Awesome Music

Sounds of the Department Store

Sounds of the Department Store

From the 1960s through the early 1980s, department stores played mellow instrumental music that was supposed to encourage shopping. Fardemark compiled nearly 90 minutes of this vintage stock music and recorded it onto an old cassette tape to best evoke the sounds of a bygone era. If you need more, here’s part one.

Paranoid Android: Super Mario 64 Edition

Paranoid Android: Super Mario 64 Edition

Radiohead’s Paranoid Android is about a young man who feels alienated by a materialistic world. Super Mario 64 is about a plumber trying to rescue a princess. You’d think they’d have nothing in common, but on4word managed to create a version of the in the steel drum style of the game’s soundtrack.

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The Guitar Card

The Guitar Card

This stainless steel card is the ultimate cheat sheet for guitar players. One side of the pocket card features 42 common chords and their finger placements, while the other side has a fretboard diagram, chord charts for minor and major keys, and a circle of 5ths. The card comes with a matching leather card sleeve.

The Largest Chord

The Largest Chord

Musicians will get a hoot out of this clip from Leon Waves, which in which he explains the largest chord possible in music theory. Even if you could use every finger and toe to play, you’d need extra limbs and digits to perform it.

Hey Ya! on Boomwhackers!

Hey Ya! on Boomwhackers!

The members of the Harvard THUD percussion ensemble shake their plastic tubes like a Polaroid picture with this playful cover of OutKast’s 2003 hit Hey Ya! For more boomwhacker fun, we recommend their versions of the Charlie Brown theme, Eye of the Tiger, and the Mii Channel music.

Cartoon Music on Percussion Instruments

Cartoon Music on Percussion Instruments

Musician Joe Porter is back with another one of his rapid-fire instrumental performances. This time he offers up an all-too-short medley of three cartoon music. The Tom and Jerry theme sounds particularly good on the Slap-o-Phone, which sounds like something the cat and mouse would use in one of their fights.

Ableton Live 11 Music Producer Bundle

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Want to produce your own music or perform live electronic concerts? Ableton Live is the production tool of choice of the pros. This series of six courses will help you learn everything you need to know, from basic recording, to controlling MIDI devices, to editing, to DJ-ing. Another bargain from The Awesomer Shop.

Downwrite.com

Downwrite.com

Downwrite.com is a collaborative songwriting platform where artists and fans can co-create music. Fans commission original songs from working musicians, indie artists, and even notables like Everclear founder Art Alexakis. It’s a cool alternative way for artists to earn money and remain co-owners.

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.

LudoTune

LudoTune

Developer Dylan Turner’s online music maker lets you build sequences by placing sound blocks in 3-dimensional space. Each composition doubles as a work of visual art. Intimidated? Try their community-submitted tracks, including Coldplay’s Clocks, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement, and the Nyan Cat theme.

Music Widget for MacOS

Music Widget for MacOS

Remember the iTunes Mini Player? Thanks to engineer Mario Guzman, it’s back. His Music Widget uses MacOS Scripting Bridge and Distributed Notification Center to send and receive commands from Apple Music and works with live streams. It can even float above other windows. It’s currently in beta but works great.

Line by Line Art

Line by Line Art
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Mike Matola creates amazing works of art by writing down the scripts from movies and lyrics from songs, carefully spacing the words and characters in such a way to create portraits. His shop includes prints inspired by The Princess Bride, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more. Time-lapse video by Cory Garcia.

Chemical Plant Zone on Drums

Chemical Plant Zone on Drums

The music from the first couple of Sonic the Hedgehog games is some of the best in the history of video games. Among our favorites is the music from the Chemical Plant Zone, which drummer gotobejake made even better by adding a live rhythm track. We also enjoyed Jake’s take on Duck Tales.

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Genki Wave Music Ring

Genki Wave Music Ring

This wearable accessory adds new degrees of expression to musical performances. The Wave ring has motion sensors that influence sounds using gestures: tilt, pan, roll, vibrato, tap, and click. The included software lets you tweak every aspect, save presets, and even has a built-in sound engine. Works with all major DAWs.

Can Musicians Play Together Online?

Can Musicians Play Together Online?

With so many people staying at home and live concerts canceled all over the world, is it possible for musicians in remote locations to play in sync with each while in different locations? NPR’s Jazz Night in America explores this question and the physical and technological challenges that come with it.

Zeroelectrodrum and the Chickens

Zeroelectrodrum and the Chickens

Musician and street performer Zeroelectrodrum introduces two honorary members of his one-man band, Mr. Green and Mr. Pink, a pair of rubber chickens that he uses to add an extra layer of sound when playing his Blue Man Group-esque PVC pipe xylophone.

What Was Zamrock?

What Was Zamrock?

There was a brief moment in the 1970s when a unique musical style hit the scene. Musicians from Zambia, influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple, melded rock with African rhythms, creating a distinctive sound. Bandsplaining offers up a thoughtful look back at this seldom talked about genre, known as “Zamrock.”

Henry Hoover Dreams of Africa

Henry Hoover Dreams of Africa

Despite being known as Henry Hoover, the kooky canister vacuum isn’t made by Hoover. But that doesn’t matter right now. Instead, the perpetually-smiling cleaner ponders bigger questions, and dreams about another life – as a musician. And he gets his wish at 2:53.

The LED Piano

The LED Piano

This slick piano has an display on top which shows the upcoming notes a la music video games, and LEDs that light up in reaction to the keys its pianist hits. Sadly, you can’t purchase this custom keyboard, so we’ll just have to drool over Rousseau’s one-off creation.

Weird Al x Portugal. The Man

Weird Al x Portugal. The Man

Feel it Still from beloved Oregon-based group Portugal. The Man is, as we know, super catchy – but how much catchier is it when Weird Al does a remix? You can decide while you let the happy accordion sounds roll around in your ears.

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Namco Museum Greatest Hits Vinyl

Namco Museum Greatest Hits Vinyl
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A limited-edition record packed with music and sound effects from classic Namco arcade games like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Rally-X, Mappy, Galaga, Xevious and more. Each disc is pressed in sweet “pixel explosion” vinyl, and comes with an 8-page booklet about the games.

Harman Audio: Insider Experience

Harman Audio: Insider Experience

We had the tremendous opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Harman Audio facility in Los Angeles, where we learned that it’s not just a bunch of audio engineers pointing and deciding; there is a human element to the products and the passion behind them.

Gonna Fly Now

Gonna Fly Now

Getting strong now! Russian musician Logachev Andrey turns in a memeworthy performance of Bill Conti’s Gonna Fly Now from Rocky, playing all parts of the triumphant track on his trumpet, flute, and accordion. If you don’t feel like a champ after watching this, you’re dead inside.

Angels in Heaven

Angels in Heaven

Wind down that long day of yours by hitting the refresh button in your head and listening to this bluesy gospel tune from Ashville-based artists Chris Rodrigues and Abby the Spoon Lady, jamming right on her porch. (Thanks Rob!)

Haim: Valentine

Haim: Valentine

Think three talented sisters rocking out is cool? Now add a drum circle and an intimate short film from Paul Thomas Anderson and put it all together – it’s Haim’s new LP Something to Tell You being recorded. A valentine (with one f bomb) for the ears for sure.

Deal: Minim Mobile Music Maker

Deal: Minim Mobile Music Maker

Create music on the go with this wireless controller which works in conjunction with MIDI music sequencing software on Macs or iOS devices. It has 8 pads, 15 buttons, a touch fader, and a 3D motion sensor, and is the same width and height as an iPhone 6 Plus or 7 Plus.

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