RIP: Walter Sear, Synth Guru and Studio Legend

Walter Sear addresses the AES convention in 2001. Photo courtesy the Audio Engineering Society, used by permission. It’s the end of an era: pioneering synth guru, engineer, sound designer, instrument importer, composer, producer, and owner of the landmark Sear Sound recording studio in New York has died at age 79. Sear’s career covered almost everything you could do in sound. He played tuba in the pit at Radio City Music Hall, imported and sold tubas. He studied chemistry. He befriended Bob Moog, introduced Moog to Walter Carlos, and is credited with helping convince Bob to make synths you can lift. …

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SunVox, Modular Music+Tracker, Now Free on Most Platforms, iPad Coming

SunVox, the quirky and cool modular music creation software, already runs on a ton of platforms. Starting now, most of those platforms can run the tool for free. (The one exception: iPhone/iPad.) That means you get a rich music creation environment that can run on everything from an ancient PDA to a desktop computer, complete with FM, virtual analog, and sample-based synths, effects, modular routing, musical arrangement, and even tracker-level detailed editing, all for free. SunVox works on Mac, Windows, and Linux, plus mobile platforms Palm, Windows Mobile, and iPhone. In fact, it’s an ideal choice to resurrect one of …

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Music for an Olympic Bid: Making of Antipop’s Madrid 2016 Songs

My own President Obama is this week off making his pitch for why Chicago should host the Olympic Games. Correction. Oops. I need to read the news. Chicago was eliminated first. But look out – our friends at Antipop (slogan: “antipop music for a pop music”) are using a different tool in their arsenal: music. Watch the video for some fun gear spotting, plus one vintage arcade cabinet. I could point out stuff I see, but that’d spoil the fun. Shout out in comments. There’s definitely a commercial gloss on this, but it’s nicely executed, and felt so absurdly Olympic …

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Instructable: How to Build a Music Studio in an Apartment

“Building an apartment studio” to many of us means adding a laptop, clearing off a desk, and donning some headphones. But Brooklyn-based Katherine Belsey Davis, who does all sorts of wonderful (non-musical) things in wood, glass, fabric, and other materials, had lofty plans for a NYC studio job: Since this studio was built for mixing sound and music for film and TV in a residential coop apartment building in NYC, both sound proofing and treatment had to be near perfect. It also had to look good for clients… on a very tight budget. The studio in question is for John …

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Flickr Finds: Free and Cheap Mac, Windows Music Setups and Other Inspiration

Jumahat Leman’s old PC laptop hosts a delicious menu of free VSTs. Photo via Flickr; used with permission. An old PC laptop could be relegated to the closet or (worse, since it’s highly toxic) landfill. But filled up with tasty freeware plug-ins, it’s a virtual studio full of tools and oddities. Via the feast of gear that is the CDMusic pool on Flickr, our friend Jumahat Leman aka uncle bigbrown artfully captures his budget software setup, described as follows: A 4+yrs old Acer laptop (a desktop replacement to be exact) Ableton Live 5.01 w/lots of freeware VSTs using same earphones/headphones/ToneportGx …

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BanPiracy Responds; Waves Going it Alone in Software Crack Crackdown?

BanPiracy.org is a independent organization pursuing “copyright enforcement” for pirated software, targeting studios with sting operations and lawsuits. Recently, I challenged them to demonstrate that they have other developers onboard aside from Waves Audio. That seems reasonable, given their website claims they have been contracted by “many of the biggest names in the industry” and that they’re the “leading rights advocate for the audio software and digital content industry.” Ross Johnson of PR firm Strick and Company contacted me this week to say BanPiracy had responded to my challenge and, presumably, various criticisms these tactics have attracted. (Paris Hilton and …

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Studio Busted by Waves Anti-Piracy Police Shares Experience

We asked to hear from some actual studios targeted by plug-in maker Waves’ anti-piracy police (aka “banpiracy.com”). Here’s one report from Nick Buxton, via comments: I haven’t read all the comments but wanted to add our experience; all our recording software is legal, we use uad plugs but wanted to see how waves worked; couldn’t get a demo version, so tried out a “copy” on personal projects; decided what we already had was better so decided not to buy; but didn’t erase the “copy”; stupid; now maybe we were denounced, although since we didn’t use it on any commercial projects, …

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BT Robbed of $150,000 in Gear, Wants to Protect Yours, Give Away Tools

Electronic musician BT recently had US$150,000 in gear stolen from his studio, including his primary show computer with the entire This Binary Universe show on it and rigs for two other live shows and recording. He doesn’t just want to get his stuff back, though: he also wants to help musicians protect themselves from a similar fate. Few of us have studios worth anywhere near that amount, but losing your whole rig: priceless. Among the loot: a Dave Smith PolyEvolver, serial #271, a Hartmann Neuron with BT’s patches, and a loaded Apple Mac Pro with This Binary Universe. All pretty …

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Nine Inch Nails Gear pr0n (Sigh), Again

No matter how many music tech toys you have, no matter how many music tech toys you’ve ever seen, Nine Inch Nails still has more. Michael Hetrick writes to point us to his latest post over on KVR: Total Gear-Porn on new NIN site [KVR Audio Forums] It’s especially nice to see some of the no-prisoners, raunchy, tube beauty of Metasonix in there. Of course, we’ve seen Trent and NIN deliver the gear lust before: Hotel Room Studio: NIN’s Rack-Mounted Dual G5s Inside NIN’s Studio on Audiohead

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