Daily Archives: September 16, 2010

A Pretty Bad-ass Portable Mini Synth

The OP-1 has been designed as a tiny controller keyboard that is capable of controlling your DAW and soft synths on a laptop when you’re out of the studio. It has transport controls, knobs for data entry, and 16 dedicated “quick keys” for common functions. At this stage it’s impossible to guess how usable the tiny keyboard is, but it would have to be better than trying to play music on your laptop’s keyboard.

Go Here to see what it sounds like – Not bad

Amazing Synth Concepts – Digitopia Contest Winners

Winner: Dream Synthesizer – Andreas Paleologos

The “Dream Synthesizer” lives up to its name: it embodies a laundry list of ideas about how to make a more interesting synth. Building the whole instrument would be wildly impractical for this project. But one central concept caught our eye as both practical and innovative. The idea is, touch interaction with an array of LEDs creates envelopes that provide a single metaphor for all sound design. Those envelopes aren’t just one paradigm among others: every sound parameter is accessed with gestures.

Here’s how Andreas describes his concept, the spark that most inspired us:

My Dream Synthesizer has 3 sound modules that together generate the sound.
Digital Sound Module.
Physical Sound Module.
Vocal Sound Module.
They’re high-quality software modules with a lot of identity. The sound is constantly routed through all three
sound modules, whether generating sound or silent.
It has a big Low Resolution LED screen, covered with a transparent high resolution multi touch film for on
screen interaction with support for up to 3 fingers.
Draw the waveform on the screen and get instant control of the sound.
Use one finger to manipulate the Digital Sound Module.
Use two fingers to manipulate the Physical Sound Module.
Use three fingers to manipulate the Vocal Sound Module.
The envelope is basically ADSR, but with looping sustain. Draw your envelope curve.
You can record and automate all waveform and envelope changes making really complex sounding sounds
with just a finger stroke, recording your particular timing.
Select whether all automation should be triggered once or whether it should loop.

There are more details in the proposal we’ll share soon. And since the project is open, it’s one I hope that we’ll share with the CDM community on an ongoing basis, including getting reactions and ideas as the project is implemented.

By the way, check out Swedish-born, Norwegian-resident Andreas’ artist site, Cuckoo — cool stuff:

LUM, Alfredo A. Duarte Jorquera (Chile) is already, in this mock-up demonstration video, a compelling demonstration of the use of the Sony PS3 Move controller for music. Max Mathews, maker of the Radio Baton, would be proud. I hope Alfredo continues with this project, because I think he’s got a clear vision of how it can work. Updated: that’s an actual demo, so the work has already begun! Go forth!

There’s a LOT more cool ideas here. I strongly recommend checking them out.

JazzMutant’s Mu – Ableton Live multi-touch controller for the Lemur

It’s really amazing what Mu enables artists to do from the Lemur device. Speaking of the Lemur..it is itself an incredibly cool tool, with other software available for it now too. With a price tag of  just over $2,000 including shipping, it’s definitely an investment, but with that kind of versatility, it might even be worth more..


Mu was created out of a desire to build the ultimate controller for Ableton Live. Max/MSP, with it’s integrated OSC support has long been been a perfect partner to JazzMutant’s groundbreaking Lemur controller. The arrival of Max for Live meant that access to the inner workings of Ableton Live was finally available to the Lemur via our old friend. Mu refers not only to a dynamic control template for the Lemur but also to the Max for Live plugin by the same name which we’ve programmed so you don’t have to.

With our entirely plug and play system you can finally touch Ableton Live and simply focus on the music. Of course, we haven’t forgotten about the JazzMutant programming enthusiasts and the open architecture of Mu will provide a wonderful starting point for your own Max for Live experimentations and performance systems.

Very Cool Interview with professional DJ and Lemur user Gui Boratto:

Why did you choose to use it above other products on the market?

JazzMutant’s Lemur is a very unique piece. You can design your own faders, buttons, knobs…plus, you can control many devices at the same time. I don’t see any other machine that can match this.


Virtual Guitar – Awesome Tuner

Makes tuning very easy.


Faderfox 4midiloop: 4 Deck Traktor Controller

Let’s face it: a lot of people ignore the four-deck features of Traktor. But for those who exploit that power, and who are willing to invest in a high-end, boutique design, here’s the controller for you.

Faderfox has long been respected for making boutique-quality MIDI controllers for DJing and Ableton Live performance. The previous Faderfox line, though, was restricted to compact devices focused on one task.

Now, enter a small-batch controller for simultaneous four-deck DJ control, specifically in Native Instruments’ Traktor Pro. While NI’s own Traktor Kontrol S4 has a “4″ in it, it doesn’t actually allow the simultaneous use of four decks without switching, preferring instead to reserve that space for jog wheels.

Full Article and Specs Here


How to Record Drums Like an Expert: Basix – Awesome Audio tut

Drum recording is one of those things that you need to get right. There is much less room for experimentation in drum sounds. What I mean to say is, you can have the most alternative guitar sound or effected vocal sound in the world but if the drums don’t sound right nobody is going to care.

Sure, you can experiment with different mixing techniques and try different production tricks later down the line, but the first order of business is to nail that drum sound. If your kick drum sounds like a cardboard box beaten with a marshmallow then no amount of mixing is going to fix it. Get it right at the source or don’t do it at all.

Continue to Full Article


Introducing… The Novel Ideas

The Novel Ideas

Residing from the suburbs of Newton, Massachusetts, Daniel Radin [Guitars/Vocals] aspired to write music based on literature rather than the typical girl troubles focus in their genre. They kicked off their career in 2007 with the release of “Say Hello” to be followed by their most recent album “The Sky is a Field” which came out in 2009. They began their first national tour in June of this year.

If you are a fan of Rock Folk and a sound similar to Death Cab for Cutie or The Postal Service than you will love their newest album. The album is actually in the order of a novel as you go song to song which adds to their overall uniqueness in this genre. Here is a track from “The Sky is a Field” entitled The Sky.

1. The Sky
2. Adrian Blues
3. Seabird
4. Homesick
5. Julian Carax
6. A Breath of Fresh Air
7. Shoot Straight
8. Wedding Bells Pt. 1
9. Wedding Bells Pt. 2
10. You Sang to Me
11.The Field