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April 2007

Posts from March 2007

New iTunes Feature 'Complete My Album' Explained


Apple iTunes now supports a new feature called 'Complete My Album'. The concept behind this feature is to allow those who have purchased one or more songs from an album to buy the rest of the album at a reduced price.

Prior to this feature, if you purchased a song or songs for $.99 then decided you liked the artist wanted by the entire album you had one of two choices. First, you could buy the rest of the songs on the album individually and lose out on the album discount. Second, you could buy the album which meant your were buying songs you already own.

Apple StoreNow with "Complete My Album", Apple will give you a credit for every song previously purchased. The credit is then automatically applied towards  the purchase of the entire album. So, if you bought two singles songs at $.99 a piece , you would be credited $1.98 towards a $9.99 bringing the album price to $8.01.

There is one small catch however - the price reduction is only valid 180 days after the initial purchase. For songs purchased prior to the availability of this feature, Apple is offering a retroactive offer for a limited time. For these songs you only have 90 days to complete your albums.

There is a new link in the "Quick Links"  section of the iTunes store that will bring you to a page that allow you to complete you albums.


Propellerhead Software Announces Worldwide Producer Conferences


The makers of Propellerhead Reason have announced a series of Producers Conferences taking place worldwide. These conferences offer a broad set of creative clinics and interactive classes for computer musicians conducted by "top artists and producers".

The schedule below was posted on and contains the lineup for the Los Angeles conference. Use this link as the other conferences get closer to check on lineups in your area.

April 21 - Los Angeles, USA

Confirmed lecturers and artists:

  • Chris Petti - Rewire w/ Reason
  • James Bernard - Cool tips and tricks (TBD)
  • DJ Babu - Hip Hop Beat Making
  • Peff - Modular Patching Tutorial
  • Richard Devine [Sound Design / Business]
  • Producer Review QA with Mocean Worker/Arabian Prince

May 2 - Copenhagen, Denmark Details TBA

May 7 - Guilford, UK Details TBA

May 8 - Manchester, UK Details TBA

May 10 - Ireland Site & details TBA

June 6 - Hamburg, Germany Details TBA

Make Your Own Episode with the Battlestar Galactica Videomaker Toolkit


Okay this is a little off-topic but but I know that many of you who work with digital music also to digital video.

The producers of Battlestar Galactica have released a free videomaker toolkit at   The toolkit contains video and audio assets from the show. The premise is that you could record your own live-action or animated film,  then use these assets as video and audio effects to sweeten your film. 

Executive producer David Eick will choose one video that will air on sci-fi during an upcoming episode of Battlestar Galactica. Some artists have already uploaded videos at this site - pretty entertaining.

If any of you out there do enter,  make sure you leave a comment to this post so we can check after work.

Nine Inch Nails (NIN) - Live : Beside You In Time DVD & Podcast + Teaser site for new ablum Year Zero + GarageBand Download for "Survivalism"


Nine Inch Nail has released a live concert DVD with footage from their 2006 tour. They set up a micro-site just for the DVD  here  which contains track listings, trailers, wallpaper, etc.

They've also produced a video podcast with previews --  click here to subscribe   Nine Inch Nails - Nine Inch Nails Live : Beside You In Time Podcast.

On April 16, they will release a new studio album called Year Zero. Check out this teaser micro-site - They also have provided a link to a multi-track session download of the new single "Survivalism" in garage band format on their current news web page.

You can pick this DVD up on amzon for $11.99.

Tweakbench - Free Instruments and Effects VSTs


I found a great site with many unique free VSTs called Tweakbench. Tweakbench is an "audio software project" by one person, Aaron Rutledge, and offers free VST instruments and effects for windows VST hosts.

Right now the site has links to 14 Instruments (carillon dropout field minerva monomate padawan papaya peach pippo rebar ritual tapeworm toad triforce), and 8 Effects (breakdown cairo grumblebum maelcum mashup pudding sideslip yoink).

Peach To give you a feel for  type of  plug-ins at Tweakbench,  I'll briefly discuss one I started playing around with called Peach.

Peach is a synthesizer "based on the classic nintendo entertainment system's psg audio system. more than 30 waveforms from many memorable sounds and tones have been meticulously deconstructed and tamed." This is a fun little synth for sure and will make you reminisce about classic gaming music. Check out an MP3 sample.

As I mentioned all VSTs are free and have documentation. Note that you can get ALL the VSTs in a bundle for $5  (the 5 bucks to cover bandwidth costs).

If you really dig some of these VSTs and want to support this sort of development, Tweakheads accepts donations and are also selling t-shirts.

Will your M-Audio Axiom work with Windows Vista?

Vista_ready_axiom Article Update: Check out this article for M-Audios announcement about compatibility.

According to the M-Audio knowledge base, "Currently, M-Audio does not offer Vista drivers or Vista software updates (beta or otherwise)."   Despite this information, some users on the Ableton forum are reporting that they are able to use their Axiom keyboards with Vista. I decided to do some hands-on testing with my Axiom 25 on a Vista system and see for myself how well it worked.

I plugged my Axiom into the USB port of a HP Pavilion dv9000t laptop running Vista. Much to my surprise,  Vista auto-detected the Axiom and installed two ports - one port the Axiom controller  itself, and another port for external MIDI in/out.

I was able to map the ports within FL Studio 7 and Ableton Live 6.0 and the keys, knobs, pads, assignable buttons all work as expected.

So, while this is not officially supported, it seemed to work for me.

I did not have a chance to test the Enigma editor (I was testing this on a friends system and ran out of time).  If any of you readers out there have done so, feel free to add a comment to this post and let us know how well it worked.

Copyright 2007, Mark Mosher

Ableton Live Tutorial: How to Use an External Audio Editor to Tweak Samples Within a Clip

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to configure an external audio editor within Live, then invoke this editor to tweak audio within a clip.  In this case I'll be using the external audio editor to a normalize the audio within a clip, but you can use the audio editor to make any edits you wish. This tutorial assumes you have some sort of audio editor application already installed on your system.

First you need to configure Live to specify the external audio editor you who want to use.  To do this, use the "Options-> Preferences..." menu, then click the "File Folder" tab. Click the "Browse" button in the Sample Editor section. You can now browse your system for the executable of the audio editor you want to use.  In the case of this example, I've selected Sound Forge.  Close the preferences dialog box.  The editor is now configured for use within Live.


Now, double-click on an audio clip you want to edit.  To invoke the editor, right-click the waveform in the "Sample Display/Note Editor" window then select the "Manage Sample File" menu option. 


This causes the select "Replace Sample Files" window to open.  Click the "Edit" button for the sample you want to edit. 


This launches the external audio editor and loads the sample into the editor.  Note that this also takes the sample off-line within Live. 


You are now free to perform any edits you wish -- and in this case I used Sound Forge to normalize the audio.  Once you're done editing the audio save it using the appropriate commands from within the external audio editor.

Now return to Live (you can leave the audio editor open if you like). You'll notice that in the "Replace Files Window", the "Edit" button is illuminated for the sample you've been working on. Click the "Edit" button to reload the sample into Live and bring it back online.


As you can see from the waveform display below, the sample has been normalized and has a much higher amplitude.


Happy external audio editor tweaking!

Copyright 2007, Mark Mosher