NEWS

The Drum Broker releases 12 Bit Soul Vol. 4

The Drum Broker has launched 12 Bit Soul Vol. 4, a sample pack by Divided Souls Productions. The 12 Bit Soul series

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Inside hands-on live technique with Blush Response, KOMA, Elektron

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The sound world of Joey Blush (aka Blush Response) is far reaching, entering dark clouds of murky industrial, EBM, and techno, all with relentless forward-pushing grooves. But as we talk to him about how he connects his gear, we’re really looking at how he connects his thoughts.

At its best, whatever we’re doing with gear ought to be about our minds. It’s not just connecting a patch cord. It’s connecting an idea from one place to another – re-wiring neurons.

Synth legend Morton Subotnick spoke this week about that process, as he recalled first creating complex metric structures simply by patching together loops on hardware modular sequencers (there, via the Buchla). As rhythmic structures emerged, he blew his own brain open – and the landmark record Silver Apples on the Moon was born. And I thought of this:

“You’re sequencing the sequence!”

I heard a smiling Wouter Jaspers of KOMA Elektronik repeat that phrase like a Zen koan. His sequencer isn’t intended to be simple. It’s even called Komplex.

The Komplex sequencer has reached the final prototype stage, with a release in coming weeks. KOMA Elektronik visited Joey Blush in the studio to play with the Komplex and a host of modules.

And what’s significant about this is that it is a return to some of what Morton was talking about back in the 60s. This isn’t about something abstract; it’s getting hands-on, gestural control over sounds, so that there’s a direct line from your instinct to making some change in the sound by moving your body.

Literally, how is Joey making the connection? He sends over his signal flow to CDM, in terms of what you see in the KOMA video:

The oscillator is an Intellijel Shapeshifter
into a WMD synchrodyne
into a KOMA SVF-201
A Manhattan Analog VCA on the end
being modulated by MATHS. [uh, the module, though everything I do is modulated by maths!]
Everything is sequenced by the Komplex sequencer
Drums are the [Roland AIRA] TR8 through the [KOMA] FT201

Now, that was a short demo. For a proper live set, let’s have a watch and listen through the blueish smoke of a live set at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London, from 25 May.

Here’s the breakdown for that:

two voices being sequenced by electron octatrack – mutable yarns as midi converter, elektron analog rytm doing drums. All tweaks are done by hand here. I have the OT loaded with sequences I’ve made, more than I need for an entire set, so that I can call up different ones at will and create new ‘tracks’ by tweaking the patch parameters and coming across new things. What you are seeing is sort of a live patching experiment. I know where things have to go but how I get there is different every time.

blush

I also had an interesting conversation with Joey about how he works with the Elektron Octatrack and Analog Rytm drum machines. He’s actually integrating them with the modulars, using them to make things morph even more. And no Eurorack snobbery here – using drum machines like the AIRA or, here, the Elektron, means he always has convenient access to sounds:

I use the octatrack as my main sequencer for the eurorack live and in the studio.

I can sequence CC changes using the midi to cv converter (currently a Vermona QMI) so I can have these evolving sequences that sound like cut up parts you would have done in a computer.

The RYTM handles all percussion duties for obvious reasons – it’s monstrous and it’s a bit easier to carry than a bigger eurorack case.

I really love Joey’s sonic imagination. It’s heavy, it’s industrial, but isn’t just arbitrarily bleak – there’s heart and, somehow, warmth in it. Take this track:

Or a full live set:

This album is well worth a listen:

And now, the 12″ Future Tyrants is up on Bandcamp:


“>https://blushresponse.bandcamp.com/album/future-tyrants

Thanks to Joey for the juicy details.

Check the official site:
http://www.wearereplicants.com/

All photos courtesy the artist.

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deadmau5 wants EDM DJS to actually play, produces Tumblr poetry in the process

deadmau5talent

deadmau5 has a message for DJs: don’t just DJ.

here is what i dont get [Tumblr]

And we couldn’t agree more. For once, bless the mouse – and, give the man some credit, he has a sense of humor and self-deprecation. (That’s his image above, not ours.)

At the same time, Joel Zimmerman’s message has come a long way. Just back in 2012, he cynically suggested everyone on the scene was just “pushing play” and asked everyone to quit pretending already – fair, perhaps, but not entirely optimistic. And I gave him a hard time for it, because I though it was unfair to the people who were assembling live performances (deadmau5 walked back some of his original article and gave some credit to all y’all controllerists out there):
Deadmau5, Honest About His Own Press-Play Sets, Misses Out On “Scene”

Now, though, he’s saying something different: quit just playing CDs and actually jam live. Play a keyboard. Hook up some MIDI or OSC control. Do something. And sure enough, his own bio rejects the notion of CDs and emphasizes playing his own tracks (live PA style) and on-the-fly cutting and editing (though I’d have to research more what he’s actually doing).

It’s clearly a message the top of the EDM circuit needs to hear, and one the CDM readership would almost certainly endorse. I’d agree with every single word, except I do feel obligated to say I feel strongly that there’s a role for good mixing and selection, for DJs. And even if deadmau5 doesn’t want to be called a DJ, other people may be fine with it. On the other hand, people booked around a hit “banger” aren’t likely to surprise anyone with their subtle track selection, too much faking keyboard lines to the audience is obnoxious, and I frankly what deadmau5 is describing, absolutely, I agree – it’s horrific.

I agree – you and all your friends, probably, agree – so much so that under normal circumstances bringing all this would be boring. Except that this being deadmau5, eloquent troll for all electronic music everywhere on the Internet, it takes another turn. Okay, not only did deadmau5 run to the defense of the poor horses subjected to David Guetta’s nightmare-dystopian Pascha opening, but now this. (Yes, horses, the four-legged kind, though “objectification of women” or “Native American racism” could easily have been topics – that was a three-for-one Ibiza fail there.)

Here’s what I want: I want a t-shirt for each one of these phrases:

you show up to X shitfest, and play a CD.

STOP.

I AM CONFUSED.

Word.

are you or are you not a guy who can use a comupter to make music?

CDM has a new logo and redesign launching before summer is out. Now I have the phrase that will go on the back.

Alternatively, these:

WATCH MY HAND. IT GOES DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOT”

youre beyond a CD player.

And the best:

So you cant pllay a keyboard? COOL! ME NEITHER! MIDI bro.

OSC is the latest fuckin craze.

get your script on bitch.

Printed.

Framed.

throw down some smpte on another track to sync some tailored visuals too…

I swear I’m going to get motion back up, too.

Actually, as I’m playing this weekend, I’ve composed my own little poem, in the style of deadmau5. People ask me about my own story, so here it is.

I’m setting an egg timer and briefly pretending I don’t know how to type in the hopes that it will come out like a deadmau5 Tumblr rant.

so, im actually like this composer whatever in new york but i turn into this cdm blogger man.

and im making music im like fuckin aroung with abledong live and that whatever looping stretching thing with all the grain settings long aso i can play a modern dance performance in brooklyn that winds up going for like an hour and i want it to be all ambient.

im making waves. i rinse it. i shave it. shave it all off.

and then im suddenly in berlin and making techno because i went to barghain a few 2 many times and now i dont know i might just dj this weekend just in case people get borded of me lining up claps on my korg volca meeblip rig because you know i listen to some tracks some time and likke to dance san dso they sometimse want me to play the whole damn thing

i show up to club x, i show up to club y, i show up to club xy i really need a booking manager

i never pirated nothing its all nfr nfr nfr

so i get the d2 the native instruments thing maybe i play with stems that’s the new shit like four tracks of whatever so im doing something creative but thats not ready yet i dont no if native instruments is reading this far but yeah im down for some stems

i totally forgot what this was supposed to be about im stopping now.

now everyone in canada knows mu name

i am totally a guy who can use a comupter to make music because create digtial fockin music yo craz cats.

i cant believe i sat through a whole film yestrday that told me computers are shit computers totally arent shit did you hear from deamdouse people areplaying like cds for 200k something? dollars? whoa. i should get into edm. then i could afford a modular i dream of wires right now i can kind of mainly only afford those nfrs and my meeblp which im obligated to tell you is available now from dotcom.

i can totally play a keyboard which is good because if i couldn’t im not sure how id’ fix it with MIDI or osc or the 80s bro.

DANKE SHÖN DIR!

Okay.

That almost sort of worked. Not really.

I really do hope someone in EDM starts playing synth lines over top of their set or adds fireworks and singing ladies behind them or whatever the point of this rant actually was. Sounds good. I … probably won’t get to see it, assuming I do stay away from Electric Daisy Carnival.

But I think deadmau5 didn’t mean the whole IDM scene in general.

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Concubine, the free album you need, has an app-made video to match

concubine

Can you think, dance, and dream at the same time? We get to debut a new video for Concubine, and it’s the perfect time to look at what this duo has accomplished in 2015.

Concubine, the project from Noah Pred and Rick Bull, is never cold, but it’s always expressing several sentiments simultaneously. It’s at once hypnotic and cerebral, visceral and abstract. Smartly-calibrated percussion politely swings atop future-prog funk flights of fancy. It’ll get a little cheeky, but within a song framework that’s been obsessively constructed. And the album itself is put together similarly. Driving dance tracks are effortless interspersed with ambient tracks that keep the dynamic energy moving – rather than feeling like incidental excursions. It is relentlessly high quality, always at a level of polish – music made by proper gentlemen who nonetheless know how to have a good time. By the time the synth sirens start going off in Entropia, you’re ready for a night out in Blade Runner’s Michelin-starred restaurant and … see where the night leads.

This is exactly the sort of music you’d expect to form when two richly-experienced producers combine efforts. Australian-born Rick Bull is better known as Deepchild, the versatile and prolific house and techno DJ and producer with outings on Get Physical and Leisure System and more. Noah Pred we’ve seen round these parts before; the Thoughtless Music label chief has bridged Canada and Berlin with prescient good taste while remaining productive with his own music. (See Juno-nominated Third Culture, for one.)

Both artists also have spoken about how this production (and subsequent live show) helped each of them through tough life turns – it’s deeply attentive music making as therapy.

And so Concubine has been widely visible in critical attention, but has also generally flown under the radar of crowds looking for more quickly-digestible snacks. This is a dance album that demands some processing – some time to settle into the details. It doesn’t stray too far from its references in technique; it elevates those techniques to peak performance, which requires you to sharpen your ears. They’re producers’ producers, and this is the record that fits that, a fleshed out full-length in the desert of EPs.

Clearly, then, if you have escaped downloading it already, go do it. It’s free from the mini-site for the self-titled debut, and you can pay what you want on Bandcamp – just the means of consuming music other DJs, producers, and enthusiasts now prefer.

https://concubinesound.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.concubine.cc/

What we get now is a music video – premiering here exclusively on CDM.

Concubine – Luxend [Video Edit] from Concubine Sound on Vimeo.

The official video for Luxend from the debut Concubine album – download it free: http://www.concubine.cc

https://www.facebook.com/concubinesound
https://soundcloud.com/concubine-berlin
https://concubinesound.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/concubinesound
http://www.concubine.cc

Mastered by Roofless Creations: http://www.rooflesscreations.com
Video created with Generate Pro: http://www.generateapp.com

Also on YouTube if you prefer to share there.

Happily, it takes the record’s funkiest outing, Luxend. The film is a rainbow-hued spin in the woods, monster vision rave style. It feels more improvised than the production of the music, perhaps, but it also has a unique real-time source.

The video was created live with Generate, the new iOS and Android app that lets you reimagine video creating and sharing by applying spontaneous creative filters. Instead of the edit and edit and render workflow, Generate is part paint tool, part video, made for in-the-moment videos – and certainly worth a look on its own soon. Noah and Rick are evidently part of the artist program, using the app and providing feedback.

http://blog.generateapp.com/

Rick and Noah did an all-hardware set live at Panorama Bar in June; I’ll be keen to see where they drive this project next. Stay tuned.

SoundCloud / Bandcamp:

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Raw Loops releases Siren Synths & more sound packs

Raw Loops has launched Siren Synths, Underground Party House, Super Wide Kick Drums and NI Massive Dark Synths, four new sound packs.

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50% off Soundiron Drip sample library for Kontakt at VST Buzz

VST Buzz has launched a limited time sale on Drip, a sample library from Soundiron, featuring a collection of 600+ percussive samples.

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Drum Machines in Your Browser, And More Places to Find Web Audio and MIDI

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Open a new tab, and suddenly you have a powerful, sequenced drum synth making grooves. Give it a shot:
https://irritantcreative.ca/projects/x0x
Or read more. (This latest creation came out in June.)

This is either the future of collaborative music making or the Single Greatest Way To Make Music While Pretending To Do Other Work I’ve ever seen.

But, as a new effort works on sharing music scores in the browser, it’s worth checking up on the Web Audio API – the stuff that makes interactive sound possible – and connections to hardware via MIDI.

And there’s a lot going on, the sort of fertile conversation that could lead to new things.

Web Audio and Web MIDI are quite fresh, so developers around the world are getting together to learn from one another and discuss what’s possible. That includes the USA, UK, and Germany:

London: http://www.meetup.com/Web-Audio-London/
New York: http://www.meetup.com/New-York-Web-Audio-Meetup/
Berlin: http://www.meetup.com/berlin-web-audio-meetup/
Philly: http://www.meetup.com/Philly-Web-Audio-Meetup/

Paris was also host to an annual, international conference, which took place this year at famed research center IRCAM.

Online synths and other proofs of concept are likely just the beginning. Web music development began as a sometimes muddled conversation about whether browsers will replace traditional app deployment (so far, probably not). But as the tech has matured, developers are instead looking to ways to use the Web to create new kinds of apps that perhaps didn’t make sense as standalone tools in “native” software (or, for that matter, hardware).

That’s why it’ll be interesting to watch efforts like Yamaha’s to add browser-based patch editing and sharing for their Reface line. There are also more ambitious ideas, like using the browser to share audio for interviews, radio conversations, backup, and works-anywhere recording and streaming.

And there’s more.

Keith McMillen has a great two-article series introducing you to Web MIDI.

It explains what this is all about and what it can do – whether or not you are a developer, worth reading. And if you are a developer, code snippets!

There’s even some explanation of how to use MIDI code outside of Chrome. (Firefox and even Microsoft’s new Edge promise support soon.)

Making Music in the Browser – Web MIDI API

Making Music in the Browser – Web Audio API, Part 1

And their blog in general is full of surprisingly geeky wonderful stuff, not the normal marketing stuff. (In fact, let’s be fair, you’d fire your marketing manager if they did this. But… kudos.)

http://www.keithmcmillen.com/blog/

When we first started using the Web, it seemed like a clumsy way to duplicate things done better elsewhere. Now, it promises to be something different: a place that takes the software and hardware we love, and makes it more useful and connected. There’s something wonderful about switching the Internet off in the studio and focusing on making music for a while. But in this model, when you do turn the Internet on again, it becomes a place to focus more on music rather than be distracted.

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VirSyn releases Tap Delay for iOS

VirSyn has announced the release of Tap Delay, a multi-tap delay / tape simulator app for iPad and iPhone. Back in the

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HISS and a ROAR releases Quadcopter UAV Drone sample pack

HISS and a ROAR has announced the release of Quadcopter UAV Drone, a sound fx sample pack. Drones, quadcopters & UAVs are

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Steinberg is founding member of W3C Music Notation Community Group

Steinberg has announced it is a founding member of W3C Music Notation Community Group, a new community group formed under the auspices

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