July 1, 2007


by Chris Randall

I don't understand why the concept of "alternative MIDI controller" almost always leads to the actuality of "cacophony", but there you go. If you can watch the whole thing, you're a braver person than I. You can read all about the Sweatstick here.

For more cacophony... errr... I mean alternative MIDI controller fun, check the dueling Zendrums here, and the always-popular MIDIgun here.



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Jul.01.2007 @ 5:11 PM
Don't forget the Hulk$mash!
link [createdigitalmuic.co...]">link [createdigitalmuic.co...]

Jul.01.2007 @ 10:22 PM
I don't understand why the concept of using reverb has to result in "suck"...


Jul.01.2007 @ 11:00 PM
Alternative MIDI controllers tend to suck, because if they didn't suck they would be "common" and therefore not "alternative".

For example, MIDI knob and fader boxes, or MIDI MPC style drum pads, would have been "alternative MIDI controllers" 10 years ago... but as they don't suck, they are now a dime a dozen.

If the Flexonica had been any good back in '91 or whenever this video was taken, M-Audio would make one today.

While music and creative activities tend to be subjective, there are certain laws of egronomics that the human body and brain have to obey. Which means there are certain instrument designs that are just destined to suck.


Jul.01.2007 @ 11:42 PM
I agree. We just aren't open enough...

This is generally how I feel about more modern experimental music also. There's a certain point where it literally does not fit the definition of music. I know that the argument is that the concept of "music" should be somewhat malleable. However, the lexicon already has a term, sound. I don't think it would really be that degrading or disrespectful to refer to the genre as experimental, or experimentally controlled, sound.

I prefer music that experiments with the structure and concepts of traditional music, but still remains constrained to some extent to the traditional musics presentation. Kind of like the difference between "Here's a different way to do that" and "Here's a different way to do something else."

Of course we live in a world where Popular music is the second choice if you don't like Alternative music.


Jul.02.2007 @ 2:23 AM
I wouldn't have called it "cacophony" - most of the triggered sounds/samples seemed fairly tame (reminded me of this Sound Canvas I used to have before I knew shit from clay). It was a bit arhythmic, but he managed to get some bass notes progressing there.

8 minutes I could manage, but I imagine it was less fun live, where it probably went on for much, much longer at some hideous volume.

If you want cacophony, try some circuit-bending demos.


Jul.02.2007 @ 5:39 AM
Argh! MaxMSP wanker. Why does everyone with a bit of engineering experience think that they can create the next amazing thing that only ever really seems good at making screeching noises and retriggering breaks.

I don't know why everyone spends so long laughing at keytars when there is a wealth of DIY alternative interfaces on youtube just asking for it.


Jul.02.2007 @ 7:47 AM
dan s
general midi avant-garde?

Jul.02.2007 @ 10:30 AM
sounded a lot like gagaku to me at first, traditional japanese court music.

Jul.02.2007 @ 10:40 AM
Solipsist Nation

Could be worse. He could be using it to control filter sweeps on his trance arpeggiations.

Jul.02.2007 @ 1:50 PM
I'm tired of "experimental" music that all ends up sounding the same. Any time I see the word "granular", I know how it's going to sound before I hit play. It might be fun, like Kid 606, or dry and boring, like Hafler Trio. But there's not much in the way of surprises.

I'm also tired of music that's about how it's made rather than what it sounds like. I couldn't give a rat's ass about where Herbert gets his samples; the end result is usually unexceptional.


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