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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » March » 14


A free download turns Reaktor into a powerful Buchla modular emulation

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 14 Mar 2018 7:14 pm

West Coast synthesis is yours for a song, by combining a free/donationware download with Reaktor. And now Cloudlab 200t just got a major V2 upgrade.

First, okay – this is not an authorized Buchla product. The Buchla legacy is alive in hardware and software forms. The Buchla Easel got a full-blown remake from Arturia. The Twisted Waveform Generator module has an official remake from Softube – though it’s silly spendy, at US$99. (That’s the price of some actual hardware module kits, or halfway to getting Reaktor!) And of course Buchla the hardware company are back in action with some of the original engineers.

But that’s besides the point: this is in Reaktor. And because it’s in Reaktor, you can pick it apart from the outside in and see how it works. And you can combine it with other Reaktor stuff, and then run the result as a plug-in. That’s something unique – ever wondered what a granular patch would sound like routed through some Buchla effects, for instance?

Does it sound any good? Yes – enough so that colleagues who have spent considerable time on Buchla hardware say they appreciate it. It certainly replicates the control layout and basic ideas of the Buchla, even if it has its own unique sound.

There’s one major downside of Reaktor: all the patching is hidden in the structure. That’s pretty weird if you’re use to patching on the front panel, as on hardware (and software emulations). But it will be familiar to Reaktor users, and it means the control layout on the Buchla is clean – even if there’s some tension behind the way the Buchla was conceived and how it works here.

In version 2, you get some significant updates – starting most importantly with clock sync:

External clock. Any gate in or clock out can be synced to external input, and the 266t Chronikler gets a clock output. Now you can sync to DAWs – or, if you like, stuff like VCV Rack.

Lemur control works both ways. The popular iPad and Android controller app now gets parameters back from Cloudlab, so it responds in realtime.

More noise. Noise sources on the 266t Noise module now include -3 Pink, Flat, and +3 White noise. If this makes you swoon as it does me, then you’re definitely a synth nerd. (Flat is labeled “Buchlesque,” a word I hope to now apply in completely inappropriate situations…)

Easier on the CPU. You’ll still want a hefty processor, but this version promises to be more stable and efficient, says the developer.

More modules. 227t Output interface & 248t Multiple Sequential Generator.

Be sure to make a donation if you like this.

It’s also wonderful to see these ideas spreading. From efforts like this to the rising stardom of people like Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, it’s now not uncommon to meet aspiring musicians on the street who know the name Buchla. That’s a sea change from a few short years ago, when people might know the name “Moog” (and pronounce in a way that rhymes with a sound a cow makes), and referred to all computer production simply by “Pro Tools.” Now, they’re very likely to start lecturing you on their thoughts on West Coast versus East Coast synthesis or tell you what oscillator module their favorite producer just started raving about.

And that’s relevant here, too. It means Reaktor can help spread the viral interest in esoteric synthesis. And that means Native Instruments customers are likely to want to do more than just dial up presets. And certainly as the Buchla brand and other lesser-known names catch up with the giants like Roland, Moog, and KORG, we’re seeing synth lovers willing to look to hardware and software from a greater variety of models.

I’d say this could be overwhelming, but – I think that ignores the possibilities of sound. Once you dive into the Buchla Way, you may just find yourself … really happy.

Let us know if you make some sounds with this.

Big thanks to the wonderful Synth Anatomy where I saw this first:

Cloudlab 200t V2 Released – A Stunning Buchla Based Modular Synthesizer For Reaktor 6

The gorgeous GUI comes from David Frappaz

Trevor Gavilan, who designed and programmed the ensemble, has also used it to make some of his own music. Here’s something entirely produced in just one instance:

More information and download at the NI Reaktor User Library:

Cloudlab 200t V2

The post A free download turns Reaktor into a powerful Buchla modular emulation appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Virtuoso Commodore 64 composer Martin Walker is back

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 14 Mar 2018 5:23 pm

News for nerds: one of the musicians who was most adept at coaxing intricate music from chips is set to make a return. And that means it’s time for some chip music.

Nowadays, the MOS Technology SID chip might as well claim its place as an instrument, not just a chip with a particular game legacy, but among beloved classic synthesizers. And if instruments from the Minimoog to the Roland D-50 are seeing a return, it’s because there are particular techniques you can apply to those synthesizers. (For instance, our friend Francis Preve has delved into remaking the D-50’s synthesis approach, with or without Roland hardware – while we’re talking about the 80s.)

And this isn’t just nostalgia, partly because this stuff takes practice.

Talk about practice: Martin Walker makes the SID sing.

The radar engineer-turned programmer-turned composer, Mr. Walker is something of a legend in chip music circles. His productions are just dense. It wasn’t just chip music, either – he’s gone on to other projects, including circuit bending, composition on other instruments (like he likes the Chromaphone plug-in as much as I do), and has seen bylines in Sound on Sound.

Commodore Format reported yesterday that he’ll make a return to C64 music for the first time in almost 30 years.

Here’s the thing: far from nostalgic, those 80s creations sound positively forward. Here are a few:

Dragon Breed

Altered Beast

Indiana Jones: Fate of Atlantis

(this is a funny one for me, as this game was oddly a favorite of my composition teacher in college…)

Speedball 2 [love this]

And a whole collection of “Walker’s Warblers”:

Full list of his creations:

http://www.vgmpf.com/Wiki/index.php?title=Martin_Walker

And his own site/label/project:

http://www.yewtreemagic.co.uk/about.php

We’ll be watching Commodore Format for the news this Friday, because… the future ain’t what it used to be?

http://www.commodoreformatarchive.com/

The post Virtuoso Commodore 64 composer Martin Walker is back appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sophie review – hideous and heart-rending BDSM-friendly pop

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Wed 14 Mar 2018 3:35 pm

Heaven, London
The once-shy producer has now, after a gender transition, arrived front and centre to deliver nightmarish, bracingly contemporary electro

As reinventions go, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as dramatic as Sophie’s. While shaking up electronic music in the early 2010s with her arrestingly saccharine sound, the LA-based producer remained carefully concealed from view: publicity pictures were nonexistent, while YouTube videos consisted solely of cutesy CGI objects and live shows in which she was silently sequestered behind the decks. This evening, however, she is pretending to wrestle a giant white inflatable, clad head to toe in skin-tight PVC. Later, she will ride sidesaddle on one of her dancers before performing her own stilted routine. Camp doesn’t begin to cover it.

Sophie’s new hyper-flamboyant stage presence is more than a pose. Having spent the last few years in the studio with artists including Madonna and Charli XCX, in October she stepped out of the shadows with material that seemed more personal than her previous work. First came It’s Okay to Cry, a misty-eyed power ballad about an identity-based struggle for which she performed her own vocals for the first time. Then Faceshopping, whose lyrics read: “Artificial bloom / hydroponic skin / chemical release / synthesise the real.” Until recently, Sophie’s collaborators have referred to her as male – now, the PR literature uses “she”. Although the producer has declined to explain her gender identity in interviews, this new phase feels connected to some kind of transformation.

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4 Science Fiction Novels That Will Blow Your Mind According To Matrixxman

Delivered... By Matrixxman. Photos by Elizabeth Claire Herring. | Scene | Wed 14 Mar 2018 10:30 am

Science fiction and techno go together like Berlin and Detroit. That’s something that often comes to mind when we get lost in the sprawling IMAX-like techno soundscapes produced by Matrixxman. The Berlin-based producer’s work has long been defined by a sci-fi sensibility that pops up in everything from his sound design to his title choices to his chosen monicker.

Tracks like “Access Granted” and “Desert Planet”—both off Sector III: Polyphony, his relatively recent EP for Dekmantel—seem to exist as a part of a fictional, universe of his own creation. This is a mythology that incorporates aspects of advanced artificial intelligence, interstellar travel, creepy transhumanism and gritty neo-cyberpunk noir. Or that’s what we think of when we listen to his music at least. Don’t believe us? Just listen to his mix with Setaoc Mass for EB.Radio.

Unsurprisingly, Matrixxman is also a huge fan of science fiction books. Since we could use a good read, we asked him to provide us with a few of his favorite recommendations.

(Please note: We suggest you play the above techno mix alongside the following ambient noise as you read on.)

 

 

The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard (1962)

Ballard is supremely adept at articulating the subtleties of this collective psychosis we are experiencing right now in human history. Despite the bulk of his work not being hyper futuristic in the traditional sense of spaceships or AI-related tropes, he somehow manages to paint breathtakingly detailed visions of his own take on a post-apocalyptic world, or in some instances, an apocalyptic slant on the present. Compared to others in the genre, his willingness to delve into the unpleasant depths of the psyche isn’t just for shock value; it offers great purchase for the mind’s eye to grab onto and take hold of. Subsequently, the worlds he creates feel very immersive and real.

One of those happens to be The Drowned World. The story takes place in a not-so-distant future in which Earth has been overtaken by massive flooding presumably caused by global warming. And given the Trump administration’s proclivity for climate change denial (evidenced by the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord, something so absurd in and of itself), this theme couldn’t be more relevant for humanity right now.

If you’re the type to romanticize remnants of civilisation struggling to prop itself up into something resembling society, this might perfect for you. Despite the subject matter being rather bleak, Ballard’s genius makes it thoroughly enjoyable, and I find myself frequently identifying with the protagonist’s nihilism more than I might care to admit. This version of the planet seems to be undergoing a massive reversion to the Triassic age. This isn’t exactly something I’d have thought to be interesting, but Ballard seamlessly pulls it off. Who knows, you might also walk away with a newfound appreciation for reptiles.

Crystal Nights by Greg Egan (2009)

Hollywood sci-fi tends to focus on the more sensational side of emergent AI and the multi-faceted implications of AI becoming fully sentient. It’s far too often we are shown gnarly ass scenarios of killing machines running amuck or some pernicious force that is hellbent on doing its thing with no regard for humanity. And rightfully so. According to minds like Stephen Hawking, those scenarios are not only well within the range of possibility, but they’re actually rather likely.

A less glamorous but equally fascinating alternative outcome entails AI simply not giving a flying fuck about us. For whatever reason, we humans love us some good drama, so these alternative approaches wouldn’t exactly make for a good movie script. But they are occasionally tackled head-on in some sci-fi. Although Egan is routinely classified as hard sci-fi, this one is straightforward and nails it succinctly. It involves an Elon Musk-esque character using his surplus in venture capital to fund super computer simulations of AI in which he allows them to evolve on their own, with just a little tinkering from outside. This short but sweet story by Egan is, in my opinion, the most plausible manner in which we could see AI become self aware. This also happens to be a great primer to his other works like Diaspora, for those interested distant-future transhumanist adventures.

Singularity Sky by Charles Stross (2004)

We can only speculate as to what exactly will happen when the Singularity is finally upon us. However, if there is one thing most writers seem to agree on, it’s that most likely all hell will break loose when the time comes. Singularity Sky, one of the two Eschaton books, explores that concept a few hundred years in the future with a remote colony of Earth that is stuck in a repressive 19th century Victorian age of sorts.

The initial premise itself is already enthralling before the action kicks in; the Singularity occurs and, for some reason, an omniscient AI known as The Eschaton inexplicably scatters humanity throughout a 6,000-light-year-range of the galaxy, perhaps as either some form of punishment or self-defense. But then things majorly kick off when the totalitarian colony of this World is paid a visit by a collective of uploaded minds known as The Festival. Typically I’m not the type to enjoy anything remotely related to the fantasy genre, but the clash between futuristic and retrogressive cultures here couldn’t be more exciting.

Matter by Iain M. Banks (2008)

While we’re on the subject of sci-fi books that straddle the dichotomy of sci-fi and fantasy, one would be doing the genre a massive disservice not to mention Iain Banks’ masterpiece Matter, part of his infamous Culture series. Similar to Singularity Sky, the story juxtaposes a hyper-futuristic civilization next to a feudal society stuck in the past, although there’s not much shared outside of that element. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of the Culture books, and as far as I remember, they aren’t in any chronological order, which makes them easy to read randomly or concurrently.

The series is based on The Culture, a kind of United Nations of the universe in which humans, AI and other species come together for a singular democratic cause. Although The Culture has primarily altruistic motivations, things tend to get messy rather easily when they come into contact with non-Culture civilizations. And as you can imagine, that is precisely what happens on this particular Shell World, a vast multi-level artificial planet that houses numerous civilizations within it. We become acquainted with the Special Circumstances unit of the Culture, a division tasked with some of the more creative forms of meddling with other civilizations when left with no other option.

In the Culture series, the AI (such as the drones and AI’s belonging to ships) have just as much personality as the human characters, which makes for a highly entertaining dynamic. The size of Banks’ universe is staggering and teeming with life in all corners. If sci-fi continues on its trend of being somewhat prescient and dictating possible realities to come, I’d gladly welcome a world like his.

See more photos from Elizabeth Claire Herring on Instagram.

Read more: Check out this comic by legendary Detroit techno illustrator Alan Oldham

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