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.
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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.
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.
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.
Japanese electro-punk group Electronicos Fantasticos is known for making music with unusual instruments. In this clip, musician Ei Wada shows off an electronic guitar known as the “CRTelecaster” that uses feedback created from the screen of an old CRT television set to produce sounds. More CRT goodness here.
This pocketable, palm-size gadget is a real-time performance controller for MIDI- or OSC-compatible music software. It has two backlit, velocity sensitive pad grids, an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a joystick for adding expression to your digital music. Pairs with iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows via Bluetooth LE or USB Type-C.
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.
We all know that bees make a buzzing sound when they fly about. But electronic musician Bioni Samp knows there’s way more subtlety to the sounds they produce. To create his music, he records and processes these bee sounds, along with others made from the resistive properties of their honey. From Great Big Story.
If you think that electronic music was born in the 1970s or 1980s, you’d be wrong. Bandsplaining introduces us to Silver Apples, a group who was way ahead of their time, creating innovative glitch-pop sounds back in 1967. They even worked with Jimi Hendrix, but faded into obscurity after a controversial album cover did them in.
Electronicos Fantasticos! shows us how an electric fan can be used as musical instrument – first as a sort of electric guitar, and then as a bass. The sounds are generated by a light behind the fan blades that influences a photosensor circuit held by the musician. Their wild performance of Blue Monday is a must listen.
Korg’s recently launched Nu:Tekt line will create DIY instruments, effects, and utilities for electronic musicians. First up is the NTS-1 a tiny, build-it-yourself polyphonic synthesizer with a digital oscillator inspired by the prologue and minilogue xd. Sound demo here.
Visual artist Kevin McGloughlin teamed up with with musician Max Cooper for this mindbending audio-visual collaboration. Reminiscent of the work of the great Philip Glass, Cooper’s repetitive and driving sounds are reflected in surreal scenes which were digitally copied, tweaked, and pasted to repeat endlessly.
A droolworthy tool for any musician’s arsenal, Headrush’s looper pedal on steroids features a 7″ touchscreen UI, an onboard mixer and effects, and up to 9 hours of internal recording time. It offers numerous inputs and outputs, and comes pre-loaded with 300 percussion loops.
Teenage Engineering’s OP-Z combines a synth and sequencer in a minimal device. It can record 8 audio tracks and 8 control tracks at once, and has a 2-octave keyboard, speaker, microphone, headphone jack, and USB-C/MIDI ports built in. It also works wirelessly with iOS.
Kraftwerk’s 1978 The Robots is an electronic music masterpiece. But it was originally performed by four
musicians robots. Doctor Mix shows us how to perform the track with a single Arturia Matrixbrute synthesizer, which is able to perfectly replicate all of the the classic sounds.
Put on your leg warmers, and pour a bucket of water on yourself! Electro-rock act Carpenter Brut is here to light up the place with a fantastic live performance of Michael Sembello’s hit Maniac from the 1983 film Flashdance. The track is available for download on their live album.
Musician Nigel Stanford is accompanied by a roomful of KUKA industrial robots in the video for his dynamic electronic track Automatica. The robot arms play guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, and of course wield deadly lasers. The brief behind the scenes video is worth a watch too.
One of the more entertaining robotic groups we’ve heard was built by FT Mechatronics, whose electronic band consists of a variety of stepper motors, solenoids, hard drives, oscilloscopes, a robot xylophone, nixie tubes, and a tesla coil. Here, it plays Hello by OMFG.
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