Chrome Music Lab: Simplistic Mechanisms for Music Production

The organizations that attended Boston Music Group’s Bake-Off event introduced innovative ways to produce new music. Chrome Music Lab, the brainchild of music producers and coders, firmly believes that music production should be open to all ages. The simplistic layout and easy-to-maneuver experiments on The Chrome Labs website allows all users to create music without any difficulty or additional plug-ins.

According to their website, “Chrome Music Lab is a collection of experiments that let anyone, at any age, explore how music works. They’re collaborations between musicians and coders, all built with the freely available Web Audio API.”

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The website has a series of 12 experiments, with categories ranging from rhythm to harmonics. Below are a few of Chrome Labs experiments and what they entail.

1. Oscillators

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The oscillator experiment allows users to alternate between different types of oscillators to hear their frequencies. Various frequencies can be heard by dragging a user’s mouse of finger across the screen.

2. Melody Maker

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Chrome Labs melody maker allows users to experiment by adding and taking away different notes from a melody.

3. Arpeggios

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This experiment enables a user to play arpeggios in various patterns. There is a colorful wheel that showcases major and minor chords, changing the sounds of the arpeggios.

4. Spectrogram 

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With the spectrogram experiment, users are able to visualize various spectrograms produced by different sounds. Sound options include instruments, birds, and a user’s own voice.

5. Kandinsky 

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Kandinsky transforms art into sound. Users draw images on a white canvas and their images are converted into music.

For more of Chrome Labs experiments, visit their website. For future Boston Music Group events, visit their Meetup page. 

 

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Music Technology in Music Therapy

As we continue to hurdle into the modern age of gadgets and gizmos, it is evident that technology impacts nearly everything, including the established practice of music therapy. The introduction of music technology into this specific realm of therapy has been relatively recent, yet it has impacted clients in unique and notable ways.

Music therapy is utilized by professionals to help enhance or repair the mental and physical heath of those in need. The role of music technology in such therapy is, generally speaking, to construct new musical experiences to aid in a client’s struggle. According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), a music therapist assesses a client for specific needs and indicates treatments that include creating or listening to music, both of which can be enhanced by music technology.

The AMTA relays research which concludes that the involvement of music in a therapeutic context leads to plethora of developments: strengthening or developing a client’s abilities and skills, providing avenues for communication that aid clients in expressing themselves, assisting in overall physical rehabilitation, and increasing a client’s motivation to fully engage in treatment.

In addition, music therapy is available to those who are attempting to cope with, or improve, a severe disability such as a verbal or physical impairment. Assistive devices aid in access to musical computer based software, which include features that can produce music from technological applications. With this development in music technology, the clientele that benefit from music therapy has expanded to those who are unable to play physical instruments.

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In an article published by the interdisciplinary journal Music and Medicine, the concept of utilizing technology by incorporating computer-based applications in clinical settings is outlined. It is supported by the idea that these tools include the capacity to generate a boundless array of high-quality musical sounds, facilitating the expression of identity in countless matters.

The article continues to say that, “The clinical benefits of using composition software with adolescents with behavioral disorders include developing social skills, group decision-making, and learning development. Technology used with people with complex needs typically uses alternative input devices…to access music software or other MIDI devices. This enables active participation in music-making for clients whose physical disabilities prevent playing acoustic instruments.”

In a second article published by Music and Medicine, specific examples where technology in music therapy have been utilized to assist clients have included aiding in pain management and anxiety.

Electronic music therapy has the potential to play a significant role in the reduction of pain through simulated programs such as music composing. Such programs require a patient’s complete focus, which dually demands the brain to attend to sensory needs rather than pain.

The expression of anxiety can be alternately channeled into a positive experience through the use of music technology. This is possible through a patient choosing different loops of music that reflect the thoughts an emotions that the are unable to communicate.

Overall, the incorporation of much technology into music therapy has broadened the possibilities of the field of therapy as a whole. Electronics have allowed those unable to utilize physical instruments to experience the the therapeutic benefits of music. With the world of electronics continuing to grow and advance, the future of technology in music therapy looks bright.

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NAMM 2016 Rumors & Speculation

Mmmmaven NAMM 2016 rumorsWith little over a week to go before NAMM 2016, Dan White over at DJ Tech Tools has all the rumors about what new gear we can expect to be revealed at the world-renowned convention, including offerings from Pioneer DJ, Denon DJ, Richie Hawtin, and more.

DJs are speculating that we will see new hardware from Pioneer, as many feel as though their classic mixers and media players such as the DJM-900 NXS and CDJ-2000 NXS are starting to become a little outdated. In addition to rumors a while back about a new DJM mixer, DJ Tech Tools is predicting Pioneer will release a new media player, which they think will be called the “XDJ-2000”.

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In addition to the possibility of new gear from Pioneer, Denon DJ, longtime competitor to Pioneer, has released a teaser video that is nothing short of cryptic.

Weird, but since Denon was bought by the InMusic group a while back, many have been yearning to see where the new ownership will take the brand.

Hercules DJ also appears poised to get in on the action, releasing a teaser video for what could be a new Jogwheel-Free DJ controller.

We also have the possibility of a new DJ product from Richie Hawtin, who hinted at an early 2016 product release in a recent, somewhat mysterious Instagram post.

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For more on release rumors and speculations, head on over to DJ Tech Tools.

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