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 »

Posted by & filed under Ableton Live, Blog.

In the previous two articles, Part One, and Part Two, we learned how to interact with Control Surfaces using the Live API, and programmatically move through the API to find what we are looking for. In this final part in this series I will walk you through the basics of writing MIDI Remote Scripts for Live. I thought it would be great if people without a controller that supported a session mode interface could use my Session_Scene_Launcher device to launch scenes and navigate Live’s session view. The resulting script simply creates a ‘redbox’ that you can reference with the device. We will walk through the construction of this script. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Simple Synthesis, Tutorials.

You may have seen them on stage or on the internet, modular synthesizers look like a missing panel from a WWII era submarine and are operated by manipulating a grid of knobs through a web of patch cables. They are creators and manipulators of sound that are arranged as a set of modules where each one has a unique job, similar to a mathematical function.

Modular synthesis is seen by some as an overly complex approach to music making, but to others it represents an open playground that’s perfect for experimentation. But before attempting advanced patches it’s important to learn the basic building blocks. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Ableton Live, Blog.

In the previous installment we discussed locating and gathering information about loaded Control Surface scripts using M4l and the Live API. In this installment we will look at applying our session control to any Control Surface that has a SessionComponent. This will involve some iterations and checks, things which aren’t the cleanest in Max, but they can be done! Read more »

Posted by & filed under Ableton Live, Blog.

In the previous article we looked at some ways that you can use Live to interact with controllers. We used the API to get information about Live, we used the API to control Live, we monitored audio across tracks, and used all this information to get useful visual feedback on a controller. If you’d like to check that out you can do so HERE. This was all very useful and demonstrated that you can build interaction like this from scratch for any controller in your arsenal, depending on it’s particular MIDI implementation. One very powerful (although fairly undocumented) part of the API hasn’t been touched upon yet, and that is the Control Surface section of the API. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Interviews.

Sonic Boom was a founding member of Spacemen 3 who went on to release solo material under the monikers Spectrum and E.A.R. More recently he has worked with Panda Bear on the releases Tomboy and Panda Bear vs. The Grim Reaper. We caught up with Sonic Boom to talk about collaborating on projects, the state of modern electronic music, and some of his favorite vintage analogue synthesizers. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Interviews.

Joe Gore is a guitar polymath. An ardent character with a curriculum vitae that spans everything from guitar blogger to Editor of Guitar Player magazine, album credits with Tom Waits to touring with PJ Harvey, consultant work with Apple to unique boutique effects pedal designer, and more such stretches of experience than could comfortably be listed here. We caught up with Joe to talk about the analog and digital nature of guitars, their present and their future, and what he’s found inspiring lately. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Album Reviews, Blog.

For the second installment of the Rewind Record Review I’m going to dig up and dust off an old favorite, one of the first records to blend electronic sounds and pop music in wonderfully psychedelic fashion, the brainchild of bassist and instrument inventor David Vorhaus brought to life with the tape manipulating expertise of the wizards at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, from 1969, the one, the only: White Noise An Electric Storm. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Gear.

Every month, I’m going to pick a Eurorack Module I’m particularly excited by and attempt to share a few good reasons why I like it! Last month, I picked Noise Engineering’s fantastic little VCA & AR Envelope, Sinclastic Empulatrix. This month, I’m going to pick something I often use to trigger my SE: MFB’s SEQ-02 CV & Gate Sequencer. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, MIDI.

KMI products like SoftStep and QuNeo are handy controllers for music creation and more, but how do they work? They use a data protocol called MIDI to send event information such as note events and parameter changes. It’s important to understand that MIDI does not create sound. Instead, it streams a list of instructions that can be sent to a sound making device. While note event information in the list could be equal to “play and hold F#” and then “release F#”, there is another powerful aspect of MIDI called continuous controller commands, or “CCs”. CC data can send out values that can be applied to a large number of uses including adjusting the pitch of an oscillator in a synthesizer – or all parameters of a synthesizer, also adjusting parameters in software applications like audio or video software, or even controlling lights or robots. Read more »