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Posts from January 2009

Akai APC40 Overview, Links, Videos, Availability and Price For The New Dedicated Ableton Live Controller

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Out of all the controllers announced in the 2009 Winter NAMM, the Akai APC40 is the one I’m most excited about.

What is the AKAI APC40?
It’s a dedicated controller just for Live and is intended to offer real-time control of Live’s session view. It features 109 buttons, 16 endless encoders with LED rings, nine 45mm faders and a replaceable cross fader.

The APC40 features something called Direct Design which means that since it was designed specifically for life you don’t need to map controls. The APC40 works directly with Live using exclusive bidirectional communication so the state of the clip matrix buttons and LED rings surrounding knobs reflect what is going on inside the software.

If all this wasn’t cool enough, the APC40 can be further enhanced with custom Max for Live programs. For example, Ableton mentions a program that will allow you to use the Clip Launch Matrix as a step sequencer. Custom mappings can also be shared with Live 8’s new collaboration features.

It ships with an APC Edition of Live which looks a bit more like Live LE (see comparison chart).

Pricing and Availability of Akai APC40
It’s going to work with both Live 7 and 8, will be available in May. At only $399 I think this controller is a must have for Ableton Live users.

Update: Musicians friend is taking pre-orders and indicate that the delivery date is 5-22-09 – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.

Videos
The best way to get your mind around this product is to watch the videos below.

Here is an excellent walk-through video from Sonic State.

Here is a video from Ableton on the APC40.

Links:

Mark Mosher
www.modulatethis.com
www.markmoshermusic.com


Meet the New Ableton Operator - Watch These Videos

What’s new in Ableton Operator 8? Watch this video.

Here is a second video with Dennis DeSantis demoing Operator 8 at the 2009 Winger NAMM. Watch Video on YouTube.

Ableton has announced that when Live 8 ships there will be an also provide an update Ableton Operator. Ableton is calling it a “major overall”.

So what’s new?

  • User Waveforms: Draw your own waveforms by adjusting the amplitudes of each oscillator's harmonics. You can also edit the built-in waveforms. So, it’s like a mini-additive synth.
  • Feedback is now available for all oscillators that are not being modulated by another oscillator. This should provide for some pretty interesting possibilities.
  • New filter types: New ladder modes and SVF filters bring the total number of Operator's filter types to fourteen.
  • There is also a frequency response curve view in the filter display and an integrated waveshaper in the filter, featuring an adjustable drive amount and four curve shapes.
  • The filter, LFO and pitch envelopes now feature adjustable slopes, like those found in Sampler.
  • There's a new MIDI modulation section in the global display, with multiple destination and amount settings for five MIDI control sources. We've also added new modulation options for the LFO and pitch envelope.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Operator and it has fantastic third party support. I hoping companies like Covert Operators and Pure Magetik are already working on killer presets.

Ableton has posted a great video on their web site which summarizes what’s new.

Mark Mosher
www.markmoshermusic.com
www.modulatethis.com


Ableton Proudly Presents – Live 8

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The wait is over – visit http://www.ableton.com/ has been refreshed with info on Ableton Live 8!!!

Excerpt From the Press Release Below:

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

Ableton Live 8 and Ableton Suite 8 should be available in the second
quarter of 2009, following extensive testing and bugfixing. A public
beta version of these products will be available soon.

Prices for Ableton Suite 8 start at EUR 549/USD 699 (download version). Prices for Ableton Live 8 start at EUR 349/USD 449 (download version).

Upgrades to Live 8/Suite 8 vary in price, depending on the Ableton
products you already own. More details at:
http://www.ableton.com/live-8-upgrades

CAN'T WAIT FOR 8?

Customers who buy Live 7 now get big savings on upgrades to Live 8
and also get two Ableton instruments (Operator and Drum Machines,
worth EUR 198/USD 238 in total) for free.

Customers who buy Ableton Suite now will get a free upgrade to
Ableton Suite 8.

This offer is valid until March 31st 2009. More details at:
http://www.ableton.com/cantwaitfor8


Winter NAMM 2009 News and Announcement Sources

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Since I’m not at NAMM I’m not going to cover it in real-time. I'll post some articles once the dust settles. Until then enjoy these up-to-the-minute sources for NAMM news including links to fellow bloggers coverage – after all we’re one big happy tribe of electronic music fanatics anyway right :^).

If I missed you and you are covering NAMM comment to this post please.

Mark Mosher
www.markmoshermusic.com
www.modulatethis.com
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/markmosher


Modulate This! Interview With Smule's Dr. Ge Wang (Maker of iPhone Ocarina)

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Want to know what one of the leading iPhone developers has on his mind?

I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Ge Wang, CTO and Co-founder of Smule.com. Smule are the makers of extremely popular and innovative iPhone applications such as Sonic Lighter and Ocarina. Dr. Wang is also an assistant professor at Stanford University, at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University and a BS in Computer Science from Duke University. Ge is the creator and chief architect of the ChucK audio programming language, and the founding director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk).

I asked a wide variety of questions in this interview - so - whether you are a musician, a developer, an iPhone user, or an entrepreneur, I hope you find this interview interesting and enlightening.

I've provided this audio interview in YouTube (for computer or iPhone users), and in MP3 formats*.

Part 1 - Dr. Wang discusses the iPhone as an application platform, how constraint leads to innovation, and his vision for using technology to bring people together. Watch on YouTube or Download MP3.

Part 2 - Dr. Wang discusses how people are using Ocarina and how Ocarina has brought music to the disabled. He also discusses the future of the Ocarina and Smule, and what it's like to be "Smulian". Watch on YouTube or Download MP3.

 

Links:

Mark Mosher
www.modulatethis.com
www.markmoshermusic.com

---- Production Notes ---
Audio was taken from a phone conversation between myself and Dr. Wang. I originally intended to publish as transcribed text but felt of the tone of conversation would be lost so I instead published an audio version. I decided to present both sides of our conversation at phone quality to preserve the feel of the conversation. Note that for a short time in the beginning of Part 1, Dr. Wang was on a mobile phone with some signal drop out and the quality improves as the conversation continues. In addition to MP3 format, I've provided a YouTube format so you can easily listen to this from an iPhone or web browser.