Tag Archives: music tools

How to Make a Contact Mic (Piezo Pick-up) for under $10

Whether you want create noise music by banging on scrap metal, cheaply and easily amplify your acoustic instrument, or just play with wires, you’re in the right place. You will need:

  • piezo transducer (radioshack 273-073A)
  • 1/4″ audio cable (eg radioshack 42-2381A)
  • tape, solder, hot glue, heat shrink tubing, etc

That’s all! It’s pretty simple an inexpensive: two piezos and a six foot cable cost me ten dollars and yield two mics. You also probably going to use pliers, a razor blade, and a soldering iron or hot glue gun if you have them. Kids, we’re playing with things that are hot and sharp, so don’t tell your parents or they’ll get all up in your shit.

Full Tutorial Here

When you hook these piezo mics up to a good amp they can sound really good. It’s because they have a much wider pickup range than most guitar pick-ups so you get some great highs and lows. If you have a guitar you should definitely watch this video:

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Left Hand Guitar Mechanics – Guideline

This is a really good guideline for beginners, or sloppy people.

left hand guitar technique

Fingers

Mediocre guitar mechanics:
fingers are slanted or angled and not perpendicular to the fretboard. Could cause for buzzing strings or misfretting.
Better left hand technique:
fingers are rounded and tips are close to perpendicular to the fretboard.
left hand guitar technique left hand guitar technique

Full Guide here: theguitarsuite.com

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How to make a gated Synth Pad à la Timbaland & Danja with FL Studio

If this doesn’t make you wanna start messing around with fruity loops you’re crazy.

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Make a Rubber Band Shock Mount for your Boom Mic for only $3!

When attaching a boom mic to a pole, you need a special mount to insulate the microphone from pole noise. If the mic is connected directly to the boom, it will register unwanted sound whenever anything hits or moves across it (like the operator’s hands). Thus, you need a special mount that will ‘float’ the mic away from the pole. Rubber band mounts are a good way to do this, but are often very expensive (around $50). Why not make your own for $3 and put the rest back into your movie?

Continue to Full Tutorial

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Yours Truly – “In Love” – Killin it on the MPC [Video]

Yours Truly is ILL – def check out his website: http://yourstru.ly/

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Sweet Music Interface – The Music Rainbow

Music Rainbow is a simple user interface to discover artists. The user controls the interface with a knob which can be turned (to select an artist) and pushed (to listen to music from the selected artist).

Click to Watch Video

This demonstration is based on a collection containing 558 artists. The artists are projected onto a circle. Artists whose music is similar are placed close to each other. The similarity is computed by analyzing the audio contents of their songs. A “travelling salesman” algorithm is used to map the artists on the circle.

Colors encode different styles of music. Words describe different regions of the rainbow. These words are automatically extracted from web pages mentioning the artists.

The right side shows a magnification. The selected artist is highlighted in white. The box in the lower right summarizes the selected artist with words and colors.

User Input:
Turn the knob to select an artist. Push the knob to listen to the selected artist.

This was back in 2007..make this a cool touch app for the ipad or something and it’d be awesome!

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The Absolut Choir from Teenage Engineering

ABSOLUT CHOIR looks and sounds like no choir you are likely to have ever experiences before. In setting up an advanced framework of speech synthesizers, Teenage Engineering has created a multi-channel robotic choir, comprising 22 singing dolls in various shapes and sizes.

All Absolut Choir characters are connected to the mother CPU unit via Ethernet and high quality Neutrik power connectors. Check out a demonstration below:

This one’s pretty damn cool as well:

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Hauschka’s Interesting Take on Sound

Hauschka is the alias of Düsseldorf-based Volker Bertelmann, who signed to FatCat’s 130701 post-classical imprint in 2007. Having studied classical piano for ten years, his work as Hauschka is based upon an exploration of the possibilities of the ‘prepared’ piano. Creatively undermining the preconceived idea of the piano as a pure-toned, perfected instrument waiting for a gifted virtuoso to play on it, Bertelmann instead modifies it by placing an assortment of material (gaffa tape, kitchen foil, felt wedges, bottle tops, ping pong balls, guitar string, etc) within its innards. What results are vivid, unconventional pieces made in a spirit of playful research-enthusiasm.

Here’s an interview with Hauschka talking about some of his technique:

Hauschka’s newest album Foreign Landscapes is available for pre-order on his website, and there’s a lot of cool videos of the making of Foreign Landscapes on his Myspace.

Below is Hauschka performing live in Japan. NPR also has some cool videos of him playing with stuff. All of his performances are different, which is pretty cool.

He’s a very interesting guy..I think experimentation and playing around can be an important aspect of creating great music.

Meeblip – The Open Source, Hackable Digital Hardware Synth

Making music, making blips and bleeps, turning knobs, plugging in keyboards, and having the freedom to modify your gear – these are good things. And that’s why I’m so excited that today is the day the MeeBlip launches.

It’s been several years in development, but now it’s finally here. It’s a hardware box that makes noises – virtual analog synth noises, chip-sounding noises, good noises, bad noises, noises you can make into music. It’s got physical knobs and switches on it, plus a MIDI DIN in port so you can connect that keytar you bought on eBay. It’s also a digital synth you can build, modify, and hack, down to the way every knob is mapped and every sound is blipped.

The MeeBlip is the creation of James Grahame, of Retro Thing and Reflex Audio fame. (He tells thefull history of how it came to be.) But we’re serious about the Create Digital Music name going on there, too. We’ll be documenting and helping develop this instrument for some time to come, and we’ve begun building a site and community for the instrument so you have a place to meet other people using it.

View Source to Hear How it Sounds


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How to Create a Dubstep Wobble Bass with Subtractor in Reason

When creating Dubstep music, one of the most important instruments is the bass. A lot of Dubstep songs have a wobble bass. This is basically a bass with a filter being modulated in a rhythmic sync with the tempo. Most often you will hear triplets and 8th notes being modulated by an LFO on the filter. In this tutorial, we will cover how to create a bass sound and add the ‘Wobble’ effect in the Subtractor device within Reason.


Step 1

First create a new project in Reason then add the following devices from the tool window:

  1. 1. MClass Mastering Suite Combinator
  2. 2. Mixer 14:2
  3. 3. Subtractor Analog Synthesizer

You can hide the Mastering Suite and Mixer, as we won’t need them, by clicking the arrow in the top left of each device. Now we need to initialize the patch. (This clears out the default sound) Right click anywhere on the Subtractor and choose: Initialize Patch.

Continue through to Step 7

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