The wonderfully mysterious analog LYRA-8 synthesizer world now has an unofficial digital cousin – and it’s free-or-pay-what-you-can for Pure Data (and cross-platform AU and VST).
Instruments from the imagination of Vlad Kreimer and Soma Laboratory aren’t like anything else. They’re experimental – and the creators are quick to promise, professional.
In this case, what you get is a digital reimagining of the same voice architecture, structure, and function, more than a clone. If the LYRA is an expression of its own oddball post-Soviet analog electronics, then LIRA-8 by Mike Moreno inherits the edgy digital grunge of Pd.
That is, this is unapologetically Pd in sound and appearance, which somehow perfectly fits the original. This isn’t a reproduction so much as it is a vision of what the LYRA would have been had it always started out as a Pd thing.
It’s free as in muck around with it. (There’s no discernible license file but the full patch is there.)
Thanks to the open source project Camomile, this also works as VST3, VST, AU, LV2 formats as appropriate on macOS, Windows, and Linux. That project will benefit eventually from updates to libpd, as well.
You can also trigger sensors with MIDI notes (or clicks or keys) and all parameters are available.
My experience has been that these kinds of projects, if anything, hook people into hardware sales. (And at the moment, I know there are plenty of musicians facing really tough times who can’t afford to buy stuff.)
But as it’s its own beast – in its terrific physical form and analog circuitry – see also the original (as this recreation is unofficial and unaffiliated):
Lucky me. One of the perks of my dance music intrigue is the opportunity to play with top-of-the-line industry products such as Pioneer DJ’s new CDJ-3000. I was giddy to spend two weekends pretending to be an Electric Forest headliner in the comfort of my own living room after a year of forced isolation spent resorting to Minecraft or YouTube music festivals to get my fix.
We’ll start with cost: at a price tag of $2,299 per media player, the entire setup of two media players and a mixer came in at a $6,800 price tag. Although one might think that this is a level of expense best suited to clubs, other live music venues, and rental companies, another side of the coin is the skyrocketing home demand for top-tier DJ equipment, which increased steadily over the past year. (This is the part where I take a second to daydream about building my own headlining stage in my future man cave).
Since the debut of the CDJ-500 in 1994, music has moved from vinyl to CD and thus to digital via USB. The CDJ has been a driving force behind these culture-defining developments, and so too has Pioneer DJ. The manufacturer’s more than 25 years of equipment design experience, knowledge, and expertise have translated to the development of its next-generation player, the CDJ-3000, a dexterous update to Pioneer’s CDJ-2000NXS2.
The expanded functionalities on the CDJ-3000 are manifold. With new features that include MPU, which makes the CDJ-3000 the most advanced DJ player currently available, tracks can be uploaded at what appears to be warp speed when compared with the upload rate of the CDJ-3000’s predecessor, the CDJ-2000NXS2. Both players are pictured below. Let’s review the pertinent updates that take shape on the CDJ-3000:
After CDJ-3000 setup, the player’s larger and brighter screen is immediately apparent, and after hours of extended use, the user interface improvements made song selection a much more enjoyable experience, bringing this technological megalith up-to-speed in a market that increasingly trends toward touch screens. The result: users can now swipe and scroll, facilitating faster track identification and subsequent implementation. A sort by columns feature aids further catalog categorization, and a master deck waveform that can be toggled on or off can help with phrase timing.
The Hot Cues
Eight hot cues are marked directly underneath the CDJ-3000’s main screen, offering a wider variety of track cues in a visually appealing fashion. The hot cues’ positioning directly under the track waveform enables users to more easily and expeditiously decide which part of the track to trigger compared with the hot cue location on the CDJ-2000NXS2. The previous player’s hot cues were situated on the left-hand side in a vertical alignment that stands in contrast to the waveform’s horizontal alignment.
Looping improves tremendously on the CDJ-3000. With dedicated four- and eight-count loop buttons and easily assessable double/half-time controls, the functionality and looping options are more streamlined with the next-generation program.
The CDJ-3000 has a new beat jump function that adds a different option to the occasionally difficult touch screen to play from a specific location on the track. You can also change the beat length of this feature from 1/2 to 64 beats depending on your preference.
The CDJ-3000’s new jogwheel also has a new look. From a functionality standpoint, the updated jogwheel more frontally focalizes album art, providing yet another visual and aesthetic improvement when compared with the CDJ-2000NXS2. There is also less noise when backspinning tracks on the CDJ-3000, which will appeal to those of us who don’t set hot cues or backspin while mixing out.
Now, sync doesn’t only refer to the BPM. Key Sync opens another portal to mixing in open-format, affording users the ability to change the key of a track in real-time to that of the song currently playing. Although this feature can sound somewhat funny when certain key changes are executed, the tool still opens the door for more fluid open-format mixing across certain genres. It’s also worth noting that the CDJ-3000 includes an additional key shift that allows the DJ to shift semitones up or down and to reset them to the original key.
Overall, the CDJ-3000 provided an exceptionally easy DJ experience thanks to user experience improvements that I felt were needed or that I, at the very least, appreciated. The latest iteration of the top-of-the-line CDJ system supports more intuitive decision making and track manipulation, both of which are owed to betterments in speed and control.
Changes in the decks software, which allow for further firmware updates, are also benefits to keep an eye on. After spending time with the CDJ-3000, it’s clear that for those in the market for this type of player, the only other competitor is likely Denon DJ’s SC6000. Further product information on Pioneer DJ’s CDJ-3000, including how to purchase the player, is available here.
MOK has introduced Filtryg, a new dual-filter effect with deep sound sculpting features.
Filtryg features an integrated envelope follower, wide range LFOs, and MIDI keyboard tracking, each of which react to your playing, as well as your source audio, to create a filter effect that can become a part of your performance.
The Filtryg dual filter effect plugin offers three filter types, with a 12 dB State Variable Filter running in series or parallel, with a choice of either 24 dB Ladder, or multiple modes of Biquad, each with their own personality and character.
The State Variable Filter is continuously morph-able from Lowpass to Highpass filter modes, with either Bandpass or Notch in-between, while the Ladder and Biquad have a Drive control for extra punch and crunch on the output.
Dual filter configuration in Series, Parallel or Mixed for flexible timbral shaping
12 dB State Variable Filter (LP, HP, BP, N), 24 dB Ladder Filter (LP, HP), and multiple Biquad Filter choices, each with distinct personality and character
Morph knob morphs between State Variable Filter modes for dynamic filter variation
Drive knob adds punch and crunch to the Ladder and Biquad Filter output
Audio rate Filter FM enables unusual harmonic generation capabilities
Keytrack modulation control for integrating keyboard performance
Envelope Follower for direct interaction with input audio and sidechain pumping effects
Tempo synchronized LFOs and threshold triggered Envelopes for rhythmic modulations
Customizable color themes and language settings
Pricing and Availability:
Filtryg is available in AAX, AU and VST formats, for Mac, PC and Linux with an intro price of $34 (normally $49).
You may have seen MycoLyco‘s videos of using mushrooms to play a modular synthesizer – like the example above, which has already accumulated over a million views.
The performances are an example of bio data sonification, but some may also view them as aleatoric or generative music. MycoLyco defines the range of sonic possibilities with the patch, but the system determines moment-to-moment what the results will be.
Here’s what they have to say about the process:
“Through the magic or rather science of bio data sonification, this flush of oyster mushrooms get a shot at playing a Eurorack modular synthesizer before they become my dinner. Electrical resistance is measure by passing a small current through the mushrooms similar to a lie detector test
The changes in resistance are then converted into control signals which determine the rhythm, pitch, timbre and effects parameters of the modular synthesizer.”
For a deeper look at How The F Does a Mushroom Play Eurorack Modular Synthesizer?, see the video below:
Although Kid Cudi has concluded the Man on the Moon triptych, the finale’s release isn’t the last material fans will receive from the lauded installment. Previously dropping hints shortly after Man on the Moon: The Chosen landed, Cudi once again took to socials confirm the deluxe edition’s arrival in 2021.
The deluxe version of the record-breaking album takes the name The Cudder Cut and will include new tracks, extra scenes from the short visual, and surprises, according to Cudi. The Brooklyn-based stalwart also noted the new edition would be “for the ultimate Cudder fans” and alluded to an appearance from Playboi Carti.
In dark moments, sometimes the most vital gesture is acknowledging uncertainty and feeling. So as we pass the milestone of one year into the next, I’ll be talking through some mixes alongside our year-end music review.
First, I can’t mention Palestinian artists without pointing to some of the disturbing news this week and an urgent need for action. Electronic musician Sama Abdulhadi is currently detained by the Palestinian Authority after a private streamed event with techno music, a detention that was extended yesterday because, according to a judge, “techno music is not part of Palestinian heritage.” The surreal wrinkle to this story is that the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism had approved the location (and there appear to be internal government disputes over who is in charge).
I’m researching and fact-checking the details of that story, but there are widespread calls for her release and concerns for her well-being. A public petition in English and Arabic is available and friends have told me its information is reliable.
Do join us if you feel comfortable in that request. I know many Arabic and non-Arabic, Muslim and non-Muslim colleagues feel strongly that international support is needed.
Seeing this development is a reminder of the uneven fairness and freedoms afforded artists around the world. It is humbling; I hope whatever privileges any of us do have we can use to support other artists, and that we listen carefully to their needs and experience.
This particular program is worth highlighting, as it is driven by artists like Palestine’s ODDZ. Exist Palestine for Threads*Radio is creating a fresh platform to connect talented local artists with international music networks – which it goes without saying has been a challenge for that scene:
Exist Palestine brings forward the highly talented local artists and the brightest musical visionaries in the global electronic music scene. Exist seeks to build bridges between international artists, Palestinian sound innovators, the many that have been displaced and musicians who are unable to attend the festival due to politically set restrictions. The lineups consist of artists who participated in Exist Festival 2019 as well as the ones who will be invited to play the next editions.
So I feel honored to get to be part of it, and to this scene and their efforts to work in music. Hour 1 is my mix; hour 2 is the excellent post-industrial destruction of Italy’s SØULLESS. So hopefully we can help you find some new artists.
The mix was a chance to really dig through emotions and music (mostly newer, some older but relevant) all at once. I actually tried not to mix too much Palestinian music in there since Exist is already a great platform for that, but I did try to put it in some context – and it’s also a way of saying thanks to Palestinian producers who did move me this year, with some of the other music I felt strongly about.
So here’s a guide through that music and why I find some inspiration in it. I do find mixing is this nice bridge between production and writing – a chance to get out of our heads on the other two and really listen actively. It’s not all 2020 music, that is, but this is all music I listened to deeply and repeatedly in 2020.
Natela Svanidze – “Epitaphium (Live Performance)” Siavash Amini – “A Collective Floundering” ::vtol:: – “z0+$” Liliane Chlela – “2020” randomizedissues – “fyi” Muqata’a – “Mish Aktar مش اكتر” AGF ✸ poemproducer – “NANOsilence” Peter Kirn – “Incantation for imprinting” Miri Kat – “7h3f7 – سرقت” S Olbricht – “Onhom” Stanislav Tolkachev – “Uglevod” William Fields – “viz” Two or The Dragon – “Prelude for the Triumphant Man (Part III)” Peter Kirn – “La Jetée Ost” Iglooghost – “Shrine Hacker (ft. Babii)” HEXORCISMOS – “𝔈𝔩 𝔖𝔢𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔯𝔬 (El Gendero)” King Britt – “A Discovery : Movement II” Nina Pixel – “A Species in Denial” FRKTL – “Will, Want, Desire” Arash Azadi – “Circling Exhibitions In A Blackhole (Mescalito’s First Lesson)” 00970 – “0001” Настя Яцхей – “Дикие звери” Years of Denial – “Life Is A Theater” Izabela Dłużyk – “Evening air for green strings”
Let’s talk through some of that music:
Natela Svanidze is a legend of Georgian composition; her work from the Soviet era just saw release this fall, and it’s absolutely stunning. You get musical responses from contemporary Georgians in the mix. In case you missed her work when I wrote about it earlier this year:
Siavash Amini works in field recordings and paints portraits of Tehran. I don’t know that A Mimesis Of Nothingness made it to any 2020 year-end lists, but it should.
Moscow-based ::vtol:: is best known for his kinetic sound art and installation works, but he turned out this beautiful, poignant track for a compilation by Kotä Records (I mixed in my track, as well). This was a beautiful collection of chilling ambient work, especially from the Russian scene:
Beirut’s Liliane Chlela produced a heavy, pounding, cinematic release with some real impact in May:
I think both Francesco and I included some Muqata’a; this is just utterly essential Palestinian hip-hop and production:
AGF is an insanely prolific composer and producer and fearlessly champions ideas and music without a moment’s rest. Based in Finland, she also has a unique approach to collaborative work and performance out in the field. She is herself a powerful voice, so when her music explores the voice, it’s something special – hence “nanoSILENCE” is really a favorite for me.
It turns out it mixes into the beginning of my own release, as well, and I made this album as a way of exploring my voice and field recordings along with synthesized materials:
I do also love returning to Miri Kat’s live-coded music – a 2017 release I was lucky enough to put out, but every bit as fresh to my ears now and something I always enjoy revisiting:
Going back to 2015 and Slovakia, here’s a real gem by S Olbricht for the Proto Sites project in Bratislava, and I guess I’m about the only one who dug it up?
Stanislav Tolkachev is someone who is so prolific, I think you’re constantly finding ingenious compositions from him; this particular track was for the Ukrainian compilation ШЩЦ:
William Fields did some of my favorite live performances lately; the algorithmic composer working out of Philadelphia is one of the few people whose work can carry across a stream. This is an older track, but a great one from 2017:
I just kept going backwards in years as Two or the Dragon is 2015 – that’s music I mentioned in the write-up of artists from Beirut:
Iglooghost is some wonderful, weird production from the UK; I loved this whole 2018 album:
One of the only performances I got to enjoy from the (socially distanced) audience after COVID restrictions kicked in was the deeply talented ℌEXOℜℭℑSMOS, from Mexico to Berlin (and there in northern Italy). He’s using machine learning techniques to dig into pre-Colombian materials and produce genuinely new sounds, and he’s been busy, so keep watching this space:
King Britt has been a legend in Philadelphia and worldwide, and now his experimental side is just absolutely exploding into some of his best works yet. The Buddy System Project to me was one of the most profound responses to unrest in the US and worldwide, and to me it’s more top music of 2020 (especially if you dig through everything he put out this year for context):
An epic work here:
Slovakian based in Berlin Nina Pixel is a friend and I think an intensely personal performer and composer. I’ve spoken about the whole compilation, but “A Species in Denial” has a special urgency that resonates with the other music in this list:
A lot of year-end lists seem frustratingly repetitive, but then you see music that you feel deserves to be listed again and again. FRKTL’s Excision After Love Collapses was absolutely that for me, and I think it fits the spiritual mood of a lot of the other work here at the same time. So if you ignored all those lists, stop, and go listen to the full release by Sarah Badr (from Cairo, but currently in Riga Latvia), end to end.
This year, the music of composer Arash Azadi hit me even harder than when I first encountered it. As with Miri’s release, it’s one I keep coming back to again and again, and I do hope it gets your attention:
00970 is another artist you really must discover, so talking about Palestinian underground producers always brings up that opportunity – this 2019 release is something really special:
While eyes focused on Beirut in 2020, this was a difficult year to put out music at all there, so the absolutely stunning work of Years of Denial also belongs on more year-end lists. It’s also the artist name that best fits this moment in history, obviously.
Most importantly, we could use your help supporting ODDZ, who has made Exist Festival a reality. As Iti Teder writes:
My friend Odai Masri got stranded in Tehran for 9 months on the 24th of Feb when Iran was called a coronavirus red zone which stopped all air travel in Iran. As a Palestinian national Odai needed papers and visas to be able to board most flight routes that were eventually restored but he also needed to get an entry approval to the country of destination. Odai attempted to leave 8 times with no luck until recently the Palestinian Embassy in Tehran received a notification to evacuate all Palestinians in Iran and he was finally able to reunite with some of his family in Amman. It has been a very difficult time for him with no steady accommodation and income.In support 2 fundraising radio takeovers have been organised featuring artists across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The first radio broadcasting is on Radio Flouka today 20th Dec starting at 4pm (GMT+2). The 2nd show is on ROOT next Saturday 26 Dec 2020. Line-up: Ahmed Shk | Abdallah Dabbas | Arabian Panther | Choronzon | D3MOR | Howl | Marwa Belhaj Youssef | نَرد ŃRD | ODDZ | Raymond Haddad | Søulless | Tom Debords | 00970 | ProphänAll os us, friends of ODDZ and Odai himself will be sending you all our love and gratitude for your support. 30% lifelong discount applies for Exist Festival productions for anyone contributing with more than 40euros.If you have ever thought of attending one of the most special festivals on earth Exist Festival, then now it is a good time to get involved.
Full details and a huge radio takover for Radio Flouka:
Throughout 2020, deadmau5 has been a fixture of the drive-in and livestream spaces, and that’s not about to change when the clock strikes midnight on December 31. After tapping deadmau5 for a five-date run of Southern California Park ‘N Rave shows in late November that will take the mau5trap head to the NOS Events Center from December 31 – January 2 and to the North Island Credit Union Ampitheatre Lot from January 7 –8, Insomniac has announced that two of deadmau5’s sought-after stints will be broadcast live via Insomniac TV.
On New Year’s Eve, viewers can tune in at 9:00 p.m. EST / 6:00 p.m. PST to catch not only deadmau5 but also No Mana and Speaker Honey. Shortly thereafter, listeners can double down on the deadmau5 stream content to catch the “Bridged By A Lightwave” collaborator donning his techno alias, Testpilot, for two hours on January 2. This latter stream is slated to start at 11:00 p.m. EST / 8:00 p.m. PST.
San Holo‘s 2020 is going out with a bang, according to his one-hour, Diplo & Friends-hosted “goodbye 2020 set.” A comprehensive run through the Dutch producer’s bitbird favorites in addition to special edits, remixes, IDs, and even a throwback to the Holo originals that helped spark his career, the mix features the likes of label signees such as EASTGHOST, Cassini, Mystk, Golden Vessel, Manu Dia, and Hundaes, and staples like “BWU,” “Victory,” and “Light.”
The emotive mix follows Holo’s alternative take on Wham!;s “Last Christmas.” His final mix of the year, the “goodbye 2020 set” begins with a VIP of his recently released single “bb u ok?,” and tracks from his stay vibrant series. Listen to San Holo’s “goodbye 2020 set” below.
At the end of each July, Martin Garrix heads out of Boom, Belgium with at at least one of the most talked-about performances from either weekend in his pocket, and his 2017 set stands not only amongst his finest at Tomorrowland, but also alongside his greatest of all-time. Before the STMPD RCRDS captain hits the virtual decks to wrap up his 2020 campaign at Tomorrowland’s New Year’s Eve event, where he’ll draw back the curtains on nine IDs, we’re pretending to be in Belgium for the next 57 minutes to relive Garrix’s preeminent mainstage appearance from three years ago.
The 22-piece tracklist stands unequaled from top to bottom. In between an integrated entrance of his most notable releases to the emotive unveiling of “Pizza,” Martin Garrix held nothing back on the second to last day of July in 2017. Garrix dove head-first through polished blends including “Turn Up the Speakers” versus “Waiting For Tomorrow,” was joined by David Guetta to premiere the early version of “So Far Away” with Ellie Goulding, and unloaded a flurry of still-unreleased music like his Ryan Tedder collaboration, “Back In Time,” and the VIP version of “Byte.”
In the time leading up to Tomorrowland’s virtual NYE event, Dancing Astronaut will revisit Tomorrowland sets from artists slated to perform at the dance-focused finale to 2020. Follow the journey with our Tomorrowland NYE Good Morning Mix series, and learn why Tomorrowland’s Around The World festival was named our top digital event of 2020 here.
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