Last week I did a Live-Stream for Ableton User Group Melbourne, the group that I facilitate with fellow Ableton Certified Trainer Ben Murphy. We usually run once a month In Real Life meet-ups, but have been doing live stream events since Melbourne was locked down a couple of months back.
In this stream I covered a bunch of topics asked by AUGM members, ranging from sound-design to room treatment and what’s on my Master Channel.
Together, they’re a great combination that allows me to really listen more deeply to certain elements of my tracks, to be able to analyse and reference my tracks against the mix of other tracks I like.
I am always keen to share my knowledge and passion for creative workflows and music making, so I was super stoked to be able to put on an event the amazing Bargoonga Nganjin community space to run a workshop focusing on Teenage Engineering x Ableton Live workflows called Electronic Music Processes.
This event was supported by Teenage Engineering’s #EMS program and had some serious giveaway courtesy of Ableton and Innovative Music.
It was great to be able to talk in about the workflows of Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operators, OP-Z and OP-1, and how you can integrate them into Ableton Live.
Well, to round off a pretty crazy year, I recently became an Ableton Certified Trainer. I’ve been using Live since 2004, and this has been a pretty big milestone for me to achieve as a music and music tech educator. There are just shy of 300 Ableton Certified Trainers in the world, and it’s an exciting international community to be a part of.
Hi all, Recently I was asked to contribute some Chord Sets to the wonderful Scaler Plugin. It’s a remarkable plugin, which allows you to create harmonic material easily.
I sat down at the piano and played a bunch of chord progressions that I regularly gravitate towards, and then provided them to Davide Carbone who is one of the brains behind it.
A week or so later with Scaler’s release, there I am, listed next to a bunch of amazing artists.
The idea of a plugin that provides you with chord progressions of various artists may seem a bit like *borrowing* someone else’s ideas. But once you get the hang of what it can offer, it’s actually not like that at all.
I’m finding that using my own presets as a starting point, and then using the variations feature allows me to discover chords that I may not have normally gone for, but adds those occasional harmonic variations that keep things interesting.
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.
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.