MFB Schlagzwerg VS Kraftzwerg.


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

Above is a nice video find of Manfred Fricke’s newest toys made in Berlin. If you like knobs and sounds nothings better than a semi-modular analog drum machine and synthesizer!

“Five-Voice Modular Analogue Drum Synthesizer with Six-Channel CV/Gate Step-Sequencer with Shuffle Quantization Algorhithmen” – nirvanabeach


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u48Qq0TsZaI

How about some Kraftzwerg, MFB-STEP64 and another Berlin creation the Flame Midi-Talking Synth? Yeah I thought so…

More info: mfberlin.de and shelaq.de

85 x .wav free glitched circuit bent loops.

When someone with the last name “Ovenbröd” sends you an email you either laugh or pay attention. I did both and my prize is a nice bunch of noisey, glitchy circuit bent loops from Berlin. This gift of loop was not just created for me alone so here I share the news of this download for all to have. Head over to www.mimu.eu to grab some itchy clicky goodness.

85 x .wav-loops (124bpm) of broken, smoothly glitched, circuit-bent 4/4 idm/mnml/noize- and elektro-beatloops. Also this file is password-protected just to avoid unauthorized distribution, simply leave a comment with your correct e-mail-adress, then WAIT a bit and we’ll get back to you. your comment needs to get approved first before it gets published. comments of donators (see the donation-paypal-cloud on the menu) might be handled privileged. a happy new year, yours, maria ovenbröd & der einmeier – www.mimu.eu

Direct link to the post where you can leave a comment and get your download password: click here

photo credit: mikrosopht

I paid $4.92 for a small bottle of water.

I’m very good at being prepared. When I buy airline tickets I buy them way in advance and always plan my seat out. If there is no way to pick my seat online when buying a ticket I will call the airline and reserve a seat by voice. When I bought my ticket to Hamburg for this tour I logged onto KLM.com (The Royal Dutch Airline) and before hitting “confirm purchase” I chose my seat. I picked a nice bulkhead window seat toward the front of the airplane. When I printed my e-ticket reservation number it printed my seat number which was the same one I chose online. When I got to the airport I used the automated kiosks to print my boarding pass. I didn’t bother checking my seat number again because I figured I was all set. You know where my story is heading right? I get on the airplane and look at my e-ticket and surprise, I’m sitting in the last row of the entire plane in the middle seat. After sandwiching myself between to large people with giant arms already planted on my arm rests I realized this last row seat doesn’t even lean back. I don’t mind sitting upright until the person in front of me leans his seat into the furthest back position possible. Of course that’s exactly what happened just a few minutes after takeoff. I was about six inches from some guys greasy curly hair for seven hours. I knew KLM screwed me over because before the plane took off a stewardess came over and ask if I was Oliver Chesler. I said, “Yep. Why are you asking?” She said she just wanted to confirm I was on board. Huh?!

I had a short layover in The Netherlands at Schiphol airport. I was pretty thirsty to the point I was getting a headache so I bought a bottle of water. I’m my long travel delirium I didn’t flinch when the check out woman told me the water was 3.50€. To be clear that is $4.92 USD for a small bottle of water. No wonder why airlines don’t let you bring liquids over 100ml through security. What a bunch of scamming bastards. Truthfully I’m used to tour chaos and these are pretty minor pains compared to the long delays and canceled flights that could happen.

Everything got a lot more comfortable once I arrived in Hamburg. I took a free shuttle to the Marriot which like all Marriots was nice with a swimming pool, free WiFi and 24 hour room service. I had my Christmas meal alone in my room and watched some CNN. Before show time I was able to video chat with my wife and see photos of my families Lobster dinner. Are you feeling sorry for me yet?

The event was full and my show went off without a hitch. German clubs are the easiest for me to perform at. The sound systems are usually amazing and the kids are really out to party. If you scream at Germans they scream back at you.

The next morning I took a bus to Berlin and the past few days have been nice catching up with friends. I never lived in Kruezberg and my friends apartment I am babysitting is right on Paul-Lincke-Ufe next to the canal. As you can see by the photo it’s really nice. The only thing driving me a bit nuts is that fireworks are legal in Berlin and on New Year’s they all go crazy. Unfortunately for my sleep some kids around here are celebrating early.

I’m going to start making a new tune today. Traveling alone is pretty strange so I suspect I will be inspired. Wednesday I fly to Belgium for the New Year’s eve show.

Hack lyrics into the Ableton Live lessons area.

I’m playing live tonight at Tresor. It’s one of the more well known clubs in Berlin. On stage tonight I will be keeping a secret from the audience. Don’t tell anyone ok? The secret is I will have a cheat sheet with on it lyrics in front of me. In fact, I will play a song tonight where as I sit here right now typing this I can’t even remember the opening line! My lyric cheat sheet won’t be on a Textedit or Word document. It’s built right into Ableton Live. Remember when you first opened Live there are those Lessons that pop up on the right part of the interface? If you forgot about them and want to see them again just open Live and under the View menu choose Lessons. See them now? Let’s hack these Lessons and get our own text in there. Here’s how to do it:

Create and save a Project (song) in which you would like to have some of your own text in the Lesson area. Next, find the Project folder that was created when you saved your song. Inside that folder create a new folder with the exact same name as your Project followed by the word “Lessons”. Inside this folder create a plain text document and name it LessonsEN.txt

I use TextWrangler (free!) but you can use the plain old Mac TextEdit too. Type your lyrics or whatever reminders and notes you need. You can create separate pages by using the following syntax:

$Page Name of Song

If you add a: / before text it makes the text italic and bold. I like to make most of my text like this because it’s easier to read. Save the LessonsEN.txt and open Ableton and your Project to see your lyrics. Click on the screenshots in this post to view them larger.

Electronic Music Berlin – A Wire to the Ear map.


View Larger Map

Berlin is the undisputed center of electronic music. A few times a month friends and blog readers come to visit. I’ve decided to make a Google Map with the locations of many of the great record stores, labels, synthesizer manufacturers, audio software companies and nightclubs you can check out upon arrival.

Ableton, Tresor, Hard Wax, Native Intruments, Schneider’s Buero, Neumann, MFB, Gigolo Records, Berghain, JoMoX, Sugar Bytes, BPitch Control, SoundCloud… what more do you want?

If you do come to visit don’t forget you will be in a gorgeous city full of historic places and green parks. Don’t spend all your time dancing. See it all!

Remember Google Maps is feature rich. You can get point to point directions, zoom way in, see satellite views and create your own map of places in Berlin you want to see (click a pin and select “save to my map”).

To view the map full screen and also see the complete list of great places: click here

Free audio recordings from the Berlin S-Bahn.

Yesterday I took a trip to Ikea in Berlin. To get from Prenzlauer Berg to Spandau takes about thirty minutes on the S-Bahn. I had my camera with me which also takes decent video. However, it wasn’t visual imagery I was after. I hit record but left the camera’s lens cap on. I was only after audio recordings.

There are a myriad of hot flash recorders on the market but I used what I had with me and I think the recordings sound great. Another advantage of recording this way is people aren’t really aware of what your doing. If I had a Sony PCM-D1 in my hand people may not speak naturally. I’m planning on using some of these recordings on my next album but your free to use them too. Remember it’s not the sounds, it’s how you use them!

The audio player will play each sample in succession:

You can download the 24bit Wavs by clicking here:
Berlin_S-Bahn-24bit_Wav.zip

Berlin_S-Bahn by Oliver Chesler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.wiretotheear.com.

photo credit: leralle

An interview with Ionic Vision.


An Interview with Ionic Vision. from thingstocome on Vimeo.

One of the best ways to promote a band on your record label is to create a video interview with them. It really doesn’t take much skill, time or money. In fact, the video above was shot using the video mode on a single point and shoot cheapo camera. I used iMovie08 which uses Core Video so any image adjustments, transitions and titles all happen in real time, no rendering! This makes the entire process actually a lot of fun. Sure the video would be better if I was using a better camera, external mic and some lights but you know what? If I had to lug all that stuff to the club I probably would not have bothered. Showing up and creating something is the most important thing. I actually own quite a lot of video equipment including Final Cut Pro but workflow always wins in my book so I went for the fastest way to the finish line. I mentioned before on this blog I love Creative Commons and here’s why: See the images I cut during the interview? They are all CC licensed so I’m not stealing anyone’s art to create my own.

The style was characterized by hard and often sparse danceable electronic beats, clear undistorted vocals, shouts or growls with reverberation and echo effects, and repetitive sequencer lines. At this time important synthesizers were Korg MS-20, Emulator II, Oberheim Matrix or the Yamaha DX7. Typical EBM rhythms are based on 4/4 beats, mainly with some minor syncopation to suggest a rock music rhythm structure. – wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_body_music

Sven Lauwers and Andy de Decker are great live which is extremely important for an EBM band. Be sure to check out Ionic Vision’s release on Things to Come Records: Beatport, Junodownload, Things to Come Records

For more info about the event they played:
www.myspace.com/crossingtheparallel

Thoughts and photos from the Tenori-on Berlin event.

Toshio Iwai in Berlin

Last night I went to the infamous and quite beautiful nightclub Berghain in Berlin to see the Tenori-on launch event. I’ve been highly interested in the Tenori-on since I first read about it almost a year ago. The device is right up my alley: a sequencer, white leds, and it’s made for live performance. So what did I think when I finally got to see it in person?

When I walked into Berghain they had kiosks hooked up with several Tenori-on in BerlinTenori-on available to use. Right away I was shocked at how bright the white leds bling out at you. You instantly get that “wow this is futuristic” feeling.

Upstairs in the main room it was crowded as I suspected it would be. I mean come on this is Berlin where even the women are sequencer freaks! Lots of people wearing Ableton shirts and the stage had four Macbooks ready to accompany the Tenoris. This was my kind of geekfest!

We heard three live acts before the inventor of the Tenori, Toshio Iwai would talk. The first two acts were ho hum. I was mesmerized by the Tenori but the music and technique of the first performers was not interesting. The third act Sutekh from San Fransisco blew me away! I never really heard of this guy before but most of my friends did. He played all noise and he had the Tenoris led display going crazy. It was quite evil and machine like. I cant explain what he was doing but the Tenori-on’s display reminded me of the scene in 2001 A Space Odyssey when they travel through the worm hole. Inside the visuals he was doing two things at once and they seemed to be going at different speeds. I even think he played a game of pong! Without the visual aspect would I have like the music so much?

Finally it was time for Tenori Toshio to speak. He gave a really incredible powerpoint style talk. He detailed how he got the idea to create the Tenori-on. He showed the early software he programmed, including a game that was never released for the Super Nintendo system. He showed his art installations all which had elements of the Tenori-on. Finally he took us by video to Yamaha and the factory where the Tenori-on is created. He ended with a video of a robot who polishes the metal on the Tenori. I was laughing pretty hard when I realized the robot was talking to itself as it finished tasks.

Tenori-on Concepts

There was a full night of performances after Toshio Iwai spoke. I will have some interviews from some of those artists on Wire to the Ear soon. You will find it pretty interesting how they were invited to perform for this tour and what they received as payment!

To see the full set of photos from this event: click here

www.flickr.com

Tenori-on launch tour tomorrow night in Berlin!

Tenori-on launch tour poster.

I was walking down Schönhauser Allee last week and saw the posters you see above. Tomorrow night I will get to see and hopefully touch Toshio Iwai’s wicked music toy the Tenori-on. Bergain which is probably Berlin’s most notorious after hours, drug, gay pick up club is playing host to the event. The festivities start at 8PM. Who will be performing you ask? Toshio Iwai, To Rococo Rot, Pole, Sutekh, I am Robot and Proud and Nathan Michel.

    If you don’t know what a Tenori-On is watch this video:

    I will be there and if you see me and feel like saying hello by all means please do so!

    For more info about the Tenori-on: www.global.yamaha.com/tenori-on

    Photos from Musikinstrumente & Design, Berlin.

    MTI Auto Orchestra

    Musikinstrumente & Design is a small vintage music instrument shop in Berlin. In fact, it’s directly three doors down from where I live. This means everyday I walk by and have to force myself not to buy anything! It’s a typical Berlin “Geschäft” meaning it opens “whenever” and there is usually three or four people just hanging around drinking and smoking cigarettes.

    Please click here to view a small photo set from inside Musikinstrumente & Design. I’ve never seen some of these pieces so please feel free to comment or tag the photos in flickr. Please note I put a Creative Commons license on these images so feel free to use them as long as you link back to this article.

    www.flickr.com