Saturday, February 24, 2007

Daft Punk's samples: A visual aid

Inspired by my current love of really old stories, but also by Palms Out Sounds fantastic post about Daft Punk samples (and by Ishkur, the mothership of all sample spots) I just put together this clip of the samples used on various tracks from Discovery and 'Robot Rock'. My thoughts, in order, were:
1) "Oh, well. Ha! That explains how they spend so much time being cool and making robot heads"
2) "Still, I could sample these tracks all day long, and it wouldn't sound like 5% of Daft Punk"
3) "OMFG! 'Release the Beast!' What a record! Why can't all music sound like this?"

Yoshihiko Satoh's 12-necked art guitar

Thanks to Travis, Reid, Circuit Master, Andrew, Make and vvork for letting me know about the bonkers art of Yoshihiko Satoh. His 12-neck stratocaster is functional, and he's also made a pair of clock-like 12-neck circular guitars. See also: Pat Metheney's Pikasso - 4 necks, 42 strings. And guitar superdork, obviously.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Spooky robotic glass hand plays Chopin, costs $16.95

I'm pretty sure that it's not actually possible to lay this robotic plexiglass hand onto a piano and watch it really play 'Minute Waltz' or 'The Entertainer', but... wouldn't that be cool? Presumably it just wriggles away, roughly in time with the music (which has always been my piano technique). (Thanks Mikey)

Beautiful, super-cute, tiny cardboard synths

I've completely missed the incredible work of Dan McPharlin, who makes tiny fictional modular synths from cardboard, posts the results on Flickr, and sells them (MT reader Doktor Future commissioned an entire micro studio from him). (Matrix Synth had this story ages ago...)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lots of synths at Swedish Eurovision semifinals

Erik writes: "I just wanted to give you a tip to The Attic - two Swedes who drag a whole bunch of synths to the stage even when it is Eurovision kind of music. Have a peek at this youtube clip, or download a hi-res torrent here." Thanks Eric. Getting an email with the subject line 'Lots of synths at Swedish Eurovision semifinals' is why I do Music Thing... (Synth IDs in the comments, obviously)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I want this awesome-looking Beatles book

Christmas is months away and my birthday is just passed, so I might just have to buy 'Recording the Beatles' - the vast, fantastic-looking $100 book full of pictures and stories, written by Kevin Ryan and Brian 'Moog Cookbook' Kehew. They published the book themselves, selling 3,000 copies of the first print run at $100 each. A new run is now available, with a cheaper edition on the way next year. There's a nice piece on the book at Wired - "Gazing at all these pictures of beautiful, ancient, analog gear, I felt like a character out of Blade Runner looking at a pictures of real animals after they had gone extinct and been replaced by clones.", and a nice review from Sound on Sound, although the launch party at Abbey Road doesn't look like it was much fun. (Thanks, Frank)
UPDATE: Shipping the book to the UK will cost $52.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Laser-powered pocket keyboard (not all good...)

Geoffery writes to let me know that I've totally missed DID's laser keyboard - the keyboard version of those not-entirely-useful laser-powered qwerty keyboards. It's possible that the sound on this ace Japanese TV report is out of sync, but it seems OK when people are speaking, which can only mean one thing... Meanwhile, Pink Tentacle reports that they're planning a weighted 88-key version. OK, then!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

CSIRAC: The First Computer Music

No, this isnt the control panel for some WWII era drum machine, but it's not that far off. CSIRAC was Australias first digital computer and possibly the first computer used to play music. Although its output was pretty crude, even by the standards of 1950's electronic music, it was a good few years ahead of its time. This is a pdf link to an much more in-depth article from the Spring 2004 issue of the Computer Music Journal.

Old Prints of Strange Musical Devices

While Tom's busying himself over at The Times, I'm dropping by to post a few things. Theres some great ultra-vintage gear pr0n over at Biblioddysey. The Image above is from Robert Fludd's 'Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minores Metaphysica, Physica Atque Technica Historia'. More pics and links over there.....Also, pictures of flutes and Pipes.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Sorry about the lack of new posts

Sorry there haven't been any new posts this week. I'm very busy with my other site. Normal service will be resumed soon-ish. (If you need a login for that Guardian link, try here)