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Posts from May 2013

As Modulate This! Turns 7 Years and 7 Months I'm Taking a Sabbatical

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After 7 years and 7 Months of posting on Modulate This! I’m going to take a sabbatical from technology blogging.

The timing is right. Over the last year I’ve spent time going even deeper with Ableton, Maschine,  Absynth, Zebra, ACE, ElextraX, Predator, Fab Filter Plugs, Blofeld and  Resolume. I’m also jumping into the Electron world with Analog Four. I’ve really transcended a lot of the “tech” (and have built up a nice palette of patches from INIT)  allowing me to  focus on music creation. Also, my 2013 show is in great shape.

So I’m really looking forward to a very creative late spring and summer working on new material, performing shows, and finding new ways to express ideas with keys, AudioCubes, pads, grids, antennas and interactive visuals.

Also, summer is just around the corner I plan to spend more time in the wonderful mountains around Boulder (I took this shot today during lunch while on a mountain bike ride on a bluff overlooking Boulder).

If you want to keep up with my artistic work stop by:

Have a great summer – and take some time to get out of the studio and enjoy the burning fireball in the sky :^) All old posts remain active so have fun reading posts created to date.

See you soon,

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Performer
Boulder, CO


Elektron OS Update and General Sysex Utility

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Elektron synths use sysex for OS updates and data saves. I was poking around on their web site and found they had a handy utility for sending and receiving Sysex. they have windows and mac versions.

You can download the app here http://www.elektron.se/support-and-downloads.

I used it to upgrade my Analog Four to the current  OS 1.06 and it worked great.

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Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Performer
Boulder, CO


Using Elektron Analog Four to Add Tap Tempo and Tempo Nudge to My Blofeld

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I just picked up an Electron Analog Four to add 4 analog synths + seq + effects to create an additional compterless workflow. I’ll also use it as source audio for Live and Absynth patches.  One of my other goals was to pair it with my Blofeld for live jams and performances.

While I love the character and user interface of the Blofeld, one thing that drives me batty is there is no tap temp or tempo nudge for the arp. Analog Four to the Rescue!

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Setup is pretty straight forward.

  1. Go into global settings on Analog Four and configure to transmit clock. See p. 44 of Analog Four manual.
  2. Hook up MIDI out from Analog Four to Blofeld in.
  3. In Blofeld global settings make sure you set clock to “Auto”. See p. o3 f the Blofeld Manual for info on global settings.

Now once you start a pattern on the Analog Four it' starts transmitting clock and any changes to tempo via direct tempo setting, nudge, or Tap Tempo are transmitted to Blofeld. See p. 28 of the for details of Analog Four manual on tempo manipulation.

I’m getting best sync results on the Blofeld so far by setting the arp to “on” not “hold” so I can time the down key to start on the beat with the Electron 4 – and then retrigger with next note on.

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Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Performer
Boulder, CO


Ableton Live 9.0.4 Now Available

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Registered users visit https://www.ableton.com/en/account/ for free update.

9.0.4 Release Notes

Bugfixes:
  • VST / AU plug-in devices could be inactive after loading a Live set containing a large number of plug-ins (regression in Live 9.0.3).
  • The "grab_control" function which allows to gain control over a control surface's button matrix via Max for Live would not work anymore (regression in Live 9.0.3).
  • Fixed a bug which could cause the File Manager window to reopen after launching Live.

9.0.3 Release Notes

Improvements and feature changes:
  • Added a new skin: "Disco".
  • Added a new option to the "Record/Warp/Launch" preferences pane: "Start Transport with Record". If activated, the transport will start immediately when clicking on the Session- or Arrangement-Record buttons. If deactivated, it prepares for recording as in Live 8, so you have to launch a clip in Session View or click the 'Play' button. You can hold down the Shift modifier key when clicking on the record buttons to invert the behavior temporarily.
  • When recording automation on top of an existing automation envelope, and quickly clicking on different positions in parameters like sliders, X/Y pads, etc., Live now records a latching automation envelope instead of jumping back to the previous value.
  • The Compressor device does not clip input signals at +20 dB anymore. 
  • Added control surface support for Novation Launchkey series.
  • Added control surface support for M-Audio Axiom Air Mini 32.
  • Added a user satisfaction survey. After several hours of usage, Live will ask you to rate the software on the next startup. You can submit a star rating or simply dismiss the survey.
  • Updated manual, lessons and translations.
Bugfixes:
  • The Trial version of Live 9.0.2 could hang on startup.
  • Live would not work as a ReWire slave on Windows.
  • The performance of the Ableton Index process has been improved, especially on OS X. 
  • The Ableton Index process would sometimes not scan all folders after adding them to the sidebar.
  • The Ableton Index process could block the GUI during saving and exporting of Live sets, presets or clips.
  • Scanning folders containing a huge amount of files could take longer than necessary.
  • The Browser would not update its content pane after a change in the file system if the selection was somewhere outside of the Browser.
  • Expanding the Audio Unit folder in the browser's "Plug-ins" label could be slow for users which have a lot of library content installed.
  • Live would not save a clip self-contained after dragging it to the Browser and confirming the name of the new clip by clicking anywhere outside of the Browser. 
  • The Session Record button would not turn off if the recording was aborted, e.g. by stopping or deleting the currently recording clip, disarming a track, etc.
  • Under certain conditions, MIDI notes would not get recorded into a clip slot after deleting a previous clip.
  • Overdubbing into MIDI clips could unnecessarily bloat the undo history file.
  • Fixed a graphical glitch which could occur in the representation of the filter curve in EQ Eight's Frequency Display.
  • Several MIDI control surfaces would not correctly shut down after quitting Live, e.g. motorfaders on the Mackie Control would not return to zero, Axiom Pro devices would not exit Hypercontrol mode, etc.
  • The "Project Mix IO" control surface would not work.
  • The channel strip buttons on the Mackie Control XT would not work.
  • Fixed a bug where the key navigation in track headers would not work properly when certain control surfaces are selected.
  • When using control surface scripts, the blue hand would sometimes not map to any device, e.g. after creating a device and then deleting it by using undo.
  • Live could sometimes crash on quit in case a faulty MIDI remote script throws an exception in the Python console.
  • Fixed a crash which could occur in Live Intro when right-clicking on a drum rack chain.
Changes for Push:
  • Using the touch strip to change banks in drum racks now requires to pick up the current value, to avoid changing banks accidentally while playing.
  • Fixed incorrect intervals in the Locrian scale.
  • The velocity curve setting would reset to the default value when opening a new Live set.
  • Changing the pad sensitivity settings could be slow if a drum rack was in focus.
  • Updating the LCD display could be slow when switching between Drum and Note mode.
  • The Push LCD could remain blank and no mode would be selected after holding the 'Browse' mode button.
  • Fixed a bug where 'Browse' mode would be exited after swapping a Max for Live instrument.
  • Tracks created by dragging an instrument would sometimes not be automatically armed if Push is connected.
  • The "Arm Exclusive" preference would not be respected when Push was connected.
  • Fixed a bug where recording wouldn't work properly if the default clip launch mode was set to 'Toggle' mode.
  • Fixed a crash which could occur when using the 'Quantize' function.
  • Fixed a crash which could occur when using Push to delete a device whilst recording automation for this device with the mouse.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Performer
Boulder, CO


Watch Paul Harriman Eigenharp & EWI Performance at Awakenings, April 13 2013

Watch embedded video

Paul Harriman playing an Eigenharp Alpha and an Akai EWI 4000s. Video background by Jez Creek. This was performed at Awakenings, in Burton-on-Trent, UK.

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Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Performer
Boulder, CO