Posted by & filed under Blog, Interviews.

Adrian Belew is one of the most accomplished and ubiquitous players in the history of the electric guitar. With a career spanning decades and hundreds of album credits ranging from Frank Zappa and David Bowie to Talking Heads, King Crimson and Nine Inch Nails, Adrian has kept constant pace with both pop music and music technology. His newest release has come in the form of an app, called FLUX, wherein hundreds of snippets of sound are recombined into new and varied ways so that the music is never the same twice. Accompanying that release is another app, FLUX:FX, a professional, playable multi-effect audio processor for the iPad. We caught up with Adrian to talk to about his career, his influences and his two new apps. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Bitwig Studio, Blog, Tutorials.

When I first heard about Bitwig Studio years ago, there was one feature that really caught my eye. In promotions for the software they always mentioned that they would have an ‘Open Controller Scripting API’. Coming from an environment like Ableton Live, which has an undocumented and ‘closed’ API, this was hugely exciting. In this series of articles we will walk through the creation of a basic controller script for Bitwig Studio. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog.

Have you heard the song “Smoke on the Water” by English rock and roll band Deep Purple? Of course you have.  It’s played daily on most classic rock radio stations and has likely surpassed Stairway to Heaven as the #1 most played song in music stores nationwide (denied!). I would bet that you have the riff stuck in your head at this very moment and may even be humming it aloud. But do you know all the words? Not just the chorus, of course you know the chorus: “Smoke on the water / Fire in the sky.” But if you manage to make it past the riff and the anthemic sing-along, you find yourself faced with a very literal and very true story about an event that happened at a concert in Switzerland in the winter of 1971. And at the core of this story is a band as unlikely an inspiration for the song as could be, the inimitable Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Tutorials.

The best way to unlock the hidden potential of any semi-modular synthesizer is by sequencing. This post will describe the necessary steps to use the QuNexus as a MIDI-to-CV converter along with Ableton Live to control the legendary Oberheim Synthesizer Expander Module. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Interviews.

Working in music technology I get to interface with many brilliant and hard working minds behind the veil of music performance. Music directors and producers, techs and engineers. Some of them have been interviewed in past posts on this blog. Recently I caught up with Daniel Rowland, the engineer/producer/tech wizard behind Adrian Belew’s seriously futuristic guitar rig and studio. We talked about his tenure with Belew, outfitting a closet with electronic toys and the process and ideas that sparked the new Flux apps. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Ableton Live, Blog.

Live is a great tool for making music on the computer and, as we saw in a previous article, you can leverage its MIDI capabilities to talk to external MIDI gear. There are a lot of great sound making tools that don’t live inside of our DAWs and Live makes it easy to incorporate these into your sessions. In this article we will examine the External Audio Effect and External Instrument devices to process with and record from analog sources. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Interviews.

Tracy Silverman is an musician, composer, producer and champion of the electric violin. His unique instrument and innovative technique have led to collaborations with composers the likes of John Adams and Terry Riley, and performances ranging from the gala opening of the Walt Disney Music Hall to premieres at Carnegie Hall.  We caught up with Tracy to talk about reinventing the violin, creating a new musical language, and cutting new paths through the jungles of modern music. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Ableton Live, Blog, M4L.

With the advent of small, portable, MIDI enabled analog synthesizers, computer musicians now have the option of controlling a lot more than VSTs. If you have a USB MIDI interface (or other means of getting MIDI from your computer to 5 Pin MIDI connections), you can leverage the sequencing power of Live to control all of the MIDI enabled parameters on your synth. In this article, we’ll look at how to create a MIDI device using M4L that allows us to access all of the parameters on the Meeblip Anode, as well as how to add modulation sources to allow for more sonic options. Read more »