Advanced Search and CC comes to SoundCloud

SoundCloud has finally upgraded it’s platform to include Advanced Search. This was a desperately needed feature and is the cherry on top of the current best place to share music for musicians. In the past I had issues even finding my own uploaded tracks. You can now also get detailed genre, tag, label and track type searches. I can finally troll through “synthpunk” or “EBM” tagged tracks. There were Groups before but honestly people put their music in every group so it’s played more. I know they can do the same with Tags but it’s less an issue for some reason.

The Berlin company also have upped their integration with Creative Commons. They have added a special start page if your searching for CC licensed material: and the SoundCloud Player now shows a CC symbol if the material is licensed. So now I can search my own username and find everything I released under a CC License:

For more info on the new features:

Follow me on SoundCloud: thingstocome

Car Wash and Van Houten Farms

I’m lucky to have my own driveway in NYC. I’m also lucky to have a beautiful apple tree that blooms to park underneath. The only problem is hundreds of birds love this tree too. Therefore going to the car wash has become a routine trip. I’m amazed that for $10 you can get a full car wash that includes a full cleaning of the interior too.

Car Wash by thingstocome

My mother is a avid gardener. There were four large planters outside my building that were just dirt and weeds to I asked her to help me choose some plants to fix the situation. You can see the full set of photos of my “garden”: click here

Van Houten Farms by thingstocome

You can hear more of my field recordings here:

Stamba remix with Creative Commons samples.

The next release on my record label is by French DJ and producer Stamba. I am remixing one of the songs called Deviation. All the tracks on the release are what you would call darkwave, ebm, techno. Don’t you love all these sub-genres? Take a listen:

I recreated his original song in Ableton Live, keeping his vocals but using all my own sounds. Some of the gear and plug-ins used include a Jomox Mbase-01, Vermona DRM1 MKIII, Audiorealism Bassline, Korg Legacy, PSP Nitro, Fabfilter Volcano 2, assorted TC Powercore dynamics and Sugar Bytes Effectrix.

We have released the remix samples under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. If you want to grab the samples for your own fun head to the discography page for this release at Things to Come Records:

The full release will be available on August 4, 2008.

Great video discussion about Fair Use on Seesmic.

Michael C. Donaldson an entertainment lawyer based in LA takes questions from Seesmic members about fair use, copyright, satire and parodies. Have you ever wondered if you play copyrighted music behind you while you chat in a video and then post that video on YouTube if your breaking the law? Or is that considered fair use? What if you take a photo which has a Creative Commons license attached to it that states you can not use the photo for commercial purpose and post it to your blog that has Google AdSense on it? Is that ok? Well all those answers and much more is in this superb Q&A session.

One thing to note… you have to use the Right Arrow in the video player comments section and scroll to the right most video. Watch from left to right this way you see the Q&A in sequence. Mr. Donaldson is the one with the answers. He’s in the screengrab to the right… look for him. Highly recommended viewing!

For even more info check out this PDF Mr. Donaldson co-wrote called “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video”: click here

For those of you getting this post in a RSS reader the video is here:

Crystal Castles caught ripping other artists off.

Crystal Castles is a band named after a pretty cool 80s video game. Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass are from Toronto, Canada. I’m going to tell you right now I like their music. I’m also going to point out two important things. First, people are having strong reactions to their music. They love it or hate it and usually that means the music is somewhat good. If there is no reaction to music or it’s “ok” that usually means it sucks. It’s easy to make filler right?. Second, the fact that they got caught means they got noticed and in today’s blur of a million bands thats also a good thing. All press is good press.

They suck….and they’re thieves. – Cycom, Harmony Central Forums

So what did they do that was so bad? Allegedly they took some 8-bit “chip tunes” music by artist Lo-bat that had a Creative Commons license attached but used the song in the wrong manner. The license stated the music could not be used commercially and also stated one had to give attribution to the original producer. Crystal Castles apparently did neither. Here is the article on the Create Digital Music blog discussing the details including audio samples of the original and new song. Be sure to also read the interesting comments: click here

But thats not all they did. UK visual artist Trevor Brown makes paintings of injured woman and children. He has a painting of Maddonna with a black eye. Crystal Castles saw the painting and used it as one of there album covers. They did so without any permission. When contacted by Trevor they made promises they didn’t fulfill and in the end insulted the guy. You can read Trevor’s blog post titled “crystal [expletive deleted] castles”: click here

As an artist you draw ideas and concepts from the world around you. You do have a few completely original thoughts in your life but they are truly few. I am sure Crystal Castles could have easily avoided this situation with a few emails asking for permission. I have no doubt Lo-bat and Trevor Brown would have read said emails with joy and gave an official “go ahead”. Instead Crystal Castles are being trashed and calls are even being made to have them knocked off the NIN tour.

Do you like Crystal Castles music?

photo credit: Jalapeño and small ape

Grab free loops and sounds from

I received an email today from a guy named Waldek. He asked me to check out his site and post some news about it here. I’m open to requests and as long as the site is cool and music tech orientated I don’t mind sharing it with everyone here. Well since you see this post that means has some worth to us!

MNML Soundpack

They have four packs of AIFF/Wav downloads available. You can use the sounds in non-commercial work using a Creative Commons licence. For more about Creative Commons read my post titled “Put a Creative Commons License to your music.“. If you do decide you want to use the samples in something commercial you can contact them and work out a deal. is a new project aiming to provide fresh and original electro loops and dj tools for producers looking for fresh and cool sounds. soundlibraries and loop packs are great tools for modern music producers who want to explore new grounds or simply add a new flavor to their unique music style. just released 2 new loop packs – “Mnml data” and “GTL. –

One cool idea they have going is a podcast featuring work created using the sample packs. You can send them your finished songs and “if they like it” they will play it.

Head over and check them out for yourself:

Good luck Waldek and crew and keep the site fresh with new downloads often!

Put a Creative Commons Licence to your music.

Why not allow some of your music to be free? Free for others to use on podcasts, radio shows, remix, mashup or simply free to listen to? This can be a great promotion tool. Creative Commons is a non for profit organization that offers CC licenses from their website.

You log on, answer a few questions and they give you the license. The service is free. You can specify some variables you would like in your license. For example, you can allow people to use your song but require they attribute the work to you. You can choose if you allow your song to be used commercially. You can specify if you don’t want to allowCreative Commons Shwag modifying your song. When you get your license you can simple have some text displaying the type or display one of the cool CC icons.

The video above from Veronica Belmont and Maholo Daily shows the basics of using Creative Commons in reference to the music world. It shows some websites you can use to promote your newly licensed music. Also in the video is a lame attempt at a mashup in Ableton Live which is worth watching just for a laugh.Here is a song I offer for free. It was also released on a 9/11 Tribute album:

Creative Commons Licenes are not just for audio, you can add them to text, video, images and software.

photo credit: openDemocracy