Space Oddity, Made in Space, is Kind of Ridiculously Awesome

Canadian Col. Chris Hadfield, aboard the International Space Station, has done what you would probably want to do if aboard the high-flying orbital outpost: make a music video for David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” And he works “Soyuz” into the lyrics. (Thankfully, he refrains from making it “Colonel Chris.” The only complaint: a shame it can’t cut between the ISS and Mission Control.) Colonel Hadfield, if you can hear us and have a moment, we’d love to hear how you produced the recording. Not that zero-g means too much for sound production – though I imagine keeping the mic steady becomes …

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Google Glass Ensemble: Viola Composition Made in Glass Videos

Alexander Chen is turning into Google’s resident composer. In his latest experiment, he uses the controversial-but-buzzed-about Google Glass wearable tech as a video source for making music. Layering together a series of loops of his solo viola playing, he weaves a contemplative, modal composition. It’s a sort of overdubbed chamber ensemble in video. (The spare, parallel writing is to me reminiscent of a Copland string quartet.) There’s nothing here that couldn’t be done with a head-mounted camera, but perhaps that’s the lesson. In our camera sensor-filled lives, a big part of the design statement Glass makes is the vision of …

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Bartok, awesome, angular music, awesome, angular nose. Photo (CC-BY) cuttlefish.

Bartók String Quartet on Electric Guitar, Magic of Bluetooth iPad Page Turning

Here’s digital music of a different variety: the stunningly-modern music of Hungarian composer Bela Bartók, transcribed for four electric guitars. Where’s the computer? Glad you asked: think computer music software (Notion, which looks lovely here), and an iPad and Bluetooth page turner. There’s no way you’re playing this string quartet and turning pages, unless you have three hands. Guitarist Joe Gore – playing with guitarists Joe Gore, Joe Gore, and Joe Gore – tackles this epic score, and demonstrates just how great it sounds on electric guitar. It’s worth reading his whole story, which deservedly waxes poetic about the beauty …

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korgpolysix_pads

Music Made with Korg iPolysix – And Nothing Else: Live Demos to iPad Chip Music

Doing more with less, and embracing limitations: it’s oft-repeated advice in music making. Maybe it’s repeated so often that it ceases to mean anything; I can find no harm in making music using the massive possibilities of a packed studio of gear or the endless depth of a computer. So, instead, doing more with less can be something you do just because it’s liberating. It means you can make music on a budget. It means you can make music when you’re on a bus with nothing but a first-generation iPad and a copy of Polysix. It can mean, psychologically, that …

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Halloween: Amateur Moog Theremin Videos Are Cute, Silly, Trippy

The rest of the year, we work hard to convince people that the Theremin is a beautiful, lyrical instrument, able to play Classical music and with a quality not unlike a crystal-clear human soprano, and not in any way necessarily connected with aliens or b-grade sci-fi movies or, most of all, Halloween. Yet, oddly, those traits that scared people away from the Theremin (boo!) are these days allowing them to approach it – Classical-level mastery to come later. So, perhaps it makes sense that Moog Music this year made glow-in-the-dark instruments and a video contest for Halloween. And, anyway — …

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Ableton Live 9 Device Functionality Leaks, Via Ableton YouTube Channel

As various readers have pointed out to CDM, a video entitled “Live 9 Device Master” has leaked online. (One user posted screen grabs while it was up, embedded above.) It seems fairly obvious what this video implies. Ahem. Oddly, whereas these kind of leaks often come from distributors or other third parties, it appears in this case Ableton accidentally made the video public themselves on their own official channel. (Whoops.) I think you can do the math here. Ableton has said officially for some time that, following an effort to focus on stability in Live 8, they were working on …

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All-Foley Music Video with No Music, Kind of an Improvement [Watch, Freesound]

Think we live in a “visual” culture? Maybe not so much – watch what happens, or, rather, listen to what happens if you remove the music from a music video. Foley, that ingredient in filmmaking that winds up being as important as light, is essential. And the results are oddly compelling, perhaps more so without the music video. YouTuber Moto2h promises more of these, but the first iteration takes on South Korean wrapper PSY and his “Gangnam Style” single. (Full disclosure: I somehow missed that this was one of the most popular music videos of all time, inspiring even a …

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Minimoog Voyager. Photo courtesy Moog Music.

Moogist’s Tips For Making Insane, Atonal Voyager Music In a Kitchen Pantry [Video]

Why is The Moogist playing in a pantry? It’s … unclear. (mmmm… Vanilla Almond Clusters.) But this performer, aka Tim Tsang, demonstrates that with some modulation, you can turn you keyboard shredding into something much wilder. Expect explosive flurries of atonal melodic flourishes and timbral mayhem. Using a Moog Voyager, he modulates those pitches into some musical insanity. In short: Shred. Add pitch randomization with sample and hold (a lot of it). Filter the result. Hold that key trigger so you can use your fingers for something else. (Here, the Voyager’s X/Y pad. Route mod wheel to LFO. Route LFO …

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Interlude: Press This Button, Make it the 90s [Amiga]

Worsened by the iPhone 5 launch, I realize we’ve had an enormous run of all-Apple stories on the site recently. So, in the interest of keeping platform fights to a minimum, I think it’s only fair to give some space to the other creative platform, beginning with the letter A. Amiga. What else? (Oh, and Atari, I’ll get to you soon.) One floppy disk. One incredibly efficiently-coded demo. Result: it’s the 90s all over again. Thanks, Rutger. (Muller, not Hauer; the Dutch artist makes some great retro-tilted music of his own.) Back to our regularly-scheduled programming.

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NI Combines 2-Channel Mixer, Control Surface; Pondering a Category of Tools

Well, you have to give some credit to NI – they’re teasing a new product on a day when people’s attentions may be turned elsewhere, electronics gadget speaking. The “sneak preview,” in the fashion of some previous previews, actually reveals a whole lot about what they’re doing. It’s a 2-channel mixer that can evidently operate as a standalone mixer, but also doubles as a control surface. That puts NI in competition with the likes of Pioneer, Denon, and Allen & Heath, moving the software company more squarely in a horse race with manufacturers associated with the physical stuff you see …

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