Marc Urselli is a 5-time nominated 3-time Grammy Award winning engineer, producer, mixer, and sound designer based out of New York City. He has recorded the likes of Mike Patton, Laurie Anderson, and has recorded all of John Zorn’s albums since 2007 (as well as some on Zorn’s label Tzadik). We asked of him the ridiculously unfair task of picking 10 of his favorite albums, or just 10 albums that were influential, or perhaps 10 albums that fit one theme or another, but there are some musical tastes that cannot be bound by such lists. However, on a trip to visit his parents in Italy, Marc was reunited with his old collection of tapes and CDs from his youth as a kid in the 80s. It’s from this trove that he has selected for us 50 of the albums that shaped his musical tastes at a young age.
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Sylvia Massy is a master recording engineer known for her work with Tool, System of a Down, Johnny Cash and Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as her innovative and unorthodox recording methods. Her book, Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques came out last year and is an amazingly fun and enjoyable guide to kicking down musical roadblocks unlocking creative potential. We also really like her illustrations*. I asked Sylvia for a quick list of 10 of her favorite albums, and so, without further ado… Read more »
The K-Mix has a lot of places to plug cables into and out of, and the type of cable you use can make some practical differences. I’d like to spend a little time talking about balanced, unbalanced, and differential signals, and share a few good resources with you.
A good place to start this discussion might be with the reason that these three signals (and their corresponding cables) exist in the first place, which is thanks to the invention of the difference amplifier. An ideal difference amplifier (or differential amplifier), as its name implies, amplifies or passes only the difference between two signals, while ignoring everything else they have in common. Read more »
When we first set out to strike new ground in the audio world we knew that our new project would live or die on the strength of the preamps. After thousands of hours spent researching and developing our design from the ground up, evaluating components and measuring every last specification, we had achieved what many had thought was impossible: the KMI K-Mix µPre (pronounced “micro pre”). Read more »
One of the more exciting things about K-Mix is its flexibility. When connected to a computer this device can serve as an Audio Interface, Mixer, and Control Surface all at the same time. While using the K-Mix in Mix mode, the diamond pad will send standard Mackie Control Messages. These messages can be used with a variety of different software to control common transport functions. In this article we will quickly write a control script to get the K-Mix controlling transport functions in Bitwig Studio. Read more »
If you’ve ever fantasized about mixing with your hands similar to how you control a Theremin or in the movie Minority Report, your dreams are now closer to reality! With the latest K-Mix update, which enables sending MIDI message to fully control K-Mix, combined with the the K-Mix API and the incredible Leap Motion controller, I’ll demonstrate how you can control K-Mix with only your hands and fingers, without touching K-Mix at all!. K-Mix used with the K-Mix API brings a new meaning to the term ‘Programmable Mixer’ Read more »
KMI’s European Territory Manager was a Superbooth last week and has written up this recap of his time at the event. Sounds like a fun time with good people! Read more »
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Vernon Reid is the founding member, guitarist and primary songwriter of the metal-funk-rock-jazz outfit Living Colour, as well as guitarist in the Tony Williams tribute band Spectrum Road and Yohimbe Brothers with DJ Logic. We caught up with Vernon to talk about some of the albums that he has found inspiring over the years.
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We’ve gotten quite a few requests lately about a Control Script that integrates the K-Mix with Ableton Live. Don’t worry, it’s on its way! In the meantime, you can still get some dynamic hands-on control using an often overlooked text document. Using the UserConfiguration.txt file, we can quickly provide a way to play with devices and control the faders in Ableton Live right from our K-Mix with zero MIDI mapping. This lacks some of the more advanced features of a full blown Remote Script. We won’t have LED feedback, and we won’t be able to have different banks or pages on one preset, but we’ll still be able to get some decent integration. There is no programming background needed and Ableton provides everything you need to get this set up in a matter of minutes. This article serves more to simply point you in the right direction. Read more »
Did you know the K-Mix functions as an audio interface with two µPre microphone preamps, as a standalone programmable digital mixer with onboard DSP and surround panning, and as a MIDI control surface to send control change messages to your DAW? And that it can do all of these functions at the same time? We’ve made a few “Quick Start” style tutorial videos to show how you can quickly and easily set up your K-Mix to work as an audio interface, mixer or MIDI controller. Read more »
In the previous article we started by setting up a few systems for synchronization and quantization in Max. In this article we will begin putting that work to use when we start recording and playing back audio using some basic DSP buffer operations. We will implement this playback and recording system in gen~ using max-like patching techniques and code concurrently. It will be nice to see how the two translate and can work together. Everything will be sample accurate and perfectly in time with your Live Session. Read more »
A single K-Mix already offers a hefty amount of I/O for an audio interface — 8 inputs and 10 outputs (including the stereo headphone output), but you can expand that even further by combining multiple K-Mix into a single aggregate device.
Want 16 inputs and 20 outputs? Get two K-Mix.
MORE? Get MORE!
In this article I’ll detail the process of setting up an aggregate device with two K-Mix. I’m running Mac OS X Yosemite version 10.10.5. It’s possible the setup may be slightly different on older versions of OS X, but the core concepts remain the same. Read more »
At some point in your life of a computer musician, you’ll be tempted to experiment with making your own tools. Whether that means using MIDI mapping to create a performance template or coding a plugin in C, the options for getting into tool making are quite expansive. For me, this meant repurposing controllers with Max 4 Live to make them do interesting things and help me perform music. Eventually I became interested in trying self made audio processing directly to hardware like the Push, or the SoftStep. While developing the audio portion of these M4L patches, I was confronted with a few problems that weren’t easily solved, nor cleanly developed, using standard Max objects. I eventually started to take the dive into the gen~ environment, which is a visual (and text based) low-level DSP environment. In this article (and others in this series), we’ll take a look at the gen~ environment and the genexpr language thats included in recent versions of Cycling 74’s Max. We’ll create an audio effect, then tie that to a piece of hardware and implement some LED feedback to create a tightly integrated way to interact with our sound. Read more »
Working in technical support for KMI, I am often confronted with requests for functionality from some of our devices that we didn’t include for one reason or another. There’s a variety of tools that you can use for this task, such as Max, Bome’s MIDI translator or Pure Data. All of these software environments can do wonderful creative things with MIDI information, but one of them has a defining characteristic; Pure Data is free, open-source, cross platform software. This means that you can make a solution by yourself, today, for free, that can run on Mac, Windows, Linux and even on a Raspberry Pi. In this article (and maybe more) we’ll look at the basics of manipulating MIDI in Pure Data to give the SoftStep2 four triggers on each pad. Read more »