I've been thinking about how audiences can interact with a performing electronic musician. Since everyone has a phone with a browser these days, I thought it would be cool if audience members could connect to a wireless network and trigger loops from my laptop. It took a short time to put together and I would call it a prototype. The final system ended up being Browser -> Apache/PHP -> OSCulator -> Ableton Live . I imagine that with the power of MAX for Live, you could get rid of the OSCulator part and just accept OSC messages straight from the PHP script.
I've never been much of a hip hop producer. I've never had an MPC or used samples very often. I've done a bit of sample chopping, but it's typically been my own performances, chopped up and rearranged. I've tried to make hip-hop from scratch and hopefully those compositions did offend anyone with the label of 'hip hop'. I've always felt that something is missing in my track - maybe what is missing is 'the sample'. Not just a drum hit, but samples of dense, textured and rich sounds from the mid to late 1900's.
I did a silly thing the other day. I upgraded to Lion - the first release of an operating system update. I'm a user of Logic, Native Instruments, Aalto and a few other plugins. My brain said no, but my nerdy right hand said "yes, buy, OK, confirm, yes". Don't do it without a backup. You've been warned. Audio plugins and programs are notorious for breaking on x.0 revisions.
The past few weeks, in my spare time, I've been playing with a software synthesizer called the Aalto, from Madrona Labs. It's modeled after a Buchla synthesizer, which is probably out of the price range for most of us. The Aalto is $100 USD, which is reasonable for the rich and textured sound this software creates. It's modeled after a modular synth, but it's not fully modular - it's hardwired at certain points, but you still have the patching and tweaking of a modular.