New Sonic Arts has announced its Easter Sale, offering a bundle of Granite, Nuance, and Granite Aura at a discounted price for a limited time. Before the end of April, pick up our entire suite of products for an unbelievable price. With more than 40% savings, now is the perfect time to discover the outstanding […]
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Music software is at its best when it goes beyond cookie-cutter regularity, and spawns something creative. And sometimes, the path there involves retooling how that music is made.
That’s why I’m pleased to get to share this interview with WaveDNA. Liquid Rhythm is something unlike just about anything else in music software. It looks like a music theory class collided with a mandala. In colored patterns, arrayed in bars and wheels, you can produce all kinds of new rhythms, then integrate deeply with your host software. If you use Ableton Live, the integration goes further still. Whether you’re using Drum Racks or notes, you can automatically see what pattern goes with what, working in real-time with everything visible as you go. There’s a whole suite of tools with more than enough of what you could explore in any host. (Then, in Live, it just gets crazier.)
You can randomize and remix and shift, for quick ideas. (They had me at ‘randomize.’) Or, if you’re brave enough to enter the worlds of beat and pattern control, you can use the tools for fine-grained production of unusual musical ideas.
The suite: Plug-ins, patches. VST, AU, RTAS for any host. Or Max for Live for Ableton Live, now with full integration with Ableton Push hardware.
Palettes of rhythms. Paint with patterns, or make patterns in pitch and rhythm from clusters, in BeatBuilder.
Dial up rhythms. BeatSeeker displays various genetic possibilities of patterns in a huge wheel.
Accents, grooves. Design grooves and velocity by color in an accent editor, or re-groove existing materials with something they call GrooveMover.
MIDI without a piano roll. Yes, this common interface has become tyranny. It’s tough to describe, but they have a different view, one that provides manual control in a unique interface that goes its own direction – more like a genetic cell than a piano roll. (See the video, as it’s easier to see than write about.)
Integrate with Ableton Live clips.
“We’re a music software company that makes no sound,” say the creators in the interview here. Instead, they let you put rhythms where they don’t normally go. Sounds good to me.
Here’s a look at how their in-line editing works, and how the musical concept functions:
And a bit on how the beat generation process works:
And for Ableton users, here’s a look at that integration in Live 9 Suite:
We’ve been hearing from readers that many of you are tired of standard step sequencing interfaces. (I still like them sometimes, so watch this week for my review of the 2×8 grid of the BeatStep from Arturia, but I hear you.) So, this seems the perfect time to bring up WaveDNA – it isn’t four-on-the-floor. It’s… everything, on the floors, walls, ceilings, whatever.
I had hoped to write about WaveDNA for some time, but it was so vast, I never quite got the window. Fortunately, recently CDM’s own Marsha Vdovin, veteran journalist and music tech industry insider (among other roles), wrote an interview with the creators for Cycling ’74. (While it works as a plug-in in other hosts, the toolset is also a fine showcase of Max when integrated with Ableton Live 9 Suite, so it’s a natural to talking about Max.) Full disclosure: Cycling commissioned Marsha to write this story, and provided CDM with permission.
And I obviously need to get deeper into Liquid Rhythm. It makes me … almost a little afraid. Like I might disappear for some time and not be seen. But I could use some studio time. So if this story brings up questions, let us know. (And since some of you use Max and other patching environments, I’m sure the developers would be happy to talk to you about that. Now I have to make my stupid-simple generative rhythm patch work in Max for Live next…)
Here’s Marsha. -PK
Wave DNA is a Toronto-based company that has achieved great success with their Liquid Rhythm software. This innovative beat generator, which enables users to access the building blocks of ten quadrillion rhythmic patterns, integrates seamlessly with Ableton’s Live and is now updated to version 1.3.4 which introduces Ableton Push hardware integration. We sat down with the creators to discuss their use of Max in the inspiration, development and prototyping of Liquid Rhythm. Continue reading
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