Posts categorized "AudioCubes" Feed

Two Live Electronic Music Performance Videos for Free Music Friday - "Alone" and "Celebration and Voices"

Here are two videos for you for Free Music Friday.

Watch embedded video of “Alone” by Mark Mosher

This video has an HD version as well so check it out from your home theater using your Tivo or or other streaming box.

In this video I'm playing my original instrumental electronic music song "Alone" from my album REBOOT ( name your price, enter $0 for FREE). I'm about half way through arranging and programming the synthesizers and controllers so I can add this song to my live set. I'm pretty excited about the progress I'm making on the performance so I thought I'd share a rehearsal video.

It's such an organic and textural piece, I decided to play the entire song from Percussa AudioCubes using only spatial control via hand movement. Ableton Live is playing back the pulsing drone, but almost all other elements are being played live via the AudioCubes. The AudioCubes are in "sensor" mode so placing my hand in front of a cube face plays a note on a virtual synthesizer hosted out of Ableton Live - almost like a Laser harp.

I only use the Novation Launchpad on my right to change which tracks are armed thereby allowing me to switch which synths I'm playing on-the-fly throughout the song.  At the 2:00 minute mark I start playing chords by using multiple faces simultaneously.

Watch embedded video for “Celebration and Voices”.

In this video, I'm rehearsing an original composition "Celebration and Voices" from my album I Hear Your Signals ( name your price, enter $0 for FREE).

I'm using a Novation Launchpad and Ableton Live 8 to control the session, effects, and I’m playing melodies in real-time from the Launchpad. I'm using standard Live 8 features to communicate with the Launchpad. No additional middleware such as Max for Live is being used. I'm using additional MIDI tracks to route MIDI back out to the Launchpad to get visual feedback on sequences and to give me feedback on the notes I'm playing.

I'm in User Mode 1 the whole time and controlling all elements via MIDI notes. The entire song is performed in Session view and all elements are either being played or generated live using multiple VSTs on the fly (no audio clips). Lots of Live effects plus SugarBytes Artillery II.

Like with all songs on this album, I composed and arranged the song around the controller as opposed to composing the song then trying to figure out how to play it live.

Composer Notes
Even though these songs are from two different albums, the are related in that they tell the same story from two points of view.


Mark Mosher, Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Percussa AudioCube Production and Performance Notes for "I Hear Your Signals"


For my original music album "I Hear Your Signals" (download the album free) I use Percussa Audiocubes as performance controllers. In this post I’ll give you all the geeky details about how the controllers were applied in the project.

I used 4 AudioCubes plus Percussa's free MIDIbridge app on Windows to configure and route AudioCube signals to Ableton Live. I use the same MIDIbridge patch for every song which allows for consistent and predictable data mapping from the cubes to Ableton Live.

In general, I play a lot of the notes on you hear on the album via keyboards, Theremin and Tenori-On live. I tend to use the cubes as controllers, for scene launching, and for real-time modulation of effects and synth parameters and only use them for triggering notes from time to time.

The AudioCubes are configured with the in the following modes:

  • Cube 1 - Sensor (the red cube at 9:00 in the picture above): This cube sends MIDI CC information back to Live. I configure each side of  cube to give me visual feedback where each cube face is set to a different color. The closer my finger or hand is to the sensor, the brighter the light. Currently, Sensor cubes need to be wired via USB.
  • Cubes 2 & 3 Receivers (white cubes in above picture): Sends MIDI notes back to Live when a signal is received from Cube 4. image I also send RGB MIDI light sequence via MIDI clips in Ableton. The cubes then become light show elements and also offer visual feedback. These cubes are also plugged in via USB so they can receive high-speed transmissions via MIDI clips.
  • Cube 4 – Transmitter (green in the picture above): This cube is wireless. Aligning the faces of this cub with the faces on cubes 2 & 3 triggers MIDI notes back to Ableton Live.

I then MIDI map MIDI CC data and Note information coming from cubes via Ableton Live MIDI Map mode to various functions within live.
For cube 1, CC's are mapped to device parameters and macros. These in-turn are often routed to parameters within VSTs. For example, a cube face might modulate delay time with Ableton's native Ping Pong Delay FX device. Or the CC might map to filter on a VST synth. Below is a snapshot of the MIDIBridge settings for Cube 1 (click to enlarge).


For Cubes 2 & 3, notes are triggered when the face from the transmitter Cube 4 is detected. I route notes to either MIDI tracks holding Ableton instruments or VSTs and/or racks. In some cases I route MIDI notes through a dummy track back to SugarBytes Artillery II running in a send or on the master track for effects. Since effects are triggered via notes rather than CCs with Artillery II, this method allows me to control effects as well as playing notes with signals from Transmitter cubes which only send MIDI note information. In other words, by combining native Ableton effects with Artillery II, I can use any cube in the network to trigger effects.


1) “Arrival”

In this song I’m using AudioCubes as lighting and feedback elements in the live show. They were not used in composition or performance of the music. MIDI clips in Live are used to sequence the lights.

Continue reading "Percussa AudioCube Production and Performance Notes for "I Hear Your Signals"" »

Overview and Time-Lapse Video of My Ableton Live Laptop Music Rig + Controllers


Over the years I’ve played hundreds of shows as a keyboardist using my trusty Apex column with various hardware synths.  In late 2009 I had a vision to create a new Ableton Live laptop-centric rig using only virtual synths running in Live.

While I wanted to play some keys, I was really excited to add alternative visual, tangible, and spatial controllers and selected Percussa AudioCubes, Tenori-On, a Novation Launchpad. I went with my trusty Remote SL 25 for keys as it also doubles as a controller for Live. In the 11th hour I added a Moog Ehterwave Theremin which was clearly necessary to play “They Walk Among Us” live :^).

I’ve played enough shows to know that you can’t always count on basic lighting and P.A. to be adequate, so I added these elements to my requirements as well – just in case. My goal was to be able to run a room of 80 people if needed with just my rig. My other goal was 4 trips from the car load-in max with a 15 minute setup time or less.

The sketch above shows all this on paper (click the image to see a larger view). After months of slowly building up gear, the reality - sans lighting - is shown in the fun little time-laps video embedded video below.

Here is a list of what's in the rig:

  • Laptop: Windows 7 32-bit, HP DV6t-1200 Pavilion w/Core2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53 GHZ, 3G memory, 7200 RPM Drive (Update I now use an HP Envy 14 I5)
  • Soundcard: Novation NIO 2|4
  • DAW Software: Ableton Live 8 Suite
  • Primary Controllers: Novation Remote SL 25 (updated to MKII), Launchpad | Tenori-On | Percussa AudioCubes
  • Primary Virtual Synthesizers: Tone2 Gladiator 2| Native Instruments Absynth 5 | Camel Audio Alchemy | U-He Zebra 2, ACE | Ableton Sampler, Operator... | SonicCharge Synplant | Lennar Digital Sylenth1 | reFX Vanguard, Slayer2 | Image-Line Harmless, Toxic Biohazard | Cakewalk Dimension Pro | FAW Circle | DCAM: Synth Squad...
  • Hardware Synthesizers: Moog Etherwave Theremin, Waldorf Blofeld (not pictured)
  • PA: Bose L1 Compact
  • Stand: Odyssey ATT2 Table, Odyssey L2 Laptop Stand

Links to lots of the software I use here:

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

Quick Picture of Novation Launchpad and Percussa AudioCubes


After rehearsing tonight I took a shot of some of my Novation Launchpad and 4 Percussa AudioCubes. Click the picture to see a large version. I thought it was a pretty interesting shot so thought I’d share it.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

My Blofeld + Ableton Live + Lpk25 + AudioCube Couch Potato Setup


I wanted to create a small couch-friendly setup where I could play the Waldorf Blofeld with my little Akai LPK25 Controller and an AudioCube. Here is how I set it all up.

AudioCube Configuration
I use Percussa’s MIDI bridge to configure a sensor cube so that face 1-4 send CCs 10-13 (click image to enlarge).

Blofeld Global Configuration
The Blofled supports custom mapping of 4 CCs to controllers that are labeled W,X,Y,Z. Hold down “Shift”+”Global” to access the global params and turn the Display Parameter Dial to access the “Global Controls” page. In my case, i set W-Z to 10-13 respectively to match the CC numbers coming from the AudioCube.blofeld_w

Blofeld Patch Modification
Now I modify any patch to respond to AudioCube modulation by going to the Matrix menu and then setting W-Z as sources. In the example below I map Z (AudioCube Face 4) with Ring Modulation Level.blofeld_z_to_rmod

Ableton Live Configuration
imageAbleton Live 8 is running on a laptop which is the hub that makes this all work. The LPK25, Blofeld, and AudioCube are plugged in via USB and configured as MIDI devices in Live options. I create a Midi Track and specify the Blofeld as the output and arm the track.

At this point MIDI is merged from the LPK 25 and Percussa MIDI Bridge and sent through to the Blofeld allowing me to rock out from the comfort of my couch.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO

New Single "First Orbit" Performed Live + Percussa Audio Cube Presentation Video from Ableton Denver Meetup

On the 14th of March I gave a presentation on Percussa AudioCubes at the Ableton Denver Meetup. David Henderson was kind enough to shoot video and he even took the time to post on YouTube. Thanks David.

By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to his blog yet, you should check it out - Lots of cool insights on Ableton Live, Monome and more.

As part of this presentation, I decided to perform a brand new single called “First Orbit” using only AudioCubes and a Launchad. The song is in the second video below and starts at the 1:20 mark.

Watch embedded video

In this song I’m using AudioCubes to send MIDI notes and MIDI CC data to Ableton Live 8, specifically to:

  • Change scenes
  • Trigger Artillery 2 FX with MIDI notes
  • Modulate parameters of Ableton Live FX (Redux; PingPong Delay; Arpeggiator Rate, Gate, Distance)

I misspoke in the the video on what synths I’m using in this song. I’m using Gladiator 2, Absynth 5, and U-He Ace. Two synths that are well suited for cubes that are not in this song are Alchemy and Synplant.

The launchpad is used as a visual reference for what is going on inside of Live. at 2:55 I switch to User Mode 2 on the Novation Launchad and trigger a metallic sound then change the Rate by breaking the beam between cubes. I then play notes on the launchpad which plays both Gladiator and Absynth. When I pick up the Sensor cube, I’m modulating arpeggiator Gate and Distance. Opening up the gate makes the Absynth patch much more tonal.

Marc W. from Ableton Denver just gave me additional footage from a second camera angle and I plan to post a video on my channel of just the song by combining footage from both cameras. I’ll also post this live performance of the song in audio format and will also do a studio version down the road and release that as well.

Watch embedded video.

Thanks for watching!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer

Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes

“First Orbit” Copyright 2010 Mark J. Mosher, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

I'm Doing a Demo of Percussa AudioCubes with Ableton Live This Sunday March 14th at the Ableton Denver Meetup

I’m kicking off this Sunday’s Ableton Denver meetup with a presentation of Percussa Audio cubes with Ableton Live. I’ll be playing a new song that is performed almost entirely with AudioCubes.


Cache Flowe will be performing music and explaining his set up and approach to a full Live A/V set. A few key topics:

  • Real time MIDI & audio
  • Rendering music videos
  • Use of the Eclipse IDE

RSVP here. See you at the Walnut at 7:00.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer

Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes