Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sneakthief's Custom Built Midi Sequencer


.:DIY MIDI Sequencer:. member Sneakthief has been building himself a custom midi sequencer for use at his live shows. The basic build design is taken from the site, but he has designed custom code for the sequencer. You may be thinking that the sequencer's design is a little unorthodox, but he has designed it not to write his music out on, but rather just perform it. Sneakthief states that all of the composition will actually be done on other modules and he will then load all of the midi sequences on to the box for performance. He has some great ideas in here that I am surprised no other sequencers have used these, such as two independent yet syncable sequencers. They can work together, yet if one goes down the show is not over!!!

The complete build discussion, as well as tons of pictures can be found at the link above.

Quote's from Sneakthief on the idea:

I'm in the process of developing a very simple pattern sequencer that supports up to 256-measure long tracks. I'm going to use the Midibox as my platform and write everything in C (no I can't use the Midibox Sequencer because it's much easier to start from scratch).......I'm not going to write music with this - at the moment it's strictly for live performance so I'll be loading sequences from my other boxes...... As time goes by, I'll be able to program new features.......what's nice about the dual lcd's is that they're 2 totally independant hardware sequencers that can either run separately or in sync. more importantly, if one ever dies (highly unlikely), i won't be screwed over!

Here are the specifications:
1. 2 independent sequencers, one of which can be slaved to the other.
2. Each sequencer will be able to load one "song" at a time. A song is chosen by the push-button rotary encoder.
3. 16 sections per song
4. 6 tracks per section that can be muted or unmuted with the track-mute buttons (more than 6 tracks could be implemented, but that's all I need)
5. 256 measures per track - this is where this really differs from the Midibox Seq
4. Components

Midibox modules:
2x Cores
2x AIN
2x DIN

Friday, March 30, 2007

What not to do at your next gig.


I think this video is pretty self explanatory. DON'T DO THIS!!!!

I will laugh at you and cry for your gear.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Musikmesse 2007: Clavia Nordwave


.:Clavia Nordwave:.

The Clavia Nordwave is essentially a Nordlead that uses samples and wavesounds that are uploadable via USB as the oscillators. It has 24 voices with four parts multi-timbral, standard digital waveforms as well as 64mb of compressed memory for uploadable waves, 2 oscillators, 1 filter, 2 LFOs and 3 envelopes. No word on pricing but is saying about 20% less then a Nordlead 3. No link on Clavia's site yet, so I will send you over to for more information.

Musikmesse 2007: Roland HD-1 Drum Set


.:Roland HD-1:.

Roland is rolling out a new set of entry level electronic drums called the HD-1. It is a small, compact and highly transportable set that is designed to be extremely quiet. All of the components are mounted on a single stand for easy setup and tear down. The soundset is based on the popular VDrum sounds of Roland's more high end systems, and the set even includes audio in jack.

Kit Configuration
Kick Pedal, Snare, Hi-Hat, Hi-Hat Pedal, Tom x 3, Crash, Ride

Drum Kits


Drum Kit button x 5, Variation button, Metronome button, Volume knob, Tempo knob

Tempo (40--220), Sounds (3 types), Volume (3 levels)

Output jack (Stereo miniature phone type) (*1), Headphone jack (Stereo miniature phone type), Mix In jack (Stereo miniature phone type), MIDI Out connector (5-pin DIN type), Trigger Cable connector (DB-25 type): (*1) Output Jack can be connected with headphones.

Owner's Manual, Set-up Guide, Video Manual (DVD), AC Adaptor (PSB-1U), Trigger Cable (Prepositioned in Drum Stand), Drum Key, Screwdriver, Screws for Sound Module x 4, Screws for Foot Pipe x 4, Roland Sticker

Personal Drum Monitor: PM-01, V-Drums Accessory Package: DAP-1, V-Drums Mat: TDM-1

Musikmesse 2007: Akai MPK 49 MIDI Controller


.:Akai MPK 49:.

Akai has rolled out a new MIDI keyboard controller that incorporates its classic MPC pads along with 49 semi-weighted keys. Other great live features include transport controls, large backlit LCD screen, 8 backlit switches and built in MIDI arpegiator.


Maximize musical ideas on-stage or in a home studio setting with the new Akai MPK49 performance controller. The Akai MPK49 ushers in a new era for USB/MIDI controllers by combining a high-quality, 49-key, semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch and 12 MPC-style drum pads. 48 total pads are accessible via 4 pad banks. The pads feature popular MPC Note Repeat function and Swing parameters, and the Akai MPK49 performance controller has its own arpeggiator, for creating quick, creative riffs in seconds.

The Akai MPK49 features MPC-style Full Level and 12 Levels functions on its pads, and MPC Swing can be applied to both Note Repeat and Arpeggio functions. Tap Tempo and time-division buttons allow for real-time control of Note Repeat and Arpeggio clock speeds. The Akai MPK49 delivers an amazing 72 assignable controls, with assignable inputs that include an expression pedal, footswitch, pitch bend and modulation wheel.

Discover the next generation of USB/MIDI controllers. Step up to the Akai MPK49.

Musikmesse 2007: JazzMutant Dexter


Lots of great stuff seems to be coming out of this year's Musikmesse. A lot more hardware (especially live hardware) then we saw a NAMM a few months ago. This is good news for all of the live musicians out there, and I will be trying to sort through all the stuff on the web to filter out the best live gear.

First up we have the Dexter, which is a new product from JazzMutant, the fine makers of the uber cool, but uber expensive Lemur. The Dexter is supposed to be the next evolution of the Lemur with much more "out-of-the-box" usability. This includes templates for all of the major DAW workstations, as well as what appears to be more traditional slider and fader interfaces. No word on pricing yet, but the original Lemur always struck me as a great opportunity for as a live tool.

Live Drum-n-bass


Video by the crazy cats at Skankin Studios, Benfleet Essex

Drum-n-bass (sometimes called jungle) is a hard genre to translate into a live performace, particularly because many of the defining characteristics of the "jungle" sound are the result of turntablist-style tricks involving sweeping eqs/filters, and high speed crossfade action. This video is of four guys giving the traditional turntable-based jungle style a run for its money in a live performance including two keyboardists and a pair of percussionists.

Sound Comparison of Gameboys, for Chiptune Artists


.:Gameboy Sound Comparison:.

Musican Herbert Weixelbaum has setup a very nice sound comparison of all of the gameboys to analyze their sound for chiptune music production. The result is a very nice side by side comparison that points out the differences in sound as well as visuals of the waveforms that each gameboy produces.

The gameboy is becoming quite popular as a live performance tool as of late with tool such as Nanoloop and LSDJ.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

lloop: MAX/MSP Live Looping Interface


.:Download lloopp:.

lloopp is a software written in max/msp, designed for live-improvising. lloopp is freeware, and open source. lloopp is written by artists who use this very software for their performances. The lloopp programers are open to anybody who is into max-programming, and invites them to join in on development.

Note that lloopp needs max/msp installed, and the the visual aspect of lloopp also needs jitter.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wii Loop Machine Demonstration


The above is a follow up to the Wiimote performance post, that shows the Wii Loop Machine in a demonstration. The author, Yan, takes us through all of the features of the Wii Loop machine.

Check out the rest of this websit at .:The Amazing Rolo:.

Create Digital Music: Free Mac Looper for Wii Controller, Wii MIDI Hacking Round-up


.:Free Mac Looper for Wii Controller, Wii MIDI Hacking Round-up:.

Create digital music has a nice little link to ways people are using the Wiimote via bluetooth with their computer for some live performance. Featured is the Wii Looping Machine, which is a MAX/MSP environment that can load up loops and assign them to Wiimote movements. It appears that the Wiimote is becoming quite the performance tool. Makes one think why there isn't more bluetooth enabled performance devices around with the popularity of the laptop in performance these days.

Monday, March 26, 2007

LX7 Studio LivePA


.:LX7 Studio PA:.

This week's LivePA set comes from artist LX7. We have featured him on the LivePA blog before in one of his postings regarding how to use an MPC for LivePA. This set is a studio set, but is still pretty nice. In addition to being an artist LX7 also runs a podcast and video feed. Head on over to his website for more information on that.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Selfdestroyer: This looks like some fun



So this is what happens when you have $3600.00 worth of vintage gear all connected together.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Engadget - What to do if you spill liquid on your laptop


.:What to do if you spill liquid on your laptop?:. has a very nice little article along with the above video explaining what to do if you get drinks spilled on your laptop. Something very worthwhile for the muscian. The spilled drink is always a major concern for the performing artist, especially when you are bringing your precious gear out into the wild. So what exactly do you do?

First steps.....

Apparently, the best policy is to act fast -- just like the pretty, pretty, pretty good salt and club soda solution for carpet and upholstery spills -- by pouring off the excess liquid onto a towel, opening up the laptop, washing it under tap water, rinsing it under distilled water, and then leaving it out to dry.

Even after all of this corrosion is still a major issue, and who knows how long your laptop will run long term. Anyone know of a way to perhaps circumvent the corrosion issue or maybe dry the laptop off quicker? I am guessing blow dryer is a big "No", huh?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

P.A.M. Band (Partially Automated Musicians)


The P.A.M Band is a set of automated instruments hooked up to a set of computers and then triggered to perform music live. In basic concept it is doing what all of our software instruments and sequencers do, but the cool part here is the design and implementation of the mechanical components to trigger the real live instruments. The end result is a really cool setup, that I think is reminiscent of the old one man bands you used to see in cartoons.

Performance information and dates, as well as audio examples can be found on the website.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lissajou 8bit Liveset


.:Lissajou 8-bit Liveset:.

I am a little late on this week's liveset, but fear not, I haven't forgotten about everyone. The Liveset this week is from 8bit artist Lissajou. Not a lot of details on this liveset, but I do know that it was performed using a Gameboy and a Nanoloop. More information on Lissajou can be found at his Myspace page:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hidden Village Live: March 15th 2007


Above is several live video clips of Hidden Village performing some 8-bit goodness with Gameboys and some Nanoloops, LSDJ and a pair of C64s. .

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Dead President's Society: Everyone You Wish You Could Meet


The Dead President's Society

So today's post has nothing really to do with LivePA per se, but it has everything to do with being really cool. While listening to the .:SonicTalk Podcast:. from there was mention of this cool club called "The Dead President's Society". So what is the "The Dead President's Society", and what does it have to do with music production? Well all of the members of "The Dead President's Society" are former presidents of famous music companies, or have somehow influenced the music production community in a significant way. This club includes the following memebers: Don Buchla, John Chowning, John Lazzaro, Ingrid Linn, Roger Linn, Max Mathews, Keith McMillen, Tom Oberheim, Dave Smith, David Wesse and Jaron Lanier. Holy Crap!!!!!!!

These are or were the movers and shakers of the industry, and apparently they all get together on occasion at a local coffee shop to sit around and talk the talk about music gear and such. Man wouldn't I love to stumble into that coffee shop.

Everyone has probably heard by now about the uber cool collaboration project between Dave Smith and Roger Linn called the Boomchik. You know, the MPC Analog drummachine. Well apparently its idea was conceived at one of these meetings, or so say the guys at Sonicstate. You can find more information about these people and their contributions, as well as the society in general at the link above.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

GarageSpin: Kompoz, a New Collaboration Worspace for Musicians


GarageSpin - Kompoz: Collaboration Workspace for Musicians

Garagespin has posted a very intersting link about a new musician collaboration website that has opened up called Kompoz. Kompoz is essentially a music collaboration site where artists can network with each other to work on song projects. From the information provided it seems more like the music is added in wav files or something to the music project, rather then actual software project files being managed and tracked as you would see in a software development tracker. The site is currently in Beta right now, so I don't have a lot of details, but it is interesting to see how this site progresses.

If it uses creative commons then this may be a good source for all sorts of audio samples. It might be useful to LivePA artists as well if the site offers midi or other sorts of project file storage. At the least, lets chalk this up as another promotional tool for remixes and so forth.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Livecut: Beat Cutting VST/AU Plugin


.:Livecut by MDSP @ Smartelectronix:.

Livecut is a VST and AU plugin developed by MDSP over at the smartelectronix crew. It is based upon the BBCut Supercollider, which was a loop manipulation tool. Livecut does not have all of the features of the Supercollider script, but it comes in a very neat package that you can use in any software with nice interface.

Livecut is only a small subset of what is possible with BBCut, but as it is available as a VST plugin, it is much easier to start experimenting with it.

It is a live beat-slicer but instead of manipulating equal chunks of audio like most beatslicer do, it works on the notion of audio cuts whose length and number of repetition depends on the context and the cutting procedure. cuts are organized in blocks which then form a phrase. And each phrase can be ended by a roll or fill.

Livecut is free and it comes in both Univeral AU plugin and VST.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Create Digital Music: Yamaha to Ship Toshio Iwai's Tenori-On


.:Create Digital Music: Yamaha to Ship Toshio Iwai's Tenori-On:.

The uber cool Tenori-On touch control interface being developed by Toshio Iwai (The same guy who developed Elektroplankton) looks like it finally may make it to the commercial sector. Originally being developed experimentally for Yamaha, it looks like Yamaha has decided to put the devices into production.

The Tenori-On for those not acquainted is a multi-touch control interface that can be manipulated in different ways. Price is said to be £500.00.

A video can be found on one of our previous posts about the Tenori-on: .:Tenori-On Performance:.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spooloops Live Novemeber 2006


.:Spooloops Live Novemeber 2006:.

This week's liveset is from artist Spooloops. He posted this over at the LivePA forums I believe. Below is the info on the set:

I posted a while ago about playing my first solo set. I've played a few times since then and wanted to share a recent recording of it.
I'm embracing what I have to play live with at the moment: an su700 and r8 (wi 808 card) synced to an mc505, a mackie 1202 and a cheap mic + effects box, so the sound is pretty old-fi. The style is a sort of genrebending collection track ideas, which I'll produce properly later in the year.

Be sure to check out more of his music at :.

Bloom Afterlife LivePA Video


Here is a livePA video of several livePA artist performing at the "Bloom Afterlife" release party.

1: Jin Hiyama / livePA 20061125
2: broken haze / livePA 20061125
3: Toshihiro Komine / DJ 20061125

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Synthesizer Patch Database:


Looking for some new patches to load into your favorite hardware or software synthesizer? Well might just have you covered. Synthbase is a site dedicated to collecting patch banks for different types of synthesizers. While you are at it be sure to share your custom made patches as well for others to download and use.

The site predominately has what appears to be hardware synths, but there is a healthy collection of software synth patches in the mix as well.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Heart Chamber Orchestra: Audio Visual Performance


.:Heart Chamber Orchestra:.

Full information and documentation can be found on the Heart Chamber Orchestra Website.

The Heart Chamber Orchestra - HCO - is an audiovisual performance. The orchestra consists of 12 classical musicians and the artist duo TERMINALBEACH.

Using their heartbeats, the musicians control a computer composition and visualization environment. The musical score is generated in real time by the heartbeats of the musicians. They read and play this score from a computer screen placed in front of them.

HCO forms a structure where music literally "comes from the heart".

The musicians are equipped with ECG (electrocardiogram) sensors. A computer monitors and analyzes the state of these 12 hearts in real time. The acquired information is used to compose a musical score with the aid of computer software. It is a living score dependent on the state of the hearts.

While the musicians are playing, their heartbeats influence and change the composition and vice versa. The musicians and the electronic composition are linked via the hearts in a circular motion, a feedback structure. The emerging music evolves entirely during the performance.

The resulting music is the expression of this process and of an organism forming itself from the circular interplay of the individual musicians and the machine.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Casio VL-1 Tone Emulator VST


.:Casio VL-1 VST:.

I seem to be stumbling across all sorts of interesting VST plugins as of late. The latest I have found is an emulation of the old Casio VL-1 Tone Emulator. I can't actually try this one out myself to see how true it is, but I know there were tons of fans out there for the little VL-1, and the nostalgia factor alone almost makes this worth the download. By the way, it is FREE!!!!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The MusicPole Midi Controller


Here is another one of those crazy midi control devices. The MusicPole, which has midi triggers arranged around a cylinder. What is interesting with this is that you don't tap the triggers, but instead glide your finger across them. You can purchase a MusicPole for $395.

The MUSICPOLE MIDI Controller is a brand new musical instrument.

You don't strike the keys of the MUSICPOLE like you would a piano, you stroke the keys like a slide guitar player. By sliding your thumb you can create all the different scales.

The 12 musical keys are labelled around the top of the MUSICPOLE. The MUSICPOLE's key's are arranged symmetrically, like the circle of fifths. The MUSICPOLE is a 3 octave keyboard. The keys have the same black and white scheme as piano. All keys are labeled with their proper note names.

The MUSICPOLE's keys are triggered by special "thumbletz" you wear on your thumbs (thumbletz are made out of conductive fabric. They slide like silk over the keys of the MUSICPOLE).

A quick start guide to guerilla flyering


How to pound the pavement without looking (or being) stupid.

An editorial note: Don't come whining to me if you try to do something from this article and it goes wrong. It is all opinion, so use this information at your own risk.

Let's face it. If you're in this scene long enough, chances are pretty good you're going to end up pitching in to promote your own upcoming shows. It can be a daunting task, with all sorts of pitfalls one may not be aware of until it's too late. Luckily, I've picked up a few tricks to pass along for when other bewildered audiophiles suddenly find themselves holding a stack of flyers. The first tip: use your head. It's possible to do this wrong.

It's easy for those glossy, expensive flyers and cards to become a common trash. Leaving them in the wrong spot might get them chucked into the recycle bin right away. And if you really want a problem on your hands, try slapping up a poster with wheatpaste-- it'll never come off. So my best advice is to carry a stack with you for a day or two, leaving them a few at a time in well chosen places. Being neat about it is a must; leaving a bunch of trash around with the show's info is a good way to drag everyone's names through the mud.

The worst danger I have come across is getting cited for littering. Several promoters I have known have been badly tripped by gigantic tickets that penalize relatively minor infractions with heavy fines. It's potentially an open door for a city government to rob you blind, so it's well worth it to spend twenty minutes on the phone chatting up a secretary at city hall about your local laws. You'd be surprised what those people know, but don't go answering too many nosey questions. Instead, be sure to ask what the rules are regarding tacking posters to poles, removal after the show date, what constitutes public versus private space when it comes to advertising, etc.

A wisely chosen public space is a gold mine. Cafes, record stores, certain bars, book stores and head shops are the obvious spots, as many such places actually encourage such things. Universities, community colleges, and public bulletin boards (often found at health food stores, skate and snowboard shops, record stores, hostels, laundromats, etc.) are also a no brainer. But the real gold mine lies inside of public bathrooms. Leave a stack on the back of a well-used john as potential reading material for the guy or girl who's not going anywhere for a minute. Hide a couple up in the paper towel dispenser, to pop out at unsuspecting moments. Tape one to the back of a stall door, for kicks.

Another good one, but a trickier location to land, is the cashier's blind spot at a mini-mart. If you've ever stood behind a register, you know that you can't actually see what's directly in front of it, right about waist height on the lower left if you're facing the customer. Of course, this spot is quite visible from the other side, where customer after customer is bound to stand. Perfect for a small, neat stack of cards.Another creative method is to use folded flyers or cards as book marks at magazine racks. Hitting a couple of the more obvious magazine types works well, and don't underestimate comic book stores, either. But again, don't go crazy. Be sly, and only do one or two at a go. Also, library books are a bad idea, but some of the periodicals might be worth it. Hit the loo while you're there.

In my opinion, windshield wipers are a bad idea too. It's been done to death so much that nobody even bothers reading windshield flyers anymore. Unless the car has an "I love electronica" bumper sticker, you're likely wasting your time. And last, never, ever, EVER scatter them all over the place on the ground. I mean, c'mon. You're not five, and it's a waste of print money. So if you're handed a stack of flyers a week before your next big show, grab your mp3 player and spend an afternoon creatively reaching your target audience. It can be more fun than you think.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Techno Has Reached It's Limits: The Negative Effect Of Software Limiting In Techno Music


.:Techno Has Reached It's Limits: The Negative Effect Of Software Limiting In Techno Music:.

Here is a very interesting article from Blackout Audio which talks about how electronic artists are way to dependant upon the use of limiting in their music. The result, is extremely "hot" music that lacks any sort of dynamics or progression. Personally I think the author is spot on in this article, and I find all too from artists tracks that I listen to that in your face radio sounds has taken over so much music. I wonder though if this is not only a product of just techno music, but the introduction of software as the main form of creation.

Back in the early nineties, a well mastered album set at a good level could be averaging -12 to -14 db rms, and still peaking at zero db. What this effectively meant was the main body of the music (the rms level, and our perceived loudness of the track ) would be sitting at -12db, with 12db of headroom available for kicks and snares, drops and builds to provide the dynamic impact, colour and interest...Slowly the rms levels have been coming up and up since the first software limiters were introduced, (regularly to -5db rms or so on some techno mixes that arrive here) meaning there is now nowhere for the kick drum to go, except head first into a brickwall limiter, barely louder than the body of the track.

From a Live standpoint what are you LivePA'ers out there doing? I have seen on the board the issue of limiters come up several times, and the discussion of sounding "pro" or "mastered" is often an issue. Has the club or live environment mandated that we have the constant driving in your face sound?

I for one almost never use limiting, and only use a very little bit of compression on my tracks after recording, whether it ends up being a live or studio recording. This is using hardware, and ironically enough when I was a software musician I used to compress the heck out of my tracks. It is fair to say that my tracks sound much livelier now because of my toned down use of effects in general.

Lets hear your thoughts on this one.

Ableton Live + Turntable Example


Here is a nice little example of Realtablist demonstrating how he has integrated Ableton Live with a Midi foot controller and turntables.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mobis: Reconstructive Synthesis


.:Mobis Synth:.

Mopis is a high-quality software synthesizer that combines traditional subtractive synthesis with new technology we call reconstructive synthesis. Reconstructive synthesis adds a new dimension to your creations. Mopis can analyze your audio sample and create an oscillator that mimics the sample's properties. You can then play the sample back and bend it to your will. The end results are pretty cool and land somewhere between a vocoder, autotune and wavetable synthesis.

The plugin is free for personal use, but you need to spend $50.00 if you plan to use it commercially. Pretty fair deal if I say so.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Istari Lasterfahrer Live @ Clash of the Titans 03/25/06


.:Istari Lasterfahrer Live @ Clash of the Titans 03/25/06:.

This week's liveset is from Istari Lasterfahrer. This is some great breakbeat/Drum N Bass, with lots of loop manipulation and overall crazy mayhem. I think there is even a little Gabber thrown in on this one as well. I hope everyone jams away on this one as a nice break from all of the IDM we have been having as of late.

Check out his website at:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mawzer: Modular MIDI Controller



Mawzer is a very cool conceptual idea that I have seen floating around the internet for a little while. What it is, is a modular hardware midi interface. All of the components of Mawzer can be interchanged and arranged in the control box in any fashion that is best for you. In essence it is the ultimate MIDI controller that is completely customizable. Right now Mawzer is strictly a prototype that is being demonstrated around the world, but with any luck we might see some commercial production in the near future.

Cubase 4 Update


.:Cubase 4 Update:.

This morning Steinberg released their long-anticipated update to Cubase 4 - including a laundry list of bugfixes - at their home site:

Cubase 4's latest version is, and the update is (thankfully) free.