Photo (CC-BY) Kevin Wong.

A free app makes a TI graphing calculator make music

“I’m the operator with my pocket calculator.” No — like, actually. HoustonTracker 2 runs on the TI-82/83/83+/84+ Texas Instruments graphing pocket calculators – the kind you probably had to buy for your high school math class. And it doesn’t just make the calculator into a sequencer. All the sounds come straight out of the calculator itself, thanks to some gorgeous-sounding 1-bit noises. (Who needs those 15 or so extra bits, anyway? This is beautiful.) What do I mean? Just watch:

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win93

Windows 93 OS in Your Browser Comes with LSDJ, Pd, Nanoloop Music Apps

It’s a nostalgia trip. It’s a net art piece. It’s a parallel dimension. It’s also working music apps running (sort of) in your browser. It feels a little bit like playing with an elaborate doll house where you can open the fridge and add tiny food and the oven pretends to work. But in case you haven’t already been infected with the quantum distraction power of the Windows 93 browser yet, it might interest you to know that there are music apps inside.

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renoisecdp

Renoise Community Already Have Their Own Tool for CDP; Free, Easy Sound Mangling Results

Not to be out-geeked, it seems that while BT is stumbling around the command line, the community at Renoise have built a free tool around the archaic sound-mangling goodness of the now-available-for-free CDP (Composers Desktop Project). For those of you just joining us – that’s a strange and wonderful tool that processes sound files into crazy distorted, morphed new forms in various ways. The Renoise forum is all over this, having used Lua to code up a front end that makes processing files part of the workflow in Renoise. It’s … kind of incredible. Thank UK-based user afta8 and other …

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Renoise 3 Beta Quick Tour: Patterns, Instruments, Chains, Macros for More Musical Creativity

The phrase “alternative universe” always seems to fit Renoise. Imagine a world in which the tracker metaphor – a music arrangement notion mostly associated with software from years ago, especially on Amiga – became dominant. From there, you begin to explain that Renoise is an instrument that brings that retro idea into a modern context. Well, Renoise 3.0’s beta has arrived. And this time, it feels like someone ripped open a wormhole and showed us this alternate future in all its glory, no holds barred. Renoise 3 is a radical step forward for the popular tool, challenging notions of what …

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akira^8GB-on-PT1210

Amiga is Back: DJing with Two CDJ-Style “Turntables” will Amaze Your Friends

Eat your heart out, Traktor. Take that, CDJs. The dream of the 90s is alive, again, with new Amiga software. Akira Kei shares the project, which he and hoffman co-created and have dubbed the PT-1210 MK1. It mimics some CDJ-style features, but uses MOD files – a clever music format that employs samples and sequence data for truly portable, interactive music. This isn’t just a nerdy hack. It’s actually a full-blown DJ tool that could make its way through a party – provided that party’s musical tastes trended slightly retro. And since it runs on stock Amiga machines, you might …

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Hacking a TV, Remote Control into Music Tracker – And It Prints

It shows up on a standard (Teletext) television. It turns your remote control into a music interface. It makes glitching rhythmic music from sounds – even re-sampling bits of your TV. And then it prints your musical patterns. That’s the wild, far-out project concocted by chip artist goto80. The result is a “tracker, artificial intelligence, speech synthesis rap, stats sucker, printer, video feedback,” and music studio for your remote control, thanks to goto80, aided by the hackery of Peter Kwan and Raquel Meyers. Teletext may not be familiar to you depending on which part of the world you live in …

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lauflicht_v2_main

Lauflicht 2 is One Tricked-Out Step Sequencer for Launchpad, Renoise

Late at night, you may hear them, a distant tapping of fingertips against pads and keys. They are the hackers, geeking away the late hours to make insanely-sophisticated custom musical contraptions, engineering some new forms of dance music or other electronic pattern. Thilo Geertzen is the latest, back with an even more pumped-up edition of the step-sequencer-on-stereoids that is Lauflicht. Sure, big hardware vendors are hard at work on hardware/software integration, but this is the DIYer’s answer. It’s a plug-in that combines Renoise’s powerful tracker-derived music construction features with Novation’s popular, now affordable-as-ever Launchpad. It’s bio-directional, fully integrated with the …

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Instagrammed padKONTROL (CC-BY) Daz Heath.

Make Renoise into an MPC-Style Groovebox: Pking, padKONTROL

Music production tools like Renoise have a tremendous amount of power. But what if you could program grooves with the kind of touch-a-pad workflow offered by something like the MPC? In the latest example of users doing wild things with the powerful API in tri-platform tracker Renoise, mxb attempts to make a sort of Renoise MPC. It’s all made possible with the Korg padKONTROL drum controller. And he’s looking for testers – yes, while there may be a handful of people with this rig, you can bet many of them read CDM. mxb writes: This tool is for the (unfortunately …

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c64

Jack Tramiel’s Commodore 64, Atari ST in Music, Remembered, as Vision Lives On [Obituary, Gallery]

(CC-BY) Axel Tregoning. (CC-BY) Marcin Wichary. Jack Tramiel, who died this week, had as deep an impact on computer music for the everyday musician as just about any computing industry pioneer. While Jobs, Woz, Moore, Grove, and Gates get a lot of the attention, Tramiel’s legacy was in making computing affordable and accessible. As such, he was indispensable to the computing revolution, and his computers were early forebears of the digital music-making Renaissance. In an extraordinary microcosm of the 20th Century, Polish-born Tramiel escaped Auschwitz, served in the US army, and built the roots of the most successful desktop computer …

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You've got to love the ultra-compact track collapse feature - ideal for 11" MacBook Airs or Linux netbooks.

Renoise 2.8 Gets More Usable, 64-bit; Trackers 4ever

Who says every music production tool has to be either a traditional DAW or Ableton Live? Not Renoise, for one. I’m running out of things to call it. Modernized tracker? Tracker on steroids? Music production tool from an alternate history in which conventional DAWs were ignored and everybody just kept on using trackers? How about this: a gem that a tiny development team somehow keeps making more awesome with regular updates with misleading names like “point 8.” So, what does “2.8” give you? A couple of OS compatibility fixes and one new delay effect? Wrong. New in this release is …

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