New Song (Dark Echoes – NOR Remix)

I while back I shot a short video with the Dark Energy and Dark Time combo. It was very simple but I was fooling around with my portable setup and I thought it sounded OK so I posted it.

My good fiend Niklas of NOR heard it and asked if he could have the original wave and perhaps play around with it a little.

The result is a wonderful track that really should be mostly attributed to Niklas. It really shows what a great, creative mind can do with the simplest little starting point.

Thank you Niklas for pulling this together and letting me post it!

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Meeting with Dave Smith

A couple of days ago I had the great honor to meet with Dave Smith of Dave Smith’s Instruments. Dave is perhaps most famous for being one of the two inventors of the MIDI protocol, but for the last 30 years he has also been busy designing some of the most interesting synthesizers around.

image001His latest creation is the Prophet 12, a massive 12 voice synthesizer with 4 oscillators and a sub-oscillator per voice.

They are still hard to come by as the production has just started and they are all built here in San Francisco.

I had the great luck to be able to pick one up at Robotspeak at Haight Street, and through a series of lucky events Dave agreed to sign it for me.

So, with the synth still in its box I headed down to Dave’s office, where he kindly signed it and agreed to pose for some photos :)

I am now the happy owner of a signed Prophet 12, and yes the signature of course adds that extra ‘warmth’ and magic to the sound! ;-)

Ableton Push available from Amazon!

Ableton Push is now available for order from Amazon! If you want to support this site, please consider ordering it via the link below :)

Ableton Push Controller for Live 9 with 11 Touch-Sensitive Encoders

Here’s a walkthrough / review of the controller and the workflow it enables:

If you are serious about music production / composing in Live 9, this should be a no-brainer!

Thank you

Looking serious since 2012 :)

Looking serious since 2012 :)

As 2012 draws to an end I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who have support this site, me and my music throughout the year.

To think that its only been 9 months since Glitzerstrahl was created fills me with excitement for what the next year will bring.

For starters I will spend all of January in Japan, working on a mini-album I’ve been planning for some time. Expect lots of posts during this period.

I bought my very first Moog (a Little Phatty) recently, and one of my main goals for next year is to expand upon it and turn it into a semi-modular setup using Slim Phatties and Moogerfoogers. But the tools are not the goal, I want to move further into the Space Music genre using this setup.

I have also had a recent revival in Maschine. I bought the latest MK2 revision and that re-ignited my lust for creating more dance oriented EDM. That is, EDM with an actual D in it.

If all goes well, my final big plan for 2013 is to enroll in an actual school for music production and composing. Its not a full time thing of course, but rather something that I hope to be able to do in parallell with my job. I know it sounds unrealistically ambitious and optimistic, but its worth a try! :)

All in all, there are lots of exciting plans lined up for next year, and I hope you’ll all find it in your hearts and minds to continue to support Glitzerstrahl on this next leg of the journey. I will do my very best to deserve that support!

Thank you! Seriously, Thank you!

Ableton Live 9 Workshop Notes

Today I attended the Ableton Live 9 workshop at the Supper Club in San Francisco.

Please see this post for the background on the workshop.

The event was relatively small, but thanks to the size it felt very intimate and informal. The crowd wasn’t huge, but I got the impression that it was reasonably representative of the active EDM producers / artists in San Francisco. The old Demo Party organizer in me immediately started thinking about different types of events that could be arranged with a dedicated group of people like this, but more on that later.

I won’t go too much into detail about the topics discussed, but below are some notes of the stuff that I found particularly interesting.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that the workshop was based on a Beta version of Live 9, and any of the described features and content below could change before it actually ships.

Part 1 : Timo on Live 9 and workflow

Audio to MIDI

By now I think most people have heard of the amazing new Audio to MIDI function in Live 9, what I did not know was that it offers 3 different algorithms to choose from, Harmony for chord heavy sound, Melody for monophonic progressions and Drums for percussion and drums.

Upgrade to 9 compressor or continue to use 8 version is an option

As part of upgrading to Live 9, you will be presented with the option to continue to use the Live 8 standard compressor, or upgrade to the new one. This is not the new Glue compressor, which is a different plugin, but the standard compressor.

MIDI Note Invert

The Notes drawer in a MIDI clip now has an invert button that allows you to select a set of notes in the piano roll and instantly invert their relative pitch.

MIDI Note Stretch markers

In Live 9, when you select a range in the Note lane the selected range markers can be dragged to stretch (speed up, slow down, reverse) the selected notes.

Session Automation Record Arm and Record Buttons

As part of the new Session view automation record capability, the Transport bar at the top of the UI know contains an Automation Record arm button, and an Automation Record button. Both are used when you want to enable / disable recording any parameter changes you do while playing back scenes and clips. With version you add automation points by single clicking, and you can create curves for smoother transitions.

Back to arrangement on a track by track basis

The arrangement view in Live 9 contains buttons that allow you to do Back to Arrangement on individual tracks instead of the entire set.

Consolidate to scene 9

Starting with Live 9 you can select a range in the arrangement view, right click and select Consolidate to Scene. This will create a new scene in the session view that contains a clip for each track you selected, with just the selected range of sound. This includes automation and effects.

Part 2 : Liam on DJ’ing with Live

Set global BPM though scene name

If you name a scene ??? BPM, the global clock will be set to that BPM every time you launch that scene. Perfect for smooth transitions and seamless tempo changes between song parts or tracks in a DJ set.

Use routing to create effects channels

If you get creative, you can create advanced effects channels that allow you to get very expressive when playing back scenes and clips live. (This is really all about coming up with the templates that work for you.)

Summary

Don’t let the fact that the notes from Liam’s session are fewer trick you into thinking that his set was not interesting. Since I’m not a DJ I guess there was just more that related to me directly in Timo’s part. Liam really showed how far you can go using Live and the APC 40, if you really know how to work both the software and the hardware.

The event was incredibly inspiring and full of new learnings, especially for a relative beginner like my self.

At the end I also got a chance to speak to Timo directly about the possibility of arranging more workshops and gatherings for EDM people in San Francisco. He indicated that there are already plans to try to strengthen the community and provide more forums and social events for people to exchange ideas, learn and share perspectives and initiate collaborations. I really hope that materializes, and if it doesn’t I will try to make it happen myself.

Finally, a huge thanks to Timo and Liam for taking the time and sharing from their wells of wisdom.