2014 Mar 12 Seems we need to go through this every few years. Xiph’s technical reasons why 24/192 music downloads make no sense.
Instead: “The most dramatic possible fidelity improvement for the cost comes from a good pair of headphones.” (Links to several good sources are included. If you want to get way into it, here’s a 27-page PDF by Dan Lavry.)

2014 Mar 3 FACT magazine details 14 synthesizers that shaped modern music. And addicts fans at MeFi have a few things to say about that list. Of course we all do, but caveat: having been important once doesn’t make a synth worth big $$$ any more.

2014 Feb 27 A couple of posts on Brad Fiedel’s original theme music for sci-fi film Terminator, released 30 years ago this October. Synths included Prophet and Oberheim models; they didn’t include MIDI – which led to some interesting timing problems!

2014 Feb 26 If you enjoy piano, Headphone Commute has published the last part of “Cedric”s Pianorama, over 4-1/2 enjoyable hours of ambient. Unusually, the list includes tunes by such EM familiars as Murcof, Kid Koala, Four Tet, DJ Shadow, and Loscil. This page has links to all 3 parts.
From slow and ambient to strings and beats, ignoring labels and genres, as long as it’s got the right touch.

2014 Feb 14 The Verge reviews the new Roland TR-8 (reborn 808, $500) and TB-3 (reborn 303, $300). The new boxen are digital, but reviewer Trent sez As a lifelong drum machine addict I can tell you this is not some marketing BS — Roland actually assigned an engineer to work full-time on just the bass drum sound, A/B testing the digital version against the original until the two were functionally and audibly indistinguishable. Time will tell – and they sure are purdy.

2014 Feb 7 Mooshmeter will use bluetooth to turn your phone into a multimeter / oscilloscope. 24-bit ADC from up to 150 feet. (Fundraising a success.) Finally, a use for smartphones – alas not yet for older OS’s.

2014 Jan 31 Reddit trip hop fans talk up what they’re listening to these days.

2014 Jan 28 Added to the sidebar: Back from the dead is 120 years of electronic music, a history of instruments which was begun by Simon Crab in 1995. Updating nearly finished and very welcome back.

Also worth mentioning is a book by Andre Smirnov: Sound In Z: Experiments In Sound And Electronic Music In Early 20th Century Russia (Walther Koenig, 2013). Theremin, not surprisingly, was not the only Russian sound inventor. (More here.) Smirnov is the founding director of the Theremin Center for Electroacoustic Music in Moscow. The era is the subject of an exhibition called Generation Z: Renoise at the currently ongoing (until Feb . 2) CTM Festival in Berlin. More on “Russian Industrial Music” at Coilhouse.

2014 Jan. 22 This video spends 15 minutes with French EM composer Eliane_Radigue. After working with Schaeffer and Henry in the 50s and 60s, she created her first synth-based music in a NYC studio shared with Laurie Spiegel. An ARP 2500 (ARP’s first, 1970 modular, with a pin matrix instead of patch cables) served her purposes until her last EM work in 2000. (The 2500 is also heard in Jeff Wayne’s 1978 “War Of the Worlds”.)

Someone may be interested to know that a kit (well OK a 60cm x 30cm panel and a PCB) called the Two Thousand Six Hundred is in the works. Warning: it has generated a forum thread of 290+ pages.

2013 Dec. 22 A *nice* series of Tutorials on digital communications engineering is written to be easy to read, so it has a lot to offer for the student of modern synthesizers. (And these are PDFs.) Author Charan Langton says “I have tried to make these tutorials as simple as is possible given all the math required.” Much to be learned, even skipping past the math. [via MeFi]

2013 Dec. 14 Added Analog Industries blog to the sidebar. Besides Xmas buying tips, there are 8 years worth of (1800+) posts there to enjoy!!

……………….. Quick notes, 2013 September – November