Holly Herndon, Ethereal and Heavy-Hitting, Creates Video World as Deliciously Surreal as Auditory One

Holly Herndon – Chorus [Official Video] from RVNG Intl. on Vimeo. Electronic music has, since the beginning, been at the razor’s edge of science and artistry, somewhere between radical noise and classically-derived engineering. But few artists have managed to meld the dark thump of techno with the intricate constructions of post-minimalist new music quite like Holly Herndon. Her rapid-punctuated, ethereal vocals are float above complex, dance music-inspired machinery, producing an effect that is arrestingly gorgeous and frightening all at once. In short, it’s damned good stuff. Indeed, Herndon was for me and many others one of the highlights of CTM …

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cosmod

Snapshots of Artists, Ableton Live in Performance: Cosmo D on Cello, Erin Barra with Voice + Keys

Cosmo D, in for a demonstration of cello with Ableton. The computer as bandmate is nothing new. It’s just more stable, more powerful, and friendlier than it has been ever before — and that, coupled with growing familiarity, has been making it more commonplace with artists. So just how are artists working with computers onstage when they also play instruments and sing? Recent guests at New York’s Ableton Live user group have been demonstrating their own techniques for playing Live, live. They work with loops, recording, sampling, live effects, synths – all the things you’d expect – but find ways …

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Free How-to on Circuit-Bending the Saw Vocal Recorder; Handmade Music Austin Sunday

“Your kids will love this Saw figure.” So, too, must have been the calculation of the person who decided to immortalize the film Saw with little toys and figures containing 30 seconds of voice recording, because this toy is now available in quantity for — wait for it — US$2. A $2, 30-second sampler? Now that’s a bend waiting to happen. Circuit bending blog GetLoFi in 2008 posted a detailed set of instructions for bending the SAW III sampler. Download the full PDF, and you can make one yourself, using the $2 part from All Electronics. In the spirit of …

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Vocalize: Vocoder for iOS, Open Source Pitch Correction for Android, Plug-ins

VirSyn have announced one of the nicest effects I’ve seen yet on a mobile platform in the form of iVoxel, a vocoder for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. On the handhelds, it looks like something you could easily hold up to your mouth and rest atop a synth; on iPad, you get a nicely-sized touchable keyboard for control. And they’re clearly hinting at more work to come. http://www.virsyn.net/mobileapp/ iVoxel isn’t available yet, but it is coming. So, how does this compare to your laptop? You can get VirSyn’s full-blown MATRIX 2 vocoder for EUR119 on sale now, run it on a …

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Summer NAMM: New Gear in Videos, Photos, for Guitarists, DJs, Vocalists, Producers

Effect pedals on CDM? Heck, yes. Electro-Harmonix may have just stolen the show in Nashville with the Freeze pedal alone. Continuing our coverage with Nashville locals and musicians Tony and Jeremy, we have some hands-on videos, images, and impressions of the gear on offer. Don’t miss yesterday’s story on how the trade show helps Nashville recover from flooding. They offered a sobering picture of the state of the show, as well, but that didn’t stop them from finding good stuff to share. -Ed. Summer NAMM was never the size of its winter counterpart. We were still surprised by the poor …

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Shure SM58 Mic Torture Test Pt. II, After a Year Buried Underground

The SM58. Unless your gigs are in Hell – and it freezes over – your mic will probably have a much calmer life than Studio’s did. Photo (CC) Deseret N/detmusic [myspace]. Just how rugged is your microphone? Mats StÃ¥lbröst, editor of the Stockholm-based Studio, took testing to a new extreme last year. He did violence to the legendary Shure SM58 – the sub-$100, vocal dynamic mic. It was used to hammer nails. It was dropped several meters. It was frozen. It was dunked in water. It was driven over by a car. It had beer poured on it. It was …

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Tips: Vocoders + Ableton Live; Vocoder Resources, Free Universal Vocoder Plug-in

Vocoding is capable of a broad range of sounds, from the traditional “robot talking” effects to unique, organic-sounding synth and drum effects. Like many commonly-used techniques for synthesis and processing (and qualifying as both), vocoder effects can be cliched — but they can also be used to great effect. Before today’s vocoders, there was the voder, developed at Bell Labs as a sound compression mechanism. From “As We Think”, Vannever Bush 1945, via Obsolete.com. The only real challenge in using vocoders in software is routing, since you need two signals — a carrier and a modulator. People are regularly asking …

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Review: EWQL Symphonic Choirs Sample Library, Episode 1 – The Arrival

East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Choirs is without question one of the most extensive and sophisticated choir sample libraries on the market. In order to put such a mammoth to the test, I felt that that it was important to be more critical of the software from a professional perspective, and that I must be able to demonstrate how accessible, thorough, and powerful this software could be for the end-user. To meet these goals and truly put EWQL Symphonic Choirs to the test, I intend to see if I can use it to rework an entire choral piece, performed entirely …

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