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Posts from June 2011

I'm Returning to Electro-Music 2011 Festival to Play, Talk, and Jam with the 9 Box

I’ve been officially accepted to play a set and do a talk at Electro-Music 2011 in NY. The festival takes place from September 9-11. More links at the bottom of the post.

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Looking Back at Electro-Music 2010

I had a great time at the festival last year and I’m really looking forward to returning so I thought I’d share some photos and video from last year, and offer some info on the festival in case you were considering going.

Here is a photo and video and from my show last year taken by Jeremy DePrisco.

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Watch embedded video

Here is a shot of the groovy shirt from the festival which also shows a list of artist who performed last year.

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Quick Overview

Once again the festival will be at the remote and beautiful Greenkill Retreat Center in Huguenot, New York.Checkout my detailed review of the 2010 Festival here.

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Just to give you a feel I’ll share an excerpt from my review:

Vibe
Because the festival was in a more remote location than in past years there was little opportunity for walk-in spectators. The upside of this is that most of the attendees were experts. By expert, I mean seasoned artists with over 10,000 hours of experience and in some cases decades of energy put into their craft. As a result the vibe was amazing. Have you ever seen the SciFi channel show Eureka? It was like that for electronic music. It didn’t seem intimidating for newer artists either, as everyone was also very open and willing to share ideas and talk in depth about their work. There was a huge diversity in styles, performance, and approach and a whole lot of passion!

More Themed Jams in 2011

I’ve been checking in ever few weeks to see how the schedule is shaping up. I noticed on a recent update that they will have many themed jams this year. So far they have: space jam, open jam, noise jam, technicolor jam, DIY jam (following the DIY and circuit bending workshop), and AudioCube jam.

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9 Box at Electro-Music 2011

I’ll be bringing along a 9 Box System for performance, improvisation, and spontaneous tribal jams with music, sound, and light and I know at least one other artist is bringing his AudioCubes along for the AudioCube jam.

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Hope to See Your There

I met a lot of great people last year and saw some amazing performances and I’m looking forward to meeting more Modulate This readers face-to-face this year.

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

www.ModualteThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


What's New with Tone2 ElectraX Synthesizer 1.2 Update

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My go to synth ElectraX just got even better with a beefy update that is free for registered users. If you are not familiar with ElectraX checkout this post Modulate This Exclusive: First Look at Tone2's New ElectraX Virtual Synth. Also, checkout this official video overview that was release after my review.

What’s New in 1.2

Rather than simply list the additions, changes, and fixes in a list, I took the time to create a mindmap and group and color code features so you can quickly wrap your mind around this update.

See map full-screen on Mindmeister

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

www.ModualteThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


Novation UltraNova vs M-Audio Venom vs Roland Gaia

 

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I recently purchased a Novation UltraNova. As I was researching I compiled specs form manufacturer web sites and placed them into a spreadsheet from other synths at this price point so I could compare the instruments side-by-side. I thought I’d pass this info on to save you time if you were in the market.

Now while I chose UltraNova, you may read this information and come to a different conclusion based on your particular priorities. For example if you have an absolute need a multi-timbral synth Venom would be of interest. If near one-for-one knob for parameter control was a high-priority Gaia becomes more interesting.

As a  synthesist and controllerist, the UltraNova was a clear winner for me because of it’s analog modeling, wavetable synthesis, strong modulation matrix, aftertouch, strong effects, VST/AU editor and touch encoders.

I compiled this manually so if you find a mistake let me know. After you checkout this table, swing by my UltraNova 411 post.

Spec UltraNova Venom Gaia
Price $699.00 $499 $699
Aftertouch Yes No No
Analog Modeled Yes No Yes
Waveforms Square, sine, tri, sawtooth, pulse, 9x saw:pulse combinations. 20x digital waveforms, 36 Wavetalbes (w/ 9 waveforms each) 41 oscillator waves and 53 drum sounds sampled from vintage synths. SAW, SQUARE, PULSE/PWM, TRIANGLE, SINE, NOISE, SUPER SAW
Wavetable Synthesis Yes No No
Modulation Matrix 20 Slots 16 Slots No matrix, but you can select routing of modulators within signal path. Such as d-beam to pitch, volume, effects; LFO to pitch, filter amp depth
Modulation Sources 17 31 None
Modulation Destinations 66 (Includes FX Params!) 17 None
Filter Drive Yes Yes No
Filter Types 14 6 4
FM Synthesis No (There are however some FM waveforms in wavetable) Yes No
Envelopes Per OSC 6 3 3
Audio Input Can Be Processed by Synth Engine Yes No No
Vocoder Yes No No
Computer Editor Yes Yes Yes but costs an extra $99
Editor Runs as VST/AU Stand-Alone Stand-Alone
Control 8 Touch Encoders, Filter/Last Param Knob, Mod & Pitch Wheel Matrix, Mod & Pitch Wheel Nearly 1-for-1 knob sliders, D Beam, Mod & Pitch Lever
Front Panel Editing Experience LDC + Page linked knobs with  touch encoder focus. More dedicated back lit buttons for selecting sub menus than Venom Matrix + LCD Clear signal flow on front panel with nearly 1-for-1
User Preset Slots 508 (4 banks of 127 Slots) 512 single, 256 Multi 64
Effects Distortion (up to 2 instances),
Compressor (up to 2 instances)
, Chorus/Phase (up to 4 instances),  Delay (up to 2 instances), Reverb (up to 2 instances)
, Gator,  EQ, 12 band vocoder
Global: Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser. Insert: Compression, EQ, Distortion, Bit Reduction, Decimation, 
DIST, FLANGER, DELAY, REVERB, LOW BOOST
Audio Interface 2 in 4 out 2 in 2 out USB Audio Streaming in from Gaia
Multittimbral No 4 No
Polyphony 20 12 64
MIDI IN/OUT/THRU IN/OUT IN/OUT
Power Options Bus Power/AC AC AC/Batteries
Ableton Integration Automap/Stream Audio via USB Stream Audio via USB Stream Audio via USB
Keys 37 49 37

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

www.ModualteThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


Percussa is Working on a New Generative Music App for AudioCubes Called IMPROVISOR

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Percussa has announced on their blog that they are working on a new app called Improvisor.

The idea of IMPROVISOR is that each cube is linked with a groove and a relative note pattern, which is played back in a loop.

You can add and remove loops by adding and removing cubes. By placing the cubes next to each other, their note patterns are added to each other, creating completely new melodies, all in key and in rhythm. These can be sent via MIDI to your favourite software or hardware synth.

You can enter your own grooves and relative note patterns (in semitones) in the software, using the built in editor and you can choose which cubes should be linked to which patterns…

you can let the cubes each play back their sequences of semitone steps, and you can add them to each other when the cubes are placed next to each other, creating completely new melodies. This is called “following”.

Each cube can follow the semitones of the other cubes, which basically means they are added together…

To use IMPROVISOR you just have to have one cube connected to your computer. The other cubes are autodetected as they are added. You can set cubes to have a specific colour using the colour picker.

As an AudioCube user, I appreciate that Percussa continues to explore unique ways to add value through apps that take advantage of the unique features provided by the AudioCubes.

Swing by and read the post on Percussa’s site for even more details using the link below. Percussa has also invited you to leave comments on that post if “you think of any features you would like to have that would make IMPROVISOR the ultimate generative music making application for AudioCubes?”

Link

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

www.ModualteThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


Image-Line Takes Mobile Workflow to the Next Level with FL Studio Mobile Import to Desktop

Image-Line is one of the first companies to make some real progress towards the idea of integrated workflow between mobile and desktop DAWs with the release of their new FL Studio Mobile app.

First off let me say that they’ve done a nice job jamming the essence of FL Studio into my iPhone 4. If you know FL Studio you’ll grok it pretty quickly. Scope-wise it’s very close to the notion of NanoStudio. Unlike NanoStudio, the instruments are purely sample-based rather than a mix of samples and synthesis. This ends up being a plus though when it comes to importing your work back into FL Studio as this allows you to work with sonic palettes you are used to without attempting to load instruments that would crush the mobile device’s CPU.

Image-Line’s strategy (so far) is to use a smattering of samples from the synths that come with FL Studio including PoiZone, Sawer, Sytrus, Toxic, Morphine, Harmless, DX10, Ogun. Realistic instrument and drum samples found in FPC are also included.

Export/Import Concept

FL Studio Mobile allows you to export .MID, .WAV, and the new .FLM (Fruity Mobile Format). FLM files can be imported into FL Studio Desktop edition provided 1) You register the mobile app 2) you upgrade to FL Studio 10.0.5. I have a link at the end of the post with more details on how to register and upgrade.

Once you are up on 10.0.5, you can copy the samples used in the mobile edition to the desktop edition. Importing a .FLM into the desktop edition will create a project and automatically create corresponding tracks and mixer routings. Each track automatically is assigned the proper instrument to load the samples. For example, drum samples may be loaded into an instance of FPC. For synth tracks, DirectWave is loaded with appropriate samples automatically loaded into splits and layers. It’s pretty damn cool!

Export/Import Walk-Through

I’ve taken time to document the process. Below you can see a screenshot from my iPhone of a little track I started working on. Note track 2 is using samples from Sawer Cutting Lead.

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From the projects tab I save “Export test” as a project.

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Next I connect my phone my Windows sytem using the USB cable and fire up iTunes, click on the phone, then Apps, then scroll down and select FL Studio. I then select “Export test.flm” and click “Save to…” and save to my hard drive.

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Then I open FL Studio and open “Export test.flm” and – bam – the set loads (click the screenshot below to see the image full-sized).

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In my case the set sounds almost identical although I’ve read on Image-Line’s forum there might be times when things don’t sound 100% the same – still – fantastic!

Wish List

Hats off to Image-Line for taking mobile workflow to the next level. It would be interesting to see if they could further enhance this concept by offering a second form of import. One where samples would still be used on the mobile-side but meta-data would be added to the .FLM such that the desktop edition could load the actual corresponding plugin and patch. Also the ability to load your own samples and synch would be fantastic as well. Also, in addition to syncing through iTunes it would be great to sync .flm files through the cloud – like through dropbox.

I Hope Other Developers are Watching

This is a great effort by Image-Line and I’m hoping companies like Ableton are watching. I’d love to see an .als could sync system with a mobile variant of Live. It seems to me Ableton could port Simpler and Impulse and have full native device bi-directional synch with mobile devices since these instruments are already sample-base.

I'm already using FL Studio a little more as a result of using Mobile. Now that Image-Line has upped the ante, DAW makers are going to be forced to create mobile variants just to ensure entanglement with their desktop versions.

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

www.ModualteThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


Teenage Engineering OP-1 & Moog Little Phatty Sightings in NPR "Yacht: Tiny Desk Concert" Video


Watch embedded video

I actually had not heard about the Tiny Desk Concert series on NPR before I saw a post about it on the Moog Music Facebook page. It's a pretty cool idea. In this video - a fun performance by Yacht and some synth action on withThe Moog Little Phatty is clearly visible. Watch closely for the OP-1.

Here is a more electro version of “Utopia / Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)”. Yes, more synths, and some DEVOesqe looking uniforms – sweet!

YACHT Utopia / Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire) from DFA Records on Vimeo.

 

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

www.ModualteThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


Video: Tenori-On with 2.1 Firmware Being Remote Controlled from a Computer Using maxMSP

In my last post I mentioned that the Yamaha release new firmware 2.1 for the Tenori-On which among other new features allows for programmatic control of the hardware via MIDI Sysex.

TimL over on this thread over on the Tenori-On forummentioned he has already started writing a MaxMSP patch! He just posted a videoon his YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/timmeahh) showing his progress:

V2.1 introduces the remote mode allowing MIDI sysex data to be received and perform all regular functions of the Tenori-On. This maxMSP patch shows a few of the basic functions which can be done remotely. This minor update of the tenori-on firmware releases more of this unique instrument's potential.

Yet another example of the benefit of opening up architectures for programmatic control. I’m looking forward to seeing what Tim and others come up with.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

www.ModualteThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html