Yeah, so put them together, and then, you know, stuff.

Midular are the Free MIDI Modules Every Ableton Live Setup Needs

Forget fancy effects or sophisticated plug-ins – day-in, day-out, it’s those simple MIDI modules you wind up using again and again and again and again. It’s like having a bucket of paperclips on your desk. It doesn’t have to be exciting. It’s the simple stuff that gets used. So, one of my favorite demos from the jam-packed sessions at MIDI Hack Day in Stockholm in May was unquestionably Midular. The idea was simple: make some basic modules that do stuff to notes and control events, then combine them in useful ways. It deserved an ovation. And now, you can get …

READ MORE →

Grab Free Drum Kits for Ableton Live and Other Tools: Vintage, Vinyl, Synth, Pine Cone

Sometimes, it takes just that one set of sounds to unfreeze your creativity and get a song started. And that’s why freebies are sometimes such fun: they’re even a bit more odd, a handful of offbeat sounds that just begs to be turned into … something. The folks at Puremagnetik have been posting some gems to their Tumblr account. This just in: “Wicked Kits” is a collection of five drum kits pre-configured for Ableton Live. (As with any Live kit, there are raw samples you can use in any tool you like – Renoise, MPC, whatever.) The emphasis here is …

READ MORE →

Sonic Imaginings, Assembled Live: Max Cooper’s Sound World, in Mixes and Images

Entering Max Cooper’s sonic world is always a delight. And in a new mix, we hear it pieced together as he imagines his own sonic connections, constructed live. In turns, the Belfast-born, London-based artist can be cinematic and moody, chilled-out and groovy, or angular and glitchy. But everything remains in definition, each sound there for a reason and in sharp relief, able to corner and take you anywhere, on-road or off. It makes sense, then, that when we last caught up with Dr. Cooper – yes, he has a PhD in computational biology, too – he was adding extra dimensions …

READ MORE →

All Live, Nonstop, for 24 Hours: How Krautok Berlin Ticks [Listening, Gallery]

Six-hour, eight-hour DJ sets? Okay. How about a 24-hour live set? How about not one artist, but six, or thirty-two, or more? Sometimes it’s techno; sometimes it goes ambient. There’s singing, there’s dancing – just no DJing. That’s the kind of too-much-is-not-enough attitude that has gripped Krautok, a wild 24-hour live jam held together only by a spaghetti mess of cables and a single clock source. (Previously: vintage MPC. This year, something a bit more scientific. More on that in the moment.) Over the years, the likes of Dasha Rush, Ed DMX, Housemeister, Eric D Clark, Electric Indigo, Khan of …

READ MORE →

In Sync, Spare, Beautiful Audiovisual Duet of R. Lippok + D. Delcourt [Mapping Festival, Ableton]

R. Lippok + D. Delcourt – Raster Noton Showcase, Mapping Festival 2013, Geneva from Dimitri Delcourt on Vimeo. Minimalism for its own sake isn’t terribly meaningful. But economical sound and geometries can become a medium for beautiful moments, if artists truly focus on form and relationship. It’s doubly true when combining music and visual elements, and that leads to some gorgeous intersections of the aural and optical in the work here. Robert Lippok, the Berlin-born Raster-Noton artist, and Dimitri Delcourt, the Swiss designer and live visualist, collaborated in one of my favorite performances of last year’s Mapping Festival in Geneva, …

READ MORE →

TouchAble 2 Puts Ableton Live Beneath Your Fingers: Gallery, Video Tutorials

Ableton still doesn’t make an iOS app for Live. The software seems to lend itself to direct touch interfaces, emphasizing live performance and improvisation and real-time workflows. But there’s little reason for the developer to make one themselves: there are just too many superb third-party solutions, and they continue to dazzle. TouchAble 2, available now, goes further than any app has before. If hardware controllers or the mouse or computer keyboard act as narrow windows into what Live can do, the latest TouchAble just seems to do … everything. Short of Live running on a touchscreen directly, TouchAble brings what …

READ MORE →

Palette Snaps Together Controls for Music, Creative Software

It seems everyone is thinking in LEGO these days. There’s littleBits, which snaps together analog components with magnetic connections. There’s Patchblocks, which connects digital modules you can then re-program onscreen. And now, there’s Palette, a set of controller blocks that snap together and connect via USB. It gives you knobs, sliders, and X/Y controls for manipulating any software – from music to apps. The crowd-funded project looks smart in both hardware and software design. And software easily extends what it can do – whether you’re playing a DJ set in Traktor or editing graphics in Photoshop. (Smart segues between those …

READ MORE →

Moby Opens Up Project Files for Remixing in Ableton, Pro Tools [Exclusive Details, VIP Code]

What do you do when you’ve been one of the biggest impacts on electronic music, outlasting a succession of trends and fads, remaining one of the best-known names in sound? I mean, you can’t just start giving things away, right? Actually, if you’re Moby, that’s exactly what you do. He wants you to collaborate with him – and he’s made it really easy (even if you want to get something out of the result). It’s safe to say Moby is different from many of his peers. At the young age of 48, Moby has managed to be a presence in …

READ MORE →
Jack_A_Paris

Techno as Science: Nicolas Bougaïeff Explains Max for Live, Meta-Music, Steve Reich [Video, Theory]

Got a doctorate? Got a doctorate in techno? Got a techno track with a 12-tone row? Artist and researcher Nicolas Bougaïeff (also of developer Liine) shares his latest work with CDM. It’s about the track, yes, about the music video, about techno and dancefloors in some sense. But it’s also about process: Nicolas shares some of the way the machinery of his track was built, in its realization in software, in musical composition, and underlying research. And we also get a terrific music video that helps render some of this geometric theoretical thinking, courtesy Berlin-based motion graphics artist Vicetto. (See …

READ MORE →

Faderfox DJ44: Full, Rugged Aluminum DJ Controller for Ableton, Traktor – in a Case

If James Bond had a DJ controller, it might look like this. Faderfox, known primarily for ultra-small-form factor controllers, this time has something that looks more like a full-featured, two-deck (or four-deck), two-channel DJ controller. And that’s good news for people wanting a general-purpose, all-in-one DJ control surface with the Faderfox feel and features. The new “Solid Control” DJ44 sports the the usual selling points Faderfox has championed – high-end controls, an aluminum body, and unique hardware/software mapping integration features – but now in a single unit you can tote that does more or less everything. That’s all well and …

READ MORE →