Gamma Sonification: MIT Students Make Music From Particle Energy

Meanwhile at MIT…

In past classes, students have created soundwalks and graphic scores, learning about experimental pieces that broaden conventional ideas about sound. “We start off doing things that are meant to expand what the students think of as being music and get them listening more deeply,” says Makan. In his most recent class, students were asked to design a musical instrument. Some made flutes, chimes, and homemade drums. Sergheyev, Lopez, and Liu decided to make musical textures from nuclear radiation.

“I’ve always been interested in things that were misunderstood,” says Liu.

Read all about the process at the MIT Shass blog.

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Interview with Alumnus DJ Boss

Since graduating from Mmmmaven in 2014, Chayuth Clark Subsin also known as DJ BOSS has been making waves in the Boston DJ community. Originally from Thailand, DJ BOSS has opened for Borgeous at The Royale and has a residency at Club eNVy in Allston. We were lucky enough to have him back at Mmmmaven to talk about how he started DJing, his career highlights so far and how we helped pave the way for a career as a DJ. 

How did you find out about Mmmmaven and the programs we offer?

I looked it up online and I wanted to be a DJ and get myself in the community. I found you guys doing it over here in Cambridge so I tried it out and learned so much here.

When did you graduate from Mmmmaven?

3 years ago – Mmmmaven looked very different then it was downstairs! This new setup is really cool.

What was your favorite class/technique that you learned?

I learnt a lot when I first started. There was the DJ 101 class and the DJ 102 class. In the DJ 101 class I learned how to DJ using equipment and how to connect all the equipment together. In DJ 102 I learned how to beat match and how to blend two songs together. It also covers a lot more technique in the 102 class.

Had you DJ’ed before you came to Mmmmaven?

I started DJ-ing by myself a few months before I came to Mmmmaven and I felt kind of stuck. Then when I came here my mind was blown. I got to understand the technique behind what I was doing before I came here and got right on top of it – it was amazing.

What skill do you think you improved on during your time with Mmmmaven?

I improved on my confidence beat matching and pushing the crowd. Beat matching is really important as a DJ. When I learned from the instructor how to play the two songs, that made me a lot more confident that I could do it myself. Also, with the turntable equipment in here it’s totally different: starting off using vinyl is a really great way to learn how to DJ.

Do you use different equipment when you DJ?

I started off using the Controller – that’s a little bit different. In here with vinyl it’s different so let’s talk about it. When I first started to DJ I listened to the radio and I was like “oh I wanna learn how to DJ” and I bought two turntables however it was not good equipment. I also didn’t know that a turntable needed a Serato box to make it work so I went to guitar centre and bought it but I didn’t know how to use it. I randomly went to the bar down the street and hired a DJ to come and teach me. He taught me a couple of times but I was still stuck and felt like “why don’t I know how to do this thing? How do I adjust it? How do I beat match?” When I came here to Mmmmaven I solved the problems that I had.

Can you tell us a little bit about your first gigging experience? What was it like, how did you book it, how did it go?

After the graduation party at Middlesex I met one of the students from Mmmmaven – they call it the Project Mixx and they invited me over to spin at one of their nights at Mini Bar in Copley which was actually my first DJ gig.

Yeah I was super nervous, I didn’t know what to do because it was my first live performance but I thought “this is what I’ve been waiting for!

I’ve been learning and now this is like the real show time for me.” Yeah so, it was great! I did my best, I had a good time and everybody had a good time.

How often do you DJ now?

I DJ once or twice a week. My resident club is eNVy in Allston and sometimes I DJ at some other places as well. I would love to DJ more! I want to do this every day – that’d be fun!

What part of DJing do you find to be the most challenging?

Reading the crowd. Reading the crowd and playing the right song in the right moment. Taking the requests can also be challenging but I try. I love it. I love taking requests. At the club I want everybody to have a good time and when they request it sometimes, I wouldn’t think about that song, but then if the song works for the crowd I’m happy with it.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I’ve been playing a lot of big night clubs since I played at Royale. That was the most exciting venue for me to play at. I was opening for my favorite DJ, Borgeous, and to be able to hang out with him and talk about music was great.

Did getting an education at Mmmmaven help you with your DJ career?

Definitely! It helped me so much! I wouldn’t be DJing where I am right now without Mmmmaven.

Not only did they teach me the basic things I needed to know as a DJ but also the DJ community at Mmmmaven is very strong. Mmmmaven is pretty much a home for everyone musical as a DJ. I wouldn’t be able to know all of the DJs that I do and be able to talk about DJing with so many people without the community from Mmmmaven. It’s great to be here, to share music and talk with friends. Sometimes you can pull a line to get a gig from a previous student.

How has your music progressed since graduating from Mmmmaven?

I hope my music has progressed as I keep practicing after Mmmmaven! I practice every day mostly. I try to find some time to just practice, to just play with it. As an artist you know you wanna practice because it’s so fun to DJ! I DJ by myself all the time. I go live on Facebook now to practice and when I practice I learn every time. I try to do something stupid and then I learn if it works or not. If it works I’m gonna keep practicing until I get it and then I’m gonna play it at a club. I’m gonna use that technique to play it at a club and see if it works.

What do you hope to have accomplished in your DJing career five years from now?

Five years from now I am planning to get my songs signed by a record label and also, a dream that I’ve thought about since being at Mmmmaven, I want to play at a festival – that’s one of my goals! I would love to do any kind of music festival as I haven’t done that yet. I wanna feel it! I wanna study about it and get a different feeling and it would be really awesome.

What didn’t Mmmmaven teach you that you wish you had learned?

They taught me a little bit of everything, so no, I don’t think there’s anything. I think they covered everything I needed to know. Other than that you have to practice by yourself.

What did you find most challenging to learn at Mmmmaven?

The most challenging thing for me was beat matching.

Doing that with songs with different BPMs and learning how to try and blend the song together is challenging.

I think that’s the most challenging thing as a DJ. When I started I had a really difficult time trying to beat match between different songs because you have to count in a certain way and I didn’t know about all this. I thought “how am I gonna get that two song break down at the same time?” Then at Mmmmaven I found out how to count to make it work. Then on these turn tables beat matching can be tricky because when you press it, it’s not going right away. It takes some time and you just gotta kind of like feel it. I think that’s also the fun part as a DJ. It’s the best feeling matching songs together and getting it right.

Do you collaborate with other Mmmmaven graduates?

Once in a while I get in touch with my old friend from Project Mix and some good friends from Mmmmaven as well.

Do you think Mmmmaven graduates are prominent in the Boston DJ music scene?

I think there’s a lot of Mmmmaven graduates on the DJ scene. I think it’s only Mmmmmaven – you can Google it! There’s nowhere else.

In what ways did Mmmmaven prepare you for playing for a live audience?

The graduation party was a preparation for performing for a live audience. It was all the students who were graduating that got to perform live with their friends and everybody got together. Actually I think that was my first time. That was actually my first official gig to play live performing in an actual night club. That was the most exciting part for when me I graduated. I still remember that feeling. Even now when I DJ I still get that exciting feeling you know? That was the first time that I really felt like “woah I’m gonna do this, these people gonna like it” and at the end of the day everybody had a great time believe me.

If Mmmmaven were to offer more advanced classes would you be interested in taking them?

Well yeah! Actually I’m getting myself into production right now. I wanna learn more about sound design and stuff like that, yeah. I’m looking forward to that.

What brings you happiness?

I like to go outside, walk my dog, come back, practice for an hour, go out, get some lunch, come back and make music. That’s an ideal day for me! M U S I C – that’s everything.

What advice would you give to any aspiring DJ student?

They’re just gonna have to love this {points to turntable}. When they love this they can do it. Just love playing around with it and spend time with it – it’s fun! Just download music and try to play it and record your set. I record my set all the time and I listen to it in the car when I’m driving. That way I learn when I listen to my set after like “oh does this technique work when I press the crossfade right” or if it doesn’t work I’m gonna come back to it the next day and practice it until it works. When it works it’s like “oh I got it!” It’s fun. Also practice: learn and practice. Practice will make it happen.

Well thank you so much for coming in today to have a chat!

Of course, thank you for inviting me to come back here! Mmmmaven will always be a home for me.

 

 

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8 Ways to Make Music Online

While it is practical to use various types of computer software to produce high-caliber music, it has been found that webpages online can also enable quality music production. Musicradar‘s  surfed the Internet to find some of the  best sites to create music through a web browser. He relayed his findings to Musicradar, and it’s a good idea to mark his recommended websites in your “bookmarks” folder.

1. AudioTool

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AudioTool has been a staple production website for a long time, but with its constant updates, the site is essentially brand new. “The easy-to-use interface enables you to rig up Roland-style drum machines and synths and route them through Boss-style stomp boxes and into a virtual mixing desk. Some basic DAW functions – including a piano roll display – enable you to program or record MIDI,” says Cornell.

2. Soundation Studio

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Equipped with rudimentary synths as well as a drum sounds, Soundation has all of the basics for music production. Plus, it allows users to include live recordings into production. Cornell praises the website by saying, “the layout and options should be familiar to anyone who has a passing interest in music production. The basic package comes pre-loaded with over 700 loops and samples, which can be bolstered by reasonably-priced packs that are available from the online store.” [MORE HERE]

3. Audio Sauna

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Cornell notes the uncanny resemblance between Audio Sauna and GarageBand, and applauds the websites basic tools. “Sound-wise, there are good FM and analogue synths and also a sampler which covers drums and a few other instruments. You can load your own samples into the sampler and apply distortion, chorus and looping. Songs and tracks can be exported as WAV files or saved for future recall,” says Cornell. [MORE HERE]

4. Soundtrap

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With Soundtrap, users can create a maximum of five music projects. The site makes sharing and collaborating on music simple for everyone. “The loops, effects and instruments are solid… Recording external sounds is easy. Sharing a project opens up your song for friends to edit…Once your tune is complete, hit the ‘publish’ button and it’s automatically mastered and uploaded for the community to hear and comment on,” says Cornell.

5. PulseBoy

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Pulseboy is available both online and offline. Cornell praises the site for its genuine 8-bit sounds and ability to save projects for later. Cornell states that, “the interface is designed to mimic the classic Nintendo Game Boy and features basic controls and graphics. Across the 16 tracks you can assign simple waveforms and noise, tweaking volume, panning and low/high frequency cutoff. Then it’s simply a case of tapping out your notes on your computer keyboard.” [MORE HERE]

6. Viktor NV-1

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The simplicity of the Viktor NV-1 is one of the sites major attractions. Easy to operate and fairly understandable, the site is perfect to learn the fundamentals of keyboard synths. “It comes with 30 presets and you can save and load your own. Common waveforms can be assigned to the 3 oscillators and shaped with an LFO and envelopes. The onboard compressor, delay and reverb units thicken up the sound,” says Cornell. [MORE HERE]

7. WebSynths

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“Another 3-oscillator synth but with a completely different look to most. Programmed by Mitch Wells, the main features of this instrument are the envelope shaping and the 136 presets, most of which sound pretty impressive,” says Cornell about WebSynths. The website allows users to transform their music into something completely new though distortion, compression and other post-processing aspects. [MORE HERE]

8. Patchwork

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A site for those more advanced in music production, Patchwork offers all of the instrumental amenities anyone could ever need. “Unless you’re familiar with analogue synth architecture you might initially struggle with the steep learning curve, but perseverance will pay off. If nothing else, this site is a fantastic emulation of an old-school patchbay and demonstrates what previous generations of synth engineers had to contend with just to create a simple sound,” says Cornell. [MORE HERE]

Cornell’s findings are useful for anyone. Novices and experts alike will benefit from these sites in different ways, allowing them to create insanely good music.

Want to make music OFFLINE? Our DJ Program Can Get You Started. Drop us a line below and get a free introductory
DJ lesson.

Make It New with Beautiful Swimmers [12/15]

For the description of week’s #MakeItNew event, we thought we’d just leave it to the wordsmiths at Resident Advisor.

If you’re ever feeling down on dance music, go to a Beautiful Swimmers gig.

Andrew Field-Pickering (AKA Max D) and Ari Goldman have been going back-to-back since the late ’00s, and they’re among the most animated DJs in the game, hammering home the fun and physicality of their selections by dancing and wearing ear-to-ear smiles.

They’re also serious record collectors—when they’re not traveling, Goldman and Field-Pickering work in record stores, and their time spent in the bins shows in their sets. Over the years, the duo have used house music as a foundation to explore Baltimore club, jungle, post-punk and other unclassifiable delights.

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves 😀

Make It New with Beautiful Swimmers [12/15]
+ resident Baltimoroder
Thursday December 15, 2016
Middlesex Lounge
9pm / 21+ / $10 Before 11pm / $15 After

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