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WaveDNA Releases Liquid Music for Live

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

WaveDNA has released Liquid Music for Live, a plug-in for Ableton Live 9 that crafts original song ideas with advanced music tools. Liquid Music is designed to allow users to paint melodies, [Read More]

Ableton updates Live to v9.2.2

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Ableton has updated Live to v9.2.2. 9.2.2 Release Notes Improvements and feature changes: Added control surface support for the Akai MIDImix. Bug fixes: Under certain circumstances Live 64-bit [Read More]

Get dedicated hands-on control of your Ableton Live set with DDC

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

So, we all know we’d like to get our hands on software music making with something other than the mouse. Now — how? How do you actually make that physical knob or button do something useful on screen, and at the right moment?

There’s the brute-force method, manually applying MIDI learn. There are fancy dynamic ways of assigning controls. But the former is inflexible and requires extra work, and the latter means that you typically can’t “lock” every control where you need it. (That is, the automatic methods sometimes “outsmart” you to the point of not allowing you to do what you wish.)

DDC — “Dedicated Device Control” — is a solution for Ableton Live that finally keeps controls mapped to specific software without sacrificing flexibility.

It comes in several parts:
1. MIDI Remote Scripts (this means it doesn’t require extra software running or Max for Live)
2. An editor for making your assignments.
3. A capture tool for use with third-party plug-ins and Max for Live devices (that is, not just internal Ableton Devices and Racks).
4. A repository full of controller files to get you started.

The bundle costs US$ 17.50 and requires Live 9.1.2 or later (though it doesn’t need Max for Live or Suite), plus the (free) Java runtime.


What sets it apart?

  • Your mappings open in any set, automatically — you don’t have to do anything to existing sets.
  • It maps to the first instance of a device on any track.
  • You can have several pages of assignments.
  • You can control multiple devices.
  • Up to 32 encoders, 32 buttons (toggle/momentary) — and for each of six devices.
  • Control LEDs, too, for color feedback.

It’s the best of both worlds. It’s automatic — you instantly get control of specific devices without modifying your sets and without manually taking control. But it’s not too automatic — you still get the muscle memory-enhancing power of keeping things assigned, and the power to choose what assignments and pages you want. That would appear to make it really invaluable for live performance, in particular.

I’m giving this a try, but couldn’t wait to write it up. More like this, please.



Thanks to nerk for this one!

The post Get dedicated hands-on control of your Ableton Live set with DDC appeared first on Create Digital Music.


Gospel Musicians releases free MKSensation Live Giggin’ Module for iPad

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Gospel Musicians has released the MKSensation Live Giggin’ module for iPad. The MKSensation for iPad is a spin off of the MKSensation Player’s EP for Kontakt Player, which is designed to be a [Read More]

Sample Magic releases ‘Bloq’ for Kontakt, Live & Logic (EXS24 / Ultrabeat)

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Sample Magic has announced the release of Bloq, their début virtual instrument in Kontakt, Ableton Live Rack and Logic Pro EXS24 / Ultrabeat versions. Featuring 2.6GB of sample data and presented [Read More]

Celebrate 808 day by building a beat live with Egyptian Lover

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Happy 8th of August, everybody — that means it’s 808 day, of course. So, to celebrate, let’s flash back to a 2012 video of Egyptian Lover assembling a beat in his hotel room. The LA rapper/producer was a big part of the early hip hop and electro roots of 808 use.

There’s something that still resonates in the beautiful simplicity of this Roland box. I’m struck when I hear it and watch in use that there’s something that seems futuristic — cold, even, but in a Stanley Kubrick 2001 sort of way. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to be stuck in traditional 808 thinking. You can use today to build some entirely new drum machine, inspired by this simplicity — or abuse an 808 (or 808 sample set) into sounding completely different.

And, of course, I do think the TR-8 from Roland is spreading so fast partly because it really resurrects these sounds in a hands-on way.

Whatever you do, happy grooving this weekend.

And let’s muse over some vintage ads. More accuracy and less trouble.

Visualize patterns.



The post Celebrate 808 day by building a beat live with Egyptian Lover appeared first on Create Digital Music.


Detunized releases “Farfiso” Live Pack & Multi Format Library

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Detunized has released the Farfiso Live Pack & Multi Format Library. Farfiso is a new sampled instrument library that features the sounds from an early 70s Farfiso Syntorchestra. The Syntorchestra [Read More]

Inside hands-on live technique with Blush Response, KOMA, Elektron

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015


The sound world of Joey Blush (aka Blush Response) is far reaching, entering dark clouds of murky industrial, EBM, and techno, all with relentless forward-pushing grooves. But as we talk to him about how he connects his gear, we’re really looking at how he connects his thoughts.

At its best, whatever we’re doing with gear ought to be about our minds. It’s not just connecting a patch cord. It’s connecting an idea from one place to another — re-wiring neurons.

Synth legend Morton Subotnick spoke this week about that process, as he recalled first creating complex metric structures simply by patching together loops on hardware modular sequencers (there, via the Buchla). As rhythmic structures emerged, he blew his own brain open — and the landmark record Silver Apples on the Moon was born. And I thought of this:

“You’re sequencing the sequence!”

I heard a smiling Wouter Jaspers of KOMA Elektronik repeat that phrase like a Zen koan. His sequencer isn’t intended to be simple. It’s even called Komplex.

The Komplex sequencer has reached the final prototype stage, with a release in coming weeks. KOMA Elektronik visited Joey Blush in the studio to play with the Komplex and a host of modules.

And what’s significant about this is that it is a return to some of what Morton was talking about back in the 60s. This isn’t about something abstract; it’s getting hands-on, gestural control over sounds, so that there’s a direct line from your instinct to making some change in the sound by moving your body.

Literally, how is Joey making the connection? He sends over his signal flow to CDM, in terms of what you see in the KOMA video:

The oscillator is an Intellijel Shapeshifter
into a WMD synchrodyne
into a KOMA SVF-201
A Manhattan Analog VCA on the end
being modulated by MATHS. [uh, the module, though everything I do is modulated by maths!]
Everything is sequenced by the Komplex sequencer
Drums are the [Roland AIRA] TR8 through the [KOMA] FT201

Now, that was a short demo. For a proper live set, let’s have a watch and listen through the blueish smoke of a live set at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London, from 25 May.

Here’s the breakdown for that:

two voices being sequenced by electron octatrack — mutable yarns as midi converter, elektron analog rytm doing drums. All tweaks are done by hand here. I have the OT loaded with sequences I’ve made, more than I need for an entire set, so that I can call up different ones at will and create new ‘tracks’ by tweaking the patch parameters and coming across new things. What you are seeing is sort of a live patching experiment. I know where things have to go but how I get there is different every time.


I also had an interesting conversation with Joey about how he works with the Elektron Octatrack and Analog Rytm drum machines. He’s actually integrating them with the modulars, using them to make things morph even more. And no Eurorack snobbery here — using drum machines like the AIRA or, here, the Elektron, means he always has convenient access to sounds:

I use the octatrack as my main sequencer for the eurorack live and in the studio.

I can sequence CC changes using the midi to cv converter (currently a Vermona QMI) so I can have these evolving sequences that sound like cut up parts you would have done in a computer.

The RYTM handles all percussion duties for obvious reasons — it’s monstrous and it’s a bit easier to carry than a bigger eurorack case.

I really love Joey’s sonic imagination. It’s heavy, it’s industrial, but isn’t just arbitrarily bleak — there’s heart and, somehow, warmth in it. Take this track:

Or a full live set:

This album is well worth a listen:

The Drift by Blush Response

And now, the 12″ Future Tyrants is up on Bandcamp:



Thanks to Joey for the juicy details.

Check the official site:

All photos courtesy the artist.

The post Inside hands-on live technique with Blush Response, KOMA, Elektron appeared first on Create Digital Music.


J74 updates Progressive (Max for Live device set) to v3.1

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

J74 has updated the Max for Live device Progressive to version 3.1. The new version adds new functionality to the Chord Progression Editor and to the Clip Modifier and a new view, the Circle [Read More]

Watch Battles Reflect on Loops, Ableton in a Live Band Setting

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015


On some deeper level, maybe it doesn’t matter how something repeats — whether it’s looped in a pedal, looped in software, or simply repeated by a human player, for instance.

On another level, given just how much repetition matters to music, maybe that’s why we care so much about how it’s accomplished.

Ableton this week released a visit to New York’s experimental rock trio Battles, in a film and interview under the header “The Art of Repetition.”

There, we get to learn more about the process behind Battles’ dense, hypnotic sound. The film is a bit long, but there are some telling moments.

Best quote: “Sometimes people ask if we use a click but we don’t. It’s just music.”

In the ensemble, both looping hardware and software feature prominently — what the band calls “computerness and pedal-land.” In “pedal-land,” bass/guitar player Dave Konopka makes heavy use of Electro-Harmonix gear from hometown NYC (see our recent story and accompanying comments on that topic), plus Line 6 and Boss units and the Gibson Echoplex. There, process is a physical chain of units — he’s capturing and “rephotographing” sound with individual pedals. (The EHX Freeze Sound Retainer is a nice snapshot tool.)

For guitarist, keyboardist, and Ableton Push instrumentalist Ian Williams, who’s naturally in Ableton’s spotlight, all that process is effectively digital. (I notice he’s got the Universal Audio Apollo Twin as interface, as well; I was recently singing the praises of the ability to do DSP live onstage.) The same relationships take place in software instead of being physically cabled between gear.

That said, I find it interesting that the recording process for the band involves a lot of “real-for-real” miking of amps and the like.


A lot of the video focuses purely on the compositional process. It’s also noteworthy to see Ian’s approach to Push. Now, to me, one disadvantage of Push is that you lose everything you’ve learned in terms of muscle memory and the sound you produce. But Ian argues that’s a feature, not a bug. “It keeps it kind of strange — that’s the key,” he says, and accordingly shows off Push chops as a way of getting past habits directly to “just listening” as you play. He also uses his multi-instrumentalist approach to make the keyboard sound more like a guitar, guitar more like a keyboard.

I’m fascinated by the way bands use laptops onstage. The reality is, I think we’re all so used to laptops that they aren’t the obstacle they once were — for audience or artist. It comes down not to a philosophical choice so much as an implementation choice, and you should definitely do whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Here, it’s nice to see both working.

Also — duct tape on headphones and beds in the studio. You know it.

Enjoy, by way of dessert, the lovely “My Machines” video.

Battles is on Warp Records, so you get a nice connection between the world of the rock band and Ableton’s experimental electronic roots.




The post Watch Battles Reflect on Loops, Ableton in a Live Band Setting appeared first on Create Digital Music.