Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Audiopad: Experimental Live Performance System

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.:Audiopad Website:.

Here is something that I cannot believe I have not blogged about before. I am sure it must have been on the blog, but apparently not. Anyways, Audiopad is an experimental audio control interface that uses a computer and projector to determine the location of objects on a screen or table top. The manipulation of these objects then manipulates the sound. The project was originally a thesis project, but rumor has it a commercial application is being developed. Videos of the device in action can be found on the website in Quicktime format.

Audiopad is a composition and performance instrument for electronic music which tracks the positions of objects on a tabletop surface and converts their motion into music. One can pull sounds from a giant set of samples, juxtapose archived recordings against warm synthetic melodies, cut between drum loops to create new beats, and apply digital processing all at the same time on the same table. Audiopad not only allows for spontaneous reinterpretation of musical compositions, but also creates a visual and tactile dialogue between itself, the performer, and the audience.

The Jury is in: head scratchers from NAMM '07

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Well kiddies, the long and lustful days of NAMM are over, giving the music world a chance to sit back and digest some of the odder and more interesting revelations this year's convention had to offer. While much of this year's fare mostly featured new extensions of existing technologies, not to mention more than a few gimmick guitars, a few strange and slick electronic jewels have appeared to give us LivePA types newer, shinier daydreams.

Among these were a few new analogue-style sequencers, most notably the Octopus by GenoQs Machines and the Surfin' Step Sequencer by Surfin' Kangaroo Studios, both of Dusseldorf, Germany. Another strange one, which might not be ready for the masses just yet, is the Axis Natural Keyboard by C-thru Music, which seems anything but natural, or "c-thru", for that matter. (While it looks badass, the revies haven't been kind, and its function is somewhat obtuse.) On the plus side, many new and curious filters and effects generators hit the scene, such as the Metasonix Scrotum Smasher and the Ebb un Flut by Schippmann Music, both of which seemed to re-invent the art of artistically fucking up one's sound. And last but not least, a treat for the retro at heart: Haken Audio has taken its popular Continuum Fingerboard and given it its own CV/Gate module. While a MIDI fundamentalist myself, I know a few retro and modular enthusiasts whose interests were piqued by this one.

For those of us who like to use microphones for things, the Samson G-track USB condenser mic made a big impression, what with it being a mic and an audio interface, with all kinds of built-in geegaws and gimcracks previously unheard of on mics, like headphone outs and a peak meter. And of course, there's these two: the Audio Cubes by Percussa, which generate controller data by sensing their relative locations to one another, and finally a peice of hardware so cool and complicated, nobody has any idea what it actually does-- including the people at the booth. It's the Resonator Neuronium, and even after reading writeups on the website, I still don't get it. Once again, like the Axis Natural keyboard, at least it looks wicked. Guaranteed to be the next Theremin, I think.


I can't wait until next year.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Luciana Haill: Litterally Producing Music With Her Mind.

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.:Luciana Haill Information:.

Ok, talk about doing it live. Luciana Haill (awesome name btw) is making music with her brainwaves, by hooking up an electroencephalogram (EEG machine) wired with bluetooth that then runs to her computer. The data sent via bluetooth then triggers samples to form a song. She is taking her great idea on the road with thirty other artists in the .:Future of Sound Tour:. allowing audience members to wear the headset and participate in the music.

.:Video/Audio Examples:.

quote via Wired.com

The brain operates in the same units sound waves are measured in -- hertz," said Haill. "You're getting raw data from the prefrontal cortex but feeding it through software -- a little bit from the left hemisphere and a little bit from the right...I want to create something that we can all listen to even if we don't quite understand it... I want people to understand that brain waves are changing. It's not something you could have as a ringtone, but you could trigger a film clip, for example, when your mind is slipping into that twilight."

Haill has been using her brain-scanning hardware for the last 14 years to play MIDI with her mind, but says it is the inter-application events protocol in Apple's OS X operating system that allows her to trigger different GarageBand samples and other devices for each type of neuro activity and for each side of the cortex.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Battery Collection Live: Akron Ohio - 09/03/06

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.:Battery Collection Live: Akron Ohio 09/03/06:.

This is a live set from another one of my favorite livePA artists around, Battery Collection. Battery Collection is based out of Indiana and he rocks out some great quasi-chiptune sounding IDM breaks. He is a big Elektron user a Monomachine along with a laptop, and it even looks like he as added a Monome to his arsenal. He rocks out on a little bit different gear then most PA artists are doing, and for the positive his music shows it. Not many can say they have a sound like he does.

If you enjoy this liveset be sure to check out more of Battery Collection's music over at his website: .::.Batterycollection.net:.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

RhythmDroid: Live Techno Jam

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Artist RhythmDroid has been posting a series of videos of himself performing some live improvisational songs. More videos can be found by clicking, and heading over to his profile on Youtube.

Jonah Dempcy: Electronic Music Production as Design?

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.:Jonah Dempcy: Electronic Music Production as Design?:.

Above is an article where the author Jonah Dempcy talks about electronic music as a design and art compared to traditional songwriting. It is a nice little reflective post on the broader continuing debate that surrounds electronic music as a genre in general.

I'm sure others have made this comparison before, but I was thinking about how electronic music production vis-a-vis conventional songwriting is similar to the dichotomy between design and art. It is conventionally argued that design is concerned with craftsmanship and functionality while art (be it painting, illustration or other forms of self-expression) is concerned with creative expression. So, although a Steinway piano may be a beautiful work of craftsmanship, the creators of the piano were not trying to express creativity but to make a high-quality functional product. The beauty inherent in the craftsmanship is a side effect of the craftsmanship, rather than being a goal unto itself.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

LivePA 101 by Remixmag.com

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.:LivePA 101:.

Remix Magazine has a quick article up on their site that covers some of the basics of LivePA. Nothing particularly ground breaking here, that isn't covered more indepth by the getting started guides offered by this site and LivePA.org: (LivePA Blog Getting Started Guide, LivePA.org FAQ), but it does offer a unique perspective for those DJ's who are wishing to make the change to livePA, and explaining what to expect in that change.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sustainable Live Electroacoustic Music

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.:Sustainable Live Electroacoustic Music:.

Above is a link to an article that discusses the sustainability archiving of electroacoustic music. The author states that the sustainability of the genre is in jeoporady becuase of the fast eveolving technology curve with gear in the genre, and in music production in general. Quite and interesting read. We always think about how the progress of our computer based music environments progresses our music, making us able to perform anything, yet we fail to realize that some music may be lost due to the aesthetic or inane qualities of the orginal tools. Chiptune and old tracker music that utilizes .MOD files immediately comes to mind. These were once the staples of playing music on the computer, and now many musicians don't even know what they are, or computers require emulators to play back the .MOD files.

Abstract:

Real-time/performed electroacoustic music (also known as live electroacoustic music) is currently facing a serious sustainability problem: while its production is indeed considered very recent from the music history point of view, several technological generations and revolutions have gone by in the meantime. Thus, most of these works can hardly be performed because the technologies used have gone lost since a long time and no long-standing notational precaution was taken. This paper presents some typical case studies and examples and introduces some techniques that might lead to a partial — when not completely adequate — solution to the sustainability problem.

MAKE: Blog: Video Podcast Introduction to Circuit Bending

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.:Make Circuit Bending:.

This week's Make Video Podcast has a fantastic introduction and how to into circuit bending. In this episode they bend the classic Speak N' Spell, and a few other toys. If you subscribe to the podcast there is also a PDF avaliable with high resolution photos and instructions on what they did.

You guys know how much I have blogged about Make Magazine on this post over the past couple of months. As a little form of advertising for them I highly reccomend to any of you out there. If you subscribe to one video podcast in your life, check this one out. Also try giving the magazine a try at your local shop. It is a little expensive, but it really is great to support something like this.

Ubuntu Studio: Multi-media Distribution Linux Build

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.:Ubuntustudio.com:.

Promising news for those out there who are looking to do media production in Linux. The ever popular Ubuntu OS, which is an extremely easy to use and flexible Linux buid, is hoping to release a version of the OS specifically designed for multi-media production. IT currently looks like it will come in a couple of different packages, each designed around a different media form. Audio, Video, Art, etc.

Here's hoping the project takes off.

Organicode: Live Hallows Eve 2006

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.:Organicode: Live Hallows Eve 2006:.

This is a liveset from artist Organicode. This one has been sitting in the que for a while, that is why it is from Halloween, but I assure you this one is worth the wait. I had the opportunity of performing with Organicode two years ago at the Midwest Electronic Music Festival in Indianapolis and he put on a sweet liveset featuring everything from rocking breakbeats to a harmonica. This set follows in that sort of off the trail breaks, and that is a good thing. He even rocks (rocked at least) an EMU Command Station, like yours truly, so he is of course someone I have to like. I definitely like the opening intro on this one which has some fun sample manipulation.

Check out his website at: .:Organicodemusic.com:.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

NAMM 2007: Korg R3

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The microKorg has been an extremely popular synth for a lot of livePA artists. For NAMM, Korg has announced the microKorg's successor with the R3, which features full sized keys this time around as well as much cleaner interface.

Here is a little info from Korg's website


Synth
2 oscillators + noise generator
Oscillator 1
Wave: 8 types (Sawtooth, Pulse, Triangle, Sine, Formant, Noise, DWGS, Audio In), Modulation: Waveform, Cross, Unison, VPM
Oscillator 2
4 types (Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, Sine), Modulation: Ring, Sync, Ring+Sync
Waveshape
12 types: Drive, Decimator, HardClip, OctSaw, MultiTri, MultiSin, SubOSCSaw, SubOSCSqu, SubOSCTri, SubOSCSin, Pickup, LevelBoost
Multimode Resonant Filters
Filter 1: -24 dB/oct LPF ~ -12 dB/oct LPF ~ -12 dB/oct BPF ~ -12 dB/oct HPF ~ Thru, Filter 2: LPF, HPF, BPF, COMB
EG x 3, LFO x 2
Vocoder
16 channel vocoder, adjustable level and pan for each channel, Formant Shift function, Formant Motion function, Formant Hold function
Effects
Timbre: 2 band EQ, Insert effect (per timbre), Program: Master effect
Arpeggiator
Six types: UP, DOWN, ALT1/2, Random, Trigger, Individual step on/off function
Programs
128 programs (16 banks x 8 programs), 16 formant motion data sets (7.5 second x 16)

NAMM 2007: Sonicsstate.com Videos from the show floor

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.:Sonicstate.com Videos:.

Sonicstate.com has a whole bunch of videos up from the NAMM floor. Ones worth noting are the Alesis and the Korg videos.

NAMM 2007: Arturia's First Hardware Synthesizer, Origin

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One of the coolest pieces of gear coming out of this year's NAMM that I am excited about is the new hardware synthesizer from Arturia. This is their first ever hardware synthesizer, and it is a diigital modular that takes all of the best modules from its Moog Modular, Arp 2600, Minimoog, CS-80 and Prophet VS synths. Essentially you seem to get the best of all of their software (whch has been reviewed to sound amazingly close to the orginals) all in one sweet little package. It even has a color screen!!!

This is something I will definitely be eyeing in the next year for release.

.:Arturia Homepage:.

NAMM 2007: Dave Smith and Roger Linn Pairing Up?

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Reports seems to be coming in that Dave Smith and Roger Linn have paired up to merge the best of their two respective worlds. An analog drummachine with an MPC style sequencer and pads called the Boomchik . Sounds pretty darn amazing to me. Ok, you can close your mouth now.

Friday, January 19, 2007

NAMM wishlist...

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Well if you're like me you've been watching the forums out there for news regarding your favorite software/hardware companies during this NAMM season. :) For a full list of all the crazy new gear coming out, I've been checking out .:KVR Audio:. as they seem to have a definitive (if yet a little disorganized) breakdown of what to look for on their frontpage. That's really cool of them (did you see that .:Arturia Origin:.? ...zomg total techno boner).

As a Cubase 4 and Virus TI owner, I've been waiting with baited breath and checking like a maniac for updates to those particular items.

So after a little fishing I saw that the Yamaha/Steinberg marriage seems to be going well as they announced something to go with the Yamaha Motif series, .:Cubase AI4:. - which is essentially a hookup for the Motif to Cubase to use some new features and further integrate your studio. Very cool. However with the disappointing cancellation of the Cubase SX3.1.2 update by Steinberg, what users are foaming at the mouth for is an update to Cubase 4 itself. Bugs seem to abound in Steinberg's latest flagship release (I know I'm having bugs), so anticipation is that an update is on it's way presently, especially since the Cubase 4 forum moderators are hinting pretty strongly that it's coming. Will it arrive for NAMM? Well, I'd rather they fix the bugs and it takes an extra week than have them rush something out that doesn't address things well enough.

Another thing which popped up was some .PDF and infos about Access releasing an "OS 2.0" for their Virus TI. I first saw it posted to the .:Access Virus TI forum:. and it seems like there's a laundry list of things that will supposedly be added: Enhanced wavetable synthesis, new wavetables, new oscillator types (grain-table and formant oscillators), category sorting, patch complexity indicator and 2 new ROM banks. Well, kudos to Access if that's true but there have been some obvious doubts to the legitimacy of this report. That's the internet for you, there's always "that guy that knows this beta-tester who told him" so we can only wait and see...

NAMM 2007: LivePA Related Gear

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Winter NAMM 2007

Winter NAMM has started and I am extremely excited. I have always loved reading about all of the new hear that is coming out and all of the cool and sometimes not so cool things that companies think we will buy.

Unfortunately, none of the LivePA Blog writers will be at NAMM. We are not that important apparently and NAMM did not generously send us any press passes. Regardless though, we will try to keep track of some of the new gear that is reported on other websites so as to pull out the interesting and most relevant stuff for the LivePA artist.

Upon my initial readings from reports it appears that this year’s NAMM has an extremely high amount of software DJ equipment, packages and combination systems. I have already seen two interface devices from both M-audio and Vestax online and they both look to be quite interesting, with some real possible applications for the LivePA artist. Check back later today to see a post on some of my initial thoughts as well as some info on that gear.

On the flip side there is of course plethora of production gear coming out as well. Hybrid mixers seem to be the thing with just about everyone offering USB and Firewire analog mixers. From a LivePA standpoint that looks to be extremely promising for more integration of the hardware and software aspects of our production.

Finally, there looks to be some great new synths coming out. I suspect you will probably see the standard fair of keyboard workstations, but the small form keyboard synth seems to be in style again and that space saving design is always a blessing for LivePA artists.
Anyways, we will try to keep up with the info from NAMM as best we can, and provide information that is relevant to LivePA artists.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Liveset: Dynamic Interplay- Geologic 7/17/05

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.:Dynamic Interplay- Geologic 7/17/05:.

For this week's liveset, I am going to tout myself with a little self promotion here. This is an old set of mine from back in 2005 recorded at an outdoor festival called Geologic. Geologic was held in Murphysburo Illinois at an old rock formation in a canyon. The event was quite spectacular.

I was one of the last performers of the three day festival performing on Sunday morning in the IDM tent. The event was really quite miserable being super humid and in the upper ninties the entire time. Imagine goa trance blasting 72 hours straight and everyone just laying on picnic benches because they were dying. Yeah it was that hot, and I was wet for three days straight. Southern Illinois is southern United States as far as I am concerned

By the time I performed on Sunday morning I was pretty much ready to get out of there. It even began raining during my set.

Peforming at Geologic was one of those things that you gotta say you will do once, but never wish to do again. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the set.

Music Production Blogs Round-Up

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Chances are good, that if you are actually reading this blog then you might be interested in reading more blogs about music production and electronic music. I rounded up a list below of the best music production blogs that I could find. I hope all the readers out there will enjoy them as much as I do. Hopefully you will still have a job at the end of the day.

.:Beep-Glitch:.
.:c64music:.
.:Create Digial Music.com:.
.:Garagespin.com:.
.:GetLofi.com:.
.:Global Noise Online:.
.:Make Blog:.
.:Matrix Synth:.
.:Musicthing:.
.:Pixelsumo.com:.
.:Subtle Noise Maker:.
.:Synthwire:.
.:Tenori-ON Report:.

I hope you find these links interesting, if you have any more please post them up in the comments section.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Follow Up: Timbaland Accused of Stealing Music

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I am posting this as a follow up to yesterday's post (here) regarding Timbaland being accused of stealing the song AcidJazzed Evening from the Artist Tempest. This website is apparently the offical statement from the artist himself.

.:www.fairlight.fi/tempest:.

quote:

In early August 2000, I, Janne Suni, released a song called Acidjazzed Evening under the moniker Tempest in the oldschool music competition at one of the largest demoparties, Assembly. The original format of the song is MOD, a module format originated on the Amiga computer. In the music competition it got 4249 points from the voters, placing 1st out of 15 qualified entries. The complete results of Assembly 2000 can be found here.

Right after Assembly 2000, Acidjazzed Evening, as well as all the other competition entries released at the party, were uploaded to Scene.org, which is a registered non-profit organization aimed at providing the electronic art scene with a forum for communication and a platform to share their work.

I have never given up the copyrights of Acidjazzed Evening. I also have never authorized commercial use of the song. In 2002, however, Glenn Rune Gallefoss (also known as GRG) made a conversion/arrangement of the Acidjazzed Evening which was not released commercially. This arrangement was made on the Commodore 64 computer. It was authorized by me, and Glenn Rune Gallefoss explicitly asked for permission before releasing the arrangement.


Links to the orginal .MOD file can be found on the above link as well as other information.


Additionally, Defsounds.com has links to the complete songs in much higher quality then the Youtube videos and after listenign to both songs completely, I have to say myself the arguement of plagerizm in this case is all the more strong.

You can find the complete songs at the following link: .:Defsounds.com:.

How to use a MPC for LivePA

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LivePA artist Verg (Lx7) has a nice video podcast that describes how you can, and how he uses the Akai MPC for LivePA with the track mode. The MPC in this video looks like it is the Akai MPC 4000, but the methods here can be applied to pretty much any MPC.

Be sure to check out his website for other music and video podcasts as well at: .:LX7.ca:.

Timbaland Nabbing Independent Musician's Work?

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It would appear so by the looks of it in not only these youtube videos:





But also through the work of Belgian magazine Side-Line and the Something Awful forum.

.:Blog Post at Sideline.com:.

.:Side-Line.com:.

.:Discussion on Somethingawful Forums:.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Underworld - Cowgirl Live 2000

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Here is classic song that we all loved back in the day from everyone's favorite underground movie "Hackers". Underworld performing their hit Cowgirl with a bunch of live clips.

As my favorite livePA artist Mux likes to say: "Rave Rave, Techno Techno!!!"

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Talking with promoters

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Perhaps one of the hardest things of livePA is not necessarily the performance aspect of the entire process, but rather the hassles and headaches that one must often have to deal with when setting up a show.

I myself am no expert at setting up a show and discussing with promoters. Certainly even the other authors of this blog probably have more experience then I do, but here are some of my insights from my experiences of setting up a show.

First off, more often then not the promoter, club owner or whom ever is a human being just like you and I. If your generally dealing with an indie or underground event organizer then they are probably going to be pretty cool cats when it comes to talking with you and communicating. The whole process might be much more informal then what you might see at higher end clubs or dance events. That all being said these underground people also probably do not have the contract or payment guarantees that are necessarily associated with a higher event either.

One of the hardest things I have and still deal with is calling people up out of the blue to try to get information on performing at an event. Generally I like to start my communications off with an email because it is less obtrusive. That email sort of sets the person up for a phone call later so they have some notion of who you are, even if they do not call you back from the original email you sent. As a general rule of thumb I like to try to contact in both email and through the phone when discussing shows. The phone call allows you to really discuss details with the person as well as be able to get a overall perception of what that promoter is as a person. The email however has the distinct advantage of leaving a paper trail in a sense. It is all to easy for someone to go back and change what they say they would pay you, or what your time slot was in a show if you do not have it written down somewhere. While ultimately you cannot force the promoter to do anything and you probably won't be suing them over the little amount you are probably getting paid, the email at least gives you leverage if an argument does develop.

Communications generally beyond that are largely up to you as an artist. How you yourself handle the situation and what your personality is like will determine a lot of how things progress.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Minilogue Live in Berlin

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.:Minilogue Live in Berlin:.

Here is a nice liveset from artist Minilogue recorded in Berlin. Unfortunately the site is in German that I found this on, and there is not much more info then that. The set is a nice sort of dreamy dance set. Not quite hard enough for techno, but not quite trance either. Maybe a house of some sort? In many respects there is a sort of Daft Punk feel in the repetativeness of the music.

Be sure to check out the artist's website. Looks like his myspace page has some videos of an upcoming DVD release

.:myspace.com/minilogue:.
.:Minilogue.com:.



via .:thedifferencemakesit.blogspot.com:.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Matrixsynth: OXYGENE II Jean Michel Jarre Cover

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Matrixsynth: OXYGENE II Jean Michel Jarre Cover

A nice video performance of someone performing Oxygene II by hand in their studio.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Are We There Yet? The Computer and Music Production

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Over the past fifteen or twenty years the rise and development of the computer in the music production field is been quite remarkable. Any of the musicians out there reading this can pretty much attest to the fact that the computer these days can do just about anything in music production. I would even be willing to wager that if you are a musician like me, in their twenties, your probably started your production out in an all software environment, rather then working with hardware first.

Through much of this convergence of software as the preferred domain of music production there has always been this notion that the computer just isn't "there yet" in regards to processing power and capability to completely replace the studio. It seems however that about four or maybe five years ago we may have hit and just surpassed our mark of the computer being "there". Perhaps the important point is not that we have made it "there" in the processing field, but within the last two or three years we have made it “there” in the price field as well. The prevalence of the $400 desktop computer and the $600 laptop is pretty remarkable these days. Now, while these machines might be on the lower power end of many computer systems in the higher price range, they are remarkably powerful. The rate at which computing technology is progressing is so fast, that these $400 computer systems are just as powerful as the $2000 computer systems that were around just a couple of years ago. Just five years ago I was using an IBM 450Mhz computer doing music production quite happily. I know find myself sitting here with a 2.0 Ghz Core Duo laptop.

It seems then for all practical purposes, picking up a cheap Celeron processor computer at your local Best Buy can get you up and running these days to run a surprisingly hefty software studio environment. The question then begs us to consider, "Are we finally there?"

As I look at the music world today I really have trouble trying to come up with ways in which I can say we are not there. When even the most basic of computers can run Absynth, Vaz Modular and others how can we say we are not there? So lets just suppose for a moment that we are all in agreement that we are there. Sure there are the arguments out there that the computer cannot do everything, but for 99% of the musicians needs out there, even the most basic store bought computer can effectively get you making music.

Where exactly do we go from here? I don't plan to turn this into one of those will software replace hardware debates, because there are innumerable arguments out there for why hardware will remain to be relevant, but where do we go in the next five, ten or fifteen years for software development for computer music production? Do we just continue to make prettier looking software that runs on faster and faster machines? What levels of innovation and new standards can come out of the next generation of music software?

Based on my observations here are some of the thoughts that I have on where computer software can go in the next generation with respect to development.

1. Convergence: Convergence is one of those terms that has been floating around in the technology world for about ten years. Convergence is the combination of technologies into a single package. Cell phones and
cameras are a prime example of convergence success, but most attempts at convergence generally fail because the end product is not particularly good at either thing that it does. The Sony PSP rings a bell there. Convergence on the music production field has a lot to grow on in the next few years. In some ways we are beginning to see beginnings of convergence with the inclusion of video editing and playback in many of the software studios. Ableton Live appears to be developing nicely from a live performance tool to a full featured software studio that can do live performance. The idea of convergence however can really be expanded to a lot of other media forms in software production beyond what might be initially thought. Apple's Garageband implemented podcasting features extremely well and leaves some doors open for the possibilities of all sorts of new media production and publishing. The Web2.0 phenomenon is taking off and it would not surprise me if we begin to see publishing and collaboration tools begin to make their way into more and more software studios. One touch publishing/export of a track to a website or publisher would be exciting, and even more so would be the inclusion of networking capabilities in software allowing for people to remotely and jointly collaborate on tracks from miles apart.

2. New Methods of Synthesis: One of the areas that I think the new computer platforms can excel at in the next generation is new methods of synthesis. There will always be the strong staple of subtractive synthesizers out there, but I hope to see some really creative and new things beyond just hybrids come along. The use and popularity of granular synthesis has largely taken off because of computers, but how about something new that blows our minds? FM synthesis that uses more then just sine waves would be neat. How about something else that I can't even imagine, or for example develop something that is simply impossible to do on hardware? Csound on their website touts how you can make a 3,000 oscillator synthesizer with a 9,000 stage envelope if you wanted. That is great, but putting that into a usable environment that general musicians can use is something that would be great to see down the pipe line.

3. Freeware and Open-Source Platforms:
Perhaps the biggest winner in this entire software development platform is the musician. Never before have the tools to make music been more affordable and been as numerous. The past generation Windows really won I think offering more software then really anything else around. Not to mention on top of that, is that there were plenty of freeware production suites that got people up and making music. The increase of cheaper and cheaper computers I think will open up opportunities for new and younger software designers. Everyone's brain works a little differently, and it will be great to see some radically new and different ideas for the software studio in the next few years. In the past years software like Reason, Ableton Live, Aodix, and Bidule changed the way people made music. Along with the new forms of synthesis new ways of making music is important.

So now that we have reach the place where computing power has reached the pinnacle, where do you think it should go from here? How will increased processing power impact the way you make music and how would you like to see it impact the way you create music?

Monday, January 08, 2007

LivePA French style

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A longtime acquaintance of mine, Olivier.B, aka Le Club Cuisine: LivePA veteran from Rennes, France



Recorded @ Antipode, 7 October 2006. Find more of Olivier here.

COSM Video: Discussing LivePA, what is Live and more

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COSM, one of the artists that has been featured a lot on this blog has put up a nice video talking about his act as a livePA artist. he covers nicely how he does his show, and touches on the debate about if LivePA is really live performance music. Great video, and even if you are not really into livePA check this video for the great scenery he uses for a backdrop in his discussion.

Quote:
This video coveres the processes and techniques I use when I perform live electronic music using my laptop, a synthesizer and midi controllers.

It begins with a little about me and my music, then moves on to a more in depth look at the techniques I use. It finishes with a short montage of clips taken from various gigs I have done.

More information, videos, pictures and free music can be found at my website www.cosm.co.nz



Check out his website as well .:Cosm.co.nz:.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

MogoPop.com: Another Way to Get Your Music and Videos On People's iPods

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.:MogoPop.com:.

MogoPop.com is an intresting website and concept that I have come across this morning. MogoPop is a free web-based service that allows people to easily create multi-media for the iPod. Now you may be asking what is so great about MogoPop when I can just send out my mp3s or podcast? Well MogoPop is multi-content related. You can upload just about any media, ranging music, to video, to text, to games and have all of this different media in a single file for a person to download an put on their iPod. MogoPop says to think of it almost like letting a person put a website with all of the media content to it right on the iPod.

For those adventurous enough that seems very interesting. Imagine for a minute not only just putting music on your iPod, but simultaniously putting access to videos, your bio, pictures, games, interactive maps, and more. Sounds like a pretty good selling point for artists to me. I can see how this would be a fantastic tool for event organizers to provide performance times, artist samples, stage locations and more for their events.

The only drawback appears to be that you have to use the Mogo software to upload and download the content to your iPod, although MogoPop says there is good integration with iTunes.

Friday, January 05, 2007

LivePA Podcast Episode 1: Introduction to LivePA (AAC)

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Welcome to the first official LivePAcast. In this episode I talk about what exactly LivePA is, introducing all of you newbies out there to the concept and sounds of LivePA. This is our first official podcast so bear with us as we iron out the kinks and develop a show format.

At the end of this episode we have a liveset from Canadian LivePA artist Mux at the Listening Room from 2005 (http://mux.ca).

Next month I will go over the basics of developing your own LivePA and what gear exactly you will need to get yourself up on the stage. Until then, keep listening in to all of the great livesets on this feed and come check us out over at the LivePA Blog (http://livepa.blogspot.com)

Note: Many of our podcast subscribers may have noticed on December 30th there was a surge in new liveset links. These are in fact old posts from before the podcast was setup, and I refreshed them hoping these would show up in the feed. The did in-fact show up in the feed but unfortunately their date was on the refresh date, not the date posted. I encourage everyone to check those podcasts out. I know we will eventually get this whole podcast thing down.

.:LivePA Podcast Episode 1: Introduction to LivePA (AAC):.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Sampling Dilemma

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OR
Zen and the art of Cultural Appropriation
Part 1: What it is and what it means

While largely considered a problem exclusively for DJs, copyright infringement via sampling someone else's track is an issue which extends into Live PA, if only because of the popularity of samplers, and samplers are very much connected to the root of the issue. It's something which I have been giving increasing thought as time passes, largely because I had once held the firm belief that sampling was wrong in an ethical sense, and at best a weak crutch for amateur composers. Being something of an electronica purist back then, I sincerely felt that the ability to make 100% original music through the creative use of technology meant that doing anything less than that was just weak. After all, what's so special about playing someone else's music?

Then, I began to find out just how much of the music I love includes heavy sampling of pre-existing music. Massive Attack's music, which re-aligned how I looked at Hip-hop through the dark lens of Trip Hop, was positively laden with samples. Same with Portishead, Frontline Assembly, Atari Teenage Riot, and SPL of the label Barcode, to name a few, all of which had a hand in shaping my tastes as a musician. As my interest in Drum-n-bass began to grow, I decided that I should probably try to wrap my head around a couple of things, namely the idea that creative reconstruction of music can be an art form in its own right. After all, it's everywhere, from pop and hip hop's seemingly oblivious sample theft to the snippet of Massive Attack turntablism buried in Angelo Badalamenti's jazz score for the film 'Lost Highway'.

Copyright law protects privately produced material by default, and everything we produce is considered privately produced, whether or not it is owned by the originator or it is a "work for hire". Thus, thanks to private lobbying for changes in copyright law (spearheaded largely by Disney, in order to keep their trademark, Mickey Mouse, from falling into the Public Domain due to the passage of time-- but Disney's sins belong elsewhere), nothing ever realistically becomes free anymore. This problem is compounded by the fact that any "work for hire" is owned not by a person, but by a corporate entity, and when exactly does a corporation die? Excluding bankruptcy and the outright cessation of existence as a business, when copyrights for the material the company legally owns would expire over time, the answer is basically never. Given that consolidation is more common in the business world than outright failure, this means that a company can own the copyright assets of something it swallowed decades before, and had nothing to do with. So in a nutshell, nobody can realistically get a handle on this stuff well enough to make sampling a viable pastime in the eyes of the law. It is true that sampling rights can be bought or sold with the owner's permission, the costs of such legal maneuvers limit this option only to the established figures in the music industry.

This means that the independent artist is barred from one very important modern idea-- that, like a cubist piece made of cut-up newspaper, a musician can use sounds he finds in his environment as raw material for an entirely modern kind of music. For instance, it's perfectly fine to stand on a street corner with a microphone, recording traffic noise, and then releasing it on a CD later. (I don't recommend doing this, though.) However, were that recording to incidentally contain half a Pepsi sales jingle booming from a passing car, three and a half minutes of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio broadcast drifting from an antique shop door, and a passerby shouting "God, this new Sprint phone is such a piece of shit!" then you're going to have legal problems, even though their inclusion on your CD was entirely incidental to what you were doing.

Or who knows, maybe nothing would happen. Maybe you would dodge the bullet and nobody would ever notice your sample theft... that is, until you start making money off of it. Unlicenced sampling is basically financial Russian Roulette.

The things we find laying around in our world have a deep and important place in our art. By signing a box of Tide detergent, Andy Warhol got the gallery snobs to stand and marvel at an everyday object, and history gave him the nod of approval for it. A whole lot of artists are using this kind of cultural self-referencing, and have been for a long time, in order to create new meanings out of our "old" things, or to highlight a meaning unintended by the work's original creator. Sometimes it's the sound of a Doctor Who robot shouting "exterminate" that makes your ode to killer robots complete. Sometimes it's a sample of an old song the world forgot after it was stamped it into vinyl in 1969.

Naturally, this kind of free-ranging artistic mentality runs directly counter to our copyright laws, which have not taken into account that creative reproduction of what are called "found materials" in the art world can be and already is an accepted art form. Hip Hop, Cubism, Drum-n-Bass and Pop art would not exist fully were it not for the will of individual artists to break the law and manipulate what they found laying around them in creative ways. For example, the ability of techno musicians to directly and creatively reference the musical past of their home city spawned the musical sub-genre of Chicago House, a genre which has gained near-mythical status and credibility due to its place in the evolution of popular electronic music. If not for Chicago House, there would be no Acid House, and without Acid House glossy, fast-paced car commercials would need a new soundtrack.

The idea that underground culture can be appropriated by industry for the purpose of marketing is a well-noted irony. But how many people consider that doing so in reverse, for underground culture to assimilate the left-overs of Industry, is completely disallowed? That what has been thrown away by culture is suddenly picked up and treated like fucking gold as soon as someone else benefits from it too? Coupled with the idea that sampling and other forms of creative re-construction are hacking our cultural detritus to pieces and making things out of it more creatively and effeciently every single day, one might think that the days of Copyright Law are numbered. Yet increasingly frequent media reports of drawn-out court disputes involving large sums of money tell us otherwise.

It has been made very clear that sampling is viewed by the recording industry, and by judiciary institutions as well, as a monetary issue regarding ownership, but this seems like a great injustice. You might say to yourself, wait. The notion of art's direction being dictated by industry and beauraucracy is, to put it plainly, to put control of art into the hands of those who understand it least. But we live in a society where private property is held in an iron vise of paranoia, and that's just the way it is. Current copyright laws ensure that it will be that way for the forseeable future, even if the laws don't fit the reality of the situation. (Wouldn't be the first time.)

AND on a side note: Yes, I'm back and writing again. The AlcoHolidays blew my circuits a couple of times, but I think I'm good now. More will come soon.