Vio for iOS: Transform, Tune, Harmonize Vocals in a Cloud of Particles [Preview]

Vocal modification is a natural app for iOS, yet a lot of the offerings out there are complicated to use. (At least one that springs to mind has options for add-on purchases that can muddle the user experience.) Audiofile Engineering (via a new brand, Square B) has just released an app that looks like loads of fun. Turning the interface into a swirling vortex of particles might not seem to be a step forward for ease of use, but here, the reduction in interface clutter lets you focus on singing. I’m retreating into the studio in a quiet moment to …

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Listen to Albums by Eloui, Lusine, Full of Electronic Craft and Great Songwriting

As electronic musicians craft songs in digital collage, the distinction between “producer” and “writer” has never really made much sense. Samples, synthetic sounds, and the technology used to bring them together are all an extension of compositional imagination. I’m reminded of this when I regularly explain what I do. (This is really fun in crowded, noisy bars.) “I run a site about … music and technology.” “Oh… what?” “Like the technology people use to make music.” [Insert dazed look.] “You know, if you hear music these days, it was all actually produced on computers? So I write about those tools. …

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Phantom's Hanna Toivonen, live. Mask by Jenni Ahtiainen/ gTie. Photo: Kiki Ylimutka — at Flow Festival 2012.

Singing Serenades with Laptops: Intimate Sessions with Solar Year, Phantom [Video]

NFOP SESSIONS #13: Phantom – Albuquerque from Tonje Thilesen on Vimeo. Far from being an icy presence in front of an unmoving operator, the laptop has quietly become second nature. As tools mature and musicians gain comfort, music software can at last become another instrument. So, let’s get comfy and close with some musicians who are finding intimate, personal expressions with impromptu human-and-laptop ensembles. Our friends at No Fear of Pop – a top-notch, pretension-free chronicle of new music – have in the past year been doing live portraits of artists in their NFOP Sessions series. This is the feeling …

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Moldover, Playing Live with Latest Sensor-Laden, DIY Controllers (The Mojito!) [Music Video]

Matt “Moldy” Moldover helped champion the notion of controllerism, focusing live performance on manipulation of digital parameters. In his latest music video, he shows off his latest creations. What’s nice about what he’s doing currently is that he’s able to augment traditional live rigs with buttons and sensors. Having your controls clamped to a mic stand? Eminently practical for vocalists and instrumentalists. The guitar gets the full sensor treatment, too. Moldover explains to CDM: Both the guitar and mic controllers are prototypes I made for my recently completed Super Villain Tour. The microphone attachment is called The Mojito. It’s simply …

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untilthequiet

Flying Lotus Reveals New Release, Erykah Badu Track, Collaborations, Tour [+ 2010 Video Interview]

Announced by tuneful toms and then a flurry of dense percussion recalling his jazz lineage, Flying Lotus is back with new music, accompanied by the soaring soulful vocals of Neo-Soul and R&B grand diva Erykah Badu. It’s likely to be a major landmark of this year’s record releases when it arrives at the beginning of October, but you can hear the first track of “Until The Quiet Comes” now via YouTube, below, or on Warp. Onto the release, you can preorder now and get a digital download of the single, with full-color vinyl and collectors’ vinyl or an 8-panel digipack …

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Playing Live, Dangerously: Mouse on Mars as Augmented Band [Video]

When it comes to live performance, this might be the year of living dangerously. There’s not one answer to the question of how to play live, but as we consider the possibilities – and the risks of playing live – Mouse on Mars is one terrific case study. Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma are joined by drummer/vocalist Dodo Nkishi. Since part of their setup is playing live as in Ableton Live, Ableton shot a video mini-documentary of their performance rig earlier this year. It’s an intensive setup, but you might just glean some ideas for how you play live. …

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haale

The Mast’s UpUpUp, with Stunning Music Video and New EP, a Must-Hear Track

Touring as Haale in 2009, The Mast’s vocalist Haale Gafori. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Sean Richardson. We watch an exquisite music video on Create Digital Motion today for The Mast’s recent single “UpUpUp,” so it’s only right to call attention to this terrific New York-based duo. Combining acrobatic percussionist Matt Kilmer with skilled and silken-voiced composer/singer Haale Gafori (she also directs that stellar video), the two continue to please as “The Mast.” Beatport called the single, released at the end of May, “must-listen,” and I won’t argue. The full EP is worth a listen, with remixes contributed by a nice roster of …

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Sculpting Sound with Maja Ratkje [Film]

The worlds of sound open to us as musicians seem limitless, endlessly unfolding in variety and possibility. So, even in a series of impressionistic moments from an upcoming film, it’s a delight to see composer Maja Ratkje play with sound. The Norwegian musician and vocalist, an improviser frequent collaborator with artists like Jaap Blonk, is seen making wild sounds with her voice, experimenting with found sounds from field recordings and music boxes, and playing, too, with electronics and technology. There’s perhaps not much more to say about this other than to let the experience of exploring sound in music wash …

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Modeselektor and Thom Yorke in Crazy-Good Track: New Video, More from Monkeytown

You know they’re enjoying this. So you will, too. Photo: Ragnar Schmuck Studio, courtesy Modeselektor. Absorbing the earnestly-nervous urgency of Thom Yorke’s rhythms, Modeselektor dial in a perfect collaboration on “Shipwreck,” a highlight from their latest full-length. Tony T. Datis directs the music video adaptation into a dark narrative. Wandering children set the scene, but keep watching as the cadence of the video begins to gather momentum; Datis finds his way into the phrasing of the music and the story becomes gripping as it moves on. Thom Yorke, meanwhile, has quietly become a voice beyond his band or even his …

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Lying in Bed, One Take, Insanely Awesome Jamie Lidell with iMaschine, iPhone

Okay, I think this may be some of the best / worst promotional marketing I’ve seen for music software. It runs something like this: Do you want to be just like Jamie Lidell? The answer is as close as the iTunes App Store and your portable device. Just download Native Instruments’ iMaschine app to your iPhone, fire it up, and then … Forget it. Really. I mean, this guy is actually lying in bed in his PJs, the sound you’re hearing is really just the crappy internal microphone on an iPhone 4 iPod touch, and what you’re hearing really is …

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