remixdeck

Traktor 2.5, Kontrol F1 Arrive with Live Features; Hoping for More Live DJing

Features come and features go. As upgrades go, Traktor 2.5 has plenty to recommend it – plus, it’s free for current Traktor 2 users, meaning you probably don’t need anyone’s advice to try it out. So, then, the question is: will tools mean that the DJ gigs you hear be any different? There’s nothing wrong with DJs who simply smoothly mix records, whether on vinyl or digital. But that doesn’t stop music fans from sometimes longing for more of a performance. Traktor 2.5 is clearly focused around those “live” features – remixing music rather than just beat-matching and playing. As …

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triqtraq

triqtraq, a Fun iPhone Jam Sequencer – And Yes, You Can Use Your Own Samples

We hear you: amidst the various music doodling tools calibrated for casual taps on a phone screen, you want something you can actually make your own with your own sounds. Here’s one example of that: triqtraq. It’s got the “tap it on the bus to improvise a pattern” feel of some of the apps we’ve seen lately, but without sacrificing the sort of control that might keep you coming back to it. And because it lets you include your own samples, there is some depth. (No Audio Copy/Paste, though, before some reader chimes in and points that out.) Creators Sebastian …

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luanna

In a Swirl of Particles, luanna Uses Gestures to Touch Samples [iPad]

luanna is a beautiful new application out of Tokyo-based visual/sound collective Phontwerp_. Amidst a wave of audiovisual iPad toys, luanna is notable for its elegance, connecting swirling flurries of particles with gestures for manipulation. I imagine I’m not alone when I say I have various sample manipulation patches lying around, many in Pd, lacking visualization, and wonder what I might use in place of a knob or fader to manipulate them. In the case of luanna, these developers find one way of “touching” the sound. As the developers put it:

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abletonwork

Upgrade Yourself, Free: A Year of Ableton Live Packs, New Two-Minute Tips, Kicks Morphing to Leads

Hit your own upgrade button with Ableton Live: costs nothing, keeps on giving. Photo (CC-BY) Andrea Mitrani. Get a whole new Live, for free. Smart users can make it happen. Sure, just a mere mention of Ableton can bring out angry hordes of Live users waiting for whatever they imagine they want out of Live 9. We can’t comment on Ableton’s internal development process. So, why not instead make Ableton new for yourself – no need to pay for anything, all with free downloads, free tips, and more musical power? (Hint: I do expect an upgrade from Ableton – I, …

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twotwentytwo-cover

Ambient Listening: Cory Allen + Marcus Fischer (USA) Track Congruities in Two Gorgeous Tracks

In two ambient works, musicians Cory Allen (Austin, Texas) and Marcus Fischer (Portland, Oregon) chart connected sound worlds mined from shared samples, in a sweeping opus of a musical environent. Released yesterday on February 22, coinciding with birthdays of the artist and Chopin, it generously has the you’ve-just-got-to-buy-this price of US$2.22, well worth adding to your downloaded collection. TWO / TWENTY-TWO by CORY ALLEN + MARCUS FISCHER The first track is nothing if not womb-like. It begins with a warm, pulsing hum, delicate tones peeking above the blur. Then it gradually succumbs to binaural fuzz, producing a whitened atmosphere of …

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DJing, Decks, and a Grid of Samples: NI’s New Take on Traktor

What should DJing software look like, anyway? It’s just a teaser, but for once, the idea is simple, straightforward, and clear. Native Instruments have taken their DJ software, Traktor, and combined it with a grid of pads for sample triggering and loops. The upcoming hardware/software combination we expect later this spring. At the risk of stating the obvious, what’s significant about adding loop triggering to any DJ set is that you can more easily move beyond playing and mixing tracks. Even without drum machines, this kind of manipulation is part of the grand tradition of DJing, made all the more …

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musickeys

Music in the Key of monome: From Samples, a Community Makes a Free Album

Keys open doors to creative music making in a community-led process. Photo (CC-BY) Cassie / Angelandspot. What an extraordinary thing an interface can be, a map to making music. A new community-generated album from users of the now-legendary monome grid instrument yields a variety of musical outcomes. The results are instrumental and lovely, breaking off on lots of different stylistic vectors, but glued together by the notion of key and pitch. Let’s let contributor Joshua Saddler explain this – and the holiday album – as well as share some of the music. If you celebrate Orthodox Christmas or more generally …

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From Christmas Tree Lights, A Lo-Fi Ableton Synth

It’s that time of the year, when the halls echo with the sound of … horrible electronic synthesized Christmas tunes, playing on endless loops from strings of lights and other cheap electronics! But wait – what if you could take those sounds and embrace their low-fidelity, chippy sounds to more inventive musical purposes? Turn to our friend AfroDJ, who has gradually built up several dozen Ableton Live racks. The latest samples Christmas tree lights for a festive, chiptastic holiday timbre. I just put up my Christmas tree and put on some lights that play Christmas songs. The songs are comprised …

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willits

From a Wide Palette of Sound, Christopher Willits’ Remix Project, Sample by Sample

Christopher Willits playing live at San Francisco’s Public Works in October of this year. Photo courtesy the artist. Sound and light artist, guitarist, Max patcher, and all-around sonically-fascinating guy Christopher Willits has opened up his “Tiger Flower Circle Sun” record on Ghostly to remixing. Halfway through the project, we talk to Chris about what’s going on – and what the results so far sound like. And we share, from earlier this fall, a composition in which you can recharge. The project begins not with stems, but with samples, the raw materials on which the album was based. Christopher walks CDM …

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Grid Machine Slice: Custom Kontakt Sample Library, Gone Mad

I tend to tune out when it comes to sample libraries, but here’s one that takes the scripting capabilities of Native Instruments’ Kontakt sampler to extremes. The Grid Machine line developed by Lindon Parker (Channel Robot) and distributed by LoopMasters brings to Kontakt the sort of grid-based, sliced-up sample manipulation we’ve seen in the monome community and in custom tools in environments like Ableton Live and Renoise. Using KSP, the scripting environment in Kontakt, these produce entirely-custom instruments that cut, chop, stutter, reverse, mix, trigger, sub-loop, re-trigger, and modulate. You can change speed, mute, skip, reorder, and play patterns, and …

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