Previous month:
September 2010
Next month:
November 2010

Posts from October 2010

Ableton Live 8.2.1 Has Released


Ableton Live 8.2.1 just released and is available here

8.2.1 Release Notes

Improvements and feature changes

  • Improvements to Amp presets including better folder organization, additional guitar and bass amp presets and various other changes.
  • Improvements to sound quality in Drum Machines.
  • Performance optimizations on many Rack presets.
  • Many delay devices now use the "Fade" Delay Transition mode, to avoid clicks.
  • All Latin Percussion sounds are additionally available as chromatically tuned Simpler presets.


  • Amp is now available in the trial version of Ableton Suite.
  • Removed duplicate Amp presets.
  • Fixed Hot-Swap behavior for a number of Session Drums and Drum Machines presets.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the use of soundcards with only one input on OS X.
  • Fixed a crash that occurred when using a ReWire slave such as Reason and manipulating devices in the slave that were referred to by clips in Live.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO 80027

"Rainy Way" Video by David Henderson On Guitar, 2 monomes, and a Launchpad with Ableton Live

Watch embedded video

Friend and fellow Boulder artist David Henderson shows us that Ableton Live is not just for DJs and Keyboard types. In this video he plays his song “Rainy Day” using two monomes, a Launchpad, a Nocaster.

Use the links below to checkout David’s other works wtih iPad Morphwiz and more.


Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

New Album by Stretta - A Funneled Stone


Stretta has released a new album called Funneled Stone on iTunes and on Bandcamp. Here is the description from the about page.

When I see a photo of a modular synthesizer, I wonder, as I believe many others do, what the thing sounds like. What possibilities lurk within this strange hardware? I want to hear something orchestrated and controlled. I want to hear someone commanding the instrument with authority, not merely floating on waves of serendipity. I want to hear something composed for the instrument, leveraging its strengths, not a orchestration of an existing composition.

'A Funneled Stone' is a pure modular synth release, tracked in the old-shool, 1970's way: one monophonic line at a time. Every sound you hear was created, patched and recorded for that moment in time. When a new sound is needed, the patch is torn down and a new one is built. Polyphony is achieved by tracking each voice individually.

A modular album is, by definition, unapologetically synthetic. I also tried to take a more minimalist approach to orchestration, so the individual sounds can be more fully isolated and appreciated. I spent much of the final month of production taking elements out, and editing for length. Sometimes this results in the remaining elements merely hinting at the underlying harmonic movement.

As you can imagine, this process is very time-consuming, but fun. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I enjoyed creating it.

I’m only a few tracks in but I’m really enjoying it so far.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Modulate This Code for 10% off Percussa Audio Cubes Throughout the Month of October

In response to my “Modulate This Turns 5…” post, Bert from Percussa just sent along a nice birthday gift. Throughout the month of October, anyone who enters coupon code MODULATE5 (must all be uppercase!) at checkout will get a 10% discount on a set of AudioCubes. Thanks Bert!

CLICK HERE to visit the Percussa store.

Percussa offers FREE shipping worldwide and according to the shop page If you don't like AudioCubes they’ll refund your money including all shipping costs.

Full disclosure – I’m not affiliated with Percussa, and I don’t benefit financially if you buy AudioCubes. I’m just a big fan.

If you are not familiar with AudioCubes, I did a detailed review here.

I’m using 4 cubes currently and I wanted to mention that if you can’t swing 4 cubes financial, there are use cases for starting with a single cube which I’ll outline below. Think of it as a way to get an spatial controller that you can throw into your backpack. A controller with visual feedback for use in sound design or performance.

modulatethis_single_audiocubeIf you have one cube, you’d want to use the free MIDIBridge app to configure a cube “Sensor” mode and could use it in the following ways:

1) Configure each cube face to send a different MIDI Continuous Controller to your DAW thereby allowing you* to modulate 4 parameters at the same time. The video below illustrates this idea. I’m mostly using one cube in the video. The second cube just adds 4 more parameters.

Watch embedded video

2) Configure each cube to send a different MIDI note. I’m using 3 cubes here but the concept would work with one cube. Of course, you could also map the note to do other things in programs like Ableton Live to launch next scene and such.

Watch embedded video

3) Map a cube face to send both a MIDI note and continuous controller information. Here is a rough video of this concept in action to modulate parameters of Camel Audio Alchemy running in Ableton Live.

Watch embedded video

Mark Mosher

Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Bastiaan van Noord Releases New Sound set for Gladiator 2


Ronnie over at just did a post on the release of a new Gladator 2 soundset by Bastiaan Van Noord. I thought I’d re-blog this news as well as Gladiator 2 is one of my all time favorite virtual instruments. I’m also a fan of Bastiaan Van Noord’s work in previous sound sets.


I also noticed Bastiaan has started his own company for sound design work here

Workstation Sound Set info:

Workstation is a Gladiator 2 soundset featuring 155 new and exciting presets designed by Bastiaan van Noord, showcasing what Gladiator's Harmonic Content Morphing synthesis is capable of. A collection of warm & lush pads, beautiful soundscapes, pumping basses and fierce synth sounds, suitable for a wide range of music genres, including Progressive, Electronica, IDM, Minimal and Cinematic.


Mark Mosher, Blogger, Electronic Musician, Boulder ,CO

Modulate This Blog Turns 5 - Thank You Readers, Artists, Fellow bloggers and Wil Wheaton!


Modulate this just turned 5. Woot! In thinking about it, that’s a long time in “internet years” and it’s causing me to become a bit introspective.

Thank You!
Before I say anything else, I wanted to thank the loyal and growing number of readers and subscribers who take the time to read and comment. A special thanks to other artists and technologists who’ve agreed to be interviewed and or shared insights and/or supported the blog by allowing me to use your pictures in posts. Last but not least, all the other bloggers and Twitter folks out there who also believe this is not a zero-sum game and who embrace cooperating, sharing, reblogging, and RTing.

Thanks Wil Wheaton SNAGHTMLa9c046a

I wanted to thank the writer and actor Wil Wheaton. What does Wil Wheaton have to do with this blog you ask? If it wasn’t for Wil there may not have been a Modulate This! Here is the story.

I don’t know Wil Wheaton personally. Never met him. But back in the early 2000s I was working for a large PC Manufacturer and was leading research on using the internet to solve some business problems. I became fascinated with the internet as a publishing medium for the masses and started to think about how I might contribute. As blogging emerged, it didn’t take me long to find Wil Wheaton’s blog as he was an early pioneer. At the time his blog was called Wil Wheaton dot NET  and now it’s called WWdN: In Exile.

I knew Wil’s work from Star Trek and was drawn into his candid posts about growing up as a child actor, being a geek, being a video game fanatic, the creative process, his transition from actor to writer, and now his “insider” view of getting back into acting. I was inspired by how he jumped into the deep end of the blogging pool and helped grow and influence blogging. In case you're not familiar with Wil's blog, this excerpt from his about page explains it nicely.

While most celebrities are happy to let publicists design and maintain their websites, Wil took a decidedly different turn when he started blogging in 2001. He designed, coded, and maintained WWdN entirely on his own, until he "blew up" his sites' database in 2005 and moved his blog to the TypePad service. In 2003, readers voted WWdN the “Best Celebrity Weblog.” Wil's blog was chosen by C|Net for inclusion in their 100 most influential blogs, and is an "A" lister, according to In the 2002 weblog awards (the bloggies) Wil won every category in which he was nominated, including “Weblog of the year.” In 2007, Wil was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Bloggie, alongside Internet powerhouses Slashdot and Fark. In the 2008 weblog awards, Wil was voted the "Best Celebrity Blogger," and in 2009 Forbes named him the 14th most influential web celebrity. This is all amusing to Wil, who doesn't think of himself as a celebrity, but is instead, "just this guy, you know?"

So, in 2005 when I was considering ways to use the internet to give back to the electronic music community and as a way to connect with other artists, Wil’s blog inspired me to take the plunge into blogging. I was also influenced by his technology choices. I went with Typepad, and feedburner very early on – and I still use them today.

In general I feel he blazed a path for all of us bloggers and continues to show us how to use this communications form well to connect, engage, and grow communities around ideas. I also learned a lot by watching him blend technologies on his blog to create a unified solution.

Through Modulate This I’ve been able to create and share ideas.  Modulate This has also let me meet and connect with other artists and those passionate about electronic music technology who I would have never met otherwise. And now my art is better for it and my life is richer.

For me, this year was special in that I’ve started getting emails from others who tell me I’ve inspired them to start their own blogs or to get out there and share their ideas on twitter, or to finish their album, or to post a track, or go to a meetup and connect with others  – so it’s come full circle and that is very gratifying.

All that being said, I just wanted personally thank you Wil Wheaton for inspiring me to start Modulate This! If I ever meet you in person, I owe you big time – and we can start with me buying you a beer. If this happens, I will of course blog about it :^).

Mark Mosher, Blogger, Electronic Musician, Boulder ,CO

Free Music Friday: "Dark Signals" Electronica Track and Video by Mark Mosher

Watch Embedded Video (I recommend watching in HD!)


"Dark Signals" is a song from my album I Hear Your Signals. This is an original dark electronica song with driving big beats, bit-crushed high-hats, a dash of ambient texture, and distorted synth leads. It's one of my favorite songs off the album and is becoming a crowd favorite at live shows.

In the spirit of Free Music Friday you can get this song, or the entire album over at name your price (enter $0 for FREE).

The song and video are Copyright 2010 Mark J. Mosher and are under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Listener/Viewer Notes

This video is in HD and I captured the audio full fidelity right from my sound card.  So I recommend you listen with some good headphones or on a good system. You can play full screen, and or stream to your home theater via Tivo, Apple TV.

The video and audio were captured in one continuous take with no content edits so you can here a few artifacts and – dare I say it – teeny mistakes here and there which I left in as it’s part of the “character” of live performance. The only editing is on the video side where I added camera movement, camera mixing and visual effects.

Composer/Producer Notes
The song is original and was composed and produced entirely Ableton Live 8 with virtual instruments and lots of native Live effects. I either played all the notes, hand programmed the notes, or played them live.

The song is peformed in Session view. I have all the scenes laid out so I can control the arrangement on the fly in session view. I’ve mapped a foot controller plugged into my Novation Remote SL MIDI mapped to “Scene Launch” leaving my hands free to play and configure the Tenori-On function on the fly while advancing the arrangement. This also means I’m not locked in and can change the arrangement or extend scenes if I like.

It’s a little hard to see, but when I’m playing keys, I’m riding the modulation wheel to add grit. I’ve also use after touch to add distortion like effects.

The Moog Etherwave Theremin signal is converted from pitch-to-MIDI using a VSTand is driving a textural pad from a virtual synth.

At the 1:42 mark I’m playing lead using Tenori-On matrix controller sending MIDI notes to a virtual synth running in Live. I also use a different “layer” in the Tenori-On to play the nasty metalic pad sound.


The blinking cubes are Percuss AudioCubes. Normally I use these as controllers, but in this song they are light sources which I programed and control using RGB MIDI clips from live.

I created a copy of this set for performance and then froze and flattened tracks with virtual instruments that were either not being played live or were not being modulated live. As a result, I got my set load time down to about 6 seconds and my CPU load down to around 10-20% peaking at around 25% even though I’m playing some VSTs live.


Mark Mosher, Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO