Saturday, August 21, 2010

iDrugs & iDosing - Digital Drugs

Dangerous gateway drug that will lead your children to a sordid life of addiction? Or . . . New Age Enya soundtrack?!

Teens, in pursuit of their inalienable right to try to get high off of anything that can be ingested, digested or harvested, are apparently now trying to get high off of MP3s. Put that in your PC and smoke it. But first, give it a trendy name.
Call it "i-dosing."

The adolescents can be seen on YouTube, wearing headphones, listening to pulsing soundtracks that supposedly simulate the effects of recreational drugs. They giggle. They gyrate. They flutter their hands in front of their faces.

"Should I try this?" writes one commenter, "Sasha," in response to a video of a boy i-dosing on a soundtrack called "Gates of Hades." So far she's only tried softer i-dosing options, such as digital "marijuana," and she wants to know if she can handle the more intense "Hades" experience.
Parents, in pursuit of their inalienable right to wonder what is happening to kids today, are concerned.

Though i-dosing has been around for several years -- known by various terms, such as "digital drugs" -- a March incident in Oklahoma prompted a new wave of concern. The Mustang public school district learned that kids were i-dosing and sent a letter home warning parents to be on the alert. Since then, tech blogs and media outlets have debated the riskiness of the practice, and the software used for playing one company's i-doses was downloaded nearly 29,000 times last week -- more than quadruple what it was a few weeks ago.

What does the National Institute on Drug Abuse have to say?

"At this time, we are aware of no scientific data on this phenomenon," reads a statement, "so NIDA cannot establish the validity of the claim that you can get high listening to these sounds."
The center of this discussion is, a Web site that touts itself as "The industry leader in . . . audio doses to powerfully alter your mood." There are other sites like it, though none quite so provocative.

On I-Doser, the digital drugs -- purchased by downloading free software and clicking on individual tracks -- are represented through stock art. "Acid" is a blurred face; "Heroin" is a Fiona Apple look-alike chewing on her own
For $3.95 users can download "Astral," which claims to aid in out-of-body experiences; for $3 they can buy "Extend," which supposedly prolongs sexual encounters. (But what's the point if both partners are wearing noise-canceling headphones?)

I-doses are anywhere from five to 30 minutes long. Press play and what you hear might sound like a wind tunnel, or mating whales, or Yanni.

The effects are made possible, purportedly, through "binaural beats," where a tone of one frequency is played into the right ear and a slightly different frequency is played into the left. Believers say these beats synchronize brain waves, replicating the experience of being high on anything from alcohol to true love.

Binaural beats have been used as a meditation aid for decades. I-Doser's biggest contribution appears to be the dark names -- the way it implies that their products are dangerous, baby, dangerous.
The founder is Nick Ashton, who looks like a sullen underwear model in his Facebook profile picture, who said he would answer questions about I-Doser via e-mail and who -- when presented with such questions as "What is your background?" and "Do you have a degree in a science?" -- stopped responding to e-mails and voice mails.

In the site's FAQs, employees are identified, vaguely, as "underground musicians and tonal experts."
Ambiguity, however, does not prevent customers from sharing their favorite trips in the "user experiences" section of the site.

Alcohol: "I laughed after touching my lip and then I talked and my voice was in three-part harmony."
Lucid Dream: "I washed ashore on an island and found a bunch of dead bodies."

First Love: "I had these images in my head of being kissed and nibbled by Na'vi," the 10-foot-tall blue aliens from "Avatar." "It was absolutely amazing."


Jamie Therrien is only 13 years old, but he's an I-Doser veteran. He learned about binaural beats from YouTube and spent time researching other people's experiences before trying it. Now he i-doses every few weeks, zoning out in front of his computer in Massachusetts, and offering tips to newcomers on the message boards.

"The hallucinogenic ones are the weakest," he says, expertly, but the sedatives and calming doses are pretty effective. Once, when he got in a fight with his brother, he downloaded a pick-me-up called "Quick Happy" and almost immediately felt less angry.

People who fear digital drugs "are sort of right to be concerned, because pretty much anything with 'drugs' in it, you should be concerned about," he says. "But it's a lot less mystical than you might think. They're just stimulating different parts of the brain. . . . I've never seen anyone go from I-Doser to the real thing."

Jamie's mother, Kim Hastings, knows about i-dosing and isn't overly concerned. "If he's found something safe that makes him calm and happy, that's great," she says. Also, she says in the conspiratorial voice of a parent who sees no harm in Santa Claus, "I don't think he's actually getting high."

Looking into the science

Are any users actually getting high? Labeling an MP3 "cocaine" is alarming, but you could call popcorn "cocaine," too, and that wouldn't mean consumers could grind it up and snort it for a buzz.
For guidance, we turn to Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal who studies music's effects on the brain.

In preparation for the morning telephone interview, Levitin confesses, he spent the preceding evening i-dosing on a dozen or so different tracks from several Web sites. "As far as I know, I have not gone crazy," Levitin says. "I am not hung over. I am not on an opium high."
In fact, Levitin says, "the idea that these binaural beats would cause states that would mimic drugs is without scientific foundation. There's just no mechanism that would make that work."
Binaural beats are a real thing, in the sense that they exist. In fact, we hear sounds like them all the time -- like the wahwahwah of a guitar that's slightly out of tune. Musicians often use binaural beats to interesting effect -- there's a whole minimalist genre called "drone music" -- but that's for aesthetics, not for mind alteration.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University led a study looking into the effects of binaural beats, measuring the brain-wave activity of people listening to certain frequencies. "There was no increase at all," says Helane Wahbeh, who conducted the research.
A second OHSU study did show some long-term benefits, subjectively speaking. People who listened to binaural beats every day reported feeling less anxious and having an improved quality of life.
"But maybe that was just sitting for an hour" -- having some regular downtime, Wahbeh says. For a plugged-in modern human, the most powerful sensation that binaural beats might replicate is the sensation of doing nothing.

"The other kernel of truth in all of this is that music does have the ability to alter our moods," Levitin says. It is, after all, why most of us listen to it. Our neural chemistry is soothed or uplifted by music the same way that it's affected by looking at puppies or sunsets. Our brains are in constant dialogue with our surroundings, and not just when high.

Born a Child Genius - Child Piano Player & Neural Science

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Teaching Kids English Using Sequential Memory Through Drumming Experiment - VIDEO

For those of you not familiar with my "drum sequencing" experiment, you can read my first blog here -

We use the right hemisphere of our brains to determine rhythm (other parts too which were discovered more recently). We use mostly our left side for sequential memory. When individuals are preparing to tap out a rhythm of regular intervals (1:2 or 1:3) the left frontal cortex, left parietal cortex, and right cerebellum are all activated. That is why this idea utilizes a childs brain to the maximum! I found out after doing this exercise, after doing some research...that an experiment has already been done using 16 words by a guy named CHAN. Chan’s study controlled for age, grade point average and years of education and found that when given a 16 word memory test, the musicians averaged one to two more words above their non musical counterparts. This however did not test new words in a different language.

Also, realize that this is called RIGHT BRAIN SEQUENCING. The reason is because the grid is given to the children...where concrete answers are visually given. (you could argue left or right here) If this was all auditory, it would be a lot more left brain as we use that for sequence...but realize...that recently...all of this is changing anyway. We are finding out more information everyday about neural science, and realizing that our brains are a lot more complex than we thought. We use many different parts of our brain for each function...contrary to old theories. So using multiple functions of the brain to remember a foreign language may create bolder images in their brains.

Also...working within their short term memory while sequencing these can help to remember weird conjugations...because having to do a little bit of "work-around" on the word rhythmically kind of relates to the "work-around" that is "conjugation". I will later go on to put these to practical use for long term those of you saying, "They will only remember it when in sequence"....that is not the case. I want to create pathways in their brains to these words - a foundation so to say - then we will make practice use of them in conversation over the next few weeks with activities, drills, and frequent use.

Also...we will be triggering parts of our short-term memory by grouping these words into smaller groups of four...and with the younger children, since I am using opposites, those words break down even smaller into groups of two. This is what short-term memory is defined as by wiki -

Short-term memory allows recall for a period of several seconds to a minute without rehearsal. Its capacity is also very limited: George A. Miller (1956), when working at Bell Laboratories, conducted experiments showing that the store of short-term memory was 7±2 items (the title of his famous paper, "The magical number 7±2"). Modern estimates of the capacity of short-term memory are lower, typically on the order of 4–5 items,[1] however, memory capacity can be increased through a process called chunking.[citation needed] For example, in recalling a ten-digit telephone number, a person could chunk the digits into three groups: first, the area code (such as 215), then a three-digit chunk (123) and lastly a four-digit chunk (4567). This method of remembering telephone numbers is far more effective than attempting to remember a string of 10 digits; this is because we are able to chunk the information into meaningful groups of letters. Herbert Simon showed that the ideal size for chunking letters and numbers, meaningful or not, was three.[citation needed] This may be reflected in some countries in the tendency to remember telephone numbers as several chunks of three numbers with the final four-number groups, generally broken down into two groups of two.
Short-term memory is believed to rely mostly on an acoustic code for storing information, and to a lesser extent a visual code. Conrad (1964)[2] found that test subjects had more difficulty recalling collections of words that were acoustically similar (e.g. dog, hog, fog, bog, log).
However, some individuals have been reported to be able to remember large amounts of information, quickly, and be able to recall that information in seconds.

So the idea here is to make sequences in small groups of beats in a measure, and build up to 16.

After getting some requests for videos about this, I decided to try to really explore this idea, and film it all the while. I video taped 5 classes at one of my smaller schools. I thought of this project as a small experiment, where I specifically test different and independent parts of the childrens brains. I specifically change rhythms, tempos, dynamics, & game speed to see if sequential memory can play a role in learning difficult English words. Also, from a musical stand point, I just wanted to see how the children would react to different rhythms. I used youtube annotations to note when some interesting things happened. Here are some notes I noticed overall -

1. The children could hear a woodblock better than the hand drum, and determined the correct number of taps more often. I think this is due to 2 things. One is the fact that the woodblock has a fast attack sound without much sustain. This probably makes a sharper image in the brain and ear. The other is the fact that the woodblock had 2 UNIQUE sounds, that differ in pitch. These are very distinctly unique sounds to the brain. It also gives an "A" "B" sequence to the rhythm, and makes it easier to remember. The hand drum has this too, but depending on WHERE exactly I hit the drum, I can get a little bit of a different sound. Even though it is CLEAR to us musicians that it is different, its not as predictable as the solid sound of the woodblock. Also, the drum resonates and leaves a small rumbling sound over top of the next tap...which could probably lead to confusion when calculating hits quickly by children.

2. Each kid has a different way of playing this game. Its really interesting to see the different styles. One style (and most common for younger kids) is to point and count the squares on the board. This is effective, because the younger kids can retain what they just heard pretty easily...they just cant COUNT fast enough to keep up with the older kids. The board is a much more visual and reliable means to count through the beats.

Another way is counting internally or using fingers. Many of the kids (especially as they start getting to about 8 years old) start counting in their heads. Probably in their native (Japanese) language, but I dont really mind. I want them to be efficient at whatever way they choose.

Some kids will tap the beat out on their legs or hands to mimic it, and count it out. This is really neat, because you can start to see our brains ability to "slow down" or "speed up" rhythms even at a very young age. They will mimic the beat, sometimes slower or faster...with no problem at all. It is amazing how when a sound has an "A" "B" type rhythm, kids naturally go to their legs to mimic it. We have 2 legs, 2 hands, making it only natural to re-drum them out on your thighs.

Some children start to remember the sequence. Young kids will remember the first 4 or 8....but the older kids start to remember all of it. This shows brain growth in older kids ability to remember sequentially. They sometimes dont even need to look at the board to know the answer...and definitely would not need to if there wasnt a difficult English word as a response.

My favorite way that kids were doing this...which was SO AMAZING, was mathematically. A lot of Japanese kids use "soroban"...which is an old fashion calculator used in Asia. So, with my older kids, I started to explain some things out to them -

"If I do a beat of 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5 (all exactly same in rhythm), then 1...then, by understanding multiplication its (3x5)+1."

When I was using the woodblock, I started tapping the "A" "B" rhythms into smaller groups so they could do the math. After explaining this to my older kids, they were MUCH faster. I dont know if it is only Japanese children...which I doubt, but its amazing!!!

3. It would be nice to let the kids do the drumming. But what I realized after this, is that it is a little bit brain intensive for me. And just because kids can recall or mimic a rhythm, does not mean that they can create it. They just simply do not have the hand-eye motor-skills to do this. So in order for this to work, I need to be able to recall certain beats after mistakes are made. It is actually kind of tough to make a beat, remember it, make sure the kids say the right English, correct it, recall it again exactly if mistakes are made, and keep the tempo of the game going...which is key for little kids.

4. I also realized that my children who take music lessons are MUCH better at this game, and my piano playing little girls could do this whole activity in broken rhythms...meaning just random off timed taps. I didnt make a video of my last student because it was a one-on-one (I wish I would have). She was amazing at this game, and loves playing the piano. So obviously, music education will help sequential memory (but this goes without saying).

5. There is a big difference right around age 6 or 7, where more complicated memory games become more interesting to children. There is a big shift between being a baby or child, into a learning student. So there was an obvious correlation between the "amount of taps that were able to be recalled" and their "age". Again, especially around 6 or 7, when a child has started elementary school and understand what "learning" is. Before that age, everything just seems to "come at" a child rather than be understood for what it is.

6. Swing makes a big difference in younger childrens ability to count them out...especially when using fingers. When a child normally counts, you will notice, they always do it in a rhythmic way where each interval between numbers is evenly spaced. Once you throw a swing into it, they have to do some kind of conversion which they have not developed so well yet. I thought this was really interesting!

7. If you notice, things that have an "A" "B" way to remember them, like opposites or "run - ran"...the pitch of my voice goes from "up" to "down". This is really good for them for many reasons. It makes another small grouping of the words for short term memory. Also, when we speak, and finish with a pitch going is either a question, or an unfinished statement. By hearing the first, you naturally want the second. By giving an "upward" with a "downward", it also helps group the 2 together by pitch.

8. Something else really interesting was when I changed from a "rhythmic" beat to a "stale" beat. By stale, I mean a 1,2,3,4,5,6, etc...flat, same tone, and exactly at the same intervals (like a metronome). When I change from a fast paced game with quick "1s" "2s" or even beats...then change to stale...they must quickly start counting "1, 2 ,3 ,4 etc". The change between these kinds of beats is really weird, and a child must be able to pick up from like "3, or 4" the time they realized the next stale rhythm. If the child has to start from 1, they will answer too slowly or be all messed up because there is no way to distinguish the taps from each other (because they all sound the same...just "how many" were there). Its hard to explain exactly what I mean by this...but if you watch the videos, it will make more sense.

5. Oh, and one last thing. When I teach little kids, I realized I am just copying Mario Party (which I play with my wife when relaxing in the evenings). My voice sounds like Luigi! "LETS GO" "HERE WE GO". Actually, my brain kind of goes on autopilot with that stuff...because its really more work than it looks...trying to keep the game going fluidly.

A few of the mistakes I may have made in the experiment are as follows :

1. No control group. But, I want all my kids to stay at the same level so I can use the same, sorry, no control group.

2. I didnt use 100% sequential memory. After all, I explained each word clearly to the kids, and usually used a hand gesture or way to remember it (mnemonic device). So, I obviously burned a visual memory image into their brains before doing this. If I wanted to see the results of purely sequential memory, I would have only said the words...or even harder, make them remember them without the grid. This is poor application because in the end, I want my kids to LEARN...and learn quickly. So, I used this method.

3. I started each activity a little late, and ran out of, some of the lessons only go up to 12 words.

4. These kids almost never get candy in class, and I did for this experiment...I know...its not really right...but I LOVE these kids, and it was just extra incentive. It is really good to give REALLY LITTLE kids incentive.

5. I could have tried more variations by removing certain elements independently...but again, the goal was to TEACH the words...and not just experiment on the kids.

6. I also never really scolded wrong answers...which may have made kids answer too quickly. So, maybe if I paced the game slower, and took points from them for wrong answers, they would be more accurate. But, I like the pace and the kids do too.

So here are the videos from the classes. I know they can be long and boring, and it is more of a documentation of what please dont try to sit through all of them...unless its really your thing. I cant stand my teaching voice for that long! There best parts are the beginnings and endings.

Class 1 - Age 5 & 6

I love this class. These little girls are so cute and ALWAYS laughing. They are very smart. The one little girl just re-joined the class, so she is a little bit behind, but she will catch up.

Class 2 - Age 10-12

 This is a class with 3 of my older kids. They are smart, and one of them is always tapping on things and loves drumming. This experiment had amazing results at the end of the video where I show how speeding up or slowing down a rhythm has no effect on the kids ability to realize it was the SAME rhythm that they had just heard. Also that when adding ONE extra tap to a similar rhythm, kids easily use math to figure out the right square. Watch the ending of this video to see it!

Class 3 - Age 4,6, & 7.

 These are all newer students of mine...less than a year at least. The age gap is a little bit big on the younger child...but hes a smart a cool little guy...and hes becoming a little man! Its great. He tries very hard, and I push him pretty hard. This class, I was working on reading simple words that end with "at". They just started it the week before, and are picking up phonics pretty fast.

Class 4 - Age 5 & 6

This is one of my funnest classes. I have been teaching these kids for 2 1/2 years...since they were very little. They each have such a unique personality. I really started to notice their inability to count out taps when there was a SWING to the rhythm. Chika "kancho'd" me!

Class 5 - Age 8 & 9 

This is another class I have taught for 2 1/2 years. These boys are so funny, and anything related to nasty, "Red & Stimpy" style right up their alley. They are quick & smart though.

 I will try to update this with result videos and see if they recall them after the next few weeks activities.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Its summer time. Im partying. No blogs for a bit!!!! PARTY HARD EVERYONE!!!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

How Much Money Can You Make From iTunes, CD Baby, Rhapsody,, & Spotify?

Original Link -

Recently, the UK government passed The Digital Economy Act which included many, perhaps draconian, measures to combat online music piracy (including withdrawing broadband access for persistent pirates).
Much was proclaimed about how these new laws would protect musicians and artists revenue and livelihoods.

But how much money do musicians really get paid in this new digital marketplace?

This image is based on an excellent post at The Cynical Musician called The Paradise That Should Have Been about pitiful digital royalties. (Thanks to Neilon for pointing that out). I’ve taken his calculations and added a few more.
As ever, this was incredibly difficult to research. Industry figures are hard to get hold of. Some are even secret. Last.Fm’s royalty and payment system is beyond comprehension. (If you can explain it to me, please get in touch)
Note: these figures do not include publishing royalties (paid to composers of songs). The full spreadsheet of data does though. You can see all the numbers and sources here:
If you have any experiences, data or royalty statements to share, please post below!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"House Sucks" & "Greatest Composer" Released w/ Notes

FroBot - House Sucks (Original Mix) by FroBot

Hey everyone! I released 2 new tracks today! Awwww yea! The first one is called "House Sucks" and is an ironic electro house track. "I hate house music...I hate techno, I hate house, I hate electronica, whatever the FUCK you call SUCKS". What a great line! I actually scarfed this clip from a youtube video -

 Funny hey! I thought you guys would like to know where I am picking up my samples from...and I thought this guy was just perfect. Thanks youtube...and the "I hate techno guy".

Anyway, from a technical stand point, I was trying to do some different things in this track. I was using a much rounder kick and no real bass line for part of it. Hoping to see if I could create a different feel on the dance floor with that little change. That is why the track is short, because its more of a crowd-switcher-upper. Also, I tried doing some weird things with swing placement and clap placement. At the beginning of the track, the claps are not on the 2 & 4...I was just looking for a different kind of swing. I then switch back to the stand 2 & 4 soon after and it makes the swing really heavy. I also tried really taking things off time during the breakdown...and I just kind of triggered in what I wanted. Also, bringing the vocals and kick back in on the 7th beat instead of 8 worked out nicely with the audio samples.

FroBot & Flirtphonic - Greatest Composer (Original Mix) by FroBot

The 2nd track I am releasing is a collaboration I did with a new friend. This is a really cool story. Living in Osaka, Japan...which is right dead-center between Kyoto, Nara, Kobe (and is the 2nd biggest city in Japan)...there are tons of tourist and backpackers who come through. So, as you might guess, my account is pretty active. I dont usually have time to host people...but I leave it up there in case any producers or musicians are rolling through. I always have time to make some music with people...and since I have a nice studio here...its nice to collaborate with international musicians. I can usually throw together a drum circle, or sit around and I leave my account up there stating just that. Anyway, a guy named Jasper (Flirtphonic) messaged me saying he was a dj/producer in South Korea...and we should make some tunes. So, long story short, he came to my place...and we put together this track. It came together in 2 days. It is actually the same track I talk about in one of my youtube tutorials -

 This was a little bit more of an experimental track with some darker sounds. We also used a lot of Nintendo low-fi glitches all during the 2nd half. We really played around with panning, autopan, and removing record quantization. When you put headphones on, the low-fi glitchy sounds want to bounce through your brain. The vocal samples were from some random youtube video which I have since lost...a guy speaking at a music conference. Sounded nice and the audio was already in a HQ format.

If you want to listen to some of "Flirtphonic's" music, his soundcloud is here - FLIRTPHONIC SOUNDCLOUD.

Also...for those of you who have been reading my blog a while...I tossed 1 extra track up that I am not promoting. Its the first track I ever I thought you guys might get a kick out of it. It has a lot of problems...but at least you can see where I came from. You gotta go to my soundcloud account to get it - FroBot SoundCloud.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy! I am still working on new tracks now...and each time getting a little bit technically better than before as I learn all this. I am still learning ableton just like the rest of you...and learning what works well on bigger speakers.

The only real problem I am having recently is with producers GAIN SMASHING their tracks just to sell more online. Some people like to smash or over compress so it sounds louder when compared to other tracks. They do this at a cost of removing dynamics from the tracks. I have asked my mastering engineer to slightly gain smash all my I can test them in the club and see which sound better. I dont release there, they are just for testing. Obviously, ruining dynamics of a track is not a good thing, and something I dont really want to do...but, I still want to test how the club speakers feel about them. So, my tracks mastered volume sometimes feels a smidge lower than some other producers tracks right now. But since I am not in a huge hurry to SELL to tons of people at the expense of lower sound quality....for the time being, I will just use Tarekith's Guide to Metering idea where checking the average RMS of a track, and bringing other tracks down to that level...then pumping the master volume on the club mixer up....will keep all my tracks at the same volume. This way, I can still get equal volume on MY tracks, without ruining dynamics. I still have a lot of decisions to make later on about this topic.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy! Comment if you feel it! Thanks!



How to Pirate a Vinyl

I dont condone it...but this is super cool!!!! 

Original Link - 

Vinyl records have a unique place in the world of music media. Aside from their warm analog tone, vinyl is the only popular medium that is nearly impossible to create or duplicate at home – something that can’t be claimed by cassettes, CDs, DVDs, and certainly not mp3s. Not to be an apologist for piracy, this inherently creates more value for recorded music than using an easily reproducible medium (be it physically or digitally) does. But as we all know, digital is the present and the future, and I am not complaining about that at all; one look at my iTunes playlist and you’ll know what I mean.
Now, if you haven’t seen the exact process in how records are created, you might be surprised at how much manual cooperation is involved. From inspecting the metal pressing discs and the lacquered masters, to centering the disc for hole punching, you’ve got sweet old ladies who are meticulously making sure your music will sound great. And the actual assembly process, even with automation, is like something you’d see in a Detroit auto maker’s factory: heavy hydraulic equipment pressing hot platters into precision shapes, rotating slicers, and vacuum-assisted label placers.
You can watch the whole process happen, courtesy of Discovery’s “How It’s Made” – part two is where things get interesting. (also, don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS – thanks!)

Step 1
Using the wooden strips, make a box around the glass plate. Seal off the edges using the window cement. Make sure everything is air tight.
Step 2
Place your record inside the box making sure that the portion to be copied is facing upward. Squeeze in some window cement to mark where the hole in the record is.
Step 3
Mix the silicone (Smooth On OOMOO 30 or OOMOO 25) for about 3 minutes before pouring in to the mold.
Step 4
Pour in the mixture. Start from one corner and let it fill-up the mold to about half a centimeter. Make sure it’s even. Let it dry for 6 hours.
Step 5
Peel off the silicone from the cast. Cut off the excess using a cutter.
Step 6
Pour the liquid plastic (Smooth On Task #4) on top of the silicone cast.
Step 7
Make sure that nothing spills over the round form. You can also brush off any air bubbles that might occur.
Step 8
Carefully loosen the plate from the silicone form. Using a drill press, bore a hole through the center of the plate. You can use the silicone form as a template to make more copies.
There you have it. Your very own pirated record.
(QJ translated this from the German site, also unavailable except via archive)
How well does this work? To be seen… the next step is to rip a vinyl record (pretty easy to do using a USB turntable), then cast a copy of it using this technique. Rip the copy, compare waveforms and look for any major discrepancies. That’s today’s project.
These links come from the music blog/record label I collaborate on: – we have put out a few vinyl records of our own. If you’re into limited edition 7″ compilations featuring unique songs from amazing bands, you should take a peek at our catalog and help support independent music by purchasing a collectible record or two.
I’ll give a “DO IT Reader’s Discount” to anyone buying Minicomp 2, Minicomp 3, or the Languis/MMC split CD: $4 each. Click the album cover below to order with the special price.

iPad as Ableton Midi Controller w/ touchOSC & Live Control

Original Link -

I just set up my iPad to be utilized as a Live controller. My expectations have been thoroughly met and I'm actually quite surprised at how usable the software is out there for the iPad/Live link.

I'm using touchOSC and LiveControl to reach the following interface which allows you to control Live in numerous ways:

As you may, or may not notice on this initial screen (which doesn't have Live connected at the moment) you have a very similar interface as to of a APC 40. The initial screen is a clip grid and you can trigger 8 columns of clips by 7 rows. There's also a play all button besides each one; the rest should be obvious. If you quickly take a look around the other tabs at the top you can see that it also offers a lot more functionality than initially shown. Overall, an amazing piece of software integration. Did I mention that you can edit all of this to look, display, and function the way you want? Awesome!

To get started I had to buy touchOSC. You can buy that here. It's a one-time purchase in the App Store and I downloaded it on both my iPad and iPhone. However this article is targeted to the iPhone.

Once I did that, I installed LiveControl (free! yay) which is located over here. LiveControl is the interface you saw above in the screenshot which interacts between the iPad and Ableton Live. "touchOSC" is simply a software platform that allows iOS to pass messages to other programs in a music-orientated language. Check out what OSC (open sound control) is here.

For a tutorial that instructs you on how to setup everything step by step, follow it here:

Now one thing to mention which almost caught me, is that you need to go through extra steps to get midi messages to send to Ableton Live and for you to utilize the drum and keys tab. This is pretty easy now, as LiveControl handles the routing and translation. You used to have to download another program which handled the translation from OSC to MIDI and back, but no longer - Live Control now supports everything. Very awesome! Thank you to their team - you should donate if you can spare a couple dollars.

If you need any help setting up, please let me know and I'll try to give you a hand. I ran into a problem with no matter how many times I tried to follow that tutorial, the keys and drumming never worked. Ableton looked like it received the midi messages but nothing was ever triggered in the drum machine when I hit a pad. My solution? I restarted the computer and it ended up working. Sometimes a reboot will fix everything.

So far I'm still learning how I want to use this in the best way - I've been using it for both producing and testing live performances. I really want to integrate it into a cool way with the Xone:4D. I'll post more on effective ways to utilize the iPad/LiveControl/TouchOSC very soon.

For now, enjoy!