Post-Christmas Deals on Apps, Software, More – Even a Game with Procedural Music [Bargain Roundup]

As more sales – particularly software – move online, we’re finding that musicians can save a lot on their tools by waiting on sales. Black Friday / Thanksgiving / Cyber Monday saw steep discounts on some terrific stuff, and now there are loads of sales in the quiet period from Christmas to New Year’s. Half off Lemur (through 19 Jan). One particularly tempting deal – especially if you’ve got a winter project in mind – comes from our friends at Liine. Lemur, my favorite controller app on iOS, is now 50% off. And LiveControl 2 has just added essential support …

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Sony Sound Forge Officially Coming to the Mac; Latest to Fill Void Left by Peak

For years, many Mac-using audio creators have longed to get the beloved editor Sound Forge on the Mac. And when well-known audio editor BIAS Peak unexpectedly died, and we called for alternatives, various readers looked with envy back at Windows at the PC-only tool – among various other alternatives. Now, those prayers are answered. After a summer of teasers, Sony has now officially confirmed Sound Forge Pro will be available natively on OS X soon. The final teaser video actually offers a fair amount of information. The best news is, from the quick shots we see of the UI, this …

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Touch, Plus Tactile: In Gaming as in Research, Physical Controls Augment Touchscreens

The gaming industry has made their bet, and it’s that touchscreens go better with tactile controls. Might digital musicians reach the same conclusion? A funny thing has happened on the way to the touch era. The vision of a device like the iPad is minimalist to the extreme: an uninterrupted, impossibly-slim metal slate, as impenetrable as some sort of found alien scifi object. The notion is that by reducing physical controls, the software itself comes to the fore. It’s beautiful conceptually … and then you find yourself tapping and stroking a piece of undifferentiated glass. For navigating interfaces – and …

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Platforming as Musical Interface: Jonathan Mak Shows Sound Shapes for New PlayStation Vita

Load up an Ableton set or mix samples, and you’re already in the domain of interactive music. With joysticks and arcade buttons and other controls, the blending of game and musical interface into generative compositional fusion is even clearer. It’s little wonder many electronic musicians take an interest in the nexus of gaming and music. Any discussion of interactive music scores for games would be incomplete without Jonathan Mak. His self-produced title Everyday Shooter used classic top-down space combat as a musical experience: not only do sound effects in the game act as musical elements, but even the flow of …

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Interview: Sound Legend Paul Frindle, and a Story Behind the Digital Audio Revolution

Photo (CC-BY) Liz Bustamante. Ed.: Make no mistake about it: digital sound tech, from mixing to processing, has evolved to a fidelity on par with its analog predecessors and opening possibilities well beyond what they offered. But the making of that evolution wasn’t easy, and it was more than a technical challenge. You can thank the creative spirit of people like Paul Frindle. As contributor Primus Luta explains to CDM, his work is about more than just engineering or tools – it’s driven by creative, musical energy. -PK Author’s note: I wanted to bring this piece to the CDM audience …

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Inside Beaterator, Rockstar Games’ New PSP Beat Maker, with Gory Technical Bits

What’s that? A full-blown synth interface on the PSP – in a title from the makers of GTA, with Timbaland’s named plastered all over it? Yep. That’s exactly what it is. As you may know, the creators of games like Grand Theft Auto have collaborated with Timbaland to bring a mobile music studio to Sony’s PSP (and later, the iPhone), based on an ambitious free Flash experiment on their Website. Now, it’s my impassioned belief that you shouldn’t need lots of canned loops or celebrity endorsements to make music fun, so normally I might actually run the opposite direction of …

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Happy 30th, Sony Walkman: Your Memories and the Best of Cassettes on CDM

The once and future Walkman. Photo: FaceMePLS. July 1, 1979: it was thirty years ago today that the Sony Walkman went on sale, launching mobile music for the first time. Wait – rewind (so to speak). That honor really belongs to the portable transistor radio – and, indeed, part of the reason America already knew and loved Sony by the time 1979 rolled around, having embraced their pocketable radios as early as the 1950s. In fact, if you want to blame a device for degrading audio fidelity, you should again look not to MP3s and iPods but back to — …

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Game Music Inspiration: Amon Tobin and Sony on Infamous

Wired has a great mini-documentary on the score for the videogame Infamous. It’s chock full of sound design ear candy, not only served by the chops of composer Amon Tobin but the team at Sony Music and Sony’s entertainment division, as well. Curiously, Jonathan Mayer, Music Manager at SCEA, says explicitly that he doesn’t want composers writing interactive music. He’d prefer to have them write a conventional score and then adapt it to the interactive engine. Now, of course, around these parts we like the idea of composers finding ways to write genuinely generative and interactive scores. But in this …

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Playing Music with Light Pens, Flourescent Bulbs, Brought to You By … Sony?

The urgency of being way behind a single dominant player can make electronics makers do some odd stuff to promote their products. iPod, once an icon of digital cool, has achieved such ubiquity that it doesn’t even try to be hip any more. The thing is being promoted with American Idol, for crying out loud — not exactly indie cred. We saw Microsoft enlisting indie musicians and animators to sell Zune, of course. But here’s where things get surprisingly amazing: Sony is using weird and wonderful Japanese experimental music to promote Walkman. Now we’re talking. And whether or not Walkman …

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LittleGPTracker (lgpt) Port to PSP: Call for Donations

N0stromo tells us he is planning to port his “Piggy” LittleGPTracker (lgpt), the tracker currently on the Linux GamePark platform, to the Sony PSP. LGPT has the interface of littlesounddj, as known on the Game Boy, and can even drive MIDI (meaning this could be a great time to figure out MIDI output on the PSP). He’s asking for donations, and he’s already well on his way, meaning you have a chance to put him over the top – reach into your (ahem) Piggy Bank: PSP lgpt port [fundable] You’ll need to hack your PSP, of course, until Sony sees …

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