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Heavyocity releases DM-307 for Ableton – Plus Free Pack & Discounts

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Heavyocity has announced that its DM-307 is now formatted for Ableton Live. You can choose from 5 packs, each containing Drum Racks, Loops [full and stems] and One-Shots, or get the entire collection [Read More]
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Learn to Jam with Just One Synth Voice: MeeBlip + Ableton Push vs. Gustavo Bravetti [Video]

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Ableton Live and Ableton Push afford new ways of working, allowing you to put loads of parameters beneath your fingertips. Of course, the means of doing that may not be immediately obvious, behind the dance between grid, encoders, and automation envelopes.

Leave it to Montevideo-born, virtuoso dance music maestro Gustavo Bravetti to show us how it’s done.

Gustavo pairs the MeeBlip SE, the enhanced “digital freak” original version of our synth, with Live and Push. To connect the hardware with automation of the external synth, he uses a Max for Live patch for the MeeBlip (which you’re free to download yourself if you own the MeeBlip/MeeBlip SE).

(The MeeBlip is not the first open source synth, as the video might imply, but could be considered the first widely-produced, ready-to-play hardware synth to be under a fully open source hardware license; others were available in kit form.)

The lessons here, though, work in any hardware synth. And you could also apply them to controllers other than Push, if you prefer.

In particular, note some particular tips:

  • The Max for Live device automates sounds on a single voice by associating melodic steps with different sound presets.
  • Preset automation will overwrite live tweaking, so you can tweak variations freely.
  • Built-in morphing in his patch creates still more variations.
  • You can use this as either a live performance tool or an arrangement tool – and even get obsessive with the latter, since it writes automation envelopes into your arrangement.

Check out the MeeBlip SE Remote patch – for your MeeBlip or another synth, if you feel like learning from it.
Meeblip Se Remote 1.0

It’s funny to hear the original MeeBlip again, as I mostly spend time these days with MeeBlip anode, which is now in stock from us and various dealers in America and Europe. (A sale is on now for US$ /EUR€ 129.95.) The original character is still in anode, but the unruly temper is more of the desirable variety, thanks to the new analog filter and streamlined design. (We also abandoned presets, which work better here in software.) And Gustavo promises an anode version soon.

Full description from Gustavo:

The Meeblip Se is an incredible synthesiser with a very interesting and distinctive sound. This sound is produced by (at first sight) a relative simple sound engine… but once you start playing whit its possibilities you realise that this little digital freak with an occasionally fretful temper, has a defined personality capable of a wide range of sonic possibilities.

The Meeblip Se default preset system can store up to 16 presets. To store and recall them, you have to use a combination of buttons and switches. Thinking on use it on my live performances, the Meeblip Se’s default preset’s system seems at first sight to be short-legged, unpractical, and overcomplicated, and in fact… kinda it is!

After creating dozens of very interesting and useful sounds on my Meeblip Se, and realising that most of them was lost in action, I decided to work on an alternative to store, recall and organise my Meeblip Se’s presets. Because I want to use the Meeblip Se on my live shows I also need to be able to recall those presets remotely and/or automatically in any given moment. At last but no least, I want to be able to control all the Meeblip parameters from a most informative surface controller, the Ableton-Akai Push Controller.

Lucky me that all parameters on the Meeblip Se can be controlled with MIDI CCs, the answer was pretty clear, a device in MaxForLive would be able to do all what I need an much more… and that is was bring us here.

Gustavo is an extraordinary producer – proof positive that you can mix hackery with the kind of dance prowess to move festival-sized crowds, all as one artist. (No, he’s not hiring teams of nerds. He’s entirely DIY.) Follow him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/gustavobravettilive

And I hope we hear more from him soon.

gustavo

The post Learn to Jam with Just One Synth Voice: MeeBlip + Ableton Push vs. Gustavo Bravetti [Video] appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Mabelton Audio releases Ableton Push/u-he Bazille Integration Pack

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Mabelton Audio has released the Ableton Push/u-he Bazille Integration Pack. The Push/Bazille Integration Pack will allow you to: Find Bazille and all its factory presets inside your Push menu. [Read More]
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Ableton updates Live 9 to v9.1.5

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Ableton has updated Live 9 to v9.1.5. Improvements and feature changes: Minor improvement to ensure compatibility with Mac OS X’ Gatekeeper for the forthcoming OS X updates 10.9.5 and 10.10. Improved [Read More]
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Ableton updates Live 9 to v9.1.5

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Ableton has updated Live 9 to v9.1.5. Improvements and feature changes: Minor improvement to ensure compatibility with Mac OS X’ Gatekeeper for the forthcoming OS X updates 10.9.5 and 10.10. Improved [Read More]
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Listen to Gerhard Behles (CEO, Ableton) and Matt Black (Ninja Tune, Coldcut) on Music and Democratization

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Music in the Age of Democratization: Gerhard… by SMWBerlin

Music as social medium is perhaps as profound as any connection as we can have between people. And it’s a unique pleasure to get to reflect on that with someone like Gerhard Behles or Matt Black. Yesterday, we got both at the same time. I’ll even listen to this conversation again; there’s plenty of fuel for further thought.

Before apps, Gerhard Behles and Robert Henke shared their Monolake Max/MSP sequencer (by Henke – still available); back when music production offered little in real-time, they had the vision to offer Ableton Live. When “VJ” still meant a host on MTV, Matt Black was building new tools to remix video alongside music, inspired by hip-hop technique to re-conceive digital expression and sampling.

Now, Ableton serves millions of users; Matt Black and Ninja Tune encourage users to remix their artists on their phones with Ninja Jamm.

And it seems anyone, anywhere can produce. Matt and Gerhard reflected with me yesterday on where they’ve come from, where their endeavors are today, and where we’re headed.

They got deep into the philosophy of why we make music, and where their responsibilities lie as tool makers and as individuals, where artists and labels and communities might go.

We have audio on SoundCloud:

And video (top).

Thanks to Social Media Week Berlin and Platoon for hosting us!

The post Listen to Gerhard Behles (CEO, Ableton) and Matt Black (Ninja Tune, Coldcut) on Music and Democratization appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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New KORG electribe Focuses on Live Performance – and Export to Ableton Live

Friday, September 5th, 2014

electribesamplerangle

Few pieces of music hardware ever have had the impact that KORG’s electribe series has. And there was a time when playing live almost equated to showing up with this gear. Today, KORG has a genuinely new generation of that hardware, long awaited by fans. The engines under the hood are new, finally taking the tech we’ve seen on various KORG gadgets and building it into the flagship production gizmos. They allow for more live performance scenarios.

And in a first, you can use an electribe to build patterns for Ableton Live, creating on-the-go or onstage patterns you can bring back into your live studio.

And in a nod to the endless rise of the MPC-style grid, these are electribes with pads on them. There’s still an X/Y pad, but it’s shrunk to dimensions resembling a trackpad. And there are loads of knobs, the effect being oddly reminiscent of Swedish drum machine maker Elektron as much as something from KORG.

There are actually two electribes today: one called simply “electribe,” the other “electribe sampler.” (Yes, that new capitalization is official, too.)

electribe

Pad workflow. The 16 pads (2×8) can be a real-time recording keyboard or step sequencer. And you can use “step jump,” inspired by the volca series, or change length. True to KORG, there’s also motion sequencing for knobs and buttons.

These pads are apparently inherited from the taktile keyboards (yes, by popular demand, we’ll have a CDM review of that). They’re velocity-sensitive, though you can switch that off if your finger drumming chops are deficient.

electribetop

electribeback

electribeside

Touch pad. That X/Y pad now uses a touch scale from the kaossilator – jam with your fingers without any wrong notes.

New synth engine. Yes, there’s a serious synth inside. 409 oscillator waveforms cover both analog modeling and PCM. The analog-modeled synth engine includes basic waves as well as dual, unison, sync, ring modulation, and cross modulation combinations. PCM KORG says focuses mainly on rhythm but also has multisamples for melodic material. And there’s the filter engine from the KingKORG, too – with the ability to route drums through the same filter.

Now, this isn’t really a full-blown synth as far as control; think macro-style controls of a deeper engine. That makes the electribe synth into more of a preset box than a sound programmer’s dream, but this is an electribe, after all. (KORG promises presets covering the genres you kids like so much like “trap” and “EDM,” which makes us shudder. But as with KORG gear of yore, I’m sure we’ll dial our way to the stuff we actually like.)

Per-part effects, grooves; live performance features. Of course, you really get into electribe territory once you start adding effects and such and actually jamming.

There’s now per-part compression and overdrive, per-part insert effects, and per-part groove templates, so not everything is master-bus stuff.

This being an electribe, when you do start applying master effects, you get KAOSS Pad-style control on the touch pad. Seq Reverse and Odd Stepper apply even to the sequencer. And, so you can alienate your friends, there’s a “Vinyl Break” effect. (Yay! Actually – augh! No! Turn it off!)

The performance additions look really nice. “pattern set” lets you switch patterns with the trigger pads. You can then record that sequence of pads as an “event recording” – so you can jam on arrangements with the pads, then save that jam (either to store a performance live or to experiment with arrangements).

I/O and batteries. MIDI in/out, sync in/out for the volca, mono tribe, and MS-20/MS-20 mini, and battery operation on 6 AA’s. This is simply a killer mobile unit.

electribe sampler

electribesampler

The electribe sampler is basically the same as the electribe; the easiest way to tell it apart is its darker gray color.

The difference is the sound engine, which on the sampler (versus the standard electribe) is a hybrid sampler-synth engine.

You still get analog modeling sound engine. (It seems this is missing all the PCM melodic content, but that’s it.)

In place of the preset PCM engine, you can add your own samples – 999 preset and user samples, with a maximum 270 seconds of sampling time (in mono, or half that for stereo).

Time Slice automatically detects attack transients, so you don’t have to do any work to slice things up. And there’s of course pitch-independent tempo changes. You can take slices and add them to steps or parts, or add per-sample effects.

There’s also resampling, with knobs controlling pitch or modulation.

synthsamplercontrols

All in all, the sampling workflow looks terrific, intuitive, and very electribe-ish. Add that to the enhanced performance features, and to me, electribe sampler looks like a real winner.

You can also see the differentiation here between the volca sampler and electribe sampler. I don’t think that’s so much market differentiation between the two – there’s little risk of the volca cannibalizing electric sales – as it is that fundamentally, the volca is a different animal. It’s really designed to be simpler and cheaper philosophically.

Sample rate is 16-bit/48K. There’s a stereo minijack line input for sampling.

Both units feature USB, MIDI in and out jacks, and an SD card for storage.

When Ableton met electribe

electribeableton

It used to be, if someone said they were playing a live set, they actually meant they were showing up with ElecTribes. These days, of course, it’s Ableton Live. And Live is a wonderful tool, especially when combined with hardware like Push. But … yeah, we miss the old hardware days.

Then again – why choose?

What may turn out to be the killer feature of the new electribe generation is that it now exports to Ableton Live sets. KORG even says it’s a collaboration with the folks at Ableton.

Your patterns and parts are saved to scenes and clips. Open these files on your computer, and you see them inside a Live Set.

There’s even a copy of Live Lite in the box, but — yeah, you probably don’t need that.

No need for explanation here – this is huge. You now have a battery-powered unit you can use away from Ableton Live that can make drum parts, melodic parts, and even live sample, and then you can finish off songs and arrangements back on your machine. If you like starting songs on hardware and getting away from the computer, or if you want to integrate KORG’s hardware with your live set and then later turn jams into songs, it’ll be a beautiful combination.

All in all, I think the electribe is some of the best news on the market in a long time for hardware workflows.

No word yet on price or availability, but I hope we’ll be first in line for a review.

electribe

electribe sampler

The post New KORG electribe Focuses on Live Performance – and Export to Ableton Live appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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KORG Gadget for iPad Gets Serious, with MIDI, New Slicer-Samplers, and Ableton Export

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

gadget

Ableton alone can’t take you mobile, apart from bringing your MacBook running Live on the bus. But now KORG is ready to take your Ableton Live work on the road. Apart from adding native Live set export to their electribe and electribe sampler, the new versions of KORG’s iOS apps Gadget and iKaossilator do export, too.

And that’s just one feature in the deceptively-named “1.03″ release of KORG’s Gadget.

Gadget is one of those apps that I’ve had to file under “wow, this looks cool but I’ve no time.” As the name implies, you get a selection of synths and drum machines. Here’s where having a newer iPad benefits you, too – the latest processor runs up to 20 at once. There’s a 303-style bass, PCM and digital synths, virtual analog synths, semi-modulars, percussion synths, “wobble” and chip goodies. Then, you can either perform live with the lot or save patterns.

1.03 finally makes integrating that goodness easier, with MIDI input, Live export, and multitrack export, for starters:

taktile_gadget

MIDI input. You can connect MIDI devices for easier playability. KORG has wisely made their latest gear class-compliant, so that includes KORG keyboards – make the full-sized Taktile into a synth by adding an iPad, or going the other way, add a tiny nanoSERIES input for tactile control beyond the touchscreen. (And yes, that’s a huge limitation of Native Instruments’ pricey Komplete Kontrol keyboards we saw this week; they need a computer to function, so you essentially pay more for hardware that does less.) See the whole KORG controller lineup.

Export as Ableton Live sets. Each phrase and scene in Gadget now exports natively to an Ableton Live set with clips and scenes, respectively. You can transfer via Dropbox or iTunes File Sharing. And if you don’t use Ableton –

Export as individual audio tracks. From Pro Tools or Maschine, that means another way of moving phrases and songs around. (It appears you’d have to leave one phrase per track in order to separate them, so it’s not as convenient as Ableton Live, perhaps, by definition – but still very workable.)

Other enhancements: 64-bit, landscape. 1.03 also fixes an annoyance: you can now use landscape mode and not just portrait. It’s also 64-bit native, bringing big performance gains on new Apple hardware.

gadget_ipad

There are also two new instruments:

Bilbao is a US$ 9.99 in-app sample player, with 16 one-shots and import:

Nice, but Abu Dabhi is I think more interesting – sample slicing and groove manipulation, also US$ 9.99:

– on top of 1.02′s addition of Audiobus, more. The last “minor” update brought Audiobus support, a better sequencer and UI, a beginners’ guide, and more. It also has “Increased Japanese,” which is always a good thing. See the what’s new guide for all the specifics.

KORG has been releasing featured tracks from the community, too. Let’s have a listen. (Maybe there are some CDM readers in the bunch?)

Gadget for iPad

The app is on sale, alongside KORG’s other apps, through September 8th on the App Store for US$ 28.99 (instead of the usual $ 38.99).

The post KORG Gadget for iPad Gets Serious, with MIDI, New Slicer-Samplers, and Ableton Export appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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This Virtuoso Ableton Push Performance Comes Full of Tips for Controllerists

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

abayomi-push-preview-draft

Jesse Abayomi, Ableton Product Specialist, is one heck of a virtuoso Push player. And you can learn something from him, too.

Performance technology doesn’t always add to performance, it’s true. But when the machine and human are in sync, it’s beautiful. People can develop their musical chops and machine control chops at once – improve on their musical practice and technique. And when that happens, the quality of performances actually gets better.

I’ve seen a funny thing as Push has crept into performances. Just as with the spread of custom controllers in the past, access to more playing technique has livened up live sets. It literally makes it more fun to be an audience member – not only if you’re (cough) one of us creepy, nerdy people always hovering behind the screen of players, but even when out in the crowd, listening to the music being more dynamic.

Ableton, for their part, have begun spotlighting artists using Push. This is marketing stuff, but they’ve also presented some real techniques you can learn from. That is, they might be trying to sell you Push, but if you’ve got one already, you should pay attention.

With Jesse in Zone3 guise (shifting from his techno and house realms into bass music), he does some amazing things on “Chemistry.” It’s also a nice catalog of the sort of functions Push can accomplish. By my count, that includes:

  • Clip and scene triggering
  • Pad triggering (live, with velocity)
  • Step sequencing (percussion, melodic)
  • Mixing
  • Step sequencing one-shot samples (in place of triggers)
  • Melodic playing (bassline)
  • Parameter control (via a macro – more on that below)

He also goes into some tips in a second video. The ingredients:

I’ll go one step further: I love Push, but only after adding some scripting and modifications. Push’s versatility is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. While it takes you off the computer screen and mouse, it embodies the functions of the software – that is, it does a whole lot at once. To handle all those multiple functions across multiple tracks, there’s a lot of toggling to switch functions. Done improperly, that can take you out of the set, leaving you all muddled.

MultiMap for Max for Live is one really brilliant solution, as he shows in the video. By assigning multiple controls to one, it makes it possible to command a lot of control at once.

It’s also well worth checking out nativeKONTROL PXT-Live for Push (mouthful, that name, sorry). PXT does a lot – this is the script from the same genius scripter who gave you (as the name implies) awesome templates for KORG’s hardware. But there’s one feature alone that makes it worth some cash: you can lock devices, so that switching tracks doesn’t suddenly have you playing the wrong input. I didn’t even bother requesting a review copy; I just sent the guy some cash.

You should, too. It’ll change your world, if you’ve got a Push.
PXT Series

It does so much, that it’s worth a separate review, but I think while I work on that, Jesse gives you more than enough to play with here.

In the midst of a lot of heated discussion of Native Instruments’ new controller keyboards, now is the perfect time to revisit Push, too. Push centers on a grid, not a keyboard, but also features lots of functionality for automatically displaying and controlling parameters without looking at the computer screen. And while Push, like Komplete Kontrol, is built to work with Ableton’s own software, you do get added openness by virtue of Live being a DAW. You can certainly map controls easily not only to Ableton instruments, but plug-ins.

Now, if Ableton were to built Ableton Play – Push on a keyboard – well, we’d have quite a horse race. (Um… Ableton Ivory? No. Ableton Keys? Hrm.) I’m actually curious if any keyboardists have a Play alongside.

There are other ways to skin a cat, too; sometimes a Roland Handsonic alongside a Live set is more fun to watch, minus all this step sequencing business. But it’s fun to watch the “I’m sequencing and finger drumming and clip triggering and playing tunes all at once” workflow evolve.

Anyway, I’m off to play with my new Faderfox UC3, because faders. (Yep, this could be your answer if you’re annoyed at all that knob twisting on Push.)

The post This Virtuoso Ableton Push Performance Comes Full of Tips for Controllerists appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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An iPad Controller for Ableton That’s Gesture-Friendly, Free: Conductr, Now with X/Y [Gallery]

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

XYimage3

Ableton Live’s iPad-augmented control can take some forms. There are apps that do everything, replicating the mouse so that you can go directly to touch for every single task and avoid your computer completely (Touchable, for instance). There are specialized controllers, which focus on a few tasks or a particular device or Max patch.

And then there’s Conductr, and it’s something a bit different.

First, as of June, it’s free – or freemium, anyway. The free version is limited to four tracks and eleven scenes, but it’s enough to give you a taste. And with user modules, it’s easily a workable complement to other controllers like Push, even without touching the in-app purchases. (That seems to me a use of in-app purchases that actually makes sense.)

But most importantly, Conductr focuses on giving you controls that are well suited to the iPad. This isn’t about the iPad screen pretending to be hardware faders and knobs, or about cramming a mouse-style interface under your fingers. Instead, the Barcelona-based developers of Conductr have made an interface that intentionally does less. It’s cleaner, easier to see, and less crowded. You can leave just a few controls, use gestural controllers, and even set up layouts that don’t require you to look at your iPad. As a keyboardist, and someone who finds the iPad sometimes as clumsy as I do invaluable, it’s great.

And today’s update is really the best development of that concept. The XY-4D is simply the best X/Y controller I’ve seen on the iPad yet. It’s totally user assignable, and makes your iPad into something like a 21st Century, Star Trek-chic KAOSS Pad.

Watch:

There’s a single user-assignable XY-4D pad now free in the free edition of Conductr, so you don’t have to listen to me drone onto it, but here’s what it does:

  • 4 XY units inside
  • Each unit, four parameters (horizontal, vertical, pinch, tap to toggle on/off)
  • Reset, freeze
  • Up to four modules per view (for up to 64 parameters)

XYimage1low

ScreenshotXY-4Dpad29

It’s so nice, in fact, that I’d love to assign this to other tools, too. (Maschine, for instance – though I can do that now within the host, which is probably where I’ll start.)

It’s also great to see them using pinch; hopefully more controllers take advantage of the various gestures possible on iPad.

I hope the developers, PatchWorks, continue on this path. It really does seem better suited to what the iPad is. Let us know how you wind up using it.

Here’s there manifesto, in a recent press release, which I appreciate:

We do not want to replicate hardware on a touchscreen; we want to get maximum advantage of multitouch technology to give musicians the kind of resources that they can’t get from a hardware controller. From an ergonomic interface that adapts to any momentary need —in other words: you only see what you need at any given time— to a gestural mode that allows the user to play without watching the iPad and a modular basis that will permit the app to grow through the addition of complementary modules.

More on the controller and how it works:

And here’s another freebie for you – a loop pack from Hermético and Sr. Click on netlabel Inoquo. It’s pre-mapped to Conductr, so a nice way to explore the tool:

INOQUO’S MINIMAL TECHNO LOOPS FREE PACK

More at their site – and also check out some very nice artist profiles and blog entries; they’ve been rather busy!

http://www.conductr.net

ScreenshotXY-4Dpad11

ScreenshotXY-4Dpad06

XYimage2

The post An iPad Controller for Ableton That’s Gesture-Friendly, Free: Conductr, Now with X/Y [Gallery] appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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