Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Keystrokes via MIDI

In midi on May 29, 2010 at 12:28

Today it is time for a small but helpful tool called “MIDI Stroke”. This program converts MIDI notes, program and controler messages into a sequence of keystrokes.

Here are two example from Charlie Robert’s website – the author of this tool.

MIDI stroke simple

“In the above screenshot, when note 45 on channel one is received, the delete key will be sent to whatever application is currently in focus.”

MIDI stroke complex

“In this shot we see that note 46 on channel one triggers a longer sequence. First, whatever his currently highlighted in the focused application is copied. Then the right arrow is pressed, and the content is pasted. This happens two more times. In Live, as an example, this would have the effect of copying the currently selected clip and pasting it into two adjacent tracks.”

Although you can already map in Ableton MIDI events to a keystrokes, you have no chance to map a ordered sequence of strokes to a MIDI event. So this tool deserves closer attention.



Dubstep bass workshop

In bass, dubstep on May 22, 2010 at 13:46

Today I found an interesting video workshop about making a dubstep bass on youtube. The workshop is by TST and can be found here: youtube.com/user/thesoundtutor

Although TST is working with Ableton, TST doesn’t use a live device for creating the bass sound. The tutorial plays with Massive – an virtual synth from Native Instruments. I think, the benefit of the workshop will be much more, if you own this instrument.

Massive by Native Instruments

That’s all for today! Alexander

Over 12.000 free samples

In sampling on May 22, 2010 at 13:38

Musicradar.com offers over 12.000 free samples for download. You can find contemporary styles like dubstep, drum & bass or lo-fi. There are synth, bass, percussion sounds and beats.


The quality is great. There are multi samples. The sounds have already effects, so it is difficult to add audio effects on your own. Judge by yourself!


Pimp up your instrument

In ableton, audio effect on May 18, 2010 at 21:45

There are some ways to improve the sound of an instrument in Ableton Live. Here is one of it. The enhancement of a boring bass sound. This is the original clip:

In order to add some effects change to the “Track view”. Add a “Multiband Compressor” and Press CMD+G for creating a audio effect rack. Show the chain list and duplicate the default chain with (ALT+drag). Rename the three chains to “high”, “mid”, and “low” for example. Activate one chain und set the corresponding Compressor channel to solo.

After that you have to adjust the split frequency. I prefer to start with the low frequency. It’s a bit easier when you solo the corrosponding chain. In my case I finally increased the “Input” level of the “High” chain. You have now splitted the sound into three frequencies for further processing.

Audio rack

Add some effects to the low chain. So go the live devices browser/audio effects: “Mono” “Utility” to make sure that your single will be mono. Add “Drums kick Compressor” and activate the sidechain with your kick or drum channel.  I think this sound better


Now add the “Filter delay” to the mid chain. View the screenshot for the parameters. Disable the “L+R” “Input”, set the “Pan” to “50 L” and “50 R”, “delay time” mode to “Time” and its value to “10 ms” and “1 ms” respectively. Here is a more spatial effect intended.
Copy this “Filter delay to the high Chain, too. Use ALT+drag again. Go back to the mid chain and add a “Reverb” “Living Room” for example.


Finally add a “Overdrive” to the high chain. And this is the result:

This blog post based on the video tutoral by Quantize Cours “Splitting Frequencies“.


Scratching with Ableton Live 8

In ableton on May 15, 2010 at 14:51

Today I will be brief, because scratching is not really my thing. But maybe you are interested.
DubSpot published a tutorial about emulating scratch effects. The effects based on a new mode of the ping pong delay of Ableton Live 8. See the video tutorial and enjoy.


Improvise with white noise

In ableton on May 13, 2010 at 14:14

White noise can be used to create stylish swoosh, sweep or riser sounds. What do I have to do in ableton live, I asked myself. Here is my result.

Create a MIDI track and add the “operator” live device to this new track. Select “Noise white (NoW)” as “Wave”. Activate Operator’s “Filter”, select “Band 24db” and switch to the MIDI map mode and map the “Filter” “Frequency” to a MIDI controller of your choice.


After that add a reverb like “Vocal hall” and a compressor to the instrument.


Enable the side chain mode of the compressor by clicking on the arrow on its title bar. Choose the audio channel of your drum track for “Audio From” and the “Post FX” option.


Finnally you can create a clip with one note to play the white noise constantly in the background. And try experimenting with the compressor’s parameters “Threshold” and “Output”.

The following audio examples uses all three mentioned parameters.

By the way, using the crossfader could be a nice idea, too. Thanks to musictechtutorials for their video tutorial about noise.


Post audio on wordpress

In wordpress on May 13, 2010 at 13:39

As you probably know, you can’t add audio to your wordpress library, if you have a free account.

This is my workaround: Just upload your audio to a file storage service like zumodrive. Make sure that the new file is public. Get the download URL, don’t forget the key parameter, and add to your wordpress post something like this

Wordpress audio tag

and you get a nice player like that


Make more of your RemoteSL and live

In ableton, remoteSL on May 11, 2010 at 21:39

Maybe you’re happy that your Novation RemoteSL has three Input- and Output-Ports. But do you have any benefit from it?

I’m used to have three pages loaded. So I can switch between this pages with the help of the “data/select” knop. The default setting is “USB Port 1”. But I think it makes more sense to use different USB Ports for different pages.

To achieve this, I opened the “RemoteSL Editor” and changed the port. Don’t forget to transfer (Editor: Device/Upload template) und save the changed pages (RemoteSL: press “write” two times).

RemoteSL Editor

After that I’ve opened the ableton live preferences and enabled “Remote” just for the USB 1 port.

Ableton live preferences

This will be helpful in future – you will see.

IAC: Get virtual MIDI ports on a MAC

In midi on May 9, 2010 at 15:14

For the communication of two Midi programs on the same computer, Mac OS X provides the IAC Driver (Inter Application Communications Driver).

You can find the IAC Driver by typing Audio MIDI setup in Spotlight, or start Audio MIDI Setup from /Applications/Utilities. At the top select MIDI Devices. Perhaps you have go the menu and select Window/Show MIDI window.

You will now see an icon for the IAC Driver. If you have never used the IAC Driver before, the icon will appear grayed out. Double-click the IAC Driver icon to bring up its properties dialog. In the properties dialog, click the “Device is online” checkbox to make the driver active. In the Audio MIDI setup window, the icon will no longer appear grayed out.

MIDI setup on a MAC

The bottom part of the dialog (you may have to click the arrow next to “More information” to get to see this), you find an overview with driver ports. Each such port can act as a kind of virtual cable to make a Midi connection between two different applications. By default a port called “Bus 1” already exists. If this port is already in use by other applications on your computer, you can create an additional port by clicking the + button. The default name for a second port is “IAC bus 2”. If you want, you can change port names after double-clicking on the name.

IAC setup

These ports are very useful. But that is another story, which today will not yet be revealed.

Update: During a sleepless night I found a interesting experiment with Ableton and the IAC ports. Check out the video.


A guide to electronic music

In link, music theory on May 6, 2010 at 22:28


Sometimes I ask myself what’s the style of a song. Or I am looking for some sound examples of a special music style. The following page is offering a tour through all important electronic music styles. Sorry, for the terrible design.

A guide to electronic music

Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music on Techno.org