Max/MSP Resource Roundup: Computer Music Special [Updated]

Welcome, Computer Music readers — feel free to drop me a line. Here’s a roundup of Max/MSP resources, as a companion to the feature story on Max I wrote for Computer Music Magazine. Max is a deep, deep program, but to get you started, I’ve lined up: Unusual controllers for performance (tablets to game controllers) Cool Max projects (flaming sound organs to musical punching bags) Essential Max tools (my favorite add-ons and upgrades) It’s everything you need to start making weird, futuristic music and art. Well, not quite everything, but enough to blow my mind, anyway. I’m planning more online …

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Live Visuals / VJing Resources Mega-Roundup

Welcome, Keyboard Laptops Live and Computer Music Readers! Feel free to say hi and check out the rest of the site. Photo: Vello Virkhaus with Red Hot Chili Peppers in London (thanks, Vello!) Live visuals for keyboardists? Absolutely: if you’ve got MIDI chops, slick new tools can help you tickle projected imagery while you tickle the ivories. There’s just too much to say about VJing to fit into one story, so when I wrote up an introduction to live visuals for Keyboard Magazine‘s Laptops Live special, I ran out of space fast. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the …

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Korgs (and Eventides) Past: Music Creation Preservation in Action

To cap off today’s Korg Love Fest, let’s take a moment to remember gear of yesteryear . . . meaning, of course, just a few short years ago. Sure, the latest-and-greatest is always lovely, but I love the fact that Dan Phillips from Korg has an extensive site devoted to the

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Gameboy Music with LSDJ: Workshops, Tips, Photos, MP3s

Gameboy guru Gijs Geikes rocks LSDJ with workshop participants, and even the mysterious interface of this tracker-style instrument for Nintendo systems can capture audiences’ imagination. Gijs has just posted some photos of his workshops in action, complete with sample MP3s and (best of all) some great tips for making sounds with LSDJ. Click the “Instruments” menu on the right for synthesis ideas and more. LittleSoundDJ Workshop Photos, MP3s, Tutorials [Gijs Geikes] LittleSoundDJ [Main site] And yes, that’s my friend Bubblyfish at one of the workshops, so LSDJ’s “rival” Gameboy app Nanoloop makes an appearance, too. And what’s with the PSP? …

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Digital Cowbell Resources; Wired on “More Cowbell” History

Ah, the cowbell skit / Behind the Music: Blue Oyster Cult parody from Saturday Night Live. (see also text transcript) Like other viral Internet phenomena (see also: All Your Base Are Belong to Us), it’s funny and it spread. If you’ve had your head in a hole since the year 2000 (that’s where I keep my head), now’s the chance to catch up: watch the video, and witness Wired’s 5 year history of the cowbell skit’s spread through the Web. “More cowbell” is a phrase now? I can’t keep up with these kids today. CDM humbly offers its own cowbell …

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Reason 3’s Combinator, Explained on O’Reilly; More Reason Resources

Jim Aikin, synth madman, sound guru, and my book’s tech editor (meaning he’s the only one keeping me accurate and sane), takes the Combinator under the microscope in a tutorial for O’Reilly. If you thought the Combinator was just a way of combining modules into combis (single instrumental patches), you’re missing a lot — this beast is an incredibly powerful all-around routing and performance tool. Interestingly, Jim spends most of the article focusing on routing modulation into the Combinator from its modules, which just goes to show just how deep this rabbit hole is — even that’s just the beginning. …

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VJ Day: VJ Information Sources

I’d be remiss on VJ Day if I didn’t point to some great sources of VJ information. Above all, the greatest out there is the terrific Website VJ Central. Think of it a bit like the EM411 of VJing; you’ll find discussion boards, articles, news (both of the product and event variety), calls for VJs, and (if you’re having trouble picking a tool), software reviews, plus a lot more. While not strictly a VJ site, Video Thing certainly belongs among your RSS feeds for video-related oddities. (No, Music Thing is not becoming a franchise, though the blogger’s a friend of …

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Sonic Clothing Roundup: Projects, Resources, DIY

[Updated] No, not t-shirts with band names on it. I’m talking about wearable, interactive clothing with integrated electronics that respond to or generate sound. Inspired by the latest picks from Regine at we make money not art, I’ve decided it’s time for a roundup: Musical Gloves: Perhaps the most ubiquitous form of wearable sonic accessory, musical gloves hit their peak as Max artists in the early 90s appropriated the VR gaming toy, the Mattel Power Glove. Richard Boulanger was responsible for a lot of the early research, assisted by Eric Singer who went on to create a 1999 wireless MIDI …

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Body Pads: Play Your Thighs [Updated]

Using piezo-electric sensors or specialized drum pads, you can turn acoustic drums into triggers, then convert that signal to MIDI. But why stop there, when your legs are just waiting to be slapped? To use your legs as a trigger, you’ll want a fairly sensitive sensor — standard drum triggers would require you to hit your legs with your sticks. Hard. (Though you might be into that; I don’t know.) The Pulse BD-1 Body Pad Drum Trigger is supposedly designed just for the purpose of strapping a trigger to your body. They’re ugly as hell (check the geeky product shots). …

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Massive Database of Free Audio Articles

ProDAW.com has a huge database of links to online articles, everything from how-to basics to advanced details of signal processing and mastering, plus a healthy selection of music-related links. There's a heavy tilt towards old Electronic Musician articles, though, so, hey, Keyboard gang, let's submit some stories from our glitzy new website. I still love print — much better for the subway or bed — but readers, if you haven't discovered the wealth of additional info available via Google and Wikipedia, you owe it to yourself to do a little surfing. Anyway, it usually takes hearing four or five people …

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