Dubspot is school in New York City that trains DJ’s and electronic musicians. I’ve been to the facility for a few Ableton meetings and it was always interesting. Mike Hatsis gives us a run through on using Ableton reverbs and such in a Minimal track. I like how he says, “I like to think of it as the sound’s shadow.”.
“Dubspot Instructor, Michael Hatsis, shows how to add Space and Dimension to Minimal Techno style drums. Topics covered include using Drum Rack’s Send and Return tracks, as well as Creating and using a Plate and a Room style reverb in Ableton Live.” – dubspot.com
I spend most of my music making time in front of Ableton Live. It’s stable and Session View lets me flesh out ideas before I head to arrange. Most importantly, once you spend time to learn the program it’s fun to use. Ableton has kicked off it’s 10 year birthday celebration. We are lucky because the Berliner’s seem to not know that on Birthday’s they get gifts not give them! But hey I’m not going to tell them. They are giving away 10 free Artist Live packs to any Live 8 owner. Go get them here: ableton.com/able10-artist-packs
“To celebrate our Able10 anniversary, we’re giving away 10 free, exclusive Live Packs from Ableton artists. Take a look inside these songs and sounds and see how these exceptional artists work their Live mojo.” – Ableton
But what if your late to the party and your still not sure if your the Ableton type of guy? Lucky for you there is now an inexpensive way into the club. The all new “Live Intro” is a not so shabby version of Live for $99. This is now my recommendation for anyone who asks me, “I’m starting to make music what should I use?”.
So what else is on tap for the party? Discounts on upgrades for current Live users and the geeks will be happy to know Max For Live will be out November 23. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!
Here is an interesting video from the UK containing a bunch of great Ableton Live tips. I never thought of setting up follow actions and after wards recording into cycling clips. Spending a little time setting triggers and MIDI mapping before you head into “Right Brain” mode will surely make your song a bit better.
“This video shows you how to use Ableton Live’s clips as chord banks and trigger them with one key. It also touches on the following features: Follow Action, Launch Modes, Midi Mapping & Routing, Pitch (midi plugin)” – flujo
Some days when I get home from working in Manhattan I am completely exhausted. I love keeping up with the world using Google Reader. Sometimes I don’t even have the energy to sit upright and hit the keyboard shortcut “J” in Reader to go to the next story. I started thinking that if there was an iPhone app that let me have a remote Mac keyboard I could increase the font size on my screen, sit back and remotely hit “J”. To my delight I found such an application and it’s called Keymote (iTunes link). I set it up and now can half sleep half browse from a far in a comfy chair. You can see my set up for Google Reader in the screenshot above left.
I woke up this morning and the very first thought out of my head was: Whoa I can control anything with Keymote. Ableton Live! Yes it works just fine. Keymote doesn’t have nifty things like sliders but it’s certainly useful. There are Ableton specific iPhone controllers too. Check out TouchOSC: click here
“Tired of keyboard shortcuts? Is Command+Shift+Option+J really more efficient than tapping a single button? With Keymote, you’ll never have to remember another shortcut again! Keymote creates single buttons out of complicated shortcuts and groups them by application, speeding up your productivity and boosting your workflow. Keymote acts as a universal remote for your Mac. Easily control Front Row from across the room, refresh your Twitter stream wirelessly, or play a song from iTunes without even touching your computer, the possibilities are endless.” – icedcocoa.com
Ireland based Sonic Academy has posted a few new Ableton tips on their site including the one above which quickly shows you how to extract a groove from and audio file and apply it to a different Midi or audio clip. At 3:36 he shows you the power of the Warp Marker by fixing a glitch. Good job. Time to extract some grooves off some OLD records…
“In this weeks tech tip we should you how to extract a groove from an audio file and apply it to a MIDI clip and a drum loop, all in Ableton Live 8″ – www.sonicacademy.com
For more info visit the Groove Engine page at Ableton: click here
I found Swayzak by their single I Dance Alone (iTunes link). Later I found the album Some Other Country (iTunes link) to be perfect office work background music. They have released a free Ableton Live pack. It’s a 50MB download available now: click here
“Swayzak is a tech house duo from the United Kingdom that consists of James S. Taylor and David Brown. They live and work in London and released their first 12″ single “Bueno” / “Fukumachi” in February 1997 to much acclaim. It was followed up by the 12″ “Speedboat” / “Low Rez Skyline” to become part of the burgeoning tech-house scene in the UK.” – Wikipedia.org
What does the word “Swayzak” mean anyway? Is it some kind of UK thing?
Here’s a few small Ableton Live tips I use all the time. When in Session View you can click on the small left facing arrow on any mixer channel and move it up or down using the Arrow keys. This is a great way to fine tune the volume of a Channel. If you hold Shift down while pushing the up or down Arrow Key the volume will jump negative or positive 3.12db. If you want to return any Fader to 0db simply click once on the small left facing triangle and hit the Delete key. Lastly, if you hold down Control and click the Left or Right arrows you will move to the next Left or Right Channel Fader.
Remember you can find all the Ableton Live keyboard shortcuts in Chapter 28 of the user manual. Happy music making!
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.
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.
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.