Mashed Swedes get on the good foot with King Kong-sized drum machine

Take a tour through the summer night city that is Stockholm, as Swedish software developers Propellerheads explore novel ways to draw attention to the release of the latest version of their flagship music production application, Reason 5, and its  audio recording sidekick, Record 1.5. What better way to advertise a new drum machine called Kong than to create a set of monster-sized drum control pads, take them out on to the street and play Kong for the crowds while simultaneously projecting the software drum machine interface on to the side of Stockholm’s largest buildings? Reason 5 and Record 1.5 are … Continue reading Mashed Swedes get on the good foot with King Kong-sized drum machine

NIWeek 2010 kicks off

As NIWeek 2010, the graphical systems design convention, gets under way here in Austin, Texas, there is optimism in the air. The optimism is not just for business – we are in perhaps the most confident state of the USA, after all – but for the future of engineering. Yesterday the host company, National Instruments, not only announced the latest version of its flagship LabVIEW software, it also released some headline numbers for the convention: almost 3000 paying delegates, which is a jump of eight per cent from last year, and a 103 per cent take-up of the exhibition space … Continue reading NIWeek 2010 kicks off

‘The Pleasure Telephone’: proto pay-per-listen service, 1895-1926

No, not one of those compact devices designed to give one an initmate sensual tingle when an incoming call arrives on your mobile… ‘The Pleasure Telephone’ is a 45-minute long BBC Radio 3 Sunday Feature documentary about the ‘Electrophone’, a patented 19th Century technology that used early the telephone network to relay entertainment to subscribers. Opera was to have an honoured place in entertainment-by-telephone history – Covent Garden performances could be accessed live in private homes, gentlemen’s clubs and hotels. In the USA, subscribers were ‘taught’ operas by an interweaving of spoken libretto and recordings of arias. The Pleasure Telephone also looks at the breadth … Continue reading ‘The Pleasure Telephone’: proto pay-per-listen service, 1895-1926

Music technology: the state of the art

Interested in sound? Interested in music technology? Interested in bringing the two together in new and exciting ways to create hitherto unknown worlds of aural pleasure? Good news: your luck’s in. Professor David Howard – or Professor David Howard CEng FIET, Head of the Audio Lab, Intelligent Systems, Research Group Department of Electronics, University of York to give him his full name – is giving a free lecture on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 in the South Kensington Campus, Sir Alexander Fleming Building (not the Ian Fleming Building, sadly) at the Imperial College, London, UK. The good Prof will be looking … Continue reading Music technology: the state of the art

Play that funky music, white shirt

Forget clothes with built-in iPod storage: the future is clothes that make their own music. Brush your sleeve for a marimba sound. Pat your tummy for a bongo jam. Scratch your, ahem, special area for a burst of electric guitar. Yes, walks in the country need never again be a silent trudge accompanied only by the pointless tweeting of birds and the occasional whinnying of a startled horse, thanks to a Swedish fashion student and her technician friend. Master’s student Jeannine Han, clearly thoroughly enjoying the second year of her textiles and fashion design course at the Swedish School of … Continue reading Play that funky music, white shirt