Synth Performance Video: Behind-The-Scenes "Dark Signals" Soundcheck from 8/23/2013 Concert at Dairy Center for the Performing Arts

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Here is a behind-the-scenes video from my August 23rd show at the Dairy Center for the Performing Arts in Boulder Colorado.

The video was shot at my sound check by fellow performer and Electric Trombone player Darren Kramer using GoPro. The audio is from GoPro camera.

At this show I’m using Abeton Live to do for live sequenced playback. For live play, For this song called “Dark Signals” (from my second album I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS)  I’m using a my Remote SL MKII  Keyboard along with Maschine (custom template in made with Control Editor) to play instruments in Live racks. As you'll see in the video I'm using pressure from the pads to modulate this synths.

Photo from Tech Rehearsal/Sound Check from Dairy Center for Performing Arts Electronic Music Concert

AudioCubes are receiving light commands via MIDI CCs from Ableton Live. I
never use on-board sounds in Tenori-On and instead use it as a
controller and pump MIDI into synths hosted in Ableton Live.

The visuals are based on live camera input processed in Resolume. The Resolume system receives controller and automation from the Ableton rig via MIDI. I’m using the house projector to display my visuals on a screen that’s the width the of the stage!

Photo from Tech Rehearsal/Sound Check from Dairy Center for Performing Arts Electronic Music Concert

It’s a little hard to tell from this video because audio is from GoPro, but the sound at this show was amazing thanks to Gannon Kashiwa who owns and operates GK:SOUND at the TARDIS in Denver. I’m working on a 3 camera edit from footage from the actually show performance which will have audio from the board – so stay tuned.

Enjoy,

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO

Overview and Time-Lapse Video of My Ableton Live Laptop Music Rig + Controllers

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Over the years I’ve played hundreds of shows as a keyboardist using my trusty Apex column with various hardware synths.  In late 2009 I had a vision to create a new Ableton Live laptop-centric rig using only virtual synths running in Live.

While I wanted to play some keys, I was really excited to add alternative visual, tangible, and spatial controllers and selected Percussa AudioCubes, Tenori-On, a Novation Launchpad. I went with my trusty Remote SL 25 for keys as it also doubles as a controller for Live. In the 11th hour I added a Moog Ehterwave Theremin which was clearly necessary to play “They Walk Among Us” live :^).

I’ve played enough shows to know that you can’t always count on basic lighting and P.A. to be adequate, so I added these elements to my requirements as well – just in case. My goal was to be able to run a room of 80 people if needed with just my rig. My other goal was 4 trips from the car load-in max with a 15 minute setup time or less.

The sketch above shows all this on paper (click the image to see a larger view). After months of slowly building up gear, the reality – sans lighting – is shown in the fun little time-laps video embedded video below.

Here is a list of what's in the rig:

  • Laptop: Windows 7 32-bit, HP DV6t-1200 Pavilion w/Core2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53 GHZ, 3G memory, 7200 RPM Drive (Update I now use an HP Envy 14 I5)
  • Soundcard: Novation NIO 2|4
  • DAW Software: Ableton Live 8 Suite
  • Primary Controllers: Novation Remote SL 25 (updated to MKII), Launchpad | Tenori-On | Percussa AudioCubes
  • Primary Virtual Synthesizers: Tone2 Gladiator 2| Native Instruments Absynth 5 | Camel Audio Alchemy | U-He Zebra 2, ACE | Ableton Sampler, Operator… | SonicCharge Synplant | Lennar Digital Sylenth1 | reFX Vanguard, Slayer2 | Image-Line Harmless, Toxic Biohazard | Cakewalk Dimension Pro | FAW Circle | DCAM: Synth Squad…
  • Hardware Synthesizers: Moog Etherwave Theremin, Waldorf Blofeld (not pictured)
  • PA: Bose L1 Compact
  • Stand: Odyssey ATT2 Table, Odyssey L2 Laptop Stand

Links to lots of the software I use here:
http://markmoshermusic.com/links.html

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
http://www.modulatethis.com
http://MarkMosherMusic.com

My Studio Setup: 1 Laptop/3 Configurations + Akai APC40 Eye Candy

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Revised 7-3-2009, changes are in red.

For over two years I've been completely laptop based and loving it. Here are some notes on the three configurations I run with my latpop.

First, I'm running an HP DV6500T running Vista, Ableton Live 8 Suite, and various vsts (Alchemy,Sylenth1,NI
Massive/Absynth 4,Gladiator 2,Dimension Pro, Morphine…)

I run in one of the following states:

1 – Laptop Only – Laptop alone with Ableton Live +  VSTs. I use the qwerty keyboard and touch pad and do composition and sound-design on the go (or from the couch).

2 – Laptop + Korg Nano – Sometimes I want more control or want to user velocity sensitive keys when I'm on the go. I then add a Korg nanoKey or nanoKontrol to config #1.

3 – Laptop Docked – Last year, my awesome wife and kids re-vamped my studio space as a birthday gift. Besides painting and swanky new furniture, they created stand to hold all my gear by cleverly using the old Ultimate Support Apex column I used to gig with and attached two permanent shelves (painted black and attached with brackets). Shelves are  15 3/4"x 47 3/4" and I believe were from home depot. The footprint for this rig is 26" wide from the wall to the outside edge of the bottom shelf, and 47 3/4" wide. Underneath all this is a dock with tons of USB ports that all the gear plugs in to. The laptop is sitting on a mesh filing box turned upside-down that I picked up from Target (see last picture in post). This setup is pictured below. All I have to do is plug the laptop into the doc and the following comes online:

  • HP Notebook Quickdock
  • External Monitor – Samsung SyncMaster 930b
  • Novation Nio USB sound card
  • M-Audio Studiophile SP-5B reference monitors
  • Bamboo Touch Pad
  • Wireless Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard with built-in touch pad
  • Akai APC40
  • Novation Remote SL 25
  • M-Audio Trigger Finger (Still lovin it after all these years. After touch on drum pads and seamless integration with Ableton drum racks are great).
  • Rode NT-1A on an a broadcaster's boom which is fed into Behringer UB802 Eurorack which is routed to the Nio. I mostly use this for voice overs, recording voice related samples, and vocoding. I also record video tutorials through this mic.
  • Sometimes a Korg TR via USB is added to the mix when I want that "triton" sound or want to play a controller with more keys on it.

For me this strategy is simple, elegant, has a small footprint yet is extremely powerful and flexible. With Ableton Live and VSTs accessible in every configuration I can jump in and out of projects in any configuration. I find the combination of the APC40, Remote SL and Trigger Finger to be perfect for just about everything I do.

The APC40 has made this a dream setup really and has almost completely eliminated mousing for me. I'll close with a few photos of the APC40  in my studio setup.

Just a fun shot in a dark room.

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The  APC40, Remote SL 25, and a Trigger Finger fit perfectly on the bottom tier.

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Using the APC40 as a Lite Brite – "M" plus pretty colors :^).

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Picture of laptop docked.
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Mark Mosher
http://www.modulatethis.com
http://www.markmoshermusic.com
http://www.twitter.com/markmosher

Video Tutorial: Ableton Live 8 + APC40 + Remote SL Controllerism

I’m the proud owner of the new Akai APC40. I’ve already integrated it into my workflow along with my Novation Remote SL. I’ve put together a video of how I’m using these controllers with Live 8.


Watch the video on YouTube:




This video is a step-by-step tutorial describing Ableton Live 8’s new custom parameter mapping methodology. The video illustrates how to map select parameters from VST plug-ins into devices and then control these parameters via the Novation Remote SL and the new Akai APC40. The video also discusses how to add and access more than 8 parameters. Lastly, the video covers use of instrument racks and macro controls to map parameters from multiple devices to an 8 knob group.


Stay tuned for more posts on controllerism and the Akai APC40.


Mark Mosher
http://www.modulatethis.com
http://www.markmoshermusic.com
http://www.twitter.com/markmosher