Friday, February 29, 2008

Alan Wilder on the State of the Music Industry

Alan Wilder (Recoil/Depeche Mode) has written an open letter on the state of the music industry on side-line.

In the essay entitled "Music for the Masses - I Think Not," Wilder gives his views on today's music sound quality, the volume war, Mute Records, alternative ways to release music and his latest single, Prey/Allelujah, released in partnership with Russian fans.

Kraftwerk Covers Banned

Thinking of releasing a cover of a Kraftwerk song?

Think again.

While most bands automatically approve of covers of their songs, Kraftwerk does not.

Upon releasing a cover of "Computer World" recently, Swedish synth act Audio Objekt received a cease & desist order from Kraftwerk's publishing team in Germany. They were forced to remove all audio from physical and digital distribution channels as well as myspace, youtube and facebook.

Kraftwerk also previously put the brakes on the "Krafty Move" CD tribute. [via side-line]

Thursday, February 28, 2008

8mm @ Knitting Factory

8mm played a great set at Knitting Factory in Hollywood last night.

If you're not familiar with the band, 8mm is the husband and wife duo of Sean and Juliette Beavan. Sean Beavan plays guitar and is well-known for his mixing and production work with NIN and Marilyn Manson. Juliette has a beautiful voice and is mesmerizing on stage.

At last night's show, Bruce Somers (Kidneythieves/Shocknina) filled in on drums as 8mm's usual drummer, Jon Nicholson, had another gig fronting Simpler Machine.

8mm played songs from Songs to Love and Die by... and Opener along with a French tune ("je t'aime... moi non plus" by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin) and a PJ Harvey cover.

If anyone from Knitting Factory is reading, check your speakers on the right side. During Juliette's quieter vocal parts, it sounded like one of the speakers was blown.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Devi Ever Bit Mangler

devi ever bit mangler = bit + vfm.

Demo video via Felix Inferious. Cool sounds of an unplugged guitar cable at 4:52.

If you missed the youtube video of Adrian Belew and Alan Moulder jamming on the Bit Mangler on the new Nine Inch Nails project, check it.

Feedback audio by The Harvestman on the devi ever fx forum:

New MacBook Pro

Apple has released the new faster MacBook and MacBook Pro models.

The trackpad on the MacBook Pro has multi-touch functionality like the iPhone and MacBook Air.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Furby Gurdy

The Furby Gurdy is David Cranmer's instrument filled with eight circuit bent Furby toy robots controlled by a hand-powered cam sequencer. Ingenious!

Check out for more of David Cranmer's custom electronic instruments. [via matrixsynth]

Monday, February 25, 2008

Matmos Supreme Balloon

Matmos will be releasing their new album, Supreme Balloon, on Matador Records on May 6.

A departure from Matmos's non-traditional sampling and sound gathering efforts, Supreme Balloon was created entirely with synthesizers: old and new synths (featuring Arp, Korg, Roland, Waldorf and Moog), one-of-a-kind modular rigs (including Coupigny, Electrocomp and Doepfer), MAX patches, decrepit consumer electronics of the 60s, 70s and 80s, boutique effects pedals, stylophones, Suzuki Omnichords, Taal Mala tabla drum machines from India...

No household objects, acoustic instruments, vocals, vocoders or even microphones were used in the recording. Just 100% synth "cosmic pop."

Guest performers include Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra playing the EVI, Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly), Jay Lesser, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Matthew Curry (Safety Scissors) and Sarah Cahill. The gatefold double vinyl and iTunes edition of the album also include the bonus track “Hashish Master” that features a guest solo synth improvisation on the Arp 2600 by Terry Riley.

Listen to an mp3 of the new single here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Marilyn Manson + Kerry King @ The Wiltern

Marilyn Manson played the second of two sold out shows at The Wiltern in LA last night.

Special guest guitarist Kerry King (Slayer) shredded on two Antichrist Superstar songs: "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" + "Little Horn."

It was good to see Jeordie White (AKA Twiggy Ramirez) back in the lineup. He seemed to be having a lot more fun on stage than when he was in NIN. At one point, Manson and Twiggy traded instruments, with Manson on bass and Twiggy singing in the mic.

The setlist was good with most songs coming from the middle albums versus the earliest and most recent. I wish they would have broken out at least one song from Manson's first record, Portrait of an American Family. As always, some of Manson's stage tricks, like the burning bible, are over the top, but that's the point. Love him or hate him, Marilyn Manson is still putting on a spectacle of a show.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Propellerhead ReCycle 2.1.2

Propellerhead has released ReCycle 2.1.2 which adds support for Mac OS X Leopard and AMD64 processors.

Owners of ReCycle 2.1 can download the latest version here.

Masami Kawahara & The Exotic Sounds Kokotsu/Ecstasy

The Masami Kawahara & The Exotic Sounds album Kokotsu/Ecstasy has been digitally remastered from the master tapes and re-released on Tiliqua Records as part of their ongoing "Erotic Oriental Sunshine” series. The record was originally released on Columbia in 1970.

Kokotsu/Ecstasy mixes Japanese porn-jazz, Latin grooves, synths and tribal drums with the erotic sounds of female moans, sexual sighs, cries, fetish whips and spanks. Wild!

For a taste test, visit undomondo.


VOLTO! cancelled their second set Friday night at The Baked Potato in Studio City, California.

They were supposed to play two shows at 9:30 and 11:30. Apparently drummer Danny Carey (TOOL) showed up an hour late. They played the first set but not the second. We were told "the band had problems." Although those who paid $25 to see the second set received refunds, the crowd waiting in line outside was disappointed to say the least.

If you have any more info on the first set or the cancellation, please post it here. If you get the chance to see VOLTO! live, do it. They rock.

Friday, February 22, 2008

SoiSong Koi Ru

SoiSong (Peter Christopherson of COIL and Throbbing Gristle and Ivan Pavlov of COH) have a new song called "Koi Ru [myspace version]" up on their myspace.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Voxonic Language Translation

Wire to the Ear has posted a story on Voxonic, a NY-based company that is now offering the technology to tranform a singer or actor's recorded voice into different foreign languages.

The results are incredible. Check out NPR for audio of Arie Deutsch, co-founder and president of the entertainment division at Voxonic, explaining the process of "phoneme extraction" and Bill Clinton giving his inaugural address en Español.

RIAA Protects Us All

I feel much safer now after watching this RIAA video.

Circuit Bent Lucky Bear

Continuing Califaudio's journey through the world of circuit bending, we meet the circuit bent Lucky Bear.

The Lucky Bear is a simple toy with a 37-key mini keyboard, eight preset instruments and eight rhythm patterns. The tempo is adjustable. Five buttons double as single drum hits and extremely unrealistic animal sounds. It will play two notes at the same time. The demo song, "Jingle Bells," just might bring back a nice, warm Christmas memory.

The circuit bend was done by Madnoodler. He added a switch to enter the bend mode and turn on the photo cell located above the left speaker. By adjusting the amount of light hitting the photo cell, you can go from "theremin-esque to super crazy."

Here's a one-handed piece recorded and sequenced in Ableton Live 7. I added a 4-on-the-floor 808 kick drum and used the light on my Thingamagoop to modulate the Lucky Bear's photo cell on the background noisy part. Other than pitch shifting one "drum" sound down a fifth and a little panning, there are no effects. Straight bend.

lucky bear [left-handed] : mp3 download
this track is unavailable until june 13, 2013.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Puremagnetik TeeBee

Puremagnetik has released TeeBee, a collection of instruments and loops sampled from the Roland TB-303 Bass Line synthesizer.

TeeBee for Ableton Live 6 & 7
· Extensively programmed multi-sample instrument for Live 7 with Sampler
· TeeBee Light for Live 6
· Over 50 Live Clips with integrated Ableton effects
· Macro controls fashioned after the original TB-303's control knobs

TeeBee for Kontakt
· Multisampled instruments for Saw, Square and Accented modes
· Custom KSP easy edit user interface panels
· Over 50 Beat Machine looped phrases with integrated Kontakt effects and automatic tempo sync

TeeBee for Logic & GarageBand
· Multisampled instruments for Saw, Square and Accented modes
· Over 50 SIAL instrument loops with TB-303 modulation stylings
· Multi level zone and group modes

Antares Voice Thing!

Antares has announced the release of Voice Thing!, a $34.99 software application for changing voices in real time.

Designed for online gaming, voice chat, VoIP and video and podcast production, Voice Thing! can change a person's voice in a variety of ways from subtle pitch changes to mutated alien speak.

It requires a PC running a 32-bit version of Windows XP or Vista and an application that accepts microphone input.

Check out the audio examples on the new Voice Thing! website:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

De la Mancha Bent Circuit Bending Plugin

De la Mancha has released bent, a circuit-bent resynthesis effects plugin. It will recreate the incoming audio into an approximation of itself using a waveform-morphing audio oscillator. Depending on the volume and pitch of the audio, it will gate, stutter and morph the output in sync with your host tempo.

The plugin was created using SynthEdit and runs only as a Windows VST. Bent is available now as a free download.

Apple 2GB iPod Shuffle $69

Apple has announced a new larger capacity 2GB iPod Shuffle available in five different colors for $69 each. The (PRODUCT) RED edition is available only at the Apple Store.

The 1GB iPod Shuffle price has dropped to $49.


Controllerism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating music live using computer controllers and software. It's like a 21st century spin on turntablism but substituting more modern tools for the turntables, vinyl and DJ mixers.

The Controllerism website has some good videos by several controllerists including Moldover, Ean Golden, Materia Prima and The Evolution Control Committee. The site also offers downloads of Ableton Live sets and Reaktor ensembles to get you started. [via Analog Industries]

Monday, February 18, 2008

TVT Records Fires Staff

TVT Records has fired the majority of its employees and is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week according to [via]

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sejayno @ Machine Project + Sidrassi Organ

Sejayno played a cool show at Machine Project last night in LA. The trio jammed on homemade and esoteric instruments, including a Namastitar, fretless bass, tabla, brass and various DIY acoustic and electronic creations.

I was most impressed by the Sidrassi Organ, an electronic instrument with seven pressure sensitive bars and a 42-node matrix which modulate its seven tones. The left channel plays when you press the bars and the right channel plays the release for an interesting stereo echo effect.

"The Sidrassi is an Organ, designed to reflect the glory of god. But it allows exploration of the Devils' Tone, which is irrational relationships."

The Sidrassi Organ and other electroacoustic instruments are made to order via

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Leif Elggren In Utero Wisdom Tooth Recording

I once had a wild dream where my father showed me the secrets hidden in a wisdom tooth.

Leif Elggren claims to have a recording from within his mother's uterus before he was born. He says it was hidden in his wisdom tooth.

Leif Elggren: "This basic sound material was recorded in my biological mother's uterus with my not-yet developed teeth used as a fundamental and simple recording device a few days before my birth. This sound material was kept recorded and hidden until recently inside one of my wisdom teeth, but has now been brought to daylight and exposure."

On the Extraction CD: "It was digitally mastered, reproduced and sent out into the room which we all mutually share and which we usually call reality, the world. Sent out with the main purpose to change that room. You do not necessarily have to listen to this CD, the sound material should be considered more as a tool, a tool with a special purpose, favorable but dangerous. For best results: load this CD in your CD player, confirm that sound is coming out through the speakers, and then just leave the room. When you come back everything will be totally changed." [via this interview]

Listen to the sound of Leif Elggren live in concert as a part of the xxxxx23. Limehouse Town Hall, London, March 23, 2006.

leif elggren live in london : mp3 [via Touch Radio]

Vestax VCM-100 + VCI-100 USB MIDI Audio DJ Controllers

The Vestax VCM-100 DJ controller looks pretty slick in combination with the RK-100 laptop stand and a MacBook Pro. It's got 4 ins and 2 stereo outs and comes with Native Instruments Traktor LE. You can also use it with your favorite DJ software either USB bus-powered or with an AC adaptor (not included). A total of 60 different software parameters can be controlled with VCM-100's faders, buttons and knobs.

The VCI-100 below adds scratching to the mix with two jog wheels and even more control.

TC LM5 Loudness Radar Meter for TDM

TC Electronic is offering a 10-day free trial of their new LM5 Loudness Radar Meter for Pro Tools HD.

Radiohead In Rainbows Sheet Music

Alfred Publishing has announced the release of the sheet music book for Radiohead's In Rainbows for piano, vocal and guitar. The print music book includes the lyrics, melody line, chord changes and piano accompaniment for the album's ten tracks.

Laser Harp

Stephen Hobley's laser harp is amazing. Check out the video via engadget.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pro Tools HD + Leopard + New 8-Core Mac Pro

Digidesign is pleased to announce Pro Tools® compatibility for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) with Pro Tools HD® 7.4.1 software, the first of a phased Pro Tools update release. Pro Tools HD 7.4.1 software provides Mac OS X 10.5.1 compatibility* with Apple’s current 8-core Mac Pro computers (those featuring Intel “Harpertown” processors).

Expanded Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) support will be announced later, so please wait until official announcements are made before upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5. For detailed Pro Tools HD 7.4.1 compatibility information, please visit the Pro Tools HD 7.4.1 Intel Mac Support page.

Registered Mac Pro-based Pro Tools HD 7.4 users may download the free Pro Tools HD 7.4.1 software update from our website (be sure to read the release notes before updating your system).

Important — Please be aware that some currently shipping plug-ins and virtual instruments are not compatible with Pro Tools HD 7.4.1 running on Mac OS X 10.5.1, and some require that you update your plug-ins if an update is available. Before you install the Pro Tools HD 7.4.1 update, be sure to review the plug-in compatibility and update information here.

* Pro Tools HD 7.4.1 software works with Mac OS X 10.5.1 only, and is NOT compatible with Apple’s new Mac OS X 10.5.2 release. Please do not update your OS until we’ve made an official announcement about compatibility.

[via Digidesign]

The Strike Is Over

The Hollywood writers strike is officially over. This great news for so many music composers, arrangers, orchestrators, engineers, sound designers...

LionInZion Smile

Smile is a strange live action/3D CG-animated short horror video directed by Noam Abta and Yuval Markovich of LionInZion. I'd like to give credit to whoever did the music and sound effects, so if you can translate the credits or you happen to know, spread the word.

"Yuval goes to his friends house and begins to suspect that there is a plot to do him harm. The signs keep reappearing to a point where paranoia takes over."

[via Pat of Twisted Tomorrow]

Circuit Bent Musini

First up in Califaudio's series of circuit bent instruments is the Musini.

The Musini is a toy that has a variable vibration "MagicSensor" which detects movement and musically reacts when kids (and adults!) jump around it. Turning the center knob selects one of five different styles of music (Basically Bach, Child's Play, Latin Jazz, Carnival and Orchestral Overture) while the four colored buttons change the instruments. It sounds great for a toy, and it's stereo.

My Musini was bent by Jonathan Williams. Pitch is controlled by a switch, a knob and a photocell that responds to changes in light. The knob's pitch control is sometimes stepped instead of smooth which lets you play melodies.

The bend includes two glitch/drone buttons that produce wild and unpredictable results: drones, rhythmic loops, instrument samples and various electronic noises either alone or in any combination. Repeatedly pressing these buttons will either add or subtract layers, subtly or completely change the sound or crash the entire unit.

It crashes a lot, but the reset button takes care of it, and the sounds coming out of this toy are more than worth it. Like with any circuit bent instrument, don't just play. Record! Always record your jams. You may never be able to recreate that sound again.

And now for the sound...

Here's a sample of tonight's one-handed session with the Musini:

Left-handed Circuit Bending

Since I sprained my wrist, my right hand is temporarily nearly useless. With only one good hand, I've been making aleatoric music and noise with my newest circuit bent toys. I plan to highlight a few of these here over the next few days along with audio.

Circuit bent instruments pictured above:

If you're new to the concept of circuit bending, get googling or start here:
Circuit bending wikipedia
Reed Ghazala - The Father of Circuit Bending
Casper Electronics

Monday, February 11, 2008

Partikel Two

The Partikel Series features electronic musicians and visual artists
performing in a theatrical setting.

Partikel Two:
Saturday, March 1, 2008

Goethe Institut
5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA

Robert Rich
Laura Escudé featuring Kathie Talbot
Lake of Sleep

Visual Artists:
Optical Light Pipe
Momo the Monster

[via Matrixsynth]

Meat Beat Manifesto Automimmune Album & US Tour

Meat Beat Manifesto is releasing their new double album, Autoimmune, on Metropolis Records on April 8. A US tour starts the next day in Seattle.

April 2008
9 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
10 - Portland, OR - Berbati's Pan
11 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
12 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre [review]
13 - San Diego, CA - Canes
19 - Chicago, IL - The Abbey
21 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
24 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
26 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
27 - Washington, DC - The Rock & Roll Hotel
28 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle

May 2008
2 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
4 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre

The new live lineup features Jack Dangers on vocals, synth and bass flute, Mark Pistel on live sequencing and modular synth, Lynn Farmer behind the drums and video sampler/DJ Ben Stokes.

Visit for a free download of a new track, "International." A digital single with one album track and three Jack Dangers remixes will be available in March.

Pushandpull Turntable Pitch Bend for Ableton Live

Through his new company, Smartextensions, Gustavo Bravetti is offering a free download of Pushandpull, which adds turntable-style pitch bend capabilites to Ableton Live. This is very handy for matching Live's tempo to vinyl. Pushandpull works with MIDI Yoke on Windows, and a Mac OS X version is on the way. Bravetti developed Pushandpull using Synthmaker from Outsim.

Create Digital Music posted a video by Bravetti on using Live Clip Envelopes, Follow Actions, and Legato to create glitchy IDM tracks in Ableton Live. There are some other cool videos on DJ Bravetti's youtube, including his use of alternate controllers.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Grammy Synthesizer Medley 1985

Will The Grammys ever be this cool again?

Otto Von Schirach at Das Bunker

Otto Von Schirach put on a killer show at Das Bunker in LA last night. The crowd was going crazy for the Miami Bass grindcore super hero. Cyrusrex turned in a good opening performance also.

The end of the show was wild. Otto started his last song (Everybody Dance Now!), but he was having problems with feedback that seemed to be coming from Zombie Dre's electronic drum pad channel on the mixer. Otto asked for help and tried to fix it for a bit but kept the song going. Then Otto's music cut off and some other song came on. 

Apparently Das Bunker's DJ Franck H-Bomb put an end to Otto's show and started to spin. It wasn't clear why Otto wasn't allowed to finish. Maybe he was over his allotted time or maybe it was in response to the bad audio at the end. 

Regardless, Otto and much of the crowd were not happy. Otto walked over to Franck, and the two had some words. At one point, Otto snatched Franck's hat off his head. Franck struck back with a punch-slap to Otto's face. Both started lunging toward each other and were restrained by friends and security.

It went back and forth for a while. Franck pulled Otto's mask off. The crowd moved in closer and got pushed back into the speakers which came crashing down on a couple people and then down to the floor.

If you have video or pics of this concert, please post the link. Great show!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

PocketGuitar for iPhone

PocketGuitar lets you use your jailbroken iPhone or iPod Touch screen as a virtual guitar fretboard. The guitar sounds are generated by a software wavetable synth. You can jam with the songs in your iPhone too. Just don't drop your axe, Mr. iPhone Guitar Hero! [via ektopia and gizmodo]

Ambient Addition

Personal music players like the iPod can isolate the listener from the outside world.

Noah Vawter's solution, Ambient Addition, is a pair of headphones with built-in microphones, speakers and a DSP chip that transforms the sounds of nature or the city around you into music. 

Wearing these headphones you might hear the wind as a slowly evolving bed of granular synthesis with a car horn in the distance repeating to form a beat and a baby's cry as a lush melody on top.

NY Times article

Noah Vawter's MIT Master's Thesis

I'm interested in experiencing Ambient Addition firsthand. If anyone has any more info on this device, please let me know.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Amen Break

The Amen Break is the most sampled drum beat ever. Check out the video below via mobius32 of a 2004 audio installation by Nate Harrison that chronicles the history of the Amen Break from its origin in 1969 through its reincarnation as a sampled loop in hip hop, jungle and beyond.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Peter Christopherson (COIL, Throbbing Gristle) and Ivan Pavlov (COH) have joined forces as SoiSong.

"The two-man show will combine Ivan's uncompromisingly-visceral computer based music with Sleazy's decadent, dark and whimsical approach to artificial vocals and 'South Seas' instrumentation..."

SoiSong's first ep SOI-JIN-NO-HI will be available as a free download from Threshold House and in a collector's specially packaged edition exclusively from the band at shows starting next month in Japan. The tour goes through Thailand and Singapore in March and then Europe this summer. Watch for their debut album this fall.

Listen to "soijin no hi [myspace mix]" at SoiSong's new MySpace page.

Throbbing Gristle 1976 - 2009 (off and on)
Coil 1983 - 2004
SoiSong 2008 - ?

Update: new song = koi ru