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Posts from February 2011

Announcing 9 Box Method for Performance, Improvisation, and Spontaneous Tribal Jams with Music, Sound, and Light


Announcing “9 Box" Method
I’ve been working away at a big project I call “9 Box”.  9 Box is a Method for performance, improvisation, and spontaneous tribal jams with music, sound, and light. 9 box offers a consistent and transportable method that overlays commercially available components such as Ableton Live, Percussa AudioCubes, and Novation Launchpad. It's also a set of templates and patches that will allow players to spend more time making music and sound than configuring hardware and software.

I'm sharing this information under Creative Commons  so that others can adopt and extend these concepts. I soft-launched a microsite on all this earlier this week at where I started posting some some behind-the-scenes development notes, documentation, and kits. I’ll offer a brief summary of the project below but if you want to follow along as things progress you subscribe to the microsite here.

9 Box
"9 Box" refers to a 3x3 matrix of 9 clips - hence the "9 Box". Why 9 clips? After much research I've concluded that 9 is a perfect number of clips for mapping to a single AudioCube and a small enough number of clips that it's easy to keep track of the different musical or sound phrases. This number also works very well with Launchpad.


First Template – AudioCubes Edition
The first edition of 9 Box is be based on 6 Percussa AudioCubes and I just posted the beta kit tonight!

1-4    Players
The method is intended for applications in social musical jams, music education, music therapy, installations, and festivals  and supports 1-4 players per instance. Without changing any settings, or having to reconfigure controllers,  the system can organically scale from 1-4 players. Players simply decide what role they will take and re-arrange the cubes accordingly.

9 box players

A Backpack-Ready Laptop Based Near Infra-structureless Jam Station
The system is very light on the infrastructure side and only requires a laptop (MAC or PAC) running the latest version of Ableton Live and - for the first edition - 3-6 Percussa AudioCubes, a few free APPs and a powered USB hub. So backpack ready. Once you understand the system, you can set it up in about 5 minutes.

Adaptable, Extensible, Endless
The 9 box system makes it easy to change the sounds and musical phrases on-the-fly by dragging refills to a 9 Box. This happens  without stopping the music making this an endless musical system with no limits other than your imagination. In my first template, I'm arranging 9 box clips so each box has a specific role, one for Tone, one for Rhythm. Clips get more complex as you move from 1-9. I've designed the 9 Boxes this way to support clear user roles for those learning the system. You are not locked into this structure of course, and can do anything you like with the 9 clips. Light Refills are also in the works.

More Info
As I mentioned, I’ve been posting a lot of raw info out to including posts on how all this work.  I’ll get more formal about the documentation as things progress.

Performance Videos Coming Soon…
I hope to record some new performance videos soon and will post some highlights here on Modulate This actual in the near future.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO

New Music Monday: "History of Modern" by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark


This album released in September but I missed it so I thought I’d do a post on it in case you missed it as well.

History of Modern is Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark’s (OMD) 11th studio album and their first studio album in 15 years. It features the original “classic 4 piece lineup” of founding members Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys along with Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper.

I’ve been listening to OMD since the beginning and was a huge fan of their early albums such as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (1980), Organisation (1980), and Architecture & Morality (1981). When I was a baby synthesist I cut my teeth sequencing covers of a few OMD songs (along with other seminal synth bands like Gary Numan, DEVO, and Kraftwerk) – so I was quite excited to learn of this new release.

IMHO this is some of their best work. It’s definitely not simply a nostalgia retread. The album has solid songwriting, interesting production with a nod to their iconic sound, and some new surprises like the more dance floor oriented track “Pulse”. It’s definitely worth a listen.

They’ve produced a few videos to support the album as well.  Here is  a video of “If You Want

By the way, OMD is currently touring North America. I’ll include a tour link below. Here are some videos I dug up on YouTube of recent live performances.

View embedded video of “Sister Marie Says”

View embedded video of “History of Modern Pt 1”.


Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO

Photo Journaling for Electronic Music Artists

I’ve been a bit “heads down” working on all sorts of fun music projects over the last month and half and of course learning lots of new things along the way. As I work away, I always take a moment to shoot photos.

I wanted to recommend this form of journaling for two reasons. First, it’s pretty cool to look back to remember what you were up to. Second, pictures like these can come in handy for your artist PR work.

To this end, I’ve been enjoying Flickr for sharing pictures in a photo stream. It makes it easy to share these pictures out, get social, and discover other pictures. The other nice thing is that if you tweet or post to facebook using your Flickr link, people can see the picture on apps like Tweetdeck via built-in viewers.

Here are some pics from the last month or so…more on my Flickr Photostream (along with some random pics of hanging about in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado).

Interludes for Theremin and Blofeld.

Rehearsing with Percussa AudioCubes.


Sound design with Waldorf largo. Using Image-Line’s WaveCandy to help see the results of the “shaper” filter drive.

Another shot of my rig in front of video projectsions
Picture of my rig just before my performance/talk at the grand opening of University of Denver’s Electronic Media Arts & Design performance space C-Cubed.


Creating hand-crafted wavetables (not samples) for Waldorf Blofeld using additive synthesis.


Waveform created with Waldorf Largo by modulating 6 stage chorus depth and speed with Live automation. I’m writing an entire song around this sound.

Driving 3 synths and a drum track in NanoStudio on an iPhone using MIDI Mobilizer via Tenori-On.

Got some cool pictures? Add me as a contact on

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO