Push play, eh? Photo (CC-BY) Annie Roi.

Sometimes, it’s worth pushing pause on overheated blog diatribes and angry Facebook threads. Step away from the computer, you can have a real conversation. Resident Advisor, in the latest installment of their regular Critics roundtable, takes on three hot-button issues with a mix of people able to bring some nuance to the chatter.

And since it’s a podcast – part of their excellent RA Exchange series – you can listen while doing dishes or driving to work.

I’m one of the panelists in the series, but all three are touch some vital issues:

Visas and cross-border international shows. Australian-born DJ/producer Deepchild is the latest person to hit snags on the Canadian border; he talks about issues elsewhere, as well.

Pressing play. Deadmau5 pressed someone’s buttons, tipping off a fresh wave of debate over just how much people are really doing in live electronic music performances. Guests for this discussion: yours truly for CDM, plus Jim Mazur of Native Instruments and RA contributors and editors Todd L. Burns, Will Lynch, and Philip Sherburne.

Performing rights. Burns, Lynch, and Sherburne talk about a proposed performing rights rate change that famed German clubs like Berghain and Watergate say could close their doors forever. It’s on the lips of plenty of producers of events and music alike here in Berlin, but it also spotlights issues with performing rights and rate structures in the digital age, worldwide.

Give a listen — and let us know what you think, as all three of these issues are worth ongoing coverage here on CDM:
RA.EX107 Critics roundtable [Resident Advisor]
Direct MP3 download
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Lastly, if you want more Deepchild, XLR8R just checked in with the artist and shared a free download of his new track “Noise Machine”.

  • Random Chance

    On live performance: Incorporating live playing of instruments, live programming of drum machines, turning knobs in a way that people see the causal connection between what they see and what they hear (using a TB-303 comes to mind as a very easy and well-known example). Any time I had a laptop on stage it was purely for convenience (using virtual instruments, having the ability to use tools like Main Stage for quickly switching settings and instruments between songs) and I always had a keyboard as my main user interface. But you can play whole sets with just a small mixer, a Machinedrum and a synth for instance and people will see that you are actually playing live if you do. There are of course artists who don’t use a laptop and have a lot of gear on stage but still mostly play pre-programmed parts out of a, say, MPC connected via MIDI to the rest of the equipment while they go nuts. It’s still a good show, I would say, and engaging to a certain extent (especially if you can’t tell that most of what you are hearing is not played live), and preferable to people who aim to do elaborate visuals with several projection screens. 

    In closing, I would like every electronic artist out there to learn how to do at least one of these things decently: 
     * Programming a beat live on a x0x type instrument, making variations on the go, bringing in instruments, programming fills, much like a drummer would.
     * Using a simple monophonic synth with a single filter and a sequencer (think TB-303 and friends).
     * Playing an MPC type instrument in one of the ways known from different styles of music.
     * Controlling an Ableton live set or equivalent using a MIDI controller that is visible to the audience.
     * Playing a keyboard instrument, either for small fills/solos or constantly for bass lines, chord progressions, house piano licks etc.
     * Looping stuff that is performed live, either using loop pedals or reel to reel tape machines or software.
     * Using your voice with effects like ring modulation, distortion, vocoding; not necessarily for vocal type work but also for effects
     * Playing drum pads (even a single cymbal pad counts, at least if you are JMJ).
     * Playing a theremin or similar “novelty” instrument.
     * Play a tracker or similar software on an old (think Amiga/Atari ST and older) computer platform — also makes for interesting visuals. This includes the use of gaming consoles.
     * Get something to do with your feet (and be sure that they are visible). A bass pedal from an organ is nice for this.
     * Live coding (think Nyquist, Common Music, Super Collider, etc.). Again, this makes for interesting visuals.

    I probably forgot several of the most obvious and important things that you can do to put on a live show, so maybe other people can add what I missed.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      This is sounding like a post in itself; mind if I quote you? 😉

    • Random Chance

      I’ve got no problem with that. 

    • cooptrol

      Kaoss pad-like surfaces! 

    • Al Drake

      I’d rather be at a Girl Talk show than see any of the above.

  • cooptrol

    I love that you used the Electribe Play/Pause button for this.. 😀

  • http://twitter.com/a_w_young a_w_young

    I’m tired of “debate” on “dance music”

    Shut up and dance.

    If you’re on stage – shut up and rock out.

    Simplified: have fun the way you want to have fun.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Heh, I’m not sure we disagree, but as critics/writers, we’re sort of in the talking business. 😉

      Give it a listen. We tried to get into some of the issues beneath the discussion. And otherwise, I’m pretty sure we all agree with you.

    • http://twitter.com/a_w_young a_w_young


      It was regarding the larger discussion I think, commenting on the ongoing debate everywhere, not just the podcast. I’ll listen today.

  • http://howto-makebeats.com/ Redbeard, How to Make Beats

    Good content, big long, but hey. I’m the only one complaining about it

  • Tim

    What a hunky doooooode

  • me

    loopers are probably the best machines for playing live
    as they can go rather wonky and then the happy accidents and mistakes occur
    maybe do a post on some musicians that have developed there own live rigs in software

    tim exile or modeselektor or whoever


  • http://jaxlore.com/ Doc

    It was good putting a voice to the words. I listen to RA Advisor podcast from time to time and enjoy the discussions. I always discuss the role of dj/musician vs entertainer with a good friend of mine, its a hard line to meet for some and others it fun as all hell.