Archive | Software

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NAMM 2013 – MIDI turns 30

Posted on 25 January 2013 by diode

MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) has turned 30 this year. Originally conceived by Dave Smith of Sequential circuits as a way to control one synth with another, MIDI has been one of the most useful and enduring standards in the music intsrument manufacturing world. Happy Birthday MIDI! I don’t know of many other standards that have had such staying power.


a couple of the first MIDI capable synths


the 20th anniversary sign with Bob Moog’s signature

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BBC article on how MIDI changed the world

Posted on 30 November 2012 by diode

dave smith sequentialBBC has recently published an article on a bit of the history of MIDI. The article is interesting although relatively short. It is accompanied by an audio interview which is more in depth and a good listen.
From the article:
“What MIDI did is it allowed the first home studios to be born,” “The computers were fast enough to be able to sequence notes, control the number of keyboards and drum machines at the same time… it kind of opened up a whole new industry.” -Dave Smith

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Audio Damage plug-ins

Posted on 31 January 2011 by diode

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Chris Randall from Audio Damage. They make very unique and unusually affordable plug-ins (most $50 or less). The DSP is great sounding and the user interface design is well thought out and executed. Check them out when you get a chance!


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DSP quattro audio editor

Posted on 31 January 2011 by diode

One of the best software 2 track editors out there is DSP quattro from the small Italian software company I3. It’s sometimes overlooked but rivals expensive systems from sonic solutions, etc. I recently had the chance to use it for mastering an album and was amazed at the advanced CD mastering and cross-fading features. It is also handy for applying effects in a mastering chain. It’s just really, really great software. The main engineer Stefano is a great guy to boot! :)

DSP Quattro crossfading feature screenshot

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Roger Linn interview

Posted on 24 August 2010 by diode

KVR recently did a great interview with Roger Linn. Very interesting story. Read it here

“it occurred to me I could store digital drum recordings in computer memory instead of tape because the sampling time requirement for all the drums added up to only about a second. I built a prototype and all of a sudden, recording artists who wouldn’t return my calls as a guitarist were calling me asking to buy one for $5,000″


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Teenage Engineering OP-1 at NAMM 2010

Posted on 20 January 2010 by diode


Teenage Engineering was out in force at 2010 NAMM showing off some impressive new features of their OP-1 portable synth / multifunction device. They showed their new “tape” mode which acts as a virtual 4 track tape recorder. Their OLED graphics are beautiful … just beautiful. I chance to speak with their graphic designer and compliment him on the interface design.

from their site: “instantly let you record anything you do on the OP-1 to any track of the built-in Tape feature. Record your sound tweaks or beats in real-time. Change speed during recording, or record backwards. Split, lift and join. Make a loop or record a section with Tape Step Recording. You have twelve minutes recording time in normal tape speed and 4 tracks to put your magic on.”

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New touch interface – Subcycle

Posted on 22 October 2009 by diode

New Multitouch music user interface. Amazing! Great work from Christian Bannister at subcycle. Best explained by watching the video.

multi-touch the storm – interactive sound visuals – subcycle labs from christian bannister on Vimeo.

originally discovered via CDM

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Posted on 02 September 2009 by diode


Monome has been around for a while now but I’m always impressed when I see demo videos such as the one below. Brian & Kelli are a small team working on what they love and they are also very conscious of the impact they have … from the site “we strive for economic and ecological sustainability. careful design practice allows us to contribute to culture and preserve the environment by choosing domestic, high-quality, and responsible providers and production facilities. we acknowledge that our future will depend on our ability to support and maintain a local, regenerative economy.”

ro + 256 + milkcrates + monks from ro on Vimeo.

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Posted on 09 August 2009 by diode

This can only be explained by watching the video. Very impressive DIY project.

via fansofcollision

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Novation Automap for iPhone

Posted on 08 July 2009 by diode

From their site:  “Now you can turn your iPhone / iPod touch into a MIDI controller, with multiple faders and buttons easily assigned to parameters in any software that allows MIDI control, and even some that don’t”

Can’t wait to use this for controlling Protools during band practice impromptu recording sessions. I had been thinking of getting a Tranzport from Frontier for a while but it looks like Automap may fit the bill and be easier all the way around.


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