Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Elysium Generative Midi Sequencer by LucidMac Software


Elysium by LucidMac Software

There are not many of us out there who are still looking for strictly a midi generator out of our music software, but there are some in the sea still. If you are looking for something a little bit more interesting from your midi sequencer then you may want to consider Elysium by LucidMac Software. Elysium is a generative midi sequencer that utilizes a unique honey comb type grid to build upon its sequences. It is strictly midi, but the creator states that you can render all the sequences out to another workstation such as Ableton Live or elsewhere.


"Elysium is generative which relates to the way the music is created by building up a “system” composed of layers, cells, tokens, and playheads that combined, when “played”, to produce a sequence of notes."

It is available as a free download, but is Mac OS X 10.5+ only. Give it a download and let us know what you think.


Friday, December 19, 2008

NIN Rehearsal with Lemur, Keyboards, Modulars, Macbooks


NIN: Echoplex - Live at Rehearsals, July 2008 from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.

Ok, so this isn’t really a LivePA video, but NIN is one of the most interesting acts performing live. They always do something creative with their gear and this rehearsal video shows some drool worthy stuff on stage that they are using. It looks like they may have upgraded their Frankenstein Kaoss Pads to the new Lemur interfaces. For me, they look super sick!!!!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hercules DJ Control Steel Released on Dec 22nd



Hercules DJ Control Steel

It has been quite a while since I last saw a midi/DJ control surface that has interested me. M-Audio’s Torq Xponent from last year was a disappointment to many and Vestex seemed to be the only one with a solid control surface. Hercules however has come out with a rather interesting control surface that features 13 rotary switches, six faders, and 46 push buttons. Overall very nice specs for an extremely affordable price. It comes in at only $299.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 Embarassing Electronic Artists Who Fake It


I think I may have just found our Doppelganger site. DeadAct is an online blog geared solely at showcasing electronic LivePA acts who blatantly fake their liveset. Love the idea, name and concept

“ is an online archive of videos found in the public domain that show electronic performers blatantly faking their "live set". To qualify as a Dead Act, the performer must have pre set out their performance in such a way that if they were to drop dead, the set would keep playing on as normal. Bonus points for fake knob tweaking, failed attempts to play real instruments , and good orgasm faces. ....Do they think we're stupid?”

Monday, November 24, 2008

TouchOSC w/ Novation Remote


Making the rounds this afternoon is the amazing implementation of TouchOSC on an iPhone paired up with a Novation Remote SL. TouchOSC takes the Open Sound Control (OSC) protocol and puts it into a very slick software application for the iPhone or iPod touch. The result is a Lemur type interface for a fraction of the price. You can download it off the iTunes store now for $3.99.

TouchOSC Details

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

JayB Productions: Trance Live Studio Performance


Normally as of late I have been a little sick and tired of the studio live performance videos. They are all over Youtube and while they are cool, I have gotten bored of them. Hence they have not really showed up on the blog much (let me know if you would like to see otherwise). This video above however was just way too good to pass up posting however, because of the fact this guy is playing everything live. Good keyboard chops will get me every time.

via Matrixsynth

Friday, November 07, 2008

Out of Sequence - Live Techno Music Event in NYC


Tom Phonic, Dj Slouch & A-ux

Time and Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 10:00pm - 2:30am
Location: Karma Lounge (Basement)
Address: 51 1st Ave (Between 3rd and 4th Street), New York, NY 10003
Entrance: No Cover - Strictly 21+

Venue Phone:2126773160

In the words of a friend -
Out of Sequence, 5 borough known spot for the real underground sounds of Live electronic/hiphop dance music. The line-up this time around shows Out of Sequence keeps it with a bump, a grind, a drink, a dance, and a damn amount of fun.

This is a real deal underground in the basement joint under the chill spot Karma Lounge with it's mad chill atmosphere with the Hookahs up top and the bump of the 808 kicks, and choppy grinding samples underneath.

Come enjoy the ill LIVE musicians, LIVE VJ's, LIVE sexy males and females having their drinks and fun! Nov. 13th, Karma Lounge, 9:30 doors till the night becomes day.

Live Techno:
Krts –
DJ Slouch –
A-ux -
D. Gookin -

Late Night DJ:
DJ Udachi -

Live Visuals:
Bryan Teoh -
Peter Kirn -

8-Bit Guerilla


What we see here is 8-bit performer Waxin' Wary from Eugene, Oregon, using Milkytracker to do a live remix of an original tune by Portland, OR's 486 Kid on a handheld PC. To the side one can spot an amp with a deep-cycle battery strapped on the back, which is charged via solar panel before being taken out for a walk in the park.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Beardyman and a pair of KP3s


Here we see champion British beatboxer Beardyman at work demonstrating the live sampling and effects capabilities of the Korg Kaoss Pad 3, paired with a looping pedal. Truly hilarious and amazing.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bloom for the iPhone and iPod Touch


Brian Eno, who has been exploring the outer fringe of electronic music since the 1970's, has again fused music and technological innovation in the creation of Bloom, a generative ambient music application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The user sits mesmerized, poking the screen, which responds both visually and musically, effectively turning the device into an interactive audiovisual ambient music generator. Bloom doesn't come off merely as a piece of software, but more like a combination of software and a music album which never sounds the same twice. While using generative and fractal music in regular electronica recordings is nothing new (Aphex Twin has done this to great effect), crossing it with a consumer device like the iPhone is definately a step in a new direction. I say that a user-editable version of this program would turn a lot of heads, and would lead to some more very interesting art and music. As it is, Bloom can be had via Apple's iTunes store for a paltry $4.00us.

Friday, October 10, 2008 Twitter for Musicians?


So tonight at 6:00 PM Eastern officially launched to the public. I jumped at the chance and signed up to it right away to give it a quick run down and find out what it is all about. After exploring the site for an hour or so I think the simplest explanation of what it is, is Twitter for music sharing. The core of the site exists around musicians being able to upload their music (of any size and length) and then share it with followers. It has a similar followers system to what Twitter uses and you can subscribe to artists on the site.

Sounds pretty basic right? Well it is, but there are a whole slew of other cool features on the site that make it really cool. For example, one such featured is what they called a timed comment. While you are listening to a track an user and insert a comment on the timeline of the track right where they want. They can for example say "That was a great buildup" and insert it right at the point of the track where it occurred.

Also on the site there appears to be some excellent sharing features to embed your music externally. But, one of the coolest features is the dropbox feature. Soundcloud provides you a link to to allow anyone to drop music off for your to listen to. Feel free to drop music at the link below

Dynamic Interplay's Dropbox

So, overall this site is very cool and has a huge potential to allow for musicians to interact with each other. If anyone else out there is using the site or signs up, send me a request on the site and we can get to sharing some music. My username is DInterplay. Let me also point out that there are no file size limits to the music you upload!!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

VST Oversampling: Reduce the Aliasing on your VST's?


VST Oversampling

The oversampler "hosts" another VST plugin, and oversamples it by 2. Because of this, aliasing has twice the frequency range to unfold, which means that the aliasing that enters back into the audible domain is much less, and upon downsampling, the upper range (containing only aliasing) is discarded. This results in audibly reduced aliasing.

Interesting concept, but who knows if it even works. Question is, what is the impact it has upon your CPU as well. The trade of quality vs. CPU might be interesting. Any Windows users out there brave enough to tray this out and let us know how it works?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Show Your Vocoder Some Love


See more T-Pain videos at Funny or Die

Here is a quick lesson to you. Don't mess with your Vocoder, it might just turn on you. You know, now that I think about it I would love to see that battle play out. Daft Punk vs. their Vocoder. FIGHT!!!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dave Smith Releases the Mopho Desktop Synthesizer


Who doesn't love Dave Smith and analog gear?  Unfortunately for most of us the price is just too much for most of us to bear and even if we could afford the equipment the thought of exposing that nice Prophet eight to the possibility of a spilled beer is enough to make any LivePA artist cringe.

Dave Smith Instruments has announced a new monophonic synth module called the Mpho.

Mopho is a compact and affordable—but powerful—monophonic analog synthesizer. The voice architecture is identical to a single voice of the Prophet '08, but with a couple of unique twists to distinguish it from its award-winning sibling. We have added two sub-octave generators—one per oscillator—for additional girth and crushing basses. It also has an audio input that lets you process external audio and mix Mopho's own audio output back in pre-filter for feedback effects that can range from subtle distortion to extreme skronk. The Push It button is a manual trigger that lets you play a specific note or latch notes and sequences on. It can also step through a sequence to play short melodic lines without a keyboard. Of course, Mopho can also be used with a MIDI controller or external sequencer.
Mopho is fully programmable and all the parameters can be tweaked from the front panel. The four Assignable Parameters controls are assignable per program for optimum performance control. A free editor is available for Mac OS and Windows to facilitate programming. (And, if you already have a Prophet '08, most of Mopho's parameters can be controlled from the Prophet's front panel via MIDI!)

Ohh, did I mention it is only $399? Yeah, real analog, real Dave Smith. $399. This looks like a very nice compliment to the original evolver.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Roland VP-550: The Best Tool No One Knows About?


While browsing on some of the shopping sites this evening I stumbled across this instrument called the Roland VP-550. Never seeing it before I had to look into more about what it was. I found out it is a dedicated harmonizer/vocoder vocal synth.

In fact it is perhaps one of the best sounding vocal harmonizers I have ever heard, creating fairly realistic sounding choruses

Jordan Rudess has some excellent Youtube Videos that showcase some of the versatility of the VP-550. Quite frankly I am blown away and surprised no one else is really talking about this interesting instrument.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Jazzmutant Lemur Releases v2.0 Firmware on October 3rd


Jazzmutant Lemur Releases v2.0 Firmware on October 3rd

Everyone's favorite touch screen interface that no one can afford has just released updated firmware. The full list is below. New features, enhanced junk. Any Lemur users out there? I have always loved this thing, but it seems like it is just one step away from being the ideal touch screen interface. 

  • Breakpoint object – Offers total control of synthesizer or sampler envelopes with a multi-segment envelope editor to allow you to really get inside a sound, live on stage!
  • Gesture object – This emulates a trackpad control with advanced gesture recognition and has three novel ways to interact with your sound.
  • Alias – Now you can easily produce a copy or alias of a controller object that sends exactly the same information to your computer.
  • Tabbed Container – Containers are virtual panels that contain a selection of controls.
  • Mouse and keyboard control – Now Lemur's objects can be used to remotely control the mouse cursor or computer keyboard.
  • Workflow improvements – Setting up your custom performance interface is a breeze with the improved and new-look Jazzeditor.
  • Extended scripting abilities – You can now modify the physical behavior, appearance or size of an object in real time.



Monday, September 22, 2008

My New Addiction: Slagsmålsklubben


Over at the boards there was a topic posted about Slagsmålsklubben, a Swedish electronic sixtuplet which is blowing my mind as of late. They have quite a number of videos posted over on Youtube much like this one above. Pretty much, I cannot get them out of my head and I just had to share it with everyone.

Stanton DaScratch Touch Sensitive DJ Pad


stanton SCS3D


Looks like Stanton is offering up a new, interesting DJ controller to the mix. Above is the new Stanton SCS.3D Touch Pad. There is definitely some interesting design elements here with the USB cord being touched underneath the device. Admittingly it does look a little cheap though. 

Even after watching the video though I am slightly confused as to what this device is. Is it supposed to be replacing the  turntables or the mixer? Maybe I am just stuck in my old ways in thinking that a mixer style interface is even needed for software. All in all though this looks like an interesting approach to software DJ mixing, but I am curious if the touch interface (all the fad these days) is really any more intuitive or useful than traditional knobs and sliders.

Price comes in at an affordable $300 and features "plug and play" capability for all of the major DJ software out there, including Ableton Live.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jam The Tubes: Live Online Liveset


Sort of last minute, but I recieved word that tree members from the community are performing right now via Ustream for a live event on the net.

This is an event they plan to host again in the future so keep and eye for it, and if you are interested in performing yourself then head on over to the website to get more information.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Roland MC-808: Daft Punk Jam (Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger)


Found this nice video of a guy jamming on his MC-808 doing a liveish remix to Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". I gotta say it is pretty good and shows off the MC-808 a little bit. I feel sort of remiss about the MC-808 because I think it has gotten sort of a bad rap for the LivePA crowd. It certainly has its limitations as a full on workstation, but as a straight up sampler I think it has some really great features and playability.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

11 Free VST Synthesizers That Sound Great!!!


Looking for some great free VST synths to produce with? Then check these ones out. They are garunteed to get you  some new sounds for your set. 11 Free VST Synthesizers That Sound Great!!!

Taking the Electribe ES-1 further


From changing the colour of the LEDs lighting the buttons to adding switches in order to make old functions new again, owners of the original Korg Electribes seem to be taking matters into their own hands. Though the internal components are fare more tightly integrated than in the great circuit bending and user-modded machines of the past, such as the SK-1 and the famous Roland x0x line, today's ever more tech-savvy end users are nonetheless finding ways to creatively modify these increasingly cheap little boxes. Noticing this, I've decided to consolidate a few of the more interesting and successful user mods I've seen floating around the net, as well as inluding links to some useful tools and such for the models I talk about.

Of course, modifying any of these while they are still new and under warranty will void said warranty, but you already knew that, right?

The above video shows what happens when someone decides that Korg's sense of design just isn't up to snuff with their own refined sense of aesthetics. Blue LEDs and a sweet paint job on the case are obviously the answer! It might not change the way the instrument sounds, but it's a start.

Another useful and increasingly popular modification is the addition of a battery pack, detailed in a nice PDF file and AVI video in the file section of the Electribe Yahoo group, where you can find all sorts of other useful utilities as well, such as the blank pattern/sample template in Zip format, and the pitch knob map. (You'll have to sign in with a Yahoo ID to see.) For those wanting to dive in a little further, there is also a Max/MSP editor for the ES-1 as well.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

LFO-One & Oliver Porath Rock Two Spectralis'


The Radkial Technology Spectralis was thought by many to be the holy grail of groove gear back when it was first announced a few years back. Unfortunately it has not totally lived up to its promise with some rather low key short comings and OS bugs since its release. The video above by LFO-One & Oliver Porath show us I think the total possibility of the Spectralis and why it still deserves to be on all of our "most wanted" lists.

via Matrixsynth

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chemical Brothers Live Setup


Everyone has heard the debates about whether or not the Chemical Brothers fake it right? Well, regardless of which side of the debate you fall onto, you have to admit, they have a pretty sweet set of gear that at least sits up on stage.

Anyone care to spot out all that gear?

via MusicThing

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Aurora Open Source Control Surface Now Shipping


The open source DIY midi/DJ controlled called Aurora is now shipping in two assemble yourself kits. As I mentioned in our previous post this is an open source controlled that not only looks super functional, but looks good while doing it.

Kits come in two versions. The quick assemble kit that requires no soldering on your part runs for $340 US (Not bad IMO) and the complete soldering option runs $270.

You can purchase it over at their website

via CreateDigitalMusic

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arduinome: Arduino Based Monome Clone


Arduinome Nerdscroll Demonstration from BricK Table on Vimeo.

Wow, it has been a few weeks since the last post hasn't it. Well hopefully I will get things kicked back into gear here with some new posts.

Everyone loves the Monome right? The 64x64 grid based wonder controller that can be used on everything from sequencing to drum triggers. Will it looks like there is a great DIY project out there to clone the Monome appropriately called the Arduinome. One of the prime advantages of this new DIY approach is that it is built upon the Arduino patch board, which allows the device to have an almost unlimited expandability approach. That is not to mention that it is dirt cheap as well.

Full details on the project can be found over at their WordPress blog: Bricktable


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Aurora: Open Source/DIY Midi Controller


aurora Open Source DJ Mixer\MIDI Hardware w/ Ableton Live from mcubed on Vimeo

Now here is something that is hot. The Auroroa Mixer is an open source build it yourself DJ mixer/midi controller that is absolutely beautiful. The device is developed by three individuals who each had a hand in designing the firmware, design and electronics.


Aurora is a usb powered multichannel mixer in a typical dj form factor. the device features two linear channel faders, a single a/b crossfader and eight backlit buttons. twenty four backlit knobs allow you to control effects. aurora, unlike most midi controllers, enhances performances with controllable ambient lighting. aurora easily integrates with your favorite midi compatible software.

I hope all of your Ableton live guys out there are getting ready for this thing because it could really change everything we are doing for control surfaces. It has the M-audio design flair and I would not be surprised if we see a manufacturer pick this thing up. I also can't wait until the DIY'ers get a hold of this and start making hacks and all sorts of tweaks. I am looking for the full 64 knob version coming soon.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

8 Free, Cross-Platform Apps for Musicians


Looking for some new and interesting software to whet your appetite? While these software programs are not necessarily Live oriented they are off the beaten path and could help you with a spur of inspiration.



Traverso is a lightweight but powerful DAW that works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Professionals who’ve tried this software comment that despite some strange interface decisions (such as having to hold shift and click to move the playhead), it’s a viable option for those looking for a free alternative.



Ardour runs on Mac OS X and Linux making it cross-platform only to an extent, but this app, despite not running on the most ubiquitous system of them all, has grown in popularity and has quite a vocal and happy user base.



Every studio, home or professional, needs a good dedicated audio editor to run alongside the DAW. Audacity fills this role perfectly. You could even make a demo of a full song using Audacity, with a bit of work, though I wouldn’t recommend it! I actually tried to do this four or five years ago - we got something usable out of it, but let’s just say it wasn’t one of those projects where you use a take or two from the demo.



While Hydrogen bills itself as an advanced drum sequencer for GNU/Linux, it’s also available on Windows and Mac OS X. If you’ve got the samples, there’s nothing to stop you from using Hydrogen as a sequencer, but it really shines when you’re putting together programmed drum tracks.



MidiSwing is a very lightweight, minimalist MIDI sequencer. There’s not a whole lot of fiddling to do with MidiSwing because of its simplicity, which means the geek in you will be disappointed but you’ll be able to get to work quicker, and get more done. Perhaps this is the kind of interface you need to compose your tune before importing it into a more complicated sequencer—if you’re the type who fiddles with synthesizers for a few hours before writing a single note, this might solve your productivity problems.



While Frinika’s website could be a little friendlier, this sequencer also runs on Java, so it’s totally cross-platform. Despite the fact that it’s only reached version 0.5, it shows a lot of promise and it seems to be more advanced than MidiSwing, so it’s definitely worth checking out and having a play with.

Finale NotePad

Finale NotePad

As much as we all hate notation, sometimes it’s a necessary evil. Perhaps you’re licensing a song to a publisher who needs a lead sheet, and you don’t have the software to handle the job.

While Finale’s NotePad isn’t open source like most of the applications listed here, it is both free and cross-platform, with versions available for Windows and Mac OS X.



Since Finale NotePad doesn’t cover Linux users, we can’t leave without providing an option that does. MuseScore is available for both Linux and Windows.

MuseScore handles MIDI, features WYSIWIG notation editing, and a built-in sequencer and synthesizer so you can check that your notation sounds correct (definitely a plus if notation is not somewhere you usually go).


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spencer Keeton Cunningham Live 6.8.08 @ el rincon


Spencer Keeton Cunningham live @ el rincon, SF 6.8.08 from Spencer Keeton Cunningham on Vimeo.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Upgrade Your Old Sampler with SCSI to Compact Flash








Upgrade  your Old Sampler with SCSI to Compact Flash

Do you have an old sampler that is beginning to collect a little dust because it doesn't have the sample memory that you need these days? Well for about $100 you can pick up the MCDisk-2 media card drive. It allows you to replace your old SCSI memory with Compact Flash cards to boost your memory up to 16GB. The unit comes as an external unit, but can be mounted inside many of the samplers listed.

  • Korg Triton Classic, Triton Studio, Triton LE, Triton Rack, Triton Pro
  • Akai MPC60, MPC60 II, MPC2000, MPC2000XL, MPC3000 (requires the Vailixi 3.50 OS), S1000, S1100, S2000, S2800, S3000, CD3000, S3200, S3200XL, MPC4000,  S5000, S6000, Z4/Z8
  • Yamaha Motif 6, Motif 7, Motif 8, RS7000, PSR9000, EX5, EX7
  • Ensoniq EPS, EPS 16+, ASR-10, ASR-88
  • EMU Emax SE/HD, ESI-32, ESI-2000, ESI-4000, E4k, E5000, E6400, E64, EIII, EIIIxp, EIV, E4XT Ultra, E-Synth
  • Roland XV-5080, S760, S770
  • Kurzweil K2000, K2000VP, K2vx, K2vxS, K2000R, K2000RS, K2500X, K2500XS, K2500S, K2500R, K2500RS, K2600X, K2600XS, K2600S, K2600R, K2600RS, K2661

    I personally love the concept, but I am curious as to how far your mileage will go. From my understanding many of these old hardware samplers have memory limitations built into their firmware.


  • Monday, June 23, 2008

    Create Your Own Daft Punk EL Suit


    How to Create Your Own Daft Punk EL Suit

    You love Daft Punk's live shows, right? Who doesn't with their amazing visuals, giant pyramids and outstanding costumes. While it may cost you $65,000 to buy your own Daft Punk style helmet you can create your own EL suit for considerably less. has a great tutorial up for those DIY'ers who have the time and patience to build the suit. even better is the fact that this little DIY tutorial is lead by the very same person who created the original suits for Daft Punk.   How about that?


    Friday, June 20, 2008

    OpenStomp: Open Source Guitar Pedal?


     OpenStomp: Open Source Guitar Pedal

    Now here is an interesting concept that I thought we would have seen sooner. Take some standard off the shelf hardware, add some open source hardware, throw in a custom interface and you have yourself a great musical instrument at a fraction of the price of proprietary hardware. The Open Stomp is an open source stomp pedal that I presume basically takes software effects and puts them in a box. It uses the Coyote-1 sound effects processor and includes a Windows-based workbench for making sounds. No more details on the hardware specs, but it does have 1MB of storage (1MB? That is all?). 

    Lets see how this turns out.


    Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Korg Nano Control Surfaces



    Korg Nano Control Surfaces (Japanese Website)

    Quite a lot of buzz going on around the net as of late regarding Korg's latest announcement of the nanoKEY, nanoCONTROL and the nanoPAD. These are three new mini control surfaces to be used with laptops.  Here are specs on the three little devices

    • nanoKEY: 25 keys, transmitting either as MIDI notes or (via a separate mode) Control Change (CC)  messages. Octave shift (natch). Pitch, modulation. And it’s supposed to be velocity-sensitive, too, although we’ll have to get our hands on one to see how sensitive it is.
    • nanoPAD: 12 pads, supposedly inheriting the terrific sensitivity and feel of the padKONTROL. Chord Trigger. Control Change mode (as with nanoKEY). There’s even an X/Y touch pad with roll and flam mode, favorite features of the padKONTROL.
    • nanoKONTROL: 9 faders, 9 knobs, 18 switches, transport controls. (No, really.) MIDI notes, 168 CC messages. There are even attack and decay times for the switches, allowing them to work as faders, filter controls, effects settings, and the like – something I’d love to see on other (full-sized) controllers.

    The concept seems cool enough. The question I guess really comes down to the build quality and capability of the actual devices. From the pictures they look rather cheap, especially the keyboard. Also while the concept is great they are still divided up into three separate devices. With the size that small why not combine them all into one control surface? Or even better allow users to somehow "click" them together like Legos into a quasi modular setup. You can at least only use one USB port that way.  Certainly users would want everything on these and not have to pick and choose.

    So would anyone out there find these useful or are they just too cheap? Personally an M-Audio Oxygen 8 seems perfect adequate to me for mobile rig stuff, especially if you get the one with the built in audio interface.

    Sunday, June 08, 2008

    Lukatoyboy Live At De Peper In Amsterdam


    .:Lukatoyboy Live At De Peper In Amsterdam:.\

    This week we break up the ambient progression that we have been having with a turn in direction for an 8-bit style gameboy and nanoloop set. This one is performed by LukatoyBoy from Amsterdam. You can find more of his music over at

    Thursday, June 05, 2008 - Organize your online networks



    Through my news feeds today I happened to come across a new website which seems very topical to the recent posts I have upped on the blog regarding online social communities. We all know that there are plenty of social websites out there and getting in on them can be extremely beneficial to one as an artist. is a website which will synchronize your information between all of these different social website such as Myspace, Virb. Purevolume and more. The idea is very novel and could be extremely time saving if it picks up some more. The website is currently in a beta form and appears to only really sync your performance date information, but I am hoping that it continues to grow and allows one to eventually sync all sorts of information like your artist Bio, blog/news and so forth. 


    If you are a heavy user of social networking sites, give this one a look as it may help you save quite a bit of time.

    Sunday, June 01, 2008

    Drat 002 Live Ambient Set at Green Air


    .:Drat 002 Live Ambient Set at Green Air:.

    This week we have another live ambient set courtesy of The ambient guys really now how to post their stuff online and here we have Drat 002 with another very ethereal set to put you in a calming mood. This one was performed live on green air May

    Saturday, May 31, 2008

    DJ Hoax and Friends: Live at Psystream Radio


    .:DJ Hoax and Friends: Live at Psystream Radio:.

    This week's liveset comes from DJ Hoax from Psystream radio.

    Friday, May 30, 2008

    Virus TI Atomizer Effect


    So I'm willing to bet that most of you have seen the TI's Atomizer effect in the videos posted from NAMM and other trade shows. Well the OS was released to the public as a beta version about two weeks ago (May 12) and while you can't yet process your audio with the TI in a contained computer environment, you can run audio from an external source through the TI for processing. The results so far are pretty amazing, and tonight I recorded a sample live set while using the Atomizer effect. I hope you'll check it out and enjoy it! It's in podcast form FYI, so in order to hear it you'll need to subscribe to the feed.

    Click here

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    Mikronesia Live at Ambient Ping (April 25, 2006)


    Mikronesia Live at Ambient Ping (April 25, 2006)

    This week's liveset is improvised ambient music by Mikronesia at the Ambient Ping series in Toronto, Canada April 25 2006. Sit back close your eyes and take this one in.

    More information can be found at his/her website at:

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Attigo TT: Touchscreen Turntable Prototype


    Final Product // ATTIGO TT from Scott Hobbs on Vimeo.

    Now here is something super sweet and something I actually am surprised we have not seen sooner. The Attigo is a touchscreen turntable, basically two touch screens with a large streaming audio interface that you can drag and manipulate in real-time. Not unlike the experimental Protein DS Scratch software.

    The device is a prototype right now but Scott Hobbs, the creator is looking to bring it to the mass market.



    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Tijuana Sound Machine Live


    Great video of the group Tijuana Sound Machine showcasing some real talent and a variety of instruments in a live setting.

    via Matrixsynth

    Leveraging Your Online Presence


    Well, I really have been sort of on this online presence and community thing as of late. It is probably due to the fact that I really don't have the time to invest in performing live all that often anymore and I am looking for different avenues to present my music. Online communities (artist or otherwise), music distribution sites and so forth have at the moment become something I have wanted to focus a little bit more attention on. It is a topic that is often talked about briefly but never really discussed deeply. There are so many numerous websites out there that the whole process can be overwhelming. I myself for instance previously went with the approach of getting my music onto as many of these websites as possible to get to as many ears as possible. I have no idea of this approach really worked or not but in the end I inevitably found that I only had the time to concentrate on a couple of websites. For me those ended up being and to some extent Myspace. I as everyone else jumped onto the Myspace bandwagon when the rush was happening and had quite a bit of traffic on the page....for a while. Now with most all of these websites I have seen traffic dip significantly over the past year. In part due to me not keeping up with the site and in part due to the just lower traffic I think. In that time since I have moved onto numerous other social sites to try to promote myself. Virb, Last.FM and many others that I honestly can't even remember.


    It makes you sort of wonder though how is the best way to approach this whole online process. On the one hand you want to get in on the ground floor to any site while it is starting. I personally have the strong opinion that in some of the bigger sites it is way too easy to get lost in the crowd. If one joined Myspace today would they even get hits without having some sort of method to channel people to the site? It certainly is too big for the sort of stumbling around method that it had a couple of years ago. On the other site of the fence you are in the same boat of perhaps diluting your time and resources too thinly. Who is to say how much of a user base or traffic these pages are ultimately going to get. Virb is an excellent example of this. The site is great, the flexibility is awesome and there are a few artists on there who are getting hits. Ultimately though I find by browsing through their pages that almost everyone there who is not on the front page has less than 100 song listens and very few friends. It just doesn't have the critical mass to make it appealing in some sense. Do you hang on and hope it pops or let it go?


    As I mentioned before I have always taken the shotgun approach in the past to these pages, but perhaps a more focused approach to alternative promotion sites is a better way to approach the entire thing. Lets face it. Myspace for example has a ton of problems with it. When all is said and done it is a recognizable brand like Youtube. Putting that link on your business card or flyer is a pretty much sure way to get some hits and people are familiar with it. 


    Ultimately though I am curious as to what other live musicians are doing. Are there any sites that are really hitting your interest right now? Is Myspace still your staple despite its recent slow down in growth? Did you take the shotgun approach much as I have or are you focusing your listeners to a couple of sites?


    I would love to hear from what people have found successful.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    The Development of Chuck


    The above video is a nice introduction inside the development of Chuck, the live performance programming language being developed by the brain heads over at Princeton. Well worth the watch.

    You can find out some more information about Chuck on some of our previous posts.

    Create Digital Music:Hands on with Audio Cubes


    .:Audio Cubes Hands On:.

    We have discussed the audiocube on this website before and it is an interesting alternative to controlling software and visuals live. CreateDigitalMusic has posted up a very in depth hands on review of the device that shows some great movies. If you were ever curious about these little cubes this is a great place to start to read more on them.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    Justice Live Video


    Here is a great live video of the group Justice, which I have never heard of. But if you are looking for a little bit of gear porn wait till about two minutes into the video and you will get a nice little look. I won't spoil it for ya.


    Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    Electronic Music Production Communities


    This is just a post out to the reader base. Does anyone have any good recommendations for some electronic music communities? As I have mentioned previous on the blog here I am in a sort of funk phase of production at the moment and that may partly be due to the fact that my participation level with other artists online and offline has really fallen off in the past couple of years. This has been doubled by the fact that the two most popular forums that I visited ( and are either now gone or not really active anymore.

    Now I have made my rounds to the usual suspects: Future-Producers, IDMForums, EM411, Garageband, Sectionz. I am just not getting all that much of a good vibe from any of them. They either come off as too large and too full of wankers spamming their links and never posting real discussions, or as overly pretentious focusing too much on one particular style of music or concept of production. Sectionz for example seems full of FL Studio users who have the same animated attitude towards software as MS and Apple fanboys do to their computer.

    So I am sort of on the hunt to look for a good artist community to bounce ideas off of, see what is happening in the latest circles and so forth. There is of course the forums and I am not forgetting those, but I think I am looking for a general user community to just listen to other's music on and may be avoid the pretentiousness, wankery, posturing and so forth that I see on so many other sites.

    May be on a side note if no one has any suggestions what sort of stuff would you like to see in a music community for fellow artists?

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Kraftwerk: The Best & Worst LivePA I have seen


    On April 21st I had the opportunity to see Kraftwerk, the legendary German electronic group that has pioneered so much for electronic music. They are doing a small US tour and just happened to be in Milwaukee. I figured when is the next time I am going to see these guys, they might retire at anytime. So I paid my $30 ($50 after Ticketmaster fees) and made the drive up from Chicago.

    Now as my post title sort of indicates, this show was great, but also at the same time horrible. We have discussed on this blog and over there many avenues the issues surrounding LivePA. One of the most common issues that always come up in discussions is the laptop debate. Along with that is the artist who just sits there staring at their laptop through and entire show. That is exactly what Kraftwerk did. Stared at their laptops, all four of them and didn’t move. Now I know this is sort of their schtick, and in many respects many of the stereotypes of electronic music and musicians have been formed based off of Kraftwerk, but seeing them really do this in person is a rather unnerving experience. You can also see the crowd not knowing exactly what they should be doing during the music because of the stiffness of the artists on stage. At only a few points throughout the entire show did I see anyone really get dancing.

    Overall though I don’t want to totally rag on the show. The music was very tight and well done. The visuals were spot on and I can only speculate that one of the four on stage was controlling the visuals. This tightness in their set however leads me to believe that they have a very choreographed performance, with little room for improvisation. Are they checking their email on state? I can’t tell. Heck, I can barely tell that the performers are still alive.
When all said and done though the show was an ejoyable with a very tight set (maybe too tight) and great visuals. Worth the effort for the rare opportunity to see them in the U.S.

    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Monosylabik Liveset 01/03/08


    .:Monosylabik Liveset 01/03/08:.

    Alright, I am back after a nice spring break and with my return I am bring a new liveset for everyone to check out. It has been a little while since we have featured a liveset for the podcast here and it is time to get things running again. This week's liveset comes from Monosylabik and is a short but sweet little acid set from this past January.

    For more information on Monosylabik check out his website over at:

    Hifana: Fresh Push Breakin'


    The incomparable breakbeat duo Hifana, proving that livePA-style performance isn't just for nerdy obscure basement producers like myself.

    Over the past few years the waves they have created have spread beyond the borders of their native Japan, rippling across the world and gaining strength as they go. Their genre-bending mix of live percussion, crisp sampler-driven breakbeats, and turntablism incorporate everything from robot voices to traditional Japanese music, creating a blend that is exotic while still danceworthy, approachable and groovy enough for a casual listener while clever and complex enough for more discerning audiences. While the video is a professionally produced music video rather than a recording of a live performance, the reason I posted it here is to show that the art of livePA is slowly but surely working its way into the public mindset and gaining mass appeal. Bonus points go to anyone who can tell me what the electronic hand drum instrument is called.

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Etienne de Crecy @ Transmusicales de Rennes


    Etienne De Crecy Live 2007 Transmusicales de Rennes from Clement bournat on Vimeo.

    More from France with artist Etienne de Crecy rocking the Transmusicales de Rennes festival back in December '07. Visuals were done by Exyzt of Paris.

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    Technasia live @ The Wire, Yokohama


    A nice clip of Technasia getting down proper during their first appearance in Japan. The weird flute solo is my favourite part.

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Wii remote as a controller


    While this video is a bit slow to start, it shows the potential versatility of the Nintendo Wii controller's uses as a MIDI controller. Personally, I'm excited as heck that these days, even a game controller can be absorbed into the livePA musician's arsenal.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Under The Influence @ Retrophuture


    How funky can the French be? LivePA artist Under The Influence of Rennes, France sheds some light on the subject. Check his his myspace blog for more video and photos, as well as lots of things written in French.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Where Have I Been?


    Wow, I guess it has been quite a while since I have posted on the blog. A couple of people have sent me emails and PM's asking what is up. Basically not much is up. I am sort of taking an informal sabbatical you could say, but fear not. I have no intentions of throwing in the towel or anything like that. I think I am sort of just taking a month or so off for the moment to let my brain rest and recharge. The months after NAMM and Musikmesse are sort of down times anyways (not to mention Messe was boring this year), I figure I might just take some time to be a little hands off from music. You should see me on the blog in the next couple of weeks though, and I have to say that Digital Giest and J. Wells have done a nice job of picking up my slack as of late.

    Now with respect to my own music creation I think I am also going to take 2008 off for music writing as a sort of year to acquire some new music equipment, fiddle with my gear setup and music concepts. I think I want to sort of finalize how I want to setup my studio before really writing anything new because I don't want to get into a project and then add new gear half way through it. I am also looking at picking up one of the Micro-Laptops with the use of Milkytracker or perhaps Nanoloop to experiment on some side projects. Be sure look to see some reviews on how that works out if I pick those up.

    I definitely am going to pick the blog back up though in a couple of weeks or so. So just hold on a little while.

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Futuristic Design Challenge Gets Going


    In the prior entry covering the Kromatron, I made a passing reference (with linkage) to the fact that it was being entered in a control surface design challenge being put on by Yuri and company of Create Digital Media. Well, the entrants have been registered and assembled, and likewise the judging roster has been released. Included on the panel are the venerable Roger Linn, synthpop maven Liz Enthusiasm of Freezepop, Create Digital Music progenitor Peter Kirn, and sound design instructor Matt Ganucheau of Expression College for Digital Arts.

    Included among the entrants are the Kromatron, a whacked-out sawblade, an audio device made from a deconstructed bicycle and a tape player, and more. In addition to Komega's device, Evan Morris of fame has also entered "The Box", a visually reactive custom device built to control Reaktor, while also eliminating the need to look at the computer screen. Another exciting entrant is Ammo Box, the brainchild of Nathan Ramella, also known as the guy who hacked Ableton Live-- an under-described turntable/midi hybrid setup that's short on specs, but has an impressive youtube video. An altogether ecclectic mix of homebrew hardware, each of these devices seems to explore and exploit answers to fundamental questions about how music is controlled, and how it could be controlled. To put it simply, the manufacturers of music hardware simply never exhibit the kind of raw creativity seen among the entrants of this contest. Built by a mix of established semi-pros and previously unheard of garage wunderkinds, none of them are "safe" enough in terms of marketability to ever see the light of day under any other circumstances.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    The Past Gets Futuristic Again: Atari STeem and Dr.T's KCS


    The Past Gets Futuristic Again: Atari STeem and Dr.T's KCS
    Here we explore the nebulous place where the cutting edge meets low-tech minimalism.

    In 1987, the Atari 1040 hit the market, sporting an 8mhz processor and a then unheard-of 4 megabytes of RAM. Its integrated MIDI ports made it a contender against the other popular music computer of the time, the Commodore 64, and the operating system (called TOS, which stands for... The Operating System) was so microscopically small that it fit onto a single chip, making a hard drive optional. Much of the MIDI software written for this no-frills skeleton of a system followed suit, offering stark, eye-gouging interfaces that were packed with cryptic but highly efficient functions often hidden in plain sight. Of these, C-Lab's Notator software reigned supreme, offering an amazing array of MIDI editing the likes of which I have never seen anywhere else.

    My 1040ste unit has seen some hard times over the years of daily use. I've repaired it many times, gone through two monitors, and given it more than its fair share of pounding and overheating. Thankfully, the engineers at Atari were bright enough to encase most of the unit's internal components under removable metal shells. Nothing lasts forever, though, and each passing day of suspiciously flawless performance makes me wonder: how long will this machine last? It's nearly as old as I am, and replacement parts are hard to come by. If WHEN it bites the dust, the heart of my studio will be ripped out. So, I went searching for a modern solution.

    Of the of Atari emulators I tested on my laptop (an HP Pavillion) the best was Atari STeem. Not only does it faithfully emulate any of the 1040 series, the software can also run much, much faster than the hardware unit, allowing virtual overclocking and RAM expansion up to an otherwise impossible 14mb. Unfortunately, the program also brings some stability issues to the table that were never present in the hardware unit, but with modest performance settings this are easily managed. Unfortunately, C-Lab Notator cannot run under STeem, because nobody has managed to emulate Notator's hardware lock. Consensus among Atari MIDI buffs says that it could theoretically be done, but it would technically be illegal, and also heinously difficult. As I am no Atari guru, I went in search of another solution to my MIDI needs.

    The answer came in the form of Dr. Emile Tobenfeld's KCS Omega II software, a visionary MIDI editing suite completely unlike any other I have ever seen. The last official release was in 1993, but the software is easily had online at Tim's Atari Midi World. It is, as the documentation states a combination of several midi programs that work together under a multitasking environment called the Multi Program Environment, or MPE. Packed inside are programs like the Programmable Variation Generator, the TIGER graphical editor, a MIDI automation mixer, song mode, and a score editor. Each of these is complex and can be used as a program of its own, or in concert with the other programs. The main attraction for me is the Keyboard Controlled Sequencer for which the program is named. It runs in two modes, Open mode and Track mode. In Track mode, the program offers 48 MIDI tracks controlled with tape-style transport controls and a host of editing functions. Open mode allows the user to independently loop and playback 128 separate sequences via keyboard-mapped MIDI phrases, for a kind of live, hands-on approach to MIDI composition one might not expect from such an old program. That's right, it's an Atari sequencer that can be used live, quite possibly to great effect. Both modes offer extremely in-depth programming and a few unexpected functions.

    Even better, STeem's MIDI faculties handled information to and from my MOTU Fastlane USB/MIDI box without any latency issues. In fact, setting up MIDI under STeem was far easier than under Reason, Cubase, Adobe Audition or any of the other modern software I use. The clock is solid and the stability is absolutely amazing, especially considering that Windows Vista can't get that kind of stability out of any other program. The KCS software's learning curve is somewhat steep, and could potentially throw off the modern user who has been spoiled by dumbed-down functionality and slick graphical interfaces. It is greatly worth learning, however, because the depth of MIDI programming capability offered by KCS is astounding.

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    New from Komega-The Kromatron!


    While it's a custom piece that's unavailable to the general public, the Kromatron (built by its namesake, top notch livepa performer and all-around cool cat Komega) is one of those one-off projects that deserves a bit of spotlight. While Komega's been working on it for some time now, the plans are now finalized and given a name. Komega's goal for the device is actually to enter it in a midi controller design challenge that features a brand new Tenori-On controller as its grand prize. From the Kromatron blog:

    The Kromatron is a dynamic MIDI controller built specifically to interface with modern audio performance software such as Ableton Live. It has 4 knobs, 2 faders, a two-axis joystick, and 8 buttons. The device is 100% configurable and can change settings while the user is playing it. I call it a Meta-Instrument, because it holds 128 performance presets that can be activated by a simple MIDI patch change or program change signal.

    Pretty close up photos, complete with explanations, are available at the blog. And as if Komega wasn't busy enough with that project, be sure to check out his other device, the Komegatone-- a modified PAIA Fatman synth transplanted into an old suitcase with a wicked custom face. What's next for Komega? We'll do our best to keep you posted.

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    SonArt BassBox Free Sample Pack 1.3 GB of Samples!!!!


    Now I normally do not post sample libraries, but when the price is free and it is 1.3 GB of samples I have to pass it along to everyone out there. The sample library appears to be in several sample formats for all of you out there who have that "one" sampler you love so much.

    .:SonArt BassBox Free Sample Pack 1.3 GB of Samples!!!!:.

    The latest material was created for such styles as Electro, trance styles, DnB, House, Electro, Hip Hop, Jump, hardcore, breakbeat and more!!! The disc contains 640 new patches in 5 different formats (EXS24, Kontakt 2.1, Kontakt, Halion and Wav). BASS BOX creates sounds based on more than 1000 wave forms (1.3 GB / 24-bit quality). While working on the tools we have used a large number of synthesizers and Bass boxes (Minimoog™, Roland Juno 60™, Roland TB-303™, Virus™, Arp Odyssey™, Moog Voyager™ and many others!)

    Features in Detail:
    * Massive 1.3 gig 24-bit core wav library
    * 640 new patches
    * 5 different formats (EXS24, Kontakt 2.1, Kontakt, Halion and Wav)
    * All NEW Sounds developed by SONART sound designers.
    * Hundreds of brand new Basses.
    * Fully programmable
    * Sounds legendary synthesizer (Minimoog™, Roland Juno 60™, Roland TB-303™, Virus™, Arp Odyssey™, Moog Voyager™ and many others!)

    Formats: 1.3GB DVD multipack (1600+ files), includes 24-Bit Wavs (1.3Gb+MB, 1000+ files), EXS24, Kontakt 2.1, Kontakt and Halion patches (640+ files).


    Goldfish Live from South Africa


    I received an email from these guys a few days ago asking me to check out some of their videos over on their Youtube page. I have to admit, I was expecting only another dance duo result when checking their music, but after I listened to some of the videos I was totally blown away. Mixing in some live tenor sax and upright bass into their set really livens it up. They look to have a great thing going with their style and live set. Be sure to give the video above a look. You can also check out some of their music at their website:

    Saturday, March 22, 2008

    Tesla Coil Performance at the University of Illinois' Engineering Open House


    .:Tesla Coil Performance at the University of Illinois' Engineering Open House:.

    I just had to post this one, being that U of I is my alma mater. So we have all seen Tesla Coil performances before. They are all the rage apparently. I don't think we have seen any quite as involved as this one however. So what we have here basically is a performance that occurred during the Engineering Open House that the University does every year to entice new slaves students to the engineering department. U of I for those not in the know has one of the country's primer engineering programs (I was in Poly Sci.....yes.....ahem). Anyways the department every year puts on these crazy demonstrations to wow students and parents on the campus and this year they did a Tesla Performance in a frightening cold 4 degree night. Check out the quote below for how they set it up. Click on the link above for the Quicktime video.

    Mark Smart performs live in Urbana, Illinois on March 7, 2008. This outdoor concert was part of a student-run open house for the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. Tesla coils were used to create musical pitches via a control system designed by university student Steve Ward. Two coils were used. The right coil is playing a pre-recorded Midi track, acting as the bass, and the left one is performed live as a lead sound via the Continuum fingerboard. The Midi track as well as additional audio backing tracks were played via Cubase running on a Open Labs Neko workstation. In spite of the frigid temperatures (4 degrees Farenheit, 26 mph winds), the concert was well attended and was voted the most popular event of the open house.

    Way to go U of I. Did I also mention that the Haken Continuum is also one of my most desired pieices of musical equipment that I will never own? Yes.......Yes it is. Thank goodness this open house doesn't appear to have happened on the same day as "Unofficial St. Patties" day as it did a few years ago. Inside wink for any of you who were there back in 2004 or so.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Custom Lemur interface used to control Lucifer VST in Ableton Live.


    Here is a video of a custom Lemur interface used to control Lucifer VST in Ableton Live. It is very cool. I didn't even know custom interfaces could be done with the Lemur. More of that stuff needs to start coming out, it really show the power of the Lemur platform.


    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Nanoloop Jam.


    Now here is a micro set worth investing in. Take a Gameboy Micro with Nanoloop, throw in a Korg KP3 and a Kaossilator and you have yourself a wicked groove setup.


    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Korg DS-10


    Your Nintendo DS just got cooler.

    AQ Interactive is teaming up with music keyboard specialists Korg for Korg DS-10, a music creation tool for the Nintendo DS.
    Korg DS-10, demonstrated in the video at right, is a six track (four drum, two analog synth), 16-step tool that's controlled with the DS stylus.
    Additional effects, like delay and chorus, can be added using a mixing board. Multiple copies of Korg DS-10 can even be linked together using a local wireless connection.
    Here's the feature list:
    World's first music tool software created for the Nintendo DS
    Two patchable dual-oscillator analog synth simulators:
    Four-part drum machine that uses sounds created with the analog synth simulator
    Six-track (analog synth x 2, drum machine x 4) /16-step sequencer
    Delay, chorus, and flanger sound effects available from the mixing board
    Three note-entry modes: touch-control screen, keyboard screen, matrix screen
    Real-time sound control mode via touch-control screen
    Exchange sounds and songs and play multiple units simultaneously through a wireless communications link

    That pretty much says it all. Such features, combined with portability and what sounds like a pretty versatile bit of software, make the imagination go wild. It's only going to be available in Japan for now; like many people, I'll be holding my breath until it's released in the US. And it WILL be released in the US, right Korg? Unfortunately Korg's ad department needs to do better research before making tall claims, though.

    As found via the venerable Wired blog network, with corrections.

    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    Singularity Liveset: Voidloss and Villian - Leytonstoners Bassbin Massacre


    .:ingularity Liveset: Voidloss and Villian - Leytonstoners Bassbin Massacre:.

    This week's liveset comes from the group Singularity and appears to be recorded at eytonstoners Bassbin Massacre. I think.....To be honest there is no information on this artist or on this liveset. It just showed up in my inbox. If anyone has some more information please let me know. The group's website is very sparse right now with only a splash page, but hopefully some more information will emerge in the newar future. you can find it at:

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Using a Point of Sale (POS) Keyboard in Ableton?


    Over at the boards user Vayperlok posted an interesting question regarding a keyboard and Ableton. Now I am sure all of us out there with laptops, especially those used for live usage are looking for the perfect midi controller. We have seen the popularity of Monome and others of its like, but Vayperlok brought up a really great idea. Could you use a POS keyboard instead of a QWERTY keyboard to achieve this goal?

    Having an army of self programmable keys in front of you like that seems like it would be a fantastic solution for triggering loops and midi. Has anyone had any experience using a POS keyboard in Ableton or any other DAW? We would love to hear your opinion on the matter of how easy or difficult it is to not only program the keyboard but also setup the DAW software to accept an input keyboard for music notes.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Direct Note Access


    Soon to be included with the Melodyne software bundle from Celemony is the revolutionary and exciting piece of technology called Direct Note Access. In short, it can listen to recorded audio, pick it apart into individual notes (including notes played in chords!) and pitch-shift any of the notes independently of one another. This allows anything from the subtle correction of a single incorrect note to changing the key of an entire piece of music. The art of sampling just got an unbelievably valuable tool, as revolutionary as time stretching, pitch shifting and break chopping were previously. Click the above link to watch a video of this technology's inventor explaining Direct Note Access and its applications. This technology will now be standard in all of Celemony's Melodyne software, beginning with Melodyne 2, which is slated for release in the autumn of 2008. When it's available, it will cost $399 (349 Euro), a price which many of us will undoubtedly be willing to pay. Savvy musicians will buy Melodyne 1, which is already a top notch, audibly flawless pitch shifting and time stretching tool, currently available for $299, to take advantage of the free upgrade to version 2 when it becomes available.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Ambiloop: Free Realtime Loop Software


    Now here is a piece of software straight out of the 1990's. I have known about Ambiloop for probably more than 8-9 years and it is one of those pieces of software that I thought was cool, but never could really find a place for it. I just happened to stumble across it today while browsing on Yahoo Groups. For those who do not know, Ambiloop is a free windows software that essentially is a looping machine. What is so nice about it however is that it basically works endlessly as a tape delay or something like that. Its niche but a very cool concept none the less. If anyone has ever heard William Basinski's "Disintegration Loops" music the concept can be the same.

    Quote from the website:

    Ambiloop basically functions like a multi-track endless audio tape loop or digital delay box with feedback. Simply set the desired loop time for a track (or use manual mode to set loop times on-the-fly) and press the record button. Incoming audio is recorded in real time for the length of the loop. Recording continues seamlessly as the loop repeats and the previously recorded audio begins playing back at a volume set by the feedback control. Or just grab a single loop on the fly with the Insert Record feature. Ambiloop will play up to eight tracks simultaneously. Loops can be slowed to half speed or played backwards and a multimode filter is available for non-destructive, realtime filtering

    It is worth the download just for the fun of it.

    Sunday, March 09, 2008

    Circuit Bent Tr-505


    The Roland Tr-505 was the trailer trash cousin of the famed Tr-x0x line. Unlike the other Tr models, the 505 was built for budget musicians. Even the individual outs were missing, and one could not edit the samples. The memory held a paltry 48 patterns and six songs. It did, however, get a decently useful midi implementation and some tiny attractive drum pads. For those reasons, it is a machine ripe for circuit bending. The above video shows just what happens when you start wrenching the guts of this easily had and otherwise forgettable little box.

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    The Great Gear Dilemma


    So I am sitting here now writing to the blog in one of those states that I can imagine every single one of the artists who read this blog has weighed in upon at least once before. That is the the writers block issue and also to some lesser extent the organization of your studio equipment. Now my philosophy for writing music is that I try to set a musical goal, style or objective for myself each year when writing my music. For example, this past year (2007) I strove to try to write more dance oriented music. Traditionally that has been very hard for me to get into and I have always been a more chillout/ambient type of artist. Now I think I accomplished that task fairly well, but unfortunately I now find myself sitting here trying to contemplate what my goal is for 2008 as a musician.

    For the past three months I have literally sat down in front of my gear and gotten nothing worthwhile out of it. I have when all said and done, writers block. Now I have had writers block before in many instances but I have never really had it to the severity that I have it now. It is now almost mid-March and I have not even written a single four bar loop that I feel has been deserving of being saved. Everything just sort of comes out sounding generic or the same.

    So this past week I have been really sort of thinking of how I can break this writers block and it sort of dawned upon me that perhaps what I need is really a change of scenery.  A change in musical gear.   Now I will be honest, I have never really gone through the process of changing around my musical gear, selling some of it off, purchasing new gear and in essence starting from scratch.  Moving from software to hardware is one thing because I quite honestly look at software as being disposable. Hardware on the other hand really feels like an investment and letting it go is going to be hard. To be quite frank, I find the idea more than a  little frightening, but perhaps it is exactly what I need to give myself a spur of new musical ideas. So that is the position that I find myself in today. Do I dare sell everything off and start from scratch?

    This has also led me down a second path of dilemma's as well. If I do want to mix up the gear list a little bit what gear to I go out an purchase? What gear to I keep?  I myself have always sort of been a fan of the "workstation" pieces of equipment, but have I alluded to other approaches slightly in my post the other day regarding  SP-404 sampler.  I have since begun taking a look at everything from the Yamaha RS7000 and even the much under discussed Roland MC-808. Do  I stick with this workstation formula or instead begin building smaller pieces of kit focusing on standalone synthesizers, a smaller sampler and perhaps grooveboxes?  The whole process is just now getting more and more into the downward spiral as I weigh, analyze and scrutinize the endless possible combinations of gear setups that I could go with. This adding to the headache that I am not even 100% sure if I can stomach parting with the precious gear that I have spent the last 5+ years writing my music on and you can only imagine how numbing this process may turn out to be.   

    So with this all laid out on the table, perhaps I am coming to the conclusion that my goal for 2008 is to rebuild, start from scratch and reboot.  I am curious as to what the readers may think. Have any of you out there ran into writers block as this? Have any of you dove off into the deep end of starting from scratch with your studio or live setups.  I would love to hear any thoughts or ideas people have to weigh in on this topic.