Reporting back after my live show in Malta.

I performed live Saturday night in Malta (photo above). It’s a great island below Italy and above Lybia. It’s in the EU, has ancient Roman ruins and amazing blue water. I’ve been performing there about once a year for the past five years and it’s a real treat. These are the kind of gigs everyone dreams about. Our hotel had a large terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. The hotel also had four swimming pools! Ok back to the music…

The most interesting aspect of the trip music tech wise was at sound check. Scottish techno producer Neil Landstrumm (photo below) was also performing and he brought some nice toys. Besides his Mac laptop with Ableton he had an Elektron Machinedrum and Korg ESX1 Electribe SX. My interest really peaked when he pulled out a FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor and Boss RE 20 Space Echo. Needless to say Neil’s sound was very punchy and he had the crowd going. We are old pals (he used to live in NYC) and he went on about how much he liked both the RNC and RE 20.

I ran into some problems at sound check. After making the club check all their equipment for about an hour Neil pointed out the issue was my fault. It turns out my mic was on and even though none of the Ableton channels had the input on the mic was so loud distorting it was bleeding through causing some nasty zapping sounds. I graciously apologized to everyone and luckily redeemed myself later in the night by managing to crowd surf without looking like an idiot.

What? Crowd surf? Unfortunately yes. I like to be really connected to the audience so usually I jump down off the stage however remaining on my feet and walk through people singing. This time it was so packed when I hit the floor without me being able to stop them the kids picked me up! By some magic grace of god I didn’t look too stupid and they floated me back to the stage in one piece. In fact no one even messed up my hair… whew!

I played two songs which are totally new; stuff for my next album. Both worked however I need to make “Lightning Strikes” less synth full for a club setting. “I Stand with You” made me very happy. Only by playing your songs in a live situation can you be ever sure if they are great or not. That’s the tip of the day.

The next show is Stuttgart. To see the flyer: click here

Fix hard panned stereo files using Ableton’s Utility.

I came across a problem recently when I recorded an interview using Skype. For some reason my own vocal only ended up recorded on the left side of a stereo file. You can see the issue in the above screenshot (inside the light yellow square). After a little head scratching I remembered Ableton’s Utility plug-in can fix this. I added Utility as an insert and switch the Mode to Left and now my vocal is properly centered.

“The Channel Mode chooser allows selective processing of the left and right channels of a sample. If, for example, Left is selected, the right channel is ignored and the left channel appears on both outputs. This is especially useful if you have a stereo le that contains different information on both channels and you want to use only one.” – Ableton Live User Manual

Related post: Adjust volume automation using Utility.

Interview with Thomas Stenumgård of

Nylvi is a new site about to launch from a group of Norwegian’s who recently moved to Berlin. They have been getting to know the city and its scene visiting labels and other music tech companies. I would say Nylvi has some similarity to the Discogs Marketplace but with much added style and extended functionality. From talking with Nylvi I see they understand social media and data portability which appeals to me as an online music seller. I think they are one to watch.

They visited my studio last month and today I recorded a short interview with Thomas who you can see in the photo above (left):

Visit them at

Ableton Live stars in the new movie Berlin Calling.

Ableton just posted this interview with Paul Kalkbrenner the DJ and main actor in the soon to be released movie Berlin Calling.

“How many music software products can claim to be filmstars? As far as we know, only one: Ableton Live. A new film, “Berlin Calling”, not only features some outrageously prominent onscreen footage but also stars renowned DJ and long-time Live user Paul Kalkbrenner in the leading role. A big thank you to Paul and the film’s director, Hannes Stöhr, for giving us such wonderful publicity.

The plot goes something like this: Berlin electronic music composer Martin (Paul Kalkbrenner), known as DJ Ickarus, is touring with his manager and girlfriend Mathilde (Rita Lengyel) from club to club around the globe and is about to release his biggest album to date. All of his plans are thrown out of kilter, however, after Ickarus is submitted to a psychiatric clinic high on drugs after a gig.

Go and see the film to discover what happens next (hint: witness the therapeutic powers of Ableton Live!) “Berlin Calling” opens in Germany on October 2 and is expected to be released internationally soon afterwards.”

This is pretty stange and makes me a nervous for some reason. Maybe it just hits too close to home! I am happy to see Ableton get as much press as possible because every musician should be using their software. Let’s hope this movie doesn’t get the same reviews as every other electronic music film has.

For more info:

Put your music video everywhere with Tubemogul.

We all know that having a few music videos per album is great promotion. With inexpensive tools like iMovie and a Flip video camera there is no excuse for not producing them. Once your video is all finished you uploaded it to YouTube and MySpace and your done. But wait what about that gorgeous video site Vimeo? Or that site let lets viewers comment along the playback timeline… Viddler? You know having your video in is also cool because they offer an embeddable show player. Hmm it’s going to be a long day uploading the same video to all these sites. But alas there is a better way: Tubemogul.

Tubemogul is an incredible free service to which you upload your video to one time and they distribute it to over 20 sites. That distribution service alone is truly a gift from the time saving gods however they give you more goodies. Once your video or videos are uploaded and delivered around the web universe and a few days go by log back into your Tubemogul account and viola you can see Analytics. Analytics is the fancy word for “Who is watching, how many are watching and where are they watching.”. The data is presented to you with nice interactive charts and graphs.

You may end up surprised that YouTube is not getting you the most views. Remember your video on YouTube is lost in a huge ocean of content. Earlier this year I discovered videos from a music blogger named Vergel Evans in his studio via Viddler. I got to his video because I searched “drum machine” and because Viddler is low on content like music tech his videos show popped up.

Don’t worry if you already have your videos on a few sites already because you can still upload them to Tubemogul and deselect “distribute” to those you already have covered.

Be sure to check out Tubemogul’s video channel on YouTube which is full of usefull tutorial videos: click here