My friend Mark Mosher doesn't get adamant too often, but when he does, I have to listen. He was adamant about getting into his friend AfroDJMac, and the work that he's been doing on Ableton Live packs. I jumped into my research (i.e., I took things for a quick drive then started digging deeper), and was really impressed with the work. Reached out to see if he'd be up for a quickie chat, and he jumped on the opportunity.
So you get this - my Thanksgiving gift to you. Great talk with a really insightful programmer, sound designer, songwriter and Ableton Certified Trainer.
I always like when someone opens a door for me to explore. Brian's ideas about vocal music (especially mixed with electronic music concepts) are really unique, and the way that he mixes music and teaching is also very interesting. Listen to his work here, and enjoy the discussion!
Working with the Elektron Octatrack has gotten back into sampling big time. Some of the things you can do with an Octatrack - like per step automation - can also be done with Ableton Push when working in "Note" mode in drum racks.
One you turn on a note in the step sequencer, you can then hold the note down to acces all sort of parameters for devices. While holding the step...
Adjust params to your liking. In this example I'm changing the pitch of each step in the step-sequencer.
You can of course record real-time automation by simply pressing the "Automation" button when in record or overdub mode.
Below is an example audio snippet I put on soundcloud of doing such that. I sampled audio from random needle drops on vinyl into clips and used them to build a custom drum rack. I then improvised using Push to perform and sequence these clips including per step automation of various parameters.
I recorded the sound of a pen striking a half-full soda can. I loaded this into Sampler and went to the MIDI panel and mapped "Aftertouch" (pad pressure) to "Loop Length" with a value of -100. Now pad pressure modulate the loop length.
Absynth’s “Program List” is a great way to organize your favorite presets for studio or performance work. You can also use it as a list of MIDI program changes. In this article I illustrate how this works with step-by-step instructions on how to to use MIDI program change in Ableton Live to change presets in Native Instruments Absynth.
Click the Browser tab Absynth has a featured called “Program Lists”. To access this feature, click on the “Browser” tab.
Click “Programs” if it’s not lit in green. This exposes the Program List. If the “On” button is lit, Absynth listens for MIDI program changes.
Drag sounds you would like in your preset change list to the “Program List”
Create some dummy clips (a clip with no notes) by double clicking in a clip slot for the device holding Absynth.
In the “Notes” section of the device interface, use the bottom field to set the program number. In the example, the clip in focus is set to a value of “Pgm 3” which will select the third preset in the list. You can set a different progam number for each clip.
Of course this technique will work with any VST or hardware synth that can receive a MIDI patch change.
One use case for a live situation is to use a grid controller like a Launchpad or APC 40 to launch the dummy clips to quickly change patches. You could load up 8 of your favorite synths (or 8 instances of absynth), then use scene launches to tee up the patches per scene. For example, if you use used one scene per song in a live situation, you could launch the scene, then select each track (or set of tracks to arm and layer the synths as the song progressed. When you are ready for song 2, launch scene 2 and all the patches will be teed up.
The advantage that instead of having to load a new set per song, or have a lot of instances of a synth, you simply use the same synths instances for each song and change the presets in play for each song.
I wanted to turn you on to a few electronic-music events that I will be participating in this week in Boulder.
Boulder, CO Date: April 24 School: University of Colorado, Boulder Time: 11am (faculty meet), 2pm (break-out sessions - student only), (Public Event @ 6:30pm) Presenter(s): Mark Mosher (Artist), Ben Samples (Artist), Dave Hillel (Ableton) Venue: University of Colorado at Boulder, College of Music, Room# N1B46, 18th & Euclid, Boulder, CO 80309-0301 RSVP: No RSVP needed More Info: Eventbrite
Ableton is proud to partner with University of Colorado at Boulder for the Ableton University Tour, a day and evening of student workshops and public presentations held at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, CO. Students are invited to join Ableton representatives and Certified Trainers for an afternoon of break-out sessions exploring composition, sound design, production techniques and performance utilizing Ableton Live and Push. Day time activities will be followed by a free evening presentation open to the public, featuring performances, tips and tricks and unique approaches for music-making from artists and Ableton experts. Special guests for the Boulder event include Mark Mosher (Artist), Ben Samples (Artist) and Dave Hillel (Ableton).
I’ll be performing a concert set at the at the Dairy Center for the Arts next Friday April 25th at 8pm. In this concert I’ll be performing songs from my cinematic alien invasion album series including songs from my new album Fear Cannot Save Us which is now available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon,and CDBaby. Joining me in this concert will be Wes Milholen (aka Antidata) on modular synthesizer systems, and Victoria Lundy on Theremin.
I’m helping to organize this show and we’re going to use a similar show format that was used for award winning Watt? Show (see this post on our Westword Magazine Best of Award). In this format each artist play a set. As with our Watt? show. We’ll also be back in the wonderful Performance Space at the dairy which has elevated show seating and comfy seats. There is a bar and snack bar in the lobby and you can bring your wine or beer into the theater. It’s just a great way to see a show of this sort.
We’ll kick the show off with Wes Milholen (aka Antidata) performing a set that features original pieces on analog modular synthesizers. Next up will be Victoria Lundy will be playing a variety of classical and original ambient pieces on Theremin. There will be a brief intermission followed by my set with will also include “invader cam” which is an synchronized interactive visual performance.
Something new we’ll be adding in this show is that we’ll have visuals for all three performances. We’ll close the show with a collaborative piece we worked up at a recent rehearsal.
To give you a feel for what the show will be like, here is a soundcloud set with music from all the artists.
We rehearsed the flow and progression from modular, to theremin, my all digital set followed by a collaborative piece and worked really well so I hope you’ll join us for the show.
Hands-On Review of Nord Lead 4 v1.30 OS UpdateOn December 23rd, 2014, Nord released an OS update for the Lead 4 Synthesizer bringing it to version 1.30. Download the update from here http://www.nordkeyboards.com/downloads/products/nord-lead-4. I applied the update to my Nord Lead 4 yesterday and got some hands-on time...
Modulate This! Synth Blog Turns 9Wow – the last year has ben my busiest music year ever! I released more music and played more shows than ever before over (photos) with my solo work (http://www.MarkMosherMusic.com), I formed a new duo http://www.AIWinter.net and released an EP.,...
Modulate This! Interview with Gary NumanGary Numan will be playing Denver tonight at the Gothic Theater. Show starts at 8pm. He’s currently on tour supporting his fantastic album Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind). I caught the show at the Mountain Oasis Festival 2013 and...