Archive for the ‘ Videos ’ Category
In this video I describe how to use Ableton Live’s Return Tracks to apply sidechain compression on several tracks at a time. This technique also allows you to “dial in” different amounts of compression to different tracks very easily.
In this quick tip I demonstrate how you can save your configured VST/AU plugin devices to quickly recall them whenever you need to automate or control with a midi controller.
In this video I describe how to achieve a REAL tape stop effect in Ableton Live, without time-stretching! Slow down & pitch down your audio at the same time.
I’ve uploaded 3 new video tutorials to Youtube that discuss 3 different ways to chop breaks. Each technique has it’s own advantages and can be used to achieve different results. Enjoy!
It has been a long project, but I can confidently say the studio is complete. For those of you that don’t know, my girlfriend Kyla and I sold our apartment back in November and moved into a new place. The usual awkwardness of taking all of your stuff out of one room and trying to make it all work in another room was a factor, but this is also my first room dedicated 100% to music. In the previous place my gear moved back and forth from my living room and bedroom, but now I’ve got my own space that I’ve designed totally to inspire creativity. It is the most accurate expression of my sense of style and design when it comes to decorating a space, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.
Finding the balance between aesthetics and functionality was difficult, and I’m not sure I’ve nailed it perfectly, but what can you do. The trouble is that targeting the acoustics of a space can be quite a daunting task, and often what you are left with is acoustic treatment all over the walls, ceiling, etc. The ideal placement of your monitors (and consequently your main workstation/computer) is all dictated by the way sound bounces around the room. My problem is that I want a room that I can feel comfortable in, and if you look at the nicest recording studios and they are all quite sterile. My room is far from perfect acoustically, in fact I had a setup in my old place that actually had better bass response than this one, but I figured what’s the point in having an acoustically treated room if you don’t enjoy being in there? I hung a large area rug on the wall behind where I sit to catch some of the twang in the room, and I’ve got it densely furnished to try and deaden the space (got a great love seat from The Brick that I love to just kick back on). Other than that though I don’t really have much treatment.
The music I create does not require a ton of “live-off-the-floor” recording using mics and whatnot, other than vsti’s on my computer most of what I record comes in through a 1/4″ TRS cable. I went out and bought myself a killer set of Sennheiser headphones, really splurged and went for top of the line stuff, and paired with a nice Aphex headphone amp I’ve got a great monitoring system for referencing my low end. I bounce back and forth between those and my Mackies, and I like to think I cover all my bases mix-wise.
My pride and joy of this room is how it’s been decorated. When I moved into the place one of the first things I did was stay up almost all night painting the room. I’ve always hated that standard apartment white, and so I covered it up with a nice chocolate brown on 3 walls and a creamy beige on the other. Next I got one of those modular desks from Ikea that you can build from various extensions and whatnot, and set up a nice big corner desk, with lots of space for all my gear (as well as room to grow). I ended up actually buying the wrong corner piece (got the left-hand one instead of right), but ended up liking it better. Like I said earlier, I put a comfy love seat in there because I’m totally lazy and most days want to just crash on the couch after work. I figured putting a couch in there would be incentive to spend more time in there, just make it a more general hang-out space. It’s great because I’ve got all my tv shows loaded up in iTunes, also I’ve got Netflix, so i can just kick back with a nice view of my imac and relax all I want.
Another thing I love is my lighting. Aside from installing a new overhead light, I’ve fallen in love with LED strip lighting. I picked up some multicolour strips from Ikea, they have a bunch of different colours that you can leave as stationary or have them flash/fade between in series. I mounted these to the back of the desk, so that they shine onto the wall, which creates an awesome glow around the edges, as well as to the back of my computer. They work great on light walls, not so much the darker ones. I really made it funky when I started building up my lava lamp collection. I love lava lamps, some people make fun of me, calling me a hippy, but they are still relevant for sure. They are like moving art, constantly forming interesting shapes and designs. Here’s a tip for any fellow lava lampers out there: heat them up just to that point where they start looking like freaky bottled organisms and then turn them off. They will harden that way and you get these sick formations that look like they should be locked up in a lab. I had one extra lamp stand from a previously failed experiment with a black/orange lava lamp (ugly), and I made another cool lamp dropping highlighters into water, and illuminating with a blacklight in the base. The thing just glows green, so awesome. Believe it or not, the electricity bill hasn’t gone up that much higher…
Finally I’ve got the actual gear. Over the last few years there’s been a settling that’s gone on as far as hardware. I have times when I go all out and pull out everything, and other times when I stick it all in the closet in favor of a more minimal setup. Aside from the guitars mounted on the wall, all of my hardware is midi gear, which I love simply for the hands on control of hardware, but the versatility of software. The most complicated thing to do in a studio is figure out the ergonomics of it all. You need to set things up in a way that they’ll actually get used. Maybe it sounds ridiculous, but even something a small as turning your chair around and rolling to another station can be enough to make you just do something else instead. For example, in these pictures I’ve got my APC40 off to the side in my “drum workstation”. Whenever I wanted to automate something, I ended up just using the crappy knobs on my Novation Remote when I should have really used the APC40 more. Not cool. I’ve actually moved some stuff around since these pictures were taken, and now my drum station is right in front of me (in front of the iMac) with the addition of a new little m-audio axiom 25 as well. I get 90% of my work done using all that, and I feel great about the fact that I’m actually using my stuff to get better results, and the other 10% of the time when I really want to get into playing piano or something I’ll spin around to my Novation which is now in front of the secondary computer screen. I’ve just recently developed a fairly hefty new technique that has opened up a lot of doors as far as recorded jams and sound design goes, so I’m very interested in incorporating more hardware synths and stuff into my setup. I may start a rack in the corner where that plant currently reside by the window. I’m interested in a Nord Rack, maybe a Tetr4 or something, Slim Phatty would be cool, and I’d also like to start building a modular bit by bit. That’s some long term stuff though for sure. For now, it’s perfect.
Of course, the room is alive and always changing. I just took these pictures recently and already have changed the layout a bit since then. I just love it though, it’s been through a few iterations and now it’s settled to the perfect place. I go in there late at night, fire up the lava lamps and led lighting and it totally just puts me in the zone for the style of music I’m into. Very inspiring. At the same time middle of the day I can look out the window at the trees and that pumps me up for a completely different style of music. That’s what I was aiming for, the acoustic treatment and all that came second to the aesthetics and ergonomics for sure, and I don’t regret it at all. Now that this ongoing project is coming to a close, let’s see if I can crack down and get some music happening!
Yesterday I completed two new videos discussing Ableton Live’s “Stretch Notes” function which allows you to scale a series of notes by however much you’d like. I have found two awesome uses for this that are shared in each video. There may be more to come on this topic, I’m not sure if I’ll do a separate video on making granular glitches with stretch notes or if I’ll just include that in another series I’m working on regarding IDM drum chopping in general. Anyway, enjoy!
I’ve been a bit absent from “music” lately and have used the time to explore film composition a bit. Here is one of my experiments warping the emotion assigned to a visual through sound. This video is a series of shots taken on a happy sunny summer day at the PNE Exhibit here in Vancouver, but with a little colour distortion, slow-mo, and ambient drone music it became something entirely different.