The Beat-Bearing Sequencer

Beat-Bearing Sequencer

Here‘s an interesting alternate controller I’ve not yet seen: a step sequencer where one composes a pattern by placing ball bearings onto a grid.

Though I don’t exactly have one in front of me, I would imagine the sensation of manipulating the device would be similar to patching a modular synth. There must be something entirely satisfying interfacing with music in this manner, akin to eating with a well-balanced set of weighted flatware.


A tangible rhythm sequencer. Ball bearings are used to trigger drum sounds. Visual feedback is displayed from underneath to indicate the current time and the state of each ball bearing.

The brainchild behind the Beat-Bearing Sequencer is Peter Bennett.

Video posted to YouTube by peterdbennett.
Thanks to PAgent of PAgent’s Progress for sending me this link to technabob.com.

Synthesized Bach in W. Carlos Style – Stereo

Video posted to YouTube by Elhardt
Link discovered via matrixsynth.com

Here are some experiments I did in trying to mimic the style of Walter/Wendy Carlos’ synthesizer technique and style of timbres. Carlos was using a 1960′s era patchable modular Moog synthesizer with a different architecture than that of the Alesis Andromeda synthesizer. Each one has some advantages and disadvantages over the other but both use analog circuitry.

All I can say is Bravo! As many of my friends can attest to, I’ve listened to a lot of Wendy Carlos over the years. Elhardt has managed to perfect the sound design, arrangement and performance stylings of Carlos. Be sure to check out the Scarlatti piece, too.

Musiques Pour Cultes

Musiques Pour Cultes

I just wanted to announce my latest release, Musiques Pour Cultes, written with composer Severine Baron and realized almost entirely in Csound. Musiques Pour Cultes is a collections of abstract music and soundscapes attempting to establish a connection between music and spirituality, between sound and the physical space that surrounds us.

Musiques Pour Cultes was released on Al’s Records and is available for download on iTunes.

Jean-Luc Cohen (aka Jean-Luc Sinclair)

You can also listen to Musiques Pour Cultes at MySpace.

I have personally listened to multiple iterations of this piece over the years. Musiques Pour Cultes is full of both rich complexity and subtlety. I highly recommend you to sit in a dark room filled with candles and incense while listening to this beautiful illustration of computer music. It is an experience.

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust!

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust

“Side effects may include simply being who you are.”

Ask me what my favorite album is and I will tell you The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust! by Saul Williams.

Albums like this are a true rarity in my life, where both the music and lyrics work together as one, getting into my head, forever changing how I hear the world around me. I look forward to the weekends when find myself in my darkened listening space, pacing to the rhythms, yelling the words into my fist.

Instead of descending into a preachy speech as to why you need to own this, I’m giving you this link. You have the option of downloading it for free, or paying $5. The choice is yours.

cSounds.com Gets a Face Lift

cSounds.com

Csound is starting off the new year with a bang, as the cSounds.com homepage has just launched a new and much improved design. And who do we have to thank for this?

Thanks to the incredible initiative, talent, dedication and expertise of our brilliant new administrator – Cesare Marilungo, over the next few weeks and months, you will enjoy a new look, a new organization, and *many* new features, resources and developments here at cSounds.com! – Dr. B.

And just in case you are wondering what Csound is…

Csound is a computer music programming language with roots extending all the way back to Max V. Mathews Music-N languages. As far as digitial synthesizers are concerned, Csound is as vintage as they come.

Fast Tracker II with DOSBox

Sometime in the early 90′s, I was introduced to the DOS app ModEdit, a sample based compositional environment, known as a tracker. I never produced a finished piece of music, though I did screw around with it quite a bit. When I discovered Future Crew‘s Scream Tracker 3, I basically went through the same process, with the exception that I actually composed and released my first mod “Lore.” Terrible, it was.

Then came along Triton’s Fast Tracker II. This was light years ahead of trackers that came before it. It had an exceptional user interface, and many highly useful features not present in other trackers. It was very crude, yet an effective 8-bit era recording studio. And I have a lot of fond memories surrounding FT2.

DOS as an operating system is dead. Though it has been resurrected in the form of DOSBox, a cross-platform emulation environment that runs legacy DOS apps. Including Fast Tracker II.

Though I doubt I will ever again use FT2 as one of my primary compositional tools, I’m grateful that I’m able to revisit dozens of unfinished works, as it’s been fun recycling old mod loops with Ableton’s Live.

My only regret in life is that I never sent Triton my $20 dollars.


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