As a side to my work at Ableton User Group Melbourne, I was privileged to be part of the team programming and putting on Process- A Sonic Forum: a day-long event that brought together a whole stack of musicians working in the field of music technology talking not about Industry, but about arts practice and creativity.
We had wonderful presentations and workshops put on by Darrin Verhagen, Ben Byrne, Chiara Kickdrum, Chris Vik, the Monash Country Lines Archive, Rainbow Chain, Tom Cosm, Eve Klein and Dennis DeSantis.
MESS (Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio), Found Sound, Ableton and Innovated Music were also all involved in providing a range of Musical Equipment, Synths and Gadgets for participants to play on.
Have a look at the video round-up, and watch this space for future Process events!
I did a performance of some new material on TRNSMT TV for the Beat Collective show.
Check out the footage shot by the wonderful Ben Willis.
Hi all, I’ve spent a bit of time this year working on a commercial Ableton Live pack, being released by Loopmasters, in conjunction with School of Synthesis.
The Analogue Sequences Live Pack utilises sequences created from some of School of Synthesis’s vast collection of classic vintage and modern analogue synthesisers. This collection includes sequences expertly programmed for the Korg MS20, ARP 2600, Roland Jupiter 6, DSI/Sequential Prophet 6, Roland SH2, Moog Sub37 and Sid Station. All synths have been processed through Bettermaker EQ and Manley NuMu and recorded through Burl Mothership.
It’s a pretty sweet sounding collection of loops, but is also way more than that, as they have all been re-imagined into Ableton Instrument racks, allowing for realtime manipulation, re-sequencing and performance via from Ableton Push, or any other MIDI Controller.
Check out Analogue Sequences – School of Synthesis pack at Loopmasters.
I recently came across a Roland D-20 Synth that was in pretty bad shape. It worked for a few hours, but then was giving constant “Main Board Errors”
But this was the beautiful part! Every time the synth was turned off and on, it started to play the most amazing glitches out industrial type synth tones.
These instruments are made from half an hour of recordings of me turning the synth off and on again to get weird and wonderful tones.
Download 9 Instrument racks here. All will work with Live 9.5 standard and above.
If you use them, or find the racks inspiring to make your own instruments, consider donating a dollar.
I spent some time recently sampling the amazing PPG Wave 2.3 at the wonderful MESS Foundation. It is a fantastic organisation with an extensive Vintage Synth collection, and very reasonable subscription rates which allows you to access some amazing pieces of Electronic Music’s history.
The PPG Wave 2.3, is a visually striking and aurally exciting early digital/wavetable synthesiser from the early 1980s. It’s not a particularly intuitive instrument, but has a certain kind of beauty in its glitches and a very musical randomness in its timbre.
After 4 hours recording time, I felt that I only started to scratch the surface of it, but from some of these recordings I have created these 3 multi-sample sampler instruments for Ableton Live 9.2, available as a Live Pack that you can download for free.
If you like these Ableton racks, please consider donating a dollar!
In conjunction with the Game Connect Asia-Pacific 2015 conference (GCAP15) the Australian Game Developer Awards were held last Wednesday night.
Breath of Light was shortlisted for three awards, and ended up winning both the Excellence in Art and Excellence in Audio awards.
For someone who is fairly new to this composition for games industry, it was a pretty exciting night to be part of, and pretty amazing that my score and sound design won.
So, congratulations to all the crew at Many Monkeys for making such a great minimalistic, Zen-inspired game, and I feel honoured to be recognised by the Australian Game Developer’s Industry for my part in this project.
I also did an interview about the process of creating the Soundtrack for Ableton.com, which you can read here.
Download Breath of Light via the iTunes store or Google play, and you can get the “award-winning” 😉 soundtrack for free via Bandcamp.
If you’ve downloaded my “Vocoder for Push” racks, then you should understand the concept behind these racks… basically they’re performance orientated racked instruments that hack the external instrument and external effect devices to be able to pre-map the audio routings. By default audio input 1 is used as the mic source, but you can change this if you want.
In this Live set there are two instrument racks, one for Errorsmith’s “Razor”, and the other for Tim Exile’s “The Mouth”. Both devices require a license and the Reaktor 5 Player available via nativeinstruments.com.
This is my (nearly) 3 year old daughter singing through The Mouth – “Autoharmonious” Rack.
Download the LivePack file that has these Instrument/FX racks HERE.
If you like these Ableton racks, please consider donating a dollar!
I’m giving away five instrument racks based on sounds off my new EP Tiny tidal waves.
Rather than providing instruments that would just play the sounds from the EP, I thought it’d be much more interesting to create a new instrument from each track.
What you get is a collection of instrument racks created from the key elements of each track, re-contextualised into new Ableton instruments. The intention is that they will be useful in a variety of contexts, whilst retaining the flavour of my immersive, shoe-gaze, soundscape vibe.
If you dig deep into the racks, hopefully you’ll find some techniques that will inspire you in the creation of your own instrument racks.
DOWNLOAD THE ABLETON LIVE .ALP FILE HERE
If you like what you hear, consider downloading the EP for AU$3 via Bandcamp.
Hi everyone, you can now buy Tiny tidal waves for $3 via bandcamp. It’s a 5 track EP, that I initially wrote a blog post about here. The photography for the album cover and press shots were done by the wonderful Penny Lane. And the cover shot was taken in front of the rather spectacular artwork of Ash Keating.
Over the last few months, I’ve been composing and creating sound for a really beautiful meditative puzzle game for iOS called Breath of Light.
Made by Melbourne game development company Many Monkeys, Breath of Light is the sort of puzzle game that takes time to master, there is no rushing the process, It’s a slow paced game that required immersive, meditative music.
The interface is a bit like a Zen Garden, where the player must arrange and move objects within the space to allow the flow of energy from one lotus flower to another. The game is set over 4 seasons, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, each progressively more challenging as the levels evolve.
Each season has it’s own musical underscore created from a bank of loops that are designed to both work in any combination, but also evolve and develop over time with the gameplay.
It was decided very early on that User Interface (U.I.) sounds should add to the musical score. The way we made this work was to have a series of randomised tones associated with every object and movement within the game. All these sounds were composed in a way that to match the tonality of each season’s underscore, which allows every gesture within the game-play to contribute to an interactive soundtrack.
During the development of the soundtrack, I used Ableton Live to create a performable set to play these sounds to both demo these musical ideas to the guys at Many Monkeys and to test how the U.I. sounds blended with each other. I did this by creating drum racks that housed the U.I sounds and used scenes to work out the different combinations of underscore loops for each level in the game.
Once the nuts and bolts of the game sound was finalised, I set about developing a performable live set to recorded each ‘season’ as a musical composition in it’s own right. This was done with a little extra help from the wonderful Max for Live Dub Machines audio FX ‘Magnetic‘ and ‘Diffuse‘ which added extra flow and movement.
Below are the recorded seasons of the Breath of Light soundtrack, available for free download via Bandcamp.