Want to learn about digital signal processing and synthesis?
Stop by our laboratory on September 9th for our workshop on Digital Signal Processing and Synthesis with DJ and audio engineer Ed Guild! The workshop will focus on Ableton and Cycling ‘74’s collaboration, viagra buyMax for Live, unhealthy which is a great way to start learning about digital signal processing and synthesis techniques.
Ed Guild is a designer, audio engineer, and technologist. He got his start in the Boston music scene 15 years ago as a VJ for underground DJ events and local jambands playing the rock club circuit. Ed joined up with a few bands to project visuals during their shows. After VJing for a number of years he started to absorb new roles as an audio tech in the underground dance music band, Psylab.
A friend introduced him to Cycling ‘74 ‘Max’ and everything changed. Max is a visual programming environment used for building audio/visual applications. Having limited programming experience, Max allowed Ed to learn how to build digital signal processing (DSP) he wanted for live performance without writing a single live of code. With Max he was able to build a live performance drum sampler, audio effects for a trumpet player, and audio-reactive DMX light controllers for Psylab’s epic live shows.
With Together five days away, the excitement over the surefire amazing sets and artists is building around Boston. But where can you go when you’ve danced yourself clean?
Amidst all the thumping subwoofers, you should take time to recharge your batteries and learn more about the technology and culture behind the music at Mmmaven’s Recharge Lounge.
This series of FREE events will be held at Mmmaven’s office and will feature a wide array of events and lectures that you want to miss. The full line-up can be found on the official Together schedule, but we wanted to take some time to highlight a few of the events you can experience.
Join the conversation with Mark Van Bergen, author of Dutch Dance on the history and international origins of electronic dance music in party culture both in America and the Netherlands (1970-present).
INNOVATIVE ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENT SOUND CAPTURE W/ YOUR HEAVEN®
Wed, May 18, 7:00 PM > 8:00 PM
A live demonstration of the Your Heaven® Close-Up® Mic System, an affordable product that allows you to easily integrate acoustic instruments like guitars, strings and drums into your music. With a unique combination of both the isolation needed for live performance and the fidelity you’d normally only get in a studio, you can amplify, record or sample beautiful acoustic instruments live, right on stage as you perform – with no feedback or cross-talk problems. We’ll show you how to use it with acoustic guitar, electric guitar and drums. We will also demonstrate how the Your Heaven® Close-Up® can be incorporated into both the production and live performance setup of an electronic musician, to be processed and used as a trigger source for midi instruments.
THE ULTIMATE DJ CONTROLLER – DENON DJ MCX8000 WORKSHOP
Thu, May 19, 7:00 PM > 8:00 PM
Denon DJ Project Manager Jason Stout takes you on a guided tour of this year’s controller of controllers, the MCX8000. In his presentation he’ll walk you through Denon DJ’s Engine software, its integration with Serato DJ, how to seamlessly mix between multiple sources on the fly, and all the unique features on the hardware control surface.
LINK TOGETHER- LIVE LINK JAM SESSION w/ PUSH 2
Fri, May 20, 5:00 PM > 6:00 PM
Whether you are making music with Ableton Live or any one of a host of IOS apps, Ableton Link enables you to play in time with other musicians over a network. In this session, Ableton’s Ben Casey gives you the lowdown and introduces some of his favorite Link compatible apps.
We’ll conclude the session with a live jam featuring Ableton and Mmmmaven instructors.
ABLETON PUSH SAMPLE CHALLENGE
Fri, May 20, 7:00 PM > 8:00 PM
For this session we invite you to bring along a vinyl record of your choice. Ableton’s Ben Casey will demonstrate how to sample it, chop it and turn it into something new in just 45 minutes using the sampling workflows in Ableton Push 2.
MUSIC CREATION WITH NOVATION CIRCUIT
Sat, May 21, 1:00 PM > 3:00 PM
This workshop is a general overview highlighting what Novation’s new Groovebox / Step Sequencer, Circuit, is capable of and how it can be used in various scenarios such as standalone, with external gear (demonstrated with Novation Bass Station II), and with a DAW (demonstrated with Ableton Live).
On Sunday, May 22nd Together Boston is celebrating the synthesizer era by holding a “petting zoo” inside the Mmmmaven Project labs 12pm until 4pm we will be displaying a wide array of synthesizers, MIDI controllers, and DJ gear. We welcome music lovers of all ages to stop by and try out the gear.
These events are sure to be informative, engaging, and at times, even entertaining! Whether you want to get your hands on classic vintage synths, learn about the latest Ableton tech, or just go crate digging, the Mmmmaven Recharge lounge has a little bit of something for everyone. And did we mention it’s all free? So take a well-deserved break from your grooving during Together and stop on by.
Often the hardest part of starting a new musical project is simply figuring out where to start. Most producers today begin with a drum beat, and leave the musical part last. I would wager to guess that’s because music theory can often seem complicated or even unapproachable.
But what if I told you that there’s a toolbox inside Ableton that will remove that fear and allow you to generate chords, melodies, and sequences without an ounce of musical theory training?
Whether you’re totally new to Ableton, or a longtime user, Ableton’s Midi Effects section offers some pretty fantastic opportunities. Located in the left hand menu, below the audio effects, the midi effects are a series of plugins that dictate what happens when a note is played.
Unlike an audio effect, midi effects are placed BEFORE the synth plug-in.
There aren’t as many effects in the midi section. But though they are small in number, they are powerful in nature. If you use these correctly, you can press one note and generate a whole musical soundscape.
Let’s go over what each of them does.
Unless you’ve taken some music theory classes, you’re probably not familiar with all the various scales and modes. With the scale plug-in place you no longer need to worry about knowing any of that. Simply grab one of the presets, and the scale plug-in transposes all notes to be in key. No more wrong notes!
Don’t like the scale? Then change it out, or build your own by playing around with the square grid interface. By doing this you’ll actually begin to understand the different scale sounds, and how the notes all relate to each other. For beginners though, check out this handy list of scales and what they “sound” like.
This plug-in allows you to play many notes by only pressing one. Adjust the six knobs, and build large complex chords.
This plug in either repeats a note you are playing, or outlines the chord being played. It offers a wide array of ways to control this process, and is perhaps the most powerful midi effects plug-in. Spend some time playing with this until you learn the controls. The most important controls are style, rate, gate, & steps. If you want to learn more, watch here.
Here’s a great example of what an arp sounds like
Controls how long all notes being played last.
Used to adjust the pitch of any incoming midi notes up or down.
Exactly as the name implies, this plug-in generates random notes anytime a midi note is played. This can be used to create some light variation, or when cranked all the way up, can generate total chaos.
a plug-in that allows the user to control the softness or loudness or each note played.
These are all powerful tools on their own, but best used together. Here are some of my favorite combinations.
Scale + Chord (+ Arp)– Allows you to build chord progression by just pressing one key at a time. Throw on an arp and outline these chords!
Arpegiator + Velocity – This gives those repetitive sequences some texture.
Arpeggiator + Random (+ scale) – Total chaos! It takes what’s coming out of the arpeggiator, and creates a sequence of random notes. Throw the scale on afterwards to keep the madness all confined to a single key.
As you can see, these are powerful tools that eliminate a lot of the musical guesswork, and can allow a producer to generate new ideas quickly. For more info about classes, and free workshops, visit our website!
2016 has already brought us some innovative MIDI instruments, such as the Zoom ARQ we saw debuted at NAMM, but Austin, TX-based startup Remidi aims to blow them all out of the water with a new wearable MIDI instrument, the T8. According to Gizmag, the T8 will consist of a wristband with two-buttons and a scrolling knob, used for selecting note-sets and samples, which will clip on to a glove fitted with sensors in the fingers, thumb, and palm.
The pressure-sensitive sensors can be programmed to trigger notes and samples on impact, and also support mid-air gestural controls to allow for expressive pitch bends and modulations. And for anyone who might have been worried…
Baldereschi also confirmed sweaty hands shouldn’t interfere with operation, saying that the smart textiles and sensors inside the glove should “act normally with the humidity caused from a 3 hours performances inside a club.”
The T8 will use a Bluetooth 4.0 connection to connect to any Bluetooth-enabled computer, smartphone, or tablet, and can be used with any application that accepts MIDI such as DAWs like Ableton Live, or with DJ software like Serato. It will also come with a download of an app by Remidi that will allow for more customization of the controls. The project is now in a crowdfunding phase, and is offering early supporters the T8 at a discounted price.
You can support the T8 on Kickstarter here, watch their crowdfunding teaser video below, and head on over to Gizmag for more info.
Interested in learning DJing or Music Production? We offer classes in Ableton Live and Serato! Contact us today for more info.