Posts categorized "Ableton Live" Feed

Using Ableton Resampling to Distill Custom Zebra and Rayblaster Programs Into Octatrack (or any Sampler)

Mutiny-drone-2015-12-27

I've been invited to perform as part of a drone collective this Sunday a the Textures Ambient Showcase in Denver (Facebook invite). The show has these rules.

1) one synthesizer per player

2) all inputs into main mixer/pa (no indie rigs)

3) play single note holds only – focus is on sound manipulations & effects processing

4) music from 7-9:30 or so.. continuous with all players as inspired

5) players can break or not as desired

I went back and forth trying to decide what synth to bring. I know some of the other performers will be bringing Moog Sub 37, a Korg MS20, and Euroracks. The obvious choice for me was my Nord Lead 4. It's perfect for this sort of thing. But then again, there is already going to be a lot of oscillator based fire-power there. 

Going with Octatrack

Instead, I decided to play the show using only my Octatrack so I could compliment all those synths with some unique textural drones. I have developed techniques around using the Octatrack more like an organic synth making heavy use of morphing and LFO automation to make source material unrecognizable. I  can also get some great movement within drones as well by manipulating the loop length and such. 

Rather than live sample at this show (although that might happen), I want to bring in some prepared sources. I already have a lot of original Absynth content in my Octatrack audio pool but I wanted to add some new original Zebra 2 and Rayblaster content as well. 

Ableton Live Resampling to the Rescue

A fast way to go about distilling some raw waveform content from custom programs is to use Ableton Live's resample features. In a nutshell:

1) Insert a plugin into Live

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2) Create a MIDI clip that plays a single note. In my case the note lasts 8 bars so I can capture some motion in these original presets. 

3) Remove any effects you put on your virtual instruments so you can add effects later on Octatrack (or your sampler of choice)

4) Create a new Audio Track in Ableton.

5) Rename the track to the name of the synth your sampling. Example - "Rayblaster". What this does is name all the subsequent clips you sample in that track to that name with a number in front of them making them easy to find later - and easy to identify once you import them into your sampler. Below is a little video I did a while ago on using shortcuts to rename elements in Live.

 

6) Set the Audio From to "Resampling".

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7) Arm both the plugin and audio track.

8) Stop all clips to make sure you'll only being playing the clip mentioned in stop#4.  Play the clip from step #4. Stop. Over on the audio track you are resampling into, click on an empty circle on empty clip slot. This will start playback and record the audio from the plugin into an audio clip.

9) Hit space bar when you want to stop.

10) Go back and trim the sample to the number of bars you want, then right-click and "crop".

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11) Repeat 7-10 till till you capture all the content you need.

12) Save your project, then do a "Collect All and Save".

13) To quickly get to the samples you created, go to clip, right-click, then select "Show in Explorer"

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14) Now you'll see the pool of audio samples from this session and can them import them into your sampler. 

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Use with Clips, Ableton Simpler or Sampler

You've probably figured this out already, but this same technique gives you food for clip launching, Ableton Sampler and Ableton Simpler.

Why Go Through All this?

 Because the Octatrack is instant on, has incredible real-time synthesis and effects with super expressive automation and a very nice and accurate slider. Different user interfaces and wokflows yield different results. I get a different result staring at a screen than I do with using a piece of hardware. I also used this technique in my duo A.I. Winter to bring a ton of custom Absynth patches to the Octatrack for a performance that turned into the EP Instantiate.

 


What's New in Ableton Live 9.5 Mindmap

Live-9-5-mindmap

I created "What's New in Ableton Live 9.5" using MindMeister. Check out my public Mindmeister channel for other maps related past version of live and synth tech in general. Note the What's New in Live 9 mindmap has 14K+ views - woot! Note - I'll add a separate map for Push 2 soon.  


Video: In The Studio with Jean-Michel Jarre - Ableton Live, Max for Live, Tape Looping

FutureMusic magazine posted a fantastic video "In The Studio with Jean-Michel Jarre". It's really worth watching this 23 minute behind-the-scenes look at his process for a track for his upcoming Electronica 1: The Time Machine  which will release on Oct 16th, 2015.

Electronic music icon Jarre invites us into his Paris studio to talk us through his new collaboration with Air. Get the full story of Jarre's first album in eight years, and see more of his studio, in the latest issue of Future Music: http://bit.ly/FMU297

I think this video will be especially inspiring to Ableton Live users out there as it ends up Jarre is a heavy user of Ableton Live, is a fan of many of Live's built-in FX and is even using the great Max for Live Convolution reverb.

In addition to using Live, plugins and hardware synths, Jarre shows us how he uses classic tape loop techniques that he learned back in the day while working under Pierre Schaeffer ("father" of musique concrète).

Enjoy,

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Composer, Synthesist, Performer
Boulder, CO

www.MarkMosherMusic.com <<< Original Techno, Dark Ambient, Experimental Music
www.SonicEncounters.com/podcast <<< Soundscape Podcast


Mindmap - What's New in Ableton Live 9.2

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Live 9.2 is in beta. I put together a mindmap of what’s new to go along with past mindmaps.

Here is an embedded version of the map.

 

Mind Maps

 


Art + Music + Technology Podcast 056: Brian Funk (AfroDJMac)

Photo Nov 30, 3 18 01 PM

Darwin Grosse's latest podcat is up - this time with my Brian Funk (aka AfroDJMac). Listen here http://artmusictech.libsyn.com/podcast-056-brian-funk-afrodjmac.

Brian is known for his prolific work to create amazing racks for Ableton Live. I collaborated with Brian on  the Ableton Rack #40: Zebra Attack and Ableton Rack #40: Zebra Attack II so I was super excited to introduce him to Darwin Grosse so we could all get a behind-the-scenses look into Brian's work. 

My friend Mark Mosher doesn't get adamant too often, but when he does, I have to listen. He was adamant about getting into his friend AfroDJMac, and the work that he's been doing on Ableton Live packs. I jumped into my research (i.e., I took things for a quick drive then started digging deeper), and was really impressed with the work. Reached out to see if he'd be up for a quickie chat, and he jumped on the opportunity.

So you get this - my Thanksgiving gift to you. Great talk with a really insightful programmer, sound designer, songwriter and Ableton Certified Trainer.

I always like when someone opens a door for me to explore. Brian's ideas about vocal music (especially mixed with electronic music concepts) are really unique, and the way that he mixes music and teaching is also very interesting. Listen to his work here, and enjoy the discussion!


Ableton Push Impov: Vinyl Needle Drops in Drum Racks (Real-Time & Step Automation)

Working with the Elektron Octatrack has gotten back into sampling big time. Some of the things you can do with an Octatrack - like per step automation - can also be done with Ableton Push when working in "Note" mode in drum racks.

Push-step-automation

  1. One you turn on a note in the step sequencer, you can then hold the note down to acces all sort of parameters for devices. While holding the step...
  2. Adjust params to your liking. In this example I'm changing the pitch of each step in the step-sequencer.

You can of course record real-time automation by simply pressing the "Automation" button when in record or overdub mode. 

Below is an example audio snippet I put on soundcloud of doing such that. I sampled audio from random needle drops on vinyl into clips and used them to build a custom drum rack.  I then improvised using Push to perform and sequence these clips including per step automation of various parameters.

Mark Mosher 
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
 
http://www.markmoshermusic.com 
http://www.aiwinter.net 
http://bouldersynth.com (meetup)


Manipulating a Percussive Soda Can Sample using Pad Pressure on Ableton Push #MadeWithLive

Soda-can

I recorded the sound of a pen striking a half-full soda can. I loaded this into Sampler and went to the MIDI panel and mapped "Aftertouch" (pad pressure) to "Loop Length" with a value of -100. Now pad pressure modulate the loop length.

Aftertouch-loop-length

Here is a video of this sound design work in progress - http://youtu.be/Ld5KWyGs9_M.

 

Mark Mosher 
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
 
http://www.markmoshermusic.com 
http://www.aiwinter.net 
http://bouldersynth.com (meetup)