The Outline: The Great 78 Project is preserving our sonic past

The Internet Archive will soon be home to hundreds of thousands of audio recordings that would otherwise be lost forever.

Internet Archive four-armed turntable

George Blood’s four-armed turntable

Zoë Beery: So, the original set of records that started this project off came from the Internet Archive itself. Since they’re known for hosting so much old stuff, the guy who founded it, Brewster Kahle, has just slowly accumulated 78s over the years, from museums, libraries, collectors, anybody who has it and is like, “Oh, they like old stuff. Maybe I’ll give it to him!”

DOOM: Behind the Music

GDC: In this 2017 session, Doom composer Mick Gordon provides a detailed look into the compositional process, production techniques and creative philosophies behind the hell-raising soundtrack to the 4th installment of the seminal first-person shooter franchise, Doom.

This is one of the best talks I’ve seen on the GDC YouTube channel! In addition to the new Doom game, Mick Gordon has composed music for the new Wolfenstein games and Prey. In his talk Gordon covers a lot of ground, including how he approached the brief, making satisfying bass come across on unsatisfactory equipment, hiding subliminal messages and courage vs. confidence.

See also

  • A history of DoomIf you had a PC — you had to have Doom.
  • The art of FirewatchA recreation of Jane Ng’s talk from Game Developers Conference 2015.
  • Black MIDIHave you ever been listening to a normal song and thought, “I really wish this normal song had 280 million notes and took up 1.1 terabytes of data and was literally unplayable on any computer?”

Also: Two recent Vox explainers on Shepard tones and gated reverb →

Rogue One: A Star Wars Legacy

You won’t hear the “Star Wars” theme in “Rogue One,” but the newest movie’s score does pack a bunch of other little musical references to the original saga. And if you reeeaaally strain your ears, you might actually hear that main theme after all. (via digg)

See also: Lord Of The Rings: How Music Elevates Story — Evan Puschak talks about Howard Shore’s use of leitmotifs.

Black MIDI songs will kill your brain and your computer

This Exists: Have you ever been listening to a normal song and thought, “I really wish this normal song had 280 million notes and took up 1.1 terabytes of data and was literally unplayable on any computer?” Of course, you’re only human. Black MIDI is the hypnotic madness you’ve been craving.

Black MIDI

Black MIDI is a sequenced MIDI file so dense with notes, it literally just appears to be jet black.

[Black MIDI] Nyan Trololol

See also

  • YouTube Poop…does YTP qualify as a “statement” of sorts? Is it a way to reclaim these pop culture symbols and create something that is truly our own? Or are they just the annoying byproduct of having video editing software and too much time on your hands?
  • Mechanical techno demonstrationMade at Lime Wharf Machines Room as part of Rhythm & Drone Research & Development residency, September 2015
  • The “millennial whoop” is taking over pop musicThe same exact whooping, melodic sequence has been showing up in a surprisingly high number of recent pop songs

More Black MIDI →

The Fundamental Elements of Film Music

Filmmaker IQ: Explore the role of music in film from it’s importance in silent film to the elements and tools that modern composers use to create music for the silver screen. See how minor changes in momentum, depth and power can drastically alter the feel of a scene.

See also

The Marvel Symphonic Universe

Every Frame a Painting is back with a new video about the use of ‘temp music’ in modern moviemaking, particularly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tony Zhou: Off the top of your head, could you sing the theme from Star Wars? How about James Bond? Or Harry Potter? But here’s the kicker: can you sing any theme from a Marvel film? Despite 13 films and 10 billion dollars at the box office, the Marvel Cinematic Universe lacks a distinctive musical identity or approach. So let’s try to answer the question: what is missing from Marvel music?

Hollywood Scores & Soundtracks: What Do They Sound Like? Do They Sound Like Things?? Let’s Find Out! →

Quartz: “The Millennial Whoop”: The same annoying whooping sound is showing up in every popular song.

The same exact whooping, melodic sequence has been showing up in a surprisingly high number of recent pop songs. The phenomenon was first noticed by musician and product manager Patrick Metzger. He detailed the trend, dubbing it “The Millennial Whoop,” in a post on his blog, The Patterning. Here’s how Metzger described it:

It’s a sequence of notes that alternates between the fifth and third notes of a major scale, typically starting on the fifth. The rhythm is usually straight 8th-notes, but it may start on the downbeat or on the upbeat in different songs. A singer usually belts these notes with an “Oh” phoneme, often in a “Wa-oh-wa-oh” pattern. And it is in so many pop songs it’s criminal.

See also: This mashup proves that all country music sounds the same

“I feel like I should have a really good answer for this, but somehow I also feel that the question is wrong.”

The Function of Music

Mac Premo: I sat down with Jad Abumrad and talked about sound, music and the function of music. Then I turned that conversation into a film.

(via Boing Boing)

See also

Moog Werkstatt logo

The Moog Werkstatt-Ø1 is a patchable, 100% analog synthesizer whose design is based on classic Moog circuits. Assembly is extremely simple: Any user can quickly build this analog synthesizer with minimal tools and expertise.

It was originally created as a kit, to be the foundation for exclusive “Engineering VIP” workshops at Moogfest 2014. Werkstatt was created to be an educational tool, but it is also a formidable, compact analog synthesizer from Moog.

Analog synthesizers have long had their own maker culture born of curious engineers, physicists and hobbyists who have created and crafted their sounds through electronic experimentation. It is our goal to share our love for learning, music, and electronics by encouraging everyone to create the world they want to hear, one mod at a time.

Pitch Bend Mod

(via Wired)

See also

  • The Artiphon multiple instrument“A guitar is designed to be strummed; piano keys are pressed; drum pads are tapped; violins are bowed. But what if a single instrument could be played with any of these techniques? That’s exactly what we’re creating – one instrument that lets you be the whole band.”
  • Seaboard’s innovative piano keyboard“…a radically new musical instrument that reimagines the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous surface.”
Craft and creativity

The Moog Werkstatt-Ø1: Synthesizer kit for makers and learners of all ages

“Through assembly and inspired investigation, the Werkstatt-Ø1 is an excellent platform for exploring the world of analog synthesizer circuits. A lifetime of experimentation, knob twisting, and sound design awaits.”

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Lord Of The Rings: How Music Elevates Story

Evan Puschak talks about Howard Shore’s use of leitmotifs in The Lord of the Rings.

“I think that we hardly grasp the importance of music in film. It’s an invisible layer of pure emotion that guides us or challenges us, or guides or challenges the drama itself.

“In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Howard Shore gave us perhaps the most complete and complex exploration of leitmotifs in the history of cinema, and the result is a score that is as alive as the world Tolkien gave us.”

See also

Wrath of Khan on vinyl

Mondo presents the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan score on vinyl! A special extended 50th anniversary release of James Horner’s score for the second original Star Trek movie, with art by Matt Taylor.

Brith.Movies.Death. I have this set and it sounds glorious, even on my dinky record player. This is possibly James Horner’s greatest and most iconic work (in my humblest of opinions) and is one of the most beloved soundtracks of our time. Now you can listen to it while gazing upon some legit, hot shit art.

See also

Craft and creativity

Extended score for Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan… new on vinyl!

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry’s immortal contribution to science fiction and American culture, and Mondo is starting the party off with some music – specifically with a vinyl re-release of James Horner’s score for Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.” — Birth.Movies.Death.

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Star Wars: Recording Session Audio from 1977

Several early takes of the Star Wars opening theme recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in 1977.

YouTube video removed

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Music from the Official Trailer

The soundtrack from the latest official trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka trailer #3), composed by John Williams with contributions from Ursine Vulpine and at least one other artist. I found a music-only clip, there were dips to make room for dialogue, like a 5.1 mix, so I did my best to normalize the volume fluctuations.

See also

“A Complete History Of The Soviet Union Through The Eyes Of A Humble Worker, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris” (2010) by “Pig With The Face Of A Boy”

The food on your plate; now belongs to the state

Brilliant visuals.

The Artiphon Instrument 1 has already raised over $600k of its $75k goal on Kickstarter, with 31 days still to go!

A guitar is designed to be strummed; piano keys are pressed; drum pads are tapped; violins are bowed. But what if a single instrument could be played with any of these techniques? That’s exactly what we’re creating – one instrument that lets you be the whole band.

Artiphon Instrument 1

It works with any music creation software that uses the MIDI standard, which is the universal language of digital music. MIDI has been around for over 30 years, and lets electronic instruments tell each other what notes to play and how they should sound. But don’t worry: we’ve made it easier than ever to get started making digital music; no acronyms required.

Artiphon

  • Play any instrument, style, and sound with a single device that connects directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • Our patented multi-instrument technology transforms the INSTRUMENT 1 into a guitar, violin, bass, piano, drum machine… it’s any instrument you want it to be.
  • Plug in and play 100’s of apps like GarageBand with universal musical gestures: strumming, tapping, bowing, sliding, and more.
  • Digital string-like interface works with any MIDI-compatible software.
  • The unique ergonomic design can be held in multiple positions, and is fully ambidextrous.
  • Design new instruments and custom tunings via the Artiphon companion app.
  • It’s compact, portable, durable, self-powered, and simple.
  • Designed and engineered in Nashville, TN.

(via fubiz)

Shape of things to come

The Artiphon multiple instrument

“A guitar is designed to be strummed; piano keys are pressed; drum pads are tapped; violins are bowed. But what if a single instrument could be played with any of these techniques? That’s exactly what we’re creating – one instrument that lets you be the whole band.”

Gallery

Resonant Chamber In this animation, it can be noted that there is only one dark sky with four windows and four different moons. One of them is the thick crescent moon, another is the full moon, third is the waning gibbous and the last one is the thin crescent moon. Inside the room, there are four lanterns already lit up.

Pipe Dreams This video is the second most famous Animusic animation, partially in thanks to an email hoax stating that the set was a real machine built at the University of Iowa using farm equipment. The hoax mail also said that it took 13,000 hours to make the performance (equivalent to about a year and a half), including building, calibrating, etc.

Fiber Bundles Towards the end of this piece’s commentary on the DVD, Wayne Lytle remarks that the music in the Ratchet & Clank series, written by David Bergeaud, may have had some influence over this piece.

More

  • Animusic HD videos on YouTube
  • Animusic on Wikipedia: “Unlike many other music visualizations, the music drives the animation. While other productions might animate figures or characters to the music, the animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music “tells them” to. ‘Solo cams’ featured on the Animusic DVD shows how each instrument actually plays through a piece of music from beginning to end.”
  • Animusic.com
Craft and creativity

Animusic: Incredible computer animated music

Founded by Wayne Lytle, Animusic is an American company specialising in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music.

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Roli Seaboard Grand

The Seaboard is a radically new musical instrument that reimagines the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous surface. In realising this powerful concept as a refined product, we have brought together years of innovation on several fronts. The Seaboard’s polyphonic pitch bend, vibrato and per-note dynamic changes are all available at your fingertips, marrying the intuitiveness of a traditional instrument with the versatility of digital technology.

Seaboard GRAND Studio

More videos →

(via The Loop)

Think Country Music Sounds The Same? You’re Absolutely Right

A mashup of six popular country music hits:

  • “Sure Be Cool If You Did”- Blake Shelton
  • “Drunk on You”- Luke Bryan
  • “Chillin’ It”- Cole Swindell
  • “Close Your Eyes”- Parmalee
  • “This is How We Roll”- Florida Georgia Line
  • “Ready, Set, Roll”- Chase Rice

Sir Mashalot says:

“As an aspiring songwriter/producer living in Nashville who, like so many, has had a hard time getting a bite from the “gate keepers”, my current experiment is working on a song specifically designed to become the 7th entry to this mashup formula (hence the “To Be Continued” at the end of the video). I figure hey, at the very least, they won’t be able to say it doesn’t sound like a hit!”

Humans and other animals

Some people lack the ability to get pleasure from music

NPR: Strange But True: Music Doesn’t Make Some People Happy

Some people lack the ability to get pleasure from music, researchers say, even though they enjoy food, sex and other great joys in life.

Psychologists at the University of Barcelona stumbled upon this while they were screening participants for a study by using responses to music to gauge emotion. They were surprised to find that music wasn’t important at all to about 5 percent of the people — they said they didn’t bob up and down to tunes they liked, didn’t get weepy, didn’t get chills. It was like they couldn’t feel the music at all.

Then they asked the participants to bring in music they liked. “The first surprise is that some of the participants had trouble bringing music from home,” says Josep Marco-Pallares, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Barcelona and senior author of the study. These people didn’t have any music — no MP3s, no CDs. No Spotify or Pandora.

I wonder if I might be in this 5%. I don’t have no music, but I definitely have a relatively small, narrow selection. What music I do like I tend not to play very often either. I listen to a lot of podcasts instead, or nothing at all when I need to concentrate. Most of my favourite music dates back to when I was a teenager and used to listen to a lot more.

I think music is something I listen to when I’m in a certain mood, not something that easily alters my mood.

Cassette icon designed by Jasmine Jones from the Noun Project

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David Chen produced this video critique for /Film.

Hans Zimmer and John Williams are probably my two favorite film composers of all time, so I was very keen to see how Zimmer would tackle the job of crafting a score for the new Superman film, Man of Steel. The soundtrack for the latter was suitably epic, and I actually think the way it’s structured says a lot about the themes of the film.

Light-based media

Full track from Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel score

Sounds like the music from the Man of Steel trailer to me. It’s not nearly as bold as John Williams’ Superman theme, but I like the mood. The drums are certainly very exciting. Zimmer’s Batman theme never grew on me however — even now I can’t recall it — though if I’m honest when I hum the Williams’ Superman theme I tend to transition into humming Star Wars.

(via Collider)

See also: Zimmer on John Williams’ Superman Theme – uk.ign.com

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