Squarepusher Releasing Music For Robots EP


Warp Records has announced a new EP, composed by Squarepusher and performed by three music robots (the Z-Machines) will be released on 7th April (8th in North America).

Here’s what Squarepusher has to say about the project:

The main question I’ve tried to answer is ‘can these robots play music that is emotionally engaging?’

I have long admired the player piano works of Conlon Nancarrow and Gyorgy Ligeti. Part of the appeal of that music has to do with hearing a familiar instrument being ‘played’ in an unfamiliar fashion. For me there has always been something fascinating about the encounter of the unfamiliar with the familiar. I have long been an advocate of taking fresh approaches to existing instrumentation as much as I am an advocate of trying to develop new instruments, and being able to rethink the way in which, for example, an electric guitar can be used is very exciting.

Each of the robotic devices involved in the performance of this music has its own specification which permits certain possibilities and excludes others – the robot guitar player for example can play much faster than a human ever could, but there is no amplitude control. In the same way that you do when you write music for a human performer, these attributes have to be borne in mind – and a particular range of musical possibilities corresponds to those attributes. Consequently, in this project familiar instruments are used in ways which till now have been impossible.

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Virtual Vocalist Hatsune Miku Learns English

hatsune-mikuHatsune Miku – a virtual vocalist and holographic pop star – has learned English.

Crypton will release the English singing software version of Miku, Hatsune Miku V3 English, on August 31st.

Hatsune Miku V3 ENGLISH is a ‘futuristic voice synthesizer’ that allows users to create vocal parts from scratch by entering a melody and lyrics. Users can change the expression of Miku’s singing voice and mood by adding vibrato, dynamics and other effects.

The software comes in an all-in-one package that includes vocal editor Piapro Studio VSTi, PreSonus Studio One Artist Piapro Edition, and over 200 virtual instruments for immediate music productions.

Here’s a demo video of Hatsune Miku in action: Continue reading

The Meganome – A DIY Arduino MIDI Controller For Controlling Music Robots

Remember Patrick Flanagan & Jazari – his band of electroacoustic music robots?

This video takes a look at his DIY MIDI controller, the Meganome.

“I like the feel of arcade buttons and look of exotic hardwoods,” notes Flanagan, “so mass-market products just weren’t right for me.” Continue reading

SoundsOnline Ships Vocaloid Avanna, The Robo Enya

Vocaloid_AvannaSoundsOnline.com, a division of EastWest, has begun shipping its “Celtic-inspired” vocaloid virtual vocalist, Avanna.

If you check out the demos on their site, ‘Celtic-inspired’ translates roughly into ‘robo-Enya’.

Yamaha’s Vocaloid technology is designed to let you create virtual vocals by entering lyrics and notes. At this point, the voice synthesis technology is realistic enough to take you into ‘uncanny valley’ territory, sounding realistic-esque.

The new Vocaloid 3 interface lets you import wav files, so Avanna can “sing along” with your compositions from within Vocaloid. Avanna comes with a default reverb for added realism; you can also add vibrato and expression to “her” voice. Continue reading

WindChime Synths For Ableton Live

AfroDJMac has released a new Ableton Live Collection created from tuned metallic wind chimes, WindChime Synths:

The Ableton Live Pack includes 5 Instrument Racks, 4 Drum Racks, 4 Effect Racks, plus 10 additional presets. These Ableton Racks are quite diverse and easily manipulated with macro knobs. A couple of the instruments use wind chime samples that were recorded directly to reel to reel tape, adding to the organic feel.

AfroDJMac created an EP, WindChime Ambience, that demonstrates the WindChime Synth pack. You can preview it below:

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