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Learn electronics with the vintage Side Man drum machine

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

ENG_SIDEMAN_PREVIEW from Darsha Hewitt on Vimeo.

Darsha’s sound electronics class is in session — and it’s a little different to what you’d normally expect.

Rather than a bunch of animations of electrons moving about, sound artist and educator Darsha Hewitt has created a long-form video tutorial around the world’s first commercial drum machine.

Wurlitzer’s Side Man 5000 is hardly practical by modern standards. The pioneering 1959 hardware weighs some 38 kg, and is controllable only via push buttons and a speed fader, pre-programmed to happenin’ grooves like “rhumba.”

Inside, though, this gadget is an electro-mechanical wonder. And taking it apart and making it work again is an opportunity to understand how that technology worked, introducing ideas ranging from the basics of how a tube works to some novel ideas of how to use moving wheels to produce rhythm. You’ll be reminded both what a cathode is and how machines can produce music.


Darsha Hewitt leads with a friendly, patient style accessible to even those with no electronics background — but if you are interested in the intricacies of this hardware, there’s plenty of detail for you, too. The SideMan she’s got is one of only a handful left, to say nothing of the few in proper working order. That means that this is also the most comprehensive documentation yet of the Wurlitzer device’s innards.

The series is presented in episodes, with the teaser out today and the first episode launching on October 6. Or meet Darsha and celebrate the series in person, if you’re around Montréal:

03.10.16 — Advanced Screening and Q&A hosted by Jonathan Sterne @ Mutek_IMG Montréal
04.10.16 — Side Man 5000 Sample Salon Workshop @ Goethe-Institut Montréal

It’s great to see Darsha completing this project, having collaborated with her on a past MusicMakers Hacklab for CTM Festival. I got to visit Side Man in person; it’s an amazing machine.

Disclosure: CDM did publicity support for the launch of this series (and a little video editing), for which we were compensated. (Our coverage of the machine is not sponsored, though — we think it’s a cool project!) Additional funding was provided as part of the “Art and Civic Media” program — Innovation Incubator @ Leuphana University — Lüneburg. Further support provided by Foundation for Art and Creative Technology and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.








The post Learn electronics with the vintage Side Man drum machine appeared first on Create Digital Music.


Noisebud releases Leaky – A VST Plugin that leaks the side information into the mid

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Noisebud has released Leaky, a VST plugin for Windows that will let you leak the side information into the mid channel. It can be useful while mastering if parts of the audio almost disappear [Read More]

GarageBand, Logic Could Be the Production Side of Apple Music

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015


It seems Apple Music isn’t just about consumption. Not surprisingly, Apple’s own GarageBand/Logic family appear to figure into the company’s plans. Accordingly, GarageBand will get an update on June 30, the same day Apple Music (and Apple Music Connect) are scheduled for launch.

And for anyone who says the company is “abandoning” pros, here’s the less evidence that — at least from Apple’s perspective — the company sees the production and Mac markets as integral to their global consumer domination.

First, we now have a pretty clear image of where Camel Audio and its Alchemy synth have wound up. As expected, it’s resurfacing as an Apple instrument. Apple themselves have revealed that on the refreshed GarageBand page. Updates there are minor, but there’s a clear view of the UI from Alchemy, reimagined as Apple’s Smart Controls layout. Apple Insider breaks that news (oddly beating us in the music tech realm).

Apple isn’t shy about the markets they’re going after, with several mentions of “EDM‑ and Hip Hop‑inspired synth sounds.” Yep, that’ll be the two fast-growing (especially American) markets. (“Hey, I hear you kids love your E.D.M. and The Hip Hops, so here you go! Do you want a nice cold lemonade?”) It’s yet another tragic example of Cupertino failing to heed CDM’s long-standing advice that I.D.M. will be the next big thing — did you catch that Aphex Twin? Or Richard Devine’s Instagram following? But I digress.

If this instrument is in GarageBand, it’s a safe bet it’ll show up in Logic, too, presumably with more controls. And an iOS app could be possible, too, especially as Camel had one under development. While Emagic, and by extension Apple, once reportedly boasted the largest stable of music developers anywhere, my guess is it was easier with Apple’s cash supplies to simply buy the talent and product they needed wholesale, augmenting the team already working on the apps.

So, where does this fit into Connect? Well, it at least shows where Apple’s priorities lie. Apple went out of its way to show artists in its WWDC presentation on Apple Music, though. And in contrast to Tidal’s presentation (Daft Punk is starting a revolution in music so Daft Punk gets paid), they also made the image of those artists the bedroom producer. In fact, they showed bedroom producers and not labels. That message ought to be clear.

Writer Kirk McElhearn suggests Apple Music Connect integration may come with that June 30 update. (Sounds a safe bet, unless it’s just a matter of the GarageBand and Apple Music teams holding a joint BBQ/picnic on that date.)

That’s in keeping with Apple past strategy. When the company was pushing podcasts, they made GarageBand the app anyone could use to contribute content. So now, GarageBand could be the creation tool to populate music on Connect. Export to Connect, for Apple Music songs or exclusives for your social network — maybe both? Seems a no-brainer, actually. For now, the GarageBand page shows only SoundCloud export, but, sorry SoundCloud, Apple may be coming for you.

Now, this would normally be where I’d possibly pull back and issue some dire warnings about lock-in or walled gardens or the Apple ecosystem. But frankly, Apple may need to be this aggressive to make any in-roads at all. Like it or not, “EDM” right now often means tools like Ableton Live, and “Hip-Hop” things like Native Instruments Maschine. Apple will need a diverse variety of artists using a variety of tools, as it always had. And I don’t expect Apple Music will overtake Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, and all the rest of the places artists need to share content.

No, I think it’ll take everything Apple’s got to attract artists alongside these other tools, to make a play for the growing population of people making music worldwide. And so these moves make sense.

But I think it’s important to note just how deeply in the DNA of the modern Apple is this notion that the company wants to be involved in how you make and listen to music. We’ve seen occasional, fleeting glimpses of efforts to do that from the likes of Sony and Microsoft, but Apple is the company that consistently pulls it off. You don’t have to love that — indeed, it might well be worth criticizing. But you do have to consider it as a major element of the music technology landscape today.

For more,
Apple Music Connect

see the GarageBand product page.

Also, “Epic Hook Synth” puts me in the Pirates of the Caribbean.

The post GarageBand, Logic Could Be the Production Side of Apple Music appeared first on Create Digital Music.


HoRNet updates BSharry Side Chainer to v.1.0.1

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

HoRNet has updated BSharry Side Chainer to version 1.0.1. BSharry Side Chainer is a tool to create sidechained compressor effects. This maintenance release includes: Fixed internal LFO sync, [Read More]

Blue Cat Audio releases Blue Cat’s MB-7 Mixer 2.5 – Now with External Side Chain and Other Enhancements

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Blue Cat Audio has released Blue Cat’s MB-7 Mixer 2.5, a new version of their multiband mixing plug-in and VST/AU host. Blue Cat’s MB-7 Mixer 2.5 now includes an external side chain input that [Read More]

HoRNet releases “BSharry Side Chainer” – Auto Sidechain Compressor for Mac & Win

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

HoRNet has released BSharry Side Chainer, a production tool designed to help you achieve the typical sound of dance music that is usually obtained using a compressor side chained to the kick [Read More]

YummyBeats releases Massive Side FX – EDM/Dubstep Synths for the Massive Evolutions 2 for Kontakt

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

YummyBeats has released Massive Side FX – a new Sound Pack for the Massive Evolutions II. Massive Side FX Features: 1.38 GB of new sounds for the Massive Evolutions II (all post-processed). [Read More]

Can you finish all the Side Missions after you beat Arkham City >?

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Question by unclebb30: Can you finish all the Side Missions after you beat Arkham City >?
For those of you who beat Arkham City … I wanted to know after you beat the game can you go back and do all the side missions you didn’t get to finish before you beat the game ? Or once you beat the game , the side missions you didn’t get to finished are not locked ?

Best answer:

Answer by Mr_J526
You can do the side missions after you beat the game still.

Give your answer to this question below!

PinkiePieSwear – Trixie’s Good Side

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

As arrogant and brutish as Trixie is, she must have a good side. Maybe she just needs a little musical inspiration! I made this in hopes that even Trixie herself wouldn’t be able to resist dropping the narcissistic attitude after listening to it and… I dunno… just giving someone a hug or something. This is the first time I’ve ever tried taking non-musical speech and forming a melody from it. And holy COW it is hard! I am going to have to give this a try again sometime soon. It was pretty fun! ————————- Free Download Link: tindeck.com ————————-

Why is the side of my forhead near my temple keep beating?

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Question by Anxious A: Why is the side of my forhead near my temple keep beating?
The area on the side of my face near my forehead, keeps beating. You can see it & feel it. When it beats it kind of feels like my face is stretching on that side. Does anyone know what is happening?

Best answer:

Answer by Reilly
You’ve got mail.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!