ThunderWave Ribbon Controller Hands-On Demo

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The Electronic Peasant shared this hands-on demo of the ThunderWave Ribbon Controller,  a DIY analog percussion ribbon controller.

The ThunderWave is a unique controller that features three rows of ribbon controllers, which can be used to control anything that works with control voltages.

It’s a hardcore DIY build, but details, including schematics are available at the EP site.

The DNA-Controlled Synthesizer

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Synthesist and sound artist Giorgio Sancristoforo – creator of Gleetchlab, Berna and other creative sound design apps – shared this video, documenting his experiments with DNA-controlled synthesis.

Here’s what Sancristoforo has to say about it:

In this video, the F5 gene of my chromosome 1 (Exons and introns) is used to program a modular synthesizer (Endorphin.es Shuttle System).

Blocks of 16 codons are used to control 16 parameters of the synthesizer, like frequency, amplitude, filters cutoff, envelopes, FM modulations etc.

The experiment is a continuation of my sci-art research on my whole genome, which started at the EU’s Joint Research Centre in 2019.

This particular gene was chosen due to SNP rs6025 in position: chr1:169,519,049.

Direct live recording on Zoom H5, without edit or efx added.

U.D.O. Super 6 Sound Demo With Jamiroquai’s Matt Johnson

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Keyboardist Matt Johnson (Jamiroquai) shared this extended audio demo of the new U.D.O. Super 6 keyboard synthesizer.

Johnson demos a variety of his custom patches, using just the Super 6 and also in combination with his Vintage Vibe 64 Deluxe Electric Piano.

“I had the chance to buy a pre-release version of this amazing synth and couldn’t resist,” notes Johnson. “I am sure many of you are curious to know how it sounds, so here is a playing only video showing some of the sounds I have programmed so far!”

The Super 6 is a 12-voice synthesizer that’s designed so that it also can be used as a 6-voice binaural synthesizer, with each note having two independent synthesis paths. See our interview with designer George Hearn for more details.

Details on the Super 6 are available at the U.D.O. site.

Diplo makes big screen debut in ‘The High Note’

Diplo makes big screen debut in ‘The High Note’Diplo Live Credit Sansho Scott

It’s no secret that Diplo‘s career spans the entertainment spectrum. Being a DJ/producer with multiple side projects—one of which just released its debut country album—and label boss on the music side, while also endorsing a TV miniseries entitled “What Would Diplo Do?” on Vicetone. However, he’s finally brought his face (not James Van Der Beek’s) to the big screen, announcing his cameo in “The High Note.”

Out May 29 on demand via Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, and more, the film engulfs the Los Angeles music scene, starring Tracie Ellis Ross as a superstar musician alongside Dakota Johnson, Ice Cube, and more. Diplo plays a producer named Richie Williams, and gave Twitter a glimpse of the blinged-out persona:

Additionally, “Diplo Presents: Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil,” is out now, featuring country and pop stars alike including Thomas Rhett, Zac Brown, Noah Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, and more. Fans can also tune into his weekly live streams including “The Thomas Wesley Show” and “Coronight Fever” with Dillon Francis via his YouTube page.

Featured image: Sansho Scott

Open Source Ardour DAW Gets Major Update

The open source Ardour digital audio workstation for for Linux, macOS and Windows has been updated to version 6.0.

The developers say that version 6 is ‘more reliable and usable program than any previous version of the program’.

Here’s what’s new in Ardour 6.0:

Full latency compensation everywhere

Previous versions of Ardour have contained various levels and kinds of compensation for latency in the signal processing flow. Ardour 6.0 is now absolutely, fully compensated for latency along any signal pathway. Busses, tracks, plugins, sends, inserts, returns: no matter how you route signals within (and external to) Ardour, everything will be fully compensated and aligned with sample accuracy.

Global varispeed

Previous versions of Ardour implemented varispeed using specific DSP. Ardour 6.0 now contains a high quality resampling engine at its core to deal with varispeed, a design that makes the core of Ardour’s code much simpler and ensures that MIDI tracks will have their audio output (if any) handled correctly. This also lays the groundwork for a future version of Ardour to become sample-rate agnostic.

Cue Monitoring

Previous versions of Ardour allowed you to monitor the signal coming from disk, or the signal from inputs, but not both. Ardour 6.0 now provides the ability to monitor any combination, often called “cue monitoring” (you can hear existing data from disk while also listening to the input signal). This is particularly useful for MIDI tracks, where you can now hear yourself performing/adding new material to a track while listening to the playback of existing material in the track.

Wet Recording

Ardour 6.0 now allows recording from any position in a Channel’s signal flow. Although it is conventional to record “dry” signals and then add FX processing to them dynamically, sometimes you want to record an instrumental performance with some FX processing already applied to the signal. Just move the position of the “Recorder” processor, and you tap the signal anywhere in the signal chain of a track.

Grid/Snap

The “Grid” has been separated into 2 separate features: Snap and Grid. There is full description of the new design in the manual. Many interlocking changes should result in a more consistent, “what you see is what you get” operation for Grid and Snap.

MIDI handling

6.0 features some major breakthroughs and fixes for a lot of the irritating bugs that interfered with MIDI editing in earlier versions.

Plugin management

A comprehensive new “pin management” system supports arbitrary connections between plugins.

Related benefits include managing the number of instances of a plugin, splitting a signal to feed multiple inputs of a plugin, and exposing the sidechain inputs of AudioUnit plugins. Plugins can now be “tagged” with metadata, like “EQ” or “Vocal”, allowing the categorization of plugins in various plugin selector menus and dialogs. Harrison contributed a set of tags for over 2,000 plugins, so many users will find sensible categories are already provided without being required to tag their existing plugins.

The Plugin Manager dialog was overhauled with a friendlier layout and it allows more sensible searching and filtering.

See the Ardour site for more details or to download.

Four Tet drops surprise EP under ⣎⡇ꉺლ༽இ•̛)ྀ◞ ༎ຶ ༽ৣৢ؞ৢ؞ؖ ꉺლ alias

Four Tet drops surprise EP under ⣎⡇ꉺლ༽இ•̛)ྀ◞ ༎ຶ ༽ৣৢ؞ৢ؞ؖ ꉺლ aliasSquipsoupFourTet Credit Rikard Osterlund

Earlier this year, Four Tet released his 10th studio album, Sixteen Oceans, that was critically acclaimed and another tentpole in defining the British electronic’s composer’s unique sound. Kieran Hebden has since found multiple creative outlets to continue providing content for fans including a highly praised Boiler Room set, remixing Caribou’s “Never Come Back” and releasing 16 songs on SoundCloud. His latest endeavor comes in the form of a surprise EP but under his wingdings alias, ⣎⡇ꉺლ༽இ•̛)ྀ◞ ༎ຶ ༽ৣৢ؞ৢ؞ؖ ꉺლ.

The body of work features four tracks, all of which are unpronounceable, but in Kieran Hebden manner, hold their own distinct identities sonically. Track one is a house composed of chime-ringing synths and other special effects. Track two holds a breakbeat structure, and track three is a soothing acoustic guitar song laced with ambient noises. Finally, track four features an assortment of chimes and worldly chants to round out the EP. This is Hebden’s sixth release under the moniker.

Listen to ooo ̟̞̝̜̙̘̗̖҉̵̴̨̧̢̡̼̻̺̹̳̲̱̰̯̮̭̬̫̪̩̦̥̤̣̠҈͈͇͉͍͎͓͔͕͖͙͚͜͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢ͅ  oʅ͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡​(​ ؞ৢ؞ؙؖ⁽⁾˜ัิีึื์๎้็๋๊⦁0 ̟̞̝̜̙̘̗̖҉̵̴̨̧̢̡̼̻̺̹̳̲̱̰̯̮̭̬̫̪̩̦̥̤̣̠҈͈͇͉͍͎͓͔͕͖͙͚͜͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢͢ͅ  ఠీੂ೧ູ࿃ूੂ below.

Featured image: Rikard Osterlund

Claude VonStroke serves Dirtybird twofer with Marc Houle, ‘Fly Guy’

Claude VonStroke serves Dirtybird twofer with Marc Houle, ‘Fly Guy’Claude Vonstroke Aaron Glassman

Claude VonStroke and Marc Houle have known each other for more than 25 years. VonStroke grew up in Detroit and Houle just across the river in Windsor. They never really made music together until now, releasing a twofer that comprises their “Fly Guy” collaboration and a VonStroke remix of Marc’s “Arizona” from his 2020 album, No One Knows.

“Fly Guy” references back to that old school, funky techno vibe they both love with a modern flair utilizing Houle’s s propelling techno brain with the Dirtybird head honcho’s groovy seasoning. The “Arizona” remix moves the thumping kick from the original a bit to the background for a grooved-up serving where that arpeggiated synth melody can shine.

On Sunday, May 31, Houle will join VonStroke for a special techno livestream and perform an hour set prior. After Houle’s hour set, the “Fly Guy” music video will be unleashed to the public. 

Featured image: Aaron Glassman

ford. teases sophomore LP with ‘Living, Breathing’

ford. teases sophomore LP with ‘Living, Breathing’Ford. Press Photo Credit Mawell Byrne

ford. is on his way to becoming a household name in the indie electronic scene. Since signing on to ODESZA‘s Foreign Family Collective imprint, he’s been steadily releasing originals and remixes, including his 2018 debut LP (The) Evening. With already a single and an EP released in 2020, ford. shares some of his finest work to date with his latest track.

“Living, Breathing” is an instrumental cut, but provides more than enough depth to fill out the track. It’s powered by a rich chord progression highlighted with airy plucks and atmospheric elements.

ford. recalls how the track came to life while on tour, saying he remembers “messing with a synth and laying down a bunch of random messy ideas, stretching sounds out, and trying a bunch of sample processing things I had never done before. After consistently being on the move, it felt so good to be able to wind down for a minute, take a step back from the shows, and just feel like I could sonically explore. That doodling eventually turned into what is ‘Living, Breathing’ today.”

Listen to “Living, Breathing” in full below.

Featured image: Maxwell Byrne

Saturday Night Session 039: Armada’s Ben Malone unveils Armada Record Box, a community uniting all club-worthy releases under one platform alongside dance-worthy hour long mix

Saturday Night Session 039: Armada’s Ben Malone unveils Armada Record Box, a community uniting all club-worthy releases under one platform alongside dance-worthy hour long mixEli And Fur

Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.

What does a genre-less dance music world look like? What if there was a tastemaker whose soul purpose was to transport the listener to the club and the type of music that achieved that was not the focus? The dance music community might just have the answer thanks to Armada Record Box, a recently launched platform by Armada Music.

Armada Music has long been the largest independent Dance music label in the world. While the label was born from legendary Trance turned Commercial powerhouse Armin van Buuren, Armada music spans a plethora of genres, and it has truly defined dance music from the underground to the mainstream. Armada itself houses a variety of sub labels including Armada Subjekt, Armada Deep, and Armada Electronic Elements. The label also features partnerships with the likes of Subliminal Records, KMS Records, Days Like Nights, Sondos Records, Ontourage, Subusa, Subliminal Soul, Africanism and DanceNRG to name a few.

As is showcased by the number of labels within the Armada family, there are endless places to go for good music within a genre, but for good club music spanning a variety of electronic genres, the options become more limited. Dance music thrives in a culture of sub-genres and sub-labels, but with all of the content and all of the options, Armada Record Box has been born to unite club-worthy content and releases under one house, regardless of the label a track was released on.

UK based Ben Malone is Armada’s UK Label Manager as well as the presenter and DJ on Armada Record Box Radio, which was launched on May 19 in order to showcase featured hits within the Armada Record Box community. Malone speaks to Dancing Astronaut about the platform, explaining their goal for Armada Record Box. He shares, “Record Box is a new community and platform launched by Armada Music that was born out of the desire to bring together music fans who share a love of club culture, forward thinking sounds, and the very best new releases. Our mission is to become the go-to home of club culture, showcasing the world’s greatest music to our dedicated fanbase.” He continues, “With an ever-increasing footprint in this world, we wanted to share more music and exclusive content with fans, so merging our former channels, Armada Subjekt, Armada Deep and Armada Electronic Elements under the Armada Record Box umbrella marked an exciting new chapter for us.”

Despite the fact that Armada Record Box seeks to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for those looking to listen to club-music that has been released across the Armada portfolio, Malone confirms that the Armada’s labels and partner labels will continue to house the same dedication to their genres of focus.

He touches on this, stating, “Armada Record Box simply acknowledges that many of our fans like both House and Techno, or Tech House and Piano House, or Techno and Melodic Techno.  Musical genres are more fluid than ever before, with artists taking influence from a vast array of historic and modern sounds, but what hasn’t changed is our shared love of club culture, a thumping bass and music that makes us want to dance!”

Armada Record Box has launched social channels across Youtube, Instagram, Soundcloud, Twitter and more. The community will also host Armada Record Box Radio, which will have a new episode every three weeks. In addition to the Record Box Radio show, Record Box will also post a monthly mini-mix across the Armada Record Box channels.  The mix will feature clips of their forthcoming releases, up to a month before their release.

In honor of the launch of Armada Record Box, Malone put together an exclusive hour long mix to celebrate the club-centric music that is featured within the community already, as well as to give fans a sneak peak into what is to come. When asked what kind of a Saturday Night his Saturday Night Session would get fans ready for, Malone notes, “Armada Record Box is all about the club, so even though we can’t party like normal right now, we wanted this mix to take you, metaphorically, in to the club!  I’ve included some of the biggest releases from Armada Record Box labels so far this year, to take your minds off the current COVID-19 situation and transport you to the dancefloor!  So grab yourself a drink, and clear some dancing space… you’re gonna need it!”

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First thing is first. Can you tell us about yourself? What is your involvement with Armada Record Box, and how did you end up here working on this label?
Hi! I’m Ben Malone, and I’m the UK Label Manager for Armada Music as well as the presenter and DJ on Armada Record Box Radio! I’m based out of Armada’s London Office and have been working in Dance Music for about 8 years in various capacities.  I also co-present our flagship radio show, Armada Next, with Armada Music CEO, Maykel Piron, and have a Saturday night dance show on UK Radio station, KISS FM UK.

With the UK being a key tastemaker market for forward thinking and under the radar club music, I work closely with our London, Amsterdam and New York-based teams across all Armada Music releases that are tailored to, or signed from or with the UK market in mind.  As we build our presence in the UK, and with the launch of Armada Record Box, our footprint in cutting edge club music is expanding rapidly and it’s an incredibly exciting time for the label!  Recent releases from the likes of Charlotte de Witte, Eli Brown, ARTBAT, Shadow Child, Sonny Fodera, Low Steppa, Eli & Fur, Tensnake, Erick Morillo and Ben Hemsley have set a new precedent in terms of what fans can expect from us, and enabled us to strengthen our connection with lovers of House, Techno, Melodic and Progressive music!

Can you tell us about the inspirations for Armada Record Box and how this concept was born?
Armada Record Box is a community, a channel and a social media platform representing the music and artists released across our world-leading Armada Subjekt, Armada Deep and Armada Electronic Elements labels, as well as our partnerships with the likes of Subliminal Records, KMS Records, Days Like Nights, Sondos Records, Ontourage, Subusa, Subliminal Soul, Africanism and DanceNRG.  The platform was born out of our desire to bring together music fans who share a love of club culture, forward thinking sounds, and the very best new releases.  With an ever-increasing footprint in this world, we wanted to share more music and exclusive content with fans, so merging our former channels, Armada Subjekt, Armada Deep and Armada Electronic Elements under the Armada Record Box umbrella marked an exciting new chapter for us.

Under Armada Record Box, the labels our fans know and love remain unchanged, and will continue to pioneer their own distinct sounds – Armada Record Box simply acknowledges that many of our fans like both House and Techno, or Tech House and Piano House, or Techno and Melodic Techno.  Musical genres are more fluid than ever before, with artists taking influence from a vast array of historic and modern sounds, but what hasn’t changed is our shared love of club culture, a thumping bass and music that makes us want to dance!  Armada Record Box is about connecting likeminded people from all around the world, through a shared love of cutting edge club music.

What is the vision for Armada Record Box over the next few months? What kind of music, artists, or types of releases can we expect on the platform?  

As with any community, we want to grow! We’re already seeing steady growth in the number of members of our community, and increased engagement with our content which is great – but our mission is to become the go-to home of club culture, showcasing the world’s greatest music to our dedicated fanbase.  The labels represented by Armada Record Box have all got their own exciting release schedules coming together over the next few months and whilst I can’t give away too much, I can promise you we’ve got some incredible music in the pipeline, from our existing roster and a number of new artists joining the Armada Music family for the first time!

A few upcoming highlights include game-changing new remix from MEDUZA on Lifelike & Kris Menance’s certified classic, ‘Discopolis’; Eli Brown’s haunting follow up to ‘Desire’ which is set to be one of the underground records of the year; and Low Steppa’s ‘Boiling Point’ Album which features a raft of previously unheard music as well as some of his biggest hits to date. We also have exciting new releases coming from Floorplan, Mambo Bros, Ferreck Dawn, ATFC, Patrice Bäumel, Pablo Bravas and many more!

I know you kicked off a weekly radio show for Armada Record Box on May 19. Tell us more about this- where can we listen and what can we expect from the radio show?

So we launched Armada Record Box Radio on Tuesday 19th as a way for fans to hear a number of our favourite new releases, all in one place.  The 1 hour long mix-show showcases releases from our Armada Subjekt, Armada Deep and Armada Electronic Elements labels, as well as our partners, and the focus is entirely on the music! No flashy features, or bad jokes – this show is one for the music lovers, and we hope you’ll join us on this journey!  There will be a new episode every 3 weeks and you can find on the Armada Record Box YouTube, Facebook, Soundcloud and Mixcloud pages!  The show is designed to take you to the club, no matter where you are, so even in challenging times like these, we hope that you will find enjoyment and inspiration in listening to brand new music with us!

In addition to a host of brand new music, including some exclusive as yet unreleased titles, every week we’ll also bring you our ‘Club Alert’ – the hottest pick of the week and one that you NEED to hear!  The show’s been designed to be easy to listen to whether you’re traveling, at work, in the gym or relaxing at home – so make sure you hit subscribe to always hear the latest episode!

Check out episode 001 of the show here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VJZQphJQG

What else should we know about Armada Record Box?
In addition to the Record Box Radio show, we also post a monthly mini-mix across the Armada Record Box channels.  This mix is your opportunity to hear clips of our forthcoming releases, up to a month before their release! It’s usually around 8 minutes long, and we post the tracklist too so you can see which of your favourite artists have upcoming releases.  Once all the tracks in the mix are released, we then post the mix on Spotify and also put up a Beatport Chart so you can easily get your hands on all the latest tracks!  Also, in the coming months we have some exciting new short and long-form video content recorded with our artists that we can’t wait to share with you!

Outside of that, we are very much a community so if you’ve got an idea for something that you’d like to see from Armada Record Box, we’d love to hear from you!  Send us a message on Instagram or Facebook and we’ll see what we can do!

Can you tell us more about the music in the pipeline from Armada’s different labels and partner labels?
We’re really excited about the music we’ve released over the last few months – some highlights include Charlotte de Witte’s epic remix of Jerome Isma-Ae’s Hold That Sucker Down, Eli Brown’s Desire, Shadow Child’s debut release on Armada, Apollo 1, as well as releases from Low Steppa, Harry Romero, Eelke Kleijn, Sammy Porter and Jess Bays!

You can check out all the Armada Record Box releases on our social media accounts, @ArmadaRecordBox, or by checking out our ‘We Love House’, ‘House Top 1000’ and ‘Armada Electronic Elements’ playlists on Spotify!

What kind of a Saturday night is your Saturday Night Session getting us ready for?
Armada Record Box is all about the club, so even though we can’t party like normal right now, we wanted this mix to take you, metaphorically, in to the club!  I’ve included some of the biggest releases from Armada Record Box labels so far this year, to take your minds off the current COVID-19 situation and transport you to the dancefloor!  So grab yourself a drink, and clear some dancing space… you’re gonna need it!

Red Bull traces the rise of electronic music in South Africa, Norway in two new documentaries [Watch]

Red Bull traces the rise of electronic music in South Africa, Norway in two new documentaries [Watch]KOLSCH Labyrinth 1

Across the globe, the experience of electronic music is as diverse as its many subgenres. From South Africa to Norway, Red Bull traces the roots of the dance music movement via two new documentaries, Rave & Resistance: How Club Culture Started in 90’s Johannesburg and Northern Disco Lights: The Birth of Norwegian Dance Music.

In training an analytical eye on South Africa in the early 90’s when apartheid was waning, Rave & Resistance: How Club Culture Started in 90’s Johannesburg chronicles artists’ focus on articulating a new and developing identity through music as social upheaval and other demonstrations of resistance inched the area ever closer to the New South Africa. The sound that would come out of this artistic rebirth would travel far beyond the geographic lines of South Africa to leave a lasting impact on the world.

Northern Disco Lights: The Birth of Norwegian Dance Music offers a different perspective on the pioneering of electronic music in the arctic city of Tromsø, Norway. Featuring more than 60 interviews from central figures such as Bjørn Torske, Lindstrøm, Annie, Prins Thomas, and Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music, among others, this documentary follows dance’s arch to cultural prominence in Tromsø. Stream Northern Disco Lights: The Birth of Norwegian Dance Music on Red Bull TV, here.

Featured image: SOLOVOV.be