Training and blogging from NYC.

Sitting in BPI Training

When I first starting blogging I kept my eye on other blogs that had tips and tricks for bloggers. One tip that came up consistantly was to never make a post stating, “It’s been a while since my last post.” or “Sorry for the lack of updates lately.”. The basic idea is that while some people do come directly to your site daily more than half read your site through an RSS reader or by finding a post via search result. If your reading by either of the latter two methods apology posts aren’t necacessary.

at_work

All that said I thought it was time to chime in with a site update. For the first nineteen months this blog was up I posted at least once a day. Since I got my new job at Energy Management Solutions my posts have been cut in half. I don’t think a post every other day is too bad but I do want to make those posts mostly original content. My new job has me in Manhattan at different job sites. An eight hour day plus travel is fairly time consuming. I can tell you I never washed my hands so often! The last two weeks they have been certifying me to be an official Building Analyst (check out BPI.org). I welcome all free training and learning but I was not prepared for the amount I have to learn in such a short time. The course which is approved by NYSerda (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) is well full of math and each day the class has been crazy hours such as 2pm-10pm. The photo above is an example of an inefficient steam heat system in a 5th avenue high rise. They are paying over $400,000 a year to ConEd to supply them with the steam. I’ll be working to figure out a way to replace that system. The building is 49 stories and houses the Girl Scouts of America and part of the Rockafeller Group. This isn’t the kind of project you want to get wrong. So for now school has to be top priority.

While I’m starting to find my new job more and more interesting I have to say music is keeping me sane. I few slams of detuned madness on my Electrocomp-101 each night really helps the right side of my brain from committing suicide. My plan is once school is over and I pass the test (fingers crossed) I will redesign Wire to the Ear and get back to a regular posting routing. My plan is a new faster loading theme with less ads, a better commenting system and more video.

By the way some of those pro-blogging tips and tricks sites include: ProBlogger and Weblog Tools Collection

Update: I passed my BPI certification test!

Old and new sound generators in the rain.


yr3wk48 moog & tonematrix
from longcat on Vimeo.

A few posts back I compared Retro vs Future audio producing technique videos. Today’s video shows old and new working together. The Moog Opus 3 was released in 1980. Vintage Synth Explorer has the Opus Manual available for download: click here ToneMatrix, Andre Michelle’s Tenori-on software clone is pure 2009: http://lab.andre-michelle.com/tonematrix

“With the ever wonderful moog opus 3, and the insanely addictive tone matrix from andre michelle… it’s freely usable so long as you have the most recent flash update, it reminds me of early software drum machines like hammerhead… it seems he is creating a whole reason-ish music creation world online all run with flash, it’s quite heavy on the CPU but very interesting x lab.andre-michelle.com/tonematrix the moog is still missing it’s string sound, but one of it’s faults allows me to just have the filter with no sound underneath which you hear at the beginning… i love this synth x” – longcat

Thanks for Robbie Knight for this video. Isn’t time shifting on a rainy (in NYC at least) Friday nice?

Related post: Thoughts and photos from the Tenori-on Berlin event.

iLike lets you create your own artist iPhone App.

ilike_iphone-the_horrorist

I’ve been considering the ways to create an iPhone app for my own music as The Horrorist. iLike is has a limited time offer which will take all your content from your iLike artist page, turn it into an app and get it onto the iTunes app store. They charge a one time fee of $99 and after that they split the profits with you. The one time fee is a limited offer until next week. I can’t find anywhere what happens pricewise after that. “I like” the idea and may jump on it this weekend.

We just launched our turnkey service so you can create and distribute your own iPhone app. It’s simple to customize your app and program it with content using the iLike Artist Dashboard. Learn more by watching the video overview. Get started – customize and launch your app now. – iLike.com

What do you think? Is this a deal worth going for? Am I missing a better offer from a competitor? Is this an idea who’s time as past?

Related post: The Death Cab for Cutie iPhone application

The electronic scratch in Ableton Live 8.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da0Lm4yDB6g

I’ve mentioned before that the all time best record with scratching on it is Reckless by Ice-T: click here to listen. I’ve worked scratching into my own music a few times. Sometimes I ask my friend Matt (Satronica) who knows his “wheels of steel” quite well to send me something specific. There are a few scratch plug-ins that are just “ok”. Usually they are cool for some effect but nothing authentic. I like the video above both for it’s sound (not so far off base) and the fact that I can whip it out on a whim now since it’s all done with native Live devices.

Video showing how to emulate a scratch Like effect in Ableton Live 8 using the new delay Modes in the Ping Pong Delay. This is not meant to replace vinyl nor will it produce a totally authentic sounding scratch sound, but it is a Ableton Live only solution and is a nice add on to your effects arsenal. You can download the template: click here You will need Live 8 or later to open it. – DubSpot

Have you ever worked scratching into your songs? Is there a go to plug-in you like?

Related post: Scratch. A documentary about scratching.

Watch out it’s a new Gaspar Noé movie.

enter_the_void-1

Gaspar Noé. Do you know that name? If not go and rent a movie called Irreversible. Are you back? I apologize. I know that was really hard to watch. Now you will never forget the name Gaspar Noé. He’s a French director who up until this point had ridden the line between “The next Stanley Kubrick!” and “Disgusting useless film maker”. He has a new movie called Enter the Void which will help the world decide which tag line will be set upon his name permanently.

I’m not sure why but there is violence that is wrong,  violence like porn and violence like art. Our world has a large pool of music that fits in the violence as art category. Maybe violence as a musical form is the easiest way we as humans digest and excise such dark parts of our physiques. What I find so interesting about Gaspar Noé’s films is how they seem less like movies and more like my favorite evil album.

Have you seen any of his films?

Tom Cosm shows us his Vestax VCM600 with Live.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjJyVgNgThE

As a reminder that the new Akai APC40 isn’t the only Ableton specific controller out there Tom Cosm from New Zealand let’s his video camera roll and he shows us his Vestax VCM600.

For more info: vestax.com/en/products/vcm600

Related post: Vestax VCM600 is a Ableton Specific Controller

Retro vs Future audio producing technique videos.

Here’s two videos that both help you make music with hardware. One is based on 1970’s tech and the other is pure 2009. What’s more lust worthy? A green lit Minimoog Voyager or an iPhone with polyphonic velocity sensitive keys controlling Ableton and more?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W868tnYADDk

“The MF-101 Low Pass Filter’s ENV OUT Control Voltage makes a number of amazing Rhythmic Modulation techniques possible. This video shows some of these applications in a Dance Music setting. This technique is not limited to Dance Music. The applications are as endless as your imagination.” – MoogMusicInc


MSA Remote + VDMX + Ableton Live
from Memo Akten on Vimeo.

“MSA Remote is a remote control application for iPhone & iPod Touch that sends OSC messages over the wifi network. This allows you to control any OSC supporting applications such as Max/MSP/Jitter, PureData, Reaktor, VDMX, vvvv, Resolume, Quartz Composer etc. In this video, OSCulator is routing the OSC (& TUIO) messages coming from MSA Remote to midi and forwarding to Ableton Live and VDMX simultaneously. Nothing is done in post, the same signal is controlling both audio and video. At the beginning of the video you can see the polyphonic velocity sensitive keys in action (yes, the harder you hit the keys, the louder the sound – works equally well when the iphone is laid on a table), and later on the faders, triggers and multitouch tuio-pad. Should be in the app store soon: www.memo.tv/msaremote_for_iphone” – Memo Akten

I like you so you can have both set ups but for fun answer me this: Which set up would you rather have?

Soundcloud’s New Player Widget is very nice.

SoundCloud Player Widget

SoundCloud has added volume control, a new info panel showing track stats, a download and buy panel, a share panel with support for direct sharing to your favorite social network, a handy switch to toggle comments on/off for faster navigation and threaded comments to it’s already sleek Player Widget.

To be honest I wish I didn’t love SoundCloud so much because I hate the idea of paying more than $50 a year on a web service. I also fear that if I upload 1000s of songs over the next five years and then SoundCloud goes out of business I’d feel majorly screwed. Imagine I use the above Player Widget in all my blog posts and then SoundCloud disappears. I know this is an issue with all cloud computing but I feel a bit more confident Google (and even Yahoo/Flickr) will be here in the long term or if they do cancel a service there will be good migration options. Now all that said, SoundCloud as a site is fantastic. In fact, it’s pretty much everything I want in a music storage and share online service. The guys in Berlin should really be congratulated for doing such a beautiful job.

I’m on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/thingstocome

Related post: SoundCloud is a nice looking way to share music.

All lights go green! Akai APC40 in action.

Ableton Live & Akai APC40 from Sound Recipes on Vimeo.

This video has been making the rounds this week. The new Akai APC40 Ableton Controller definitely seems to be the one to go to for controlling Live at the moment. If nothing else it sure looks pretty!

Want some more APC40 videos? Check out Ableton’s offical intro video: click here and Akai’s own promo video: click here

Are you going to get one of these?

Propellerhead Record for your toothbrush.

record

Propellerhead is one of my favorite music software companies. I use pretty much everything they have released so far with joy. Their ware sounds great, doesn’t crash, has a nice Swedish aesthetic and is priced right. It’s been glaringly obvious the one piece of kit they lacked in their arsenal was a way to record actual audio. Better late than never is the motto of the day because our favorite virtual rack guys have stepped up to the plate. If this is going to replace your DAW or not will depend on your personal taste and workflow. My guess is it will be a nice tool to jump in and out of just like Reason is.

“Welcome to Record, Propellerhead Software’s brand new recording software. Record gives you unlimited audio tracks, world class effects and mixing gear, and a whole new take on music recording. With an intuitive, straightforward interface and a hands-on approach to capturing performances, Record was designed for musicians – not audio engineers. This is recording done right.” – Propellerheads.se


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe7Iapsu_38

If you can’t wait for release day there is a beta program now in action. Sign up: here

For more info: www.record-you.com