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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » News


Roland is releasing 30+ new things on 909 – September 9

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 23 Aug 2016 10:45 am

The next big Roland product unveiling isn’t at a trade show – it’s on the Internet. At a 24-hour streaming “online musical instruments festival,” the Japanese giant is promising a bunch of new stuff (30+).

The date is an auspicious one for the company – September 9, or 909. And sure enough, they’re also calling it a celebration of 33 years of their legendary drum machine.

http://tfr.roland.com/en/909-celebration

In addition to the product unveilings, they’re live in a bunch of cities with artist performances and other events, too – LA, NYC, Toronto, Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, and here in Berlin, among others. (The global south gets left out of that, which is a bit unfortunate!)

We are always on the Internet, as it were, but we’ll be catching up with Roland in Berlin, I hope – in person, even.

Watch the trailer for more:

As for what to expect in products, this is structured an awful lot like a Roland press conference. (And with all due respect to Roland the brand, whose products I often love, I do … rather hope this is very different from such a press conference, which is better geared for dealers than the rest of us.)

They’re doing launches in multiple categories – synths, keyboards, DJ stuff, but also video equipment. In other words, it’s all CDM territory (even Create Digital Motion).

And this video shows just how excited they are about the 909 bit. It seems new AIRA stuff is a definite go. I still wouldn’t put it past the company to do a reissue of the 909, by the way, given used prices – and given that Roland has done all sorts of things we would have never imagined until recently. (Eurorack?!)

We’ll be watching. And in case you don’t want to watch the whole stream, we’ll of course also get news for you as soon as we can.

I have no idea what it means to redefine the future, exactly. I’m going to put off figuring that out until tomorrow. Oh… wait.

The post Roland is releasing 30+ new things on 909 – September 9 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Form is an all-new hybrid granular synthesizer

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 1 Aug 2016 4:54 pm

Native Instruments has been a pioneer in making synthesizers that employ granular synthesis. But a lot of that power was limited to people who wanted to play with Reaktor ensembles – and there hasn’t been any big news lately in this area. Until now, that is.

Tucked into the release announcement of Komplete 11 comes some very big news for lovers of creative sound design and synthesis. It’s a new instrument called Form. It’s powered by Reaktor, but it’s been built from the ground up, according to NI. And it lets you drag and drop sounds to manipulate them into playable instruments.

Form is a hybrid sample-based synthesizer. Drag and drop a file onto the interface, and then play them back using granular synthesis – that is, digitally transforming those audio snippets by converting them into flows of tiny grains you can pitch up and down, freely manipulating pitch and time.

That’s nothing new in and of itself, as a fundamental idea. But Form is all a matter of implementation. It combines granular playback with an additive synthesizer, sample manipulation with rich modulation.

You can combine the additive oscillator with the sampled oscillator using frequency manipulation. (If you’re thinking that allows for some mind-blowing results, you’re right – and NI have somehow tuned this instrument so that you can wrap your head around producing some nice results.)

You can modulate just about everything, but you can also easily combine parameters into macro controls (perfect, of course, for NI’s own keyboard line, but also your favorite controller, too). There’s a set of performance tools for saving and recalling snapshots quickly, as well.

And there are a bunch of effects.

If you want to stay shallow, there are the prerequisite presets, of course. But things get interesting with various motion curves, which you can also edit in order to create unique movements through morphing sounds.

And because it’s powered in Reaktor, you can also go a lot deeper if you have a Reaktor license handy. In fact, this really shows us some of the fruits of what was developed for Reaktor 6 – regular readers will recall I was particularly interested in granular possibilities the moment I heard about new drag-and-drop file handling and table facilities. Here we are.

I’ve just started playing with an early build, and … uh, wow. More on that soon in our exclusive hands-on.

NI has provided us with some genre-particular demos showing off the sound results. I’ll have more once I’ve had more time with the build.

And here’s a look at the UI:

Drag and drop your own samples to create new sounds, with waveform selection tools at the ready. Monophonic pitched sounds work especially well with this technique.

Drag and drop your own samples to create new sounds, with waveform selection tools at the ready. Monophonic pitched sounds work especially well with this technique.

The Movement page lets you traverse that sound content.

The Movement page lets you traverse that sound content.

Curve presets give you the ability to shape sounds in time.

Curve presets give you the ability to shape sounds in time.

There are preset curves for controlling movement and modulation, but you can also design your own curves (whoa).

There are preset curves for controlling movement and modulation, but you can also design your own curves (whoa).

The sound page gives you more options, and reveals the instrument's hybrid synthesis - granular playback approach.

The sound page gives you more options, and reveals the instrument’s hybrid synthesis – granular playback approach.

There are deep effects, too.

There are deep effects, too.

Watch (and listen to) this space. I’m pretty excited about this one, as I’m sure some of you are, too.

The post Form is an all-new hybrid granular synthesizer appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Komplete 11 has all the latest NI goodies, and a new synth

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 1 Aug 2016 4:16 pm

It’s that time of year again – time for a new update to Komplete, the suite of software from Native Instruments. But Komplete 11 is a bit special, in that powerful Reaktor-powered additions meet some especially nice tools for producers.

The biggest addition is a new instrument called Form, an all-new synthesizer based on granular synthesis. That’s catnip for the CDM crowd, so we’ll look at it in detail separately.

Everything else you’ve seen before if you’ve been watching NI software, but this year’s graduating Komplete class is an especially nice one, once you put it together. What’s new:

KOMPLETE 11 SELECT
All the basics, delivered on a USB drive
25 GB of sounds
Replika delay, a lovely-sounding delay with lots of options (though see Ultimate for the XT version)
Solid Bus Compressor, a nice essential, transparent compressor
Monark, the exceptional Minimoog-inspired synth with a truly terrific filter model
US$199/199€

KOMPLETE 11
7 new products, delivered on a hard drive
All of the above, plus –
Form, the new granular instrument
Una Corda, the unique model of the delicate piano built for Nils Frahm
Reaktor 6 with Reaktor Blocks, which give you Eurorack-style modular instruments pretty much anyone can use, even without much past synth experience (or let you customize your own stuff if you want to go deeper)
Plus DISCOVERY SERIES: INDIA, REPLIKA, SESSION GUITARIST – STRUMMED ACOUSTIC, and KINETIC METAL
US$599/599€

KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE
13 new products, delivered on a hard drive
All of the above, plus –
Symphony Essentials, a set of brass, wind, and string instruments that make this a must-have for anyone doing scoring
Flesh, Tim Exile’s amazing (and under-hyped, I think) looping instrument
Replika XT which lately has been my favorite go-to delay (like, I need to force myself to stop using it everywhere – that kind of problem)
plus EMOTIVE STRINGS
US$1199/1199€

And of course, upgrades are available for existing users. More:

www.native-instruments.com/komplete11

Stay tuned for our world-exclusive hands-on with Form.

The post Komplete 11 has all the latest NI goodies, and a new synth appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

This Eurorack module was coded wrong – and you’ll like it

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 29 Jul 2016 5:25 pm

It’s called the Circuit-Bent Digital Waveguide™ 扰动数字波导. Or the DU™ DU-KRPLS. And straight out of the “that’s not a bug, it’s a feature” files, it’s got intentionally wrong code in it. But that’s a good thing.

DU-KRPLS from detroit underground on Vimeo.

The new Eurorack module is a collaboration between smart, weirdo label Detroit Underground and Beijing’s underground musician/hacker menqimusic.

Meng Qi is a story himself, an electronic music artist from China whose circuit creations and Euro line manage to be subversive and elegant at once. His work extends to every angle on the medium, from teaching to programming to design to electronic music, which has let him to lead digital art and workshops around China and internationally.

And this might be the nicest creation he’s produced yet.

Okay, so it’s not entirely fair to fixate on that “broken” code (though it does sound glitchy and wonderful). The module in fact has two modes.

In circuit bent mode, the code ‘error’ can make “micro movements and glitches.”

There’s also a non-“bent” traditional Karplus sound – that’s the classic way of producing a digital model of a plucked instrument, aka Karplus-Strong string synthesis.

And in a nod to its home country, you can power it up to a D major pentatonic tuning, in case you want to emulate a zither. So apart from these wild noise-y things, you could produce something far more delicate … it’s really up to you.

A firmware update also offers tighter timing and crispier sound, which sounds delicious.

We’ll have to do a separate interview with Meng Qi. But this module goes on my shortlist of things I’d want in the vast landscape of Eurorack.

Now, maybe Eurorack modules are the future of record labels.

http://detroitunderground.net/archives/modular/du-krpls

detundeuro

The post This Eurorack module was coded wrong – and you’ll like it appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

This Eurorack module was coded wrong – and you’ll like it

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 29 Jul 2016 5:25 pm

It’s called the Circuit-Bent Digital Waveguide™ 扰动数字波导. Or the DU™ DU-KRPLS. And straight out of the “that’s not a bug, it’s a feature” files, it’s got intentionally wrong code in it. But that’s a good thing.

DU-KRPLS from detroit underground on Vimeo.

The new Eurorack module is a collaboration between smart, weirdo label Detroit Underground and Beijing’s underground musician/hacker menqimusic.

Meng Qi is a story himself, an electronic music artist from China whose circuit creations and Euro line manage to be subversive and elegant at once. His work extends to every angle on the medium, from teaching to programming to design to electronic music, which has let him to lead digital art and workshops around China and internationally.

And this might be the nicest creation he’s produced yet.

Okay, so it’s not entirely fair to fixate on that “broken” code (though it does sound glitchy and wonderful). The module in fact has two modes.

In circuit bent mode, the code ‘error’ can make “micro movements and glitches.”

There’s also a non-“bent” traditional Karplus sound – that’s the classic way of producing a digital model of a plucked instrument, aka Karplus-Strong string synthesis.

And in a nod to its home country, you can power it up to a D major pentatonic tuning, in case you want to emulate a zither. So apart from these wild noise-y things, you could produce something far more delicate … it’s really up to you.

A firmware update also offers tighter timing and crispier sound, which sounds delicious.

We’ll have to do a separate interview with Meng Qi. But this module goes on my shortlist of things I’d want in the vast landscape of Eurorack.

Now, maybe Eurorack modules are the future of record labels.

http://detroitunderground.net/archives/modular/du-krpls

detundeuro

The post This Eurorack module was coded wrong – and you’ll like it appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

raster-noton founders on how they found visual inspiration

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Thu 28 Jul 2016 2:28 pm

Few electronic labels or acts have an identity as well defined as raster-noton, and its co-founders Bytone (Olaf Bender) and alva noto (Carsten Nicolai). And I don’t just mean single cycle waveforms or quick bursts of noise, hard-edged projected high contrast geometries or digital aesthetics, though those associations will certainly spring to mind. Even as the label has expanded in its musical scope in recent years, it has retained a sense that aesthetics themselves matter, that its artist roster are capable of painting with sound and exposing the process of using technology.

Understanding where that comes from visually is key to appreciating what it means to be raster-noton. At Barcelona’s SONAR festival last month, I got to sit down with Carsten and Olaf and talk about this visual side, nicely coinciding with the label’s twentieth anniversary year.

I have to say I enjoyed this as much as any panel I think I’ve done; Carsten and Olaf are also exceptionally thoughtful and easy to talk to (contrary to whatever stodgy German stereotype people may imagine).

As evidence of the visual life of the label, there has been recently the “white circle” installation, which I saw at the Halle of Berghain. The visual component was understated – a choreography of a circle of lights, vaguely recalling a birthday cake.

white circle /// raster-noton 20 anniversary /// zkm karlsruhe from Michael Wolf on Vimeo.

To me, a high point in the raster-noton visual oeuvre was alva noto’s unitxt/univrs around 2010, partly because it exposed its own workings (a Touch Designer collaboration with Markus Heckmann).

Alva Noto – unitxt/univrs (Derivative Version) from Derivative on Vimeo.

Or here’s Olaf at SONAR in 2009. (Olaf spoke really highly of the SONAR experience over the years).

A few themes emerged from our talk.

I was especially intrigued by the way their visual background influenced their take on music. (That’s especially informative to me, as I feel a bit biased the other way – tending to try to apply musical filters to whatever I see in visual composition, for instance.)

So dealing directly with the visual materials of music itself was important. They talk about using extreme sounds, then viewing those on an oscilloscope in order to work with them – that clearly is inspired in some way by a tendency to process sonic information in the visual spectrum.

They also describe minimalism as a kind of reaction to growing up to DDR broadcast media that centered on propaganda.

It’s interesting to counterpoint the attitudes in the West. In post-War America, the CIA could back abstract expressionism as counter to Soviet social realism.

And maybe you could view visual performance culture on both sides of the former Cold War as a reaction to that era. If the raster-noton artists sought to expunge propaganda from a minimalist visual language, artists like Emergency Broadcast Network turned instead to cut-ups, remixes and mash-ups (which went on to influence VJ culture worldwide), drawing themselves on hip hop culture and its own criticism of the dominant narrative. This Desert Storm-era video is a good example of the response to the government-tailored propaganda packages that aired on cable news (and is especially ironic, considering the cast of characters and the more recent controversies over the second invasion of Iraq, use of drones and “smart” weapons, and surveillance):

But the other conclusion to draw from our conversation is the way that raster-noton has managed to be outward looking, how it continues to grow and evolve rather than take the easy route of being a museum piece version of itself.

I especially appreciate the dynamic new performances of Robert Lippok and Frank Bretschneider (of the “old guard”), and Kyoka, Dasha Rush, and Grischa Licthenberger (of the newer additions), among others. That includes new visual directions, whether it’s Robert and Frank recently creating immersive sensory overload by filling the Roter Salon in Berlin with fog and brilliant strobes, or the team of Stanislav Glasov and Margo Kudrina adding visionary Touch Designer-powered visuals at festival appearances and the recent Berghain showcase. There’s more to say here, so I’m sure we’ll loop back on that. But this is the mature raster-noton: one comfortable enough in itself that it can make a statement without a rigorously-defined aesthetic.

In fact, we didn’t even get a chance to talk about Carsten’s robust career in the art world, which could easily have been a talk all itself (I decided to stick mainly to the work inside the sphere of the label).

CDM's Peter Kirn speaks with Carsten and Olaf, courtesy SONAR Festival / SONAR+D.

CDM’s Peter Kirn speaks with Carsten and Olaf, courtesy SONAR Festival / SONAR+D.

Audience at this year's stage, courtesy SONAR Festival / SONAR+D.

Audience at this year’s stage, courtesy SONAR Festival / SONAR+D.

But it’s humbling to get to know this community of artists, from the label co-heads to all their collaborators. I think what they’ve done to build the label and their own performance careers can be an inspiration to a lot of us – particularly to any of us who have been told “you don’t mix this with that” (to quote the classic track “Transition”), as far as working across media.

Here’s to the next projects – and the next twenty years.

http://www.raster-noton.net

http://sonarplusd.com

The post raster-noton founders on how they found visual inspiration appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

raster-noton founders on how they found visual inspiration

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Thu 28 Jul 2016 2:28 pm

Few electronic labels or acts have an identity as well defined as raster-noton, and its co-founders Bytone (Olaf Bender) and alva noto (Carsten Nicolai). And I don’t just mean single cycle waveforms or quick bursts of noise, hard-edged projected high contrast geometries or digital aesthetics, though those associations will certainly spring to mind. Even as the label has expanded in its musical scope in recent years, it has retained a sense that aesthetics themselves matter, that its artist roster are capable of painting with sound and exposing the process of using technology.

Understanding where that comes from visually is key to appreciating what it means to be raster-noton. At Barcelona’s SONAR festival last month, I got to sit down with Carsten and Olaf and talk about this visual side, nicely coinciding with the label’s twentieth anniversary year.

I have to say I enjoyed this as much as any panel I think I’ve done; Carsten and Olaf are also exceptionally thoughtful and easy to talk to (contrary to whatever stodgy German stereotype people may imagine).

As evidence of the visual life of the label, there has been recently the “white circle” installation, which I saw at the Halle of Berghain. The visual component was understated – a choreography of a circle of lights, vaguely recalling a birthday cake.

white circle /// raster-noton 20 anniversary /// zkm karlsruhe from Michael Wolf on Vimeo.

To me, a high point in the raster-noton visual oeuvre was alva noto’s unitxt/univrs around 2010, partly because it exposed its own workings (a Touch Designer collaboration with Markus Heckmann).

Alva Noto – unitxt/univrs (Derivative Version) from Derivative on Vimeo.

Or here’s Olaf at SONAR in 2009. (Olaf spoke really highly of the SONAR experience over the years).

A few themes emerged from our talk.

I was especially intrigued by the way their visual background influenced their take on music. (That’s especially informative to me, as I feel a bit biased the other way – tending to try to apply musical filters to whatever I see in visual composition, for instance.)

So dealing directly with the visual materials of music itself was important. They talk about using extreme sounds, then viewing those on an oscilloscope in order to work with them – that clearly is inspired in some way by a tendency to process sonic information in the visual spectrum.

They also describe minimalism as a kind of reaction to growing up to DDR broadcast media that centered on propaganda.

It’s interesting to counterpoint the attitudes in the West. In post-War America, the CIA could back abstract expressionism as counter to Soviet social realism.

And maybe you could view visual performance culture on both sides of the former Cold War as a reaction to that era. If the raster-noton artists sought to expunge propaganda from a minimalist visual language, artists like Emergency Broadcast Network turned instead to cut-ups, remixes and mash-ups (which went on to influence VJ culture worldwide), drawing themselves on hip hop culture and its own criticism of the dominant narrative. This Desert Storm-era video is a good example of the response to the government-tailored propaganda packages that aired on cable news (and is especially ironic, considering the cast of characters and the more recent controversies over the second invasion of Iraq, use of drones and “smart” weapons, and surveillance):

But the other conclusion to draw from our conversation is the way that raster-noton has managed to be outward looking, how it continues to grow and evolve rather than take the easy route of being a museum piece version of itself.

I especially appreciate the dynamic new performances of Robert Lippok and Frank Bretschneider (of the “old guard”), and Kyoka, Dasha Rush, and Grischa Licthenberger (of the newer additions), among others. That includes new visual directions, whether it’s Robert and Frank recently creating immersive sensory overload by filling the Roter Salon in Berlin with fog and brilliant strobes, or the team of Stanislav Glasov and Margo Kudrina adding visionary Touch Designer-powered visuals at festival appearances and the recent Berghain showcase. There’s more to say here, so I’m sure we’ll loop back on that. But this is the mature raster-noton: one comfortable enough in itself that it can make a statement without a rigorously-defined aesthetic.

In fact, we didn’t even get a chance to talk about Carsten’s robust career in the art world, which could easily have been a talk all itself (I decided to stick mainly to the work inside the sphere of the label).

CDM's Peter Kirn speaks with Carsten and Olaf, courtesy SONAR Festival / SONAR+D.

CDM’s Peter Kirn speaks with Carsten and Olaf, courtesy SONAR Festival / SONAR+D.

Audience at this year's stage, courtesy SONAR Festival / SONAR+D.

Audience at this year’s stage, courtesy SONAR Festival / SONAR+D.

But it’s humbling to get to know this community of artists, from the label co-heads to all their collaborators. I think what they’ve done to build the label and their own performance careers can be an inspiration to a lot of us – particularly to any of us who have been told “you don’t mix this with that” (to quote the classic track “Transition”), as far as working across media.

Here’s to the next projects – and the next twenty years.

http://www.raster-noton.net

http://sonarplusd.com

The post raster-noton founders on how they found visual inspiration appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sail to Samos with vintage BBC to find Pythagorean tunings

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 27 Jul 2016 6:17 pm

Speaking of tuning, before there was Cosmos and Carl Sagan, there was BBC’s Ascent of Man. (Make that “humankind” now, of course.) And there’s something charming about its breathless reminder of the mystical magic of Pythagorean tuning, and its mythical discovery in folklore. Fact check – as the film sort of suggests, we don’t really know how this discovery took place since our knowledge is fragmentary. It may not have involved any individual named Pythagoras, or indeed taken place on Samos. But the power associated with the harmony of mathematics, sound, and perception does have historical basis – in the Classical era, in the resurrection of those ideals (in the Middle Ages and Renaissance), and in modern times.


BBC Ascent of Man – 04 – Music of the Spheres von infinitradiant

Actually, interestingly, it may be the notion of “Western,” if anything, that’s breaking apart. The disclaimer the BBC attached to what is or isn’t pleasing in tuning may artificially separate western European civilization from everything else. In reality, tuning systems were historically diverse up until the belated standardization on 440Hz A and 12-tone-equal temperament in modern times – and even those aren’t universal across America and Europe in classical concert music, let alone when you take into account everything else. To look at it the other way, the audiences watching this BBC documentary in the UK were already used to harmonies in popular music that contain far more complex sonorities than whole tone ratios would suggest.

Likewise, I’ve never read any convincing argument that any particular tuning is definitively pleasing to the ears. Our ears are, however, sensitive to tuning, and can learn to appreciate alternative tunings just as they can learn to hear different rhythmic or metrical structures.

But what is more consistent is the sense of wonder about Pythagorean findings and the early human understanding of the world. And why not? The Pythagorean Theorem and the discovery of tuning is pretty darned cool, fellow humans.

The post Sail to Samos with vintage BBC to find Pythagorean tunings appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sail to Samos with vintage BBC to find Pythagorean tunings

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 27 Jul 2016 6:17 pm

Speaking of tuning, before there was Cosmos and Carl Sagan, there was BBC’s Ascent of Man. (Make that “humankind” now, of course.) And there’s something charming about its breathless reminder of the mystical magic of Pythagorean tuning, and its mythical discovery in folklore. Fact check – as the film sort of suggests, we don’t really know how this discovery took place since our knowledge is fragmentary. It may not have involved any individual named Pythagoras, or indeed taken place on Samos. But the power associated with the harmony of mathematics, sound, and perception does have historical basis – in the Classical era, in the resurrection of those ideals (in the Middle Ages and Renaissance), and in modern times.


BBC Ascent of Man – 04 – Music of the Spheres von infinitradiant

Actually, interestingly, it may be the notion of “Western,” if anything, that’s breaking apart. The disclaimer the BBC attached to what is or isn’t pleasing in tuning may artificially separate western European civilization from everything else. In reality, tuning systems were historically diverse up until the belated standardization on 440Hz A and 12-tone-equal temperament in modern times – and even those aren’t universal across America and Europe in classical concert music, let alone when you take into account everything else. To look at it the other way, the audiences watching this BBC documentary in the UK were already used to harmonies in popular music that contain far more complex sonorities than whole tone ratios would suggest.

Likewise, I’ve never read any convincing argument that any particular tuning is definitively pleasing to the ears. Our ears are, however, sensitive to tuning, and can learn to appreciate alternative tunings just as they can learn to hear different rhythmic or metrical structures.

But what is more consistent is the sense of wonder about Pythagorean findings and the early human understanding of the world. And why not? The Pythagorean Theorem and the discovery of tuning is pretty darned cool, fellow humans.

The post Sail to Samos with vintage BBC to find Pythagorean tunings appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Enjoy the sweet sound of guitar just intonation on this album

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Tue 26 Jul 2016 9:49 pm

Sorry. I’m terrible at writing headlines, actually. I’m also mostly terrible at writing reviews. So let me just say that if you haven’t heard Horse Lords, the Baltimore-based indie band, since their 2010 founding, you deserve to. And they make a great argument for why alternative tunings really do matter in music.

They do so not so much in the sound of just intonation as the interplay of tuning and rhythm. Those two are, of course, interlinked in the view of physics and the science of sound. What we hear as pitch actually is rhythm, the result of our perception fusing successive oscillations into a tone. But they’re also culturally linked, from the use of beating in Indonesian music to the association of certain tunings with certain rhythmic practice. Like spice and texture working together in food, tuning and rhythm tickle our brains with their forward flow.

As for Horse Lords, their work is best described as a hybrid – one aware (and crediting) its roots in Western African music as well as Western band structure and experimental composition. The quartet is Andrew Bernstein (saxophone/percussion), Max Eilbacher (bass/electronics), Owen Gardner (guitar), and Sam Haberman (drums). Evidently the likes of La Monte Young helped encourage them to explore just intonation, with Owen refretting instruments as needed. But as for the polyrhythmic structures, I think it’s significant to note this isn’t just appropriation of a particular culture – on the contrary, it’s finally that Western music has woken up to the language of the polyrhythm in musics from different corners of the world.

But don’t take my high-falutin’ Ivory Tower take on the matter – just listen. Because this spring Horse Lords released a spectacular latest record, and I think it’s their best yet.

I get lots of promos but buying this on Bandcamp is a no-brainer.

But if that isn’t enough to inspire you, there’s more. For one, us European residents (ahem) get to catch these Americans at Unsound Festival in Poland in October, so there’s that news. (No secret lineups in Krakow this year.)

And two, the boys have put together a nice Spotify playlist of compositional and microtonal/non-equal-tempered inspiration – suitable if you’re thinking of working with musical technology acoustic, analog, digital, or any combination. Love this one:

Your next four hours twenty minutes are sorted on that playlist alone.

https://www.facebook.com/HorseLords/

So if nothing else, guys, this does remind me that we really need to get on this matter of allowing easier alternative tunings in our software and electronic projects – a discussion a lot of us are having lately. Oh, that and — you can always reboot your musical influences to create wonderful new experiments.

Huge tip of the hat to Philip Sherburne on Twitter for picking this up.

The post Enjoy the sweet sound of guitar just intonation on this album appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Enjoy the sweet sound of guitar just intonation on this album

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Tue 26 Jul 2016 9:49 pm

Sorry. I’m terrible at writing headlines, actually. I’m also mostly terrible at writing reviews. So let me just say that if you haven’t heard Horse Lords, the Baltimore-based indie band, since their 2010 founding, you deserve to. And they make a great argument for why alternative tunings really do matter in music.

They do so not so much in the sound of just intonation as the interplay of tuning and rhythm. Those two are, of course, interlinked in the view of physics and the science of sound. What we hear as pitch actually is rhythm, the result of our perception fusing successive oscillations into a tone. But they’re also culturally linked, from the use of beating in Indonesian music to the association of certain tunings with certain rhythmic practice. Like spice and texture working together in food, tuning and rhythm tickle our brains with their forward flow.

As for Horse Lords, their work is best described as a hybrid – one aware (and crediting) its roots in Western African music as well as Western band structure and experimental composition. The quartet is Andrew Bernstein (saxophone/percussion), Max Eilbacher (bass/electronics), Owen Gardner (guitar), and Sam Haberman (drums). Evidently the likes of La Monte Young helped encourage them to explore just intonation, with Owen refretting instruments as needed. But as for the polyrhythmic structures, I think it’s significant to note this isn’t just appropriation of a particular culture – on the contrary, it’s finally that Western music has woken up to the language of the polyrhythm in musics from different corners of the world.

But don’t take my high-falutin’ Ivory Tower take on the matter – just listen. Because this spring Horse Lords released a spectacular latest record, and I think it’s their best yet.

I get lots of promos but buying this on Bandcamp is a no-brainer.

But if that isn’t enough to inspire you, there’s more. For one, us European residents (ahem) get to catch these Americans at Unsound Festival in Poland in October, so there’s that news. (No secret lineups in Krakow this year.)

And two, the boys have put together a nice Spotify playlist of compositional and microtonal/non-equal-tempered inspiration – suitable if you’re thinking of working with musical technology acoustic, analog, digital, or any combination. Love this one:

Your next four hours twenty minutes are sorted on that playlist alone.

https://www.facebook.com/HorseLords/

So if nothing else, guys, this does remind me that we really need to get on this matter of allowing easier alternative tunings in our software and electronic projects – a discussion a lot of us are having lately. Oh, that and — you can always reboot your musical influences to create wonderful new experiments.

Huge tip of the hat to Philip Sherburne on Twitter for picking this up.

The post Enjoy the sweet sound of guitar just intonation on this album appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Watch a wild Loop Station performance made in one shot

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Tue 26 Jul 2016 3:47 pm

Can you whistle? Can you hum? Sing? Dance? Let’s assume for a moment that the problem isn’t your musicality, because you have something to express. The point of technology and music skill is really to express that inner musicality.

For a beautiful demonstration of that, watch one guy roam the streets of Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood with one piece of gear – and make an amazing song just from looping.

It’s a film by Arthur Moore of Berlin-based artist Rico Loop. Rico is a master looping artist – working with computers (Native Instruments) and hardware alike – and has performed with the likes of Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea.

Gear used:

Sound: BOSS Loop Station RC-505 – that easy access to mixing five tracks here really excels

Image: Ronin gimbal (for stabilization, actually costs about as much as the camera body!) with a Panasonic LUMIX GH4 (fairly inexpensive 4K camera)

There’s more. Rico Loop sometimes shows up in Mauerpark (the park formerly marked by the Berlin Wall):

Here’s Rico Loop back in 2012 demo’ing the RC-300 Loop Station. Actually, for all we deal with music tech in terms of news, I think some of the most effective hardware has a longer shelf life – it’s something that people get to know over time. (Think about guitars, by contrast.)

It’s not just about virtuosity; Rico is really doing some sophisticated one-person-band act here, and clearly has a real feel for groove:

More:
http://www.ricoloop.com/about/

The post Watch a wild Loop Station performance made in one shot appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Watch a wild Loop Station performance made in one shot

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Tue 26 Jul 2016 3:47 pm

Can you whistle? Can you hum? Sing? Dance? Let’s assume for a moment that the problem isn’t your musicality, because you have something to express. The point of technology and music skill is really to express that inner musicality.

For a beautiful demonstration of that, watch one guy roam the streets of Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood with one piece of gear – and make an amazing song just from looping.

It’s a film by Arthur Moore of Berlin-based artist Rico Loop. Rico is a master looping artist – working with computers (Native Instruments) and hardware alike – and has performed with the likes of Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea.

Gear used:

Sound: BOSS Loop Station RC-505 – that easy access to mixing five tracks here really excels

Image: Ronin gimbal (for stabilization, actually costs about as much as the camera body!) with a Panasonic LUMIX GH4 (fairly inexpensive 4K camera)

There’s more. Rico Loop sometimes shows up in Mauerpark (the park formerly marked by the Berlin Wall):

Here’s Rico Loop back in 2012 demo’ing the RC-300 Loop Station. Actually, for all we deal with music tech in terms of news, I think some of the most effective hardware has a longer shelf life – it’s something that people get to know over time. (Think about guitars, by contrast.)

It’s not just about virtuosity; Rico is really doing some sophisticated one-person-band act here, and clearly has a real feel for groove:

More:
http://www.ricoloop.com/about/

The post Watch a wild Loop Station performance made in one shot appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Meet Skram, the free iPad app full of patterns and synths

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 25 Jul 2016 5:51 pm

We’ve reached the mature age of music apps. You’re likely to use fewer of them, and the landscape is saturated with the most popular ideas. It’s also clear that iPad, not Android, is the viable tablet platform. But the few apps that are left standing as serious music tools are better than ever. They’re easier to integrate with your computer and standalone hardware, and they feel more like instruments and less like toys. They walk some line between making music production more accessible to beginners, and offering refreshing simplicity to people who are mixing them with other gear. And Skram, free with free add-ons, is a nice microcosm of that in its update.

We’ve already seen a glimpse of what the iPad app Skram might become, when we broke the story in March. The basic conceit was familiar: provide some fun synths and drum machines and a way to play them quickly. And it caught our attention as it comes from Liine, developers of the must-have Lemur controller app.

But where Skram set itself apart then was in offering some compelling sound quality, and in allowing you to generate sophisticated rhythms and melodies. It did each of these quickly with consolidated knobs: shift this, and change the mode/key, or the rhythmic pattern (including some nice syncopations), or vastly impact sound.

Compelling proof of concept, yes. But the first release was limited in the synths it offered, and didn’t have easy connections to other apps.

That changes with the update that just now went live.

Skram 1_2_2 White iPad

There are four new devices, part of a new pack called “Riot” that emphasizes urban/trap styles (although they could just as easily be used for some heavier/darker techno, too). These for me really fill out the sound of the original (particularly the somewhat vanilla initial drum machine – nice to have more than bread and butter):

Neon: Rave-y, trance-y synth (though also with enough parameter range that you could go somewhere else with it)
Jade: “Miami” style sub bass
Crimson: Edgy new melodic synth, capable of “sharp leads” and “short bleeps”
Azure: My favorite new addition, a really heavy, dirty 808 kit

All the new synths are great, especially once combined with the batch from the first go-around.

You might expect those would be in-app purchases, but Liine are now up to eight devices completely for free. (Presumably they’ll add some paid ones later on, or else I’m going to have to go down to their offices and bring them food.)

These are nice, but it’s connectivity that moves Skram from “ah, cool” into must-have. There’s now a somewhat ridiculous complement of functionality for a free app:

Inter-App Audio (IAA) – which means it works with Modstep, GarageBand, Cubasis, Elastic Drums, and the like
AudioCopy Support
Ableton Link

Link for me is the big one, since it means you can jam with these instruments and add to, say, an Ableton session or play with friends.

And not only are there eight devices from which to choose, but you can now mix and match as you like – so up to four of one device if you really want.

Here’s a very quick demo session I shot from an iPad with one of the developers, just to show you how it comes together. As you’ll see it’s really easy to get interesting rhythms and melodies and sounds going.

Previously:
Skram app sounds great, navigates rhythm and harmony

More:
https://skramapp.com

or on the App Store

The post Meet Skram, the free iPad app full of patterns and synths appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Meet Skram, the free iPad app full of patterns and synths

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 25 Jul 2016 5:51 pm

We’ve reached the mature age of music apps. You’re likely to use fewer of them, and the landscape is saturated with the most popular ideas. It’s also clear that iPad, not Android, is the viable tablet platform. But the few apps that are left standing as serious music tools are better than ever. They’re easier to integrate with your computer and standalone hardware, and they feel more like instruments and less like toys. They walk some line between making music production more accessible to beginners, and offering refreshing simplicity to people who are mixing them with other gear. And Skram, free with free add-ons, is a nice microcosm of that in its update.

We’ve already seen a glimpse of what the iPad app Skram might become, when we broke the story in March. The basic conceit was familiar: provide some fun synths and drum machines and a way to play them quickly. And it caught our attention as it comes from Liine, developers of the must-have Lemur controller app.

But where Skram set itself apart then was in offering some compelling sound quality, and in allowing you to generate sophisticated rhythms and melodies. It did each of these quickly with consolidated knobs: shift this, and change the mode/key, or the rhythmic pattern (including some nice syncopations), or vastly impact sound.

Compelling proof of concept, yes. But the first release was limited in the synths it offered, and didn’t have easy connections to other apps.

That changes with the update that just now went live.

Skram 1_2_2 White iPad

There are four new devices, part of a new pack called “Riot” that emphasizes urban/trap styles (although they could just as easily be used for some heavier/darker techno, too). These for me really fill out the sound of the original (particularly the somewhat vanilla initial drum machine – nice to have more than bread and butter):

Neon: Rave-y, trance-y synth (though also with enough parameter range that you could go somewhere else with it)
Jade: “Miami” style sub bass
Crimson: Edgy new melodic synth, capable of “sharp leads” and “short bleeps”
Azure: My favorite new addition, a really heavy, dirty 808 kit

All the new synths are great, especially once combined with the batch from the first go-around.

You might expect those would be in-app purchases, but Liine are now up to eight devices completely for free. (Presumably they’ll add some paid ones later on, or else I’m going to have to go down to their offices and bring them food.)

These are nice, but it’s connectivity that moves Skram from “ah, cool” into must-have. There’s now a somewhat ridiculous complement of functionality for a free app:

Inter-App Audio (IAA) – which means it works with Modstep, GarageBand, Cubasis, Elastic Drums, and the like
AudioCopy Support
Ableton Link

Link for me is the big one, since it means you can jam with these instruments and add to, say, an Ableton session or play with friends.

And not only are there eight devices from which to choose, but you can now mix and match as you like – so up to four of one device if you really want.

Here’s a very quick demo session I shot from an iPad with one of the developers, just to show you how it comes together. As you’ll see it’s really easy to get interesting rhythms and melodies and sounds going.

Previously:
Skram app sounds great, navigates rhythm and harmony

More:
https://skramapp.com

or on the App Store

The post Meet Skram, the free iPad app full of patterns and synths appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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