Olivier Gillet of Mutable Instruments took time the answer some of our questions about his beginnings and inspirations, and to share some tips for getting started in modular synthesis. Read more »
Joe Gore, guitar wizard and former editor of Guitar Player magazine who has played with everyone from PJ Harvey to Tom Waits picks “Ten Albums That Made My Head Explode”. Read more »
Live Looping comes in many different flavors and can be approached from many different angles. Within the context of Ableton Live, the intrepid performer can explore a plethora of looping techniques to find the one that best suits their goals. You can use Session View to leverage the power of clips to capture ideas. You can use the built-in Looper device to layer musical phrases. Each of these approaches (and ones that I haven’t mentioned) has distinct advantages and features that the others lack. Of course, if none of the approaches satisfy you, you can build your own. As an instrumentalist, it’s important to have some hands free control of these techniques. The SoftStep is a nice choice that is flexible enough to assist us in accomplishing all of these approaches. In this series we will examine using the SS to approach Live Looping in a few different ways. Read more »
We’ve talked to Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom, twice before on this blog: once in a interview about his music and adoration of vintage analog synthesizers and once again on the topic of Peter Zinovieff’s music. We caught up with him again as he was finishing up work on Panda Bear’s Crosswords EP for a list of 10 albums that really inspired him. So, without further ado, here are Sonic Boom’s 10 Favourite LP Gems.
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Navene Koperweis is perhaps best known for playing drums in the instrumental progressive metal outfit Animals as Leaders. He left the band in 2012 on amicable terms to strike out on his own in pursuit of experiments blending traditional drums with electronic music in a brand new way. He caught up with Navene to get a list of the 10 albums that really influenced his developing style mashup of electronic and acoustic drum virtuosity. Read more »
How do you sync two sequencers to the same master clock while both run at different speeds? How do you generate a sub octave? In the this entry into the Simple Synthesis series you will learn about some of the various uses for gate and trigger signals, as well as a very important tool for manipulating them.
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Ramón Amezcua, aka Bostich, is a Tijuana based electronic music composer and producer. He is considered to be the Godfather of Nortec, a style of electronic music that combines elements of classic Tambora and Norteño music, instruments and rhythms with techno beats and production techniques. His project “Nortec Collective Presents Bostich+Fussible” has been nominated for several Grammy awards. We asked Ramón for a list of 10 albums that he found influential and inspiring and he came back with this list of krautrock, ambient and classic electronic music. Read more »
Alexey Protasov is one half of the Belarusian digital hardcore duo Ambassador21. We asked Alexey for a list of 10 albums that inspired him musically and he responded with this list of classic punk, gritty hardcore and subversive social commentary. Read more »
A crossfader is exactly what you expect to find on any DJ mixer. It has an input on the left, an input on the right, and a fader is used to mix between them. In the modular world it’s more likely to be a knob than a fader, but its function is still the same. But synth module designers didn’t stop there; they went on to make the crossfader’s position voltage controllable, opening up its applications in surprising ways.
James McAlister is a drummer, producer, multi-instrumentalist recently on tour with Sufjan Stevens. We caught up with James at the end of Sufjan Stevens’ tour in support of the new release, Carrie & Lowell, to talk about his musical projects and time on the road. Read more »
Pierre-Antoine Grison, aka Krazy Baldhead, is a French electronic music artist on Ed Banger records. We asked Pierre for a list of 10 albums that really inspired him musically and he came back at us with this excellent- and diverse- list of jazz, hip-hop, electronic and classical music. Read more »
A native Texan who now resides in Seattle, Trey Gunn is known mostly for the unusual touch guitar that he plays. With this instrument under his fingers he has participated in a constant stream of cutting edges projects from King Crimson to TOOL. We caught up with Trey to talk about his current musical projects, his rig, and his work in multidisciplinary creative coaching with students ranging from musicians to painters to competitive coffee brewers. Read more »
In our first Simple Synthesis Addendum we learned how to connect a VCO to a VCA and control their ‘frequency’ and ‘gain’ AudioParams using a MIDI controller via the Web MIDI API. Good stuff! We now have a simple synth we can play. In this post we’ll learn how to shape our notes by building a Envelope Generator with configurable attack, decay, sustain and release using the Web Audio API’s scheduling methods. We’ll also give our Envelope Generator a ‘Mode’ setting, which will give us the ability to create some really long envelopes to play with.
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Julian Velard is a pianist, singer-songwriter and native New Yorker. We asked him for a list of 10 of his favorite albums and he responded with this excellent list of clever, fun singer-songwriters and mellow 70s productions. Read more »
Dan Nakamura aka Dan the Automator is a Hip-Hop producer known for his work in Dr. Octagon, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Gorillaz, Deltron 3030 and Got a Girl. We asked Dan to pick 10 albums and he responded with this list of 10 LPs he loves that have influenced him in various ways. Read more »