Loop 2016: Day 2

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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Red Bull Music Academy Lecture with Astrolith – Boston


Heads up! Red Bull Music Academy alumni, Astrolith, is headed to Boston this February to talk all things RBMA.

Swing by The Red Room @ Cafe 939 on February 17 (1-3pm) to get an inside look at applications, the Academy, and how the program helped shape his path as an artist.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 1:00-3:00pm // The Red Room @ Cafe 939

Astrolith, a Berklee grad and NYC-based producer and engineer, participated in Red Bull Music Academy, Paris in 2015. Since then, he’s worked with top artists like Erasure, Imagine Dragons, and X Ambassadors, and had his signature hip hop/techno blends released on labels like Mute, Boysnoize, Interscope, and more.

The conversation-style info session will be moderated by DJ Star Eyes, and includes a special performance from Berklee’s own DJ-WILL.

Get more information and RSVP for the event on Red Bull Music Academy’s Facebook. And, you can find applications for RBMA, Montreal: here.

If you’re looking to learn closer to home, see what Mmmmaven is offering for DJ and Production courses right here in Central Square.

Orbit: the Multi-Person DJ Controller

Okay, this thing looks pretty cool. DJ Tech Tools and Red Bull Music Academy teamed up to build the Orbit, a collaborative DJ controller.

Orbit DJ Controller User

Designed and built for Richie Hawtin‘s ENTER. party in Ibiza, the Orbit features 12 touch wheels on a big, sleek, futuristic-looking circular table. Each wheel allows someone to control a single channel in an Ableton Live track.

Orbit DJ Controller

The goal for the project isn’t to replace traditional DJ controllers, but to connect people through music, sort of an “electronic drum circle,” and open the door to creativity with a music installation that’s fun for the users but also creates the soundtrack for a nightclub.

More than 1000 LEDs react to the position of the touch wheels, resulting in a visually and aurally stimulating interactive experience. Get a more in-depth look into the Orbit by checking out this article. Also, take a look at the below video to see how this beast came to be.

Interested in learning how to DJ or produce music electronically? Check out the courses we offer! Contact us for more information, a tour of the studios, and a free DJ lesson!

Sets From Together 2014 Now Streaming On @RBMA

together festival

Together 2014 has come and gone, but you can still relive your favorite moments because Red Bull Music Academy is now streaming select sets from the festival. In addition to sets from previous years headliners, you can now hear Robert Hood, Curses!, and Jerome LOL live from Boston.

Robert Hood delivers a classic minimal techno set that sounds like it emanates from the very heart of Detroit. If you haven’t heard his name before, he is no newcomer to the scene, instead he has been shaping the literal underground of techno since the early nineties. More on Robert Hood from Michael C Walsh here.

In dance culture, the city of Detroit is mythologized to no end and rightfully so. It’s birthed impactful founders, rightful torchbearers, and a recent class of upstarts worthy of upholding the burdensome tradition. But few have managed it with such impeccable longevity and class as Hood.

Curses! is the darker alter ego of Drop The Lime, playing and producing what he refers to as ‘Gotham House,’ a dark, ghoulish take on modern 4×4 club music:

“I am forever drawn to the mystery of black. Darkness. Night. Curses brings that sexiness, incorporating the New York/Gotham-inspired touch to house and techno. Gritty baselines, but slow and deep rhythms.”

As always, Jerome LOL delivers an eclectic mix of R&B influenced beats and futuristic house for his huge set at Together 5.

For more LOL, head to XLR8R:

“There’s absolutely a method to his madness, as the mix reveals a real talent for identifying and blending sounds, irrespective of whatever cultural baggage their source material may carry.”

Even if you didn’t get to see these excellent sets in person, have a listen and get excited for next year’s festivities by following the festival on Twitter, where they promote shows all year long.

Want to DJ like the above? (You knew it was coming, right?) Hop over to the courses section and immerse yourself in a weekend course! One month and you’re done.