Cops on Fire: Crazy Russian Hip-hop-opera Theater, Played Live on Novation Launchpad

Imagine combining sampling, controllerism, opera, hip-hop, rap, cops, live theater, sound effects, school-play cardboard props, and radio plays, and then doing it all in Russian, and you’re getting in the ballpark of what “Cops on Fire” was like. As described in English for the 2010 Moscow trailer (translated by uploader Sasha Pas): The “Cops On Fire” show is a fusion of theater, culture and contemporary urban music. The genre of the show is “hip-hopera” (hip-hop + opera). Hip-hopera = live hip-hop arias + original decorations + stage tricks and choreography by professional artists. Got it? These guys are dedicated to …

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beatfader

Music with Faders: Faderbeat Performances

The beauty of physical, human motion is that just about anything kinetic, any gesture can work. If you were left only with motion in your toes, you could play a live set. And whereas these gestures were once tied to specific acoustic instrumental effects, in the digital realm, they can be anything. We’ve seen the rise of the grid controller, popularized by the monome and later seen in mass-market devices like the Launchpad and APC. And while it’s hardly the first “big knob as controller” concept, we’ve seen the encoder celebrated in the monome follow-up arc. So, buttons – check. …

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Ableton Live Hacking: Novation Nocturn Scripts, Music; More APC40 Setup

Ready for more dynamic control of Ableton Live, on the cheap? My how-to on MIDI Remote Scripting in Ableton Live was just last week, but it has already inspired new scripts for hardware, this time on the Novation Nocturn. (My examples for the tutorial were the Korg nanoPAD and nanoKONTROL.) The Nocturn is also very easy to slip into a backpack or carry-on, and very affordable at US$100-130 street. It just happens to become more valuable with a little user hacking. Why the Novation Nocturn? After all, Novation touts their own Automap technology for just this purpose. But Novation assumed …

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Automap 3 Pro: New Heads-Up Display, More Flexibility for Dynamic Controllers

Dynamic control is fantastic. The idea is this: when you switch to a new app or instrument or effect, the hardware controller automatically assigns parameters to controls. That means no messing around with templates, assignment editors, and configuration, and the ability to quickly gain control of your software when editing or performing. Novation’s MIDI-controlling keyboards and control surfaces are likely the best example of this with their “Automap” feature, as found on the ReMOTE line and the cute, DJ-friendly Nocturn. But doing dynamic assignment also creates some challenges. You have to sort out which parameters get controlled. And most importantly, …

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