Dorkpop Music with Keytar Frontman Baffles a Humorless Simon Cowell

You know that viral, deeply inspirational Britain’s Got Talent clip in which a lone singer bursts the preconceptions and expectations of the whole world, dazzling audiences and bringing people to tears with her talent? Yeah, okay, so this is pretty much nothing like that. This is more in the category of self-deprecating artists who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves, being exactly what you’d expect them to be – and then some. Let’s call it “dorkpop,” intentionally geeky musicians willing to be just the people they are. Three keyboards, and one man with a keytar. (Note that he basically demonstrates …

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Make:TV Meets Stanford Musical Inventors, Feedback Piano

Maker Profile – Computer Making Music on Make: television from make magazine on Vimeo. Make:Television has done a really lovely piece on CCRMA, the research center at Stanford University that works on problems ranging from acoustics and sound to musical instrument design. CCRMA is really just one microcosm of the whole music tech making scene around the world – a lot of increasingly beyond the walls of academia. But what a microcosm it is: I don’t think it’s understatement to say this is just the kind of institution a lot of us dream of. Among the highlights from the MAKE …

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Obama’s Inauguration as Reaktor Mash-Up: Tim Exile

Living in the digitally-connected age means a constant flow of media – but also the chance to reprocess (or even hack) it. Tim Exile (aka Exile aka Tim Shaw) is an electronic music innovator and one-man DSP laboratory. He didn’t just turn on his TV to watch today’s US Presidential Inauguration – he mashed it up on his own Reaktor creations. Here’s a live take (after a few moments, he warms up and it absolutely takes off). Tim notes: Most significant international events don’t have a pre-warning but this one did, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to mash …

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Like a DIY NAMM: Handmade Music Preview, with Gestural Gadgets, Mannequin Parts, More

The GCE-2 by Mouse & the Billionaire is just one creation at this month’s Handmade Music, many from createdigitalmusic.com readers. What’s new in the world of music technological creations? It’s stunning how much people are creating in their private workshops and bedrooms. I’m pleased to have the chance to share it virtually here, and Thursday night in person in New York City. We’re proud that Handmade Music returns to Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward this Thursday, presented by createdigitalmusic.com with XLR8R.com, Make, and Etsy.com and sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon. (Free beer.) It’s a party, a science fair of music tech and …

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Music Tech History Day: Inside BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and Delia’s Lampshade

The UK electronic music scene lost its pioneer Tristram Cary this week, so it’s the perfect time to look back again at the marvels of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Low-budget but long-running Doctor Who is unlikely to be remembered for breaking new ground in, say, fancy props, sets, or visual effects (though they did plenty with what they had). But when it comes to sound and music, the BBC’s DIY approach to sound, ranging from Who to "serious" classical music (even my composition teacher Thea Musgrave worked there) remains significant today. The BBC is again offering a look inside the …

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Bent Music Appears, Awkwardly, On Local TV – Film at 11

Something strange is happening on local affiliate news programs across the country: Circuit benders and other weirdo musicians are being asked to drop by and discuss their art for the American Public. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d be a little confused and freaked out if I woke up and saw this first thing in the morning (and I lived in Ohio): And it’s not just Dan Deacon. Dynamic duo Beatrix*Jar had a similarly awkward experience. There’s something strange about what’s going on here. The news people conducting the interviews are are genuinely enthusiastic, but there’s …

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Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy Powered by Ableton Live

And the answer is … this real-time music production software is used for instantaneous sound effects and music clips needed in the fast-paced world of two popular game questions. What is … Ableton Live? Veteran sound pro Barbara Hagan describes to Ableton.com how she works with both programs: Now I have two computers with Live; one is my main computer (new MacBook with 2.16 processor), and one is a back up (G4 PowerBook). I currently use Live on both computers, and I’m constantly busy building cues during two days of taping, six shows a day, on Wheel of Fortune, five …

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Bill Milbrodt Talks More About Ford Focus Car Part Music Ensemble

Advertising, having devoted decades to building elaborate fantasies, now has a new problem: making things seem real and believable. But that’s nothing new to people doing sound design: tiny details of sync, spatialization, and content can trick the mind into different perceptions of what they’re seeing and hearing. The release of a TV ad showing a music ensemble made from Ford parts triggered waves of skepticism online, partly because the ad’s producers and director wanted the composer and instrument builders to make a car part ensemble that sounded quasi-Classical — rather than pushing its “car-partiness.” Singapore-based blog fanatic fandom has …

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Yes, Virginia, There Really is a Ford Car Part Musical Ensemble

It’s always fascinating to me how people hear, what they thing of as “real” or “authentic,” and what meaning they find in the things they listen to. Yesterday, we got a glimpse of a new car advertisement for Ford in the UK featuring instruments constructed from automobile components: Interview: Building a Musical Ensemble Out of Ford Focus Car Parts What you see on the screen, of course, is not literally what you hear — the TV ad and soundtrack are edited together, and this is a car ad, not a documentary. But quite a few readers (and even blogs elsewhere) …

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