Controlling CV with Volta and Ableton Live.


using ableton live to send CV signals. from dan kirkhus on Vimeo.

Motu’s Volta is a software that turns an ordinary Motu audio interface into a CV controller. I’ve been watching a few videos here and there of people using Volta and this thing has got my interest. I have a good bunch of old analog synths in my studio and more control is always a good thing (except if you’re a teenager).

“Using ableton live and a handful of LFO type wav files to modulate external analog gear. fun stuff. (if you’re not interested in the “how” and just want to see the frostwave spaz out, jump to 3:30 or so.) this stuff *only* works with MOTU audio interfaces (see: volta). this is an easy and free way to send beat-synced LFOs to your outboard modular gear; moogerfoogers, sherman filterbank, little phatty… anything with a CV input… i recommend setting the warp method to “Re-Pitch” to keep LFOs smooth at extreme BPMs. or don’t… and get cool glitches.” – Dan Kirkhus

Thanks to Dan for posting this video. I think you also made me drop some coin on Frostwave Resonator. I always forget how great the MS20 filter sounds! See Dan’s Resonator video: click here

More about Motu Volta: click here

Musikmesse 2009 Videos


See more of the Steinberg Messe09 episodes: click here


Our friend Jürgen shows Sonic State the new Mbase 11: click here


Nick from Sonic State visits Sherman: click here


A look at the Focal booth (these are great speakers): click here


A bit of German chat at with Dieter Doepfer: click here

If you can speak German check out Musotalk’s look at the new Waldorf Largo software synth: click here. These are just a few of the videos I found that peaked my gearlust antennae. There’s no need for me to repost too many here as you can troll tons of show videos with a few simple searches in the usual places. Hit me with any links to videos if you find something you thought was extra interesting!

The Horrorist Live report from Stuttgart, Germany


Mike & Oliver Chesler before the show. from thingstocome on Vimeo.


The Horrorist Live – Stuttgart, Germany – 2009 from thingstocome on Vimeo.

And a few photos…

Let me know if you would like more video discussion posts. I’m thinking more is a good thing solely to give my typing fingers a break once and a while. Sorry the audio in the live show is distorted. I just pieced together a bunch of clips of the show I found on YouTube. I had a great time!

Sunday Sounds: Awesome Bent Keytar


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

Here’s a Keytar with “testículos de acero”… I will let you do the Spanish to English translation. The man behind this creation is a Circuit Bending pro who works under the project name ASMO (Anti Social Musik Order). For more info on ASMO: http://asmo23.wordpress.com/

“A friend found this in a skip, broken with wires hanging out. I fixed it, made a few modifications and gave it a nice black paint job.” – eddie23a

I wonder if he would sell me this one. I could use this on stage for sure.

If Neubauten made their own electronic instrument.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeHkyjoKj9U

If the German 80’s band Einstürzende Neubauten made a modern day electronic instrument “Doubles” would probably be it. The band whos name roughly translates to “New Buildings Falling Down” used chain saws, videos of car accidents and other power tools in their live act and recordings. The video above is from another part of the world (Taiwan) and another time (today) but the sounds it creates made me think of the Berliners.

“Doubles is a unique new instrument that really brings out the “performance” in performance art. It reacts to acceleration and centrifugal force to create sound… Beads on the surface are spun using what look like air hockey paddles. The relative speed of the beads influences the sound that is produced.” – Scott Merrill, crunchgear.com

For more info visit the Doubles website: click here

via crunchgear

Six synthPond compositions.


Six synthPond compositions from wiretotheear on Vimeo.

My favorite music application for the iPhone is called synthPond. Above is a video of six compositions I created using synthPond. Using “effector nodes” and “reactor nodes” that can orbit around each other while changing pitch you can create some wonderful sequences.  A big thanks to Zach Gage for creating such a  terrific app! I can’t wait for future versions of synthPond.

Get synthPond: iTunes

Related post: SynthPond Spatial Sequencer for the iPhone.

Sunday Sounds: Cocaine fueled Iggy Pop


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4zQpFSYCJ0

I’m not a “love anything Iggy ever did” kind of fan. I love the same Iggy and the Stooges songs every hipster goes for such as I Wanna Be Your Dog and Gimme Danger. If by some bizzare chance you don’t know those two song do yourself a favor and click the titles and listen to some greatness. Today’s video shows you there was a time it was perfectly acceptable to be high on cocaine and on television. I remember watching an interview with Iggy in the 90’s where he went off on David Crosby for being fat, eating meat and being “establishment”. All press is good press.

Nice video featuring the MFB Kraftzwerg.

Remember one of my MusikMesse 2008 picks the MFB Synth 3? It’s been renamed the Kraftzwerg and it’s been out for a few months now. For 579€ you can have one of these interesting noise makers. Visit the official MFB (Manfred Fricke Berlin) website here: mfberlin.de

“Some clueless noodling on my small modular. MFB Kraftzwerg and some Doepfer modules. No effects.” – mancio1

Buy a Kraftzweg: SchneidersBuero or analoguehaven

Be prepared to have your live show video displayed.

Considering most computers come with video editing software I think it’s a requirement bands should have a nice video show going along behind them as they perform. I don’t think it matters if it’s HD footage shot with a new Canon 5D Mark II, a Flip or even a built-in cell phone camera. As with audio it’s the content that counts. Last year I did a post titled, “The best codec for video in Ableton Live on a Mac.” in which I discuss which codec will tax your CPU the least. My finding was a bit surprising and there is a good discussion in the comments so check it out: click here

Most of the time I bring my small but powerful Casio XJ-360 LCD projector with me. I also bring a scrim which is essentially a see through cloth that doesn’t have any wrinkles when pulled tight. An advantage of getting a proper scrim is I can shoot back towards it or I can place the projector behind it (aka reverse projection). You could put a projector in your rider and rely on the club to have one for you. However, I’ve found that most of the time the projectors they have waiting are ancient and the bulbs are dim. Another issue with using the club’s house projector is many times their units are attached to the ceiling in front of the stage so you would have to run a long cable to your computer.

“A scrim or gauze is a very light textile made from cotton, or sometimes flax. Its light weight and translucence means it is often used for making curtains. The fabric can also be used for bookbinding and upholstery. Scrims have also seen extensive use in theatre. The variety used for special effects is properly called sharktooth scrim. However, in theater a scrim can refer to any such thin screen, and are made out of a wide variety of materials. Scrim has a rectangular weave that is similar in size in its openings to a window screen.” – Wikipedia.org

When I play huge events I leave my projector at home. When there is more than 20,000 people in a stadium my own set up is pretty useless. I do come prepared though bringing with me two types of adapters allowing the visual crew to hook into my system. My Macbook Pro came with an Apple DVI to VGA Display Adapter connector and I also purchased the Apple DVI to Video Adapter. With these two adapters my computer has inputs any proper video crew should be able to utilize.

Here’s a bonus tip: If you want a cheap fast way to have a slick video produced for you head over to Animoto.com, upload a bunch of photos of your band, pay $3 and viola they shoot you back a pretty good looking video.

photo credits: goodrob13 and jimmyroq

Grooveboxmusic gives some free Ableton school.

Video tutorials are a great way to learn software. You can pause, switch to the app, try things out and return to the show. For a limited time Grooveboxmusic is giving away three hours of Ableton video tutorials. I love Ableton Live and so should you. With Live you need to learn and use the program for a few weeks before you get that “AH HA!” moment. These tutorials are sure to help you out and since they are free and you have some Xmas vacation time coming up I don’t want to hear any excuses.

“Our friends at Grooveboxmusic.com are giving Ableton users free access to a collection of high-quality Ableton Live tutorials running over three hours in length via the Ableton Web Pass. This collection of tutorials covers topics such as how to record and edit, virtual instrument basics, warping, designing electronic drums and much more. The videos are hand-picked from the extensive Ableton Live tutorial collection available at grooveboxmusic.com. This offer provides seven days of access from the day you sign up and enter your access code. Offer valid until December 31, 2008″ – Ableton.com

Head over to the free tutorials: click here

photo credit: James Sarmiento