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Tag Archives: Music

SoundCloud and Why Music Production will Never Be the Same

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SoundCloud has become ubiquitous around the web as a source for DJs and new bands to upload their tracks and get some recognition and attention for their work. Game soundtracks like Hotline Miami and FTL: Faster Than Light found homes here, as well as new pop-rap acts like HyperCrush and Santigold. Hypem culls songs from music blogs all over the web, and those songs more often than not come from SoundCloud.

There is a movement away from SoundCloud, but the influx of uploads to the service suggest that more people than ever are trying their hands at making music. Electronic music is inexpensive to produce, and while musical knowledge is required, the bar for entry is much lower than for a standard musical instrument.

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‘Meat Parade’ is the Hammiest Record Ever

Meat Parade

Crazy over meat? Then march to the beat of two meat-themed songs from Archie McPhee’s newly-released record that’s aptly called Meat Parade. It’s a limited-edition record that looks like a “beautifully marbled ham steak”–is anyone getting hungry after looking at this record? I know I am.

Only a thousand of these meaty records have ever been produced, so if you’ve been collecting other meat-themed items from Archie McPhee (like the Meat Parade Lunchbox and Meat Parade Wrapping Paper Book), then you might want to hurry and pick one of these up before they’re gone for good.

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Timbre: They’re More Than Just Glass Bowls–They’re Actually Speakers

Glass Bowl Speakers

“What’s a bunch of glass bowls doing in the game room?”, someone might ask.
“Those aren’t just bowls,” you might answer. “That’s actually a speaker.”

That’s a hypothetical conversation that you might have with someone if: (a) you actually had the Timbre Speakers and (b) if you actually had a game room. These unusual speakers were created by designer Casey Lin and they’re obviously unlike your typical speakers.

All the electronic components are hidden from view inside the box, including the surface transducers that vibrate the box, in effect turning it into the actual speaker. The glass bowls, which are set on top of the box, are instrumental in the design as well, since they amplify the sound from the box and function as physical equalizers, too.

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Giant Music Box Made From Steamroller

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Oh art… It’s easy to poke fun at things we don’t understand and it’s fair to say that the art world is about three dimensions away from anything we’d normally be able to relate to. That said, everyone likes a steamroller, especially one that plays the Star Spangled Banner. So we’re giving Dave Cole’s year-old creation a nod. It’s called ‘The Music Box’, and as you can see, is made from a modified steamroller.

Commissioned by the Cleveland Institute of Art and developed in partnership with Ohio CAT, ['The Music Box'] sees the american artist dismantling a 22, 000 lb steamroller in which he refabricates more than 80% of the machine–though still maintaining its identifiable physical qualities–transforming it into a fully functioning musical box, and at a fraction of its original weight. Built onto the front of the compactor is an acoustical cabinet made from cherry wood.

Like most art, it’s trying to say something. In this case it’s this: “his mammoth-sized music box is a metaphor for what dreams can become, and how quickly they can be crushed.” Cheerful. And how does it sound? You’ll have to hit the jump to hear for yourselves, but we feel it’s something like what a sad, giant clown might hammer out on a broken xylophone.

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‘Drop The Beat’ is a Vest With a Built-In Electronic Drum Kit

Drum Kit Vest

This isn’t the first time someone decided to create a wearable drum set, but this is the first time they actually did it right. Those so-called ‘drum’ shirts are usually novelty items that crank out drum-like sound effects that you usually hear from kids’ toys. Industrial design student Wesley Chau noticed this and set out to create a true musical piece of clothing in the form of ‘Drop the Beat.’

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This Acoustic Guitar Attachment Could Revolutionize The Way The Instrument Is Played

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The VO-96 Acoustic Synthesizer is an invention of Paul Vo, better known for the infinite sustain technology inside the Moog Guitar. This particular attachment however is meant to be used in acoustic guitars, and although it’s being called a “synthesizer”, it’s really nothing like one.

You’ve probably heard an electric guitar make all sorts of crazy sounds thanks to either digital or analog processing. The Vo-96 works entirely differently[.] Rather than modify the waveform after the fact—as in the case of an electric guitar and an effects pedal—the Vo-96 alters the waveform in real-time. In other words, the Vo-96 changes the very physics of how a guitar makes sound to begin with. How do you do that? The device has what Vo calls a “two-way conversation” with the guitar strings. It listens to the strings and then applies a precisely calculated magnetic energy back to the strings to change how they sound.

That’s right, the synthesizer itself doesn’t synthesize anything; it makes the guitar strings themselves behave differently. Which means that the kinds of sounds it’s able to produce are unlike anything a guitar is capable of in the first place, and the possibilities for creative musicians out there are proverbially endless.

The product isn’t completely ready for primetime, however Vo is putting it up on Kickstarter with the hopes of getting it in the hands of early adopters, who could help refine what is possible with the product. Depending on when you sign up, it’ll cost you a hefty $1,250 or $1,450.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Coin Guitar Picks Give You Tone Without Tear

The material that makes up your guitar pick affects the tone and sound the axe makes. Any player worth his salt will tell you as much. And some people will swear by the sound that using coins, or quarters as picks will give them. But they’ll also warn you that your strings will quickly suffer the wear and tear of the un-smooth edge of the coin. The above Coin Guitar Picks aim to fix that by providing the same sought-after tone of an unadulterated coin, with the silky smooth edge of a traditional pick. Ranging in price from $10 to $30, they make the perfect gift for the musician in your circles.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Compressorhead Does Motörhead: Now This is a Real Heavy Metal Band

Robot Band

Robots, robots everywhere. I bet only a handful of scientists and researchers foresaw what would happen down the line in the field of robotics. I think it’s safe to say that it has come a long way from its earlier days, since we’ve already got dancing robots that can do the Gangnam Style and even a couple that could replace bartenders in the future.

This time around, we stumbled upon a robotic duo that redefines what people can come to expect from ‘heavy metal bands’ in the future, because as you’ll soon see in the clip above the break, they don’t necessarily have to be human.

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Old Computer Equipment Belts Out Fun’s ‘We Are Young’

Now and then we come across orchestras made up of old computer equipment, hacked together and programmed to perform some song or other. Last time we covered one, it was just over a year ago and featured aging electronics playing The Animal’s ‘House Of The Rising Sun’. Well, the same guys who made that one are back at it, this time with Fun’s ‘We Are Young’. It’s good, or at least as good as a song performed by hard drives, oscilloscopes, and printers can be. Full breakdown of the players is as follows:

HP Scanjet 3C – Vocals
Yamaha CX-5 – Piano
BWD-504 Oscilloscope to display CX-5 audio output
Harddrives – Drums
The Harddirives are controlled with a PIC16F84A microcontroller

VIA [ Geekosystem ]