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cheyenne_h on 01/29/2015 at 09:00AM

Radio Free Culture #34: Six Years Inside the Computer & Video Game Archive with David Carter

image courtesy of CVGA/David Carter. via flickr.

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are proud to present a new season of Radio Free Culture, a weekly podcast exploring issues at the intersection of digital culture and the arts. 

In this episode, Cheyenne Hohman, RFC host and current Director of the FMA, spoke with David Carter, a librarian at the Computer & Video Game Archive at the University of Michigan. David talks about the origin and history of the archive, some of the highlights of their collection, how it's used, and gives some sage advice for those of us who used to blow into Nintendo cartridges

Check out the podcast on WFMU, PRX, or subscribe to the Radio Free Culture via iTunes.

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ionosonderec on 01/25/2015 at 01:07PM

Build A Mixing Bowl Reverb

 

 


Words, photo,and sounds by: Telegraphy

 
Reverberation is the most common and fundamental form of audio effect. This natural occurring effect has audio engineers painstakingly devising better ways to be able to harness natures "audio plug-in". Whether  it's with software or hardware, one thing is certain. Mimicking nature is hard work. With all of today's advanced software reverbs out there, you still can not beat the hardware version.

  A while back I wrote an article describing how to build a D.I.Y. Plate Reverb The response I received from the D.I.Y. community  regarding this article was beyond my wildest dreams. I had no idea there was so much keen interest in hardware based effects out there. That same interest which got me started building the plate reverb, (more recently) persuaded me to take that very same concept and bring it to a whole new level. Taking advantage of a well known side effect all stringed instruments suffer from (wanted or not) a condition known as Sympathetic Resonance would become the foundation of my Mixing Bowl Harmonic Reverb.

 Mixing bowl ? More on that later.

 Before we begin, one has to understand what makes a plate reverb....Well, reverberate. Quoting from D.I.Y. Plate Reverb  

        The concept of a plate reverb is quite simple. An electromagnet, like the one found on a audio speaker, is directly or indirectly coupled to the center of a piece of sheet of metal. Audio from a sound source is fed into this electromagnet (voice coil) which will physically vibrate the piece of sheet metal (plate). These audio vibrations are echoed many times, echos which are in fact persistence of audio. The amount of persistence (reverberation) is determined by  the physical characteristics of the plate. These characteristics many include  length, height, and stiffness of the piece of sheet metal. Once reverberation has been set off in the plate itself, it then needs to be detected. This is accomplish by directly or indirectly coupling microphones to the plate. The micophones pickup the reverberations and sends them back to to be mixed  with the original "dry" audio.

 Now that we know how it works, let's take it to a higher level. Keeping this concept in mind, let's swap the plate with a pair of ordinary kitchen variety salad mixing bowls.......Not satisfied enough? O.K., we'll tie in between them, old used base guitar strings. This will produce some exciting harmonic reverberations. Yes I love excitement. That's why I have my nephew leave lego parts by my bed when I wake up in the morning. Bear foot of course. Exciting !!!  So, why use base strings? The strings act like frequency amplifiers. We can pick and choose what portions of the audio spectrum we want to enhance by way's of using different tuned strings. It works like this... The base strings are acted upon by sympathetic resonance. This condition is best described as when a loud sound directed toward a stringed instrument (ie.guitar or piano) it's strings will vibrate along with that sound. The most familiar exploit is singing into a guitar and hearing it's strings sing back at you.       
                                                                          ***

 


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cheyenne_h on 01/22/2015 at 10:33AM

Nab Your Fifteen Seconds of Fame!

CC BY-SA via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Soviet_stamp_1968_50_let_oktjabr_kulturnoj_revoluzii_4k.JPG

At the Free Music Archive, our waveforms come in all shapes and sizes – and we like it that way. We know you're using a lot of our music in your short & feature-length films... but what about the super-short ones you're cranking out? In this age of six-second videos, microblog entries and trending videos of miniature Asian cuisine, we find we’re struggling to keep up when it comes to the musical small stuff. So, for the next few weeks, we’ll be taking entries for the Free Music Archive’s first ever microSong Challenge

Get your tiny instruments together (or oversized ones, or ones that are juuuust right), grab a recording device, and add your itty bitty masterpiece(s) to our collection! Every microSong will be licensed under a Creative Commons Zero license so that it can be freely used by anyone in a video, remix, extraordinarily brief performance art piece, or whatever else they may choose.

So, do you have a few seconds? Help us come up short! Songs can't exceed fifteen (15) seconds in length!

The Challenge begins on January 26th & runs through February 20th. 

SUBMIT YOUR MICROSONG HERE! (login to FMA & click the "Submit" button at the top of the page)

Need more inspiration? 


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cheyenne_h on 01/21/2015 at 05:53PM

Radio Free Culture #33: Into the Deep Web with Alex Winter

"Transmitters-5" by Adam Bowie. 2011. CC BY-NC-SA via flickr.

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are proud to present a new season of Radio Free Culture, a weekly podcast exploring issues at the intersection of digital culture and the arts. 

In this episode, Cheyenne Hohman, RFC host and current Director of the FMA, spoke with Alex Winter, director of "Downloaded" and the upcoming documentary, "Deep Web." (And known to some as Bill S. Preston, Esquire.) This week's episode discusses online privacy, the ongoing Silk Road trial, and some of his motivations for telling the stories of the strange and diverse characters behind the digital upheavals taking place all around us. 

More information about Deep Web can be found at its website, DeepWebtheMovie.com

Check out the podcast here, or subscribe to the podcast here (via iTunes).

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cheyenne_h on 01/20/2015 at 09:45AM

Video Makers: Your Webinar Awaits! January 21st at 3PM EST

"The Royal Navy Instructional Film Unit, 19 August 1942. A11506" by Royal Navy official photographer, Ware, C J (Lt) - http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//7/media-7112/large.jpgThis is photograph A 11506 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Hi FMA'ers! 

If you make videos, or you make music for videos, or you just like learning new stuff, tune in tomorrow to our webinar! We'll be allowing a few guests in to our Hangout and then broadcasting for everyone else. 

The webinar is here, on YouTube

Special guest and Creative Commons expert Elliot Harmon will be co-hosting with Cheyenne. We'll show you around the Free Music Archive (including where to find license and contact info for artists), run through the basics of Creative Commons licenses and how to use CC tracks in videos, and show you how you can license your work under Creative Commons (spoiler: it's easy!). 

We're looking forward to seeing you there! If you can't make it, we'll be archiving the webinars so you can watch later. 

Next week, we'll host one for K-12 teachers, and in early February we'll have one for you musical types. 

Hooray! 

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newweirdaustralia on 01/19/2015 at 03:08AM

Wood And Wire concludes with exclusive soundtrack compilation

Wood And Wire will be distributing its final release this month, to tie in with the conclusion of its parent project, New Weird Australia.
 
New Weird Australia is concluding its mission after five years in operation, and will mark the moment with the final Wood And Wire release, ‘Wood And Wire: Ears Have Ears Soundtracks‘, featuring exclusive soundtracks recorded for FBi Radio’s ‘Ears Have Ears’ experimental music program, with extended material from Fatti Frances, Rites Wild, Hollow Press and Cycle~ 440.
 
Since its inception in 2009, New Weird Australia has established a number of projects in support of Australian experimental music, clocking up over 400,000 downloads in five years, distributed through its own online channels and via its long-standing association with the Free Music Archive.  In addition to Wood And Wire, New Weird Australia projects included its 23-volume compilation series, the ‘New Editions’ series of individual artist releases, a long-running radio show on Sydney’s FBi and a nationwide series of live shows.
 
New Weird Australia and Wood And Wire founder Stuart Buchanan notes: “When we launched five years ago, Australian experimental music was often frustratingly hard to uncover. We saw an opportunity to connect audiences into work that was beyond the fringes, and offer artists opportunities to widen their community. Although that mission could well be endless, online networks now afford artists easier access to fans and supporters, in ways we could not have imagined five years ago. This therefore feels like a good moment to conclude, to reflect on the collective achievements of all the artists involved, and to showcase some of the work that has made the project so compelling.”
 
The full New Weird Australia and Wood And Wire archives will remain online indefinitely, acting as a record of a unique and vibrant period in the outer limits of Australian music.
 
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cheyenne_h on 01/16/2015 at 04:30AM

Golden Festival 2015

image via goldenfest.org

Brooklyn's legendary Balkan and East European music and dance blowout is this weekend! Golden Fest is a massive two night gathering of musicians, folk dance enthusiasts and fans held at the spectacular Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn's South Slope. The festival kicks off with a multi-band dance party on Friday night January 16th. Then for the big event on Saturday night January 17th, some seventy bands will perform on four stages from 6 pm until the wee hours. WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise will be broadcasting live from Golden Fest on Saturday, and recently shared some favorites from last year

Here is some footage from last year's festival:

Previous Golden Festivals have been archived on the FMA, so check them out here: 

2010     2011     2012     2013

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Onyx_System on 01/15/2015 at 04:47PM

A Strange Brew: Reviewing Spinning Clocks - Spirits in the Juice

artwork by Alex Nova artwork by Alex Nova

Spirits in the Juice indeed. I don't know where the Clocks found the plums for this strange potion, but it left my head spinning after just the first sip!  

Listening to the opening piece of music, Circle Round lays out a rich carpet of organ drone as the bass pattern sets the table. Once the theme is established organs begin to layer and compete, darting and weaving soon they are braiding a gorgeous head of hair! A Big Bopper-styled maestro urges on the proceedings, and are those the sounds of swallows on the hunt as daylight grows scarce? Has the bass guitar's pattern changed at all or in fact has the listener changed within the act of listening?

Silver UFOs introduce some new tones, this time the bass gurgles, the keys ping and glide, and a violin maneuvers gracefully with, through, and around. I believe this tune might be in waltz timing. There is a moment where the tone shifts, a workmanlike mien taking the place of the carefree precedings; a dog barks as the the tumult grows, and just as quickly rainbows of violin part the clouds. Next a somewhat unexpected banjo joins the fray, picking a 'down-home' counterpoint to the violins as the song whirls through the brambles and on to its conclusion.  

The third piece, Lunar Dunes, takes us into the kind of den we've all found ourselves at one time or another. Dim lamplight casts mysterious shadows. Anonymous sorts recline on couches, others across rugs, the air thick with intermingling smokes, a couple engaged in a languid dance. It is hot. Electronics squiggle and bubble, organ and bass guitar keeping time as a theremin tone picks out the tune.     

And finally EP closer Around the Mountain finds the Clocks scaling the proverbial mount, the twilight haze of the previous 3 tracks giving way to definite night, shields and swords clattering, violins lamenting, all to the steady sturm of the bass guitar while the organ takes quill to scroll, narrating the adventure.  

While not quite 15 minutes in length, the Spinning Clocks are able to achieve some transporting effect across these 4 tracks. Given the opportunity of a full length recording I'd be curious to hear where they take us, and to what depths...   -Martin Standish  

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cheyenne_h on 01/15/2015 at 09:00AM

Radio Free Culture #32: "There Are No Rules Anymore," an interview with composer Chris Zabriskie

image courtesy of Chris Zabriskie.

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are proud to present a new season of Radio Free Culture, a weekly podcast exploring issues at the intersection of digital culture and the arts. 

In this episode, Cheyenne Hohman, RFC host and current Director of the FMA, spoke with Chris Zabriskie, a composer who has 80 tracks on the Free Music Archive. This week's episode discusses his experiences as a musician in the changing digital music environment, how he has made money by giving things away for free, and some anecdotes from the wild and weird frontier of YouTube's ContentID system. 

Chris Zabriskie's music can be found here on FMA, or his website, chriszabriskie.com

Check out the podcast here, or subscribe to the podcast here (via iTunes).

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cheyenne_h on 01/08/2015 at 12:00AM

Radio Free Culture #31: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's Enduring Legacy with Alicia Mielke

"Radiostacja R-118 wnetrze" by Markier at pl.wikipedia Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are proud to present a new season of Radio Free Culture, a weekly podcast exploring issues at the intersection of digital culture and the arts. 

In this episode, Cheyenne Hohman, RFC host and current Director of the FMA, spoke with Alicia Mielke, Music Coordinator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. This week's episode discusses the history of the museum, the variety of musical performances that take place there, their extensive Creative Commons music library, and more. 

The Garner Museum also curates a page here on FMA.

Check out the podcast here, or subscribe to the podcast here (via iTunes).

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