Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sorry for the Crazy Posting Situation


For those of you readers who subscribe to our podcast or RSS feed, you may have noticed some crazy posts coming back to the top of your reader while they haven't on the site.

I have to apologize for that. I was experimenting with the podcast feed and refreshed some older posts with mp3 links in them. Consequently about seven new podcasts have been added to the podcast feed. They all appear as today's date however, and not as the date the post was originally made. Sorry for any of the confusion this may have caused, but at least everyone has more access to some mp3's. They should hopefully keep your iPods full for a few weeks.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Midi Tutorial Part 5: Sequencer to Sequencer Syncing


Note: The following article is a general outline to introduce readers to the general concepts and methods behind setting up midi. The specific details of how to setup a midi keyboard with your computer will vary depending upon the hardware and software that you use.

Sequencer --> Sequencer Syncing (using midi master/slave) This process applies to both hardware and software syncing and also includes synths (groove boxes), which contain internal synths.

1. If you want to setup multiple sequencers and have them link and trigger together you must use the master and slave option in your sequencers. If you prefer to use one sequencer and simply control the sounds of another one set up your synths the same way as you do with a hardware synth or sound module.

2. To setup up multiple sequencers you first must decide which one you want to use as your primary sequencer. This is the one which will control all other midi devices using a midi system known as master and slave. The ideology is fairly straight forward the master controls all the slave modules and all the other synths and sequencers will follow its commands.

3. This setup process is actually very simple to do. First after you decide which sequencer you want as your primary sequencer you must then go to its midi options settings. There you want too look for either the midi clock settings or for the midi master/slave settings. After you find them you want to set the midi clock for the master sequencer to either “master” or to “internal”. Different companies use different terms. This means that the tempo, start and stop information comes from this sequencer internally and it will listen only to itself.

4. After you have connected your other groove boxes are sequencers with the proper midi cable connections you then what to go to their own respective midi options screens. For setting up midi slave and master controls you do not need to worry about which midi channels the synths are on. It does not matter in this case unless you plan to control all of the synths using a single midi keyboard. In that case you must set a different midi channel for each synth. Then run the midi keyboard to the midi in on your master sequencer.

5. After you have connected all of your synths, go to their internal midi options screens. From there you want to find the midi clock section or the midi options sections much the same way you did for your master sequencer. In these settings you want to the midi clock to “slave” or “external”.

6. After this is done you should be set. Now when you press play or change the tempo on your master sequencer the other synths and sequencers will sync up to the same tempo and play with the master one.

Tips on using multiple sequencers
When you press play on your master sequencer all of your other sequencers will automatically play as well. This is important for live playing or for recording. If you do not want their patterns to play right away you will need to mute them or arrange your patterns in such a way that they play later in the song. Also if the master sequencer is playing then you cannot change the tempo of any of the slave modules, they only respond to the tempo of the master sequencer. If the master sequencer is stopped however then you can change the tempo individually of each slave sequencer.When syncing two software sequencers inside 1 computer some sequencers wont recognize another software sequencer as another midi device. When this is the case then you need to download a software midi clock or a midi yoke. If this is the case you will have to run this program as well as your two sequencers. For the midi clock settings (some sequencers only respond to midi in messages) in your sequencers you will have to set your sequencers both to slave to the midi yoke or clock. Then your tempo and start/stop commands will have to come from the midi yoke/clock program rather then one of your sequencers.To sync two soft sequencers on two computers u can do the same process and use an usb cable to send the midi clock messages to the other sequencer. The specific information on sending midi data through usb to sync up sequencers varies depending on the midi clock/yoke you are using.Another method is to use a hardware sequencer as a master sequencer, then using a midi interface slave the two software sequencers to it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Environmental Sound Collapse: Live Video with Nanoloop


Here is a live video of artist Sound Collapse performing with a Nanoloop and a Nintendo Gameboy live. The video is an .WMV file.

.:Environmental Sound Collapse Live Video:.

Check out his homepage at

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Serious-Sounds Samplepack: Hard and Bouncy


.:Serious-Sounds Samplepack: Hard and Bouncy:.

Ok this is the last self promotional thread for, but I thought a nice Christmas present to all would be the release of the sample pack that has 100% royalty free wav files. Yep. take it and download it. Eat it up.

This samplepack is features "hard and bouncy" samples which should be perfect for all you dance livePA artists out there.

So Merry Christmas everyone, and while you are at it why not come check us out over at

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Decimal: Live 12-15-06 Chicago Underground


.:Decimal: Live 12-15-06 Chicago Underground:.

This is a minimal techno set from Chicago's Decimal.

On 12-15 I ripped up one of Chicago's No Affiliation underground events, a joint normally popping with uberhip minimal techno, with some more oldschool techno flavor. Instead of working improvisationally on all hardware, this time i chose to generate most of the material and live tools on a computer and really trying to dig in to more sophisticated production.

Be sure to check out the artist's homepage at

Thursday, December 21, 2006 Gets a Make Over


There are plenty of music production communities out on the net, but I have to do a little self promotion here and post some information about one of them that I am a moderator for. is an awesome music production community that is run by Xe-cute and the site has just recently had a complete make over making all of the articles and tutorials much easier to access.

If your looking for a music community to become involved in I highly encourage you to check out. It is an extremely friendly crew and the members are extremely diverse ranging from new people to people who have had tracks signed, DJ's. LivePA artists and more. There is a little something for everyone, so I hope to see you there.

If you sign up I am the moderator sup909, so send me a PM.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

MAKE: Blog: HOW TO - Make your own DIY cables, XLR, TRS, studio cables


.:MAKE: Blog: HOW TO - Make your own DIY cables, XLR, TRS, studio cables:.

Make magazine blog has an article about how to make your own audio cables. The first link has a "how to" for XLR cables.

Monday, December 18, 2006



Wondering where you can download samples for FREE off of the internet, in most cases royalty and/or copyright free? Make sure to check on the site for the license rights.

Here's a few sites:§ion=2

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Low Rates LivePA in Copola Madrid 2006


Live set from artist Low Rates. This sounds iike a nice summer sounding Tech House set.

.:Low Rates LivePA in Copola Madrid 2006:.

Length: 55 min
Quality: 192 kbps

Original Link

Saturday, December 16, 2006

LivePA Blog is now Podcasting!!!!!


Well the LivePA blog nows has a podcast feed for all of the good and tasty media that we link to on the site. The podcast feed will feature all of the media including the livesets we link to, the recent .PDF files and more, so if your looking to get all of the latest liveset mp3's on your mp3 player then this is a link that you will most surely want to sign up for.

The following is the link to the feed:

I am currently updating the site to include this fee link on iTunes as well as to other podcast directories. If you just cannot wait to get it into iTunes then follow these steps to add it to your podcast directory.

Goto "Advanced" and then selected "Subscribe to Podcast..." and then just past the above feed link and your done!!!!!

I am in the process of also developing a once a month show where I will talk about all things livePA to accompany the various livesets and so forth that we post.

If anyone has any ideas for topics, or even what to call the show please let me know in the comments section.

Patrick DSP - Live Ballistics @ TechnoPride Studios, Brazil


This is a nice techno livePA set from Patrick DSP from sometime this december at TechnoPride Studios.

Unfortunately, I do not have any more information about the set other then what is provided.

.:Patrick DSP - Live Ballistics @ TechnoPride Studios, Brazil:.

Be sure to check out the artist's site for more music if you like this liveset at

Different Strokes: A Prototype Software System for Laptop Performance and Improvisation


One last academic article for everyone for the week. This article is from Mark Zadel and Gary Scavone from the Schulich School of Music, McGill University. This article sets forth to present to the reader the progress of laptop based performances and discusses some of the issues surrounding the perceived lack of active creation (doesn't that apply to all livePA?) and the visual aspects that a laptop brings to a performance.

.:Different Strokes: A Prototype Software System for Laptop Performance and Improvisation:.

WARNING: The linked file is a .PDF file.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sarah Goldfarb-Loops and Tracks Liveset


I found these two liveset links online from female livePA artist Sarah Goldfarb. Unfortunatly I have not been able to find any more information about her as an artist online. The information is few and far between. It seems the best I could do is find her info at .:Sarah Goldfarb:.

If anyone can provide some more detailed information please send it my way. The female presence in livePA is already scarce. It doesn't help when I can't find information on the artists that are out there. Anyways, enjoy these two live sets.

Note the sets are in Zip/Rar files.

.:Loops and Tracks:.

.:Loops and Tracks 2:.


Edit: Update, my apologies. It seems Sarah Goldfarb is indeed a male, not a female. Come one man, give us a good website.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Object of Performance: Aural Performativity in Contemporary Laptop Music


Continuing with the postings of highly academic .PDF articles about live performance, Caleb Stuart of the University of Canberra has written an interesting paper about the emergence of laptops for the use of modern performance.

There are some interesting arguments here that may get you thinking about which side of the fence you sit on for laptops and performance.

...we have not lost performativity but instead the audience needs to make a shift in their understanding of performance in the live
computer mediated digital audio environment from a visual focus to that of aural performativity. [The] music scene addressed here is experimental in nature and is followed by a small subculture. This sub-culture in the last few years has itself become comfortable with the nature of live performance and the computer as an instrument.

Warning: This is another .PDF file.

.:The Object of Performance: Aural Performativity in Contemporary Laptop Music:.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

DSP.Rack: Modular Software Environment Performance


Ok, this is not exactly what you are thinking it is. It is not a link to some great software for you to download. Instead it is a link to a paper written by William Kleinsasser at the Towson University Department of Music that discusses a modular environment using MAX/MSP for live work.

It is essentially an Abstract for a music programmers conference, but I think some of our readers might be interested in reading this in case they themselves would like to tackle the concept in MAX/MSP or Pure Data.

WARNING: The link is to a .PDF file.

.:Dsp.rack: Laptop-based Modular, Programmable Digital
Signal Processing and Mixing for Live Performance:.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

DEAD P.A. Live Video Clip


Here is a video clip of livePA artist Dead P.A. I don't have much more info beyond that, but I hope you like this clip

Friday, December 08, 2006

Looks like things are working again


Alright, it looks like I have things up and running smoothly again. A simple new template is up and it was pretty painless to implement, except for putting a banner image in there. Anyways, everything seems to be in order, I am just waiting for the last of the LivePA bloggers to switch over and we should be good to go.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Switched to new Blogger, Template a little Messed


Tonight we switched over to the new version of Blogger and it appears that the template for the page has become a little messed up. Try to bear with us on this as I try to fix it this weekend. I might as well take this opportunity to implement a new template for the page so hang on until we get some editing going.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Petertools Liveset 1.5


.:Petertools Liveset:.

Petertools Liveset is a collection of midi tools and software interfaces that are designed to allow the user realtime and live control over Propellerhead's Reason for live performances.

If you are a Reason user looking to take your software live then Liveset might be a great tool to help you get there.

LiveSet is a powerful and versatile realtime MIDI processor explicitly developed to enhance live performances. It provides the capabilities to control every detail of your live session, making it easier to setup and perform.
LiveSet processes MIDI signals coming form your on-stage gear, such as Master Keyboards or MIDI Control Surfaces, and route them to a ReWire-enabled software as well as external MIDI devices.

Framework features

• Virtually unlimited rack
• Resizable rack window
• User friendly connection cables
• Modules presets management
• Customizable Transport Bar with big display

MIDI features

• 2 independend MIDI inputs
• Selective MIDI Thru
• 2 independend transformation busses
• Key splitting with an up to single-key resolution
• MIDI Learn functionality for keys and controllers

Audio features

• ASIO 2.0 support
• Up to 32 audio channels
• Support for 32 to 96KHz
• Internal 32 bit processing


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blip Festival:


.:Blip Festival:.

Well I am sorry to say I am a bit late on this one, but if you happen to live in NYC then you can still catch the last few days of this festival.

The 1st ever Blip festival is is a musical and artistic showcase that has artists ranging from musical to video and more showcasing all sorts of artwork created using modified, DIY's and retro gear. There is an absolutely huge list of artists at this festival, doing mostly chiptune music as well as video circuit benders and more. It looks to be really cool, and is being sponsored by a whole bunch of great groups, including a few of my favorite: .:8-Bit Peoples:. and .:Makezine:.

If you can be sure to check out the website for some photos and media.

THE TANK and 8BITPEOPLES are pleased to present the Blip Festival, a four-day celebration of over 30 international artists exploring the untapped potential of low-bit videogame consoles and home computers used as creative tools. Familiar devices are pushed in new directions with startling results -- Nintendo Entertainment Systems and Game Boys roaring with futuristic floor-stomping rhythms and fist-waving melody, art-damaged Sega hardware generating fluctuating and abstracted video patterns -- and that's only the beginning. An exploration of the chiptune idiom and its close relatives, the Blip Festival is the biggest and most comprehensive event in the history of the form, and will include daily workshops, art installations, and nightly music performances boasting an international roster larger and more far-reaching than any previous event of its kind. Small sounds at large scales pushed to the limit at high volumes -- the Blip Festival is an unprecedented event that is not to be missed.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Create Digital Music: The Best, 100% Free Music Plug-ins - Just Add Host


.:Create Digital Music: The Best, 100% Free Music Plug-ins:.

Create Digital Music has posted a nice list of some great freeware vst plugins that they deem to be "must haves" for any system.

There are definitely some staples on there that I think compete the best commercial synths such as Synth1, Polyiblit, Drummatic, Karma and Crystal.

I was even surprised to find some very impressive synths that I have not heard about such as the ConreteFX Rock, or Highlife. It almost makes me want to switch back to Windows.......Almost.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

MAKE: Blog: 6-pack - Arduino-based controller for live audio/video performances


.:MAKE: Blog: 6-pack - Arduino-based controller for live audio/video performances:.

I found this little controller device over at the makezine blog. It is a kit and design instructions for a DIY controller that can be used for either audio or video performance.

"6-pack is an open-ended, highly customizable, and ultra-portable physical controller based on the Arduino board. 6-pack is an Arduino shield consisting of 6 linear potentiometer sliders that can be assigned to different variables in the user's preferred software. It can be used to control a wide array of audio/video applications, from software synthesizers to HDJ systems. All, with a minimal footprint (3,5" x 2,5") and on the cheap (just a fraction of the cost of an equivalent MIDI interface). The project is open source. Schematics and source code included."

I honestly have no idea what that all means but seems like a fun project for the DIY'ers out there.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Quick Tip: Add yourself to


If you are looking for a quick and simple little way to increase promotion for yourself then head over to to create an account that catalogs your releases and artist bio.

For those who don't know Discogs is a user created database for music that helps to catalog artists, music, labels and more and cross reference all of the information for indexing and searching. I like to think of it as the Wikipedia for music. While you are there, be sure to to try to add information for other artists that you might know or like who are missing information


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Nice tutorial on sound synthesis @


Stumbled across this tutorial on the basics of sound synthesis while helping a n00b friend of mine lock in the fundamentals of making electronic music. Quite handy for those of you who missed the first day of class, or just need a quick readthrough to refresh one's memory. Subjects covered include the nature of sound, different waveforms, and what some of that pretentious synth lingo means.

For those who are above that level, there's a good one on compression techniques, too.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Gauss Control: Liveset September 2006


Well I hope everyone had a fantastic thanksgiving. I know I did.

Lets get out Holiday season kicked off with a nice housey liveset recording from Gauss Control that was recorded sometime back in September.

.:Gauss Control Live:.

Tracklisting and more information can be found via


Monday, November 20, 2006

Absolutely Essential


Is it really essential that you "GET SIGNED" by a label?

Personally I don't think so. Let's face it, we live in the age of individual empowerment. The old adage is coming true where we're all getting our 15 minutes (C'mon, make a funny video and post to YouTube and you'll blow up like crazy). Some guy with a camera phone can have his clip be more popular than something made with a budget 10000000x higher than that (especially if it's a tazer video, man those things are hilarious)!

Think of the plusses and minuses of getting signed. They'll help a great deal with contacts and promotion, but also take a huge cut of any money brought in through sales (last offer I was made was 8% of 90% of sales, which is actually pretty good, however we just couldn't work out the details so negotiations stalled). A decent deal will probably get you around $1-1.50 per CD sold (at about $15-20 per CD). Meanwhile if you do it yourself you set the price wherever you want it and anything after the pressing cost is in your pocket directly. Also a lot of getting signed is compromising. You won't be their only act, probably not even top 10 on their list of acts to promote unless you're really well established.

What is for sure though, is that if you decide to do it independently you'll need to be serious about promoting yourself and give yourself the best opportunities you can. I'd seriously and strongly suggest you get The Indie Bible. It is hands-down the best book out there full of contacts that are willing to deal with independent artists, from radio stations to webcasts to magazine reviewers to websites that host music, etc etc etc.

Whether you decide to go with a hunt for a label to fit with you and your project, or do everything independently, be realistic about your goals with your music project. Set a plan up for yourself with goals! Find ways to attain those goals. It's the best way to work - setting daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and five-year goals is the best way to run your hobby/project like an honest business.

.:Digital Geist Online:.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Something to Think About


To buy or not to buy? With a studio-grade workstation computer, you might notice that prices of duo- and quadcore processor computers are dropping recently. Well, not for Macs, but Windows PC users might have noticed. If you are like me, you've had your eyes them.... I've planned on upgrading to a Mac Pro over the last few months. Well news has been coming out that a new Octocore processor will soon be available for Apple's Mac Pro line. Click here for an article. Right now, for producing music, a decent quadcore processor with around 2gb of RAM should be sufficient for most situations. If you really want to turn it into a workhorse, 4GB will make your machine unstoppable.

I'm a Cubase user, and over on their forums I came across a great conversation regarding the max amount of RAM that an application can access. That's something to think about as well when considering the expense of high-end workstations. Unless you do serious video/rendering work, getting an insane amount of RAM won't really impact performance....but of course, how many of us can really afford to have too much RAM?

.:Digital Geist Online:.


Cheap Plug


Digital Geist Online

I'm taking a moment to plug myself here, this album has been not only a huge investment of time, work and money but also the culmination of over a year's worth of work. For $10, you really can't beat it.

Digital Geist - The Zero Engine
Samples of the music on
$10US, shipping included.
First 50 orders receive a free bumper sticker!

1. Earworm (No Light Guides Us)
2. Phase I
3. Phase II
4. Someone Like Me
5. Mutually Assured Distortion
6. Red Techno
7. Circuit Crusher
8. Keep the Faith (featuring Christian K of Dharma Lab)
9. Segway
10. Someone Like Me (Front 242 Remix)
11. Red Techno (Neotek Remix)
12. Circuit Crusher (Timid Remix)

Also included in the CD is a link to a stockpile of extras including another Front 242 remix, unreleased tracks, rarities and more!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Choosing a Laptop for LivePA


Laptops these days have emerged to become the predominant weapon of choice for most livePA artists because of the relative flexibility over hardware and the general ease of setup for performing. It is hard to argue against a single piece of gear that is smaller and can do more sounds then the traditional hardware setup. With that in mind I think it is important to outline some considerations that new LivePA artists should consider when purchasing a laptop for LivePA.

1. Cheap meat is not good and good meat is not cheap
Choosing the right laptop for your setup can be a fairly complex process depending on the type of person you are and the work that you plan on doing with your laptop. As a general rule of thumb I have two broad concepts that I think should be applied to the purchase of a laptop.

The first concept is that you get what you pay for. The butcher down the street from me has a great sign in her butcher shop that states; “Cheap meat is not good and good meat is not cheap.” I think this message really applies to this particular case.

There are generally a few computer companies that are regarded as producing high quality laptops. Sony, Toshiba, Apple and Acer consistently get very high reviews on their laptop build qualities and often times feature better design, components and case structure then cheaper counterparts.

These higher end laptops oftentimes have better hardware features that are important for a live performance laptop. Most important of these features are probably more input/output options, firewire 800, dedicated video memory and pcmcia slots.

It is my opinion to generally stay away from most budget laptops from companies like Dell or HP. Now that does not mean that these companies do not make good laptops, but I am suggesting that the $400 budget laptop is not going to get you as far as a better laptop might. That $400 cost is often times subsided by the pre-installation of all sorts of demo software and poor customer support from the manufacturer.

On the flip side I am not saying that you need to spend $3,000 on a laptop. Computer technology improves at an amazing rate. Today's consumer line Apple Macbooks are actually more powerful then the Pro line Apple Powerbooks of just over a year ago. From this you can get an extremely powerful laptop for approximately $1,500.

2. Memory: As much as you can afford
When you are shopping for your laptop you need to keep in mind that you will be doing some pretty intensive computing tasks on your computer. Memory, Harddrive space and video are going to be issues that you need to think about. I would suggest trying to get the maximum amount of memory and hard drive space that your person budget can afford. Most laptops these days can support up to 2GB of RAM memory. If you spend anything at all on your laptop, try to max out your RAM because it is RAM that is generally in use during a performance with your samples and software plugins.

I personally suggest never purchasing memory from the hardware manufacturer because they mark up the price considerably. Instead look at a site like where you can purchase laptop memory for nearly half the price of what most manufacturers charge.

The hard drive is issue that many laptop musicians disagree on. Some prefer to use an external hard drive for the storage of their information while others simply use the internal hard drive. When you are getting a hard drive try to make sure that the hard drive is 7200 rpm. This higher speed hard drive will ensure that your computer can stream that audio information fast enough for your live performance set.

Those artists who purchase an external generally do so with two justifications. First, you often have more flexibility in purchasing the hard drive size that you want and can also take the hard drive to work on different computer workstations. Second the external harddrives are presumed to be much more durable then the internal laptop computers.

3. You will need to purchase a soundcard
I include sound card in this analysis generally have very poor built in soundcards and also feature only 1/8” outputs. So the purchase of a laptop for performance almost inevitably will feature the purchase of a sound card. The purchase of the sound card is largely up to you as the user, but keep this in mind. As I mentioned in the first point of this article, spending a little but more on a laptop will often get you some more important features. These features can include something important such as Firewire 800 or a PCIMA slot. Having features such as these will allow you with greater flexibility in the long run when choosing a sound card for your performance.

4. Operating System
Now this is not meant to be a debate on which OS is better. Whatever operating system you choose is ultimately your choice, but there are some issues to consider regarding the operating system.

Most of the popular software platforms that are used in live performance such as Ableton Live, Reason and MAX/MSP run on both Windows and OSX, and for the most part they run exactly the same in each environment. That being said however, there are other tools out there that are perfectly capable for live use that exist for only one operating system. .:Impromptu:., .:Devine Machine:. , and .:Brainspwn Forte:. are prime examples.

The one big issue that you as a performer should be aware of at this point in time regarding operating systems is that the new version of Windows, Windows Vista is going to be released within the next six months. This new operating system is a major change in the Windows operating world and the release of this new operating system could present major issues or problems to the computer in regards to stability, longevity and features. Be aware that many of the computers

5. Keep it to LivePA
This last point is just summation point that I think people need to consider. The laptop for your LivePA should should be reserved for just LivePA. You should not be writing your papers on it, doing your taxes or storing your photo library. It is this author's opinion that there should be your operating system, your tools and that is about it on this system. When you are performing there is nothing more important then the stability of the computer that is on stage with you. Purchase your software and don't use warez. Don't surf the Internet and open yourself up to risks with this laptop. The worst possible thing that could possibly happen is your laptop crashing on stage leaving you in silence.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Article: MP3s Are Not The Devil-- Orson Scott Card gives the straight shit on copyrights vs. the MP3 tidal wave.


This article by author Orson Scott Card, originally published in a North Carolina print newspaper three years ago, takes a scathing and critical look at an issue that affects not just electronica musicians, but musicians in general across the country, and will continue to for some years: the music industry's knee-jerk whining, spearheaded by yapping has-beens like Metallica and other corporate puppets, about people "stealing" music on the internet. While slightly outdated, Card's main points remain relevant, and emphasize the real issue at hand-- the fact that every time new recording media technology emerges, the old status quo convulses in violently greedy spasms over the idea that someone, somewhere, might have just made them obsolete.

It also raises a few very worthwhile arguments, such as the idea that the record industry's norm of forcing artists to sign away the rights to their work is immoral to begin with, which leads to poignant questions such as "can these people really say that artists are being hurt by online file sharing when the industry itself, when functioning in the traditional way championed by organisations like the RIAA, exploits them without mercy?" It also examines the backward reasoning of those "profit loss" estimates we all hear about, the unequal relationship between heavy handed punishments and the actual severity of the crime of copyright infringement as it relates to online music sharing, the idea that online file sharing could actually be GOOD for the industry, and the idea that the people who are doing it most (high school and college aged youth) are the traditionally targeted age group of the Pop Music Machine, and also the demographic with the least money.

Give it a read, dammit, and see how things really break down.


Less is SOOO much more


One thing that amazes me when I see Live-PA artists that are just starting out is the variance in gear. Yeah it's amazing to see somebody that knows what they're doing use $10,000 worth of equipment with miles of cabling and power supplies everywhere, effect units up the arse and a full-blown orchestra of analog and digital whatnots; but you have only two hands and two legs. The point is to keep it live, I understand, but don't go overboard especially for your first few gigs. To use the old saying, practice the "K.I.S.S." method: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID!

I learned this myself the hard way. After a few amazing shows I decided to add a 16-channel mixer and bring a synth, effect unit (in a big rack) and MIDI controller (M-Audio Axiom 25). The result? Loads more setup/takedown time, a botched set spent worrying if I'm using this or that enough, the impossibility of mixing it all with my partner's stuff and keeping it even, and in short just a big FUBAR episode. Sure, I could give a gearhead a techno boner when I showed them my Virus TI in the rack, but without an hour to soundcheck everything properly it was a headache (not to mention worrying about that expensive equipment during the rest of the night).

This picture was taken on 10/28/06:

Take a close look. One instrument, two outputs. (If you include my buddy Quailman, that's two instruments, four outputs) Of course nobody's gear needs are the same, but we sounded essentially the same as if I had brought all the instruments in my studio with me. I took my time and found ways to simplify the live set.

What I'm getting at is this: Ask yourself when you're getting ready what you need. You'll thank yourself later on after a quick load in/load out, stress free setup and easy set. You are performing but you need to keep things moving quickly for the poor promoter that was nice enough to put you on the bill. Look at the sound tech's face when you tell him you're only sending him a left and right output instead of 16 individual sends....he'll practically get on his knees and thank you! Not to mention the DJs at the tables have a job to do and it's distracting to have somebody running around them when it's their time. ;)

Also another piece of good advice is to make a checklist of everything you need along with a schedule of what you're doing. Know how long it will take to you set up and take down, and have an extra cable lying around in case you have a problem. Sounds easy, right?


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Video: The History of the Amen Break


This is a short video by a clever bloke named Nick Harrison. It covers, from a few select perspectives, the history of the Amen breakbeat-- for those in the back, that's the single drumloop from which DnB seemed to spring, that one you hear fucking everywhere. It's by no means authoritative or comprehensive, but it covers a lot of issues, particularly historical events surrounding the growth of electronica into its current place in our culture, and the issue of sampling vs. copyright. It's an interesting couple of minutes. If you've seen it before, watch it again anyways.

After poking about his site a bit more, I found another for the TB303 that is worth a watch too.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Music thing: How to roll up your cables (properly!)


.:Music thing: How to roll up your cables (properly!):.

Here is a great article posted over at musicthing. How to role up your cables properly. If any of you are like me, that being a neat freak, you just can't stand messed up cables. Even if you aren't a neat freak and want to clean up your stage a little or perhaps speed up your tear down then learning how to roll up cables might be a good first step.


How to Take Care of Your Gear by Nermidi


The article below is a messageboard post from over at written by Nermidi. It is a small editorial that I liked ad might have some truth to it.

I know some of you are going through the menus, pushing those buttons at 300 miles an hour, and hitting those keys like a freaking punching bag and then you wonder why your gear crashes, malfunctions, and in the worst case scenario dies.

Just take into consideration that all the internal components and circuitry are working with help of electricity and all those pathways and chips convey electricity in the form of messages that are sent externally by the user. When all the works take place, I think that there is a certain amount of physical stress to the components and pathways that takes place at all times and I'd like to think that all the parts are made to sustain all the pressure that is asserted upon them, but all the modern technology doesn't make those parts perfect. How do we know for sure if the pattern and speed at which those messages travel do not effect circuitry, chips, ram, and all the places they go? For example, my CS [Command Station] would crash if there was too many track erase messages being sent through shift/erase shortcut. After very slowly realizing the cause of the crash I started working my way around it and then I realized that if I focus a bit more and do it the right way the first or second time I wouldn't worry about the erase button as much. Now that I am using erase button less often, and it hasn't crashed on me in a long time in comparison to crashing every time I used it before the change of a habit. Going through all that led me to change a lot of other aspects in the way I use gear and how effective I am.

A lot of gear that is made a few years back is slowly losing manufacturer's support or is being discontinued. Just take a E-mu stuff for example. Their products are very good and durable IMO, but what do you do if something that you have used for years and it has basically become an extension of yourself, all of a sudden won't boot? You can either try to fix it, get another one or adjust to something else. Either way the options would be hard to pull of especially with discontinued gear. Although going through all that could be a good challenge why not relax and focus to become more effective and direct your creative energy towards what really matters. That way you can take a lot of pressure off your tools and make them last until you (Emphasis added) are ready to replace it.

One advice I could give is don't make one unit do all work. Too much polyphony can kill. Dedicate one unit to a specific task or disperse the parts as equally as possible.

Interesting thought don't you think? I had to edit the article for some spelling mistakes because I think he was wasted when he wrote it, but it begs one to think for a moment about the way we use our gear and our long term processes. Does taking a little extra time now to plan think about your music save yourself not only time, but your gear? We all know how attached we can become and what are you going to do five or ten years from now if that favorite synth of yours crashes with years worth of work in it?


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Last Orbital Performance: July 28th, 2004 Maida Vale Studios: BBC Radio 1


As promised (albeit late) I have finally posted the special treat I had. It is the very last liveset of Orbital recorded on Radio 1 in July 2004. As far as I know this is not online anywhere else. I have even spliced in the additional encore track that was not broadcast on the radio.

I hope everyone enjoys this. The track unfortunately is not a direct mp3 link. It is hosted on

.:Orbital- July 28th, 2004 Maida Vale Studios, London:.

Here is the set list. Enjoy.
The Girl With The Sun In Her Head
You Lot
The Box
Halcyon (Belinda Carlisle/Bon Jovi/The Darkness)
One Perfect Sunrise
Dr Who
Remind (encore)


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Live demo recording!


+ Economicon 3:16 +

This is a recording of me busting out a live track in one single go-- literally just press record and let it fly, without prettying it up in Ableton later like a shivering wuss. It came after a long day of testing out my newest piece of gear, a Korg Electribe ER-1mkII. The new Electribe is the instrument responsible for all the weird bleeping noises, and a large part of the percussion. This track also features an Electribe ES-1, the enduring Juno 106 (feel the basssss), a Roland V-series mixer (w/FX), and a Yamaha RM1x. The Electibe ES--1 is threaded through the ER-1MKII's 'audio in', and the RM1X is, of course, the live sequencer. The original patterns were all sequenced on an Atari 1040 computer using Notator SL midi software. Audio recorded/encoded using Cubase SX.

In terms of style it's something chitinous and insectile like Autechre picking at the scabs of a grimy kind of drum-n-bass; minimalism vs. the merciless urban scream. It's not meant to be anything like a song, just me road testing some interesting gear. Also, nobody really needs to critique the structure or the mixing , I'm aware that both are bit weird.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Orbital Live in San Francisco 1999


Liveset from Orbital way back in 1999. Unfortunatly the file is hosted at so I cannot directly link to the mp3.

.:Orbital Live 1999 Mp3:. via


Monday, October 23, 2006

Daft Punk Live Videos


Youtube and have a whole bunch of videos with Live Daft Punk videos. Check them out.

.:Daft Punk Videos @

.:Daft Punk @


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Steph Live @ AK 44


Liveset from artist Steph featuring a stripped back style of techno.

.:Steph Live @ AK 44:.

It was recorded at Christian Schacta's (Syntax Error) label release party for Feinwerk #10 at the AK 44 Club. It's very much in line with his Null Records EP. The same ultra clean, bass and glitch Techno full of edits and weird rhythms. It's very upbeat stuff and has a touch more synth work than I remember in his last set. All in all a very good live set once again.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Need Help From You to Post a Liveset


So I have a very special recorded liveset of a very special group (to my heart) sitting on a minidisc right beside me. As far as I know this liveset is not anywhere online and I would love to upload it somewhere. The problem is it was recorded off of BBC radio a couple of years back so I am not sure if I can post it up to or because of broadcasting issues.

If anyone has as suggestion as to where I might be able to upload this liveset please let me know. Preferably I would like to be able to directly link the mp3 file so I would like to avoid sites like Megaupload if possible.


Lindstrom Liveset


Liveset from artist Lindstrom. This is a laptop liveset that has a sort of housey feel to it. The set is pretty crisp, perhaps too crisp for my personal liking but pretty good.

.:Lindstrom Liveset:.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cubase 4



So I haven't had much time to screw around with it (because I had to go through some aggravating copy protection/license updating so that I can continue to use Cubase SX3 AND Cubase 4), but here's my initial analysis of the latest version of Cubase 4: I like it. I'll warm up to it over time, and when I finally do get that faster computer I'll probably be in love with it. The GUI itself is SOOOOOOOOO much better.

There's one glaring bug, and that's the dreaded preset crash: Load up a 3rd party VSTi, and click where the preset bank should be. It crashes Cubase 4. :o( So long as you can navigate to it without that option, you're OK. Otherwise, your VSTi is garbage now (at least until this is fixed/worked around). I tried this with Absynth 3 and it crashed C4. However normal loading in both that and the Virus Control plugin worked fine through the usual GUI.

One really great thing that's been touted about C4 is the revision of the EQ system. And holy shit did they overhaul it. It actually looks like (and after my brief test, sounds like) a REAL EQ this time around. For starters there's the 10-band EQ, and then the more impressive 30-band EQ.

But after that, there's what looks like an even more impressive, in-depth EQ module with TONS of presets for beginners and versatility for the experienced studio pro.

Moving on from that, there's the new included softsynth - Halion One. It's a sample-based instrument but it comes with LOADS of presets as well and they seem to sound on par with any other. Anybody with Kontakt would probably use that instead...

Other instruments included are Mystic (a kind of crappy general-purpose synth, nothing new here), Prologue (a MUCH better sounding synth) and Spector (kind of an Absynth wannabe...though there are very cool sounds), which all seem really promising....and if they stink, at least they look damn cool...

And finally there's obvious revisions to the mixer and even my old favorite, the VSTDynamics plugin. Little things like a new GUI work for me...but what makes the VSTDynamics appealing is FINALLY THE SIDECHAINING OPTION.

But that doesn't mean that I'm totally sold on it yet, even after paying for the upgrade (it's only been about 6 hours of tinkering!). My final judgement comes when I use this monster on a high-end system later this year....

UPDATE: Fixed display problem with images. Added Tags. M.A.S.


The Trials of a Non-EDM LivePA


LivePA artists have it tough of enough in this world, trying to battle DJ's, stupid fans, and spilled beer. Those few artists out there though who try to do livePA that is not dance music have it even harder then the rest of the PAs around. I myself am one of those non-EDM livePA artists who has struggled tying to find places to perform and people to listen to me. It seems that the electronic music world is completely fixated on dance music and sometimes even the fans are left scratching their heads as to what exactly a non-EDM artist is doing. Perhaps because they are actually looking at us instead of dancing.

Before I started doing livePA I composed mostly ambient music. I love the genre and for whatever reason I found that I am fairly good at it. Over time though my creativity began to run a little stale and at the same time I became increasingly interested in LivePA. As I began to explore the whole process I decided to take the change as an opportunity to help redefine my style and creative persona. As I moved over to my livePA set, I began to incorporate beats into my music, but overall I still retained the non-dance music feel.

It was about two years ago that I finally had my live project all ready to go and I began to start looking for places to perform. I passed out demos, talked to clubs and in the end found that no one was looking for non-dance electronic music.

At first I thought that most events would have chillout rooms that a performer like myself could perform at. It seems logical, but to my surprise the chillout room seems to have fallen out of favor, at least in Chicago. I honestly have to say, the first few months of trying to find places to perform was extremely discouraging.

In the end I was able to find some places to perform, but none of those places truly felt like they fit for the music I was trying to convey. Chicago has a very nice underground IDM scene, and you could possibly argue that IDM is not really dance music. I found myself in a couple of lineups for IDM events, but to be honest my music was not IDM and consequently I really did not fit the crowd.

So in the end of it all I had to settle on doing performances mostly in cafes, art shows and other similar venues. Granted these are not the large parties that most livePA acts probably hope for, but I find performing for twenty people sipping on coffee is better then performing for no one.

So what exactly is the point of this post? Basically this.....If you find yourself in a similar position as I have, as a non-EDM livePA, try not to get discouraged. Try to find more creative ways in which you can distribute your music and perform. That cafe show with twenty people may not be exactly what you are looking for, but you may actually find the intimacy of the event quite rewarding. At nearly every performance I have done I have had someone come up to me and tell me that my music was "beautiful". In some way that just means a little more then the "Rockin' set man" you might get from someone at a dance party. And if you happen to find some other non-EDM performers in your area, try to network with them, because honestly, we all need to stick together.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Liveset MP3 from Audioelectronic


Below is a live set from Audioelectronic composed using only an EMU Command Station, an Electrix Filter Queen, and a Line6 DL-4.

.:Audioelectronic Live @ Ground Kontrol:.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

LivePA Makes It Into WikiPedia


It looks like the term LivePA has made it into I guess you are a real "thing" when you make it in there. The description is a little brief but not too bad. Check it out.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Impromptu: Live Audio Programming Language


.:Impromptu Homepage:.

About a week or two ago I posted about .:Chuck:., which is an audio programming language designed for live performance. This week I have happened upon another audio programming language that is designed for live audio performance and programming. Impromptu is conceptually similar to Chuck, but it might have a little more flexibility in the sense that it can produce visuals as well as audio. It even loads AudioUnits!!! I am not exactly sure how an audio programming language would load a plugin, but it does, and it appears rather cool. In case you haven't figured it out Impromptu is Mac OSX only and is free, so all you Mac users start downloading.

Impromptu has been developed for use in live sonic/visual performance. Live, real-time or on-the-fly programming is a performance paradigm stemming from laptop performance, but with an emphasis on the crafting of algorithms in real-time. Impromptu is designed to provide a dynamic, real-time, multi-user runtime capable of supporting the creation, modification, distribution and evaluation of source code in live performance.

Impromptu is a programmable AudioUnit host. A powerful environment for creating AudioUnit graphs of arbitrary complexity with precise programmatic control over individual AU nodes. Musical material can be precisely scheduled for performance by any AudioUnit instrument node and parameters, program changes and presets can be programmatically changed on-the-fly as well as directly via the AU's user interface.

Quartz drawing routines can be applied with the same temporal accuracy as audio material allowing composers to tightly integrate audio and visual components. Quicktime movies, bezier paths, images, CoreImage filters and beautiful text rendering are a few of the graphics features available for artists to play with.

Sounds like a nerd sound designers dream. Push forth IDM performers.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Google Earth Maps for Burning Man-LifeHacker


.:Google Earth maps Burning Man - Lifehacker:.

While this isn't livePA news per-se it is pretty darn cool, and there are a ton of LivePA artists at this festival.

A dedicated person out there decided to map out all of the events from this past year's Burning Man Festival. The overall effect is pretty cool and I hope that it continues for future Burning man evens with more people contributing to the file with photos and information. It would be really wild to have this mapped out live to see where things are happening, but I bet the desert doesn't have very good wifi access.

For those of you not in the know, Burning Man is a large art and culture festival that is held every year in the salt flats of Black Rock City Nevada. Think of it sort of like Woodstock for the cyberpunk, modern hippie, techno culture. Every year artists, patrons, musicians and whoevers come from around the globe to hang out and do some crazy insane shit. Dust gets on everything and it is an amazing time (or so I hear). Check out the .:Burning Man Homepage:. for more information.

UPDATE: Added a descrption as to what Burning Man is.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

SetMaker from Sweetwater: Setlist Creation Software.


.:SetMaker Download:.

The people over at .:Sweetwater:. (yes the music gear retailer) have a nifty little program hidden away on their downloads pages. Setmaker is basically exactly what the name is. It allows you to store information about your songs such as the names, times, tempo, moods, etc. and then create setlists for your performances with a simple interface that can tell you the approximate time of your set.

An extremely handy tool that is so simple that it is brilliant. You can download the program for Mac or Windows.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Innovation, or just drug-related brain damage?


Alright, faithful blog readers, it's time we got down to the nitty-gritty: how much can I trust you lot? I mean, if I asked, would you all shout truth at me, whether it be laurels or knives into my spine? Hell, do any of you even have the guts to voice an opinion beyond the timid squeak of head-bobbing scene urchin? Well, if you do, then I might just need your mouthy arse to stop me from doing something bad (in a musical sense, of course).

It all started when the girl came home with a new CD she'd bought from a street band downtown, the Inkwell Rhythm Makers. Popping it in, she described how they played while dressed like old-time tramps and hobos, with patched trousers, smashed hats and maybe two pairs of shoes between all of them. As she spoke, their music squawked to life as a lurid re-visitation into the true American folk music, the kind of ugly, tar-roof backwater music that never made the radio and was seldom even recorded for that matter. As they blared out tune after rancid, surprisingly catchy tune, she told me about how they appeared to have constructed their instruments from plain old junk like washboards and the like. Of particular interest to me was her description of a bloke wearing thick gloves made entirely of duct tape playing a one-string washtub bass.

Several months later, while at the local hardware store, I was seized by the odd idea of building a percussion instrument from plastic tubing, and incorporating trombone-like slides in order to change each tube's pitch. Yes, I know the Blue Man Group did it first, and moreover, probably better than I ever could. However, as I do not currently own a pair of drumsticks, I shelved the idea in my head, right next to the washtub bass idea. Later on that day, I was unceremoniously and unfairly lashed by the aforementioned girl with a length of plastic arts and crafts string. I soon found that I had actually wrapped one end around my toes and plucking at it with one hand, the other being used to hold it taut. After experimenting with the way different tensions produced different notes, I was soon plucking out a DnB-style bassline. I thought of the washtub thing again. The gears lurched forward another notch or two.

So I put it to you, dear loyal readers (and I say that with a straight face, just barely): should I take these two weird ideas and run with them, incorporating non-traditional, home-brewed instruments into (gasp) electronica songs? Part of me says, why the fuck not? You can them up and run them through distortion effects, run a wah pedal between the pre-amp and the distortion effect for some freakadelic fun. That's fuckin' boss, like those wacko Musique Concrete types, or some obscure old industrial band. Another part of me says, stop yourself. You fried your brain somewhere along the way, and now you're paying the price.

What do you all think? Brilliant, or just weird? Worthwhile, or just funky in a bad way? Leave a damn comment and let me know whether or not you all think I'm out of my head on this one.