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.
Awesome Electronic Music
The Halloween franchise is really, truly, finally coming to an end. To celebrate the end of the road for Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, maromaro1337 performed John Carpenter’s intense electronic theme on a Stylophone. The driving, repetitive melody seems perfectly suited to the monophonic analog synthesizer.
(Flashing Images) With COVID travel restrictions in place, filmmaker Adam Chitayat longed for the outside world. Stuck at home, he collected thousands of Google Maps Street View images, which he eventually used to complement the sounds of musicians Axel Boman, Man Tear, and Inre Frid on the track Out Sailing.
’80s kids all know Thomas Dolby’s hit song She Blinded Me with Science. During a 2018 award ceremony from synthesizer maker Roland, the synth-pop maestro explained the story behind the song, whose voice exclaims “SCIENCE!,” and performed the track live. MikesGigTV captured Dolby’s entertaining presentation. Part two here.
The latest Moog theremin has a five-octave range and improved bass response. It can also be used as a pitch, volume, and gate controller for modular synthesizers. It has a hardwood cabinet and quick-release brass-plated antennas, and can produce some amazing sounds – as demonstrated by The Octopus Project.
Stylophone expert maromaro1337 performed a medley of the heavy metal music hidden in plain sight in the corridors of the 1990s first-person shooter, DOOM. The game’s soundtrack swiped riffs from Metallica, Pantera, AC/DC, and Anthrax, among others. See how many you can identify without opening your eyes.
The Mavis is a build-it-yourself analog synth kit that embodies the spirit of Moog. The compact instrument has a 24-point patch bay, an analog oscillator, a voltage-controlled filter, a 4-stage envelope generator, and a sample-and-hold circuit. It easily integrates with any Moog semi-modular or Eurorack system too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.