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Posts from November 2009

Video - What Comes with Max for Live

Via AbetonDenver – A new YouTube video that offers a nice overview of what’s included with Max for Live. Here are some highlights:

  • Buvfer Shuffler
  • Loop Shifter
  • Step-Sequencer
  • More than 40 Pluggo devices were ported to Max for Live along wth presets!
  • Graphic EQ
  • Compressors
  • Monitoring Tools
  • MIDI Generators
  • Humanizers
  • Building Blocks with annotation
  • Live Lessons
  • Max Tutorials
  • And more …

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

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Download/Buy my album REBOOT


Hands-On with the Tenori-On: First Impressions + Integration with Ableton Live

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Now that REBOOT has released, I’m gearing up to perform these songs live. One of my goals it to make the performances more visually interesting, help the audience connect with what I’m doing musically, and not spend an entire set hunched over a laptop.

I just added a Tenori-On White to my rig to help achieve this goal and to use as a controller and sequencer for composition. In this post I’ll offer some first impressions and notes on use.

Favorite Features

  • Built-in Synth engine, integrated sequencer, built-in speakers and SD card for composition and performance on the go
  • Runs on batteries
  • You can use it as a MIDI controller
  • Fantastic user interface and work flow
  • Visual representation of music
  • Ability to load 48 samples allowing you expand the palette when you are not using it as a controller

First Impressions on Design
image I was actually surprised when I unboxed the Tenori-On. The unit was like 20% smaller than I thought it would be after seeing it in picture and videos – and that’s a good thing. Tenori-On is clearly designed to be held with both hands using the thumbs and fingers to access function buttons plus reach inside to hit "LED" buttons. This being the case the small buttons allow for a smaller matrix so you can access a more with thumbs and fingers on either hand. The case is made of metal and machined by robots. All the controls are flush even with the rounded contours - very nice!

LED Buttons
One of the main reasons I got Tenori-On White was because the LED lights are visible on the front and the back. So when you play, the audience sees the lights as well. This feature is unique to Tenori-On white.

Learning Curve
Tenori-On is a proprietary system and the navigation and functionality is pre-configured. One advantage of pre-configured control schemes like the APC-40 (assuming you don't remap) and Tenori-On is that the learning curve is quite short. With both of these products time from setup to being productive and creative was extremely short for me.

In Use
Tenori-On is simply a blast to play. Beginners will be able to get something musical going right away. Advanced users who spend the time to “transcend” the navigation system will be able to create interesting musical and visual performances as well as use the Tenori-On as a sequencer and controller.

Of course like with any instrument, practice is what’s going to make this a great performance tool. In only about an hour I had 80% of the features memorized. In about 3 hours I was navigating layers, blocks, modes, and tweaking parameters in real-time without looking at the function buttons.

Using Your Own Samples  and Storing Data
Using a free Windows/Mac utility, you can build three customs instruments with up to 16 samples each. Each sample is limited to 900ms and you can’t edit much. Even though it’s no replacement for your sampler, it’s enough to allow you to transform the Tenori-On’s pallet support your needs. Revision... Samples, songs, blocks, layers can be saved and loaded from an SD card. Sample memory is non-volatile so samples remain in memory even if you turn the unit off and back on again! That is good news since it takes about 3 minutes to load 1 user voice containing 16 samples. You definitely will want to get your samples all installed before you perform – either that or you’ll need a Tenori-On roadie :^).

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In Use As a Controller with Ableton Live tenori-driving-absynth5
You can go way beyond the built-in sound set plus add some visual sizzle to your performance by using Tenori-On as a MIDI controller. The picture above is of the Tenori-On and my laptop running Ableton Live 8. The Tenori-On is in slave mode and Ableton is the Master clock. I’m using the MIDI ports on my Novation NIO Sound card to connect the Tenori-On to Ableton.

Each of the 16 layers within the Tenori-On transmit on a different MIDI channel. I created tracks with instances of Gladiator 2, Alchemy, Sylenth1, and Absynth 5 each listening on a different MIDI track number.

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By default different performance modes (Score , Random, Draw, Push, Solo) are hard-coded to each layer. There is a “hack” to override this (see links at bottom of post).

In my test set, I used Solo Mode to sequence a bass line into a MIDI clip in a Gladiator 2 track. The above picture illustrates my use of Draw Mode to play some awesome motion pads in Absynth 5. Push Mode is also great for synths like Alchemy and Absynth.

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In some cases I wanted to switch modes and record all note data into one MIDI clip. When going this route set the track MIDI input to “All Channels”.

Sync
I’ve read that some people have has issues syncing with DAW’s. It must be true as there is a firmware update coming to improve sync.  In my limited use I’ve not had much trouble and it works just fine. My guess is those having trouble are pumping out lots of data from multiple layers.

Price and Tenori-On Orange
Tenori-On White has been out for a few years. The price has slowly dropped and it goes for $999 today. Yamaha recently announced Tenori-On Orange for $699 with availability in January. To get the price down they changed the case to plastic, took the LEDs of the back and took away the battery power capability. All other features are the same. Of course these are some of my favorite features for White was a clear choice for me.

Where these the right choices? Are these prices too high? There are lots of discussion about this on sites like Synthtopia and Create Digital Music. While I would loved to have paid less, I don’t regret the purchase at all.

Conclusion
So far, the Tenori-On has exceeded all my expectations. Once I got it out the box I found it hard to put down. I’m enjoying using it as an alternative to my computer and for making music on the go. Using it as a controller definitely boosts my creativity. It’s unique features make it a it a nice compliment to my ACP 40.

Links:

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

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Download/Buy my album REBOOT


Cycling '74 Video Interview of Ableton Co-Founder and Electronic Music Artist Robert Henke on Max and Max For Live

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I found these two videos of Robert Henke on the Cycling ‘74 web site. Always nice to hear insights from insiders.

C74 Perspectives: Robert Henke on Max (Watch on YouTube):

C74 Perspectives: Robert Henke on Max for Live(Watch on YouTube):

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

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Download/Buy my album REBOOT


Ableton Live Master Class 11/22/2009 In San Francisco

abletonmasterclass

Laura Escude asked me to pass along information on the upcoming Ableton Live Master Class with Timo Preece, Brian Trifon, and Moldover. The event is from 11am to 7pm on November 22nd in San Francisco. Visit http://www.electroniccreatives.com/san-francisco for more info.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

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Download/Buy my album REBOOT


Ableton Celebrates 10 years With Announcements, New Prodoucts, Discounts, and Free Live Packs

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Ableton is celebrating it’s 10th birthday. Lots of buzz today related to this and many announcements, discounts, and freebies. I tweeted a lot of this earlier today but thought I’d pull together a quick post to summarize.


More on all these specials www.ableton.com/able10. Also, checkout these categorized Modulate This posts on Ableton Live and Max for Live

* Help support Modulate This by purchasing via affiliate links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

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Download/Buy my album REBOOT


Camel Audio Group Buy

Image as described above.

Modulate This reader Steve C. sent me a heads-up email on a group buy from Camel Audio. Here is a brief summary from the group buy page:

As widely requested by potential customers in our recent survey and in view of the tough economic times, Camel Audio are pleased to announce the Camel Audio Group Buy opportunity.

The price of Alchemy is currently $249 outside of the Group Buy, but with a maximum discount of 50% you could end up paying just $125 for Alchemy, $43 for CamelSpace/CamelPhat or $29 for a soundbank. Whether or not we reach this level will depend on your efforts as well as ours to tell more people about this program.

Ben of Camel Audio mentioned on the KVR forum that “Its been four years since we last ran a group buy, and we don't plan to run another for a similar period of time” so if you are at all interested in Camel Audio products this seems like the time to buy.

The interesting thing is that this group buy applies to many products, not just alchemy.

Image as described above.

They are using a survey to register your commitment to buy and will send out a discount link at the end of the group buy. The group buy also benefits existing customers. Free bonuses based on points include:

Points : Bonus
75 : Free Alchemy Soundbank: Choirs, Basses & Keys - 500MB samples + 30 presets <- Current Level
400 : Free Alchemy Soundbank: Viral Infection from Nuceleus Soundlabs - 1GB samples + 30 presets
800 : Free Alchemy Soundbank: Extra 90 presets

They hit the 75 point mark yesterday.

CLICK HERE to visit the group buy page. Pass it on!

Before you go, check out this awesome YouTube video by Torley where he walks you though some features and presets of Alchemy:

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

Download/Buy my album REBOOT