Previous month:
August 2010
Next month:
October 2010

Posts from September 2010

Show Report: Two Days in Denver with Robert Henke (aka Monolake)

Photo: DMNS Gates Planetarium

Robert Henke of Monolake and one of the creators of Ableton live came through Denver and performed his work "Intersection" on Monday and then delivered a lecture at Denver University on Tuesday. This invitation only event was hosted by The Digital Media Studies program at the University of Denver.

This was a real treat as this was one of only a small number Robert's performances in the US. Here is a show report.

"Intersection" is a work which incorporates “field recordings made in Hanoi in 2009, reconstructed through narrative, music and sounds”. The performance was presented in the context of the amazing full-dome digital theater of the Gates Planetarium

Before the show started the event host Trace Reddell, Ph.D. (Director, Digital Media Studies University of Denver) introduced Robert who talked a little bit about the piece and the show.


Robert described the show as a real-time collaboration between himself and Gate’s Planetarium’s own VJ / Pilot / Scientist Ka Chun Yu Ph.D. on visuals (pictured below).


They had only met a few hours before the show and the concert was almost completely improvised.

Music and Sound
On the sound side of things, Robert describes “Intersection” as follows:

Intersection is entirely created using field recordings taken in November 2009 in and around the city of Hanoi in Vietnam. The field recordings were transferred to a laptop and layered, filtered, slowed down and processed in many ways to form the composition. The idea of using recordings of day by day sounds as material for musical expression is not new. It has been pioneered shortly after the advent of tape recorders in the late 1940 by the French composer Pierre Schaeffer and others. They coined the term 'musique concrete' for these kind of works.

Continue reading "Show Report: Two Days in Denver with Robert Henke (aka Monolake)" »

Ableton Live Tip: Finding Sets Quickly by Bookmarking Folders

When I play my live show, I use a different set for each song. I’ve optimized my sets so they only take about 9 seconds to load (more on this in a future post).

On stage I don’t want to be mousing around trying to find sets and instead want to just quickly launch the sets in from Live’s browser. A hand way to organize and quickly get to the sets is to create bookmark for the folder with your sets in them, then map this bookmark to one of Live’s 3 “File Browser” buttons.

Here is my approach step-by-step:

  1. Store your sets for your show in a folder
  2. Rename the sets so they display in the right order by adding 01 to the first song, 02 to the second song so they sort in show order.
  3. Use Live’s browser to find the folder, then right-click (windows)/option-click (mac) to then select “Bookmark Folder”.
  4. You can now quickly browse to this folder using the pull-down. You can also associate this folder with one of the three “File Browser” icons by simply clicking one of the icons. Just click the icon to return to the folder at any time.image
  5. Double-click sets to load.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Two Live Electronic Music Performance Videos for Free Music Friday - "Alone" and "Celebration and Voices"

Here are two videos for you for Free Music Friday.

Watch embedded video of “Alone” by Mark Mosher

This video has an HD version as well so check it out from your home theater using your Tivo or or other streaming box.

In this video I'm playing my original instrumental electronic music song "Alone" from my album REBOOT ( name your price, enter $0 for FREE). I'm about half way through arranging and programming the synthesizers and controllers so I can add this song to my live set. I'm pretty excited about the progress I'm making on the performance so I thought I'd share a rehearsal video.

It's such an organic and textural piece, I decided to play the entire song from Percussa AudioCubes using only spatial control via hand movement. Ableton Live is playing back the pulsing drone, but almost all other elements are being played live via the AudioCubes. The AudioCubes are in "sensor" mode so placing my hand in front of a cube face plays a note on a virtual synthesizer hosted out of Ableton Live - almost like a Laser harp.

I only use the Novation Launchpad on my right to change which tracks are armed thereby allowing me to switch which synths I'm playing on-the-fly throughout the song.  At the 2:00 minute mark I start playing chords by using multiple faces simultaneously.

Watch embedded video for “Celebration and Voices”.

In this video, I'm rehearsing an original composition "Celebration and Voices" from my album I Hear Your Signals ( name your price, enter $0 for FREE).

I'm using a Novation Launchpad and Ableton Live 8 to control the session, effects, and I’m playing melodies in real-time from the Launchpad. I'm using standard Live 8 features to communicate with the Launchpad. No additional middleware such as Max for Live is being used. I'm using additional MIDI tracks to route MIDI back out to the Launchpad to get visual feedback on sequences and to give me feedback on the notes I'm playing.

I'm in User Mode 1 the whole time and controlling all elements via MIDI notes. The entire song is performed in Session view and all elements are either being played or generated live using multiple VSTs on the fly (no audio clips). Lots of Live effects plus SugarBytes Artillery II.

Like with all songs on this album, I composed and arranged the song around the controller as opposed to composing the song then trying to figure out how to play it live.

Composer Notes
Even though these songs are from two different albums, the are related in that they tell the same story from two points of view.


Mark Mosher, Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

New Ableton Effect Device - Amp

Official video on Ableton Amp.

Watch embedded video.

Ableton describes Amp as:

Amp is an Ableton audio effect that delivers warmth and drive without hassles. Co-developed with Softube, Amp accurately delivers the sound and simplicity of legendary amplifiers and cabinets.

We've focused on the essentials — tone, vibe and character — so you can focus on making music instead of searching for the right knob. Get good dirt, fast.

Amp comes with Cabinet, a separate effect that provides a selection of classic guitar cabs, with optimized mics and mic positioning. We've also included a wide range of sounds that transform Ableton's instruments and effects with Amp's new sonic character. These include Instrument and Effect Racks, Live Clips and over 400 presets.

Amp is included with Ableton Suite 8 and is available separately for EUR 99/USD 129 from the Ableton web shop.

Learn more here.

Ableton Live 8.2 Is Now Available


Ableton Live 8.2 is now available as a free download for current owners of Live/Suite 8, Intro or Live Lite. Download it here.

More than just a bug fix update, 8.2 offers a new amp and cabinet modeling technology effects device called Amp. Amp is free for suite users and available as an separate instrument for purchase for those on other editions of Live. This update also include The Bridge for Serato.

They have also included new built-in sounds.



Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Live Video of My performance of "First Orbit" at Electro-Music 2010

Here is an excerpt of my performance of the song “First Orbit” from I Hear Your Signals at Electro-Music 2010. Thanks to Jeremy DePrisco for sharing this video with me. Audio is from camera mic. By the way, if you were at the show and have video or pics, contact me as I'd like to post more.

This song is performed using Percussa AudioCubes and a Novation Launchpad.

Watch embedded video.

Here are some other pictures Jeremy took during the my set. I love this next shot. I’m palming an AudioCube and modulating 4 parameters at the same time.




These next shots were taken during setup and sound check with the houselights still up. During the show you couldn’t see all the cabling.


Checkout my previous post “Back from Electro-Music 2010 Festival” for more pictures.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Show Report: Electro-Music 2010 Festival in Huguenot NY


I just attended and performed at the Electro-Music 2010 festival in NY. It was my first time at this festival and I thought I’d share a “show report”.

The marketing copy from the Electro-Music site describes the Electro-Music festival as follows:

Dubbed the "Woodstock of Electronic Music" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, it features three full days of musical performances, video art, seminars, workshops, demonstrations, and jam sessions…These events have been noted for their incredibly diverse assembly of talent, enthusiastic support for innovative and unique artists, and overall positive, cooperative and fun atmosphere.”

Did the festival live up to this description? Absolutely! It was just fantastic and I’ll definitely try and get back there next year. Before I go into detail I’ll just say up front that if you are passionate about electronic music in any way, you’ll find something at this festival for you.

Electro iPhone 081

The festival started in 2005 in is an outgrowth of the world-wide community. The festival has rotated through various locations throughout the years. The first few years were in Cheltenham PA, then it moved to Kingsport TN in 2008, Bloomingdale NJ in 2009, and this year was at the remote Greenhill YMCA retreat in Huguenot, NY. This site is also a sleep away camp for kids.

All the events were in one building the main lodge which was really convenient.

Electromusic01 197

As you can see from the next picture, the site was simply gorgeous. Of course being electronic musicians we spent a lot of time all our time inside :^).

Electromusic01 175

Ticket options were a 1 day pass for $35 a day, or a 3 Day pass for $350 which included lodging and meals. I’m really glad I opted for the 3-day pass as this allowed more time to get to know other artists as well as share meals.

Lodging and Meals 
 Electro iPhone 088    Electro iPhone 082 
For those who opted for lodging, it was a fun flashback to summer camp. When we checked in we received sheets, wool blankets, pillow, pillow case, washcloth, towels and soap and were assigned a building and a room mate. Each room had it’s own bathroom and shower. The room was plenty decent enough considering I was up till like 1:00 a.m. every night and just used the room for sleeping. There was too much going on to be hanging out in the room.

Electromusic01 196Three meals a day were served out of the camp kitchen. The food was good camp food. This ended up being a great place to catch up with folks you met throughout the festival.

Venue and Format 
As you can see from the image below, the format staggered concerts and ran parallel to lectures in the library. There was a jam room in the basement and Stage 2 was used for jams in the mornings as well.
Electromusic01 113

In addition to these events there were DIY projects, laptop battles (the winner got to play Sunday night on the main stage) and more.

Basically, I got up at 8:00 a.m. and was busy till 1:00 a.m. every day!

Continue reading "Show Report: Electro-Music 2010 Festival in Huguenot NY" »