2013 June 10 – Over on the Things I Made blog, there’s a interesting, quick RasPi project called The One-Button Audiobook Player. This might make a great gift for young or old, or be an idea starter. Linux User UK says the author is Michael Clemens; he shares his Python code, and he sure has a tasteful eye for project packaging.

2013 June 10 – An Historical overview of Harald Bode’s instruments is a long, excellent Canadian Electroacoustical Community article (they have more!). It carefully details most of the  electronic instruments created by largely-overlooked, pioneering German engineer Harald Bode. (His first instrument was 1937’s Waabo Formant Organ.)
• Blogroll add: Synthfind “Celebrating and tracking down classic synths”.

2013 June 8 – Jan of buranelectrix.com has published a description of a home-made synthesizer controlled by a recycled toy keyboard. The synth uses an Atmel ATmega8 on a 3x20cm PCB and a handful of components to produce 4 oscillators, 4 parameters, and  5 patch memories. Inspiring!
His writeup includes a schematic as well as C code for the Atmel. Throw in a number of pictures, and you take it from there. Video included. [via Hackaday writeup]

2013 May 22 – The FAS has a nicely-written, short article to explain the differences between AM and FM modulation, for both audio and radio frequencies. (FM synthesis, you’ll recall, was introduced in consumer synths by the Yamaha DX-7.)
A great book covering this and many more modulation and synthesis techniques in depth  is Dodge and Jerse 1997 book Computer Music. (Link may show where you can borrow a copy.) ISBN 0028646827.

2013 May 20 – A new addition to the Blogroll today is Controllerism.com. Hard to tell where/who, but it goes back at least 2 years.
I also want to mention (2) this mouthwatering collection of 50-75 minute HD video performances at ursss.com. (Who wouldn’t rather just be there?) And (3) this article on laptop performances.

2013 May 11 – Learn about TOPLAP, Live coding, and altoraves. (Guess that ChucK software I played with 10 years ago has led to A Thing!) See the Wiki for history etc. Which leads to questions like: What is Supernatant? UrMus? (Ever get that can’t-keep-up feeling?)

2013 May 11 – Researchers at SFSU are studying using GPUs to accelerate realtime sound-synthesis with a latency under 11ms. (ACM) (Slashdot story/comments) Readable not-too-technical article starts with principles, then describes their experiments.

Our software synthesis package, FDS (Finite Difference Synthesizer), was designed to operate on Mac OSX and Linux. FDS simulates a vibrating plate, similar to a percussion instrument…. The audio callback thread communicates with PortAudio, a cross- platform audio driver that coordinates the interface between FDS and the operating system’s audio layer.

You can find the PDF of the paper and more here. BTW, the idea for PortAudio (Wiki) came from Ross Bencina, the man who created AudioMulch (PC/Mac only) … see his Code section for some useful into.

2013 May 4 – London’s Attack Mag lists Top Ten Most Underrated Synths.
And while I’m thinking of it, after I ran across an SSM2030 chip in my junk box,  I then found the Analog Heaven mailing-list archive for the first time in years. On-page search of 870 pages!

2013 May 2CDM reviews newly released Reason 7, which adds external MIDI support, and audio slicing. (Part 2!)
Plus: alla you hardware freaks will probably grok CDM’s look inside this Minneapolis-made Meganome. Not to mention the wood case, or the robotic drums.

……………….. Quick notes, 2013 Feb – Apr