Loop 2016: Day 2

loop2016abletonmmmmaven
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 >>>

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

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Loop 2016: Day 1

loop2016mmmmaven

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 .


Breakbeat Deconstruction: From Hip Hop to Drum & Bass and Beyond

The first presentation that I attended explored the sonic impact of breakbeats and sampling in music production, and was delivered by Dr. Jason Hockman. In addition to being an electronic music producer and co-founder of Drum & Bass label Detuned Transmissions, Dr. Hockman also holds a PhD in Music Research from McGill University, and a Master’s in Music Technology from NYU. He is currently a lecturer in audio engineering and conducts research in music informatics at Birmingham City University.

It was interesting to see how both limitations and advancements in music technology contributed to the way in which breakbeats have been interpreted and sampled over the years.

He illustrated this by sharing numerous examples of how famous breaks such as the Amen were used across a variety of tracks and genres spanning decades. One of my favorite tracks used in his lecture was Tango’s 1996 release “understanding”, which features pitch shifted hi-hats over a heavy rolling bass line.


Synth Build with Bastl Instruments

Every participant at Loop was given the opportunity to sign up for one “Workshop”. There were so many cool things going on that it was almost impossible to choose; however, I was drawn to the modular synth building workshop hosted by Bastl Instruments. Based in Brno, Czech Republic, Bastl is a dynamic and community driven company focused on producing hand-made electronic musical instruments. Many of their instruments are available through their boutique the Noise Kitchen as DIY kits that you can build yourself (fully formed versions can be purchased too!). They also have a cassette label called Bukkotapes. With so many cool projects going on, I was really curious to learn more about this company.

bastlinstrumentsbostondjschool

Full disclosure: I had no previous experience with soldering or even with modular synths, but I figured that if there ever was a time learn – this was it!

We were each given a bag containing the parts that would eventually become our mini modular synths. The model that we would be constructing during the workshop was called the Kastle.

kastlesynthworkshop1

The board – a piece had to be soldered into each and every one of those holes! It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of it, but after a while it became easier.

kastlesynthworkshop2

Huddled around a small table in the drafty but charming Kultursaal, 2 Canadians, an Italian, an American, and a Brit got to work soldering.

kastlesynthworkshop3
Almost ready for the final touches!

kastlesynthworkshop4
4 hours later…my very own DIY Kastle Mini Modular! It ended up taking most of us quite a bit longer than anticipated to finish our synths (so long, in fact, that we were kicked out of our room to make way for the next event!). Nonetheless, it was a really fun project, and I enjoyed the sense of camaraderie that I felt with my peers as we discussed music and helped one another to finish our synths.

kastlesynthworkshop5

The crew from Bastl Instruments were really friendly and helpful, and overall it was a great experience! I spend so much time working with music technology every day, but seldom do I stop and think of how everything is working underneath the surface. It definitely added a fresh perspective to how I view electronic instruments, and I would definitely recommend trying something out like this if you ever get the chance!

Robert Henke Presents: Fragile Territories

Next up, I decided to check out Robert Henke‘s laser based audiovisual installation Fragile Territories. Located in the dark and somewhat creepy Sound Chamber. Henke aka Monolake used a series of complex algorithms to create this laser based audiovisual environment. Delicate lasers would draw images at random, while the crackle of electricity oscillated indefinitely.

Every so often, a dark shadow would appear and along with the deep rumble of sub frequency sounds, overwhelm the prior sonic and visual imagery.

Given the acoustics of the space, as well as the audiovisual environment created by Henke, I found these moments of the installation to be the most powerful. I revisited Fragile Territories several times throughout the weekend.


Morton Subotnick & Lillevän in Concert

Day 1 concluded with a collaborative performance between one of the pioneers of electronic music Morton Subotnick, and visual and animation artist Lillevän. Subotnick along with designer Don Buchla, is credited with inventing one of the first analogue synthesizers, The Buchla Series 100, in 1963. It was a nice way to end the day!

<<< Intro  |  Day 2 >>>

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

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Ableton Intern Katharine And Loop 2016

loopabletonbostondjschool

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?

loopberlin2016ableton

 

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

Oops! We could not locate your form.