Pimp your Audiorealism ADM out with more samples.

Audiorealsm ADM

I’ve said it before: I love drum machines. Hardware or software it makes no difference they all are great! Making some super noises that are heard all around the world from Uppsala, Sweden is Mike Janney and his company Audiorealism. I was a fan of their first two products the ABL (303 emulation) and ABL Pro (Roland sounding modular) so much so I endorsed the ABL. I was seriously pleased to hear Mike’s new project was a drum machine and it’s been out for a while so I thought I’d share a useful “tip”.

This is not really a tip as it’s in the manual but I think it’s important to remind people to feature dive into any software they own. This feature is implemented in a non-standard way so just by clicking around you may not figure it out. The ADM comes with some nice Roland TR-606/808/909 samples built into it but let’s add our own…

First, get a folder together of samples. I downloaded some free Oberheim DMX eprom sounds found at Electrongate.com. Next you need to put the folder here:

Macintosh -> Library -> Application Support -> Audiorealism -> ADM -> Samples

Open your DAW and ADM and click the on screen power button (top right of ADM) to bring a drop down menu up and select “Enable Sample Selection”. Now when you click the small blue led screens for each drum slot a menu will drop down and you can choose your new folder and individual drum sound!

But why go though all the trouble to bring your sounds into ADM when there probably are easier ways within your DAW to play drum hits? ADM’s internal sequencer allows for the strongest swing I have heard yet. You can also click and hold the Pattern button to access a menu that allows you to randomize patterns. Lastly, ADM has some wicked FX and filter mangling toys to further shape your beats.

Deborah Aldea and Sound Move Management

paper clip

Once you start getting serious about music as a career it’s important to understand that the music business is a legal business. One of the first steps you should take is hire someone who understands contracts, royalties and publishing. They should specialize in the music industry.All You Need To Know About the Music Business You can read some books like the always recommended “All You Need To Know About the Music Business” However, nothing beats having someone with many years of experience on your side. Sometimes you can find someone who will only take a percent of the profits you make from deals they work on. More likely you will pay a monthly or quarterly fee. What you need to understand is they will make you more money in the end.

So what are some of the things your business manager will do for you? First, they can be the contact between you and other labels. In some circumstances this can be really useful especially when talking money. For example my business manager Deborah Aldea got me a 3 times larger publishing deal advance with Strengholt Music Group than I thought I would get. Her years of experience at Sony, Virgin and Polygram told her what price she could get for me. Here is a list from her company Sound Move Management’s website of some other the things they offer:

    Contracts & Negotiations
    Execution of Agreements
    Royalties (collection, administration & generation)
    P&D Deals
    Sync rights
    Digital Download Distribution
    Merchandising Deals
    Tax matters
    Liaison with Record Companies, Publishers

If your an artist who is dealing with any of these things don’t let your “partners” get the best from you. Have your contracts, license requests and deal looked it by someone who knows what they are talking about. Nine out of ten times when I send Deborah something to look at she makes several revisions before we can agree on a deal. That says that most labels or whomever when they send you a contract that contract is swayed in their favor. Even worse some contracts will not protect you against certain liabilities (indemnification). Lastly, it’s good to have a second or third person remind you of extras you may want laid out in writing. For example: artwork approval, free copies, a certain level of promotions, etc…

There are many music management professionals but if you want a place to start feel free to contact Deborah: Soundmovela@aol.com Tell her I sent you!

photo credit: kylemac

A video of KikAXXE from Way Out Ware.

The company Way Out Ware created my favorite software synth the TimewARP 2600. It’s a re-creation of an Arp 2600 semi-modular analog synthesizer. They have just released their new toy the KikAXXE and it’s a huge amout of fun!

It’s based around a re-creation the Arp Axxe and therefore it has only a single Oscillator. However like the original Axxe there is a noise generator and sample & hold which increases it’s flexibility. But the fun really starts when your eyes focus on the top part of the plug-in. Here you find a drum machine and an analog sequencer! The final joy can be found on the bottom right: an analog tape delay. Watch this video to see all these sections in action. The video is nicely sized so be sure to click the TV icon under the player to view the show in full screen mode.

Arp Axxe

As with the TimewARP this plug-in really does “Kik AXXE”! I had a blast using the fully working 30 day demo and I know in a month I will have to whip out the credit card. Luckily this noise machine is only about $70! Have fun watching the video but do yourself a favor and download it and make your bleeps and beats.

photo credit: geirarne

The strange and cool Time Freezer Effect.

Time Freezer - screenshot

I like weird effects and instruments and Time Freezer from Mark Lingk fits the bill. Both the insert plug-in and instrument allow you to freeze any audio in real time. Once you have a frozen piece of sound playing you can shape it using a bandpass filter, pitch control Time Freezer - insert screenshotand de-noiser. There are mono and stereo versions. Intelligently there is a internal clipless maximizer. There is nothing as crappy sounding as plug-ins clipping in the digital realm.

The instrument version lets you morph to the next “hold”. Basically it’s applying crossfades between times you hit the “Freeze” pad. Take a listen to Time Freezer in action:

For those of you with Ableton Live you can get a similar effect using Live’s built in Reverb. Crank up the decay time, scream something and hit the Freeze button! Reverb’s aren’t the only effects that sometimes have this function. For example, Propellorhead’s Reason BV512 Vocoder has a Hold button which also freezes audio in time. If you own Reason you should really try it out as it sounds uber wicked.

Ableton Live 7 - Reverb Freeze

Remember that you can automate the Freeze and Hold buttons!

Get political in 2008! Elect your candidate! Sing it!

Protest Sign

So we are a year away from the end of the George W. Bush era. I’m sure there are a few people on this planet that will be sad to see him leave office. I am not one of them. Feel free to fight me in the comments of this post if you like!

As musicians are we more in tune with the world? It sure feels like it to me and it feels bad lately. I recently read watched this video which details how birds are disappearing from North America. What the? Birds are disappearing! We need some new leaders fast, especially in the United States.

So what to do? Well if your a sign maker then go make some signs. If your a web designer Sonic Groove SGS0001go make some websites. If your a chef bake a cake with your candidates face on it. If your reading this blog chances are your a musician so MAKE A SONG! I choose to believe in life that everything and anyone can make a difference.

I recorded two political songs in my life. The first song called Blood in the Sand was recorded after the first Iraq War. In it I go on about terrorists hitting US cities with a gas attack but as we all know it was airplanes in 2001. It is a free download and then later also was released on Sonic Groove Records, SGS0001 and the proceeds went to NYC Firefighters. I wrote another song after 9/11 called Wir Sind Angekommen (We Have Arrived) which was released on Acardipane Records, ACA 2017.002/12. It was later released on the bonus disc of my first album Manic Panic.

So what songs come to my mind when I think protest? What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, Youth Against Fascism by Sonic Youth, Where Have All The Flowers Gone by Pete Seeger, Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley.

photo credit: dexter_mixwith

Liptikl is a new lyric writing tool from Intermorphic.

liptikl - screenshot

Liptikl which is pronounced “lip tickle” is a new application from a company called Intermorphic. It’s basic function is to help you create lyrics. When you launch the program the main window is separated by three sections: ideas, lyrics and verses.liptikl - logo

To start of you need to put some text snippets into the ideas section. You can use your mind and just chuck in some words or head online and grab text from Wikipedia entries, poems, song lyrics, news articles, basically anything.

After you have the text ideas in their containers you click the “Create Lyrics” button and liptikl will spit out a verse. The processing does seem a bit random but you can keep clicking the “Create Lyrics” button repeatedly to get new verses. According to the user guide liptikl is applying internal rules:

There are many internal rules used to create lyrics within liptikl. When the liptikl lyric engine is figuring-out what to do, it combines all these rules together in combination with your source material, and respects them as best it can, but ultimately liptikl makes its own choice as to exactly what to do. In other words, you can give the engine brain lots of guidance, but ultimately (like a child) you let liptikl makes the final, detailed decisions as to what to do.

The reason this all works, is that at its heart, the liptikl lyric engine uses random events in combination with a powerful set of rules. How you interpret what you read is filtered through your own internal knowledge of language. This combination of chance and logic is what allows liptikl to keep coming-up with ideas that are fresh, interesting and unpredictable.

You can apply Lyric Rules which tell liptikl how to create your verse. For example “4 5 4 5” tells liptikl to use four words per line, the first and third and second and fourth lines ryhme, four lines total.

When you get a verse your happy with head into the last section and click “Add” which then saves your verse in that last section. Repeating that process you eventually build up a song.

I’ve been using the 30 day demo and I am undecided if liptikl is worth $99. They do offer a Masterwriter - screenshotversion for $59 but you can not use liptikl’s output in a commercial project. I would recommend that most people should buy Masterwriter first (screenshot on right). As a song writing tool its a far more comprehensive product. But liptikl is different enough to justify owning both if you have the cash and are a full time musician (is that possible?).

For those of you who have zero dollars to spend there are some free and fun online lyrics generators. For example the always dark “Random Goth Lyric Generator” or even more scary “Alanis Morissette Lyric Generator“.

One thing to keep in mind when using liptikl is if you source your original text from a news clipping, poem, other band’s lyrics, make sure the output is far different enough so that your not plagiarizing or stealing someone’s copyrighted ideas.