The Dubreq iStylophone.

Come on now tell me an iPhone/iPod Touch is not getting more and more tempting every minute?

“The Very Cool Software Company, a U.K.-based Mac OS developer, recently announced its first iPhone application: Dubreq iStylophone. Dubreq Stylophone is an electronic musical instrument, originally invented by Brian Jarvis in 1968 and manufactured in the U.K. by Dubreq. The Dubreq Stylophone, also known as “the original pocket electronic organ,” was sold by the millions in the early ’70s and used by artists including David Bowie, Brett Domino, Erasure, Hexstatic, Krafwerk, Marilyn Manson, Orbital, Pulp, The Raconteurs, and They Might Be Giants.” –


Bandcamp and SoundCloud screencasts.

Bandcamp Screencast from Ethan Diamond on Vimeo.

Last week I mentioned to a friend that 1pixelout must have released a new audio player because I’ve been seeing huge versions of it around different sites. The 1pixelout audio player is the one you sometimes see on this site. Well it turns out these new players are coming from a new service called Bandcamp. Just watch the video above as it tells the story better than me typing it out. It’s clean, free, pretty and let’s you sell your music. I love it.

SoundCloud: The Tour from SoundCloud on Vimeo.

SoundCloud the Berlin based startup has enjoyed a great beta ramp up and launch. They have attracted a nice group of industry insiders and electronic musician to their site. The SoundCloud audio player which allows your to make comments along the waveform of your song is just plain awesome. However trouble may be brewing in die Hauptstadt (capital city) because they just released their pricing plan and it’s a doozy. They continue to offer a free service but the forums, tweets and blogs seem to think they are gouging.

You know what? I want a combination of these two services. Give me a way to sell my music in many formats. Give me a great audio player with comments along the timeline and a waveform view. I want a dropbox. I want widgets. It should be free with ads or $25 a year advert free. They can have a few percent of my music sales too. I’d like to be able embed all my music on my own site as a mini store and have complete control over the CSS.


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Just make a few folds and create a paper CD case.

Paper CD Case – video powered by Metacafe

I love this video. I gave up on plastic CD cases a long time ago. In the rare moment I need to give someone an actual CD I use the paper envelopes you can buy. Well low and behold I can just fold my own pretty easily!

The creators of the above video also have a bookmarklet you can use that will generate and print artwork on the paper if you so choose (I don’t). More info:

“Liquid Mongoose is proud to announce its first project for general release: Paper Case. The Paper Case project allows you to print a fold-able piece of paper into a CD or DVD case, using the content of the internet as your album art or movie cover. Currently, it supports music album printing on and movie cover printing on Netflix. Support for Picasa Web Albums is coming soon for your picture CDs and DVDs.” –

via webware

The Blip Festival set to make noise in Brooklyn.

Blip Festival 2008: The Promo from Richard Alexander Caraballo on Vimeo.

Jenn de la Vega from The Blip Festival sent me an email today asking if I would mind mentioning the bit-crushed bleep fest returning to Brooklyn later this year. I love this stuff and will be in NY this December so I will be there with my Joystick. Uh yeah… I said that.

Archaic game and home computer hardware is recast into the unlikely role of musical instrument and motion graphics workstation in the BLIP FESTIVAL 2008, a four-day event showcasing nearly 40 musicians and visual artists occupying the international low-res cutting edge. The Blip Festival takes place DECEMBER 4—7, 2008 at the Bell House, and is presented by Manhattan art organization THE TANK and NYC artist collective 8BITPEOPLES.

Highlighting the chipmusic phenomenon and its related disciplines, the festival aims to showcase emerging creative niches involving the use of legacy video game & home computer hardware as modern artistic instrumentation. Devices such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Nintendo Game Boy and others are repurposed into the service of original, low-res, high-impact electronic music and visuals — sidestepping game culture and instead exploring the technology’s untapped potential and distinctive intrinsic character.

The Blip Festival assembles nearly 40 practitioners selected from the chipmusic movement’s expansive global underground, taking care to represent as many as possible of the genre’s surprisingly diverse styles, geographical and technical scenes, communities, and traditions. The festival’s concert program will be supplemented by daytime events to be announced, including workshops, presentations, and screenings. The Blip Festival’s intended result is to provide a cross-section of a movement currently in explosive flux, teeming with artistic exploration, and poised at the cusp of global awareness.

For more info:

Electronic Music Berlin – A Wire to the Ear map.

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Berlin is the undisputed center of electronic music. A few times a month friends and blog readers come to visit. I’ve decided to make a Google Map with the locations of many of the great record stores, labels, synthesizer manufacturers, audio software companies and nightclubs you can check out upon arrival.

Ableton, Tresor, Hard Wax, Native Intruments, Schneider’s Buero, Neumann, MFB, Gigolo Records, Berghain, JoMoX, Sugar Bytes, BPitch Control, SoundCloud… what more do you want?

If you do come to visit don’t forget you will be in a gorgeous city full of historic places and green parks. Don’t spend all your time dancing. See it all!

Remember Google Maps is feature rich. You can get point to point directions, zoom way in, see satellite views and create your own map of places in Berlin you want to see (click a pin and select “save to my map”).

To view the map full screen and also see the complete list of great places: click here

Sound like you have an old sampler with Decimort.

Vintage color is the special sauce audio producers crave when producing. We want the sound of Mic pres from the 70s, spring reverbs and even that classic sampler sound. Decimort is a new plug-in from the ever impressive Polish software freaks D16. There are a host of bit crushers on the market but Decimort specializes in recreating the effect of old EMU Emulators and Ensoniq samplers.

“Electronic music producers (especially in Hip-Hop) have always been aware that classic samplers (such as early Akai and EMU units) had a character and sound of their own. They added a “grit” and “colour” to the samples and loops they played back which made them sound “Fat” and sit well in a mix. This sound colouration was due to the encoding techniques, lower sample rates, lower bit rate and conversion circuits which these early samplers used. Decimort recreates this colouration and adds the vintage sampler magic to any loop, bass line or sound played through it. It also acts as the perfect bit crusher with filter.” –

You can hear some very good Decimort samples in the context of full songs on the D16 site: click here However, below I recorded and posted some straight forward clips. Each clip starts with the dry sound then I click on Decimort:

A choir sequence from the basic Reason soundbank. I chose the choir samples because you could find very similar samples in The Fairlight CMI:

A computerized vocal which I think shows off Decimort quiet nicely:

A simple Roland TR-808 loop through some Decimort presets:

One thing I really like about Decimort is that is has a wet/dry knob, something I wish all plug-ins had! Also, automating the Frequency in Decimort sounds very potent. Overall it’s a nice plug-in that I could see using many instances of. I like to try using filters and bit-crusher before I’ll grab an eq.

Decimort is Mac/PC AU/Vst for 35€. Demo available: click here

photo credit: Johnrpenner

Come on America do the right thing!

I wholehearted believe politics should stay the hell off tech blogs. Tech is nice because it gives us a break from the real world of doom and gloom. In tech everything is heading brightly to the future. As far as this blog Wire to the Ear is concerned we are all about music tech but it’s been hard for me to keep my mouth shut when it comes to this next U.S. election. Imagine writing a post everyday and not even saying anything?

I figure since the above video is in musical form it will be acceptable content here. To go along with the video I will break my usual silence when it comes to politics and tell you how I feel. It’s really simple: The thought of McCain/Palin in the White House makes me vomit in my mouth. I know I certainly can’t change anyone’s vote but if your an American (as I am) hear my plea: Do the right thing this time! Please!

Not registered to vote? click here

James Bernard starts a blog at Propellerheads.

If you remember not too long ago I mentioned I was recently endorsed by Propellerhead Software. An old friend of mine James Bernard who is a Product Specialist at the company helped set me up. Last week he started his own blog on the Propellerhead website. I think this is a great idea as the blog format is my favorite way to get info these days and James has a huge amount of pro-audio knowledge to share.

“Welcome to my first entry to my new blog page on the Propellerhead Website! I plan on using this page to share any tips or tricks I have picked up, insight on some of my travels around the world doing Producers Conference events and also share some useful files or links I might come across. Please let me know what you think of it and feel free to request any specific tips/tricks you would like to see.” – James Bernard,

His first posts are great. He kicks it off by showing us his own project studio which includes a FM3 Buddha Machine, modified Roland TR-606, Auralex Treatment and of course Reason. Next, he creates a few songs using one sound. Yes. One single sound. In fact he uses just one single TR-909 kick drum. We all joke and think about doing things like this but James tackles the task and lives to tell about it.

There is more than just show and tell on his new blog which I believe is titled “.plan”.  You get free goodies such as Refills and Regroove Templates.

Check out James’s new blog: click here

Should we be collecting Audiophile Releases?

The all things strange and weird Boing Boing blog had an interesting article yesterday talking about Audiophile recordings. SACD, DVD-A, and 5:1 surround re-releases could all be going the way of the Dodo bird. Heck even CDs are on their way out. Are we going to be left with only one option? The craptastic MP3?

I’ve personally never heard an SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc) or DVD-A but I do know my old vinyl collection sounds superior to my MP3s. Surely we can’t let all our high quality options disappear. I always assumed that when broadband adoption and hard drive space became readily available we would see online music retailers offer lossless formats. So far that hasn’t happened.

“Super Audio CD (SACD) is a read-only optical audio disc format that can provide higher fidelity digital audio reproduction than the Red Book audio CD. Introduced in 1999, it was developed by Sony and Philips Electronics, the same companies that created the Compact Disc. SACD is in a format war with DVD-Audio, but neither format has managed to replace regular audio CDs.” –

Richard Metzger over at Boing Boing thinks we should run out and start collecting SACD and DVD-A’s. Personally I don’t think we should encourage more plastic production. We should demand higher quality digital downloads. There are only a few options available today. offers “High Definition Music Collections”.

“MusicGiants, the leader in high definition entertainment, aims to deliver the highest quality entertainment experience possible. Still the only digital music service licensed in HD from all of the major music labels…” –

We really need iTunes and Amazon to get on board otherwise large portions of the human’s music canon will end up only available in MP3 format. What other online shops sell high quality music downloads?

Check out the Boing Boing article: Audiophile Releases… Get ‘Em While You Can

This synthpatch explains how I feel today.

“Snore” patch from Peter Speer on Vimeo.

I am definitely still feeling last weekend and it’s Tuesday night! This synth patch in the uber cute Doepfer Mini Case explains what I should be doing right now: zzzz.

“I was trying to make a breathe-in/breathe-out snoring sound with the Mini Case… Moog Rogue (audio only), Doepfer A-119, A-140 and A-132-3, Plan B ELF LFO, Frostave Resonator and Blue Ringer, DIY multiple.” – Peter Speer

If you have not been to the Doepfer site your crazy: click here