Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward Demos

Depeche Mode’s Some Great Reward album from 1984 is one of my favorites. I can sing every lyric on the album in order from beginning to end. It has a romantic feel with plenty of melodies, early sampling and fantastic 80s drums. I don’t know the story behind these demo versions of the album tracks but from a musician’s stand point they are very interesting. The highly produced gloss is gone revealing many of the songs parts which on the CD meld together (in a good way).

“In September 1984, Some Great Reward was released. Melody Maker claimed that the album made one “sit up and take notice of what is happening here, right under your nose.” In contrast to the political and environmental subjects addressed on the previous album, the songs on Some Great Reward were mostly concerned with more personal themes such as sexual politics (“Master and Servant”), adulterous relationships (“Lie to Me”), and arbitrary divine justice (“Blasphemous Rumours”). Also included was the first Martin Gore ballad (“Somebody”) – such songs would become a feature of all following albums. “Somebody” was released as a double a-side with “Blasphemous Rumours” and was the first single with Gore on lead vocals. Some Great Reward was the first Depeche Mode album to enter the US album charts, and it made the Top 10 in several European countries.” – Wikipedia.org

Be sure to own the original album!

via ASUKLTD

Every Pop Song is the same 4 Chords

Considering this video from Australian comedy band Axis of Awesome has almost 5 million views most of you have probably seen this. For those musicians who haven’t you have to admit is pretty interesting. It surely explains why everything on the radio sounds the same.

“Australian comedy group ‘Axis Of Awesome’ perform a sketch from the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Footage courtesy of Network Ten Australia. See http://www.axisofawesome.net/ for more details of the comedy trio including Jordan Raskopoulos, Lee Naimo, & Benny Davis.” – random804

For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Chord_(music)

TC Helicon Voicelive Touch

I can tell that people in my own generation are employed as Industrial Designers. A lot of new products tug at my heart strings. Just look at the new Voicelive Touch from TC Helicon. 80’s membrane? Yes I want please. Getting past the simple hardware button gearlust it’s a vocal processor and looper. Considering I sing on almost all my songs, play live often and have become obsessed with the iPhone App Everyday Looper this should be my fortay. I also use the TC plug-ins daily so… The promo video… oh no…

Apple? I’m confused. I actually saw the Voicelive over at Peter’s Create Digital Music and noticed some comments about the promo video. Pretty hilarious. That’s not to say this could be an awesome little box. I’ll wait for a few homebrew YouTube videos before I decide to go try one out myself.

Combining best-selling vocal effects, VLOOP™ performance vocal looping and a uniquely addictive ‘touch’ interface, VoiceLive Touch is truly the first instrument for your voice. VoiceLive Touch is the perfect companion for any vocalist whether you sing live or record in the studio. It can easily be mounted on a mic stand or put next to your computer or keyboard. – tc-helicon.com

For more info: tc-helicon.com/voicelive-touch

Ohm Studio in Action

I’d like to try Ohm Studio but I have a strong vision of what I want music to sound like. I bet I’d just erase and replace a lot of what the other person is creating. Then again my friend Gabri who’s a real keyboard genius would be welcome. Is there video or audio chat in Ohm Studio? I guess I could record a vocal of what I want to say to the other person.

“Ohm Studio is a standalone DAW/sequencer that will allow you to make music collaborations with your friends or musical partners from all the world. This video show the Ohm Studio prototype and some of its real-time features in action.” – ohmstudio.com

Join the beta: ohmstudio.com

Meet Me In the Bottom

Last week I replied to a post on the Gearslutz forums which had to do with your all time favorite tip or trick. I said something like “Live it up… Boring people make boring music.”. I was surprised some people had a negative reaction to that. It made me wonder are there people out there who know they are boring and defend that aspect of themselves as a virtue? There is usually a price to pay in order to be a good musician. Sure there are natural born talents and there are those who practice non-stop. There is another way into the cool club and that’s hard painful living. Now to be clear partying too much won’t get you fame or fans but in the reciepe for great musician is the ingredient called pain. It’s nothing new as you can see in this video from 1966. The Blues live on in lots of music styles. Repect to Howlin’ Wolf and to my cousin Steve who posted this video on his Facebook wall.

“With a booming voice and looming physical presence, Burnett is commonly ranked among the leading performers in electric blues; musician and critic Cub Koda declared, “no one could match Howlin’ Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.” – wikipedia.org/wiki/Howlin_Wolf

For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Howlin_Wolf

Label Label

Here’s a quick beginner tip that may save you from loosing a sound. If your using hardware and you want to remember what patch you are using label your Ableton clip with the same patch number! Some hardware will respond to a MIDI Program change. In Ableton double click a MIDI clip to enter Clip View and in the Notes section you will see Bank, Sub-Bank and Program. That’s where you can pick and save the corresponding hardware’s patch number.

When I used DR. T’s KCS and a Roland Juno-106 I would create a sound then slightly change it, save it over 16 patch locations and then have DR. T’s cycle through each patch using Program Change messages. With different filter settings saved in each Patch the Juno sounded like a more expensive synth. Imagine old school Depeche Mode arpeggio patterns with filters opening and closing. It was a pain to set up but worth it in the end.

Happy music making.

Ohm Studio

There have been stabs at server side sequencers for collaborative music creation but none have really been nice enough that I would want to use them. I love the French based Ohm Force plug-ins so maybe the newly announced Ohm Studio will be the one to make this needed concept work. Beyond creation there is a online community aspect. Certainly the video above was done right!

Ohm Studio is a standalone real-time collaborative music making application (DAW/sequencer) in addition to a web based collaboration platform and a music driven online cohmunity. Ohm Studio is a real sequencer. A standalone application for Windows or Mac OS X. Midi editing, envelopes, piano roll, audio effects and virtual instruments: exactly what you’re already used to. But now using all that tools with your friends, online. – ohmstudio.com

No word on pricing. A pure guess is there will be a monthly fee. So do you like? Seem interesting?

For more info: ohmstudio.com

The RPM Challenge

For years I’ve been thinking how great it would be to write a song a day or something along those lines. I write a lot of music but it’s in bursts and most of it I would never release. The RPM Challenge is an online get together where you basically record an album in a month. I just came across this and the 2010 challenge is almost over so why blog it? I really enjoyed checking out the site. Somehow it feels like a small music town get together. I also like listening to songs recorded quickly. The less contrived the music is usually the better.

“This is The Challenge – Record an album in 28 days, just because you can. That’s 10 songs or 35 minutes of original material recorded during the month of February. Go ahead… put it to tape. Don’t wait for inspiration – taking action puts you in a position to get inspired. You’ll stumble across ideas you would have never come up with otherwise, and maybe only because you were trying to meet a day’s quota of (song)writing. Show up and get something done, and invest in yourself and each other. Anyone can come up with an excuse to say “no,” so don’t!” – rpmchallenge.com

For more info: rpmchallenge.com

inkQuencer

inkQuencer from Sebastian Thielke on Vimeo.

Geeky and cool.

“InkQuencer is a step-sequencer that plays music based on camera input. People can draw patterns on paper and then play back the pattern by holding the drawing in front of the camera. The program receives the images from the camera and draws a saled down, 32 by 30 pixel isometric version. On each beat from the metronome, the scrubber runs through a new column of pixels and plays a sound if the pixel is black.” – Sebastian Thielke

For more info: Sebastian Thielke

The DSP Project Reverse Reverb

Reverse Reverb from Rupert Brown on Vimeo.

I like these type of online music tech shows so I hope The DSP Project gains many episodes. I use this reverse reverb effect quite often. Sometimes I add a distortion unit after the reverb to really make the effect scream. Definitely check out my post: The Kick Boom, Thunderverb song writing element.

“In this episode I will show you how to create the reverse reverb effect in Ableton live (but technique can be used in any DAW) and put it into context by using it in a real project.” – Rupert Brown

Ever use this technique in your own productions?