demonstrate Native Instruments technology. But watch the video above of Mostly Robot, and you’ll see what happens when some well-loved solo electronic stars work to form a band. This isn’t just about some cool toys: it’s about really playing electronics as an instrument. And as the Internet debates what it means to play, they ask a question that could be even more important: what does it mean to play together? Mostly Robot is an “all-star band” made up of some really amazing people. Jamie Lidell is known as the Warp artist who has gone …

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Futuristic iPad Konkreet Performer Get Twisted with MIDI, Even Analog, to Control Everything

Analog synths, meet spacey, abstract touch controls. And Konkreet Labs Performer – the futuristic iPad controller app – meet everything else, including, for those not lucky enough to own racks of modulars, MIDI. Twisted KP is effectively a clever helper app, taking in messages (as OSC) from the brilliant Konkreet Labs Performer iPad app and translating them into things you can use with everything else — MIDI, analog control messages, or if you’re a Reaktor user, internal Reaktor IC messages. For Reaktor geeks and analog owners, it’s a godsend, but it’ll also work as a Reaktor standalone tool if you …

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Crafting New Twisted Tools: A Chat with Reaktor Patchers Making New Sonic Instruments

Ed. Twisted Tools are a special breed of music software makers, concocting wild-sounding instruments, sequencers, and effects, all with a distinctively-colorful and graphical approach to interface design. And they do all of this in Reaktor, Native Instruments’ deep toolbox for visual development of soundmakers, a patching cousin to tools like Max/MSP, Pd, and Plogue Bidule. Various patchers take a DIY approach to building musical tools in such environments, but Twisted Tools have successfully turned those creations into a business. That’s part of what makes this interview well worth a read, whether you’re an end user or a developer. Writer Markus …

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Lovely, Ethereal Music, Made from New and Updated Reaktor Patches You Can Download

The wonderful, sometimes-inspiring, sometimes-daunting capability of the computer is to make any sound you like. Give someone an open toolbox, and they really limited only by skill and imagination. Graphical modular environment Reaktor by Native Instruments has a reputation for crunchy granular sounds and elaborate, multi-layered glitches, and those are to some of us certainly a good thing. But here’s some music made in Reaktor that tends in another direction. The creatoors give us some nice tools, to be sure, but they also give us some actual music and sounds to explore. At top, our friend Peter Dines has been …

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Expanding Touch and MIDI, Mobile iOS Control Gets More Mature in New and Updated Apps; Round-Up

The Molten drum machine meets MIDI and sync, via the Camera Connection Kit. It’s just one of a number of improvements that have made iOS tools more mature, more powerful – and easy to integrate with other, less Apple-y hardware and software. Image courtesy One Red Dog. It’s nice to think software gets better, not worse, with age. And so it is that if you use an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad in the studio, your mobile gizmos are getting more powerful and useful. Expanded support for MIDI – using both wireless and wired connections to interface with gear of …

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DIY Ribbon Controller, Creative Commons-Licensed, with Arduino, Reaktor, Crackling-Good Case

Ribbons are so in this year. Thanks to Trent Reznor picking up the Dewanatron Swarmatron, they’re even winning Oscar Awards (after a fashion). Coagula aka Giuseppe Di Cillo has been in touch with me for some time about his evolving DIY ribbon controller. Now he’s pulling out all the stops: his full version includes a professional-looking case, extensive touch sensors, and even a display and menu system. It’s not quite the gorgeous, analog-savvy Eowave Persephone, but it’s a beautiful DIY project and a terrific learning opportunity, as well. He’s shared a complete tutorial, specifications, and tips, all under a Creative …

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Native Instruments’ Razor Synth: Dubstep to Ambience, Free Tutorial and Loops

Native Instruments has a new synth based on the Reaktor engine, and it’s one about which to be genuinely excited. Taking additive synthesis to a new conceptual level, it works with the concept of per-partial control but adds functions like wavetables, enveloping, and effects to each partial individually. The result is a synth that gets sonically surprising in a hurry, and it represents the sort of multi-dimensional thinking I hope catches on in synthesis. In a step forward for Reaktor, this synth doesn’t just sound different – it looks different, too. Whereas incredible sonic creations have been hidden too often …

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Reaktor Sampler Pack Gives you Granular Power Over Sound; Tips for Maschine, Ableton

Producer/composer and Reaktor super-guru Peter Dines is back with a new concoction for Native Instruments’ graphical development environment for sound. Entitled the Reaktor Sample Pack, it’s a collection of three granular sampling instruments. Updated with new download links (no more divshare!) Frame is a looping sampler with smooth/crossfading, envelope controls, and built-in saturation, plus graphical loop point selection. Free | download Loupe is a “polyphonic looping slicer,” which is to say you can slice up a sample and assign it to different MIDI keys. Press a note, then graphically set loop playback parameters from reverse to envelope to filter. US$15 …

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