2013 August 29 CDM has an interesting look at the 6-operator, open source PreenFM DIY synth. Or go straight to the Preen website.

2013 August 24 A Zouk Bass primer.

2013 August 23 Dr. Blankenstein, the Mad Scientist of Analog Synthesizers and Atari Punks.

For techno musician Tom Jenkinson, aka Squarepusher, Blanke made the Sonic Crusher, which he describes as a “vocal processor, audio scrambler, robot box.”

2013 August 22 While at present it only works in Safari and Chrome, you might have some fun with 8bit.js, which is basically just a demo for a new HTML5 feature called AudioContext (currently in Firefox nightlies only).
If you’d rather just listen to one of 1500 8-bit tunes, try KeyGenJukebox.

2013 August 15 The idea of using physical movements to expressively control music has long intrigued many. (1950s example.) Aaron Sherwood of the Tribeca Performing Arts Center has created his Firewall controller with a lycra sheet and Processing, Max/MSP, Arduino and a Kinect. Here are videos of more of his realizations, including a Glockentar and DIY OSC controller.

2013 August 12 It took a while to find, but an upgrade to a classic VSTi microtonal plug-in (by Paul Nasca, 2002), ZynAddSubFX , is described in detail by the Xen-Arts blog. The VSTi can be found (as most can) at the KVR site. Xen-Arts also links to the Scala scale archive, which can save a lot of work. Alternative scales can sometimes be just the thing to break composer’s block. They can be a lot of fun, but you’ll find very few people to talk about them with!

2013 August 7 Generative Turing test: Can algorithmic music have soul?

A grad student pursuing his doctorate in composition at Harvard University, Oberholtzer applies the techniques of electronic music to compose works meant to be played by human orchestras. Instead of just stringing note after note, Oberholtzer uses a series of custom tools to translate a nebulous musical intention into a human-readable score.

2013 August 6 How a happy accident revolutionized guitar sound. (Hints: it was a 1961 USCountry #1 song. The engineer was Glen Snoddy.) But hold on a minute … how about this 1954 guitar recorded at Sun Records? And then … there’s Gibson’s page on Fuzz … (Luckily, synthesists never have to argue about who recorded the first synth track!)

2013 July 26 Two quick notes: 1) Traktion 4 for Ubuntu 12 (64-bit only) is still a free download. 2) Here’s a video of a Raspberry Pi running a Csound FM synth (low-demand algo).

2013 July 19 On the off-chance that someone might find it useful: Javascript-powered Arduino is an example of how to use Node.js from your desktop to control electronics, via USB. (In future I’ll keep an eye out for more music-specific applications. OTOH, MIDI interface might be enough for most of us.) For another just-in-case I’ll throw in 25 Javascript Visualization Libraries. Because we don’t already have enough tantalizing options to consider.

2013 July 9 Synthtopia: Traktor DJ for iOS is free thru Sunday July 14. (Seems its limited to iOS 6 and up.)

2013 July 2 – The collection of DIY EM instruments at Folktek is a strong example of homemade synthesizer craft. It’d be great if they included some audio! (They also have a Blogspot blog.)

……………….. Quick notes, 2013 May – June

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