Music Research: Drum and Bass beat detection at McGill

Who says music researchers are stodgy?  Some interesting new research going on at McGill that could someday work to improve beat detection in all kinds of music software:

An essential first step in understanding how various producers uniquely use percussion, melody, and harmony in their tracks is downbeat detection (to find the first beat of every measure). We’ve developed a style-specific method of downbeat detection catered to Hardcore, Jungle, and Drum and Bass (HJDB) by combining multiple forms of metrical information: low-frequency onset detection; beat tracking; and a regression model (SVR) trained on the timbre and sequence order of breakbeats. In a recent evaluation using 206 HJDB tracks, we demonstrate superior accuracy of our style-specific method over four general downbeat detection algorithms (including two commercial algorithms).

Read the rest at Breakscience.

▶ Listen: Porter Robinson’s Set from Ultra

Porter Robinson, the OWSLA-signed wunderkind who was at one point a student of my TI:ME friend Matthew Etherington brings some hard hitting EDM music from his set at the ULTRA music festival with a lot of attention paid to the little details.  Can’t wait for a proper release of these tracks:


Ableton Push First Prototypes

Great interview with the Ableton Push co-creator, Jesse Terry:

That’s right, I used Lego and sugru (a silicon putty). We attached Lego pieces to MIDI buttons with LEDs, connected to a Livid Brain. So, there were many burnt fingers and burnt Star Wars pieces along the way. My wife would always hear me digging away in the Lego bin and she’d wonder if I was actually working up here! The Lego prototype made it very easy to test out ergonomic setups as we could move the buttons around. We tried all kinds of different layouts and, we were able to user test the entire thing and learn to play it before we had a hardware version to play with. I’ve been playing this Push Lego layout on plywood for 2 years now.

Read the rest for a great view from people who are trying to redefine the idea of a Musical Instrument.

Fresh Tracks Friday: Seven Lions

Hello friends,

Today we’re going to go into what I am going to call “minimal-step” land.  We have in Seven Lions’s track what is obviously structured as a dubstep song, but the sound is more unique and nuanced.  If Ghostly released dubstep music, we might get this:

How the Drumsynth works in Ableton Suite 9

Great interview at Sonic Bloom with Christian Kleine, creator of the DrumSynth Max for Live device.  Lots of things I had no idea about, such as:

There are currently 13 different devices. The important (kick/snare/hi-hat/tom) as well as the exotic (Kplus and FM) are all represented. “Kplus” is called this way because here the “Karplus-Strong” synthesis is used – David Zicarelli (CEO of Cycling ’74, the creators of Max) jokingly said that this was also the best and only purpose of this synthetic form… Basically, most important for me, next to the sound, was a very dynamic control using velocity data – therefore, this section is quite extensive in every device and almost every parameter can be played dynamically.

Great stuff.  Be sure to check out the screenshot of the inside of DrumSynth, especially if you’ve never seen an intimidating Max Patch before.