BTS Super Theremin V1.0 – Free Theremin Synth Plugin

Blech trum studios have released a free plugin that lets you create sounds of a thermin. Titled the “BTS Super Theremin V1.0.” The synth features 1 OSC with Sine and Square waves. 2 LFOs with Pitch and Amp settings. 2 ADSRs, 1 for LFO frequency and 1 for amp, A Waveshaper Saturation function. Ability to store 10 presets. Download it now from…

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Discogs Mobile

The incredible music info archive site Discogs now has an optimized version for iOS and Android devices. I’ve used the site thousands of times. Often I go there to get info I can’t remember about my own releases! Here’s the page for some of my music on Discogs:

“To access Discogs mobile, simply navigate to using your preferred mobile browser. By default, you’ll see the mobile version of Discogs with an option to switch to the full site if desired.” –

For more info:

Ironing Shirts? Making Music? Combine Them!

Made In Iron 2 from Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo.

Matti Niinimäki of Finland has combined a common household chore with music control. He transforms an iron and ironing board into a wireless music controller, capable of generating wobble bass, slicing beats, sampling, and anything else he might devise.

The ironing board itself is self-contained, sensing grayscale values on the surface. (That might mean you’d have to calibrate it to your shirt patterns if you really did use this to do your ironing, or at least put a marker between the iron and your shirts.) There’s also an accelerometer, and the device gives you feedback with vibration and LED. See also a second video.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a musical ironing board. Ranjit Bhatnagar brought his “Midi Ironing Board” – inspired by a coincidental meaning of the word “midi” in French – to an early Handmade Music. His model really does work with any shirts, as the sensors are underneath the board. (Photo below.)

I’m sure someone in comments will declare that all of this is old news, and I missed a shirt-ironing performance with John Cage and Nam Jun Paik in 1963 at St. Mark’s Church. Or no, not even – turns out the Italian Futurists did an early Explosive Shirt Pressing Ratatatatatat Bang Bang Boom!! performance before even the First World War, perhaps inspired by Erik Satie’s Shirt Flattening and Melodic Production Instrument, To Be Operated By A Cigar-Smoking Monkey, as specified in an obscure sketch from one of his notebooks. (I’m making this up. I think.)

Now, I’d just like to see techniques for combining all our chores – laundry, dishwashing – with music production. Let’s make it so. A few sensors and contact mics should do the trick.

This is just one of the many wonderful things Matti makes, which extend to robotics and a kind of digital puppetry and live visuals. There are a number of free tools to download on his site, as well:

Free Virtual Theremin For Windows

Click here to view the embedded video.

Blech Turm Studios has released BTS Theremin – a free virtual theremin VST for Windows.

BTS Theremin Features:

  • 1 OSC (Sin/Squ/Mix)
  • 2 LFOs (Pitch,Amp)
  • 2 ADSR (1x Pitch LFO, 1x Amp),
  • Waveshaper/Saturation, 10 Presets

Download at the Blech Turm site.

via vstplanet

Whispers by Darren Harper

Darren Harper describes the release as a collection of “transition pieces”, which still carry a bit of summery warmth but with anticipation of autumn’s chill. He reports that as he composed the pieces in September of 2010, the scenery where he lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains changed quickly, from mild warmth to sudden snow, something Darren lovingly interpreted in this music as “whispers of a changing season”. Indeed, the sense of enigma and change can be found everywhere in these pieces, echoing the passage of time and the winter transformation of the natural world. Download Whispers by Darren Harper free at…

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Tinchy Stryder and Crew on Ten iPads – No, Actually, It’s Really Good

I’ve begun to dread the appearance of iPad jams in my inbox; you may feel the same way. When affordable digital synths were new in the 80s, there were various embarrassing videos as vendors like Casio showed off the new capabilities. Listen! Who needs a real trumpet when you can use a keyboard that sounds like a trumpet? Sort of! Not really! But – it sure is amazing for what it is! Kind of! It sounds awful, but it is cheap and fake! It took years for people to appreciate those instruments for what they actually were, and then on entirely different grounds. (I nabbed the first Casiotone I owned on eBay. Appreciate it as a uniquely digital instrument, and it sounds completely different. I think I like it more now than I did then.)

I could draw an analogy here, but we’re seeing the iPad fad repeat that exploitation of novelty verbatim.

All of this misses the beauty of digital technology. Tech is at its best as the presence of the device falls away, leaving musical instincts and expression. And at that point, it really doesn’t matter what you use. The iPad will be successful not when it’s front and center, but when it’s invisible.

So, I was pleasantly surprised as UK hip hop celebrity Tinchy Stryder and crew take over ten iPads at The Carphone Warehouse in London. After parades of dorky demos, this gang of young people owns those gadgets. Yes, they could probably have done the same with ten drum machines – that’s the point. Even the iPad’s somewhat primitive touch input sounds great, because this group of people plays together.

The video comes from Jon Morter, a musical personality who has of late become a kind of viral master, launching campaigns to send Rage Against the Machine to Christmas number 1, and to save BBC’s superb 6Music station when it was threatened by cuts.

In contrast to awkward string quartets and painful Christmas melodies, Tinchy Strider and friends bring the iPad what it’s sorely been needing – some chops.

The rest of us better get practicing. And while it flies in the face of viral engineering and videos, maybe the aim isn’t to be first. Maybe the aim should be to make the novelty wear off, and get back to music.

Thanks, Jon, for sending this our way.

Elfferichfour Playing His ARP Solina And Loop Layering With Boss RC-20

I used to have fun doing stuff like this when I owned a Moog Little Phatty and a EHX Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai. Using nothing but his Boss RC-20 and ARP Solina Elfferichfour recorded and produced this nice video of him playing his Solina and looping and layering over top of it. Is that a Tangerine on top of the Solina with a little reference to a certain 1970’s era of a famous German Electronic Band? Or a coincidence?

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Sonoma Wire Works Announces Holiday Special

Here we go again. Another Holiday special hits the airwaves of Netland. This time it’s Sonoma Wire Works announcing a Holiday Special on selected products such as the Guitarjack for iOS apps and their Riffworks recording softwares. Offers expire January 7, 2010. One coupon code per transaction but you can use the coupon codes as many times as you’d like. Check it out at http://www.sonomawireworks.c…

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