I've spent quite a bit of time working with the wonderful Waldorf Blofeld Desktop Synthesizer. I put together a mindmap of things I've learned that will help you understand the differences between the keyboard and desktop version including the License SL sampling option. Along the way I've also found many links and utilities (such as computer editor/librarians) which I've included in the map. This should be a real-time saver for you.
I just bought the new “State of the Art” expansion for the fantastic Gladiator 2 virtual instrument for $69US. With this expansion you not only get new presets, but the expansion also unlocks new synth features.
Tone2's Upgrade Model This is the third in a series of expansions for Gladiator 2, and with each expansion you get all the features from the previous expansion. So if you were to buy just this expansion you’d get the combined features from the two previous expansions. Note, you need to buy each expansion if you want access to the presets though.
Features Rather than list the features as a bulleted list, I spent some time creating the mind map at the top of this post which summarizes the features in relation to the signal path in Gladiator2 with the idea that you can print this and use it as a quick reference as you explore the new features.
Presets “State of Art” includes 315 unique presets aimed at “miscellaneous genres of electronic music”. Sound designers who contributed were Markus Feil, Bastiaan van Noord, Bryan 'Xenos' Lee, Alusio de Lima, Dajan Izzo, Massimo Bosco, Marco Scherer and Patchen Preston.
Included in this update are 26 additional waves for OSC5. OSC5 is a special oscillator that is used for playing back these sample and noise waves. As a consequence, a larger portion of the new presets are centered around motion pads, percussive sounds, and FX. In general this expansion really shows that Gladiator’s range.
Listen For Yourself Rather than me trying to describe all this further, take a few moments to checkout the audio demo in the player below (or you can download an mp3 verson if you don't see the embedded player).
Bottom Line I use Gladiator 2 a lot. Its easy on the CPU and really cuts through the mix. It's all over my album REBOOT and in my new song "First Orbit". I also enjoy programming it so for me this update just makes it more powerful and was therefore a no-brainer.
Is it right for you? My opinion is that non-programmers will appreciate the 300+ new sounds. Sound designers will appreciate all the new synth features - especially if you are still running Gladiator 2.2 without any expansions.
The launchpad is used as a visual reference for what is going on inside of Live. at 2:55 I switch to User Mode 2 on the Novation Launchad and trigger a metallic sound then change the Rate by breaking the beam between cubes. I then play notes on the launchpad which plays both Gladiator and Absynth. When I pick up the Sensor cube, I’m modulating arpeggiator Gate and Distance. Opening up the gate makes the Absynth patch much more tonal.
Marc W. from Ableton Denver just gave me additional footage from a second camera angle and I plan to post a video on my channel of just the song by combining footage from both cameras. I’ll also post this live performance of the song in audio format and will also do a studio version down the road and release that as well.
Laura Escudé and others from her Electronic Creatives collective will be offering Ableton Live Master Classes in Los Angeles (March 20-21) or New Orleans (April 3-4). I’ve included the posters with details below. Visit http://www.electroniccreatives.com/ for further details.
Electronic Creatives also have their own YouTube channel offering nice examples of what to expect in these master classes. I’ve included a video below and if you’d like see more visit this page to see a list of all videos - http://www.electroniccreatives.com/videos/.
In this post I offer some tips on setting up the Tenori-On for use with Ableton Live as a Synth Rack. I’ll also cover how to compensate for MIDI Timing Issues.
CONFIGURING THE TENORI-ON FOR USE WITH ABLETON LIVE When I use the Tenori-On with Ableton Live, I don’t use it’s internal synthesizer engine. Instead, I route MIDI output from Tenori-On layers to corresponding virtual instruments hosted out of Live.
To mute the Synth Engine in the Tenori-On use menu Preference Menu->Local Control and set the parameter to “OFF”
To configure Tenori-On as a MIDI Slaveuse menu Preference Menu->Syncrhonize and set the parameter to “SLAVE”
I then send MIDI to Ableton LIVE via a the MIDI ports on my Novation nio 2|4 Sound card. Any MIDI port that Ableton Live can see will do. The nio is configured to receive MIDI input, output and sync.
CONFIGURING ABLETON LIVE TO RECIEVE NOTES Each of the 16 layers within the Tenori-On transmit on a different MIDI channel.
In Live, I configure corresponding MIDI tracks for each layer on the Tenori-On I want to receive MIDI data from. In the example on the left, you can see that I’ve created three tracks within Ableton Live with and instance of Gladiator, and two instances of Alchemy. Note that the MIDI from is set to the nio 2|4 and a specific MIDI channel is used for each device to isolate MIDI note data for each track.
Don’t forget, you could also use Instrument Racks, Sampler, or drum racks to map multiple samples and/or instruments to Tenori-On notes.