“If the Seaboard is an evolution of the piano, let Blocks be an evolution of the drum.”
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
British music-hardware startup ROLI has just launched its latest product, Seaboard Block, which the company hopes will help it attract more customers who are mainstream, amateur musicians rather than just professionals.
The new device, a £280 ‘super powered keyboard’, is effectively a hybrid of ROLI’s existing products: the Seaboard keyboard which first launched in early 2014, and the Blocks modular music-making devices that debuted in late 2016.
Interested? We sure are! Click right here and head to Music:)ally for the fascinating interview with Roli inventor Roland Lamb.
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George Fitzgerald via Facebook — A while ago, the first promoters to ever book me in the US were the Make It New (Mmmmaven) guys. Flying into Boston for the first time and playing at a random bar on the other side of the river in Cambridge was all a bit of a leap in the dark for me at first. But there’s a reason why I’ve kept going back and so many other great artists do. From the crowd to the people behind the scenes, the vibe is special. Alex and I have been talking about doing a residency at the party for ages, so I’m happy to say we finally got our act together and made it happen! The first night will be on 27th April and every quarter after that. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.
Make It New Announces Two Int’l Residencies
George Fitzgerald and Martyn align with Boston
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — [Cambridge, MA] — Throughout its now 13-year history, Make It New, the weekly party at Central Square’s Middlesex Lounge, has never announced an official partnership with international guests.
George Fitzgerald and Martyn are two producers who are quite familiar with Make It New, having both slotted numerous appearances under their respective belts. But now, the musicians are proud to ally themselves officially with the Cambridge institution.
What this means is both will play the venue regularly throughout the year, as much as four times annually, along with curating the experience with their own distinct tastes and musical curation.
“We already have three accomplished regional resident DJs: Baltimoroder, Coralcola, and Mike Swells,” explains Mmmmaven Executive Director Alexander Maniatis, “but adding these two in an official capacity puts our weekly party on a whole new and international level.”
Both Fitzgerald and Martyn have released critically-acclaimed full-length albums, plus play routinely to excited fans around the world. These crowds gather at the world’s top clubs: Fabric, Berghain/Panorama Bar, De School, Nitsa, and The Warehouse Project. Naturally, they both own their own labels as well: Man Make Music and 3024, respectively. Each represents a different type of vibe with the same mission: To keep sound at the forefront, developing and recreating music, with an emphasis on fresh. Of course, this is the very essence of the night called Make It New.
“We’ve worked hard to officially partner with two of them–two very considerable crowd favorites, for sure–and are happy to welcome them with regularity,” says Maniatis. “With these two, most importantly, you never know what to expect.”
From BBC Radio 1 to acclaimed collaborations, from chart-topping singles to boundary-bashing LPs, Fitzgerald and Martyn officially add considerable weight to Make It New’s already regular heft.
Working in a large session with many tracks can be overwhelming. Have you ever wondered how to solve this problem? Here are some ways you can organize your Ableton session to enhance your workflow and creativity.
1. Label Tracks
If all of your tracks are labeled to correspond with the instruments they represent, navigating you session becomes much easier. For example, if your track is named “BASS” instead of “2 Basic Sinelike”, then you will be able to easily find your bass track among all of your other tracks. Right-click on the track header and select the “Rename” option. It will then allow you to type in a new name for the track.
2. Color-Code Tracks
Assigning colors to tracks based on the instruments you’re using can be very helpful. Having a color to associate with different sounds makes it easier to quickly find tracks in your session. For example, if you color-code all of your synth tracks to be yellow, any time you look up and see that color you will automatically know you’re looking at the synth tracks. If you right-click on the track header it will open up a menu that has a grid of colors at the bottom. Just select the color square that you want and it will change the track header to that color.
3. Create Groups
Let’s say your working with a session that has a hefty vocal arrangement in it. This means you are going to have many vocal tracks to deal with. A way to declutter your session, if you have multiple tracks that fall under the same category, is to create a group. Hold down the “Shift” key and click on each track that you want to be included in the group. Once you have selected all of the tracks that you want, right-click on one of the selected tracks and choose “Group Tracks” from the drop down menu. This will put all of the tracks you selected under one group tab. You can hide the tracks in the group while you aren’t working with them to free up visual space in your session. The black triangle beside the group name will allow you to open and close the group when you need to access the individual tracks.
4. Add Locators
Locators can be added in the arrangement view of Ableton. Right-click in the grey space below the measure numbers and select “Add Locator” from the drop down menu. This will give you a grey triangle in the location that you originally clicked. Right-click on the triangle and select “Rename” from the drop down menu to label the locator. These locators can be helpful in identifying sections of your song, like a verse, chorus, or bridge.
After using these tips, your session should be much easier to navigate!
A man of many musical hats, Texas born, Detroit raised Matthew Dear has a wide reaching discography that takes in face melting techno as Jabberjaw, dark avant-pop under his own name and intricate minimal as Audion. Often with a gothic slant and full of curiousness, his pensive but playful music is an intoxicating distillation of many different influences, often with his own stylized vocals at the center.
“There are snippets of friends and family strewn throughout the mix. A lot of the vocal interludes you hear are from a portable recorder I’ve carried with me over the years.”
As co-founder of both Ghostly International and Spectral Sound, Matthew Dear has also been responsible for some of the underground scene’s most exciting new music, plenty of which appears here. Now more than 15 years, five albums and 20 EPs into his esteemed and always evolving career, Dear is exactly the sort of fascinating character that makes the very personal DJ-Kicks series so special.
Included along the way are three brand new and exclusive cuts from Dear himself, one under his own name and two as Audion. They are typically weird and intriguing cuts that tie the whole unhinged and freaky mix together. Also helping to add to the left-of-centre afterparty vibe are inclusions by artists as diverse as Thatmanmonkz and Matrixxmann, ItaloJohnson and Pearson Sound, Randomer and Simian Mobile Disco.
“I always have a lot of unreleased music laying around, those I included on here seemed to fit. A mix like this is always a good place to showcase my own productions, but I didn’t want to oversaturate it with my own stuff.”
Wholly timeless yet totally of its time, this is the first new work from Dear in a while. Once again, though, it proves that he is a master of subversion; someone who can head down a brain frying techno warren then effortlessly onto raw machine grooves via left of centre synth ditties and kaleidoscopic house music. In his considered hands, they all make perfect sense.
“I wanted to create a mix that could be listened to anywhere, and reflect a little bit of everything that I play. Whether you’re in your car, preparing to open the club, or having a bottle of wine with friends at home, this mix is for you.”