Keyboard, Plus iPad: iMIDIPatchbay Will Let You Set Up Live Keyboard Rigs Easily

Yes, the iPad can be its own synth or music tool. But here’s yet another example in which Apple’s tablet acts instead as a hub for other gear, a touchable window into your live music rig. For keyboardists, or anyone working with MIDI setups, it could wind up being more convenient, more immediate, and more portable than a computer. (Cue mental image of a laptop tumbling off a stage piano. Yeah, that.) iMIDIPatchbay is just about to enter beta, but the feature list looks promising. It solves one problem, but a common problem: a keyboardist wants to set up splits …

READ MORE →

In Drawings, A Producer Looks at Big Acts’ Live Laptop Rigs, Deadmau5 to FlyLo

In a charming set of schematic doodles, self-described hip-hop producer deejers has assembled an exquisitely-researched compendium of live laptop rigs from top music acts. In the lineup: Flying Lotus, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Daft Punk – a reasonable sampling of artists playing big shows live on the US circuit. And, oh, yes, deadmau5, who despite claiming that everyone just presses play, has put together a fairly impressive controller setup with monome, Maschine, Lemur, and Pioneer EFX-1000. (Just one of those four controllers could let you assemble a track from scratch, let alone all four.)

READ MORE →

Playing Live, Dangerously: Mouse on Mars as Augmented Band [Video]

When it comes to live performance, this might be the year of living dangerously. There’s not one answer to the question of how to play live, but as we consider the possibilities – and the risks of playing live – Mouse on Mars is one terrific case study. Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma are joined by drummer/vocalist Dodo Nkishi. Since part of their setup is playing live as in Ableton Live, Ableton shot a video mini-documentary of their performance rig earlier this year. It’s an intensive setup, but you might just glean some ideas for how you play live. …

READ MORE →

Studiologic Numa Nero: Finally, a Serious, High-End 88-Key Software Controller?

There’s a curious distinction in hardware keyboards. You’ll find plenty of keyboards geared for performance with software at the low-end to mid-range. But if you want a keyboard with uncompromising durability and action – and you’re willing to pay more and lift more weight – those choices suddenly disappear. Suddenly, you have to buy a workstation keyboard or something with built-in sounds or even built-in speakers. What if you want a really uncompromising keyboard to use with software and nothing else? It’s almost as though manufacturers assume “serious” musicians want to gig with built-in sounds on a standalone keyboard. That’s …

READ MORE →

Tip: Sync Traktor Music Collections, Max Patches, More with SugarSync

A Traktor setup, ready to go. Now make sure your files are, too. Photo (CC) Stefan Schmidt (not the one who’s creator of Reaktor). Here’s a superb reader tip: DJ Josef Prusa has been using SugarSync to synchronize Native Instruments’ Traktor Pro DJ software, so that he and his brother have their full music collection at the ready at gigs. (Naturally, this same technique means that if one of their MacBooks should die, bro to the rescue!) Not only does music get synced, but playlists, collections, MIDI mappings, and settings do, too. Now, you could use something like the ubiquitous …

READ MORE →

Video Gallery: Live Acts – Live Electronic Performance, Done Right

As a companion to Primus Luta’s story on artists and live electronic music performance, we’ve compiled a gallery of videos of the artists featured in action live. Daedelus

READ MORE →

Cellist Zoe Keating on Quitting Your Day Job, Going on Tour

Should you quit your day job and go on tour with a rock band? That’s the question answered by cellist Zoe Keating at Ignite, the 5-minute hyperpresentation series put on by O’Reilly. (At an NYC event, I gave a talk explaining why understanding basic programming concepts was as important as calculating your tip on a bill.) Zoe Keating on Should you join a rock band? [Ignite’s Brady Forrest] Zoe debunks the myth of the glamorous tour with some sobering realities with which I’m sure at least some readers here are already far too familiar. The presentation is snappy, sharp, and …

READ MORE →

Processing Credit Cards on Tour with New iPhone App; PayPal, Other Alternatives?

Selling merch on the road – whether your band has CDs and shirts or you run your own enterprising business in geeky goods as our contributor Liz McLean Knight does – is a big challenge. Buying a full-blown credit card terminal is expensive. That’s why I’m absolutely with Hypebot’s Virgil Dickerson: running credit card numbers on an iPhone is a game changer. iPhone App Adds Mobile Credit Card Processing to DIY Toolkit The application in question is called Innerfence, and Apple gets it, too, as they’ve added it to a new TV ad. The app is US$49.99, pricey for an …

READ MORE →

A Multi-Touch Interface for Ableton Live, with the New Lemur Firmware

If you could control your music with all of your digits, and get interactive feedback on a display, what would your setup look like? Expert Lemur user and software engineer Bryant Place has one such answer. It shows off just how much the Lemur’s software has evolved over a series of revisions, and reveals a bit of what can go into performing with Ableton Live. Photos/screens: Bryant Place. Used by permission. (Click for larger versions.) Side note: for a look at live touch interfaces with Native Instruments’ Reaktor, see our story for our NI minisite. To really understand how touch …

READ MORE →