Interview with Glitzerstrahl

Check out this interview on the Glitzerstrahl project over at the Geeky Disco blog:

http://geekydisco.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/inside-music-henrik-johansson.html

Big thanks to Andrew for including me!

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Fiddling with deadly currents

A while back my good friend Niklas from NOR and Norator visited me here in Stockholm for an epic synth weekend (featuring amongst others Kraftwerk and Cold Cave…) and helped me modify my Doepfer LC9 boxes from north american voltage (110v) to the swedish (230v).

Its a relatively simple modification if you’re handy with the soldering iron and know the basics of electrical engineering, but since I wouldn’t put either on my resume Nicklas volunteered to perform the procedure.

Below are some shots from the operation.

Start by loosening the screws in the back…

photo 3

That hold the cover for the actual PSU (the one that say you will DIE if you tamper with it…)

photo 2 Next break the two soldering bridges that north american units ship with, and create two new ones to match the spec of the european units…
photo 4

And that’s it! My LC9 boxes are now fully compatible with the swedish electrical standard :). Many thanks to Niklas for taking the time!

You can find a document that explains the necessary steps near the bottom of the following page on Doepfer’s website: http://www.doepfer.de/faq/a100_faq.htm#Modification%20mains%20voltage

Custom Studio Furniture (Free Sketchup Plan)

Since I moved back to Sweden It’s taken quite a while to get all the gear back up, but now  it’s finally in place and all plugged in. One of my goals was to improve my desk space to get better access to my rack units.

Buying a ready made studio desk is both expensive and boring so I decided to ‘build’ my own instead. This would also provide the most compact solution.

I started with an Ikea desk called Galant. You can go for either the corner or straight type. I choose the straight (160 x 80 cm) for space saving. On top of this I put two custom built 6U racks made in solid oak to match the surface of the desk.

I left just enough space between them to fit my 27″ iMac, which I suspended from a monitor arm. The idea was to fit a slanting shelf in front of it to hold my Maschine and some other handy gadgets. You may notice that the desk is 5-10cm too short to fit both racks and the mac, but that’s ok. Hopefully I can upgrade to a bigger space at some point, or get a Mac Pro and a 24″ monitor… :P

Check out the results below, and download the Sketchup file if you want to build your own rack.

photo 1_1 photo 2_1 photo 3_1 photo 4_1

Dropbox link to Sketchup file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/din4o7j6icwj88k/6USlantedRack.zip

(Disclaimer: I’m not a carpenter so use the Sketchup drawing at your own risk…)

Switching from Ableton Live to Logic Pro X

I mentioned briefly in a previous post that the reason I was upgrading to Mavericks was to explore Apple’s Logic Pro X. Having lived in Ableton Live for the past 2-3 years I knew it was not going to be an easy switch, but the inherent workflow of Live with Sessions / Arrangements and so on just never felt right to me. Live is super powerful, especially for electronica and for improvising live over an arrangement, but for straightforward, linear composing it always felt like forcing a round peg in a square hole…

la-fi-tn-with-new-logic-pro-x-apple-signals-co-001It’s now been 4 days since I purchased and downloaded Logic from the Apple App Store, and I have to hand it to Apple. Even with no prior experience using the software it was incredibly easy and intuitive to get up and running. Even with a complex setup as mine with lots of outboard gear, hardware synths, control surfaces, mixers, effects and interfaces I had a complete template set up within just a couple of hours.

Logic-Remote-1I’ve already started work on a new track which is a lot more traditional electronic pop in flavor, and I can feel how Logic just lends it self to easily getting the structure of a song down in a linear fashion. Of course its not going to work for everyone, and part of my new found inspiration might just be the lure of an exciting new acquaintance pulling me in, but regardless there is nothing as energizing as feeling inspired.

Also want to point out that despite the title of this post, buying Logic is not really a ‘switch’ away from Live, it is just an addition to the toolbox for a different way of working. Sometimes when you feel stuck or blocked creatively, changing the tool or environment can really help in my experience.

Let me know if you have any questions about the transition, or if you are considering the same move!

Bitwig Finally gets a Release Date!

March 26! Mark the date as this is when the german outfit will release their much anticipated new DAW.

According to a press statement sent out today the date and pricing will be announced at NAMM 2014, which kicks off tomorrow in California. The boxed version will retail for USD 449.99 / 399.99 (MSRP/MAP), 329 EUR  and 41.000 YEN. The download only version will be available for a reduced price of USD 399 / 299 EUR. Also, a free demo will be made available for download on the Bitwig website from the day of release.

It’s great to see another actor enter the market and this can only lead to more innovation and competition, which ultimately will benefit the consumers. Very exciting times ahead!

Are you getting Bitwig? What’s your take?