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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Riddim MIDI For Download

Here's one for the producers out there - a number of classic reggae riddims available for download in MIDI format from Baroque Dub (via Dublog).
Ok, time to give something back. I'm making available some of my favourite reggae riddims in midi format for all you producers to re-use. Released as part of the digital 7-inch project, you're all invited to contact me with your versions - my favourites will get a release on the netlabel.
Lots of great, well-known riddims here, including Sleng Teng, Stalag, Real Rock, Death In The Arena, Baba Boom, and lots more. This ought to save anyone hoping to do a little versioning of their own a bit of time...

If these MIDI files help you make some tracks we'd love to hear about it. You can use the excellent sound system photo above (that I couldn't help swiping from Baroque Dub) for some inspiration.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ambient Addition

Ambient Addition is Noah Vawter's master's thesis project at the MIT Media Lab, and it's the best idea I've heard in ages. I must have one.
Ambient Addition is a Walkman with binaural microphones. A tiny Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chip analyzes the microphone's sound and superimposes a layer of harmony and rhythm on top of the listener's world.
Follow the link above to watch a Quicktime video demonstration. As explained in the video, when you walk around with Ambient Addition, it creates music from the noise all around you by phase vocoding the microphones' sound with its own internal sequence of chords. For more staccato sounds it records short samples then rearranges them into rhythms.

I love music, so I use a portable listening device all the time, but it can be very isolating. Something is lost when you don't get to interact with the audio component of the world around you. The notion of a device that immerses the user in the actual sonic environment s/he inhabits by enhancing the musical characteristics of that environment has instant appeal.
In the new context, some surprising behaviors take place. Listeners tend to play with objects around them, sing to themselves, and wander toward tempting sound sources. With Ambient Addition, I'm hoping to make people think twice about the sounds they initiate as well as loosen up some inhibitions.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Only Good U2 Video Is...

The only good U2 video is a U2 video with no U2 band members in it:

U2 "Window in the Skies"

I dislike U2 intensely, but this video is really great. Instead of the usual footage of the band lip syncing and striking cheesy rock poses in their flashy leather pants in time with their latest contrived, overproduced power-pop they assembled video clips from footage of dozens of other (better) musicians (including Elvis, Kurt Cobain, Kanye West, etc...). What's impressive is that they picked out slices where the old footage syncs up with the lyrics or instument shots in the U2 song to give the appearance that each note or phrase is performed by Elvis, Kurt, whoever. Nicely done.

This may be my last post for a few weeks, until I get back from Texas visiting the in-laws. Happy holidays everyone.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!

Can anyone out there seriously argue that this song ISN'T the apex of early 90's rap?

I think not.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Newest Step Sequencer Design

This latest innovation in step (or "roll") sequencers is surely on the cusp of changing the world: