The Lumi by Roli is a small keyboard controller with LED feedback. The Lumi is a product designed to teach you how to play piano by lighting up what keys to play. To take full advantage of the Lumi experience, customers are encouraged to sign up to a ongoing subscription service of lesson content.

Roli Lumi

I’m not interested in using this product for the purpose it is designed for, but I feel there is a lot of potential for controllers with LED feedback. …


“You won’t be that flexible when you’re 50.”

From the tone of my partner’s voice, there was a note of disgust, as if I had just cheated. I didn’t have any idea what he was talking about, but I assumed it had something to do with the previous movement that enabled me to escape to my guard.

I practice Brazilian jiu jitsu; an athletic activity that I came to very late in life. Flexibility is valued in BJJ, but I dislike the term in this context because flexibility implies something that can be attained through stretching. That’s not what is…


I’m not really sure what qualifies for ‘modeling’ these days. There is no governing body that manages what you’re allowed to called ‘modeled’. ‘Model’ implies physical modeling, and so we think of strike and excitation/impulse generators fed into a resonant network. But ‘model’ could simply mean a broad category of macro oscillators that ‘model’ a specifc useful configuration. Let’s take a look at four digital modules that generate useful timbres outside of the traditional oscillator group.

Mutable Instruments Elements The Mutable Instruments Elements is best thought of as two modules: an exciter source that can be configured and continuously manipulated…


Like many others, I use Zoom to replace what I previously did in person, on campus, in a lab. As the Fall semester begins, I wanted to address the following concerns:

  • I want to see all of my students on one big screen, all the time.
  • I want to see what my students see at all times.
  • I want to firewall my laptop from the streaming process.
  • I want physical buttons to switch among video sources.
  • I want to spend as little money as possible because any purchases are coming out of my pocket.

My solution to these challenges was…


I designed my modular to be used with a computer. At times, it feels like I’m in the minority in this regard. Many people seek refuge from their computer when they turn to their modular. I don’t personally experience computer fatigue, and I’m loathe to give up the capabilities it adds to my modular, particularly in the meso and macrostructural domains. A large part of my modular practice is informed from the traditional methods of creating a complex arrangement through multi tracking, and my computer fulfills the role of recorder, editor and mixer.

Given my modular+computer design focus, certain functions…


I have several sets of bags and panniers I use depending on the weather and what I need to pack.

Axiom Seymour DLX 45 Pannier Set, Chome Metropolis Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Pannier Set, Chrome Citizen

These bags are basically one large container which is what I prefer because my needs change on a daily basis.

This is my new favorite thing. It’s SMRITI Canvas Large Makeup Bag Pouch Purse Handbag Organizer with Zipper

My wife saw it and was like, “oh, a makeup bag”


The mc object wrapper included with Max 8 is one of the most exciting developments in the field of audio software and synthesis since… I can’t even think of a suitable comparison. Maybe since the initial release of MSP or Native Instruments Generator. However, when MaxMSP was released, my computer wasn’t really up to the task of native digital audio and I didn’t get a chance to hop on the Reaktor train until version 4, so maybe the cycles of my own life are coloring how excited I am about this development.

Bluetooth connection to laptop

Polyphony was possible in Max before via the…


Quite often manufacturers come to our department seeking some variation of ‘partnership’. They want to put their gear in the hands of our students because they know this practice feeds adoption. (psst: putting gear in the hands of professors also is a great idea! If I like your product, I will evangelize it!) Sometimes gear gets installed in our labs. Sometimes gear gets placed in our equipment room for check out. The most precious commodity at Berklee is real estate, and there is only so much space we have available in the equipment room. …


Around this time of year, I usually get one recent graduate having an existential crisis about what to do next. I’m still on my own journey, but I can offer a few observations.

Don’t weigh yourself down with things After I got my undergraduate degree in 1992, I carried a lot of heavy things. Media, mainly — books, CDs, tapes. Lots of gear as well. Media is now weightless since all of those things can now be comfortably represented as data. These days, I don’t need as much gear. A laptop computer covers 80% of what I truly depend on…


GridControl is a simple utility that allows monome grid owners to use their grid to control parameters in Ableton Live.

A button double tap will immediately set the parameter to that value. A hold-press on the top half of the grid will raise the value like a fader. A hold-press on the bottom half of the grid will lower the value like a fader. Any parameter in Ableton Live can be mapped.

Available in the Gridlab suite available at my github.

https://youtu.be/QtDLF5ZbPXY

stretta

Associate Professor, Electronic Production and Design, Berklee College of Music Opinions: my own

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