microsoft produces cheesy music software, hilarious infomercial

January 10th, 2009

Wow. I find it hard to believe that someone produced this with a straight face.

So you can make incredibly cheesy songs with little effort. I’m thinking I should have a contest–make up a song about your favorite type of cheese, perhaps, send it in. I post top entries, people vote and the winner gets a prize. Yes? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do it.

Download a free trial (if you want to produce this century’s Casio-demo-mode hits).


Update: Wow, mrzarquon at Mefi music ran David Lee Roth’s isolated vocal track on “Running with the Devil” through Songsmith. The results are unbelievable. You can’t understand till you listen.

open source stompbox is very cool, expensive

August 27th, 2008

product image from

Open source hits music geekdom! A guy by the name of Eric Moyer has developed a digital effects pedal, the OpenStomp Coyote-1, that has open source software and documented hardware. Users can make their own patches or combine patches into effects or just download effects others made.

I think this is a really cool idea and it would be cool if more things like this were developed. There are a couple drawbacks: 1) The price tag of $350 is understandable for a small-run production like this is, but it’s a big barrier to entry. 2) As with any open source project, the value of it can depend highly on the quality of the community writing for it. Given the price tag, I would be afraid that the number of people in that community could be too small to make this project great.

The Coyote-1 is available for order now.

this instrument is my new favorite: balloon organ

November 10th, 2007

This instrument is totally awesome and it was even made in the Bay Area (Berkeley, of course) by Fran Holland. It sounds great and it’s fairly simple. It sounds like bagpipes, a lot more like uilleann pipes, which are bellows-blown and have bendable pitch, than the more common great highland sort.

The host, Addi, was also, apparently a DJ at the station down the road from mine and is the guy in that balloon hat movie (and

(via so many places: gizmodo, boing boing, my friend Colin, KZSU mailing lists)

now this is actually kind of cool

August 30th, 2007

image source: china vision

If someone just put an mp3 player into a cassette tape box, I’d probably make fun of it. If someone made it look like a cassette tape, that’d be a bit cooler.

Now, if that cassette tape mp3 player could both stand alone and be played in a regular cassette deck? Now that’s cool. That’s what you have with the Cassette MP3 Player.

I don’t know what your set up is, but in my car (where I have my only cassette player these days), I have one of those cassette adapters which is sort of annoying but usually functional. What would be cool would be to just take your mp3 player and stick it into the slot. No wires hanging out[1] or anything like that.

Also cool about the Cassette MP3 Player is:

  • Accepts SD cards as memory, making it pretty cheap to make a 2GB or 4GB player (I have 2GB cards just lying around)
  • cheap: $22! (without memory)

[1] You could, of course, hook up an ipod hook up cable to the back of your stereo and run the wire through the dashboard in a sort of slick manner.