Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Richard Devine Improvs on OpenLabs D-Beat


I have always loved the idea of the Openlabs gear, but the price often times made me cringe. Above is a great video showcasing what their newest box can do with some traditional and no so traditional Windows software.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bernd Kistenmacher – Celestial Movments


A lot of the video and content that we post on here falls into the realm of what I would call “traditional” livePA, that is dance music being performance in a rave or club setting. Personally I am more more interested in alternative forms of live performance. It doesn’t necessarily have to be esoteric or new agey, but something that is just not the same. The video above I think is a nice illustration of that concept. Nothing complex is going on here visually, but performance is still wonderful to listen to.

via Matrixsynth

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Machinedrum Monomachine Liveset Practice


Quick Little liveset studio practice on just a Monomachine and Machinedrum

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ableton Live Controlled with Xbox 360 Controller


We have seen our fair share of Wii controllers, taking on software for live performance. I have not however, seen something directly controlling Ableton nor have I previously seen an Xbox 360 controller doing it. The video is a little grainy, but is a nice demonstration.  Unfortunately, I don’t see any  explanation of how it is actually done.

via MatrixSynth

Saturday, November 14, 2009

ProtoFields: Composed on a Buchla 200


Simply a tremendous demonstration of what a modular can do in the right hands.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Arduino Didgeridoo


Not really a LivePA video, but this is a fantastic video of a didgeridoo modified with an arduino chipset. Incredible how cool drone sounds can be. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yamaha Announces Tenori-On Orange


Been a while since our last post. I can't say that will never happen again, but lets hope I can keep on top of things going forward.

Yamaha has announced a new more affordable version of their Tenori-On performance product. The Tenori-On Orange features the same basic soundset and touch array as the original Tenori-On, but comes in a plastic shell (compared to Magnesium) without an LCD screen. It is expected to start shipping in December for a street price around $1,000.

via Engadget.com

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Joris Voorn LivePA @ Time Warp


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Transductor Live: AO VIVO 5-23-09


Thursday, June 04, 2009

APC Unboxing and First Impressions


Some members over at the LivePA.org boards have gotten their grubby littles hands on the new Akai APC40 for Ableton Live. Here is some great unboxing video and some comments.

Akai APC40 - Opening the box from Tom Cosm on Vimeo.

via LivePA.org

Wesley D. Quotes:

The clip launching is sweet. Very sweet. The lower bank of knobs is rather worthless to me. I'll be keeping the PX-7 as part of the rig for it's 16 awesome feeling knobs that have a beginning and end!!! I was really hoping I could use a single controller. Perhaps with some tweaking.... Here's the problem, the lower knobs want to control single devices. Right now for this to work I would need to instruct the knobs to ignore device 1, and then have discreet knobs routed to just a few places on other devices. On my PX-7 I have a HPF and LPF on each channel. I grab the knob, I change the filter. Here I have to first select the track, then I have to scoot to the next device, then I only control that single device. It sucks, but after less than 5 minutes I already want to edit this thing. I don't want to assume control over individual devices. I want to choose my device routings and have them show up when I select that channel. This sucks kinda bad, it means I'll have to edit before I can mix with EQ or filters. I can only mix with volume out of the box. I suppose I could load an EQ as the first device in each channel, but I don't feel like it. I like the way I've had it set up.

I've also solved my device woes, EFFECTS RACKS FTW!!! Easily dedicate knobs to whatever device you like, and the 8 knobs correspond to the track you have selected. That's powerful as hell, makes it like those DJ mixers where you select a track and then go play with FX, only so much more.

As far as navigation, I think I could get used to this. The 'zoom out' thing when you press shift is pretty sweet. Very intuitive. You can sorta 'see' your set in blocks, then press the block you wanna go to. I very easily routed my 8th lower knob to control 'scroll'. So I can scan around to see, then use 'shift+pad' to jump to the box where I need it. I love how the matrix shows you where the clips are, I think you still need the monitor, but this helps you look at it less frequently. Having 40 pads to launch clips with is just plain sweet. No two ways about that.

There doesn't seem to be a way to control FX on the sends, but I don't care. I'm running the Remote Zero together with the APC40 right now for all my discrete nit picky routings.

The APC40 kicks serious ass at what it does. My first impression was pretty bad, but with a little time (less than an hour) I'm reworking my set to be way more powerful than it was yesterday.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Orbital's New Live Setup


Orbital are back!!! At least for one performance, and pictures of their new live setup are up on the net. Looks like some fantastic analog porn in this shot. Anyone know what modular is in the back? http://www.loopz.co.uk/

via LivePA.org

Sunday, April 26, 2009

D-Bass Acid House Liveset


D-Bass Acid House Liveset

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

12sos + Lenin LivePA


Fun little LivePA video where the artist makes use of some common objects for sound. I am not 100% sure if this is straight up recorded or if they are using contact mics or something, but it does have a sort of music video effect overall more than a straight up live show recording.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Openlabs DBeat: The Groove Workstation We Have All Been Waiting For?


OpenLabs DBeat

I just had an amazing piece of kit come through my inbox. Openlabs at Messe have just announced an amazing new product called the DBeat. It looks to be an ultimate groovebox that takes the functionality and hybrid approach of their other software and merges it with a Groove box (very Command Station looking) interface. Flat out, this thing looks amazing and could very well be the killer LivePA tool that so many of us have been craving for. Specs are light at the moment, but it comes with 14Gbs of sounds, a full version of Ableton Live included (!!!!!!!!!), 12” touch screen with support for Windows 7, the ability to connect to USB turntables and more.

Price is $3,999 but down to $3,499 for pre-orders. I have to say, my mouth is on the floor right now as this looks to be one of the most amazing pieces of kit I have ever seen.

via CreateDigitalMusic.com

Teenage Engineering Operator-1 at Musikmesse


The internets have exploded yesterday about Teenage Engineering’s Operator-1 synth. Some deemed it to be an April fools day hoax, others thought it to be amazing. Well we have some brief video from NAMM and it is indeed real. Too bad we didn’t get any sound examples out of it, but we do know that we will probably be seeing a finished version sometime early 2010.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Teenage Engineering: OP-1 Synthesizer & Controller




Teenage Engineering Operator 1

I love the resurgence of boutique synths manufacturers that we seem to be having right now. With all the advancements in software there is still interesting hardware coming out. Coming through the pipes today I saw that there is a new company called Teenage Engineering (awesome name btw) that is developing a great looking synth/midi controller call ed the OP-1.

It has your standard midi controller options, but what is interesting is some of the standalone features. It has 8 synthesizer models, 8 samplers and effects built into an extremely tiny package. It also has a full color OLED display with some very unique UI chhoices.


  • 3.5mm input for audio/external microphone
  • 3.5mm output for line out /headphones
  • 3-pole power-connector for charging the internal battery or for use with power adaptor.
  • The power connector itself is the same as used in robotic automation applications
  • USB 2.0 port for hooking up your OP to your computer transferring your recorded music
  • Two holes special machined for carry strap
  • Turn the machine upside-down there are two M6 holes for use with our Studio System parts.

The retro simplistic design ala  the Casio VL-1 looks great as well. Actually it sort of looks like an Ableton Live instrument brought to life.

A release date and price is not yet announce as the machine is still being developed, but Teenage Engineering is expected to produce an initially 100 units for Beta testing. You can sign up for more information at their website to try to get on the Beta list.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

AtoMikDoG Tek-Brek Liveset


AtoMikDoG Tek_Brek Livset

We have a new liveset this week from producer AtoMikDoG. This one is a little bit more up tempo then his past stuff.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wacom Releases NextBeat NXT-1000 DJ Interface




Wacom NextBeat NXT-1000 Press Release (.PDF)

Wacom, makers of the very useful and cool tablets for artists has mysteriously decided to jump into the DJ market. Their newest product is called the NextBeat. It appears to be a self contained unit and not a midi controller. Overall I can’t say I am impressed.

There aren’t any features spilling out yet, but it does appear that the controller section can lift off from the body of the device allowing you to “roam” while you DJ. 

The Press release states that a website for the product should launch tomorrow (March 18th) at http://www.nextbeat.com

via Gizmodo.com

Sunday, March 15, 2009

D-Bass Liveset


D-Bass Livset

Techno liveset from D-Bass

Thursday, March 12, 2009

MGMT - Kids: Performed on iPod Touch & iPhone


Not sure what to make of this video. On the one hand it is cool, but on the other hand I think the iPod touch and iPhone have to be able to do better than this. The women need to sing out a little bit.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Komega Live October 26th, 2008 @ Willoughby Loft


Komega Live October 26th, 2008 @ Willoughby Loft


Not a lot of information on this one except that it is from Willoughby Loft.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Radikal Technologies Spectralis 2 Teaser Video #1


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Live Street Gameboy Music


Yes!!! This is exactly what I talked about three years ago with the Renegade Guerllia LivePA rig. Here is artist who is not identified but is playing some great music live on the street in Japan.

Update: Apparently his name is Maru and the track is called Insane Youth.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Suicide Lane feature rightClique


Suicide Lane feature rightClique

This is a second live perfomrnace mp3 from Cerebral Sabbath event that I posted about last week. This week’s performance is a collaborative glitch IDM set between Suicide Lane and rightClique.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

NIN Live Performing 1,000,000


NIN: 1,000,000 Live from on stage, Sydney 2.22.09 [HD] from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.

Nice video of NIN perform from the onstage perspective.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dr. Who Theme on Two Tesla Coils



I am a total sucker for Tesla Coil performances and I cannot think of a better song that is worthy of being performed on one. Here we have two Tesla Coils performing the Dr. Who theme in total geeky fashion.

via Wired.com

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mekatroid Liveset from Cerebral Sabbath


Mekatroid Liveset from Cerebral Sabbath

This week’s liveset comes from Mekatroid from the first Cerebral Sabbath. It is a monthly performance night happening at Octane Coffee in Atlanta Georgia.

More information about this monthly event can be found at http://rclique.org

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MattlWilcox Liveset


MattlWilcox Liveset October 2007

The LivePA podcast is back and hopefully here to stay again. This week we have a nice hard set from MattlyWilcox. Check out more of his work at his decidingly 1990’s looking website http://www.mattlwilcox.com/

Saturday, February 07, 2009

LivePA Podcast is Coming Back


It has been quite a while since I have posted anything up on the LivePA Blog podcast feed. It is a new year though so I think I need to kick myself back into gear to get it going again.

Expect the first new podcasts to come in the next week or so and hopefully they should be a fairly steady weekly program after that.

If anyone has livesets that they would like featured on the LivePA podcast send an email to us at the blog here and be sure to provide us with a permeant, direct link to your mp3 file. If you need someplace to host your music I would suggest Archive.org

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Recorder Live Video


Satellite (8 of8)

Every once in a while I stimble across something that just brings a smile to my face. That thing today was this live video by the group Recorder. The video above has them apparently covering a song Skater Boy by Avril Lavgine. The song is called Satellite Not sure if it is that or not, but I love the mix, the stage presence and just everything about them. Check them out at their myspace page http://www.myspace.com/recorder

via Matrixsynth

Monday, January 26, 2009

NAMM 2009 Beat Kangz Beat Thang: Yes, it is real!!!!!


Gearwire.com got a great NAMM show video with the Vice President of Beat Kangz and their new Beat Thang Groovebox. There was a lot of pre-show hype about this thing, but almost no reports from the show floor. Gotta say, I am more excited about this after seeing the video. There is even a nice video of them building a beat with it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NAMM 2009: SonicState.com – Korg Microkorg XL demo



Korg always had a hit with their ubercheap and very accessible Microkorg. They are releaseing a new version though now that incorporates their MMT synthesis technology and updates the look with a retro feel (see what I did there?). SonicState.com got a new close up of the new little synth and I have to admit it sounds fantastic. I personally really dig the aesthetics on this one too so lets hope Korg prices it right because it was the cheap price more than anything that sold the original Microkorg.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

NAMM 2009: Sonicstate Gets Teases Peek at Spectralis 2


SonicState.com Spectralis 2 Teaser (Sorry Video not embeddable)

The Drool worthy Spectralis 2 has rumored to be making an appearance at NAMM. Along with the Beat Thang though there was nary an announcement regarding it. SonicState.com however seems to be on the ball as they have announced a full review coming soon. In the mean time they have posted a super short little teaser on their site.

Friday, January 16, 2009

NAMM 2009: The Keytar Back with Roland’s AX-7



For all those musicians out there who have guitar envy and were curshed by the discontinuation of the original keytar a couple of years ago, you can rest easy. You head banging wannabe days are back with Roland’s announcement of the new AX-7 Midi keyboard controller.

The new controller features all the standards you expect from a keytar, but also features some improvements such as D-Beam controlling (so you can double up on your geekiness) and GM2/GS compatibility.  Full features below


  • Stage-oriented shoulder keyboard in attractive pearl white body
  • 45-note velocity-sensitive keyboard-perfect for solos and bass lines
  • Intuitive operation via new 7-segment LED display
  • 5 realtime controller s: Data Entry knob, Touch Controller, Expression Bar, Hold button and light-sensing D Beam
  • 128 patches with data backup via MIDI
  • 2 MIDI zones for independent control of Upper/Lower parts
  • GM2/GS Compatible
  • Battery or AC powered

NAMM 2009: Akai EWI USB Wind Controller


WNAMM09: Affordable Electronic Wind Instrument


This announcement gets a big “YES!!!” in my book. I have always had an infatuation with wind controllers (probably because I am a saxophone and clarinet plaery), but their implementation in hardware has always been spotty because they generally have not been able to work with any synth you plug them into.

Hopefully Akai has been able to get around that limitation with the new EQI USB wind controller. Presumably one would expect this to be able to work within any DAW with any VST instrument, but the details are a little scare at the moment. It does say that there is a platform software for the model but that is it.

Quote: Press Release

EWI USB enables anyone, regardless of wind instrument-playing experience, to perform with the expressive capabilities of the wind instrument of their choice. The wind controller features a plug-and-play USB interface for use with the included Aria software, with Garritan and Akai Professional samples as a sound source. EWI USB is Mac and PC compatible.

Professional players will find EWI USB fully capable of performance for stage and studio with a five-octave range, breath modulation with adjustable threshold, pitch bend, adjustable vibrato, transposition and octave shifting capability, and fingering modes to emulate various electronic and acoustic instruments. Further, the Garritan/Plogue Aria software enables instrumentalists to perform with up to four instruments selected from the full collection of more than 75 orchestral, band and synthesizer sounds.

While EWI USB has full professional capabilities, its attractive price point and easy-to-play design make it a perfect choice for wind students. With a removable, dishwasher-safe, interchangeable mouthpiece[ Ed. Nice touch] that works well regardless of embouchure, EWI USB is excellent for introducing students to the world of wind instruments. Former wind instrumentalists who would like to return to playing will find EWI USB easy to adapt to, eliminating much of the embouchure-building time required with a traditional instrument.

Thanks to multiple fingering modes, EWI USB perfectly emulates saxophone, flute and oboe, as well as traditional EWI and EVI trumpet. The result is completely intuitive performance, even for players who have never picked up an electronic instrument.

"With EWI USB, we are delivering an incredibly expressive instrument to a whole new world of wind players," states Gregg Stein, Director of Marketing, Akai Professional. "Traditionally, electronic wind instruments have fallen into two categories: very expensive professional instruments, and inexpensive instruments of low quality. EWI USB is the first instrument to offer professional quality at such an affordable price."

NAMM 2009: SonicState.com – Hands on with Native Instruments Maschine



Looks like they are still calling it a groovebox, which makes me lurch a little bit as it doesn’t have stand alone operation, but SonicState.com does have a nice hands on video with the Maschine to give everyone an idea of the interface flow.

So after seeing it, what do you people think?  Personally I am not see what it can really do that a regular drumpad and Ableton live can’t, but then again this is just an intro video.

NAMM 2009: Ableton Quietly Allow Free Upgrades of Live from 6 to 7?


CreateDigialMusic is reporting that Ableton is offering free upgrade paths from Ableton Live 6 to Ableton Live 7. There doesn’t appear to be any official announcement or download link for this update, but heading over to the Ableton forums would presumably direct you in the right direction for the upgrade.

via CreateDigitalMusic.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NAMM 2009: AKAI APC40 Ableton Live Control Surface




Not to be back on their heals this NAMM it looks like AKAI is in the game with an announcement of a dedicated Ableton Live control surface called the APC 40.  Taking some obvious design influences from the Monome 40 the APC 40 features 40 multi-color clip buttons called the clip matrix. Each button will visually indicated the status of a clip directly on the controller.

It also features 16 control knobs with LED lighting, eight faders and a crossfader. The case is constructed out of metal (a nice design choice different than their recent direction with the MPC’s). Addtiional features below

Key Features

  • Designed in partnership with Ableton
  • Unique clip matrix with multicolor lighting displays current clip status
  • No mapping required for use with Ableton Live
  • Exclusive bidirectional communication between the APC40 and Ableton Live
  • Professional feel with rugged, metal chassis and premium controls
  • Comes with Akai APC40 edition of Ableton Live Lite, free upgrade patch for full versions of Live
  • USB plug-and-play connection for Mac and PC
  • Premium controller with rugged, metal chassis

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NAMM 2009: Rumor – Native Instruments Releasing Maschine Groovebox



The stories of Grooveboxes just keep piling up in my inbox this morning with Native Instruments reportedly coming out with their own Groovebox capable of loading the company’s VST plugins. 

Earlier this morning there was an image circling the net from ZirconStudios.com which showed a scanned image of the reported box from an upcoming Electronic Musician magazine. The direct link to that image was here, but has since been taken down, presumably to a “cease and desist order” from NI. I have contacted the site owner for comment, but have not yet received a word from him/her. After searching the net I found several other discussions regarding the box on forums, including NI’s own forums, but almost all of the discussions have been removed or closed. To me this almost guarantee's the device’s existence.

The initial image though that I saw earlier this morning showed another MPC like groovebox with lit up display pads and apparently the ability to load VST plugins. Unfortunately I don’t have any more details at the moment on the box, but if someone has details on the specs or the original image please send an email to staff.livepa (at) gmail.com. 

UPDATE: I have just found a copy of the image of the new device and posted it above. It looks to be a nice hybrid software/hardware platform that incorporates some KORE like features along 16 backlit pads, 2 LCD  screens, 5GB of samples, effects, sampling/resampling and more. Lets hope that it can run stand alone without the need for a computer like the failed MC-808.

Update 2: Well the announcement is out and it appears that we are 0/2 with new Groovebox announcements. The Maschine is another Kore like hardware software interface for percussion sequencing and sampling. There unfortunately does not appear to be a stand alone mode without the software, but there does appear to be sequencing built into the box with midi outputs.There are no audio outputs on the box itself. Whether that means that the Maschine is capable as a sequencer for LivePA remains to be seen.

NAMM 2009: Rumor - Motu Getting into the Groovebox Business with BPM?




Update: The announcement is out and it appears that this is just a software drum machine. Gotta say I am pretty disappointed. What is the market for something like this these days when you have everything from Ableton Live to FL Studio that can do this built in? The interface doesn’t seem conductive for software IMO.

I have more news trickling in here about some additional groovebox “MPC Killers” . Yesterday I posted about the Beat Thang which looked cool in and of itself.  Today though I have word of an an even cooler piece of kit being developed by Motu called the BPM.

All I have is a blurry scan but from the image above here are the specs that I could discern.

  • Drum machine style operation with VST support
  • Run as a tempo synced plug-in with your favorite DAW
  • Live Midi Recording
  • Unlimited Sample layers
  • Built in drum synthesizer
  • Drag and drop sequence capabilities in song mode
  • 15+ GB of sounds built in
  • “Deep” Synthesis engine
  • 4 Pad banks with full kit capabilities and 2 racks
  • Complete internal mixer with effects
  • SP Mode which emulates the SP1200.

Nothing on pricing or details, but again something impressive coming out of the site. The built in LCD screen on this thing (if real) looks amazing and equivalent to the waveform and sample editing screens one would see in your computer software.

via Binary-Punks.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NAMM 2009: Beat Kangz Releases the Beat Thang



Here we are kicking off NAMM 2009 with a very interesting piece of hardware. This is in fact perhaps the most livePA oriented piece of hardware I have seen in a long time. To be 100% honest I am not sure of this product is real. The name is pretty dreadful, but if you can get past the name the hardware and the spec list look to actually be pretty impressive.

The Beat Thang is a 16 track sampler (and rompler?) that features six digital effects types, waveform editing and beat creation. Full spec list below.

  • Sampling with onboard waveform editing
  • Over 3000 Blazin' Brand new sounds designed by The Beat Kangz
  • 16 Track MIDI sequencer 
  • 500 production ready Platinum beats and loops created by The Beat Kangz
  • Sleek design and styling with customizable “Paintz” and “Grillz”
  • Convenient, light-weight portable design with internal rechargable battery
  • USB In & Out 
  • Pitch and Mod Wheels
  • On Board FX including Reverb, Delay, Automated Filters and tons of Crazy "Freak FX" including "Chopped and Screwed"!!!!
  • On Board "Mo Bang" Mastering with EQ and Limiting
  • 256 MB Ram standard
  • 2 High Speed SD Card Slots
  • Export Beats to a Mac or PC 
  • Very Easy to USE!!!
  • More top Secret Features and Surprises that we dont want our sleezy, thieving corporate competitors to know.... but we'll tell ya soon!

I have to admit. The hardware itself looks pretty cool and the specs even cooler. I would like to know some more details about that sequencer and the sampling capabilities. But hopefully we have a nice new Groovebox on our hands here.

Update: Some more specs have been posted over at the Harmony Central Forums by what appears to be the company itself.

General Information
  • 2 Headphone Jacks
  • Carry audio output via USB. USB Connects to any Hard drive, USB keys can also be read and write to
  • Read directly off of the SD cards. 2 Slots capbable of 16GB's each
  • 256 MB Ram Stock! 
  • 512 Flash for user content on board. Higher if its a custom order
  • Stereo Mic Line input with Phantom Power
  • Sampling, and Resampling of outputs
  • Tempo sync Delay, Mastering, Reverb, Filters and tons of other weird FX
  • Plans to open FX section to 3rd party developers . Can you say VST (Ed. Very interesting.....)
  • Custom Paint. Any Color LED's, Custom Grillz
  • Each pad can have 16 layers with independent pitch, cut off res, pan, velocity, vol and a single pad can be spread across a whole keyboard with Loop points so you can sample synths strings or anything and turn it into multi layered patches.
  • PC Drum Kit builder with Drag and Drop capabilities
Sequencer Information
  • 96 PPQ
  • 1000 Sequences
  • 500 Songs
  • Individual Bar Length which can be changed in real time even while recording. (Ed. Excellent!!)
  • Quantize and Swing can be changed in real-time.
  • All your Songs, Sequences, Beats, Kits, Patches, Samples and settings that are on your SD cards are always there and show up just like the presets.
  • 13 Pads with Velocity
  • 8 Pad banks per track 
  • 16 Tracks 
  • Pad and Track mute and Solo 
  • Mixer with level control FX send, Pan, Pitch Automation, Filter and EQ Automation per Track including (Low Pass, Band Pass, Hi pass, Low Shelf, High Shelf and Notch, Automated Q control to)
  • Dynamic Kit and Patch creator which is easy and to use. Samples can all have categories (Kicks, Snares Hats etc) App for converting your own samples into the categories and the ability to create your own.
  • 16 Layers per PAD with velocity, pan, pitch ,cut off, res and volume control
  • Can create multilayerd patches that span a keyboard from one pad or multiple. Each bank can have a different patch (keys and bass or drums and synth )
Lets hope they aren't over promosing here and under delivering.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Utilizing Hercules RMX w/ Grooveboxes to expand Live Performance


A couple of days ago I blogged about the recently released Hercules Steel DJ controller. What I failed to blog about was the also released and perhaps even cooler Hercules RMX. It features all of the build quality and surface buttons of the Steel, but offers a 2in/2out USB interface as well. One LivePA.org member has recently purchased one and has put it to good use in expanding his LivePA setup. Lets here how he is using it.


Quote from MagpieIndustries:

How are you utilizing the Hercules RMX into your setup?

I am experimenting with the following. I take my grooveboxes [Korg ESX-1 and EMX-1] and jam for a while until I have some nice patterns with variations going on. Next, I record some medium length sequences (anything from a few bars to a full song) straight into my computer in two layers, usually drums and bassline, and everything else. While recording, I make sure to have intros and outros and some sections that are quite minimal. Next, I take my Hercules RMX and Traktor, and play these recordings back. While playing, I add in a whole load of cue points, and I have the DJ controller set up so I can hop between these cue points, apply effects, loop different parts and do beat juggling tricks etc. I can even have both my Electribes going directly into Traktor through the RMX as it is a two-stereo in/out soundcard, and keep midi sync with Traktor. The RMX is my key from getting out of groovebox jamming mode and into longer arrangements. I'm slowly getting some DJ tricks together for transitioning between parts. It's realtime arrangement while still having that jamming feeling going on and it's showing a lot of promise.

What are some of the advantages to the Hercules RMX and what are  your thoughts on it?

I LOVE my Hercules RMX. It's solid and heavy, and rugged enough to take out to milder parties without fears. It is completely usb bus powered, so no extra wall wart needed which is fantastic. If you want to go out to a cafe or friends house its just stuff it and a laptop in the bag (it comes with a bag) and go. Awesome!!  It's also a four channel (two stereo pairs) soundcard, so you can cue up stuff in your headphones, and best of all it also has two stereo inputs. Audio quality is pretty good. I'm  not  an experienced DJ so I can't really compare the feel of the crossfader and pitches with other gear, but for me it works just as I expected and I have very few complaints.

What are some negatives regarding the Hercules RMX and its setup?
Now onto the negatives. The buttons are a tad stiff and travel quite a distance before making contact, something that detracts from the feel, but not terribly so. You might think from the photos that all the buttons light up, but this is not the case, the EQ kill switches for instance are disappointingly without illumination. The jog wheels are great for zipping back and forth in a track, or to scroll up and down in a list of tracks, but if you want to do scratching go get some vinyl. Same probably goes for beatmatching, although this is controversial. I just press Sync and have Traktor beatmatch everything, if you consider that cheating then fine, I'm too busy doing a hundred other things to worry about being a purist. It's digital djing after all, so focus on the cue and loop point juggling tricks rather than beatmatching.
One thing I miss is some way to have an effect send level. The Torq Xponent has four knobs per deck just for effects, which is much nicer, and with the jogwheels at the back (smart for digital dj priorities I think), but the xponent is very plastic and doesnt have the audio inputs, and is way more expensive. There are enough buttons on it to have several Shift modifiers set up, and I've been experimenting with mapping and remapping the EQ knobs and switches to also work as effects sends and levels, still need to find a layout that works best.

It's crashed my macbook a couple of times, but always exactly when I connect it to the usb port. A reboot solves this. Once it's successfully connected it remains working.

In terms of its competition it's kicking major ass. A possible alternative is the Vestax VCI-100 which is very popular, and apparently a bit better for scratching and beatmatching. Not a soundcard though. The Torq Xponent has the smartest controlset of them all IMHO but without audio in it's no good [for LivePA]. I've heard the faders on it are featherlight, your sleeve can accidently knock the pitch way off, and the overall feel is very plasticy. The new Vestax VCI-300 is definitely the sexiest looking of the bunch, with high resolution jog wheels and inbuilt sound, but it's over twice the price and also lacks some dedicated knobs for effects. If you are after sheer bang for the buck, then I don't think there is any competition whatsoever.

I'd like to also mention a bit about Traktor Pro, which has quite a different workflow to it than sequencing in Ableton Live, but it's clear that both programs are slowly converging on a similar solution. Ableton offers a great method for testing out how different loops and clips work together, but personally I just got lost in a mass of clips and find it difficult to sequence my way into a decent performance. Traktor leans more towards an arrangement style, don't forget that it is a dedicated tool designed purely for creating long live sets. There is no reason to stick to playing finished mp3s. It doesn't have the editing features of ableton, not by a long shot, but it's designed to work at a slightly higher level than that. It's awesome for layering, looping and blending loops and minimal tracks. I tend to have two decks with premade tracks playing, and two decks for the electribes (which I usually leave just playing right through). It's possible to record the master output as a wav and load it in a deck without much fuss. Traktor Pro also finally added midi slave functionality, and is far smoother for looping than previous versions. Finally, when you get sick of jamming and making live sets, you can just chill out and DJ some tunes together.

Overall he has a very interesting concept going on. I know more than one LivePA artist who feels like Ableton Live may be overkill for their needs or is instead too cumbersome for the quick edits needed on the spot. This is a great example on the whole though of the convergence of not only the DJ and LivePA worlds, but also how Ableton Live is not the only game in town with regards to software for LivePA.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Electro-Harmonix Releases the Voicebox: $200 Vocal Stomp Box


Electro-Harmonix Voicebox

Electro-Harmonix has released a very fun looking Voice Box which contains several very fun and intersting vocal processing filters in it. The box features nine vocal processing modes including the following:

  • Low Harmony
  • High Harmony
  • Low+High Harmony
  • Multi Harmony 1
  • Multi Harmony 2
  • Multi Harmony 3
  • Octaves
  • Vocoder (256 Bands)

It doesn't have the most complex feature setup but looks extremely useable for live use. Extra Kudos for the fun demo video as well.

via CreateDigitalMusic.com

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Teuf Lamativie System Live


Great video of a a guy rockin' out on a could of Korg machines, an SP-404 and a KP2. Man it looks cold there!!!!

New Apple Macbook Pro 17”: The Battery is Not the Real Concern!!!!



Yesterday Apple had their last Macworld address and while the releases were moderately interesting, one of the most controversial  is perhaps the announcement regarding the non-removable battery for the newly announce 17” Macbook Pro. Now, I don’t imagine too many livePA artists are using 17” Pros to do their live performances because lets be honest, the things are huge. But this non-removable battery could very well be setting a design standard that we will all see trickle down into the 15” and 13” models come the next revision.

So in this new Macbook, Apple is claiming to have developed a super long batter that lasts up to eight hours and can have over 1000 charge cycles. Interesting, but I think we all honestly can admit that the real world charge life will last probably around 50%-70% of that claimed by Apple. So, 4-6 hours roughly. While the main crux of this debate and disappointment from many people comes down to the fact that business users cannot change batteries when on a long flight and so forth, I think there is a much bigger and more important issue here that most people are failing to discuss. That issue is of course the lack of accessibility to the internals of the machine itself now.

I personally have never once considered purchasing a second battery for my Macbook and I imagine the vast majority of laptop users out there, even “Pro” users are in the same boat. What I have done though is wanted to upgrade my Macbook as it grew older. Install a new harddrive with a higher RPM, add more RAM, etc.  And while the new 17” Macbook comes packed with a nice 320 GB harddrive and 4GB of ram, this is certainly not the max of what it can handle. A few years down the road even, the cost of putting in a 1TB drive may only be $100, who knows. What Apple has done here though is effectively remove the personal upgrade options of the laptop from the user. No longer can someone really extend the life of their machine an extra few years by adding a bigger, faster harddrive or more RAM. You are now forced to either purchase a new machine or pay the exorbitant amount of extra cost to have the upgrade done at purchase.  We all know that PC manufacturers charge an “arm and a leg” for harddrive and RAM upgrades at purchase.

The upgrade from 4GB of DDR3 Ram on the Macbook Pro 17” to 8GB of RAM costs a whopping $1,200!!!!!!! Admitingly, DDR3 ram is newer to the market and I could not find 2x4GB sticks for sale at either Newegg.com or TigerDirect.com at the time of this writing, but comparable RAM from both of those sites in 2x2GB configurations runs $200 at the most.

This is a slippery slope that Apple has begun to go down with regards to its customers. It is fairly easy to argue that the consumer market either doesn’t care or doesn’t notice these sorts of things, but I for one would like to think that the “Pro” market that all of us as musicians fall into are much more critical and demanding of our hardware.

via Orju.net

Monday, January 05, 2009

Monotouch Live Midi Controller Project


.:Monotouch Live Midi Controller Project:.

Jazzmutant's Lemur touch control interface is an amazing piece of hardware that has been utilize by many an artist, including Daft Punk. The problem with the Lemur more than anything is the price. At nearly $3,000 it is quite a hefty sum for most artists to shell out.

Fear not though, the open source community has come through again with an alternative to the Lemur called the MonoTouch Live Project. The Monotouch Live Project is a software development project designed to take advantage of touch screen tablet PC's.


"The [Monotouch] software package is a stand-alone software controller, with a six channel mixer, designed to allow control over Ableton Live with a touch screen, bringing compatibility to both Windows XP and Apple bootcamp machines. Using the touch screen interface and a normal display, the innovation is almost ready for its first release, and incorporates a crossfader, various start stop buttons, track navigation alongside effect parameters and eq in its simple yet powerful interface...The basic idea is take advantage of any computer capable of managing two monitors at same time (dual desktop, extended desktop). Absolutely all new models of PC notebooks, and new Intel Macs, can support this feature. MonoTouchLive runs on the second LCD touch screen capable monitor, or can run on tablet PC and take control of remote machine using IP over LAN software."

The software currently only supports single touch capbilities due to the limitations of current touch screen monitors, but the platform developer currently seems to be very receptive to suggestions based on the information on his website. A soon to be release version in the future will allow for customized interfaces.

The software currently appears to be in a sort of BETA with a demo available to everyone and a full FREE unlocked version to you once you write back to the author to express your thoughts and current setup with the software.

via Orju.net

Saturday, January 03, 2009

DSF Family Live 02/22/08: 2 Korg ESX-1's and 1 Korg EMX-1


I love these basement low light style videos. The videos is made even better by the fact that the guy performing on it does not look like a LivePA type of guy at all.