I recently sat down (over zoom) with James Jennings to do this interview about my new “Cinematic Rhythms” course for Melodics, as well as a little about my musical past and things that have shaped my musical path.
If you’re unfamiliar with Melodics, it’s a Music training app for Keys, Pads and Drums. Available for both computer and iOS.
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.
To celebrate the release of my new EP Streamers, I’m giving away a set of Instrument Racks that are compatible with Ableton Live 10. These instruments use many of the new features and FX available in Live 10, including Echo, Drum Bus and Pedal.
Each instrument uses original audio files from each track on the EP, but they are more of a ‘re-imagining’ of the sonic landscape of each track, and are designed to be immensely playable using the pre-mapped 8 Macros, and hopefully creatively inspiring to you.
I used similar techniques for many of the instruments that I utilised in the commercial Analogue Sequences Pack that I created for School of Synthesis, which is available at Loopmasters. This technique involves using the Slice feature in Simpler in conjunction with carefully mapped Arpeggiator settings to create ‘playable’ sequences. It is particularly fun to play with using an Ableton Push controller in it’s 64 Pad drum rack mode, though can be played with any midi controller.
These are freely available to you to use as you wish, but if you find them racks inspiring consider donating a dollar. or downloading the Streamers EP via Bandcamp for a couple of dollars!
Download the instrument racks in .alp format here.
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.
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’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.
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.
Setting up the Vocoder to work ‘out of the box’ with Ableton’s Push controller was a challenge that I set myself.
For anyone who has used the Vocoder in Live 9 before, you should know that you by default, need two channels, one Midi and one Audio, and they need to have channel routings set up in a particular fashion to make them work.
This doesn’t work so well when you want to load a ready to go Vocoder directly from Push. So, I worked out a way to use Live’s External FX device within an Instrument rack to allow audio to be sent into a Midi channel.
You can download the live set for free here, and watch the youtube video below for more information on how to ensure it works correctly for your needs.
This is the fifth instalment of my Music and Sounds project, where I give away free sounds and Ableton Live project files. This one contains two Ableton Drum Racks and two Convolution FX Racks that use samples of Rocks and Metals that I found when on holidays in The Grampians Mountain Ranges.
The *Metal* rack was created from a pile of rusty old tools I found by a shed, I hit, scraped and dropped various metals against other metals.
The *Rocks* were scraped, dropped and thrown to create thumps, clunks and clicks.
The samples themselves are pretty straight forward, but I hope that you’ll dig a little deeper inside the racks to see how it is all constructed so that when you start playing with the Macros, a whole different world of sounds can be created by some creative FX routings.
I’ve also played around a bit with samples within Max For Live’s Convolution reverb, to create some very strange, but evocative *convolution FX racks*