Electronic Musician

Electronic Musician August 2018

The new ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN is a “must have” resource for anyone who makes music, plays music, and shares music. Every issue includes "gig tested" product reviews on music gear, tons of how-to's, and interviews with today's stars revealing the secrets of their songwriting approaches and audio-production concepts.

United States
Future Publishing Limited US
12 期号


it’s all about creativity

One of the best things about being Editor-in-Chief is meeting the people who develop products for music making. Whether they’re part of a large corporation or work on their own, these men and women are passionate about translating their wild ideas into something you and I can use creatively. And one of the best places to find such intrepid folks is at Superbooth (superbooth.com), held each year in Berlin. Staged in FEZ, a sprawling venue with a space-and-science-center vibe, Superbooth18 surrounded its trade show with a wide variety of workshops, lectures, and concerts. The number of manufacturer’s exhibiting was significantly larger than last year, allowing visitors to get their hands on a broader range of products, from the mainstream to the highly esoteric. Despite the inclusion of major brands such as Roland,…

batteries, beats, and the great outdoors recording the natural way

Jack Fletcher was running out of time to make music. His old method was to sit at his computer, “surrounded by synths and other toys, working and reworking the same tunes for hours on end.” But after his baby son arrived, the UK musician had only brief moments left for playing. He found himself drawn to small, battery-powered instruments. One day, those limitations inspired a breakthrough: Fletcher took his gadgets to a nearby park, set up a video camera, and recorded improvisations, mixing in the sounds of nature. The resulting YouTube channel, “Batteries, Beats, and the Great Outdoors,” is one of my favorites. (See tinyurl.com/batteriesbeats.) Fletcher’s instruments range from a Teenage Engineering OP-1 to a Nintendo Game Boy equipped with a Nanoloop cartridge (see Figure 1). A Korg Volca and Monotron Delay…

continuucon 2018

Paris, France, was the location for ContinuuCon 2018, the third International Haken Continuum Fingerboard Conference, held April 26–28. Current and aspiring Continuum players from Europe and North America converged on IRCAM, the French Ministry of Culture’s R&D facility for music and acoustics, adjacent to the Pompidou Center in Paris’s fashionable Le Marais district (see Figure 1). This was Europe’s first ContinuuCon, following two that were held in Asheville, N.C., in 2016 and 2017. Although most of the event’s organizers live in Asheville, French musician and software developer Christophe Duquesne handled most of the arrangements this year. ContinuuCon relies heavily on the participation of University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne professor Lippold Haken, who invented the multidimensional polyphonic Continuum; and Edmund Eagan, who developed its internal sound engine, EaganMatrix, in partnership with Lippold. Both men…

some hidden gems from superbooth18

MODULAR Although the Eurorack format continues to dominate, it was refreshing to find an even lower-cost and more compact alternative. The Abused Electronics Modular line from Tangible Waves (tangiblewaves.com) is a fully modular system that uses single-pin cables for patching. Complete systems (including case, power supply and MIDI breakout cable) are available for 328 euros (single row) and 416 euros (double row): Yes, you read that correctly! Individual Abused Electronics modules, priced between 20 and 75 euros, include VCOs, EGs, VCAs, sequencers, logic, spring reverb, USB bus power, and a Wasp-style filter. You can even buy a Eurorack panel to house a rack of these mini-modules and integrate them into your larger setup. Tangible Waves notes that, in order to keep the price down, they kept things as simple as possible, such…

the ghost in the machine

When first attempting to find a place for guitar in electronic music, I binged on downloading any free plug-ins I could get my hands on. Along the way, I discovered a suite of spectral processing effects from Michael Norris. I had no idea what spectral processing was but, hey, they were free. I soon found out they morphed the sound of my guitar in ways unlike anything I had heard. Certainly, nothing in the pedal world created the same ethereal effects. So, what does the term spectral mean, in this case? When applied to processing it often means the effect is applied differently to different frequency bands of the audio material. Multiband compression is a type of spectral effect, as the compression is applied only to selected frequency ranges of a…

e-drums and e-percussion

If you’ve seen enough YouTube videos of music producers playing drum pads with their fingers at alarming speeds and with jaw-dropping dexterity, it may seem like the drummers’ days were numbered. However, if drum machines didn’t kill us off, neither will DJ BizzyFingas. E-DRUMS & E-DRUM KITS Alesis alesis.com In fact, you can watch just as many You-Tube videos of kids playing “covers” of dub-step and death metal to convince yourself that drumming may even be… cool again? Hey, if ripped jeans can come back, anything’s possible. Actually, if commerce follows the trends, the amount of action in the electronic drum space suggests that there’s never been a better time to be handy with a pair of sticks and two tapping feet. E-drums are becoming more like acoustic drums in all the best ways, while…