Category Archives: instruments

Adobe Releases Flash Player 11.2 and Air 3.2 – still kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero

Adobe released Flash Player version 11.2 and Adobe Air 3.2 but still did not fix the kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero issues.

Nanofunk reported on this on Jul 28, 2011 and again on Dec 22, 2011. Furthermore the issue was reported in the Adobe Bug Tracker and reproduced by many other users.

the log file (kernel.log) gets flooded with "kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero." messages

It is 8 months after we reported to the Adobe Forums and there was not even a single response from Adobe yet. I will start to boycott Flash Player from now on (currently removing it from my system). Here is a link to the Uninstall Flash Player Howto. Bye Bye, Adobe.

Bliptronic 5000: the $39.90 Monome Rival

The Bliptronic 5000 is a great and super-cheap rival to the $500 Monome although not with such a great chassis and quality. But: it is chainable and has its own built-in sound engine (chiptunes-style, sound similar to the tenori-on or the casiotone)

createdigitalmusic posted some hacking tips, including information on how to build your own MIDI clocking and how to create a “switchonome”. Another post by runagate describes how to Turn A $50 Bliptronic 5000 Into A Monome Controller [update: Bliptronome conversion kit for $68 USD].

Information via ThinkGeek:

Product Features
* Unusual retro synthesizer is played with a grid of glowing buttons
* Create looping patterns and change them dynamically while playing
* Chain multiple units together and create more complex melodies
* One octave range. 8 notes can be played simultaneously
* 8 different old-skool synth sounding instruments to choose from
* Sounds created using FM waveform synthesis
* Set the BPM (beats per minute) from 60 to 180 in 20 BPM increments
* Built in speaker with headphone jack and line-out jack
* Front panel is constructed from brushed aluminum
* Includes, manual and 2 link cables for connecting additional Bliptronic units
* Requires 4 x AA batteries (not included)

C4e1 bliptronic 5000 led synthesizer add1 embed

Cycling74 Max/Msp 6 – code generation, GPU programming, new features

Cycling74 Max Msp 6

The company Cycling74 announced Max/Msp 6 which will arrive fall 2011. Prices have been lowered, starting from $59 for a student 12-month license. Upgrade prices for existing Max5 users will be $199, if there will be a “max for live” upgrade fee is not known at the moment.

Main news are:

  1. Performance: code generation, HTML5 and a new 2d Graphics API in Javascript has been announced.
  2. Quality: “output gaps” should not be audible anymore when working on running patches, as well as “an advanced toolset for high quality rendering 3-D objects” has been announced. Jitter comes with a new physics engine and better support for 3D model and animation files. Better support for cameras and lighting, as well as a new “materials” systems have also been introduced.
  3. Workflow: a new attribute monitoring and editing workflow, as well as a “new project feature, where you can see all the patchers, code, and media files you’re using” has been announced.

You can read the full announcement at the Cyling74 website, as well as read the @cycling74 twitter feed for more recent updates.

Ableton Live 8.2.2 MaxForLive improvements + optimizations and bugfixes

Ableton Live was recently updated to version 8.2.2. The update is a huge step forward for  the “Max for Live” API, which gets added support for Rack-Devices (Devices inside Racks can now be accessed via the Max for Live API) and Return Tracks (Return tracks can now be observed via the Max for Live API). This is a recommended update for every Ableton user, especially when using max4live. The latest max/msp (Max 5.1.8) requires Ableton Live 8.2.2 to work.

The release notes according to Ableton:

Continue reading

8Bitone and Vocoder Synthesizer SV-5 for iPhone


via wiretotheear: going 8bit with yudo iphone apps

8Bitone is a combination of a nonlinear audio editor and a chiptunes synthesizer. Vocoder SV-5
8Bitone (iTunes link) and Vocoder Synthesizer SV-5 (iTunes link) look like very nice and compact audio tools for the go. There so many other junk iPhone apps out there that actually something retro-fresh like those two apps really make my day. Together with the Nintendo DS I can build a minimal space sound studio soon ;)

see also:
* 8bitone on myspace
* – a closer look
* matrixsynth: behind the mask
* 8bitone review on

Owl Project: electronic musical instruments made of wood

Owl Project is a collaborative group of Manchester based artists who share interests in human interaction with technology and process led art. Over the last few years they have become known for a distinctive range of wooden musical and sculptural instruments that critique human interaction with computer interfaces and our increasing appetite for new and often disposable technologies.

Continue reading

The Future Sounds Like This: 10 Magnificently Modern Musical Instruments


via weburbanist: “The study of musical instruments (’organology’ – no, really) is the study of the human condition. Every culture is defined by its own distinctive set of trills, whistles, parps, honks and beats, and every corner of the world has evolved its own location-specific indigenous instrument to renew a sense of cultural identity through noisy self-expression. And instruments evolve – never more so than now, in the midst of a technological revolution that has opened up entirely new ways to make music. So settle back and compose yourself as we look at ten new instruments that look set to accompany us into the world of tomorrow.”