Fract, Synth Studio as Game, Looks Better, Sounds Better, Wants Your Vote [Video, Gallery]

Amidst its future-arcade, glowing 3D architecture, Fract is a game. In a broken-down “abstract world,” you are piecing together puzzles, reconstructing machinery. But Fract is also a synth studio, one that promises the ability to create your own synth instruments, design your own sounds, and eventually piece together your own music. If Tron let you imagine a fantasy inside the computer, Fract takes you inside your synth. It’s like getting sucked into Reason. (Damn, now I want to meet Thor and Redrum…) I called it Myst meets music making when we saw it last year. Since then, the Montreal-based indie …

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FRACT, 3D Adventure Game Played with Synths and Sequencers: Myst Meets Music Making

FRACT is a curious combination of music studio and puzzle game, merging elements of games like Myst with the sorts of synths and pattern editors you’d expect somewhere like Ableton Live. You have to make sounds and melodies to solve puzzles; by the end of the game, say the creators, you’re even producing original music. The work of a small student team out of Montreal, FRACT looks like it has all the makings of an underground indie hit – at least for music nerds. As the creators describe it: FRACT is a first person adventure game for Windows & Mac …

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iPhone as Serious Instrument: New Synthable iSyn, Strummable Star Guitar

The iPhone and iPod touch are getting more in the way of playable software instruments that could ease its transformation into a handheld idea-capturing gadget. noise.io lays claim to being the first full-featured soft synth on the platform, with unusual FM synthesis control – and I still like the fact that it isn’t anything like most soft synths on your PC. And of course there have been beat machines like the surprisingly capable Intua BeatMaker drum machine/suite. On mobile platforms, though, the more the merrier – especially given the bargain-basement prices. So I’m pleased to see the likes of noise.io …

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Psychosynth: Free 3D Music Interface, as a Virtual Reactable

The idea of the Reactable is to make music tangible, with control of sound mapped to physical objects you move around on a table. But that hasn’t stopped the Psychosynth from creating a virtual version. (Upside: it’s a lot more portable.) Psychosynth Watch the video, but they seem to have made the opening minutes as dull as possible to thin out the non-believers. Skip past the generation of the white noise oscillator (wow, white noise!), and somewhere around halfway through, it becomes laugh-out-loud funny, with trance-style vocals about freeing your mind with free software. (Seriously – it’s awesome.) While it’s …

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Sequencing in 3D, with Rubik’s Cube

I’m a bit behind the eight ball … uh … Rubik’s Cube … on this one, but I think it is worth pointing to the arcane awesomeness of code artist Douglas Edric Stanley. Douglas solves a problem that has plagued humanity since the diabolical creation of the Rubik’s Cube: how can we play with this fun-to-move cube of blocks without having to (augh) actually match up all the colors? (Okay, maybe that problem only plagued me. Or didn’t really plague me, as I’d just fiddle around with the Rubik’s Cube and make interesting patterns.) The answer: make a three-dimensional step …

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Second Life for Musicians: Vintage and New Virtual Synths, Music Community?

The problem with truly virtual synths? No sound. Second Life is one of those things I might try out one of these days, except that I’m quite busy with my first, second, third, and fourth lives at the moment. I’m surprised that while Tom at Music thing catches on to music gear sales in the virtual community, he misses out on all the synths. Search “synth” on the SLBoutique, and you’ll find lots of classic gear rendered in 3D form. Seen recently: Conbrio Synth Yamaha DX1 Roland JX10 TimewARP 2600 (a unique virtual version of a virtual version of a …

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