A giant sweet look at Propellerhead Record.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRTyn0Yf_5I

Call me strange but sometimes I enjoy relaxed first looks at software. You know, the ones where the person doesn’t really know whats going on yet. Christopher O’Riley A.K.A Wassaname takes his first stab at Propellerhead Record. He doesn’t produce the kind of music I’m really into but for some reason I found this video interesting. I never heard anyone call something “giant sweet” before.

If you want the opposite effect check out the official commercial:


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

Even though I spend 99% of my time in Ableton live it’s good to jump completely out of that environment for a song or two. If you make music for a living and need an alternate universe to record in nothing beats the Propellerhead world.

Related post: Propellerhead Patch Chart from Oliver Chesler.

SoundCloud adds a new feature: Groups

SoundCloud Groups

SoundCloud keeps adding on nice features to it’s pretty music sharing site. I was reading they now have a large paying user base and have received a few rounds of funding. I’m about ready to buy myself a Pro account. This weeks new feature that caught my eye is Groups. Anyone can create a Group around a subject. Here’s a few I joined:

Ableton Live Users – A group for users of Ableton Live.
Dj Mixes – Be sure to check out/comment on other mixes and upload your own. Keep it to 2-3 max please.
Field Recordings – Add your favorite field recordings.
Vocoder love – Group for artists who use vocoders.
Belgian New Beat – For anyone making music in this style or influenced by it.
Samplecloud – Put on the needles, plug in the cables, switch on the microphones and give us some food!
monome – small is beautiful
Samples – For sharing samples under the creative commons license. Samples and fragments only please!

I’d like to see an iPhone App for SoundCloud. You can already record audio on your iPhone and send it directly to SoundCloud using FiRe. I’d like to see how your using SoundCloud outside of the site itself. If you are posting your tracks into your own website or other social network send me a link to check it out.

“Groups are an entirely new feature on SoundCloud. They can be started by anybody and are a great way to bring people together around a specific theme or project. Want to start a remix contest? Make a group for it and let people send their remixes to that group. You’ll get a DropBox badge for the group that you can put on any page. And you’ll get a great player widget that will show all tracks that have been posted to the group. Groups can also be moderated to give you full control over its contents if required.” – soundcloud.com

Find me at SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/thingstocome

Ableton tip: Resize multiple tracks in Session View.

The Little Things in Live: Part 1 from Bjorn Vayner on Vimeo.

Bjorn Vayner has a great collection of Ableton tips and tricks on Vimeo. Today he shows us two little tips that we may have overlooked. First he selects multiple tracks and resizes them (hold ALT). Next, Bjorn reminds us that holding SHIFT and Spacebar will play your song from it’s last stopped position.

See more of Bjorn’s great videos: click here

The Ekdahl Moisturizer

Ekdahl Moisturizer

I love the sound of spring reverbs. The Ekdahl Moisturizer is a pre-amp (with 100 x gain), spring reverb with wet/dry slider and a filter. There are two absolutely brilliant things about this unit. First, the springs are exposed for you to smash. Second, the Ekdahl Moisterizer is only $300. Needless to say I put my order in for one.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g86o5FkwiM

“Basically, the Ekdahl Moisturizer is a spring reverb where the springs are exposed so they can be played/hit/fiddled with. As well as being capable of creating sound in itself, you can of course also play sound through the springs like a regular spring reverb – this makes for happy-fun-time finger-modulation of the reverb on whatever audio that’s going through it. On top of this there’s an analog multimode filter that can be used to attenuate or exaggerate certain frequencies in the sound, this is real handy while playing the springs as you can – for instance – cut all the highs and just make thunderous doomy sounds or do the opposite; cut all the lows and make that ear piercing high frequency special love. Also, it incorporates an LFO that’s internally routable to the filter and that also has some external routing-stuff. The Ekdahl Moisturizer has tons of CV / Expression pedal options on the back for even more hillarious moments. The Moisturizer is a mono unit. ” – sdiy.org

The “E.M’s” designer Karl says he’s a bit backlogged so I’ll have to wait until September for my unit so if you want one you better get on the list. Be sure to also check out “Bob’s atomic experiment” on their website for some old USA style industrial music. For more videos and audio samples of the Ekdahl Moisterizer: http://www.sdiy.org

The Horrorist report from Defqon.1 and the Montagood Festival.

The Horrorist Live at Defqon.1 2009

I’m back in New York after I performed at two fun European summer festivals. Defqon.1 in a giant event (40,000 people) on the beach about an hour outside of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. It was a daytime festival and it was hot & humid as expected. Since the early 90’s I’ve played in Holland often so each one of these large events it’s a bit of a reunion. I had time to speak to french DJ Manu le Malin, UK producer Surgeon (Anthony Child) and Dutch hardcore producer Gizmo. Even without a soundcheck the show went off without a glitch. My equipment, especially my cases and bags did get throuoully sandy though. The show went from 3-4 in the afternoon so by the time I got back to the hotel it was time for a quick bite and then off to Spain.

defqon

The Spanish gig at the Montagood Festival was also quite large. The stage was built high above the audience which I don’t actually like. I really need to get close to people and make some eye contact. My set time was 5-6 in the morning so keep in mind I basically played in Amsterdam and 12 hours later without a real pit stop I’m setting up near Barcelona. Everything would have been perfect with the exception that it started to rain a bit about 10 minutes before my set began. The issue was this was an outdoor event and the only thing above me was open sky! As you know from a few posts ago I just had my Macbook Pro repaired so the last thing I wanted to do was give it a shower. The promoter jumped on stage and put a few garbage bag type tarps over my equipment. The show ended up great and I did a fair amount of jumping down about 20 feet to the crowd and back up again. I know it was about 20 feet high by the 2 foot bruises all over my legs from banging into the speakers I was climbing. The black and blue’s were well worth it because Spain is a country you want to spend time in and a good show will get you invited back.

On Tour

The only complaint I really have about the weekend was the trip back. In retrospect the situation is hilarious and it speaks volumes about Karma. Long story short, a Dutch group called Angerfist also performed in Spain and they were in my van to the airport. They decided to drink a bottle of vodka straight right before the trip started. Needless to say we had to make a few pit stops so they could puke. God has an ironic way of punishing me.

While I clean the sand and water damage off my stuff check out a few photos…

[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="72157619750952060"]

Use iTunes and Tunecore to launder money.

iTunes

Here’s an interesting tip I don’t recommend actually trying: Use iTunes and Tunecore to launder money! Apparently the Times Online (UK) says that’s exactly what happened using stolen credit cards.

“The Metropolitan Police and the FBI have caught an international criminal gang said to have made tens of thousands of pounds by buying their own records from Apple iTunes and Amazon with stolen credit cards. The gang are alleged to have created several songs that they provided to an online American company (Tunecore), which uploaded them to be sold on the two internet sites. It is believed that over four months from September last year the gang used 1,500 stolen or cloned British and American credit cards to buy songs worth $750,000 (£469,000). Amazon and iTunes, which were unaware of the fraud, paid $300,000 in royalties. Six men and three women were arrested yesterday by 60 officers at addresses in London, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Kent. A man in his forties, was arrested later… It is believed that one of the gang is a DJ and that he created the songs that were then bought…” – timesonline.co.uk

This seems like a stupid crime because of the trail it leaves. I wonder if they had to actually download all the songs they bought. I guess this is one way to get onto the charts!

photo credit: maury.mccown

The reason I am an Apple fanboy.

Apple Laptops

Last Friday morning at around 7:00AM before I left for work I was checking email on my Macbook Pro. I shut the lid but then realized I forgot to check the weather so I quickly lifted the screen open again. The screen didn’t come back on which does happen sometimes if you open and close the thing too quickly. This time however I realized how late it was getting so instead of closing the lid, waiting for the computer to properly go to sleep and open it again I just shut it again and ran out. About nine hours later I came home and opened the computer. The screen was still black and the computer was very hot. I held the power button down for a few seconds to force the machine off. I waited a bit and turned it back on. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it wake up. I tried a few different things as recommended at Apple.com/support but nothing worked. Since I own an iPhone I didn’t really freak out too much because I knew I could check email if I had to leave my computer for a few days for repair. I went to the local Apple store and met with someone at the Genius Bar. In fact, because this specific Apple store (Palisades, NY) was about to be renovated they would ship my computer to Apple and then have Apple ship it direct to me when it’s repaired. I have AppleCare so hey all in all not a big deal.

Well… Monday rolls around and I’m at work at my partner Charlie O’ Donnell asks me if I am still making music in my free time. I tell him of course and then something horrible dawned on me. I’m booked to playing two shows in Europe this coming weekend and I have no computer! I know Apple is pretty quick with repairs but I started to sweat. As soon as I got home I checked the online repair status and it didn’t even show up in their system. I called Apple and they told me they just received the computer and the system would update itself shortly.

Montagood Festival

I decided I needed a backup plan just in case my computer doesn’t arrive in time. Luckily I have a friend Leslie who doesn’t need her computer as much as a supergeek like yours truly. She lent me her white Macbook which has a Firewire port (phew!) ready for my M-Audio Firewire 410. I created a user account for myself and plugged in my Time Machine backup drive. I didn’t know what to expect because I never had to go to this drive before. I was very happily surprised to see that you can simply click and open folders on the drive just as if it were a clone of my machine. I grabbed my Ableton live show files (and videos), downloaded M-Audio drivers and Ableton Live 8. Everything loaded up without a glitch! Win one for Apple.

So without any disaster looming I decided to call Apple and just see if there was any chance my own computer would arrive on time. I didn’t have to wait at all when calling the support line and spoke to a very friendly employee. He told me the computer was still in the process of being repaired. I told him I had a flight to Europe and it would be great if I had my own computer with me. I blabbed a bit about how I’d be onstage in Amsterdam and Barcelona and I really didn’t want to scratch up Leslie’s nice new Macbook. He put me on hold for a minute and told me he expedited the process and asked me to look at the online repair status. To my happy shock it said the computer would arrive by FedEx before 10:30AM this morning. I know it would have been a better scenario if my computer didn’t break in the first place but Apple deserves a pat on the back for making it so easy to grab files from a Time Machine backup drive and for superb service.

Catch me live this weekend at Defqon 2009 in Amsterdam and the Montagood Festival, Spain.

photo credit: wZa HK

Minimoog Voyager drum kit for Ableton Live.

Minimoog Voyager

I like drum kits made from analog synths. A band from Sweden called the Steelberry Clones have posted a drum kit created solely with a Minimoog Voyager. They wrapped the kit up neatly into a Drum Rack for Ableton Live 8.

“Unlike many classic analog drum machines, the Voyager with its dual filters can create wonderful stereo imagery.  I’ve taken the time to program detailed percussive patches & from these i’m creating sample sets.” – steelberryclones.wordpress.com

Go to the full post to download the set: click here Audio demo: click here

photo credit: allert