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Posts from June 2010

Using Novation Automap for iPhone/iPod Touch to Wirelessly Send Keystrokes to Ableton Live

I've been looking for a way to load sets without having to touch my computer. Sadly, you can't MIDI map file browser elements. I did find a pretty cool way to do this using Novation's Automap for iPhone and iPod Touch.

I got it configured and working on my iPhone and have been using it for a few days and it is working well for me.

In addition to the app, you need Automap Pro as it supports assigning keystrokes and multiple keystrokes to buttons. Pro also supports multiple Automap devices.

In the screen shot on the right, you can see that I assigned a key sequence to take mouse focus from a scene into the file browser to load a set. I've also mapped "n" and "enter" so I can dismiss dialogs on load. Space is mapped so I can stop live prior to the load.

Note, the on the current iPhone OS, you have to use WiFi for communications as bluetooth is not supported for apps. So, before you go to a gig, I recommend you create a secure Ad hoc network on your system then connect the iPhone to this network rather than hoping for a WiFi setup at the venue. I've got this all working on Windows 7. iPhone seemed happiest with "WEP Encryption".

I'm really liking using the iPhone as a dedicated device to send keyboard macros to live so I don't have to take my Launchpad and my Remote SL out of default modes to map these functions. Plus, the iPhone is really easy to see in the dark.

Links:
Mark Mosher
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com

DEVO VIDEO - Industry Insight and Awesome Behind-The-Scenes Tour

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Shockhound.com just posted two awesome video interviews with DEVO. I’m sharing yet another DEVO related post because I think even if your not a DEVO fan you’ll find their perspective on music and the music industry of interest. In the first video, Jerry also relates a first person account of the Kent State massacre. The second video offers a tour of their studio including a discussion of some of the circuit bent toys used on their new album.

If you are a DEVO fan, you’ll really dig these two videos as you’ll get to see Mark and Jerry portrayed in a more conversational light than many of the DEVO “propaganda” vids (don't get me wrong, I love DEVO propaganda).

Video 1

Video 2

Mark Mosher
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com


Video Demo: SlimPar 56 LED Light and Obey 3 Light Controller

On June 13th, I posted a review of the Slimpar56 and Obey 3 controllers. I had a few people ask me to follow up with a video showing the light in action. I added the video to the original post but wanted to do a separate post with the video for those that read Modulate This with a feed reader.

Watch embedded video.

Mark Mosher
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com


DEVO's New Album "Something For Everybody" Has Relased Along with a new Reality Video Series

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Hi Spuds,

DEVO’s first album in 20 years “Something for Everybody” dropped today. I just bought the deluxe edition :^). Checkout the live listening party for 20 cats http://www.ustream.tv/devo?loc=interstitialskip

One of my favorite things about DEVO is how they blend social commentary into their art – and of course their heave use of synths! I’ve really been enjoying their current angle which is commentary on consumerism, big corporations, and mega marketing. I think it’s awesome that they went back to Warner Bros. for this release and got them in on the satire.

Here is a brand new video and Episode 1 of of a 5 episode tongue-in-cheek we reality series they just kicked off today - DEVO Makes Something For Everybody - Episode 1. They’ll post new episodes on upcoming Tuesdays.

They’ll also be appearing on the Colbert Report on June 16th.

Lastly, DEVO is starting a big tour to spread the word about devolution.

Duty Now Spuds!

More on DEVO at http://www.clubdevo.com.

Mark Mosher
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com


Review of the Chauvet Slimpar56 LED Light and Obey3 Light Controller

2010-MarkMosher-Signals-Rig_01_lights

In a recent post I documented my new live rig with a drawing and a time-lapse video sans lights and light controller. I’m happy to report I just received and have been testing the brand new LED SlimPAR™ 56 and Obey™ 3 compact DMX controller so I thought I’d share some notes.

I used this system to light this Teaser Video (the horizontal scan effect is from a video effect not the light):

Update: After finishing this pots I shot a follow up video demo.

My Lighting Needs
My initial objective with this light setup was to come up with a very portable system that would provide ambient fill lighting to augment but not overpower the light coming from my Percussa AudioCubes, Tenori-On and Launchad. If possible I also wanted a way to do easily add chase and strobing which led me to the brand new SlimPar and Obey3. I also wanted to get a one light system that would integrated into a larger setup should I decided to scale my setup. While I'm happy to use house light reinforcement, I definitely want to be self-contained if need be. This also allows me to do smaller performances where there is no light reinforcement. 

Backpack Ready
First off both the SlimPar and Obey are very small and backpack ready. I took a picture of the light with the controller below it with a Novation NIO 2|4 and Launchpad on either side to offer some perspective and scale.

slimpar_obey_size

LED SlimPAR™ 56

This light is simply fabulous. Small, thin (only 2 inches thick!), light-weight, and runs cool. it has a y-yoke so you can mount on a light stand or set on the floor. The yoke is tall enough that you can plug the power and DMX cables into it and rotate to any angle. Here the specs:

  • Beam angle: 21°
  • Field angle: 32°
  • Lux: 1,290 @ 1m
  • Light Source: 108 (36 red, 36 green, 36 blue) LEDs
  • Weight: 2.7lbs (1.2kg)
  • Size: 9.5in x 8.8in x 2.2in / 241mm x 224mm x 56mm

The light offers basic functions without a controller including static RGB and automated sound activated programs with timing coming from a built-in mic. Instead of old-school dip switches, settings are programmed via buttons with feedback from an LED making setup a snap. With 108 red, green and blue LEDs, it is plenty bright and the colors are great. You can also use the SlimPar56 with 3 and 7 channel DMX controllers.

Obey™ 3 Compact DMX Controller

 

While I am using MIDI to control the LED lights on the Percussa AudioCubes, I decided for fill lighting I’d start of small with some basic control and went with the Obey 3. What attracted me to the Obey 3 was that it was loaded with presets so I didn’t have to worry about color mixing or setting up chases.  Here are the specs:

  • Compact DMX-512 controller for LED fixtures (3-channel mode only)
  • Works with all 3-channel LED fixtures
         Channel 1: red
         Channel 2: green
         Channel 3: blue
  • Playback options include automated, sound-activated or manual RGB
  • Playback modes:
         Preset: 9 built-in colors
         Chase: triggers automated programs
         Macro: scrolls through the color spectrum
  • Variable fade times for all playback modes
  • Variable strobing on the fly (2Hz – 33Hz)
  • Fader for master dimmer
  • Adjustable blackout allows fixtures to fade out
  • Adjustable audio sensitivity

Continue reading "Review of the Chauvet Slimpar56 LED Light and Obey3 Light Controller" »


Rock Band 3 Adds a Fully Functional MIDI Keyboard and the "Opportunity To Develop Skills"

Just found this “Rock Band 3 – First Look!” video via @johngrabowski.

Even though I know how to play keys, I enjoy playing Rock Band 2 as it allows me to share me love for performing music with non-musicians in a fun social way. I also feel it gives the non-musician a sense of what it takes to really play from a tempo and triggering notes point of view.

On the other side of the coin, I feel that those who are really into Rock Band and pour hours and hours into improving game play skills would be better off learning a “real” instrument. IMHO, the rewards in the real-world are much greater than simply a high score. You know, like composing an original song, or performing with other musicians, or having the satisfaction of just being able to create and perform music.

In this next version of Rock Band the developers have added support for a 25-key MIDI keyboard controller, and according to USA Today - some sort of a “full-sized, fully functional Fender guitar”.

The video above mentions a new “Pro Mode” features that will “draw the player in and allow them the opportunity to develop skills.” I think this is an intriguing idea and has the potential to allow players to use their gaming skills as a springboard or bridge into the real-world.

Without having played the game, it’s hard to say for sure, but a potential downside is that since keyboard game play focuses on simply triggering notes and not technique (hand position, fingering etc…) there is also a potential to develop some pretty bad habits that you’d have to unlearn if you moved on to real-world playing.

Still, I’m optimistic that this new direction in Rock Band development may inspire some to consider switching from being gamers to players and artists.

What do you think?

Mark Mosher
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com


SoundLab - A New Step-by-Step Interactive e-book On Modular Synthesis

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Modulate This reader Roland Kuit is a composer, artist, sound designer, and teacher who lives in The Hague in the Netherlands. imageHe just wrote me to let me know he’s released a new e-book on modular synthesis called SouldLab. He’ll also be in New York for  Ectro-Music 2010 on September 12-15 to perform and to lecture on topics covered in the book.  

I  don’t have a copy, but I did take a few minutes to mindmap the table of contents. The map gives you a feel for the depth of information in the book. Click the image below to see a larger view or click here to load a printable PDF version.
SoundLab-TOC 

The book is about modular synthesis in general and Roland uses he Clavia G2 hardware editor/Demo version to illustrate concepts. The screenshot below is from the end of chapter one where he illustrates patching old subtractive modular systems like the ARP 2600.

rolandkuit_arp2600

Visit his blog to learn more and buy the book.


Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

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