Russian ravers blinded by Lasers!

The above photo was from a show I played in Zaandam, The Netherlands in January. I was on stage and at the time those things were shooting right past my eyes as I was setting up to make noise. When I read the following story I got on my knees and thanked god I still have my vision:

Dozens of partygoers at an outdoor rave near Moscow have been partially blinded after a laser light show burned their retinas, say Russian health officials.

Moscow city health department officials say that 12 cases of laser blindness were recorded at the Central Ophthalmological Clinic in the city. The daily newspaper Kommersant reports that another 17 victims have registered at another hospital in the centre of the capital. –

This also reminds me of the countless high powered home made lasers I’ve seen at events. Of course I still want my own! Check these out:

What color do you want?

Serotonin Records and FOEM remix contest.

A good way to practice your music making skills and possibly get noticed is to enter a remix contest. It’s also a good way for label’s to procure a “free” track that sits above the average remix. My old friend John Selway sent me an email this morning:

hey man

how’s things? we started Serotonin records again and we’re doing a contest with for an upcoming release.

maybe you’d consider giving us a nod on your blog..?


I met John in the early 90s at Suny Purchase. He lived down the hall from me and I heard the sound of a Roland TB-303 coming from his room. Only a few weeks earlier I was at club Mars in the Astro Turf room listening to a British DJ play Acid House for the first time. I remember that night being so blown away and wondering what the hell equipment made those sounds. John was more than happy to let me in on the secret and within a week I bought my own 303 from Rogue Music in NYC for $350. Back at school John and I started a band called Disintegrator. We had 303’s and 909’s synced to Atari’s and Amiga’s using a Roland SBX-80. We also hacked audio outputs onto a bunch of electronic toy guns and started playing live.

A DJ named Frankie Bones from Brooklyn returned from a gig in the UK. This wasn’t a normal DJ gig for him as he witnessed the birth of the Rave Scene and he was determined to show everyone in NYC what he experienced. He opened a store called Groove, a bunch of record labels and got the first techno events going in the USA called Storm Rave. This was the beginning of the Rave scene in New York. Everyone knew this was the beginning of something new and John and I had Disintegrator demo cassettes with us at all times. It wasn’t long before we met Frankie’s brother Adam X and a Jimmy Crash. They had a new label called Direct Drive and offered to release Disintegrator. At the time I had no idea I would still be doing this 16 years later!

So back to the remix contest. There are two tracks to be remixed this time: Schismism and/or Facts by Synapse. You can remix both tracks or only one. Two remixes per track is maximum. The contest ends on August 31, 2008. The prize is at least one original vinyl release on Serotonin, one remix in exchange from Synapse, Vinyl from the Serotonin backstock and some T-shirts.

For more info: is a good place to learn a DAW and more.

About two years ago I learned the ins and outs of Adobe Illustrator at Illustrator was one of those programs I owned that I always struggled with. The free tutorials I could find online in the usual spots really didn’t get me to a place where I felt like I knew the software. Frustrated, I asked a graphic designer friend do teach me what he knew and instead he bought me one month at Lynda. Within a week I was in a happy vector place. What does this have to do with an “all things pro-audio” weblog? Well as it happens Lynda also has courses from some pro-audio apps including Pro-Tools, Logic, Reason and Soundtrack Pro. I’m a big Ableton freak and I know Cubase inside and out. However, in a few weeks I’m going to be working with some new people and unfortunately they are Logic nerds. I can’t be in a room of computers and not take the helm sometimes so Lynda is getting me up to Logic speed. In fact I think by tomorrow night I may know more than the the guys who have been using the big L since it’s Emagic days.

Wow… I just read the above and it seems like an ad… so a disclaimer: I’m not affiliated in anyway with Lynda. I just really do think it’s a good resource. Almost all the courses have the first few lessons unlocked so go check some out!

Free Korg Legacy MDE-X Bank from Le Lotus Bleu.

How many of you own the Korg Legacy Collection? How often do you grab the little MDE-X effect processor it comes with? Not often? Well you should! I consistency find the MDE-X useful and it sounds great. It has 19 effects including compressors, limiters, overdrives, equalizers, a talking modulator, flangers, phasers, chorus, delays, reverbs and more. Even though the interface is small compared to other modern plug-ins if you spend a minute looking closely at most presets you will see they are quiet adjustable.

There is a new free bank of MDE-X presets available at Le Lotus Bleu.

You’ll find here 87 new patches for the Korg MDE-X Multi effect.

In this bank you’ll find:

Reverbs and delays patches designed to be used in an aux bus. Factory patches had none. Groovy delays to enhance your tracks. Dynamic patches templates where you can control Fx parameters in real time using Midi CC or velocity. Some standard Fx commonly used in studios (like Kraftwerk style drums). A comprehensive manual/helpware with the list of patches, a short description for each patc, as well as some tips and tricks about using and programming the Mde-x in various situations, including in a Daw like Cubase can also be found in the zip file.

To grab the free set and check out some of their other Korg Legacy presets for sale: click here By the way don’t forget to grab my free Korg Legacy MS20 set over at my record label’s studio page:

via Sonic State

Igor hates the new iPhone. He really does.

Remember my post about “Webcam music and effect controllers” where I mention Seesmic? This morning I came across Igor and his message “I hate iPhone”. Considering I added an iPhone category to this blog I thought it relevant to show the other side of iPhone love… iPhone hate. Igor is hilarous but we all agree to some of his points I’m sure.

Listen to some pure Roland SH3 audio files.

I visit a great forum at to see what old toys people are using. There is a thread going on titled, “Roland SH-3 (not 3a) questions and value.” which I have been following. I own a Roland SH3 so I’m always curious to see how rare it actually is. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that Roland was sued by Moog over it’s filter design in the SH3 and shortly after released the SH3A.

Forum members have been contributing audio samples to see if there is a real difference between the 3 and 3A so I decided to upload a set for of my SH3 for everyone to check out. Each same is pure Roland SH3, no compressor or any effects. Recorded directly into a Motu 828 using Ableton Live. You can download the 24bit Wav files in a .zip or listen to the 320kpbs MP3s batch encoded using LAME and Techspansion’s great AudialHub.

The audio player will play each sample in succession:

You can download the high resolution Wavs by clicking here:

Roland SH3 by Oliver Chesler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

You can also see some videos of the SH3 in action in my studio: click here

MySpace Mobile for the iPhone.

My friend Rich who happens to work at Apple Cupertino (yes I have friends in high places!) wants me to get an iPhone. He knows to appeal to my vanity so he sent me the screenshot you see here of my MySpace page on the iPhone. Once you install the free app you can do pretty much most of the things you can on the real site including send and receive messages, browse friends, bands, share photos and post bulletins.

However, all is not well with this application. You see my dear friends there is no Flash on the iPhone hence you can’t play videos or MUSIC. You can look at this with the half full or half empty mentality… The app is free and you can accept new friends and messages which is great. Or… What? It can’t play music? Isn’ this supposed to be a mobile MySpace? I suspect we will see an update when the Flash, Silverlight, SproutCore war settles down.

Get MySpace Mobile: click here

Midomi. Finally I can figure out what that song is!

Well the iPhone killer app is here! Who thought it would happen on day one? You know when your with friends and someone sings a tune and everyone is like, “What the hell song is that? I know that one! What is it? Dam I can’t remember!”. Next you all stand around grinding you teeth frustrated your brain can’t come up with the answer. Well if you own an iPhone just tap the Midomi icon and then get this amazing fact: sing the tune into the phone OR hold your phone to the song playing and after a few seconds Midomi will identify it!

If you know the name of the song or artist you can also just type it in or say it into the iPhone’s microphone. But the crazy coolness doesn’t stop there. Once your song is identified the app will take you to either YouTube to watch the video or the iTunes Store so you can buy it.

Does it work? I don’t know I don’t have an iPhone yet. It’s free so if your an iPhone owner load it up let me know please.

Go get it now: link

Ableton Live tip. Shift – Space Bar keeps you going.

In Ableton Live when you hit the Space Bar it triggers the transport to start or stop. Each time you hit the Space Bar the song begins playing from the last Insert Marker. I find this very useful as you can make changes to a section and listen again to the same section quickly. But what if your playing a live show and you pause the music or you know your happy with a section you have just changed? You want the arrangement to keep playing from the location you stopped it right? Hold down shift and hit the Space Bar and presto your song keeps playing without returning to the last insert marker!

Arrangement playback can also be toggled on and off by pressing the keyboard’s space bar. To continue playback from the position where it last stopped, rather than from the insert marker, hold down the shift modifier while pressing the space bar. – Ableton Live User Manual

photo credit: gottlieb

The Final Days Of Full Circle Records.

A Documentary By Michael Greene. In October of 2006, a small mom and pop record store in Southern New Jersey named Full Circle Records announced that it was going out of business and that the liquidation sale would continue until mid December. Ironically, at approximately the same time, Tower Records, the iconic juggernaut of the music retail market, made the same announcement. Something has happened to the music retail world and it seemed to have happened overnight. …Or did it? The Final Days Of Full Circle Records is a fascinating documentary that provides valuable insight into the rise and fall of the record store industry and subculture which may change the way you think about music, music retail, and the art of collecting music forever.