Awesome Electronic Music

Making Lo-Fi Beats with Language Machines

Making Lo-Fi Beats with Language Machines

The Language Master and similar devices used magnetic cards to help students learn to speak other languages. The vintage machines have become a favorite among musicians for making lo-fi sounds by adjusting their speed and direction, and even making loops. Hainbach shows off some of their beat-making abilities.

Phone Ringer Rhythm Machine

Phone Ringer Rhythm Machine

The guys from Electronicos Fantasticos! are no strangers to making electronic music with unusual instruments. Here, they show off a custom-built instrument that clangs the bell of an old-school rotary telephone with a circuit controlled by a Korg SQ-1 step sequencer. Now they need to rig the dial with a motor and amplify its clicks.

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The First Drum Machine

The First Drum Machine

We always thought that drum machines came along sometime in the 1970s, but it turns out that there was one model you could buy as early as 1959. Look Mum No Computer opens the doors to his personal museum for a look at the Wurlitzer Side Man to see how the ingenious way it made rhythms with electromechanical systems.

Doctor Mix’s Top 10 Synthesizers

Doctor Mix’s Top 10 Synthesizers

Since the late 1960s, synthesizers have become a critical component of music production – especially in genres like alternative, pop, and dance. Musician and synth enthusiast Doctor Mix walks us through the ten most famous and essential electronic music makers of all time, along with examples of the sounds they each produce.

Techno without Computers

Techno without Computers

Most techno music is made with the help of computer sequencers. But the members of Klangphonics show how to pull of the electronic sound live using a mix of basic analog instruments and a pedal-controlled synthesizer for the bass notes.

Barcode Skateboarding

Barcode Skateboarding

As we’ve seen and heard before, Electronicos Fantasticos! love to make music using barcodes. They recently rigged up a couple of skateboards with barcode readers and circuitry under their decks, covered floors and ramps with black-and-white patterns, then took a little ride.

Joep Beving x Max Cooper: Hanging D

Joep Beving x Max Cooper: Hanging D

Ksawery Komputery made this captivating music video for Max Cooper’s remix of the Joep Beving track Hanging D. The colorful shapes that move across your screen were inspired by an imaginary future where visitors travel back through time via “data excavation.” The parallax scrolling effect really creates the illusion of depth.

Tesla’s Paradise

Tesla’s Paradise

Franzoli Electronics fires up their tesla coils once more with a high-voltage performance of Coolio and L.V.’s Gangsta’s Paradise. The track sounds awesome as it buzzes through the man-made lightning, reminding us not to mess with West Coast rappers unless you’re in a Faraday cage.

With The Sneatles

With The Sneatles

Hear The Beatles as you’ve never heard them before. Ghostcar’s experimental digital EP features five classic Beatles tracks reinterpreted as modern electronica. The unconventional sounds might offend die-hard Beatles fans, but so did The White Album.

OXI ONE MIDI + CV Sequencer

OXI ONE MIDI + CV Sequencer

This robust input device for music production and live performance packs not one but four fully configurable and independent sequencers, with LFOs, loopers, arpeggiators, and more. Each supports up to 128 steps, with auto-harmonization capabilities. It connects via MIDI, CV, or Bluetooth.

Imagine Electronic Dragons

Imagine Electronic Dragons

In case you’re unfamiliar with Device Orchestra, they’re a band made up out of electronic gadgets and appliances. Here, they perform a wonderfully buzzy cover of Imagine Dragons’ Believer, with the toothbrush on leads, accompanied by a toaster, a PS2 controller, a typewriter, a steam iron, and two credit card machines.

SampleTron 2

SampleTron 2

IK Multimedia’s virtual instrument can replicate the rich and emotive sounds of tape-based samplers like the Mellotron. SampleTron 2 comes with over 400 virtual tape tracks, including choir, strings, brass, organ, piano, bass, synths, and vocoders. You can also load your own samples and run them through the tape sound engine.

Scratching Records But with Barcodes

Scratching Records But with Barcodes

We’ve previously seen how the musicians from Electronicos Fantasticos use laser barcode readers in their performance. In this clip from Maker Faire Tokyo 2020, one of their members shows how to make record scratching sounds using the same technique.

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32 Stepper Motor Orchestra

32 Stepper Motor Orchestra

A 32-piece orchestra needs need a pretty big stage for all of those musicians and their instruments. Jonathan Kayne has solved this problem by replacing those pesky humans with stepper motors. The members of his band never talk back, and they play everything from All-Star to Piano Man to The Mandalorian theme.

Music, Makers & Machines

Music, Makers & Machines

Google Arts & Culture’s online exhibition offers a fascinating look at the history of electronic music. The museum features content from cultural partners around the world and looks at the people, technology, and creativity that paved the way for modern music. You can also play with AR Synth, a virtual electronic music studio.

Vector Synthesizer

Vector Synthesizer
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The Vector is one of the niftiest electronic music makers we’ve seen. Its 16-voice hybrid synthesis module can create some badass sounds. Its touchscreen lets you manipulate complex sounds visually, as shown in this in-depth video from Red Means Recording. It’s currently sold out but its makers are working on more.

2manybuttons

2manybuttons

If you’ve ever attended an EDM concert, you know that most of the performing is done on laptops, synthesizers, and other instruments with buttons and knobs. Norwegian comedy show Kollektivet pokes fun at the experience when a duo of DJs gets a new piece of equipment and doesn’t know what any of its buttons do.

Sonicware Liven XFM Synthesizer

Sonicware Liven XFM Synthesizer

Do you have a place in your heart for the sounds of the 1980s? Sonicware’s portable synthesizer makes FM sounds like many electronic instruments of the era, but can merge multiple sounds into one. It has a built-in 4-track sequencer, effects, filters, and more than 300 preset sounds. Their 8bit Warps synth looks nifty too.

Re:Buddha: SESONGE

Re:Buddha: SESONGE

Zone out with this soothing music video from filmmaker Kevin McGloughlin, who once again fills our rods and cones with brilliant imagery. He shot the full-spectrum infrared footage with a drone over Sligo, on the west coast of Ireland. The chill track was performed by Re: Buddha, Japanese Zen monks who create electronic music.

Windows Error Remix

Windows Error Remix

Microsoft Windows has a long history of throwing annoying and cryptic error messages at us. Video artist 4096 decided to memorialize some of the operating system’s various foibles over the years with a fun-filled electronic music remix inspired by this Japanese video. MacOS even gets into the game at 1:24.

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Who Sampled Kraftwerk?

Who Sampled Kraftwerk?

Eight Minutes Upside Down has created a fantastic series of videos which explore the many tracks that sampled sounds from other musicians. In this episode, you’ll hear how electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk influenced artists from Beck to Sir Mix-a-Lot to The Chemical Brothers to Miley Cyrus.

Roland TR-6S Rhythm Performer

Roland TR-6S Rhythm Performer

Roland’s latest electronic rhythm maker, the TR-6S packs a six-track sequencer into a portable, battery-powered box. What really makes it special is its ability to play sounds from famous drum machines like the 808, 909, 707, 606, along with preset and custom samples, as well as FM-generated tones.

BRONSON: Keep Moving

BRONSON: Keep Moving

BRONSON is a collaboration between the members of ODESZA and Golden Features, and the music video for Keep Moving perfectly suits the track’s industrial beats, thanks to StyleWar’s deft juggling of stock corporate videos and insane visual effects.

TheoryBoard Thy333

TheoryBoard Thy333

This unique MIDI controller makes it easier to play by teaching music theory. Simply select one of its 840 pre-loaded scales, and it maps only the applicable notes to its right pads, and chords on its left pads, so you can’t play a bad note. It has 96 velocity sensitive pads with polyphonic aftertouch and RGB backlighting, plus 24 hotkeys.

Pouff: Light

Pouff: Light

Pouff creates moving images using fractal math, and makes their own music to go with. Their YouTube channel is loaded with colorful and hypnotic visuals, like this clip of intricate, organic looking structures, accented by brilliant backlighting.

Africa on Tesla Coils

Africa on Tesla Coils

Toto’s 1982 hit Africa has seemingly been covered a million times. But we can say with certainty that this is the first time we’ve heard it played by a pair of high-voltage Tesla coils. We could almost feel the hairs on the back of our neck standing up from the electricity. Performance by Franzoli Electronics.

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