Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sounddesign Escape

blip: c'est le toon:

"Once picture lock has been achieved, the film passes out of the hands of the editor to the sound department to build up the sound track. The voice recordings are synchronised and the final sound mix is created. The sound mix combines sound effects, background sounds, foleys, dialog, and music.

An audio mixing console, or mixing desk, or mixing board, has numerous rotating controls (potentiometers) and sliding controls (faders ) that are used to manipulate the volume, the addition of effects such as reverb, and frequency content (equalization) of audio signals. On most consoles, all the controls that apply to a single channel of audio are arranged in a vertical column called a channel strip. Larger and more complex consoles such as those used in film and television production can contain hundreds of channel strips. Many consoles today, regardless of cost, have automation capabilities so the movement of their controls is performed automatically, not unlike a player piano. A recent trend is to use a "control surface" connected to a computer. This eliminates much of the electronics in a conventional console as the actual mixing work is done digitally by the computer.

Audio mixing on a personal computer is also gaining momentum. More and more independent artists are starting to use their personal computers for digital recording and mixing their work. Audio editing on the computer is also easy and generally preferred.

A recent trend is mixing to 5.1, which is "surround" audio. This requires 6 channels of audio: left, center, right, left rear, right rear, and low frequencies (sub-woofer). In commercial release, only DVD video has a standard. So far there has been little demand for 5.1 in the audio and music domain but it seems destined that one of the several commercial formats will ascend.

The podcast comes from Bob Kommer Studios in The Hague, the Netherlands one of the largest postproduction companies who delivers these casts to their clients"
PT7 SFX server video in Dutch.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cassette Scratching

DJ Ruthless Ramsey scratching on dual cassette decks.

Youtube: esponda.


Jason Smeltzer on the theremin.

Video: The Scranton Times Tribune on blip.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Let Them Sing It For You

Let Them Sing It For You is cool little flash program that plays back the words you type into it as vocal samples from its huge library of pop songs.

You can find the web app created by Erik Bünger on the Swedish Radio SR c site. I found it on one of my favorite blogs, the music of sound by Tim Prebble.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm scream is one of the most well-known sound effects of all time. It has been used in movies, TV shows and video games for over 50 years. The scream was recorded for the 1951 film Distant Drums and used in a scene where a man is being torn to pieces by an alligator.

The identity of the actor who voiced the Wilhelm scream is unknown, but the most likely source is considered to be Sheb Wooley, known for the song "Purple People Eater."

The Wilhelm scream was used in all six Star Wars movies, Poltergeist, all three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Reservoir Dogs and all four Indiana Jones movies. Did you catch it in the library scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

Check out wikipedia + for more.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How To Patch A Naked Modular Synth

Mooguphonic youtube video showing how to create a basic patch from scratch on a analog modular synth.
[via nusonica]

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ligeti Artikulation Visualization

Ligeti - Artikulation
Uploaded by tonicadominante

Check out the Bad Assembly blog post about György Ligeti's Artikulation, an electronic music piece composed in 1958 in the Studio for Electronic Music of the WDR (West German Radio) in Cologne. Ligeti's composition was way ahead of its time.

In 1970, Rainer Wehinger (rector of the Academy of Music Stuttgart) created a "Hörpartitur" or "score for listening" for Artikulation, representing the various sounds with graphic symbols. More recently, d21d34c55 scanned the pages, synchronized them to the music and uploaded the video to youtube.

Apogee Ensemble + Duet Updates

Apogee Electronics has released new software updates for the Ensemble and Duet.

Ensemble Update

New Features - Apogee Maestro Software:
  • Euphonix EuCon compatibility - it's now possible to control several Maestro parameters such as input controls, output levels and mixer settings from EuCon-compatible hardware
  • Encoder pop-ups - front panel encoder selections and level changes are displayed in an OS X style "pop-up", similar to OS X pop-ups for volume control and display brightness
  • Auto Launch - A preference now offers Autolaunch of the Maestro application when an Ensemble is detected
Resolved Issues:
  • Kernel panic issues resolved with Apple Firewire audio driver v. 242-4-7
  • 176.4-192kHz conversion now operates consistently across all revisions.
  • Core Audio latency correction now works as expected
  • SPDIF Optical connections with Macs now supported at 96kHz
  • HP2 muting issue is resolved
  • Implemented a work-around to avoid a jump in output level when opening Steinberg audio applications
  • General stability has been enhanced

Duet Update
New Features - Apogee Maestro Software:
  • Euphonix EuCon compatibility - it's now possible to control several Maestro parameters such as input controls, output levels and mixer settings from EuCon-compatible hardware
Resolved Issues:
  • Kernel panic issues resolved with the Apple Firewire audio driver v. 242-4-7
  • Implemented a work-around to avoid a jump in output level when opening Steinberg audio applications
  • The pop-up now runs consistently

I use an Ensemble in my home studio. It sounds great. I've had some issues with latency which I've been able to work around. Hopefully the update will take care of this.

You will need to use your Apogee login to download the updates. If you do not have a login, you can create one by registering your interface online.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Synesthesia Mandala Drum

Synesthesia Corporation's Mandala Drum is an electronic drum pad and synthesizer that detects both where and how hard you hit it to trigger and control a proprietary set of instrument and drum samples.

You can play the highly sensitive pad with drumsticks or fingers and hands. The Mandala is more expressive than any electronic drum pad currently available, with up to 7 concentric strike zones, 128 concentric data rings and over 1,000 different strike positions.

There are 2 different versions. The original Mandala 1.0 for $999 comes with a standalone drum brain with built-in sounds and effects and a MIDI out to transmit multi-channel MIDI to external equipment.

The new Mandala 2.0 USB sells for $349 without the brain. The plug-and-play pad comes with Virtual Brain software for Mac/Win that has a wide variety of sounds and presets, including drums, vibraphone, tablas, piano, synths, guitar and a 3,000-hit Ludwig Black Beauty snare library. You can load your own samples and control 3rd-party sequencers and plug-ins, like Logic, Battery, BFD, Live, Reason, GarageBand, etc.

The system was developed by Vince DeFranco and Danny Carey from Tool. Drummers Matt Chamberlain, Lol Tolhurst, Pat Mastelotto and Will Calhoun also use the Mandala.

For more info, videos and the Mandala store, visit

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rollable MP3 Boom Box

The Bal-Bal Boom Box is an mp3 ghetto blaster that recharges its batteries as you roll it along the ground. Designed by Inbal Dayagi in Israel. [via boingboing]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MPC5000 Now Shipping

Akai is now shipping the MPC5000, the new flagship MPC with 8-track streaming hard disk recording, a 20-voice, 3-oscillator virtual analog synthesizer with arpeggiator, a new sequencing engine with 960 ppq resolution, pad and track muting and mixing, 64 continuous sample tracks and a new effects engine with 4 FX buses and 2 FX per bus. Add the optional CD drive to burn audio and data CDs of your mixes.

MPC5000 features:

  • Three-oscillator virtual analog synth engine with built-in arpeggiator
  • Over 300 Virtual Analog synth presets included
  • Eight tracks of Direct-to-Hard Disk recording
  • Over 40 all new effects available within a modular 4-bus effects processor
  • Master compressor and equalizer
  • Built-in hard disk drive
  • Optional CD-R/DVD drive
  • USB 2.0 port for computer connectivity
  • CF Type-2 card slot (up to 2GB)
  • Chop-Shop 2.0 - slices a stereo loop into individual samples with automatic pad assignment
  • Patched Phrases - creates multiple splits in looped samples to ensure proper tempo sync without changing pitch
  • Continuous Sample Track - ensures samples play in perfect sync no matter where you start the beat in a loop
  • 12 Q-link controllers for internal automation, external MIDI control and quick parameter editing.
  • 240 x 128 hinged backlit LCD
  • 10 built-in analog outputs, plus 8 ADAT-optical outputs and stereo S/PDIF IO
  • Powerful new multimode filter
  • Two MIDI inputs and Four MIDI outputs
  • Turntable phono inputs with RIAA pre-amp
  • XLR / 1/4" combo jacks with selectable mic/line levels
  • Sample library provided by
  • 64-voice drum/phrase sampler with 64MB memory built-in. Expandable up to 192MB RAM

Logic Pro 8.0.2 Update

Apple has released the 8.0.2 update for Logic Pro with over 100 bug fixes and improvements. The 135 MB update includes the new Waveburner 1.5.2 and Impulse Response Utility 1.0.2 as well. Get the new version of Logic through Software Update or download it here using your Apple ID.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Playground Sound Candy - Playful Parasites + Laughing Swing

Pixelsumo posted a roundup of three sound additions to playgrounds.

Sound Candy is a wearable sampler that lets you record into its built-in mic and manipulate its sound by changes in speed, angle, vibration and rotation.

The Playful Parasites system uses playground props as musical instruments. Acceleration, tilt and proximity sensor data is sent to a computer via bluetooth to trigger sounds and projections around the park.

Laughing Swing is a swing that plays sounds of laughter as you swing on it. The higher up you swing, the harder it laughs.

Hang Drum Manu Delago

Manu Delago playing the Hang.
[youtube by bunkagapaipan - sent in by electric waffles]

More: odd music

First Flight

first flight : mp3 download
this track is unavailable until june 13, 2013.

My first experience on the Arp 2600 semi-modular synthesizer reminded me of the first time I flew an airplane.

Tools: Arp 2600, Logic.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Sound of Earthquakes - Auditory Seismology + Audification

Earthquakes are rarely heard as sound since seismic waves usually measure under 1Hz while human hearing ranges between 20Hz-20kHz.

Auditory Seismology, championed by Florian Dombois, director of the Institute for Transdisciplinarity at the Bern University of the Arts, transforms earthquake data into sound by a process called audification in which the time axis of a seismogram is compressed by about 2000 times and then played through a speaker. The resulting sound allows for better understanding of the data than by visual means alone.

More info + sound examples of earthquake recordings + auditory seismology:

The destruction caused by Monday's Sichuan earthquake in southwest China has taken tens of thousands of lives and devasted millions of families. If you would like to help the rescue and recovery effort, Singaporean sound designer Darren Ng [Sonicbrat] is offering two free album downloads [WENCHUAN + NARGIS] with donation links to aid the people suffering in China and Burma.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Climax Sound Pen

Climax Sound Pen. Anybody try circuit bending one of these yet?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

NIN: The Slip 24/96 Update

Nine Inch Nails is now offering two updated 24bit/96k versions of The Slip--for free, of course--Thanks, Trent!

The two waveforms below show the same 10 seconds of the same track on two different versions of the album:

44.1 kHz 16-bit
Track: 10 Demon Seed
passage: 3 min 50 s - 4 min 00 s

96 kHz 24-bit
Track: 09 The Four of Us are Dying
passage: 3 min 50 s - 4 min 00 s

The original 24/96 wav download had issues with bit-depth, clipping, over-compression, playback speed and track naming. Some guys on the hydrogenaudio forum found the errors, and after word got back the NIN camp, Trent followed up with this post:

Thanks for the heads up regarding this matter. The corrected files are now posted on our site and if you re-download them they will be the correct ones.
What happened? We mastered this on Friday (5/2) and released it Sunday night. The files went right from mastering to the server without the proper scrutiny (aside from a cursory listen for errors). The last two songs were different because they were redone due to an audible error we did find.
Bottom line: some sort of mastering shenanigans took place.
In addition, there are now 24/96 FLAC files as well as wave files.

BTW, the record was recorded at 24/96 using a Lavry AD122-96MKIII, Antelope's Isochrone OCX clock and mixed in analog through the SSL AWS 900+. We mixed back into Pro Tools through the Lavry as well as a separate rig running at 24/192 using Apogee A/D. The mixes we chose varied song to song based on what sounded best to us.

Trent Reznor
Pretty cool response. It's amazing how fast the whole album came together, including the mastering. Download the new 24/96 wav + flac versions now at

[via nin + Alex B + hydrogenaudio]

Porn Foley Artist - NSFW

"The fast track to porn foley stardom."
[via gfiorita]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sound Threshold

musica e suono attraverso il paesaggio
a project by Daniela Cascella and Lucia Farinati
16th July + 28 September 2008
a parallel event of Manifesta 7
Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy

How does one transcend the picture postcard effect that the alpine landscape calls to mind? How does one shatter representational conventions and two-dimensional ways of thinking and seeing? How can one capture the very breath of a landscape? Sound and music are the media through which Sound Threshold has chosen to confront these questions. Through performances, sound installations and field recordings, Sound Threshold explores the visual, natural, literary and acoustic landscape of the Trentino region in conjunction with the latest research in the fields of ecology, technology and archaeology.

16 July 2008
Centro di Ecologia Alpina – Terrazza delle Stelle
Viote di Monte Bondone, Trento, Italy

4 pm
Centro di Ecologia Alpina di Monte Bondone
CHRIS WATSON [Cabaret Voltaire/The Hafler Trio/BBC] (UK)
Cima Verde CD launch

7.30 pm
Terrazza delle Stelle, Viote del Monte Bondone
open-air live performance

free admission

28 September 2008
hours to be confirmed
Santuario di Monte San Martino, Riva del Garda

Chris Watson is one of the most unique and versatile figures on the British experimental scene. In 1972 he was one of the founders of the seminal new wave group, Cabaret Voltaire, and in 1981 one member of the cult project in experimental music, The Hafler Trio. Watson’s interest in the multiple inflections of the sounds of nature has led him to work as a sound recordist in numerous documentaries for the BBC, an activity that both supports and informs his sound recordings published on CD.

Fovea Hex
is the project of Irish singer Clodagh Simonds, who has chosen to work alongside such illustrious names as Brian Eno, Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio), Colin Potter (Nurse With Wound) and Robert Fripp to produce a trilogy of EP’s, Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent (Die Stadt, 2005-2007). Fovea Hex have already achieved cult status, and last year they took part in the Donau Festival curated by David Tibet (Current 93) and in a series of concerts curated by David Lynch at the Cartier Foundation in Paris.

Clodagh Simonds: voice, piano, laptop
Laura Sheeran: accordion, voice
Cora Venus Lunny: violin, viola, voice
Julia Kent: cello
Michael Begg: electronics
Colin Potter: sound, electronics

Blind Cave Salamander is a project by Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo and Paul Beauchamp - an unusual mix of electronica, strings and guitars, drones and field recordings; a collection of finely wrought sounds that at times lean towards hypnotic lullabies (Julia Kent, cellist with Antony & the Johnsons and Current 93, is a fellow contributor) and at others towards abstraction.

Paul Beauchamp: electronics
Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo: electro-acoustics
Julia Kent: cello
Michael Begg: electronics

If one thinks of the geographical area between Trento to Rovereto, from Lake Garda to the Alps, a multitude of images predetermined by visual conventions inevitably come to mind: commonplace ways of seeing, flattened into a postcard effect which compress the depth of landscapes and places into visual forms that are near to clichés. Such dynamics of standardisation and rapid visual distribution pigeonhole visual and cultural conditions that are far vaster and more meaningful, calling for disengagement from the institutional conventions inherent in looking and perceiving.

How does one go beyond this picture postcard effect, pierce, scratch and dismantle it in order to reassemble the rigid images and restore – indeed reveal – a more vivid sense to them, not only allowing movements and hidden currents to re-emerge but restoring feeling and depth? How does one transcend conventional systems of representation, shatter two-dimensional ways of thinking and seeing and combine methods of ‘looking at’ with those of ‘looking through’?
How does one capture the breath of a landscape?

Sound and music are the expressive media through which Sound Threshold has chosen to address these questions. Through performances, concerts, installations, sound and field recordings, the project explores the visual, natural, literary and acoustic landscape of Trentino in conjunction with the latest research in ecology, technology and archaeology.

Borne of a reflection on the multiple forms of interaction between music, sound and landscape, and an investigation into production sites outside the usual gallery and museum contexts, Sound Threshold presents the initial results of this investigation, whilst also outlining potential routes for future interdisciplinary production within the local Trentino context.

In his 1973 essay, Line And Surface, Vilém Flusser identified in sound an element capable of destabilising the dynamics of screen / surface and standard arguments about the media. “This third dimension, which drives a wedge into the surface reading […] is a challenge to those who think in surfaces; only the future can show what will come of this.” Sound can be understood as an element that tears through images and simultaneously re-assembles and re-constitutes them, not just penetrating them but condensing them, not simply transiting but stopping and absorbing.

We will be gathering, interpreting and disseminating sounds across the region, in an attempt to move beyond a commonplace notion of landscape as a flat and opaque screen that absorbs and fragments to a new sense of landscape that is not simply something to cross but is above all a threshold. What we are proposing is not following a linear direction (the long celebrated passage from North to South, for example), but rather pausing anxiously at the threshold so as to trigger circular movements and areas of permanence; inhabiting the edge and wandering over the tenuous screen that discriminates and communicates. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: ‘We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.’

Sound is a sense of belonging and wholeness, in perpetual refraction. Objective, immobile soundscapes do not exist, only the countless fluctuations a sound wave can assume as it assimilates the stories, earthly configurations and light effects typical of a place.

Daniela Cascella and Lucia Farinati, July 2007/April 2008
[press release pdf]

SSL Mynx

Mynx is the new SSL enclosure that fits 2 SuperAnalogue X-Rack modules in a small desktop box. There are currently 8 different modules to choose from:

  • X-Rack Mic Amp
  • X-Rack VHD Input
  • Channel EQ
  • Dynamics
  • Stereo Bus Compressor
  • Four Channel Input
  • Master Bus
X-Rack modules use identical circuit design and manufacturing to the SSL Duality and AWS 900+ consoles.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dream Chimney

Check out Dream Chimney for music, dreams and other oddball items.

The dreamchimney flickr photostream is a great collection of 70s + 80s album covers, photos and art, including Moog modular synths, reel-to-reels, afro-filled studios and vintage computers and electronics, all of which have graced the site's homepage over the years. [via demonbaby]

SoiSong Blue - Tour + Octagonal CD

SoiSong performed the Coil soundtrack to Derek Jarman's Blue last week at the Futuro Presente Festival in Rovereto, Italy. [youtube via phonecia]

SoiSong Tour Dates:

09 May - Rovereto, Italy - Futuro Presente Festival
11 May - Kopenhagen, Denmark - Culture Box
17 May - Bilbao, Spain - Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
24 May - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Sugar Factory
28 May - Moscow, Russia - Ikra Club
13 June - Athens, Greece - Synch Festival

Attendees of the shows will have the opportunity to purchase the limited art-edition octagonal CDEP, which contains extended versions of the first four SoiSoing pieces.

Unfortunately, I cannot make it to these concerts. If anyone attending these shows would be so kind as to buy a CD and ship it to me, I would be more than happy to send you the money, including shipping. Please contact me through my email address at the bottom of the right-hand column.

For more info on SoiSong T-shirts - passwords + memory boxes, visit their myspace.


miShare is a $99.95 gadget with 2 dock connectors that fits between 2 ipods so you can transfer songs, photos, videos and playlists from one to the other.

Just attach two iPods, slide miShare's on-switch to music, video or photo, and press miShare's only button. You decide whether you copy the song or video that was last played through to its end, or a pre-defined photo folder. Press the miShare button for 3 seconds to copy a collection of files. To transfer multiple files, create an On-The-Go playlist on the source ipod by selecting by song, artist, album, or even playlist. It takes about 10 seconds to transfer a song.

miShare works with all mini, nano, 3G, 4G, video (5G), and classic (6G) ipod models. An iphone/ipod touch update is in the works.

Check out for more info.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Life + Music

Life and Music. Words by Alan Watts. Produced by Trey Parker + Matt Stone, the creators of South Park. Click here to watch the animated short. [via muff wiggler]

Sunday, May 11, 2008

There Is A Sound

there is a sound : mp3 download
this track is unavailable until june 13, 2013.

there is a sound
a noise
it pulses
through my brain


a process
a plan

if only you could see it
i wish you could hear it
i wish i understood it
if only i could explain

an x-ray
a scan

there is an answer
there is a danger

some internal places
are better left unexplored

i question
a man

whose knowledge
is deeply rooted in science (?)

his insight spaces
with a faith left unrestored

i know it's there
i can hear it
i will amplify it
i will slow it down

i will study it
i will examine it

but will it ever make sense?

Tools: Vostok, KSM32, Logic.

Written and recorded tonight.

Nucleonic Electronovox

The Electronovox, made by Nucleonic in 1954, is a toy organ that is played wirelessly through a nearby radio tuned to 1000 kHz on the AM dial. It is currently the oldest musical toy in the miniorgan collection. Check out the great miniorgan site for more pics - details + other cool musical toys.

CD-Recycled 45rpm

Aleks Kolkowski encouraged visitors of last week's Futuresonic 2008 festival in Manchester to bring a sound file and a CD or DVD. He used his vintage vinyl cutter to cut the sound file into grooves on the CD/DVD, making it playable on a turntable. The CD-Recycled 45rpm service was offered for free. [via daily diy]

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Nearly Married A Human

Gary Numan's "I Nearly Married A Human" covered by Antony Barton using a Virus TI, microKORG and FL Studio.

Friday, May 9, 2008

QSC 40th Anniversary + Tour

QSC Audio is celebrating 40 years of pro audio manufacturing this year. The company, widely known for its amplifiers, loudspeakers, digital signal processors and other professional audio tools, was started in a garage by Pat Quilter and Barry Andrews in Orange County, California, in 1968.

Yesterday I visited QSC and took a tour of their headquarters and production facilities in Costa Mesa, CA. Impressive.

You can read about QSC's 40-year history on QSC's website here.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Soniccouture Scriptorium

Soniccouture Scriptorium is a set of 35 KSP (Kontakt Script Processor) scripts and 60 advanced instruments for Native Instruments Kontakt. Check out the review at

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Maker Faire

Musical interfaces @ Maker Faire Vimeo by Collin Cunningham.

This video offers a sampling of the many music tech projects on display at the Maker Faire in the Bay Area last weekend. [via make]

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Digidesign Transfuser

Transfuser is Digidesign's new and innovative real-time loop, phrase and groove creation workstation that allows you to quickly and easily create, manipulate and perform loops and rhythm-based music on the fly. The upcoming RTAS virtual instrument plug-in for Pro Tools [HD - LE + M-Powered] was created by the Digidesign Advanced Instrument Research [A.I.R.] group.

Sound sources can come from microphones, turntables, any other live input, Pro Tools tracks and any other prerecorded audio. You can slice, dice, scratch, shuffle, trigger and resequence loops and tracks and even randomize the results with a musical randomization algorithm called M.A.R.I.O. [Musical Advanced Random Intelligence Operations].

A free preview version is available now. It comes with about 200 MB of loops and audio. The full version will come with about 2 GB. You will need an iLok and a free iLok account. Once you activate your license, you will have three months to use the Transfuser Preview fully.

Transfuser brings together so many tools (familiar to users of Ableton Live, Virus Atomizer and Native Instruments plugs) into one easy-to-use drag-and-drop RTAS plug-in for Pro Tools.

The Synth module generates sound using audio files. Audio files and regions can be dragged and dropped into Transfuser from the Transfuser Browser, tracks or the Region List in Pro Tools, from DigiBase browsers, or from the Desktop (Mac Finder or Windows Explorer).

The Slicer Synth module takes any audio and slices it up at the transients. Transients are the peaks in the audio waveform. With drum loops transients are the individual hits on each drum. With a bass or guitar loop, transients would be the attack of each note or chord played. Once the audio is sliced up, the individual slices can be played back by the Slice Sequencer.

The Phrase Synth module takes any audio and automatically beat matches it to the current tempo. You can then apply further processing and filtering to the audio within the module and trigger playback using the Phrase Sequencer module.

The Drums Synth module is a sample-based drum machine that can be played back by the Drum Sequencer module. It provides twelve sample pads to which you can drag and drop samples or choose from a number of factory samples. You can also change the pitch, cutoff frequency, and decay of the audio output.

The Input Synth module passes audio from the track input on which Transfuser is inserted. When Transfuser is inserted on an audio track, it can process any audio played back on that track as well.

The Sequencer module provides three types of sequencers that can play the track's Synth module: Slice - Phrase + Drum.

The Slice Sequencer module plays slices in the Slicer Synth module. The Slice Sequencer lets you change the order, level, pitch, filter, decay, panning, and direction (forward or reverse) of the slices. You can do this manually using a step sequencer or automatically using Transfuser's unique Musical Advanced Random Intelligence Operations (MARIO). You can also apply varying amounts of Groove and Quantize to these sequences. The Slice Sequencer can store up to twelve different patterns that can be triggered by MIDI notes.

The Phrase Sequencer module plays the audio in the Phrase Synth module. The Phrase Sequencer lets you change phrase, level, cutoff frequency, decay, and panning of the phrase. You can do this manually using a MIDI sequencer or using MARIO You can also apply varying amounts of Groove to these sequences. The Phrase Sequencer can store up to twelve different patterns that can be triggered by MIDI notes.

The Drum Sequencer module lets you sequence drum patterns to play the samples loaded into the Drum Synth module. You can change the level, micro-timing, pitch, filter, decay, and panning for each event manually or using MARIO You can also apply varying amounts of Groove and Complexity to these patterns. The Drum Sequencer can store up to twelve different patterns that can be triggered by MIDI notes.

The Effects module provides up to four different effect inserts, parallel or in series, on each track. Select among the following:
  • Beatcutter
  • Chorus
  • Compressor
  • Delay
  • Distortion
  • Enhancer
  • Filter
  • Flanger
  • Gater
  • Kill EQ
  • Lo-Fi
  • Maximizer
  • Multi-tap Delay
  • Phaser
  • Pumper
  • Reverb
  • Spring Reverb
  • Tape Delay
  • Tube Drive
  • Vinyl
Check out Digidesign's Transfuser videos and download the 3-month preview now.

Ranjit Bhatnagar: Artbots 2008

installation proposal for artbots 2008 vimeo by ranjit [via boingboing].

For Ranjit Bhatnagar's Artbots 2008 interactive installation, he plans to use local materials and objects on site to create simple automatic instruments which attempt to reproduce the rhythmic and melodic qualities of surrounding sounds, such as the voices of visitors. The system will learn the sounds it can make by trying out its instruments, and then do its best to imitate what it hears. It will then loop and alter these imitative sequences into improvised compositions.

Lev and Thumpbot play "Crazy" vimeo by ranjit.

David Byrne: Playing The Building NYC

David Byrne
Playing The Building
The Battery Maritime Building, Lower Manhattan
10 South Street, New York, NY
May 31 – August 10, 2008
Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Noon – 6PM (Free)
Opening Reception: 31 May, 6–8 PM

Playing the Building, a 9,000-square-foot, interactive, site-specific installation by David Byrne, will transform the interior of the landmark Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan into a massive sound sculpture that all visitors are invited to sit and “play.” Byrne’s project will consist of a retrofitted antique organ placed in the center of the building’s cavernous second-floor gallery that will control a series of devices attached to its structural features—metal beams, plumbing, electrical conduits, and heating and water pipes. These machines will vibrate, strike, and blow across the building elements, triggering unique harmonics and producing finely tuned sounds. As Byrne explains, it is an elaborate system for “activating the sound-producing qualities that are inherent in all materials.”

Playing the Building marks the first time in decades that the second floor of the Battery Maritime Building will be accessible to the public. The space will be open and free to all visitors on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the summer of 2008. Everyone will be invited to sit at the organ, tap on the keys, and create a unique array of sounds that travel through the space. In addition, David Byrne and Creative Time will invite guest musicians to challenge his creation through a series of performances and jam sessions.
Creative Time press release [via synthtopia + david byrne]. More info [pics - audio - video + interview] about the 2005 Stockholm Färgfabriken installation here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

NIN: The Slip New Album

Nine Inch Nails: The Slip

Track list:

  1. 999,999
  2. 1,000,000
  3. letting you
  4. discipline
  5. echoplex
  6. head down
  7. lights in the sky
  8. corona radiata
  9. the four of us are dying
  10. demon seed
length: 43:45

  • streaming audio available at iLike.
  • high-quality MP3s (87 mb)
  • FLAC lossless (259 mb)
  • M4A apple lossless (263 mb)
  • high definition WAVE 24/96 (1.2 gb)

as a thank you to our fans for your continued support, we are giving away the new nine inch nails album one hundred percent free, exclusively via

the music is available in a variety of formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or M4A lossless at CD quality and even higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE. your link will include all options - all free. all downloads include a PDF with artwork and credits.

for those of you interested in physical products, fear not. we plan to make a version of this release available on CD and vinyl in july. details coming soon.

the slip is licensed under a creative commons attribution non-commercial share alike license.

we encourage you to
remix it
share it with your friends,
post it on your blog,
play it on your podcast,
give it to strangers,
©2008 NIN

multitrack files available soon at

Update: Quick review. After my first listen, this album fucking rocks! The Slip is fucking awesome! The last track, Demon Seed, uses parts from Ghosts 38. Download the new NIN album now!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mixtapes - Remixing + Muxtape

Muxtape is bringing the concept of the old mixtape cassette to the Internet.

I grew up making mixtapes. My parents got me a white suitcase children's record player when I was young. I listened the The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour all the time. I started making mixtapes on my dad's stereo equipment and eventually on my own. When I was seven or eight years old, for Christmas my parents got me an Emerson stereo receiver that was an all-in-one AM/FM radio, turntable and cassette recorder with separate speakers. It had a sliding plastic cover on the turntable. I loved it.

I used the few records I had and songs off the radio for my first mixtapes. Radio mixtapes required some serious patience. I'd sit in front of the stereo for hours, sliding the dial back and forth between my favorite radio stations, with my finger on the pause button, to get the song I wanted. Back then, there was no second cassette deck to dub to. You had to get it just right. For a good mixtape, you wanted the whole song, without missing the beginning or catching the radio station's bumper, some DJ talking over the music or a bit of the fadeout of the previous song.

It was common to start recording a song I didn't want and then stop, rewind, play back to the right spot, pause, then engage the record button, while still paused, and wait for that song on the radio to transition to the next song. When I'd get the song I wanted right on the money, it was glorious! I'd rock out to the song, hoping that the DJ wouldn't screw it up at the end.

I vividly remember my discovery of the idea of multitrack recording. I was listening to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" on earbud headphones on my dad's Sony Walkman in the backseat of the car heading home from my grandparents' house.

"Wait a minute... Michael Jackson is singing with different voices of himself at the same time! How did he do that?!"

My dad told me it was done with multitrack recorders in the studio. What a concept! Then he told me that the old Akai reel-to-reel he had at home could do that. Oh my God!

Then I got turned on to remixing. I don't recall my first exposure to the concept, but this was the early 80's when the Synclavier was taking over the airwaves. I remember hearing a radio remix of "Thriller" where the bridge of the song was extended out another 32 bars or more and the chorus was repeated. I was blown away! I could do that too!

I started my first entrepreneurial ventures to earn money to pay for the records I wanted to buy. I sold baseball cards and Garbage Pail Kids at school. I had to have not only the album version of my favorite songs, but also the 12" for the remixes. Then I could make my own remixes from those.

My early remixes included Jan Hammer's "Miami Vice" theme song, Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F" from Beverly Hills Cop, Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus," Newcleus's "Jam On It," Paul Hardcastle's "19," the Kartoon Krew's hip hop version of the "Inspector Gadget" theme song, old TV show themes from TV Toons, the "Knight Rider" theme song... and so many other classics from the 80s. My first remixes were mostly cut-up, extended versions of the songs, and they all ended up on my mixtapes.

My cousin Alex got a portable cassette recorder with a built-in microphone. That let us record a full 45 minutes (remember, this is before we had auto-reverse) of a radio broadcast while we were at school and then listen back for the good stuff and transfer from one of the stereo's speakers to the mic of the portable recorder. It didn't sound good, but we used what we had. We'd stay up late at night listening to Miami's first hip hop station play tracks we couldn't find anywhere else (before Miami Bass had a name).

A whole new world opened up when we both got dual-cassette boomboxes that could copy from one tape to the other. We were amazed by a radio [Hot 107?] megamix of the License To Ill album by the Beastie Boys. I can't even imagine how many hours I spent making megamixes of that record.

Over time, my mixtapes started to develop themes and stories. I'd name them and design cases, J-cards and stickers for them. I made mixtapes for and about the girls I liked. That was a big deal. Making a mixtape for a girl and then giving it to her was as big as things got for me back then. It was more than special.

In high school, I started listening to darker and stranger music. This music made its way onto my mixtapes of the day.

In the 90s, I made mixtapes with Ben Riede, my college roommate, who I later ended up making music with as Hypha under the PFU Productions label. Our first mixtapes were a clash of our different musical tastes. I was big on industrial music, and he was into prog and metal. We would make mixtapes mainly from a 5-disc CD changer onto cassette. We took turns choosing songs and cranked out some bizarre mixes.

By our fourth "PFU tape," Ben and I added a 4-track machine to our recording arsenal. The Tascam 234 allowed us to blend songs together and flip parts backwards. It was no longer simply song after song. We created long continuous pieces of pure craziness. There was little attempt made to match the tempo between songs. Total trainwreck-style. Sound sources came from all over the place: CD, tape, vinyl, TV, video, mic, speakerphone, voicemail and eventually DAT field recordings and a Kurzweil K2000 sampler. The PFU tapes are still some of the most insane recordings I've ever heard.

A few years ago, CD-burning and iTunes playlists took on the role of the mixtape. There's something a bit more magical for me in the old cassette mixtapes though.

A few companies are now offering computer-based tools for creating "mp3 mixtapes." A couple weeks ago, I started uploading mp3 files to Muxtape, but I kept encountering slow speeds and errors. I was using Safari on the Mac. It seemed a bit better with Firefox. I picked from the limited selection of songs I have on my laptop instead of my full iTunes library. Muxtape currently allows you to have only one muxtape per account, so I may change it up every once in a while.

The first version of my Califaudio muxtape has songs by NIN, Newcleus, New Order, Wendy Carlos, The Tuss, TJ Milian [that's me], Laurie Johnson, Masami Kawahara, Otto Von Schirach/Venetian Snares, Electric Waffles, John Frusciante and Joy Division. If you own the copyright to one of the songs I used and want me to remove it, just let me know. It's an eclectic mix.

Here it is: The Califaudio Muxtape.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Cure: The Only One + 13th Day Singles

The Cure is celebrating their yet-to-be-titled 13th studio album by releasing a new single on the 13th day of each month until the album drops on September 13.

The first single of the four in this series is "The Only One" with "NY Trip" as the B-side. It will be released on May 13. The June 13 single will include "Freakshow" and the B-side "All Kinds of Stuff." Neither of the B-sides will appear on the album.

You can listen to "The Only One" now on The Cure's official website.

The Cure's North American tour starts next week with 65daysofstatic as the opening act.

05-09 Washington, DC - Patriot Center
05-10 Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Spectrum
05-12 Boston, MA - Agganis Arena
05-14 Montreal, Quebec - Bell Centre
05-15 Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Centre
05-17 Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena
05-19 Kansas City, MO - Starlight Theatre
05-21 Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
05-23 Salt Lake City, UT - E Center
05-25 George, WA - The Gorge Amphitheatre - Sasquatch! Festival
05-26 Vancouver, British Columbia - General Motors Place
05-29 Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
05-31 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
06-01 Los Angeles, CA - Shrine Auditorium
06-03 San Diego, CA - Cox Arena
06-04 Phoenix, AZ - Dodge Theatre
06-06 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
06-08 Austin, TX - Austin Music Hall
06-09 Houston, TX - Toyota Center
06-11 Tampa, FL - St. Pete Times Forum
06-13 Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Bank Atlantic Center
06-15 Atlanta, GA - Gwinnett Center
06-16 Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Bobcats Arena
06-18 Cleveland, OH - Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University
06-20 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
06-21 New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall