Good Read: Ableton Interview “Jon Hassell: Possible Musics”

Ableton just released a fantastic interview with New York trumpeter and composer Jon Hassell.

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The interview covers among other things his studies with Stockhausen, his coining of the term “Fourth World”,  his early work with Fairlight CMI, work with Bob Moog on a sound sculpture, with lots of inspiring information on his practice and art.

There was this guy named Bob Moog who came around with his new idea of one Volt equals one octave, which became the Moog synthesizer. (We actually collaborated on a sound sculpture later; a tape loop within a box that had a double reflective mirror on the inside, and every time there was a “blip”, a colored light went off. It was like this little fairyland of blips going by and each one had an output to six speakers around the room.)

Check out the article here:
https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/jon-hassell-possible-musics

2018 then seems to be auspicious moment for Jon Hassell to release a new album. Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) is his first collection of new music for nine years and represents an updated reconfiguration of all the signature elements of Hassell’s magical realists soundworld: the lush chords and fine-grained textures, the oddly intricate rhythm structures that propel forward while revolving around their own axis, and of course, the treated trumpet lines, sounding somewhere between an intimate whisper and a chorus of conch shells.

Listen to his latest album on bandcamp: Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One).

 

Check out Jon’s bandcamp page here https://jonhassell.bandcamp.com/.

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Mark Mosher
Synthesist & Multimedia Artist

Artist Site: NewEcho.com
Electronic Music Tech & Production Blog:  ModulateThis.com

Modulate This! Turns 11

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Modulate This! turns 11 today – WOOT!

In celebration of a decade of blogging and to position the site for the future, I’ve changed the look and moved to new platform and host. If you want to follow along in email opt-in using the form below and/or use this RSS feed.

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Divergence

Modulate This! has always had a synth tech and technique slant with industry trends sprinkled in. The earlier articles reflected the emergence of laptops for live performance, the divergence of buying a shit ton of VSTs and gear, and the rise of “controllerism”.

Note – When trying to decide what photo create for this post I started thinking back about all the gear I’ve used over the past decade. Then it struck me that the only two instruments that survive in my rig that I had when I started of the blog in 2005 are Ableton Live (which I started using in 2003) and Absynth (which I started using in 2002 and it is still my go to virtual synth). Something old, something new… Push 2.

Along the way I made quite a few “how-to” video tutorials on my companion YouTube channel (which has just over a million views) and also documented a lot of my research on my public Mindmeister mindmap channel (featuring the “Elektron Octatrack Video Tutorial Index” with over 30K views; and the “What’s New in Ableton Live 9” and “U-HE DIVA Synthesizer: OSC & Filter Anatomy” maps each with over 15K Views).

Convergence

In the last few years, the blog has reflected my convergence down to a smaller set of instruments with a focus on mastery. This often resulted in longer deeper reads.

What’s Next for Modulate This!

A renewed focus on Synth Tech & Technique and Demystifying Synths and Inspiring Your Inner Sound Designer

This means a continued focus on articles and videos on synth tech & technique. So more articles to help you on your sound design journey whether you are and up and coming sound designer, a seasoned expert, or an artist who wants to boost your sound design chops to help you create more unique sound and music.

Covering the Denver / Boulder Scene

I’m also fortunate to be on the ground in the Denver & Boulder area where the electronic and experimental music scene has experienced incredible growth – so watch for posts on this. In a related note, the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup which I founded 4 years ago just crossed 530+ members! If you are ever in the Denver area 2nd Wednesdays on even numbered months – come on by.

Drawing Inspiration from Lateral Art & Artists

Speaking of Denver & Boulder, there are some amazing museums here. Consuming these lateral forms of art and learning about artist process has informed and transformed me – so I’d like to share some ideas on this as well in the future.

Nature, Travel, & Being in the Field

In the last few years I’ve stepped up my field audio/video recording work both in natural settings and when I’ve had the good fortune to travel. I’ll pass on some thoughts on gear and process.

Sharing Inspiring Work from Sci Fi and Horror

So many Sci Fi and Horror films depend on electronic and experimental music for sound effects and score. I’m a geek about this and want to talk about this more.

Sharing Inspiring Work from My Synth Friends

One of the best parts about publishing Modulate This! is it has allowed me to meet amazing artists all around the world – many of whom I’ve gotten to meet face-to-face – many of whom have become good friends. I draw so much inspiration from my synth friends and will continue to spread the word about releases and shows.

Thanks for Reading!!!

I’ll close by saying thanks to all of you for reading and supporting Modulate This!

Your synth geek friend,

Mark Mosher
ModulateThis.com

A Video Roundup of Sampling Past and Present

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I’ve been sampling since the 80’s when I got an Ensoniq Mirage. I’ve since moved on to software and now use Ableton Sampler, and Camel Audio Alchemy for sample-based work these days. I still find sample-based sound design fascinating and recently found some cool videos which illustrate how far we’ve come over the last few decades.

PAST
First, I stumbled across a Synthtopia Post “Bob Moog Introduces The Fairlight CMI” which had four videos, one of which is shown below. “Bog Moog Fairlight Part 2 on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/v/ydxFc6o64WA&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en<\/embed><\/object><\/div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/7ff2b-6a00d83451cae869e20120a6fbf730970b-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

Next is a great video of Peter Gabriel using the Fairlight in 1982. The video has some awesome footage of Peter Grabriel and company recording found sound and manipulating sound from the Farilight. He also discusses the use of non-lyrical human voice in music.

http://www.youtube.com/v/ON8lVgJxMQA&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en<\/embed><\/object><\/div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/a0dac-6a00d83451cae869e2012875fe3b09970c-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

Next a 1984 video with Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock.

http://www.youtube.com/v/n6QsusDS_8A&hl=en<\/embed><\/object><\/div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/df852-6a00d83451cae869e2012875fe3b12970c-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

PRESENT
Using found sound with Absynth.

http://www.youtube.com/v/z3q6qKmC1FE&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en<\/embed><\/object><\/div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/7f7ad-6a00d83451cae869e2012875fe3b1d970c-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

Next is a nice tutorial video of using Alchemy to create a multisampled instrument.

http://www.youtube.com/v/NTWobD4Bgus&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en<\/embed><\/object><\/div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/10b10-6a00d83451cae869e20120a6fbf751970b-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

Last, a video of Robert Henke using my favorite Ableton Sampler:

http://www.youtube.com/v/s7Wityxkkjs&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en<\/embed><\/object><\/div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/fc201-6a00d83451cae869e20120a6fbf75d970b-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer
Louisville/Denver/Boulder

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

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