Laptop Studio — Music software reviews, news and info for computer music

Same Day Music

11 September 2005

Beautiful Erasure remix interface

Filed under: Making music andWeb sites at 8:52 pm Comments Off on Beautiful Erasure remix interface

Here’s a fantastic interface for remixing a track. The pop group Erasure has put a version of their recent single Don’t Say You Love Me on the web in a remixable form. The interface is quite lovely — it reminds me of the fabulous Electroplankton music game on the Nintendo DS. The track is represented as a tree, with groups of leaves representing musical qualities like Warmth, Emotion, Heartbeats, Tears and so on. Click a leaf in each group to determine how to play each quality — so you can have Emotion “a la folie” and Skin “beaucoup” and change it on the fly as the track plays. Click the bird to randomise the settings and use this as a starting point to make your own mix.

Once you’ve got the song just how you like it, you can even pay some money and download your personal mix of the song, with customised artwork to match. Whether you choose this or not, it’s a really nice interface — I like the emphasis on high-level qualities like “warmth” rather than boring technicalities like “reverb” or “panning”.

2 September 2005

The ReBirth Museum

Filed under: Music software andWeb sites at 2:46 pm (1 comment)

The ReBirth Museum is an online homage to one of the great music software products. Propellerhead Software have discontinued ReBirth, created this website shrine to its brilliance, and — here’s the nice bit — made the software freely available from the site.

ReBirth was a landmark product in the history of software instruments. It was a perfect emulation of three classic Roland synth modules: the TB303 Bass Line and the TR808 and (on later versions) TR909 Rhythm Composers, as heard on thousands of records over the last 20 years. ReBirth was a huge success and made Propellerhead Software famous, and Reason followed in ReBirth’s wake. Now you can learn more than you ever really needed to know about ReBirth, and also get a copy for yourself.

The ReBirth Museum now has the software itself, modifications for it, forums, and thousands of downloadable songs for you to play with. At the time, the buzz was immense — as it says on the website, the whole “hardware-in-software” concept was quite futuristic a little while ago: “Propellerhead Software’s ReBirth RB-338 pioneered a new era of music instrumentation that merged the principles of “virtual reality” with historic synthesizers and drum machines. This concept seemed impossible at the time, but has since become a common trend in music software. Since its introduction in 1997, ReBirth has influenced numerous companies to take advantage of contemporary technology by incorporating computer simulation into the latest generation of products.”

8 July 2005

Remix Fight

Filed under: Web sites at 4:32 pm Comments Off on Remix Fight

Remix Fight is an online community that has bi-monthly remix competitions. Download a track in the form of a bunch of loops, remix it and submit your remix for judging by the community.

This is a great source of new tracks to practise your mixing skillz on. For best results, don’t listen to anybody else’s mix or ideas until you’ve finished your own. Then listen to all the other entries and think about how they approached their mix.

From the website:

How do I enter a competition?

To enter, visit the upcoming fights page ( and download the loops provided there, make a remix using whatever means you have at your disposal (see remixing resources if you have none), and then e-mail an mp3 of it to with your artist name, artist website (if you’ve got one), mix title, and a short blurb about your mix.