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.

 

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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!

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It’s a great privilege to be involved with participatory youth program called QUADwrangle over the next two weeks. I’m working with a bunch of young sound artists from the College of the Arts (VCA), to create an interactive sound sculpture that will reside at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Fairfax theatre August 13-16.

The intention is to create an immersive and fun piece with this awesome crew of artists and musicians. We’re going to explore new processes together, and develop a work that will invite and engage the audience to get involved an collaborate with one another to make music.

All too often these sort of interactive works run the risk of having too much happening when lots of people are interacting with it. The challenge for us is going to be to get this sculpture to become more musical, more harmonious and more inviting the more people who are playing with it.

These themes are intended to mirror Shaun Parker’s The Yard, a contemporary dance piece that is running concurrently at the Fairfax theatre, which tackles the cultural divide within the school yard.

Today we spent the day creating original sounds, that evoke a school yard of nostalgia of sampling old primary school xylophones into my Teenage Engineering OP-1, creating Drum Racks of clunking rulers, tearing paper and textas, as well as manipulating field recordings into soundscapes within Ableton live.

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Rehearsals have begun for a fantastic project I’m involved with called The Radio Hour. It is part of the Melbourne Writer’s Festival inconjunction with ABC Radio National.

This is a full scale live production – a night of non-fiction story-telling on the theme ‘When Words Fail’, presented live on stage by the writer/s/producers themselves, and scored live my some super-talented musicians. The night will be recorded live for broadcast on Radio National’s 360 Documentaries program.

I’m part of a band with Biddy Connor (Sailor Days, Laura Jean band) & Dan Marsh (Human Face) performing a live soundtrack.

Telling stories on the night…

Writer & documentarian John Safran.

Benjamin Walker (USA) host of Radiotopia podcast Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything.

Award-winning Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo.

ABC Radio National’s 360 Documentaries ,executive producer Claudia Taranto.

Roving reporter/radio producer Emily Richmond (USA).

Plus: A special appearance by First Chorus: Band Of Singers.

All put together by the wonderful producer and host  Jaye Kranz.

 

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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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 4.13.01 pmThe *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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 4.13.20 pmThe *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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 4.13.43 pmI’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*

I hope you enjoy playing with it!

DOWNLOAD HERE

If you like what you hear and want to support the creation of these instruments, please consider donating a dollar!

I recently talked at one of the Ableton Live User Group meet-ups in Melbourne about how i’ve started the process of creating a new album. I plan to create a series of blog posts about this process as the album evolves, so this first part is all about the initial stage of how and why I choose certain tracks.

Being a long time devotee of the Beatles, I often have grandiose visions of creating a seamless album like the B side of Abbey Road, where each track flows into the next in an effortless and joyous montage. This is something that I first started to seriously try to do with my third album, which I released in 2011.

I’ve been thinking about putting together another release for some time, I originally wanted to do a short EP as a bit of a stopgap, partly because I didn’t think I had enough completed songs, and partly because I’m not sure I really want to go through the challenging and time consuming process of putting together a full album, promo campaign, and touring live show to support the album.

But I figured I should do some folder house-keeping and try and categorize all the half-finished, or even just loop ideas that I’ve been playing with and then saving and forgetting.

So, I opened every live set that I had created over the last two and a half years, and attempted to categorize them into newly created folders named:

Not much here, Cinema, Darkwave, Offhop, TV Sync, Weird doof, Remix, Atmospheric twinkles, The ultimate 80’s soundtrack & WP work more

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Once I did this, I realized I had over 50 tracks that I could consider potential Winterpark tracks.

In terms of how I define what a Winterpark track is, and how that is different from one of those other categories… that’s a somewhat difficult thing for me to explain! I probably know more-so what is NOT a Winterpark track. They’re not overly dance, not overly dark in nature.

But to try and find the elements that they all seem to share; I guess the common thread for WP tracks are that they’ll generally have some processed guitar on them, they are melodic, hopefully uplifting and sonically cinematic.

So, with over 50 unfinished projects, I had to make some further decisions and categorizations, so I created folders called: Start, Middle, End, Interlude & Cannibalize these.

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These were based purely on where I felt like each track could potentially go in an album sequence. Whether it had enough substance in it to ultimately be a finished track, whether it felt like something that could open an album, or whether it could close an album. If it felt like it was never going to be finished, I’d decide whether it had something in it that was worth cannibalizing, or perhaps create a short sonic interlude of the various elements that worked in it.

Due to my current hectic life, (work & young bub) only some of these tracks had some arrangement that had been half worked on, but most were simply session view clips… for these songs I’d create a down and dirty ‘vibe’ arrangement by arming an audio track to resample from, and just trigger clips or scenes as the case may be, do some on the fly volume mixing until I got something that sort of worked. I would do only one or two re-samplings like this per track, and chucked them in a new folder called “order mixes”.

I also bounced out any arrangements that I’d created, I didn’t really want to concentrate on ‘mixing’ or anything just yet, just getting the sound of the track, and hopefully a basic arrangement that showed off the different elements in the track, so I could see if they worked together and flowed as an album.

It’s sort of like sequencing the album before it’s finished. It informs me as to what tracks I need to work on and which ones I don’t, and also helps me decide what sort of intro or outro is needed for each track to transition seamlessly (hopefully!) to the next.

album 4 track order

In the video below is the first part of my presentation at the Ableton Live User Group session, which is basically just me talking through what i’ve written about here.

So, I’ve been really busy with music over the last few months demoing and compiling new tracks to go on what was originally going to be a short 5 or 6 track EP… but then I got a bit carried away, and it looks like this collection of tracks is going to end up being another album 🙂

I actually really like the format of an album, perhaps this is because I grew up listening to LPs and Cassette tapes, where tracks always were in the same order… though I have to admit, sometimes the shuffle function on my iPod spits out some pretty amazing musical synchronicity!

Anyway… the fourth as yet un-named Winterpark album is currently taking shape, and I’m really happy with how it’s sounding so far… I’m looking towards a mid year release if all goes according to plan. In creating this new album, I’ve been experimenting with live looping and the creation of atmospheric textures from electric guitar.

This Ableton Instrument  has been created from one of these Loops. The original guitar loop has a pitch-shifting reverb drenched sound, that classic Eno-esque ‘Bloom’ sound. When I transformed this into a sampler based instrument rack, I noticed that wherever you play it on the keyboard you can get some really interesting and diverse textures. I hope you enjoy it!

Download LINK HERE

If you like what you hear and want to support the creation of these instruments, please consider donating a dollar!

Listen here: