Video Gallery: Live Acts – Live Electronic Performance, Done Right

As a companion to Primus Luta’s story on artists and live electronic music performance, we’ve compiled a gallery of videos of the artists featured in action live. Daedelus

READ MORE →

IDM Operating System: proem’s PC, Fruity Loops, Tablet Controller Setup

Hardware is wonderful, but make no mistake about it: many musicians have put the same care and musical love into their software setup as once was limited to tangled guitar pedal rigs. We’ve been watching as intricate computer music studios appear in the CDM Flickr pool. proem, the gifted electronic musician from Austin, Texas (see Wikipedia, proem’s own site) who regular shares haiku-like reflections in CDM comments, is the latest to post his setup: Dual Dell e207 LCD displays Windows PC FL Studio (aka Fruity Loops), with a custom dashboard for controlling all the hardware and a modded install Native …

READ MORE →

Build a Gigging Small Form Factor PC for Music: How-to and Why

If I can do it, you can do it. Over on the just-launched Create Digital Motion, I describe assembling a custom PC from a barebones Shuttle case, with photos of each step. To keep that from getting boring, I dropped it all into the fantastic plasq app Comic Life to make it into a how-to comic: Building a Portable SFF PC for Live Visuals, Music Gigs: Part 1, Assembly in Comic Book Form As you’ll see, there’s not much to it. Shuttle already includes the motherboard and cables; it’s BYO processor, storage, and graphics. But those options alone can give …

READ MORE →

Your Cribs: More Minimalist Mac/PC Music Studios

It’s not about pissing contests with who can get the biggest rack of gear any more, evidently. While some of us CDMer can’t stop collecting computers (see the forum thread on that), many are looking for a minimal setup that lets them focus on actually, you know, making music. These setups often aren’t just minimal for the sake of it; going on the road or moving from one house to another often requires sacrifices at least temporarily, and that should be no reason to give up your daily music creation dose. (See last week’s mobile guitar rig roundup for more …

READ MORE →

Convertible Minimalist Mac Studio, Now Chart-Topping

My friend Francis Preve sends pictures and details of his new “convertible” studio. He claims this is shameless self-promotion, but I call it aesthetic envy — and for another reason to be envious, Gabriel & Dresden’s Tracking Treasure Down (for which he did a remix) just hit #1 on the Billboard Club Charts. Not too shabby, saying you have a #1 single. Maybe it’s the shoes. Maybe it’s this studio. I love the slim-line M-Audio keyboard in a drawer. Fran sends the details, for your enjoyment:

READ MORE →

Portable Guitar Travel Rig, from Kevin of The Nettles

Now having seen fold-up guitars in briefcases, here’s another approach to what to put in your portable guitar rig, from our friend Kevin Johnsrude of The Nettles. Kevin plays both bass and guitar, but he has a more portable rig so he can play music everywhere. Kevin writes: In the photo: The diagonal headless guitar is an old-school Traveler headless guitar minus the knee rest. The purple box is a Korg Pandora with tuner, multiple effects, crummy sampler/looper and drum tracks. I have a modified jazz guitar dialled-in for most of my practice and I use the drum tracks for …

READ MORE →

Preview: Building a Custom Mobile PC for Live Music and Visuals

We’ve covered rack rigs for rack-mounting PCs, Power Macs, and even Mac minis for the stage for a while. Now, I’m going to go an extra step, and actually build a machine step-by-step here on CDM. But instead of making a rack-mountable machine, I wanted something even more portable. I want a desktop-class PC I can carry around on a subway. And, no, a laptop ain’t gonna cut it, because I want the whole system to be upgradeable (particularly the video card, for running high-quality 3D visuals simultaneously with sound). The basis for this machine is already on its way, …

READ MORE →

Composer’s Studio Goes Digital: Tech Toys and Inspiration

Now that the rest of our studio has gone digital, the approach to producing score for acoustic instruments has changed, too. Here’s a look at some of my favorite toys and tools for keeping music flowing. You’d have to be a true Luddite to argue that word processors are bad for writing. Blogs, perhaps, sometimes inspire poor writing (ahem), but it’s more difficult to blame technology. The original argument that word processors would end the process of drafting and revision is absurd to anyone who’s spent long hours slaving over text in Microsoft Word. Our attitudes have changed as we’ve …

READ MORE →