I love simple-sounding electronic music: it sounds like it has only three parts & someone's elegantly noodling around the groove.

As you might know from other posts, I find most music-making software annoyingly complicated. I want a user interface that facilitates sketching out little patterns and noodling around with them, yet still allows you to stand up, walk around, dance, and generally not get lost in the software (or in the details of your track).

Auxy is just that. It's a simple grid of patterns, with some really nice instruments & drum kits. The sounds are just what I like to play with - light, expressive, and very electronic.

You can trigger/stop the patterns in the grid like you might in Seq24 (or Ableton Live !). You get two parameters to tweak on each instrument - e.g. a filter cutoff and a delay. Enough to have fun.

The app looks really great too - cute and tidy but really minimalist, so it fades into the background and lets you focus on the music.

I made a little techy jam in about half an hour and this really convinced me how great Auxy is. This is how electronic music should work.

And it's free!

Now .. someone make a desktop version, with automation loops, MIDI out, MIDI sync, and nudge ... :)

UPDATE! Pro Midi ($US10) covers a lot of my wishlist above.

There are now at least two iOS apps that allow you to DJ using Spotify - Pacemaker and djay.

Spotify logo

I find this really intriguing; I really like the idea of having such a huge catalogue to draw from. I also really like the idea of not having to manage/buy/own all the music I DJ with; being able to focus solely on selection, playlisting, curation, could be really liberating.

Note that it appears you need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber for this to work.

On the other hand, this could open the floodgates to "do you have youtube on there" requesters too ..

QtzRendang in action

Announcing QtzRendang, a little utility app for rendering Quartz Compositions to movie files. I cobbled this together from example code for my own purposes, and since I couldn't find anything on the web. "My own purposes" typically involve rendering a loopy composition to a six or seven minute movie to make simple but effective videos for Cartoon Beats releases.

By the way, there is another app for this purpose developed by the Kineme crew - QuartzCrystal - which supports spatial and temporal oversampling to reduce temporal and visual jagginess. At US$18 this is a great little app, but as I'm a bit of a nerd and a cheapskate, and there wasn't an open source solution, I decided it was worth writing QtzRendang.

CoGe is another great project on Google code. It's an open source visualisation/VJ mixer/live sequencer.

Back to QtzRendang


Drag & drop a composition, specify frame resolution, duration, and frame rate & output filename. Optionally tweak composition parameters, then click render.

Why is it called QtzRendang? Well it renders .qtz files to movies, and the instant noodles I had that week were rendang flavour. Rendang is a slow-cooked Indonesian dish which seems like it would be pretty yum. I've never had it.

Any questions about the software itself please feel free to ask in the comments.
I've remastered and tidied up The Jacket, used some more sample, and made a housier version which may be more clubby. They're all available at last.fm (see player below) or GarageBand which is a good option if you wanna iLike me on Facebook.

I used the EQ in excellent JAMin to make the spectrum roughly flat (it was quite low-end-heavy and there were little dips here and there). I didn't use any compression, but I think the EQing left a lot of room for makeup gain, so it could well be a lot louder. Anyone know about mastering? I don't.

If you want higher bit rate versions send me an email, sweet as..



ADDITIONAL ADDITIONAL:
The new ("original") version is now in the last.fm player (128k) and still available at zshare too (320k).

TOP POST UPDATE:
There's a new version I've put on zshare (cos I know all you blog readers love viewing zshare ads).. it has a nice complementary sub and some swooshes here and there and the drums are tidied up:
Haszari - The Jacket (original) [320kbps]

It'll go up on Last FM (etc) eventually but they're rejecting the 128k bla bla bla ...


Original post follows...

Here is a work-in-progress track currently called "Jacket". I'm happier with this (even in its current state) than I have been with any homemade music thus far. Here's a last.fm player, and the track is free-downloadable from last.fm, so go and grab it!

It was made with my favourite free software: ZynAddSubFX synth, Hydrogen drum machine, Ardour digital audio workstation, and sequencer Rosegarden. This is all installed and configured to run with low latency by default in the wonderful free operating system (Debian based) 64Studio.

Now your bit: leave comments below or let me know more directly what you reckon, what would make it better, etc etc. Thanks.