I'd like to begin this month's review of books you might want to have in your library by telling you a story. Once upon a time, I shared an apartment with a City Planner.
MIDI controllers are an obsession for a lot of us.
One of my friends had an off-the-cuff statement that has stuck with me: “When I die, bury me in reverb…”.
Following our discussions with David Beaudry and Andrew Pask’s remarkable report on using Windows compute sticks (complete with Beaudry Secret Max Tricks!) as part of the Max life, there’s been a lot of buzz on the part of both beginning users and some longtime Apple users about investigating new Windows machines.
Dennis DeSantis' book has taken up residence on my shelf and has proven to be the kind of book that inspires, nudges, and aims me in different directions as I work.
It isn’t very often that a single instrument will affect an entire generation of musician/composers, but the original Synclavier digital synthesizer found admirers ranging from Neil Young to Frank Zappa, and became a staple tool for film composers and sound designers - or at least the ones who could afford it.
Although it may be easy to ignore now as we stare into our cold, flat, backlit LCD displays, the history of visual display technology is shot through with wild mysticism, experiments, philosophical disagreements, and some truly inspired innovations.
Sometimes, a little change of pace can be a welcome thing and provide an opportunity to "think different." In that spirit, we asked our synthesist pal Mark Mosher (whose Sonic Encounters podcast you may find of interest if you're not already acquainted) to aim us at an interesting softsynth plug-in that he finds compelling.
Whether you're out in the bush or replacing the batteries in your smoke alarm, having a Swiss Army Knife comes in really handy. I'd like to introduce you to my new MIDI Din/CV/Clock Swiss Army Knife: The Arturia Keystep.
For this book review, I’d like to bring not one, but two books to your attention, both of which are by the same author – an author you’ve already encountered: Curtis Roads. One of them is relatively new, and the other falls into my personal list of “must have” texts.
Our instruments – whether blown, fretted, or caressed – are not only objects: they're also repositories of stories - the outward and visible sign of decades of argument about the best ways to transduce small motor activity in the service of making music.
Initially, I was going to tell you that I thought I’d take a brief break from blogging about physical stuff – hardware devices – to spend a little time aiming you at plug-in software that I find compelling.
Aside from the standard Max patch grovel, one of the most common categories of requests for assistance on the Max Forums seem to have to do with wrapping one's head around the mathematics associated with a given task.
Doing book reviews for a newsletter has turned out to be a more subtle practice than I initially expected.
Alessandro Cipriani & Maurizio Giri (one of the most active Max-focused writing units around), introduced the first volume of their ‘Electronic Music and Sound Design’ series a few years ago - first in Italian, and then English translations by David Stutz, followed a bit later by a second volume.
If you're interested in electronic music, this is a great time to be alive and listening.
Paul Théberge has taken on a pretty hefty job: documenting the history and direction of music-making and music-consuming technology.
The Max community has been bitten by the Kinect bug.
In this review, Nick Rothwell explains Max for Live in terms of what the addition of Max offers to Live users.
In this article, Jim Aikin reviews the new add-on product to Live, developed by Ableton and Cycling '74, with a detailed account of his experience.
Eowave has introduced another product in their line of sensor to MIDI interfaces called the Eobody2 HF, a wireless sensor to USB MIDI device. Building on the user-friendly and rock solid USB MIDI technology used in other recent Eobody boards, the HF allows you to place interactive sensor electronics on dancers, small objects, or anything else where cables would get in the way. Now that we have some of these in stock at the Cycling '74 office, I sat down to give them a thorough run-through to see how it all works.
This week the new Eowave OEM USB boards arrived at Cycling '74 HQ, and I was all too happy to give it a test drive. After having read the impressive spec sheets I was eager to see if the performance of the board lived up to all the promise. I quickly set to work putting it through its paces.