Get up to $20 USD off at Waves + $29 USD plugin deals on API 550, Abbey Road Reverb Plates & more

Waves Audio

Waves Audio has announced a flash sale, offering up to $20 USD off on a purchase for the next two days. Until February 28th you can get $10 USD off any order of $50 USD or get $20 USD off a purchase of $100 USD or more. Use coupon codes codes 10-OFF and 20-OFF at […]

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Save 50% on XLN Audio’s Addictive Drums & Keys, RC-20 Retro Color & more

XLN Audio 50 OFF Sale

Plugin Boutique has announced a flash sale on XLN Audio, offering a 50% discount on its plugins and bundles for a few days only. The sale includes the Addictive Drums and Addictive Keys product lines, as well as he popular RC-20 Retro Color creative effect plugin for adding life and texture to any recording. RC-20’s […]

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Wave Alchemy launches Tuned Tape Drums & Ethereal Electronica

Wave Alchemy Tuned Tape Drums

Wave Alchemy has released its new sample pack Ethereal Electronica, a collection of loops, one-shots, MIDI files and more. A playground of musical inspiration for any forward-thinking music producer, Ethereal Electronica creatively blends organic acoustic instruments with seductive electronic elements; delivering an emotive collection of blissed out Chillwave beats, undulating analogue bass, cinematic pianos, textural […]

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The words most used to describe releases at Hard Wax

“Now that’s one fine and classy, atmospheric, big room tool, son.” Here’s the data when you crawl Berlin electronic music shop Hard Wax for descriptive keywords.

Friend of the site (and one-time CDM Web developer) musician-and-hacker Olle Holmberg has crawled Hard Wax’s website. That’ll be the legendary record purveyor opened by Mark Ernestus back in 1989 in Kreuzberg, Berlin, and still a leading destination for vinyl lovers today.

hardwax.com has accordingly accumulated a lot of words about music on their Internet portal, since each time a release like this Drexciya side project comes out, you get a whole bunch of language, too.

Olle collected the most important words, and he’s shared his data set.

I wrote some Processing code to visualize all of this as a word cloud, and here’s what you get (details on how to do this yourself below):

Since the data is available as a CSV, you could probably refine it more. For instance, one flaw is that singular and plural versions of words aren’t combined, so the rankings are slightly off. “Banger” and “bangers” he’s manually combined so that one gets a solid ranking.

The top 25, with number of appearances in a description:

1. tool (1848)
2. atmospheric (974)
3. fine (941)
4. big room (928)
5. classy (904)
6. deep (872)
7. effective (858)
8. killer (858)
9. heavy (851)
10. leftfield (798)
11. minimalist (744)
12. original (734)
13. excellent (720)
14. crafty (647)
15. trips (598)
16. recommended (594)
17. raw (590)
18. spaced (585)
19. rooted (574)
20. hard (567)
21. dark (526)
22. banger/bangers (520)
23. excursions (516)
24. tripping (508)
25. leaning (506)

“It’s atmospheric, yet also a banging big room tool.”

Next challenges: build a random keyword generator, train some machine learning on this, or … try to make music that fits the most popular words?

Oh, and if you’re interested in the code, I’ve got that, too. I worked with free and open source, multiplatform artist-friendly coding tool Processing. (Other Web-based tools exist, too, but then you miss out on the fun and flexibility of coding things yourself.)

Ah, word clouds – remember when we thought those were the bee’s knees? (To misquote Douglas Adams, it harkens to a headier, more innocent time when we were “so amazingly primitive that we still thought word clouds were a pretty neat data visualization.”

Dan Bernier’s free library gives you some tools for free:
http://wordcram.org/

Here’s a simple code template to get you started, loosely inspired by Dan Shiffman and Dan Bernier examples:


import wordcram.*;
import wordcram.text.*;

Table table;
Word[] wordArray;
WordCram wordcram;

void setup () {
size(1280, 1020);
background(255);
table = loadTable("data.csv", "header");
int numRows = table.getRowCount();
wordArray = new Word[numRows];
int rowCount = 0;
for (TableRow row : table.rows()) {
float weight = row.getFloat("count");
String mWord = row.getString("phrase");
wordArray[rowCount] = new Word(mWord, weight);
rowCount++;
}
wordcram = new WordCram(this)
.fromWords(wordArray);
}

void draw() {
wordcram.drawAll();
}

It’s quite slow to run by comparison, but here’s the code that makes the record-shaped visualization:

// image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disque_Vinyl.svg
// author: Muel, CC-BY-SA
// https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

import wordcram.*;
import wordcram.text.*;
import java.awt.*;

Table table;
Word[] wordArray;
WordCram wordcram;

PFont georgia;

void setup () {
size(1000, 1000);
background(255);
PImage image = loadImage("vinylicon.png");
image.resize(width, height);

Shape imageShape = new ImageShaper().shape(image, #000000);
ShapeBasedPlacer placer = new ShapeBasedPlacer(imageShape);

table = loadTable("data.csv", "header");
georgia = createFont("Georgia", 1);
int numRows = table.getRowCount();
wordArray = new Word[numRows];
int rowCount = 0;
for (TableRow row : table.rows()) {
float weight = row.getFloat("count");
String mWord = row.getString("phrase");
wordArray[rowCount] = new Word(mWord, weight);
rowCount++;
}
wordcram = new WordCram(this)
.fromWords(wordArray)
.withFont(georgia)
.withPlacer(placer)
.withNudger(placer)
.angledAt(0)
.sizedByWeight(10, 90)
;
}

void draw() {
wordcram.drawAll();
save("wordcloud.png");
println("Finished.");
stop();
}

With both code examples, you’ll need to slightly modify the csv file. Open the file in a text editor and add this line to the top:

sep=;

And remember to add the data file, and the image file (if you use the shape variation), to your Processing sketch (Sketch > Add File).

If you want to check out Berlin’s record shops and you happen to make it to town, here’s a good guide. It’s impressively only a little bit dated in terms of locations – Berlin is a weird haven where record shops mostly survive. Hard Wax is a must. Space Hall has become a huge music venue. And digger heaven The Record Loft has recently reopened next to the Sonnenalle S-Bahn stop.

The definitive guide to Berlin’s best record shops [The Vinyl Factory]

If Olle’s name is familiar, it’s because he also crawled Berghain’s site, though we were later informed both by resident DJs and the booking office that the data crawled there wasn’t really representative. (Still, it was a fun project – and we did wind up learning more about Berghain booking data in the end. Science!)

Berghain, by the numbers: data on the relentless Berlin techno club

If you have any time left after tinkering with Processing, of course, go buy up some records!

https://hardwax.com/

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Plugin Boutique offers 50% off AudioThing Plugins Bundle (20 plugins!)

PIB AudioThing Plugins Bundle

Plugin Boutique has announced an exclusive sale on the AudioThing Plugins Bundle, offering a 50% discount on a collection of 20 instrument and effect plugins. Ranging from vintage tape emulation FX to powerful, complex drum machines, this bundle is perfect for composing, producing and mixing any kind of music. Save 50% off this incredible collection […]

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Vintage Vinyl Breaks textured drum loops pack released at Loopmasters

Loopmasters Vintage Vinyl Breaks

Loopmasters has launched the new Vintage Vinyl Breaks sample pack, an intense, chunky and strictly old skool set of formidable breaks and heavy beats. The pack offers a collection of royalty free textured drum loops for beat makers in need of classic sounds and warm textured rhythms on demand. This collection is packed with 2.32 […]

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Save 40% off Klevgränd DAW Cassette, DAW LP, Degrader & Kleverb plugins

Klevgrand Kleverb sale

Klevgränd has announced a limited time sale on selected audio effect plugins and iOS apps. An amazing year is soon ending. We’ve had a lot of fun, releasing a lot of really nice stuff that we’re very proud of. So we thought we’d wrap it up with a nice little sale for you all. For […]

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UVI offers SweepMachine & Scratch Machine at 50% OFF

UVI SweepMachine & Scratch Maschine 50 off

UVI has announced a sale on SweepMachine and Scratch Machine, offering a 50% discount on the virtual instruments. Unleash your creativity with two expressive instruments: a versatile noise and sweep designer and a highly-addictive scratch instrument. Currently on sale at a no-brainer price. Equally suited for both typical and avant-garde uses, SweepMachine is a versatile […]

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Save 50% off Modern Lo-Fi – Classic Vinyl & Trap Drums by Origin Sound

Origin Sound Modern Lo Fi   Classic Vinyl & Trap DrumsPrime Loops has launched a sale on Modern Lo-Fi – Classic Vinyl & Trap Drums, Origin Sound’s latest sample pack that is perfect for any producer looking to add the aesthetic of Lo-Fi to their tracks, without sacrificing any contemporary production values. A careful selection of 20 drum loops provide the infrastructure for Modern Lo-Fi […]