Quick tip: Loop to selection Ableton Live shortcut.

In any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) an important keyboard shortcut to learn is “Loop to Selection”. In Ableton Live’s Arrangement view select a clip you want to have looping and hit Command-L. The Loop Brace surrounds the clip and Looping is turned on. Command-L also works inside Clip View. Hitting Command-L will work on selected Midi notes or audio waveforms.

Genre jumping can be a good strategy.

I don’t let the press pigeon hole my music career into any specific genre. I’ve created all sorts of electronic music ranging all the way from minimal to hardcore. About 90% of my music has my own vocals on it and I like to feel I have my own style whatever the tempo or loudness of the kick drum. In fact, if you’ve been making electronic dance records for more than five years it’s almost certain you also genre jumped to stay relevant. Some people think its a difficult thing to get accepted in a new group or scene but I know the trick: Make great music!

Another good reason to learn how to make a song that fits in another genre is you that become a better producer. Many genre’s rely on certain production techniques or styles. For minimal you better know how to use swing effectively. For EBM get a hardware sequencer and set it to 6 steps. You want to make Ed Banger style tracks? You better learn how to sidechain. Trance? An arpeggiator is your best friend. As time goes on you will use all these techniques together. I would go as far as saying that when new technology is released to the masses new music genres are formed around them.

So besides learning new things you also open yourself up to more people. If your only making swedish black metal your fan base will maybe only ever be 10,000. You also get to work with more producers. My latest release Gigabytes Numbers was remixed by Tony Rohr. He’s a top producer who I would have never met if I didn’t let Miro convince me to try out some minimal stuff. I want to be the band that sounds like The Horrorist.

Fabfilter releases Volcano 2.

One of the nicest sounding software filter plug-ins has just been upgraded to an all new version. I really like all the Fabfilter stuff and use it quite often. I bought all their plug-ins during a Logic Users Group Buy last year. Highly recommended.

We have just released FabFilter Volcano 2, the successor of our popular filter effect plug-in. It has been redesigned from the ground up and includes tons of new features, modulation options and a highly improved user interface. Volcano 2 is now not only capable of high quality filtering, but can even be used for phasing, flanging, chorus and many other effects! – Fabfilter.com

Demo version available. Mac/PC: click here

TAL U-NO-62 is a free Roland Juno 60 emulation.

I once owned a Roland Juno 60. It’s a great synth and certainly has the classic Roland sound. The guys at Togu Audio Line (TAL) released the U-NO-60 a few years ago and have been updating thier emulation often. The 62 brings us even closer to the original.

The U-NO-60 vst plugin is a polyphonic virtual analogue synth with a unique filter sound. An original JUNO 60 is used as reference for the oscillators and filters. Like the original, the plugin is capable of self-resonance and thus could be used to some degree as a tone generator. The filter section also features controls for envelope amount and polarity, LFO modulation and keyboard tracking. In addition, a non-resonant highpass filter is provided to thin out lower frequencies. – kunz.corrupt.ch

It’s free and Mac/PC compatible so go and try it out: click here

Label your power supplies and save yourself money.

Today I decided to hook up my Digitech Talker. I took it off the shelf and realized the power supply was missing. I have a huge box of cables and adapters that goes back to the days of Scuzzy connections! So in I went diving into the past searching through countless power bricks. Then I found the one you see pictured above. Hey it’s labeled “Digitech Guitar Talker”! Hallelujah! So thats the tip of the day: Label your power bricks.

Many electronics manufacturer use OEM power supplies which means they are not labeled with the manufacturer’s name or logo.

Original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, is an ambiguous and abstruse phrase that refers to containment-based re-branding, where a company uses a component of another company in its product, or sells the product of another company under its own brand. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product. – Wikipedia.org

Never use the wrong power supply or risk your drum machine or synth getting fried. By the way the Talker sounds amazing.

174 Circuitbent Glitch’d bass mid-loops. Free grab!

Maria Ovenbröd & Der Einmeier of mimu.eu sent me an email letting me know about a free set of Circuitbent Glitch’d bass mid-loops they have put online:

01) my broken roland tb303 (23 .wav-loops, 122bpm)
02) lofi loops (09 .wav-loops, 122bpm)
03) smack by glitch up (21 .wav-loops, 122bpm)
04) circuit bent noize machine (36 .wav-loops, 122bpm)
05) raw & dirtey (24 .wav-loops, 122bpm)
06) lo- to mid- to high-frequenced digital/analog sqs (33 .wav-loops, 122bpm)
07) mini-minimal (28. wav-loops, 122bpm)

Head over mimu now to preview and/or download the free set: click here

photo credit: jamie_hladky

Set a start up Template in Ableton Live to save time.

Whenever I start a new song I like the tempo to be 123bpm and have a 4/4 kick drum going. I also always like to have Reason ReWired into Live. Instead of loading Live and setting these things up each time I did it once then opened the Live Preferences and under the File Folder tab clicked “Save Current Set as Template”. Now each time I launch Live I am ready to go with the things I like pre-set.

Use the File/Folder Preferences’ Template Save button to save the current Live Set as a template. Live will use these settings as the initialized, default state for new Live Sets. You can use this to pre-congure:

• Your multichannel input/output setup.
• Preset devices, like EQs and Compressors, in every track.
• Computer key mappings.
• MIDI mappings.

The template Live Set, Template.als, is located in Live’s Preferences folder and can becopied or deleted from there. The easiest way to locate this folder is to search your disk for Template.als. – Ableton Live User Manual

Some other DAWs such as Cubase allow multiple start up templates. Whats your start up template?

Propellerhead Software has a new website.

Although I give Ableton Live the most love on this blog I almost always have Reason loaded and ReWired into Live. I never liked the old Propellerhead website. The forums had an annoying threaded view and the entire site was locked into a cramped narrow width. Happily, the new site fixes many issues and it looks great too.

I’m not going to give a long review of Reason here because it’s been done in detail by many other publications. Here are just a few “reasons” I like the software:

Scream – This distortion unit has a unique sound. It’s a different color than Izotope Trash or Ohm Force’s Predatohm or Ohmicide. It squawks and squelches in an awesome musical way. I’d own Reason just for the Scream device.

NN-19 – What? An old sample playback device? It reminds me of my old beloved Akai-S950. Somehow it even sounds like it. I managed to collect a NN-19 library of old school samples like Choirs or One Shots with glorious mixing board noise behind them. This device has a real 12 bit EMU filter vibe to it. You can even do some 90s style time stretching with it!

ReGroove Mixer – This thing is super! For years in electronic music the style was the locked machine grid sound. Then shuffle became the rage. The ReGroove device unleashes shuffle; it gives you unlimited shuffle “grooves”. Yes, we had Groove templates as far back has Cubase VST but nothing has slick and usable as ReGroove. It also has some of the famous MPC grooves as presets. This is the best new feature in Reason 4.0.

I could go on but since there is a demo you should just go check it out yourself. I suggest you just go an buy it: click here

So what’s your favorite part of Reason? Or do you think it’s just a toy?