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Get physical modeling sonic powers, free, in Max starter kit

maxology_physical

There is a powerful world of sound exploration in your hands. But sometimes the hardest part is just starting.

So the quiet launch of a site called Maxology is very good news. It’s evidently a place to go for tutorials and projects and more.

And right now, you can grab a bunch of free and open source objects for physical modeling, built for Max 7 and Max for Live. That opens a window into a world of realistic and impossible sounds, built on algorithms that mimic the way instruments work physically and acoustically.

The Percolate Objects Starter Kit is a reissue of one of the classic libraries for this form of synthesis, updated and refreshed and newly documented, even with tutorials for beginners. Percolate is something special – it’s built from the Synthesis Toolkit by legendary synth scientist Perry R. Cook with Gary Scavone, adapted by the also-legendary Dan Trueman (pioneer of the laptop orchestra, by many accounts) and R. Luke Dubois (pioneer of lots of other things). And it covers a range of techniques – physical modeling, modal, and PhISM, for those of you who are aficionados of these things, are all there.

Together, you can built realistic-sounding instruments, wild new instruments and experimental sounds, and effects.

What does it sound like? Well, kind of like whatever you want – but here’s one example, by axxonn:

Produced using only the following; Two instances of Gen Random Synth, 909 Samples in Gen Wave Synth, Scrub Face Delay and Reverb.

These devices are all made by Tom Hall using objects from the PeRColate collection, recently updated and made available by Maxology (including the MFL devices) for Max7.

There’s a bunch of stuff there for free. (Max 7 isn’t free, but recently-adjusted pricing and subscriptions – plus the inclusion of Max for Live – mean that price of entry isn’t so prohibitive, given the amount of value that’s there. And see my note about Pd below; I’m researching.)

For Max 7:
1. PerCOlate objects
2. Starter patches
3. Full help documentation
4. Tutorials
5. A pitchtracker, so you can try playing along with real instruments, too

For Max for Live:
1. A wavetable synth with built-in randomness
2. A wavetable generator
3. A granulator, for transposition and special effects
4. A scrubbing delay-line effect

And because it’s all built in Max, you can combine objects modular-style to build your own special instruments. In fact, while I love modular hardware, a lot of what you do with a physical modular is really inter-connecting boxes that are already built for you. Working with Max in this way allows you to go much deeper, if you so choose, and really get deep into the logic and construction of what you’re doing.

I don’t think one approach is better than another; they’re just different. But I think maybe the reason people haven’t played so much with this sort of digital depth is that it does require a little more learning – and this sort of complete documentation can at last make it friendly for those of you ready to embark on that adventure.

For more:

Physical modeling primer for Max Users by Gregory Taylor
Physical Modeling Explained by Martin Russ

Also, since the objects themselves are open source, I’d love to see them ported to Pd. Max is a very friendly desktop environment and has this unique Ableton Live integration, but then also having Pd opens up things like developing physical instruments on mobile devices.

STARTER KIT 2 – PERCOLATE OBJECTS [maxology]

Don’t miss Starter Kit #1, either – a computer vision library that updates some classic visual tools in Jitter:

STARTER KIT 1 – CV.JIT

maxology.club
tomhall.com.au

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What if we used stereo minijack cables for MIDI?

midimini

“It was acceptable in the 80s…”

The standard MIDI DIN cable – that’s the big honkin’ connector you use on most of your MIDI gear – has become the bane of music hardware makers. The problem is, as gear has gotten smaller, the standard DIN connector hasn’t. And that’s a big problem, literally. To add a MIDI port to a device, you need to not only have enough clearance for the connector itself, but the whole around the port and the physical assembly that contains it. Speaking as a hardware maker, that takes up space you can’t even see from the outside.

As a result, a lot of hardware that should have had MIDI in and out doesn’t, to save room. Or it’s forced to be thicker than it needs to be. Or it squeezes out other useful ports.

It doesn’t have to be this way. S-Video could have become a replacement in the 90s, back when we used such things. (It has the same 5-pin arrangement, but smaller.)

Now, you may have noticed a lot of gear includes minijacks onboard. A stereo minijack (3.5mm “miniklinken”) connector has three pins – and MIDI also has three pins. (Okay, it has five, but two are unused.) Look at the breakouts included in the box, and what you’ll see is a standard 3-pin stereo minijack on one end, and then a horse-drawn buggy taped to a telegraph machine DIN connector on the other.

But here’s where things get interesting. Imagine you have two pieces of gear, each with these minijack-to-DIN breakouts. And you want to connect them together. What would happen if you skipped the little DIN dongles and ran an ordinary stereo minijack cable between them?

Well, whether it worked or not would depend on how that minijack connector itself was wired. So, I asked a few manufacturers, off the record and unofficially, what they were doing. It wasn’t hard to convince people to talk about it; anyone who has ever dealt with this problem dreams of ditching DIN.

It turns out most of them are using the same wiring – seen above.

Pin 1 – Tip
Pin 2 – Sleeve
Pin 3 – Ring

So long as you have two pieces of gear wired this way, you can connect them with a standard stereo minijack audio cable (that’s a single stereo minijack at both ends). It’s exactly the same as using a MIDI cable.

In this category:
IK Multimedia (iRIG MIDI – that’s the diagram at top)
Novation (such as Launchpad Pro)
Arturia (such as BeatStep Pro)

See this discussion of the iRIG MIDI on Sound on Sound, from way back in 2011 (meaning it’s time to do this, folks):
D.I.Y. MIDI/5-pin DIN to stereo mini Jack leads

Unfortunately, one other key maker is an outlier. Korg, which uses minijacks on its SQ1 sequencer and new ElecTribes, swaps sleeve and ring, unless I’ve got the wrong information. As long as you’re comfortable soldering your own cables, you could solve that, but it means there isn’t an immediate de facto standard.

On the other hand, it’s already pretty terrific that a lot of the stuff you’d immediately want to use hit at the same wiring at random. (No one, to my knowledge, has ever published something like this.)

So, rather than wait any longer, I think it makes sense to go public. Rather than wait for a standard, all you really need is for manufacturers to start using this same wiring. And by all means, don’t eliminate MIDI from a product just because DIN won’t fit. The “post PC” age is turning out to be more reliant on MIDI than the one before it, from iPads to all-hardware live rigs.

If nothing else, if you make DIY hardware, you can start doing this now. And you can plug your custom synth or whatever directly into a Launchpad Pro or BeatStep Pro (just to name two) and start playing it.

That’s a pretty cool accidental standard. So maybe we should make it less accidental.

Comments welcome. And if you have hardware with minijacks, I didn’t cover all of them. I’d love to hear what you’re doing.

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Here’s what happens when artists meet up with Launchpad on iOS

Launchpad meets Ninja Tune and Brainfeeder

We used to talk about the home studio. Then the bedroom producer. Then laptop music. Now it’s more like the everywhere studio – and the computer may be nowhere to be seen.

Tools like Launchpad for iOS tend to exist in some sort of alternate dimension from the world of music tech writing, even when it comes to this site. But quietly, a lot of people are making music with them. (It doesn’t hurt that there are a lot of iPads and iPhones out there, or that the apps are often given away for free.)

But just because this is a category that’s friendly to newcomers doesn’t mean the music is any less serious.

This week, Novation is promoting its Launchpad with some heavy artist collaborations. Kicking off a new soundpack set are Machinedrum (Ninja Tune) and Lapalux (on Brainfeeder, the label most associated with Flying Lotus). I find these to be really nice choices. Vapor City is really one of my favorite electronic releases of recent years – and I will be the first to admit I’m completely biased by the fact that Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) is a lovely gentleman.

Let’s have a listen to the music:

The Ninja connection is interesting, too. As we noted last week, Ninja Tune – and co-founder Matt Black – are committed to this notion of remixes and sound packs as a different way for artists to reach fans, seen in their own iOS and Android remix app. Brainfeeder have likewise been innovative in looking at different ways of reaching fans, with attention to the ways the technology around music changes.

Now, it may sound like I’m “shilling” for Novation. (I saw that delightful term of endearment applied to me a few times this week in comments.) But you can only shill if you don’t disclose. Full disclosure: Novation brought me to their London office last week to work on a hackday on their Launchpad Pro. I had a lovely time and some pints with the Novation folks and the men and women working on their hardware, and am indeed left with warm, fuzzy feelings about them. One of the things in their London office is the team responsible for mobile apps. And to be perfectly frank, I was really curious – like, who is actually using these things? They seem cool, but a lot of us remain entirely in the Ableton Live / Novation hardware controller scheme and don’t pay them much mind.

So, who’s using the apps, and how?

Launchpad came to iPad just over two years ago, and iPhone last year in May. Now, Novation tells CDM, they’ve got roughly equal usage of iPad and iPhone users. There are 3.5 million users, they say – meaning this is one of the leading music-making mobile apps, full stop.

It’s nice to have these sounds, but you can bring in your own sounds, too. You can now use Audio Import to take sessions from laptops and work on them on the go – a good way to get away from your computer, finish stuff on the go (or reclining in bed, or whatever), or even adapt a session to live use.

More recently, performance effects open up other possibilities:

And so users are responding, making jams like this one:

– or doing iPad ‘cover’ versions, like this one of Madeon’s ‘Pop Culture’:

In short, there’s an obscene amount of activity. You can, if you so choose, make the Launchpad app the center of your workflow – and augment it with MIDI hardware (from Novation, or not from Novation). There’s a terrific Tumblr blog full of this stuff, with tutorials and videos and so on. It’s eye opening – I’m meant to be an expert, and I might now dig in to an app I’d otherwise ignored, now that I see this stuff. That’s sort of the way the Internet and YouTube feel these days – you’re kicking the a** of us ‘experts’ sometimes. And thank you for that, seriously!

http://launchpadforios.tumblr.com

Launchpad for iOS on App Store

CDM readers, anyone using this app? We’d love to hear how. Or maybe you’ve found something else that fits your needs better (especially on Android, which doesn’t have it)? We’d love to hear that, too.

The post Here’s what happens when artists meet up with Launchpad on iOS appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Tortoise automaton the size of a watch and adorned with jewels

Master watchmaker Raúl Pagès has set himself a goal: contribute to historical continuity and uphold the centuries-old tradition of prestigious automata. Marvel at the amazing craftmanship that went into making this gorgeous jewel-encrusted tortoise automaton!

From the video description:

Master watchmaker Raúl Pagès unveils his first creation, the “Tortoise” automaton which moves thanks to a mechanism similar to a watch movement. With this unique piece, entirely manufactured in Switzerland, the independent brand PAGÈS brings back to life the forgotten tradition of prestigious automatons.

Here is where you can learn more about Raúl Pagès creator of automata and master watchmaker.

[ Thanks Larry! ]


Alchemy synth is now a part of Logic Pro X; here’s what’s new

alchemy

Logic Pro has a new flagship synth instrument. And that synth is no basic pack-in – it’s one of the deepest software instruments on the market.

It’s also no stranger. As expected following Cupertino’s acquisition, Alchemy, a deep “sample manipulation” synth, has made its way into Apple’s product line. It’s now everywhere on the Mac desktop. Even in GarageBand, you can access Alchemy-based presets. In Logic Pro X, and even MainStage, you can access the full instrument. (That means the $49 MainStage is now also a heck of a steal if you just want the synth.)

(I do say desktop – there’s no sign of Alchemy on iOS at this time. On the other hand, if those “iPad Pro” rumors are true… well, I’ll let you fantasize about that; Apple of course won’t tell me anything.)

If you’re just looking for a sound quickly, you can mess about with transform controls and pull up a wide range of presets. If you want to go deeper, you have an instrument that does additive, spectral, formant, granular, sampling, and virtual analog synthesis. In fact, I can’t think of another single instrument that does quite as much all via one interface.

Logic Pro X 10.2, available as a free App Store upgrade or for instant purchase, includes a raft of other improvements. And Alchemy itself hasn’t just been shoved into Logic’s interface – there are some significant additions there, as well. Let’s have a look:

A new Alchemy

It’s not just Alchemy inside Logic Pro X 10.2. This is officially Alchemy 2.0, a major update. For those of you familiar with the instrument, here’s some of what’s new:

Better morphing. Advanced cross-synthesis now improves audio morphing, incorporating all the details of the sound (additive, spectral, formant, pitch, envelope). You also get more options in the interface.

More precise additive resynthesis, spectral resynthesis. These are really a big part of what sets Alchemy apart, and they’re vastly expanded. There are more additive effects (Pulse/Saw, Harmonic, Beating, Stretch, Shift, Magnet, Spread, Auto Pan). And you get more precise control of both additive and spectral resynthesis – the algorithms themselves have been sonically improved, we’re told. And there’s a new partial tracker, you have more editing options, and you can see everything you’re doing via real-time spectrogram. Spectral resynthesis also works in stereo now, as well, and supports masking.

Powerful formant and granular modes. Loads of depth here, too, including elaborate controls for formant resynthesis (with multiple filter shapes), and multi-tap granular controls you can space out across a stereo field.

Added pitch correction. Correct pitch to unison, octave, fifth, a combination of fifth/octave, or chromatically, with adjustments for amount and speed.

Use the sampler with EXS24. You can now import Logic’s EXS24 sampler instruments directly into the Alchemy sampler, meaning access to Logic’s own library and lots of third-party content. The Sampler module itself is also more powerful, with a reverse mode, automatic keymapping, and new keymap editor and group editor.

Bring the noise. The virtual analog side of things is expanded, too – sync, anti-aliased PWM, waveform shape display, and a noise section with 13 noise types (not just white and pink).

New filters. These are all-new, with both enhanced comb filters, and redesigned analog filter emulations, plus added “Bee,” FM, Compressor, LP10 and HP10 modes.

Modulation and arpeggiators that are kind of insane. Alchemy adds per-source arpeggiators and reorganized editors for source controls and the arpeggiator. And you can modulate all kinds of things. You can switch patterns with modulation (yipes, one-note presets, anyone?), modulate the rate knob, modulate keyswitches, and see visual feedback in real-time.

Envelopes with more power. You get graphical AHDSR with tempo sync. And there are envelope followers at eight points in the signal chain.

More samples and easier browsing. Alchemy now has 3100 presets plus 300 Logic patches, and a 14 GB sample library. (Fortunately, that sample library is an optional download from the store, just like other extended Logic content.) To navigate all of the included content or manage your own sounds, there’s a redesigned browser with expanded drag-and-drop support.

Dial-in controls if you want to improvise / don’t want to get too deep. Alchemy’s X/Y pads and transforms already resembled Apple’s own work on making Smart Controls. The idea: give people a few knobs to dial up variations on much deeper sound engines. So, little surprise here: Alchemy will be fully integrated in the Logic interface, which means access from those Smart Controls and the accompanying iPad app remote.

But it’s more efficient. Apple says they’ve reduced CPU usage.

All in all, this is pretty huge – the biggest synth news to come to Logic in years. And while Apple could have just dropped Alchemy in Logic and called it a day, it’s nice to see a vastly expanded release.

And yes, this means one more big update from Apple that can cater to the explosive market for young EDM producers, particularly in the USA but worldwide, as well.

Nice how a musical genre suddenly created a demand for massively-complex synthesizer modulation.

A more connected Logic

The other news is, Logic Pro X does more than before when connected to the internet.

From Apple, there’s expected Apple Music Connect support, which lets you publish directly to Apple Music from inside the app. (Previously, this was available only in GarageBand.)

But more interestingly, there’s also built-in support for Gobbler. Once you sign up for a free subscription with Gobbler, you can back up, share, and collaborate directly from within Logic. That’s a big deal for both Apple and Gobbler – there’s never been cloud integration like this in a major DAW.

Our friends at Gobbler have a video of that, above.

And lots of other pro improvements…

10.2, as is typical of Apple’s recent pro music update cycle, adds a lot of functionality and fixes, too.

There’s Force Touch trackpad support for the latest Apple laptops – a reminder that Apple is the one DAW maker that’s also in the computer business.

There’s expanded MIDI functionality, including expanded clock options.

You can non-destructively reverse audio regions. (Ah, I love this, as a reverse-addicted person.)

You can globally nudge by key command to note values. (I like that, too.)

And there are lots of editing improvements, including finally showing fades correctly on regions that have been ‘flexed,’ better editing options for different Cycle settings, and some nice features for locators and markers.

There are many more tiny details, fixing minuscule quality issues and making editing easier. This is the sort of attention to detail that we desperately need in our aging stable of big DAWs, and we don’t always get it. So I’m eager to try it out and see how it’s feeling in practice.

I’ll say this: Logic may not be your favorite DAW. Heck, you might even actively dislike it. But what I can’t get from using it is any sense that the pro music team at Apple is uninterested in serious users. If you transported someone from fifteen years ago and sat them in front of what you told them was Emagic Logic Pro X alongside some of its competition, they’d be none the wiser. (They might wonder where their Windows version was, but apart from that.)

Of course, as always, many of these enhancements also carry over to GarageBand and MainStage.

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Windows startup sounds transformed into amazing ambient music

Microsoft celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of Windows 95. But the best part of all of this may be this oddly eerie, beautiful set of ambient tunes, slowing down the best-known Windows branding by 4000%.

This is what Brian Eno sounds like when you Brian Eno-ify Brian Eno.

While we’re at it, it’s worth revisiting some of the startup sounds over the years.

Brian Eno is best known for his contribution to Windows 95. To my mind, it’s the best of the startup sounds. Eno described the brief as “inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental [and] emotional” — and gave Microsoft twice the length they asked for, true to form. Not 4000%, only 200%.

Tom Ozanich and Bill Brown composed Windows XP and the associated sounds (with Emmy winner Ozanich working on orchestral samples. Brown is the composer behind CSI:NY and Any Given Sunday with a long game resume including Wolfenstein.

The legendary Robert Fripp famously contributed to the infamous Windows Vista for a cheery tune for that OS that has stuck with subsequent releases, working alongside Tucker Martine and Steve Ball of Microsoft.

Other sounds were developed in-house. My experience of the audio team at Microsoft over the years with my brief contacts with them has been that they’re musicians like us – and often know their way around a Mac, too. (Apple machines do show up in Microsoft’s offices now and then.)

I certainly want to wish a very happy birthday to Windows, or, erm, to Windows95. (Hey, I used Windows 3.x, too – and made some music on it!)

I never get tired of computers. For all the bitching and moaning – what wondrous machines we have on our desks, that allow us to make sounds we’ve never before imagined, and meet people who love what we love from the other side of the world. (Where’s Louis C.K. when you need him?)

Here’s a wonderful compilation of still more Windows sounds… Ah, the magic of time. All those years of things breaking just fade nicely into nostalgia.

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Get dedicated hands-on control of your Ableton Live set with DDC

So, we all know we’d like to get our hands on software music making with something other than the mouse. Now — how? How do you actually make that physical knob or button do something useful on screen, and at the right moment?

There’s the brute-force method, manually applying MIDI learn. There are fancy dynamic ways of assigning controls. But the former is inflexible and requires extra work, and the latter means that you typically can’t “lock” every control where you need it. (That is, the automatic methods sometimes “outsmart” you to the point of not allowing you to do what you wish.)

DDC – “Dedicated Device Control” – is a solution for Ableton Live that finally keeps controls mapped to specific software without sacrificing flexibility.

It comes in several parts:
1. MIDI Remote Scripts (this means it doesn’t require extra software running or Max for Live)
2. An editor for making your assignments.
3. A capture tool for use with third-party plug-ins and Max for Live devices (that is, not just internal Ableton Devices and Racks).
4. A repository full of controller files to get you started.

The bundle costs US$17.50 and requires Live 9.1.2 or later (though it doesn’t need Max for Live or Suite), plus the (free) Java runtime.

accessorycontrolseditor

What sets it apart?

  • Your mappings open in any set, automatically – you don’t have to do anything to existing sets.
  • It maps to the first instance of a device on any track.
  • You can have several pages of assignments.
  • You can control multiple devices.
  • Up to 32 encoders, 32 buttons (toggle/momentary) – and for each of six devices.
  • Control LEDs, too, for color feedback.

It’s the best of both worlds. It’s automatic – you instantly get control of specific devices without modifying your sets and without manually taking control. But it’s not too automatic – you still get the muscle memory-enhancing power of keeping things assigned, and the power to choose what assignments and pages you want. That would appear to make it really invaluable for live performance, in particular.

I’m giving this a try, but couldn’t wait to write it up. More like this, please.

More:

http://www.nativekontrol.com/DDC.html

Thanks to nerk for this one!

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This is now the iOS drum machine you want to jam with: Elastic Drums 1.6

Remember when apps were novel toys for experimentation? Now, an app could give your drum machine a run for its money.

It’s the third wave of iOS apps. We’re now onto a moment where, cresting the wave of tools, a few are becoming simply invaluable to the right users. They can make an iPad feel a bit like dedicated hardware, perhaps even in a way that a computer can’t. And that to me makes them worth examining, even if you have no desire to use an iPad.

Elastic Drums has that feeling to me. On its surface, it’s just another drum machine app with a sequencer. But by tying together features you need for production and performance, it’s one of the few apps where I feel like I can really produce something serious. And its sound engine is unusual enough that it actually has personality.

When desktop and iOS software alike often sounds too clean, this gets dirty.

1.6 is a significant update, even despite the “point” release in the name, because of its focus on jamming. On the main screen – or on a MIDI controller, or even using another iOS gizmo as a “remote” – you get loads of options that aid in live improvisation (whether that’s how you want to work in the studio or in front of other people). With this functionality, it’s not hard to imagine an iPad nuzzled in with other synths and drum machines onstage. I covered this before, so it’s worth seeing again now that 1.6 is out:
Pads and triggers turn Elastic Drums into a killer performance tool

There’s more: 1.6 also includes two new synth engines – one for bass, one for drones.

And there are new swing settings. Watch the video, because that doesn’t mean what I initially thought it meant. You can actually use swing for rhythmic variations live – rather than a set it once and forget it option, it’s also a live performance tool.

And since it’s easy to combine apps on modern iPads, I think it’s worth noting again that Patterning, another drum machine app, makes an excellent generative sequencer. I could easily see combining its sequencing features with Elastic Drums’ unique synthesis engine (especially as Patterning focuses more on samples). That gives you conventional kits if you want to augment the further-out sounds of Elastic Drums, and it provides another way of thinking about the sequence that lends itself nicely to more complex polyrhythms.

And to celebrate, the app is on sale for US$7.99. Find it on iTunes or at MoM Instruments, the app “label” founded by Mouse on Mars. (Disclosure: an app I co-developed is also part of that label. But… yeah, I just want to play with Elastic Drums and WretchUp in my own music and when I’m in bed. It’s better than sleeping.)

http://mominstruments.com/elasticdrums/

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Here’s how to start making your own Stems for sale or DJing

We’ve heard a lot about Stems, a distribution format providing four separate, DJ-ready parts. And we already go to the point where you could buy a range of Stems music online. What you haven’t been able to do is try making your own Stems, unless you were on one of the early label partners.

That changes today, with Native Instruments’ public release of the free Stem Creator Tool. This is officially a beta version, but NI reports the files are created correctly and you should find it stable.

This also means whether or not you’re sold on Stems yet, you’ll get a better picture of how it works for producers.

First, to the pack itself. You get get:
1. A quick-start guide. (There’s also a video, included here.)
2. A guide on making your own Stems album cover (so it says ‘Stems’ on it, basically), accompanied by a template .psd file.
3. A software tool for Mac and WIndows that handles metadata, dynamics processing, and file export. (Only 64-bit Windows is supported at the moment, but 32-bit support is coming.)

Probably your best bet is to watch the video. There are some interesting details you might easily have missed in previous discussions:

The Stem Creator Tool provides its own compression and limiting tools. “How do you master Stems?” was a frequent question. The answer is, basically, you don’t – not before you get to the creator tool. That tool has its own compressor/limiter for quickly making the mixed stems sound as loud as the master.

Here’s the workflow: first, go back to your project file, and make sure that when you mix together all four stems, the results don’t clip. In other words, you’re treating exporting stems the way you would sending individual track exports to a remix artist or mastering engineer – dry.

Then, from the creation tool, you apply internal compression and limiting to bring the mixed four stems up to the loudness level of your stereo master. That means you’re now feeding the individual stems through NI’s own processing rather than what you or your mastering engineer used on the stereo master signal chain.

The advantage here is ease and reliability. You can quickly get your track to the same overall loudness as the master. To get there, you sacrifice some control – though since you still distribute the stereo master, that’s perhaps not much of an issue.

stemscreator

The Stems playback tool has to reproduce those compression settings. Here’s the interesting bit. When you export, the tool doesn’t bounce the processing. Instead, it stores your settings in the metadata of the file. A playback tool – for now, this is just Traktor – has to reproduce the same processing.

NI tells CDM a bit about their motivation:

Those settings are then read from the file when the user loads it in TRAKTOR, thus the user hears what the producer heard when they have all the stem volumes at max. When the user starts changing the mix of the stems, the real-time compression/limiting then responds accordingly so the end results sound authentic and professional.

Any Stems-compatible tool will need this (free) DSP library. NI mentioned recently it would provide DSP in the SDK. Now we know why: you’ll need to add their compression/limiting library to your tool so the Stems play back dynamics settings from the file accurately.

NI confirms that to CDM. “Without the DSP library, the end results could be thin (lack of compression) or could result in clipping (if the stems add up to a level over 0dBFS and the Limiter isn’t used),” NI tells us. “Anyone who fails to implement the DSP library will not have fully implemented Stems support in their product.”

Stems will respond dynamically as you mix. Since compression/limiting is applied in real-time, rather than to individual stems, you can depend on your mixed files sounding loud enough even as you mix.

But you can bake in your own processing, if you choose. If you want to do some dynamics processing before exporting Stems, there’s nothing stopping you. However, your Stems may not sound loud enough when used elsewhere.

There isn’t a standard for color and order. In the creation tool, you drag and drop your Stems, then choose color and title. There isn’t a convention; any standardization is down to paying attention to what other Stem producers are doing. This means you have a fair bit of choice, if your track is something other than “drums / bass / synth / vocal” – or if you’re picky about color. (Hey, some people really do have serious synesthesia that makes them compulsive about this! Or maybe your vocals were done by a Smurf, and so you want them to be blue. Whatever. I’m not sure what color as a bassline is supposed to be.)

Reflections: Stems is still “a Traktor thing” until there are other software partners or at least an SDK – I still think the SDK could get small mobile developers onboard in a hurry, for instance. But the creation tool is important because it opens up the appeal beyond just labels and stores, and potentially to producers. It’s at least of appeal if you’re a producer who either uses Traktor or things your fans might want to use your tracks in their DJ sets.

The delicate balance NI has to walk is one between standardization and ease on one hand, and flexibility on the other. Will producers be happy with these internal compression tools? Will this be a mess of unpredictable colors and titles?

I will say, though, for most dance music producers, the Stems Creator Tool is easy enough that this should be a no-brainer to at least try.

For distribution, if you have music that lends itself to releasing stem files, it’s a solid option. Even if you’re not on a label on one of these stores, there are various tools that let you sell zip files directly (including Bandcamp).

And what we know now is that making the files is a quick and painless process. Expect to see a lot of artists try this and see if it sticks. (In fact, Stems’ new problem is how to sustain interest past that initial, likely boom.)

For anyone doing hybrid live/DJ sets on a laptop, this could also be worth trying today. It means at last you can load individual, remix-able parts of your own songs into Traktor with a lot less effort, versus making individual Remix Decks and so on. (I will save my rant about Ableton Live “live” sets that do nothing other than trigger scenes for another article.)

Let us know if you get using it. I still have questions about the approach to mastering – and I’m really interested to see that SDK.

Download:
http://www.stems-music.com/stem-creator-tool/

Newsletter signup, which is where NI hopes you’ll go for the latest on the format.

Previously: our in-depth guide to the format

The post Here’s how to start making your own Stems for sale or DJing appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Giant hand-cranked music box serves as street art in Cincinnati

Here is some really nifty street art in Cincinnati, Ohio!

From the project web site:

Here is a short video showing our Spinnradl sculptures in action in Cincinnati. The video features two songs on two nearly identical sculptures, sited about a block apart from each other along Pendleton Street. The songs are played by turning a crank, which spins a large cylinder that triggers an analog music box. Turning the crank also powers a pulsing, radial Moire animation on either end of the sculpture’s housing. Each song lasts about thirty seconds when spun at the optimal speed, and repeats as long as the crank is continually turned.

Here is the project web site where you can see more pictures and read more about the development of the Spinnradl.

Thanks Steve & Jere!


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RSS medialab prado

  • European Urban Network for Connecting Cities 2015: Digital Façade Screenings August 26, 2015
    Presentation of the projects produced and adapted for Medialab-Prado’s digital façade within the framework of the InVISIBLE and VISIBLE Cities 2015 Open Call. The following projects will be screened: Open Urban Television (OUT) (Madrid-London), Querer y poder proyectar en la ciudad (Madrid) and Hidden Histories (Berlin-Brussels).Curated by Nerea Calvillo. […]
  • REM Project. Collective Graphic Creation August 24, 2015
    What is REM Project? It is a collective graphic creation proposal. Medialab-Prado, within the framework of InVISIBLE and VISIBLE Cities 2015 of the European Project Connecting Cities Network, would like to invite you to send us a story that begins with an alarm clock and ends with an explosion.  […]
  • Selected Projects for the Citizen Labs Residencies at Medialab-Prado August 24, 2015
    Last August 14 the call for projects for citizen labs in Ibero-America was closed. This call was aimed at all those interested in coming to Madrid for a two-weeks residency at Medialab-Prado to learn, take part in the activities of the center and prototype their project with the support of Medialab's community and the initiative of Citizen Innovation of […]
  • Screening Comics for the City Workshop August 24, 2015
    Within the framework of the Hidden Histories Project that will be screened on the digital façade September 11, 2015, we offer this two-day workshop with Elisa G. McCausland and #bookcamping. A “guided visit” to #bookcamping’s digital library, from which a series of references from comics and fanzines with open licenses will be selected.  This activity takes […]
  • Managing Collaborative Libraries with Zotero August 24, 2015
    Hidden Histories, which will be screen on the digital façade on September 11th 2015, is an activity within the framework of the InVISIBLE and VISIBLE Cities 2015 Open Call of the European Project Connecting Cities Network, curated by Nerea Calvillo.This one session workshop aims to research, together with Hybrid Public Consortium and #bookcamping, the biblio […]

RSS netEX

  • call: Anticipations-Transmutations- EcoQueer
    Deadline: 13 September 2015 Call for entries Anticipations-Transmutations- EcoQueer- Within the framework of the Bandits-Mages Encounter 2015, and more precisely in the seminar about Eco-queer, Transmutations & Anticipations; Bandits-Mages has trusted on us the elaboration of a curatorial program. http://quimerarosa.net/anticipations/ Within this framewo […]
  • call: Tear It Down
    Deadline:15 September 2015 Call for entries Tear It Down Filmfront Open Call For Moving Image Art FILMFRONT is a cine-club / independent film exhibition project located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood–exhibitions range from rare and underseen global, classic, documentary, essay, experimental and local film and moving image art. filmfront is seeking submissi […]
  • call: Prix Cube 2016
    Deadline: 14 September 2015 Call for entries PRIX CUBE 2016 After two very successful editions, that rewarded Russian artist ::vtol :: and Dutch artist Matthijs Munnik, Le Cube organises the 3rd edition of the Prix Cube. This international digital art prize highlights emerging artists and innovative practices in today’s art. The Prix cube and its €10,000 pri […]
  • call: 9th Annual Red Hook Film Festival
    Deadline: 15 September 2015 Call for entries 9th Annual Red Hook Film Festival The Red Hook International Film and Video Festival is one of the longest running Film Festivals in NYC. It is small film festival that screens truly independent films. Our mission is to give our film community a venue to voice and screen the images, stories, films and works of ins […]
  • call: GENERATE! Festival for Electronic Arts
    Deadline: 5 September 2015 Call for entries // GENERATE! Festival for Electronic Arts 16.-18.10.2015 The submission is possible via our online form. // GENERATE! addresses contemporary tendencies of art that are based on the use of electronic media as well as on the application of digital technologies. GENERATE! Is especially interested in the interrelations […]
  • call: 6th Oodaaq Festival
    Deadline: 15 October 2015 Call for entries 6th Oodaaq Festival Terms and Conditions : L’OEil d’Oodaaq is a french non-proft organization that aims to refect on video art and other forms of images in contemporary art : photography, installation, performance, drawing, painting, new media… L’OEil d’Oodaaq will be organizing its sixth Oodaaq Festival in 2016. It […]
  • call: Cyberfest 2015/2016
    extended deadline. 29 August 2015 Call for entries Cyberfest Video Art Program Submissions Submissions deadline for the CYBERFEST’s Video Art Program is extended until August 29, 2015. The upcoming CYBERFEST takes place Fall 2015-Spring 2016 in Bogota, St. Petersburg, and New York. For the 9th annual edition, CYBERFEST is excited to expand its programming to […]
  • call: Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo (A-AIR) 2016
    Deadline: 10 September 2015 Call for entries Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo (A-AIR) 2016 Residency Period: January 7th – March 17th, 2016 This project, organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan (Bunka-cho), is an artist in residence program that provides three outstanding young animation artists (20-35 years old) from around the […]
  • call: Marking Time: Video Blogging As Art Practice
    Deadline: 30 September 2015 Call for entries Marking Time: Video Blogging As Art Practice Call For Papers Marking Time: Video Blogging as Art Practice The CMDC Digital Publishing Initiative at Washington State University Vancouver invites scholars to contribute papers in response to a curated exhibition of expressive online video. The exhibition highlights t […]
  • call: Intersections: Cinema, Performance, Networked Media, And Politics
    Call for entries Deadline: 31 August 2015 Intersections: Cinema, Performance, Networked Media, And Politics Venue: College Art Association Conference, Media Lounge Exhibit Date: February 6, 2016 @ CAA Conference in Washington, D.C. Deadline to Enter: 8/31/15 Entry Fee: FREE Eligibility: Open to all artists ages 18+. The New Media Caucus is programming a sess […]

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RSS inside higher ed architecture

  • Oakland CC May Be Forced to Halt Online Classes
    Oakland Community College, in Michigan, may be forced for the winter term to cancel most or all of its online courses -- which are taken by about 12 percent of its students, The Detroit News reported. Oakland, like many community colleges, offers online programs. But the college's accreditor -- the Higher Learning Commission -- is required to conduct a […]
  • Behind the Scenes in Short Tenure of UBC President
    An in-depth article in The Globe & Mail explores the year that Arvind Gupta was president of the University of British Columbia, one of Canada's top institutions. Gupta's surprise departure has not been explained, setting off much speculation on and off campus and many questions about the board at UBC. According to the article, Gupta succeeded […]
  • Shootings and Threats on Campuses
    Wednesday and Thursday saw several shootings -- one resulting in a student death -- and other security incidents on campuses. Here is a round-up of local press reports: Savannah State University announced today that a student died at a local hospital to which he was taken after being shot in an altercation at the student union. The university has delayed cla […]
  • UMUC to Go Textbook-Free
    The University of Maryland University College will by fall 2016 be a textbook-free institution, the Associated Press reported. The university, which serves mainly adult students and members of the military, will replace the textbooks with open educational resources, a spokesperson said. The change will first apply to about 64,000 undergraduate students in mo […]
  • Moody's: New Orleans Colleges Still Struggle
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  • More presidential searches embrace personality assessments
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  • Hong Kong Police Charge Student Leaders of Pro-Democracy Protests
    Three student leaders of last year’s pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have been charged in connection with their role in occupying a fenced square in front of the territory's government headquarters, The New York Times reported. The three student leaders have been variously charged with unlawful assembly and inciting others to take part in an assembl […]
  • University of Hull demonstrates pedagogical potential of world-building game
    In lists of the next big higher education technology trends, Minecraft may not figure too highly. But that could be about to change, with a series of projects at the University of Hull, in Britain, demonstrating the pedagogical potential of the world-building computer game. “Excavating” a medieval village and building public understanding of the work of a re […]
  • Essay on the experience of teaching 'Fun Home,' and why the graphic novel is ideal for college students
    Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home has received critical raves. A musical adaptation has become a Broadway smash. Despite these successes, some students in Duke University’s incoming class refused to read Fun Home when it was placed on their recommended summer reading list. Citing the book’s acceptance of lesbian identity, these students said they beli […]
  • Community college in New Jersey struggles to break through with adaptive math courses
    Like most community colleges that enroll large numbers of low-income students, Essex County College has a serious graduation rate problem, with remedial math being a primary stumbling block. Essex, located in Newark, N.J., had a graduation rate of 8 percent a couple years ago. About 85 percent of the college’s incoming students place into the lowest level of […]

RSS inside higher ed: outside architecture

  • Oakland CC May Be Forced to Halt Online Classes
    Oakland Community College, in Michigan, may be forced for the winter term to cancel most or all of its online courses -- which are taken by about 12 percent of its students, The Detroit News reported. Oakland, like many community colleges, offers online programs. But the college's accreditor -- the Higher Learning Commission -- is required to conduct a […]
  • Behind the Scenes in Short Tenure of UBC President
    An in-depth article in The Globe & Mail explores the year that Arvind Gupta was president of the University of British Columbia, one of Canada's top institutions. Gupta's surprise departure has not been explained, setting off much speculation on and off campus and many questions about the board at UBC. According to the article, Gupta succeeded […]
  • Shootings and Threats on Campuses
    Wednesday and Thursday saw several shootings -- one resulting in a student death -- and other security incidents on campuses. Here is a round-up of local press reports: Savannah State University announced today that a student died at a local hospital to which he was taken after being shot in an altercation at the student union. The university has delayed cla […]
  • UMUC to Go Textbook-Free
    The University of Maryland University College will by fall 2016 be a textbook-free institution, the Associated Press reported. The university, which serves mainly adult students and members of the military, will replace the textbooks with open educational resources, a spokesperson said. The change will first apply to about 64,000 undergraduate students in mo […]
  • Moody's: New Orleans Colleges Still Struggle
    Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, colleges and universities in and around New Orleans continue to suffer from weak enrollment, according to a Moody's analysis released this week. The damage incurred during Katrina caused institutions to shutter for the entire fall 2005 semester. Today those colleges and universities continue to struggle with enrollment […]
  • More presidential searches embrace personality assessments
    Imagine this scenario: a presidential search is underway at a college. A candidate visits campus and is perceived by a board member as being overly ambitious and narcissistic. The trustee is ready to cut the candidate from the short list, but a subsequent test reveals that while the candidate is ambitious, that ambition is reserved not necessarily for self b […]
  • Hong Kong Police Charge Student Leaders of Pro-Democracy Protests
    Three student leaders of last year’s pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have been charged in connection with their role in occupying a fenced square in front of the territory's government headquarters, The New York Times reported. The three student leaders have been variously charged with unlawful assembly and inciting others to take part in an assembl […]
  • University of Hull demonstrates pedagogical potential of world-building game
    In lists of the next big higher education technology trends, Minecraft may not figure too highly. But that could be about to change, with a series of projects at the University of Hull, in Britain, demonstrating the pedagogical potential of the world-building computer game. “Excavating” a medieval village and building public understanding of the work of a re […]
  • Essay on the experience of teaching 'Fun Home,' and why the graphic novel is ideal for college students
    Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home has received critical raves. A musical adaptation has become a Broadway smash. Despite these successes, some students in Duke University’s incoming class refused to read Fun Home when it was placed on their recommended summer reading list. Citing the book’s acceptance of lesbian identity, these students said they beli […]
  • Community college in New Jersey struggles to break through with adaptive math courses
    Like most community colleges that enroll large numbers of low-income students, Essex County College has a serious graduation rate problem, with remedial math being a primary stumbling block. Essex, located in Newark, N.J., had a graduation rate of 8 percent a couple years ago. About 85 percent of the college’s incoming students place into the lowest level of […]

RSS digalarti

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  • Saint-Ex recherche son chargé de mission artfabrique (fab lab) / OFFRE D'EMPLOI
    INTITULE DU POSTE Chargé de mission artfabrique DESCRIPTION DE L’ORGANISME Centre culturel numérique Saint-Exupéry Esplanade André Malraux, Chaussée Bocquaine, 51100 REIMS 03.26.77.41.41 infos@saintex-reims.com // www.saintex-reims.com Lieu atypique de la vie culturelle rémoise, le Centre culturel numérique Saint- Exupéry, association loi 1901, est un espace […]
  • TRANSIENT FESTIVAL 2015 : SOIRÉE D'APPEL À PARTICIPATION
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  • AADN, fête dix ans d’activisme numérique
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  • 28 Festival Les Instants Vidéo Appel à participation 2015
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  • Appel à projets étudiants // Electroni[k] - Festival Maintenant 2015 - Rennes
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  • Appel à candidatures pour la résidence Te Ataata offerte à un praticien professionnel français du numérique à Auckland
    L’Ambassade de France en Nouvelle-Zélande et Colab – Auckland University of Technology lancent le premier appel à candidatures pour une résidence de 3 mois au sein de Colab offerte à un praticien professionnel français du numérique. Te Ataata – l’ombre, le reflet, le virtuel en langue maorie – permettra d’accueillir un pensionnaire français en résidence entr […]
  • Appel à projet bar éphémère 2015-2016
          Dans le cadre des projets d’accompagnement et de diffusion, nous lançons un appel à projet pour le baréphémère.   L’appel est ouvert aux artistes, designers, architectes, architectes d’intérieurs…   Un espace convivial. Un lieu de création. Un espace de petite restauration. Un lieu inventif et immersif. Une architecture vive. Donner sens à ce lieu par […]
  • #Call - Appel - Transnumériques #Awards 2015 - Art(s) & Network(s) - Special #GIF - #netart #webart
    Dans le cadre des Transnumériques et de Mons2015, Capitale européenne de la Culture, Transcultures, Centre des cultures numériques, lance un appel à participation pour l’édition 2015 de ses Transnumériques Awards – Art(s) & Network(s). Pour cette édition, Transcultures propose de concentrer ses awards sur le format GIF et ses images animées, le plus souv […]
  • 5ème édition du Garden Talk : comment le numérique métamorphose le marché de l'art
    Le groupe Revolution 9 vous convie  le mardi 20 janvier. à la 5eme édition de la [Garden Talk] sur le thème "Comment le numérique métamorphose le marché de l'art". En compagnie de Yak, Natacha Seignolles et Malo Girod de l'Ain.   […]

RSS digelarti appel a projet

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  • APPEL À PROJETS / CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
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  • Appel à projets étudiants // Electroni[k] - Festival Maintenant 2015 - Rennes
    Electroni[k] lance un nouvel appel à projets adressé aux étudiants. Dans le cadre de l’édition 2015 du festival Maintenant qui aura lieu du 9 au 18 octobre, 2 créations d’étudiants seront sélectionnées, produites et présentées : une installation et une performance. Depuis 2001, l’association Electroni[k] explore les croisements entre disciplines, repousse le […]
  • Appel à candidatures pour la résidence Te Ataata offerte à un praticien professionnel français du numérique à Auckland
    L’Ambassade de France en Nouvelle-Zélande et Colab – Auckland University of Technology lancent le premier appel à candidatures pour une résidence de 3 mois au sein de Colab offerte à un praticien professionnel français du numérique. Te Ataata – l’ombre, le reflet, le virtuel en langue maorie – permettra d’accueillir un pensionnaire français en résidence entr […]
  • Appel à contribution : City Lights – Festival VIA 2014 - deadline : 08-03
    Le projet évolutif City Lights (Digital Video Windows), initié par l'insitut numediart et déjà été présenté en avril 2013 lors du 175è anniversaire de la Faculté Polytechnique, vise à créer, sur la façade du bâtiment de l’UMONS, rue de Houdain, un espace de mapping architectural ouvert à la participation citoyenne. Numediart, (Institut de recherche pour […]
  • فͤ҈ͥ҉ͦ҈ͧ҉ͨ҈ͩ҉ͪ҈ͫ҉ͬ҈ͭ҉ͮ҈ͯ҉ͨ҈ͬ҉ͧ҈ͣ҉ͨ҈ͧ҉ͯ҈ͮAppel à projets - Mobile Art(s) & Network(s) Awards 2014 - spamm.be - deadline : 10 mars
    Dans le cadre du festival VIA (le manège.mons) et en partenariat avec la Coupole Numérique (regroupement des opérateurs numériques de la région montoise) initié par Mons2015 Capitale européenne de la Culture, Transcultures, Centre des cultures numériques, propose, avec le soutien de Mons 2015, une introduction à la diversité du Net Art via 3 journées consacr […]
  • Sélection de projets Art Numérique en crowdfunding
    En tant que membre "Mentor" de KissKissBankBank, nous soutenons régulièrement des projets liés à l'art, ou parfois plus largement à la création numérique. Voici les récents projets que nous suivons, n'hésitez pas à leur apporter vorte soutien (en contribuant à leur collecte, ou plus simplement, en les partageant à vos contacts). Et si vou […]
  • [appel] Coordonnateur du Prix des arts médiatiques de l'Alliance des Arts Médiatiques Indépendants
    L'Alliance des arts médiatiques indépendants (AAMI) recherche un Coordinateur de son Prix des arts médiatiques, à Montréal (Québec). Afin d'aider dans les domaines de la communication et du développement et de promouvoir l’Alliance des arts médiatiques indépendants et le secteur des arts médiatiques aux donateurs actuels et potentiels, aux bailleur […]
  • Call - Prix Transcultures Mobile "Art(s) en Réseau(x)" 2013 - appel à projets - deadline : 01 sept.
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  • [Appel à projets] Prix Vidéoformes
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