How To Edit Beats

Click here to view the embedded video.

Brian Trifon demonstrates some of Trifonic’s techniques for chopping up a beat loop, creating stutter edits, and making glitch effects.

Click here to view the embedded video.

In part 2, Brian continues his discussion on drum programming. He demonstrates Trifonic’s method for time-stretching to create special effects and glitchy awesomeness.

via a cool new electronic music blog, NextStepAudio.

Free iMoog Software Synthesizer


Sound Blocker has introduced iMoog, a free software synthesizer for Kontakt 4 based on sounds of the Moog Minimoog Voyager.

Download at the Sound Blocker site.

Mike at Sound Blocker notes:

I sampled some Moog Voyager sounds and made a free Kontakt instrument. All samples are made with analog outboard gear like API A2D, 5500, 2500, SMC 2b or Hammer EQ.

For now you can download two demo packs: “Big Boy” and “I saw U”.

More sound packs will come soon – Hope you like it. Have fun …

You can preview iMoog below:

McDSP At The 2010 NAMM Show

McDSP has announced that it will introduce Audio Unit (AU) versions of some of its product line at the 2010 NAMM Show. McDSP plans to ship updated versions of its entire product line by May of 2010 with TDM, RTAS and AU support.   These updated versions will also include new features and improved performance on Leopard and Snow Leopard.

McDSP will continue to offer two main product lines – HD and Native.  The HD versions of McDSP plug-ins will support TDM, RTAS, and AU formats.  The Native versions of McDSP plug-ins will support RTAS and AU formats.

Please see the chart below for comparison pricing of purchasing now versus waiting until May 2010.

McDSP Upgrade Chart Comparison
Current Sale Price
(Now until May 2010)
Upgrade Price ($29ea)
Available in May 2010
Total Price
(Current +
Regular Price
(When new versions
ship in May 2010)
You Save
Emerald Pack HD $2,395 $249 $2,644 $2,995 $351
Emerald Pack Native $1,295 $249 $1,544 $1,595 $51
Classic Pack HD $895 $116 $1,011 $1,195 $184
Classic Pack Native $495 $116 $611 $695 $84
Individual HD $395 $29 $424 $495 $71
Individual Native $195 $29 $224 $295 $71

Put a Hex on You: New Game, Crazy Music Sequencer with Hexagons

Hexagons are the new squares.

After years of square grids, music is discovering the hexagon in a big way. Hexagonal lattices have advantages of their own, in terms of how efficiently they pack space and the way adjacent sides align. Don’t believe your local mathematician? Ask your local bee.

What’s interesting is that, as musicians experiment with interfaces and structures, they may wind up with either a wild, experimental music synthesizer, or a fun game.

On the game side, at top, we have a trailer for the upcoming “Fractal.” It appears to match the productivity-annihilating addictiveness of puzzle games with reactive music. As the creators put it, it’s “a fierce intersection of fractal gameplay, dynamic audio, and kaleidoscopic visuals” and “a new ambient music puzzler experience. Combo, Chain, and Cascade your way through a pulsing technicolor dreamscape that reacts to your every move, while manipulating Fractals, creating Blooms, and expanding your consciousness at 130 BPM.” They cite Andre Michelle’s ToneMatrix, a Tenori-On-like Flash app (see videos), as a major influence, in addition to games like Lumines.

It could also be that the developers have been reading CDM and decided to engineer the perfect solution to permanently steal your lives, oh reactive music-loving, gaming nerdsters.

The game is from the creators of Auditorium, a beautiful puzzler that simultaneously involved arranging ambient music. I couldn’t get entirely sucked into Auditorium’s gameplay, but now, if CDM’s blog posts suddenly disappear for a few days when this comes out, I may realize that was a good thing. For more:

Cipher Games Lifts the Veil on Synaesthetic Puzzler Fractal [Bytejacker]

Bee tested, bee approved! You’ll never see these guys hanging around square grids, or using a monome. Photo (CC-BY) Peter Shanks.

If you’re wondering if these same sorts of structures could be transformed from game rules to musical rules, you’ll like the next project. Paris-based Composer René Micout has built an elaborate musical application inspired by the Reactogon music sequencer / “chain reactive performance arpeggiator.”

If you’re comfortable with French, there’s an extensive three-part demo on YouTube.

Part 2
Part 3 (if you want to skip to the end and just watch the resulting demos)

As in other similar nodal and hexagonal sequencers, Rene’s work applies interactive musical events to spots on the grid. Different modules control the flow of events from one space to another, transposition, tempo, and other events.

It’s an experimental project at the moment, and not necessarily one he may distribute, but as a way to see some ideas, it’s fantastic. Rene tells us he built this application using RunRev, a rapid-prototyping development environment and spiritual successor to the legendary HyperCard. Unfortunately, that tool lacks strong music and sound components, so he actually had to hack it in, using AppleScript events to control the built-in Mac QuickTime synthesizer.

He’s got other projects on the way, too, including a “Stocastofon, Stocastovox, Ritmofon, Rizomofon, Acordofon.” Excellent!

So, keeping score, a few of our previous views of hexagons:

Music on the Game Grid: Interactive Arpeggiators Al-Jazari, reacTogon
Alternative Sequencers: Elysium Generative Mac App and the Joy of Hex

And I think it’s time for me to go visit some of these hexagonal controller manufacturers at NAMM next week.

Your help wanted: The hexagon deserves its own master list of hardware, software, iPhone applications, experimental installations, etc. Nominees? Links I may have missed? Anyone doing turn-based strategy role-play games that are also musical sequencers? (Now that I’d like to see: Machinedrum Fantasy Tactics.)