DIY Compact Music Workstations: Magnets, Eee, x0xb0x, Recycling

Very often, computers and music gear greedily consume whole corners of the room. Here’s a tidy alternative, modest in space consumption as well as in cost. So, what’s so wonderful about DIY creations by our friend Sasa Djuric (aka fibra)? It isn’t just that his stands are recycled from monitor stand parts. It’s not just because the free ReBirth for Windows and an Asus netbook make for a wonderfully affordable computer music station. It’s not even that his cases for the x0xb0x 303 clone and a MIDIbox project are beautifully executed, or that magnets on the stands more effectively support …

READ MORE →

Flickr Finds: Free and Cheap Mac, Windows Music Setups and Other Inspiration

Jumahat Leman’s old PC laptop hosts a delicious menu of free VSTs. Photo via Flickr; used with permission. An old PC laptop could be relegated to the closet or (worse, since it’s highly toxic) landfill. But filled up with tasty freeware plug-ins, it’s a virtual studio full of tools and oddities. Via the feast of gear that is the CDMusic pool on Flickr, our friend Jumahat Leman aka uncle bigbrown artfully captures his budget software setup, described as follows: A 4+yrs old Acer laptop (a desktop replacement to be exact) Ableton Live 5.01 w/lots of freeware VSTs using same earphones/headphones/ToneportGx …

READ MORE →

Weekend Inspiration: Coke Bottle as Tribal Percussion, and the Future of Adaptive Music

Troels Folmann is one of our favorite composers at CDM. The fact that he’s a game composer both incidental and essential — it’s not that he’s scoring a Tomb Raider title that matters, it’s that game composition requires a new, fluid way of thinking about form, and Dr. Folmann (he did a dissertation topic on the subject) is up to the challenge. Digging through recent entries on Troels’ blog is definitely a source of weekend inspiration. I’m fond of found samples, but I tend to record sound making things around the house up close with a mobile recorder for a …

READ MORE →

Weekend Inspiration: NIN + Monome + Lemur, Trackers

In case you haven’t seen it, Nine Inch Nails has taken to the multi-touch Lemur control surface and More Buttons Than Thou top-end Monome. There’s a short video of an experiment combining the two with a real (MIDI-enabled) Yamaha piano. It’s just under a minute, but already evocative — I’m not entirely sure why Alessandro is manning the touchpad on his laptop given all this hardware around, but the cascading patterns on the Monome suggest both LED art and a digital take on a player piano. More videos on the official NIN YouTube page, which has recently launched a visuals …

READ MORE →