Ableton has confirmed more artists and events for the Ableton Loop music-maker summit, set for Nov 9-11, 2018 in Los Angeles.… Read More Ableton Adds Artists To Loop LA Lineup
Ableton has offered a first look at some of the artists coming to this year’s Loop summit for music-makers in Los Angeles.… Read More Ableton Reveals First Peek at Loop Los Angeles Artist Lineup
We talked with Craig Schuftan, the program lead for Loop 2018, who gave us a preview of what to expect at the first Ableton Loop Summit in the Western Hemisphere.… Read More Ableton Loop Is Coming To The US For The First Time – Here’s What To Expect
Ableton has opened registration for its fourth Loop event. Loop is Ableton’s annual conference for music makers, a three-day summit featuring talks, performances, hands-on workshops and studio sessions focused on sharing ideas on music, technology and creative practice. Loop 2018 will explore, in-depth, the wide range of solutions for computer-based performance, creative collaboration, and how… Read More Registration For Ableton Loop 2018 Opens Today
At Ableton Loop 2017, sound design rockstar Francis Preve presented a session on The Secret of Sound Design.… Read More The Secret of Sound Design
To master sound design, no technology can top your own hearing. That’s the message from Francis Preve, who gave a gripping talk at Ableton Loop. Now we’ve got video – and more discussion. Nothing is sacred – not even the vaunted TB-303 filter.
It’s really easy to fall into the trap of trying to define specialization in the narrowest terms possible, chasing worth in whatever trend is generating it at the moment. But part of why I’ve been glad to know Fran over the years is, he has knowledge and experience that is deep and far-reaching, and that he adapts that ability to a range work. That is, if ever you worry about how to live off your love of music and machines, Fran is a great model: he’s built a skill set that can shift to new opportunities when times change.
So, essentially what he can do is understand sound, technology, and music, put them together, and apply that to diverse results. He’s quietly been a big part of sound design for clients from Dave Smith to KORG to Ableton. He teaches, and keeps up a huge workload of writing and editing. He’s run a label, been a producer, and made hit remixes. And now he has his own unique sound design products, Symplesound and his Scapes series, which act as a calling card for his ability to produce sounds and articulate their significance.
Francis isn’t shy about sharing his thought process. But as with his presets, that means you can learn that thinking method and then apply it to your own work. And that’s how we started at Ableton Loop, beginning with some listening.
Maybe most poetic: finding the same joy in teaching as you do in gardening.
About the 303…
There are a bunch of mini TED talk-style inspirational moments in there, but maybe the most quotable came in Francis’ take on resonance – and the TB-303.
— Ableton (@Ableton) November 11, 2017
But wait a minute – even if you love the 303, it’s worth listening to Francis’ analysis of why it sits at the edge between success and failure. (And actually, part of why I like the TB-303 personally is because I don’t feel obligated by anyone else that I have to like it.) Fran re-watched our talk and chose to elaborate for CDM:
To further explain my point, Nate Harrison’s Bassline Baseline is a wonderful historical analysis the whole 303 phenomena and why it was initially unsuccessful.
That said, I feel quite differently about the TB-03 and expressed this in my 2016 review for Electronic Musician. For starters, it expands greatly on the original’s synthesis parameters—adding distortion, delay, and reverb—which vastly broadens its tonal palette. These effects were also essential components of the “acid house” sound, as most 303 owners relied on them to beef up its thin, resonant flavor. The TB-03 also addressed the original 303’s absolutely opaque approach to sequencing, which resolves my other issue with the first unit (and the music it produced).
So, while I generally dislike the sound of envelope modulated resonant lowpass filters, I wanted to clarify my statements on the 303 and specifically the TB-03. It’s common knowledge that I’m a diehard Roland user and frankly, the TR-8S and System-8 are cornerstones of my current rig (as well as an original SH-101), but after 35 years, I still can’t find a way to enjoy the original 303.
https://www.emusician.com/gear/review-roland-tb-03-and-tr-09Francis’ TB-03, TR-09 review for EM
Here’s actually where Francis and I agree – and I’ve taken some flak for saying I thought the TB-03 improves on the original. But that little Boutique often finds its way into my luggage when I’m playing live for this very reason, and I know I’m not alone. (And I do like the original 303 and acid house and acid techno – and I love cilantro, too, as it happens!)
Get more of Fran’s brain (and sounds)
Francis has a regular masterclass series for Electronic Musician. Of particular interest: delve deep into Ableton’s new Wavetable in Live 10 and the latest Propellerhead Reason instruments, the phenomenal Europa and Grain.
And meanwhile, he’s continuing to teach sound design to college students including making Scapes part of the curriculum – which is timely, thanks to growing demand in augmented and virtual reality.
Since 2016, Francis has added sounds to:
– Ableton Live 10
– Korg Prologue
– Dave Smith REV2
– Korg Gadget
– Korg iMonoPoly
– Propellerhead Reason
– Xfer preset packs
– Various Symplesound products
(Other clients over the years: Propellerhead, Roland, iZotope)
And this year, so far:
DSI Prophet X
AAS Solids Chromaphone 2 Pack (arriving next week – rather keen for this one; physical modeling in Chromaphone is great!)
System-8 and Roland Cloud Synthwave pack (with Carma Studios)
Xfer Serum Toolkit Vol 3 (summer release)
Major multi-platform Symplesound release
More Scapes based on field recordings (Fran is roaming with a camper van now) – he says he’s “cracked the code for recreating fire in Ableton”
Live 10 (literally hundreds of presets, mostly Operator and quite a few wavetables)
Korg Prologue, Gadget, and iMonoPoly
Dave Smith REV2
Xfer Serum Toolkit Vol 2 expansion pack -https://www.xferrecords.com/preset_packs/serum_toolkit_2
Scapes – https://www.francispreve.com/scapes/ (or your piece)
But the big hit is perhaps the one we debuted here on CDM:
Stay tuned for whatever’s next.
The post Listening, the secret of sound design: Francis Preve at Loop appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
Ableton has announced that their 2018 Loop summit for music makers will take place in Los Angeles on November 9–11 this year.… Read More Ableton Announces Loop LA ‘Summit For Music Makers’
The music world is overloaded with people who talk about music – how it works, what has happened, what is happening. Few people can really delve articulately into questions of why. Susan Rogers is one of those few.
Her talk at Ableton Loop this fall was, in all three years of attending Ableton’s bespoke event, the one that has stood out for me the most. I instantly nagged friends at Ableton to release the video, not only because I wanted people to see it, but because I wanted to watch it again just to process everything she said.
She talks about trying to understand Prince’s genius and how he worked. (She was sound engineer on Purple Rain and Sign o’ the Times.) She talks about how the brain works (she’s a neurologist) and why sometimes great music doesn’t find an audience. She talks in personal terms, and about how sometimes great people don’t find a partner. She does what I think great teachers do: she has something to say, and she gets to it directly. But there’s empathy in every insight, and each thought makes you feel a desire to go learn more – to do the homework.
I think whether we’re talking about machines or music or people, the further we go, the more we may realize understanding the mind is the key to all we want to investigate – of course.
I’ve got a lot more I’d want to talk to her about; I imagine you do, too. So – I’ll be rewatching as you rewatch, making notes.
The post Ranging from Neurology to Prince, Susan Rogers’ talk is must-watch appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
One of them likes to solve Rubik’s Cubes, blindfolded, on tour. The other is capable of executing elaborate drum programs programmed on a computer, on live percussion. Meet Tennyson and learn how they work.
As we saw before, Ableton Loop is a place not just for learning about a particular product for musicians, but gathering together ideas from the electronic music community as a whole. And Ableton have been sharing some of that work in an online minisite, so you get a free front row ticket to some of the event from wherever you are.
Tennyson is a good example of how explorations at Loop can cover playing technology as instrument – and everything that means for musicians. Watch:
Tennyson are a young Canadian brother and sister duo, with a unique musical idiom they tested together in live acoustic-electronic improvisations in jazz cafes. Complicated, angular rhythms flow effortlessly and gently, the line between kit and machine blurring. For Loop, they’re interviewed by Jesse Terry, who is product owner for Ableton Push (and has a long history working with the hardware that interacts with Live).
And the sample programming is insane: you get Runescape samples. A baby sneezing. The Mac volume control sound. It’s obsessive Internet-age programming – and then Tess plays this all as acoustic percussion and kit.
In this talk, they talk about jazz education, getting started as kids, Skype lessons. And then they get into the workings of a song.
The big trick here: the duo use Live’s Racks, using the Chain function, so that consistently mapped drum parts can cycle through different sounds as she plays. (I’ll review that technique in more detail soon.) 24 variable pads play all the sounds as Tess is playing.
Part of why the video is interesting to watch is it’s really as much about how Tess has gradually learned how to memorize and recall these elaborate percussion parts. It’s a beautiful example of the human brain expanding to keep up with, then surpass, what the machine makes available.
For Luke’s part, there’s a monome [grid controller], keyboard triggers, and still more electronic pads. The monome loops chopped up samples, sticks can trigger more samples manually — it’s dense. He plays melodic parts both on keyboard and 4×4 pad grid.
The track makeup:
- Arrangement view contains the song structure
- A click track (obviously)
- Software synths each have set lists of sounds, with clips triggering sound changes as MIDI program changes
- The monome / mlrv sequencer
Here’s an (older) extended live set, so you can see more of how they play:
Here’s their dreamy, poppy latest music video (released March) – made all the more impressive when you realize they basically sound like this live:
More background on the band:
Welcome to the Magically Playful World of Tennyson [Red Bull Music]
New band of the week: Tennyson (No 14) [The Guardian]
Image courtesy the artists.
Check out a growing selection of content from Loop on Ableton’s minisite:
Bonus: for a quick run-down on chains, here’s AfroDjMac:
The post Learn how Tennyson translate between Ableton and percussion on kits appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
How are the Harmony of the Spheres, Isaac Newton, and polyhythms connected? Strap in for a journey with musician Adam Neely.
A bass player – educator – composer, Adam has a series of his own called New Horizons in Music. For Ableton Loop in Berlin last November, he got to present one session of those ideas live to an enraptured crowd. Now, Ableton gives you a guest seat to that show.
If you’re a fan of polyrthms, you’ll like where this is going. But it takes an unexpected path, starting with Alexander Scriabin, the Russian composer who experienced a perceptual connection of color to sound, and Isaac Newton’s color science. That basic notion about spectrum links color, perception, and rhythm.
It’s a wild, Wikipedia click-hole saga through music history, psychoacoustics, proportions, and theory. Since proportion can apply to rhythm and pitch alike – and since rhythms eventually are themselves connected to pitch – you eventually get a kind of grand unifying theory of music and polyrhythm. Watch:
(Quite a few of you likely have seen this already, as it seems it’s already a hit!)
This is just the sort of adventurous thinking that filled the best talks at Ableton’s Loop event. In that way, Loop served not just as a gathering around a tool, but that explored the entire ecosystem of ideas around the Live user community. And that seems a great model for what music tech can be.
Of course, all of this required getting to Berlin, and even there attendance was limited. So, fortunately, Ableton have set up a minisite where they’re sharing content you can take in at your leisure. (I was actually in Berlin, and I missed this one, so it’s great having video available for me, too, before you get jealous!)
You can find a collection of resources from Loop at the Loop minisite, with more content added regularly:
For instance, you can jump to a selection of talks and Q&A:
And for more of Adam Neely’s New Horizons in Music, head to his YouTube channel:
For instance, here’s more on synesthesia:
I’m looking forward to taking in more.
The post Watch an Ableton Loop talk that connects polyrhythms, synesthesia appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.