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Posts from February 2009

Video Tutorial: How To Use Ableton Live Racks To Create Multi-Sampled Instruments

Watch Video: How To Use Ableton Live Racks to Create Multi-Sampled Instruments

I’ve seen questions recently in Modulate This comments, and on the Ableton Live forum regarding the creation of multi-sampled instruments in Ableton Live. This video tutorial is  step-by-step how-to video that walks you through the creation of a velocity switched multi-sampled instrument using Ableton Live, Ableton Simpler, Instrument Racks, and Drum Racks.

Mark Mosher
www.modulatethis.com
www.markmoshermusic.com
www.twitter.com/markmosher

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Videos of Jordan Rudess and His Korg nanoKEY

Over the holidays I picked up a Korg nanoKey and nanoKONTROL. I was skeptical at first but I have to say that I use them all the time – especially when on the go or when making music with a laptop on the couch. The build quality is no where near what you’d see on an expensive controller, but well within reason for the $50ish price tag. I put them on my Best of 2008 list.

imageI mentioned using them on Twitter and got a few replies about the nano series which made me hunt for some videos of the controllers in use. I found this videos of Jordon Rudess of Dream Theater jamming out with a nanoKey MIDI controller. Enjoy.

 

 

Watch Jordan Rudess and his nanoKEY Part 1

 

Watch Jordan Rudess and his nanoKEY Part 2


Watch Jordan Rudess and his nanoKEY Part 3

Mark Mosher
www.markmoshermusic.com
www.modulatethis.com
www.twitter.com/markmosher


Sonic State Behind the Scenes Video - Howard Jones, Robbie Bronnimann, and Laura Clapp On Tour in Australia

Howard_jones I found this series of vides via pedx1ng’s post on the Ableton Live forum, who found it on Matrixsynth. These videos by Sonic State cover Howard Jone's tour in Australia. I've re-blogged them here with annotation.

I've always liked Howard Jones's music and the fact that he's not all about nostalgia but is still writing and experimenting with technology in Live performance.

Also, my first exposure to Ableton Live was at a Howard Jones show back in the day of Ableton 3.0. Like now, he was using it to play scenes on the fly so he wasn’t locked into one arrangement for the whole song. After the show, I ran home and did some research and then bought Ableton Live 3.0 right away. Thanks Howard and Robbie and Ableton for changing the way I compose :^).

Video 1: In this first installment, Howard Jones has Robbie Bronnimmann leave a blizzard strewn UK and head for Australia and meet up with Laura Clapp in Adelaide Australia. He also talks about he now uses the Roland Fantom G8 to simplify his rig and work in a graphical way. He also discusses the polyphony and feel of the Fantom.

Video 2: In this video Howard Jones and Robbie Bronnimmann are in Perth Australia and explain the how they use Ableton Live, and bus powered devices (Motu audio interface, Novation Remote SL, Novation Nocturn) on their tour in Australia. Robbie describes who he uses Live to trigger sequences on-the-fly, do real-time FX processing on backing tracks and live vocals using built-in Ableton Live plugins.

Video 3: Howard Jones has Robbie Bronnimmann, Laura Clapp at sound check in Brisbane. A little taste of "Always Asking Questions". Laura discusses how shes uses TC-Helicon Voice Live and a Novation ReMote SL Compact to create harmonies and vocal effects on the fly. The also explains that he's his own warm-up band as he's doing a 30 minute acoustic set prior to the electronic trio taking the stage.

Links:

Mark Mosher
www.markmoshermusic.com
www.modulatethis.com
www.twitter.com/markmosher


Novation Automap 3 Pro Unboxing and Time Saving Installation Notes

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I blogged earlier about the release of Novation’s Automap 3.

I just purchased the Pro edition and thought I’d share my notes on the install. Ok, it’s all software, but the term Unboxing still seems to fit. I took some wrong turns along the way so I hope these notes will save you some time. I highlight my mistakes in red and recoveries in green.

First off, I’m running Windows Vista, Ableton Live 7, and use a Novation Remote SL running at 4.1.09 as my controller.

  1. I purchased online here http://www.focusrite-estore.com/novation/software/automap_30_pro/. I was sent a confirmation email with a download link and a serial number.
  2. I downloaded the software and ran the installer. Usual splash screens and such. Installation ended without talking to my Remote SL. The background app ran and prompted me to verify which VSTs I wanted to wrap with Automap. I clicked ok and it settled into the tray. That was it.
  3. At this point I thought it was odd that my Remote SL didn’t get updated. I went to the download are on Novation Music and it pointed me back to the Automap 3 installer. Hmmm. I thought I missed something at this point so I reinstalled. Steps were the same.
  4. Well, at this point I figured perhaps it might just work with 4.1.09 so I fired up Ableton Live. This was was the step Novation was expecting me to take. Automap’s HUI popped up indicating I was running Automap 3 standard and started talking to my Remote SL and it automatically detected my controller and determined I need an update :^). It then took me through a series of “wizard” screen walking me through the update. Very clear step-by-step wizard – nicely done Novation. I've shown most screens below (click images to see larger version).
     
    2-14-2009 12-38-44 PM 2-14-2009 12-40-53 PM 2-14-2009 12-41-42 PM


    After installing this update, my Remote SL is at version 4.1.12.
  5. 2-14-2009 12-42-41 PM I was then presented with a screen that had an button to “Get Automap Pro!”. I clicked it and was presented with “Offline Activation” and “Install License”. I chose “Install License” since I bought online. Wrong.  This popped up a file explorer dialog clearly indicating it wanted me to select a key file on and I didn’t have one. I chose “Offline Activation” which took me to a web page where I could enter the code mentioned in Step 1.
    2-14-2009 12-45-49 PM

  6. I was then taken to an activation page where I was able to download the file needed in Step 5. Note that according to this screen shot you only get 4 activations. I'm going to email support to ask what happens if you need another activation. Look in comments of this post for more info.
    2-14-2009 12-47-13 PM 
  7. I chose “Install License” and pointed at the key file (which I stored in my vst folder so I would not accidently delete it).
 

At this point I was running Automap 3 Pro :^). So, barring a few hiccups it went rather smoothly. My feedback to Novation is that they might want to mention that the firmware update will occur with a splash screen in the 1st installer so I would not have wasted time hunting. Also, the confirmation email should have explained activation so I did not waste time in step 5.

2-14-2009 12-49-12 PM

I’ll report out on features in a future post.

Mark Mosher
www.markmoshermusic.com
www.modulatethis.com
www.twitter.com/markmosher


Sylenth1 2.2 Review - Midi Learn, Midi Program Change, Velocity Sensitive Keyboard and more…

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I tried Sylenth1 when it first came out and didn’t buy it. I thought the oscillators and filters sounded great and loved the straight-forward interface but felt it was lacking some features I’ve come to expect in modern virtual instruments.

Sylenth1 came to my attention again because of the group buy in December. I’m happy to report that Lennar Digital has done a great job adding features and improving the synthesis capability since launch – so much so that yes - I bought another VA Subtractive synth :^).

Key 2.2 features that I really appreciate are Midi Learn (persistent from project to project), copy/paste for envelope and filters, Midi Program Change support (I can walk through programs using my Novation Remote SL).

Another 2.2 feature I use a lot more than I thought I would is the velocity sensitive GUI keyboard. It’s such a simple idea but makes it much easier to preview and tweak presets that use velocity as a modulator when using a laptop. Simply use your mouse to click towards the top of the key emulates a key press with little velocity. The further down you click on the key, the more velocity is sent to the Sylenth1.
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As I work with Sylenth1, I’ve also noticed how incredibly warm and dynamic the oscillators and filters are. It’s much more like working with a hardware synth. I think it compliments Predator nicely.

The master effects tab interface in the center screen makes tweaking effects and programming arpeggiator a snap. The arpeggiator can also be used as a modulate source. This makes it possible to use the arppegiator as a gate and more.

2.2 ships with over 1,300 presets which cover a wide range of musical styles and are a great starting point for tweaking.

Lastly, I want to mention that Slyenth1 is incredibly CPU friendly.

In my opinion Sylenth1 is well worth €139 and I encourage you to give Sylenth1 a try even if you have other subtractive synths. I’ve really fallen in love with it.

Links

www.markmoshermusic.com
www.modulatethis.com
www.twitter.com/markmosher


Novation Automap 3 Is Now Available

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Automap 3 was announced at Winter NAMM 2009 and is now available. As of this release there are now 2 versions, free and pay.

I’ve pasted details in from the Automap 3 Product page below. For me the Pro version seems the most compelling as it includes key stroke assignments and fully Auto-mappable XY Pad control.

I’ll grab it over the weekend and let you know what I think.

Automap 3? (FREE DOWNLOAD)

  • HUI - HUI control is now fully implemented within Automap, allowing control over all HUI compatible DAW's including Logic, Pro Tools and Digital Performer. This includes control over volume, pan, aux sends, track arm, mute/solo and more...
  • Start-up Screen - A new start-up screen now makes managing your plug-ins and setting up your DAW even easier. It also gives you one-click access to online support, tutorials and the latest updates.
  • Automap 3 PRO is now available to purchase for £19.99 / $29.99 / 24.99 EU, direct from the estore, and has a number of benefits over STANDARD.

    • Multiple device support - Automap 3 Pro supports multiple devices, so numerous Novation controllers can be used side by side.
    • Keystroke Assignments - Automap 3 Pro can assign almost any computer keyboard shortcuts to hardware controls. For example arrow key functions can now be assigned to hardware controls, allowing you to flick between tracks using buttons on your SL/Nocturn. You could also zoom in and out, open windows or create and jump to markers in your DAW.
    • XY Pad Control - Fully Auto-mappable XY Pad control, expression pedal, control pedal and drum pad control. The Automap server can now assign parameters to all these controllers using the ultra-quick learn facility. (Pedal/pad control not supported by SL Compact)
    • Drag and Drop - You can now drag and drop control mappings and control map groups in the GUI, allowing you to re-assign knobs, faders and buttons by simply grabbing them with the mouse and dropping them on the new controller.
    • Autoview Mode - Optional Autoview mode means that the GUI only becomes visible when a controller is touched, then it disappears again allowing you to get back to your DAW.

    Mark Mosher
    www.markmoshermusic.com
    www.modulatethis.com
    www.twitter.com/markmosher


    Thanks for Participating in "What Virtual Synths Do You Own?" Readers Poll

    imageFirst off thanks to all who have taken the time to take the readers poll on what virtual synths you own. I’ll leave the poll up for a while to keep collecting data. I also appreciate all the comments and links to synths not in the list.

    A couple of early observations after look at the results so far.

    Sound Design:
    When I think about producing presets it’s clear that offering presets in native formats for the more popular VSTs and Live Pack versions for these and less popular synths makes the most sense.

    I’m psyched that so many of you who own Live also have Sampler and Operator. I wasn’t sure the ratio would be so high.

    Kore2 is not as popular as might have thought. I only have the free player myself and since I own Live and Absynth 4 I don’t end up using it that much. I think Kore 2 has potential, and I may do something with it, but for now Live Packs and native presets seem the way to go.

    I was happy to see Absynth 4 fair so well – I personally love it. Sylenth1 and Predator are neck and neck. Camel Audio’s Alchemy is only 15% but it’s new and relatively expensive.  I personally think this synth will grow in popularity. I would have predicted Morphine being this low. Being additive it’s rather specialized. I’ll most likely use it to generate waveforms that I’ll then take into Live Packs. Circle is no surprise either. While it’s interface is really innovative I think it’s pricey and a lot of people have subtractive covered.

    Video Tutorials:
    I’ve been doing some research on video tutorials and there are a lot of fine tutorials out there on Ableton Live (I’ll post a list in the near future). At this point I’m thinking I’ll do some general videos on “sound design” on the more popular synths in the poll plus Alchemy (as it kicks ass) and perhaps some free synths. I have a few ideas on how to structure tutorials in a way that will help you build up knowledge that is transportable between synths and will experiment with some ideas around this.

    Thanks again!

    Mark Mosher
    www.markmoshermusic.com
    www.modulatethis.com
    www.twitter.com/markmosher