Loop 2016: Day 2

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The Loop 2016 series of blog posts chronicles Mmmmaven’s Ableton intern and former student, Katharine Fountain, on her journey to Berlin to attend Ableton’s Loop Summit. Loop is three days of discussions, performances, presentations, studios sessions and interactive workshops aimed at exchanging ideas at the cutting edge of music, creativity, and technology. Click here to learn more about Loop, or connect with Katharine via Instagram or on Soundcloud .


Snapchat Takeover!

On my second day in Berlin I got to takeover Berklee‘s snapchat account and share my experience at Loop with fellow students and followers from around the world! It was a lot of fun and I tried my best to showcase as much of Loop as possible. Watch my Snapchat story from Day 2 below: ( via @kitkat_514 & @berkleesnaps)


Searching for Sound: Screening and Discussion

The first event of the day was a preview of Red Bull’s new film, Searching For Sound, followed with a discussion moderated by Loop’s Creative Producer, Ed Williams. Searching for Sound is an ongoing documentary series created by Red Bull, that follows artists on a journey back to their cultural roots in search of new inspiration for their music.

Each episode follows a single artist, capturing the experience first-hand as they explore the foundations of their music, collaborate with local artists, discover new audiences and record new sounds – all with the ultimate goal of recording and performing new material inspired by the region.

We were introduced to Indian producer Sandunes, and Russian multi-instrumentalist and producer Mitya, who shared several highlights from the documentary. As part of their journey, each artist travelled to diverse locations to engage with local musicians and learn from their traditions. The goal of their exploration was to use field recordings and traditional instruments discovered on their journey to use within their own compositions. The film was both heartwarming and entertaining, and left me eagerly awaiting its full release in the near future.


Deantoni Parks in Concert

Next, I attended an electrifying performance by producer and former drummer for The Mars Volta, Deantoni Parks. With one hand on a sampler and the rest of his limbs in control of a drum kit, Parks delivered a dynamic half analog/half MIDI performance that was unlike anything that I’ve seen before. His live set reimagines the way that music can be created and performed, and was both a visually and sonically captivating experience.

“Adding the MIDI controller really helped solve that problem. I had to drop a stick and that was the hardest part, but you gain so many opportunities with the samples. I feel like this is something I couldn’t have done ten years ago. I think the timing of it is perfect, because I had no where else to go, not that I’ll never work with bands again, I’m just over the concept. Especially when it comes to composition and arrangement, it’s too much compromising. When you’re in that moment, in your own ensemble, you’re arranging it by the moment. Everything is tight, it’s together, it’s amazing. That’s how I like writing—you get thing done more quickly, the software is made so that things get done quicker.” – Parks via XLR8R

Apart from his solo work, Parks is also the drummer for NYC based band KUDU, and is one half of electronic duo Dark Angels. His solo debut, Technoself, was released by Leaving Records in 2015.


CDR x Ableton at Prince Charles

Day 2 concluded at Berlin nightclub Prince Charles, where Ableton partnered with multi-platform music project CDR (Create, Define, Release) to host an evening of new music submitted by Loop attendees, as well as performances from the likes of Kode 9, Daedelus, and Lady Blacktronika. CDR sessions are unique in that they offer emerging producers the chance to submit their tracks to be played in a live setting, which allows the artist the opportunity to gauge crowd response and identify any modifications they would like to make to their music.

Another great day and a super fun night!

<<< Day 1   |  Day 3 >>>

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Ableton Intern Katharine And Loop 2016

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Hello Producers and DJs!

My name is Katharine Fountain, and for the past 3 months I have had the pleasure of joining Mmmmaven’s team as their Ableton intern. In addition to my internship, I am also a student at Berklee College of Music across the river in Boston, where I am pursuing a double major in Electronic Production & Design and Songwriting.

Learning how to self-produce has been one of the most important things that I’ve ever done for my career, and I think that every musician should take the time to explore the ways in which music technology can benefit their craft.

I never imagined that I would become this interested in production when I started using DAW’s to sketch out song ideas and practice for ear training tests at school, but I quickly realized the creative possibilities that I had at my finger tips. Many of my friends urged me to try out Ableton, which lead me to take Mmmmaven’s Music Production Certificate Program over the summer. Now as an intern for Mmmmaven, I have had the chance to dive into the world of music production, and share some of what I’ve learned with others. The experience has been incredibly rewarding!

I can honestly say that immersing myself in the world and culture of Ableton has changed my life and my musicianship for the better. So when I found out about Ableton’s Loop Summit that would be hosted at the historic Funkhaus Berlin this fall, I sheepishly put my name in for the ticket lottery and hoped for the best.

I was thrilled when I was granted a ticket, and even more thrilled when I somehow managed to figure out how to make it to Berlin from Boston! Attending Loop was an undeniably eye opening and inspiring experience, and definitely one of the highlights of my year. This three part series will outline some of my favourite events from Loop, and hopefully get you inspired to create something new!

Day 1 >>>

What is Loop?

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Want to know more about the Music
Production Program at MMMMAVEN
? Drop us a line below.

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Explore Permeating Soundscapes on Ricardo Donoso’s “Symmetry” Release

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Ricardo Donoso’s music is droning and penetrative; its beauty lies in how each track is composed so as to feature the impressive capabilities of the synths and sequencers he chooses to utilize. In true minimalistic fashion, purchase not a single note or layer is excessive. Instead, buy Donoso exhibits total control as he meticulously crafts ambient soundscapes.

The Boston producer, who studied at Berklee and the New England Conservatory, lets his background in composition shine through on his limited edition “Symmetry” release, available for preorder now on the Denovali label.

Symmetry” is a collection of the producer’s first three albums, previously referred to as the “Digitalis Trilogy.” This trilogy is a breathtaking introduction to Donoso’s larger body of work, as elements of techno, trance, ambient, and other minimalistic genres weave in and out of individual tracks.

“Symmetry” also invites the listener to explore common themes featured in Donoso’s work. While the collection has an ethereal element to its soft, tinkering rhythms, a certain underlying darkness that permeates “Symmetry” keeps listeners on edge.

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This vinyl release of “Symmetry” is strictly limited to 200 pieces, and features exquisite details, from the 180g white vinyl to the strikingly appropriate geometric silver print on the slipcase and sleeves. Rest assured, a free download code is included with every vinyl package purchase so you can take all of “Symmetry” with you on the go.

Slide into the darkness with a rare DJ set from Ricardo:

To stay on top of some of our favorite Boston-based musicians, follow our Agency on Twitter here.

Designing Your Perfect Sound With Z3TA+2 and Ben Cantil

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The magic of today’s music lies in its ability to be created anywhere. With an entire studio’s worth of production capabilities stored on the hard drive of a compact laptop, the world is now the musician’s studio. Over the years, even synthesizers have found their way onto our laptops, providing nearly endless possibilities for effects, filters, and patches that are no longer limited by the physical space tangible synths take up. We’ll talk more about that tonight.

One such virtual synth, the Z3TA+2 from Cakewalk, is so customizable that it verges on daunting. Thankfully, Mmmmaven is lucky enough to host a free master class tonight with Ben Cantil, an artist and Berklee assistant professor who has worked closely with Cakewalk as a sound designer.

Cantil’s workshop will illustrate how exactly electronic artists can use Z3TA+2 to customize tracks and design unique sounds, all while relieving any potential stress that comes with learning a new software.

Z3TA+2 prides itself on its applicability to all producers, regardless of preferred genre. Whether you’re dreaming of gracing major festival stages with your big room house tracks or entertaining Berlin club-goers with deep techno, this virtual synth will help you get the exact sound you want thanks to its waveshaping capabilities, 2,000-plus presets, and customizable FX.

All it takes is an understanding on the user’s part to harness the total power Z3TA+2 has to offer.

RSVP here and stop by Mmmmaven tonight to learn all about Z3TA+2 and how it can help you craft your own unique sound. If you want to get familiar with the virtual synth in the meantime, download Cakewalk’s free trial and start discovering all it has to offer.

Are you completely new to production and looking to learn more about making music with programs like Z3TA+2? Schedule a tour of Mmmmaven’s school today.