Categories
(Modulate This) AudioCubes Free Music Friday Launchpad Performance Videos Videos

Two Live Electronic Music Performance Videos for Free Music Friday – “Alone” and “Celebration and Voices”

Here are two videos for you for Free Music Friday.

Watch embedded video of “Alone” by Mark Mosher

This video has an HD version as well so check it out from your home theater using your Tivo or or other streaming box.

In this video I'm playing my original instrumental electronic music song "Alone" from my album REBOOT (http://markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/reboot name your price, enter $0 for FREE). I'm about half way through arranging and programming the synthesizers and controllers so I can add this song to my live set. I'm pretty excited about the progress I'm making on the performance so I thought I'd share a rehearsal video.

It's such an organic and textural piece, I decided to play the entire song from Percussa AudioCubes using only spatial control via hand movement. Ableton Live is playing back the pulsing drone, but almost all other elements are being played live via the AudioCubes. The AudioCubes are in "sensor" mode so placing my hand in front of a cube face plays a note on a virtual synthesizer hosted out of Ableton Live – almost like a Laser harp.

I only use the Novation Launchpad on my right to change which tracks are armed thereby allowing me to switch which synths I'm playing on-the-fly throughout the song.  At the 2:00 minute mark I start playing chords by using multiple faces simultaneously.

Watch embedded video for “Celebration and Voices”.

In this video, I'm rehearsing an original composition "Celebration and Voices" from my album I Hear Your Signals (http://markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/i-hear-your-signals name your price, enter $0 for FREE).

I'm using a Novation Launchpad and Ableton Live 8 to control the session, effects, and I’m playing melodies in real-time from the Launchpad. I'm using standard Live 8 features to communicate with the Launchpad. No additional middleware such as Max for Live is being used. I'm using additional MIDI tracks to route MIDI back out to the Launchpad to get visual feedback on sequences and to give me feedback on the notes I'm playing.

I'm in User Mode 1 the whole time and controlling all elements via MIDI notes. The entire song is performed in Session view and all elements are either being played or generated live using multiple VSTs on the fly (no audio clips). Lots of Live effects plus SugarBytes Artillery II.

Like with all songs on this album, I composed and arranged the song around the controller as opposed to composing the song then trying to figure out how to play it live.

Composer Notes
Even though these songs are from two different albums, the are related in that they tell the same story from two points of view.

Enjoy,

Mark Mosher, Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com

Categories
Ableton Live Artist News AudioCubes Contollerism

Percussa AudioCube Production and Performance Notes for “I Hear Your Signals”

<a href="http://www.markmoshermusic.com&quot; markmosher_rehearsing_01 

For my original music album “I Hear Your Signals” (download the album free) I use Percussa Audiocubes as performance controllers. In this post I’ll give you all the geeky details about how the controllers were applied in the project.

AUDIOCUBES AND MIDIBRIDGE
I used 4 AudioCubes plus Percussa’s free MIDIbridge app on Windows to configure and route AudioCube signals to Ableton Live. I use the same MIDIbridge patch for every song which allows for consistent and predictable data mapping from the cubes to Ableton Live.

In general, I play a lot of the notes on you hear on the album via keyboards, Theremin and Tenori-On live. I tend to use the cubes as controllers, for scene launching, and for real-time modulation of effects and synth parameters and only use them for triggering notes from time to time.

CUBE CONFIGURATION
The AudioCubes are configured with the in the following modes:

  • Cube 1 – Sensor (the red cube at 9:00 in the picture above): This cube sends MIDI CC information back to Live. I configure each side of  cube to give me visual feedback where each cube face is set to a different color. The closer my finger or hand is to the sensor, the brighter the light. Currently, Sensor cubes need to be wired via USB.
  • Cubes 2 & 3 Receivers (white cubes in above picture): Sends MIDI notes back to Live when a signal is received from Cube 4. image I also send RGB MIDI light sequence via MIDI clips in Ableton. The cubes then become light show elements and also offer visual feedback. These cubes are also plugged in via USB so they can receive high-speed transmissions via MIDI clips.
  • Cube 4 – Transmitter (green in the picture above): This cube is wireless. Aligning the faces of this cub with the faces on cubes 2 & 3 triggers MIDI notes back to Ableton Live.

MIDIBRIDGE AND ABLETON CONFIGURATION
I then MIDI map MIDI CC data and Note information coming from cubes via Ableton Live MIDI Map mode to various functions within live.
For cube 1, CC’s are mapped to device parameters and macros. These in-turn are often routed to parameters within VSTs. For example, a cube face might modulate delay time with Ableton’s native Ping Pong Delay FX device. Or the CC might map to filter on a VST synth. Below is a snapshot of the MIDIBridge settings for Cube 1 (click to enlarge).

markmosher_audio_cube_config_cube1

For Cubes 2 & 3, notes are triggered when the face from the transmitter Cube 4 is detected. I route notes to either MIDI tracks holding Ableton instruments or VSTs and/or racks. In some cases I route MIDI notes through a dummy track back to SugarBytes Artillery II running in a send or on the master track for effects. Since effects are triggered via notes rather than CCs with Artillery II, this method allows me to control effects as well as playing notes with signals from Transmitter cubes which only send MIDI note information. In other words, by combining native Ableton effects with Artillery II, I can use any cube in the network to trigger effects.

CUBE USAGE FOR EACH SONG

1) “Arrival”

In this song I’m using AudioCubes as lighting and feedback elements in the live show. They were not used in composition or performance of the music. MIDI clips in Live are used to sequence the lights.

Categories
(Mark Mosher Music News) Ableton Live AudioCubes Computers & Laptops Contollerism Launchpad Midi/USB Keyboards & Controllers Novation Remote SL Synths & Instruments (Virtual) Theremin Video Blog

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

2010-MarkMosher-Signals-Rig_01

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:
https://markmoshermusic.com/links.html

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

Categories
(Modulate This) AudioCubes Launchpad

Quick Picture of Novation Launchpad and Percussa AudioCubes

markmosher_audiocubes_launchpad_04 

After rehearsing tonight I took a shot of some of my Novation Launchpad and 4 Percussa AudioCubes. Click the picture to see a large version. I thought it was a pretty interesting shot so thought I’d share it.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.REBOOTalbum.com

Categories
Ableton Live AudioCubes Blofeld

My Blofeld + Ableton Live + Lpk25 + AudioCube Couch Potato Setup

markmoshermusic_couch_audiocube_lpk25

I wanted to create a small couch-friendly setup where I could play the Waldorf Blofeld with my little Akai LPK25 Controller and an AudioCube. Here is how I set it all up.

AudioCube Configuration
I use Percussa’s MIDI bridge to configure a sensor cube so that face 1-4 send CCs 10-13 (click image to enlarge).
audiocubes_sensor

Blofeld Global Configuration
The Blofled supports custom mapping of 4 CCs to controllers that are labeled W,X,Y,Z. Hold down “Shift”+”Global” to access the global params and turn the Display Parameter Dial to access the “Global Controls” page. In my case, i set W-Z to 10-13 respectively to match the CC numbers coming from the AudioCube.blofeld_w

Blofeld Patch Modification
Now I modify any patch to respond to AudioCube modulation by going to the Matrix menu and then setting W-Z as sources. In the example below I map Z (AudioCube Face 4) with Ring Modulation Level.blofeld_z_to_rmod

Ableton Live Configuration
imageAbleton Live 8 is running on a laptop which is the hub that makes this all work. The LPK25, Blofeld, and AudioCube are plugged in via USB and configured as MIDI devices in Live options. I create a Midi Track and specify the Blofeld as the output and arm the track.

At this point MIDI is merged from the LPK 25 and Percussa MIDI Bridge and sent through to the Blofeld allowing me to rock out from the comfort of my couch.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.REBOOTalbum.com

Categories
Ableton Live AudioCubes Contollerism Launchpad Synth: Absynth Synth: Gladiator Synth: u-he ACE

New Single “First Orbit” Performed Live + Percussa Audio Cube Presentation Video from Ableton Denver Meetup

On the 14th of March I gave a presentation on Percussa AudioCubes at the Ableton Denver Meetup. David Henderson was kind enough to shoot video and he even took the time to post on YouTube. Thanks David.

By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to his blog yet, you should check it out – http://www.hendersounds.com/. Lots of cool insights on Ableton Live, Monome and more.

As part of this presentation, I decided to perform a brand new single called “First Orbit” using only AudioCubes and a Launchad. The song is in the second video below and starts at the 1:20 mark.

Watch embedded video

http://www.youtube.com/v/bJXGKqf7Z2M&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en</embed></object></div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/ed674-6a00d83451cae869e201310fada78a970c-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

In this song I’m using AudioCubes to send MIDI notes and MIDI CC data to Ableton Live 8, specifically to:

  • Change scenes
  • Trigger Artillery 2 FX with MIDI notes
  • Modulate parameters of Ableton Live FX (Redux; PingPong Delay; Arpeggiator Rate, Gate, Distance)

I misspoke in the the video on what synths I’m using in this song. I’m using Gladiator 2, Absynth 5, and U-He Ace. Two synths that are well suited for cubes that are not in this song are Alchemy and Synplant.

The launchpad is used as a visual reference for what is going on inside of Live. at 2:55 I switch to User Mode 2 on the Novation Launchad and trigger a metallic sound then change the Rate by breaking the beam between cubes. I then play notes on the launchpad which plays both Gladiator and Absynth. When I pick up the Sensor cube, I’m modulating arpeggiator Gate and Distance. Opening up the gate makes the Absynth patch much more tonal.

Marc W. from Ableton Denver just gave me additional footage from a second camera angle and I plan to post a video on my channel of just the song by combining footage from both cameras. I’ll also post this live performance of the song in audio format and will also do a studio version down the road and release that as well.

Watch embedded video.

http://www.youtube.com/v/QXavNR1u-k4&hl=en_US&fs=1&&hl=en</embed></object></div>";” src=”https://modulatethis.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/5f208-6a00d83451cae869e20120a946b0fc970b-pi.jpg&#8221; style=”BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none” />

Thanks for watching!

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

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

image
Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes

“First Orbit” Copyright 2010 Mark J. Mosher, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Categories
Ableton Live AudioCubes Events

I’m Doing a Demo of Percussa AudioCubes with Ableton Live This Sunday March 14th at the Ableton Denver Meetup

I’m kicking off this Sunday’s Ableton Denver meetup with a presentation of Percussa Audio cubes with Ableton Live. I’ll be playing a new song that is performed almost entirely with AudioCubes.

markmosher_cube

Cache Flowe will be performing music and explaining his set up and approach to a full Live A/V set. A few key topics:

  • Real time MIDI & audio
  • Rendering music videos
  • Use of the Eclipse IDE

RSVP here. See you at the Walnut at 7:00.

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

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

image
Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes

Categories
(Modulate This) AudioCubes Interviews

Interview with Bert Schiettecatte Inventor of Percussa AudioCubes

Bert_Schiettecatte_Interview_ModulateThis

I recently conducted a phone interview with Percussa founder and AudioCube inventor Bert Schiettecatte. I think music artists, visual artists, sound designers, those interested in tangible interfaces for installations, and music technology fans will all enjoy this interview – even if you are not in the market for a tangible interface. Below is a brief context-setting introduction. If you want to jump straight to the interview click here.

Introduction
If you’ve been following Modulate This you know I’ve been using AudioCubes, a tangible interface made by Percussa. As I started using the cubes, I began contacting Percussa with questions. Percussa is a small company in Belgium and Bert Schiettecatte the founder and inventor of AudioCubes himself is happy to talk with customers directly which I found quite refreshing.

I have to say that prior to my experience with AudioCubes, I didn’t know much about tangible interfaces and the more I talked with Bert, the  more I began to understand how big of an innovation Percussa AudioCubes actually are.

Most tangible interfaces are comprised of an infrastructure of components that include tables with special surfaces, cameras, projectors, software, and computers. In most cases they are very, very expensive, not very portable, and require a lot of calibration if they are moved. In other words, tangible interfaces are out of reach for most artists.

Bert formed Percussa with the radical goal of producing an affordable portable self-contained tangible interface that you could throw in a backpack and that eliminated the infrastructure. The result is the AudioCube. Each cube is a wireless, battery powered, autonomous computer that can be used as a performance interface to music software.

Below is a recent phone interview I conducted with Bert. In this interview Bert discusses his time at the CCRMA lab at Stanford and the founding of Percussa. He also offers an introduction to tangible interfaces; and a detailed run-down on Percussa AudioCubes, their function, their electronics and how they compare with other tangible interfaces. He goes on to discuss some of the FREE apps that Percussa provides AudioCube users. Note – I originally planned on a 5-10 minute interview but after editing I ended up at around 24 minutes. Bert had a lot of interesting things to say, so I decided to offer all 24 minutes.

Interview

0:19 – Stanford and Laser Harps
1:21 – Founding Percussa
2:13 – What are Tangible Interfaces?
3:23 – AudoCubes Explained
5:35 – On Overview of the LED System
6:37 – Overview of the FREE apps That Work with AudioCubes
11:48 – Where Do People Go to Get the Apps?
12:26 – OS Platforms, drivers and AudioCube fabrication
13:43 – How do AudioCubes compare to other tangible interfaces
17:16 – What are typical uses of AudioCubes and who is using them?
18:11 – Art installations
19:50 – Packaging, where to buy and shipping
21:28 – Where to go to learn more
23:03 – Thanks Bert

Links

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

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

image


Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes

Categories
Ableton Live AudioCubes Reviews

In-Depth Review of Percussa AudioCubes in Use with Ableton Live

modulatethis_audiocube_review 

Back in November I purchased a set of four Percussa AudioCubes. I've spent quite a bit of time working with them as a an interface to Ableton Live. In this hands-on review I'll explain what they are, how    they work, how I'm using them with Live and also offer some tips along the way.

What Are AudioCubes?

clip_image002

Audio Cubes were invented and are manufactured by Percussa, a small privately held company in Belgium. Each AudioCube is a portable self-contained computer that acts as a tangible interface. The cubes detect location, orientation, and distance information from your hands and/or other AudioCubes. This information (MIDI or OSC) is then routed to your favorite music application via free software that is provided by Percussa. The software runs both on MAC and PC. I'll be focusing on MIDI, Windows, Ableton Live, and the MIDI Bridge application in this review, but will offer a summary of other Percussa apps at the end of the review.

What Can They Be Used For?
Common uses are music performance, visual performance, sound design, composition, DJing, and installations. You can also use them as lo-fi audio generators.

Categories
(Modulate This) Ableton Live AudioCubes ONE PATCH PERFORMANCE Preformance Synth: Synlpant

“Enumerating” – One Patch Performance Video Series

Watch embedded video

“Enumerating’ is another installment in my “ONE PATCH PERFORMANCE SERIES.” Videos in this series are intended to show what's possible when you constrain your tool set to one synth and one preset with many modulation routings mapped for performance.

I created a 4 bar pattern with a MIDI clip in Ableton Live. The clip sends notes to SonicCharge Synplant. All modulation is performed in real-time with two Percussa AudioCubes in “Sensor” mode.

The cubes are sending MIDI data to Ableton Live via the Percussa MIDI Bridge app through MIDI Yoke virtual ports. I used MIDI mapping in Ableton Live to map the  continuous controller data being sent from each cube face to device parameters within Synplant and also to the Ableton Transpose MIDI device.

For example, one cube face cause the branches of Synplant to spin. Branch length changes timbre. By rotating the branches I'm changing modulate per note as I rotate the branches.

Probably one of the best things about AudioCubes is that you can modulate 4 parameters at the same time with one cube in a way that isn’t possible with knobs on a controller. When used with a synth like Synplant, the changes in timbre can be quite radical. This video also illustrates how sensitive the cubes are. As you can see, I'm using finger movement to control modulation. I also have the cubes set to give visual feedback. As my hand or finger gets closer to the cube the color intensifies. I have different colors mapped to each cube face.

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

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

image
Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes

Categories
Ableton Live APC40 AudioCubes iPhone/iPod/iTunes Max for Live Midi/USB Keyboards & Controllers Synth: Alchemy Synth: DCAM: Synth Squad Synth: Gladiator Synth: Harmless Synth: Synlpant Synth: u-he ACE

Modulate This! – Best of 2009 Electronic Music Tech

image

Despite the economic downturn, 2009 was thankfully a huge year when it came to new technology for electronic music artists. Rather than try and cover every significant release, I’ll instead list some of my favorite products and notable trends.

The Year of Abletonimage
What a big year for Ableton. Live 8 with great new features set, Max for Live, 10th Anniversary of Ableton, launch of Live Intro, dedicated hardware controllers (APC40 & Launchpad). Awesome!

Grid (Matrix) Controllers
image 

Grid controllers everywhere in 2009. New controllers like the APC40, Launchpad and Bliptronics 5000. Continued development with existing controllers like Tenori-On and Monome. The grid metaphor also became quite prevalent in apps as well. I have the APC40 and Tenori-On and simply love them.

Percussa Audio Cubes “Tangible Interface”
 image

Not new in 2009 but new to me, Percussa AudioCubes are self-powered wireless computer systems. Cubes can detect and interact with each other and can detect the proximity of your hand near a cube face sensor and send this controller information to your DAW or to various free software apps provided by Percussa. I working with a 4 cube configuration within Ableton Live.

Fantastic Synths
A great year for virtual instruments. Below is a list of new and updates synths that I used over and over again in 2009 for both sound design and for music performance.

  • u-he ACE (Any Cable Anywhere)

    This synth just released by I use it all the time now! It’s a fantastic virtual analog synth with a great UI with patch cables. Sounds like butta’.
Categories
Ableton Live AudioCubes Contollerism Synth: Alchemy Synths & Instruments (Virtual)

Percussa Audio Cubes: Lights & Tangible Interface with Ableton Live and Alchemy

Mark Mosher Percussa Audio Cubes

I recently added Percussa AudioCubes to my studio and performance rig. While I’m planning a longer post offering an overview of how AudioCubes work, this is a quick post to mention two applications of AudioCube technology I’ve been experimenting with.

markmosher_audiocubes

First, I’m using them as lights. You can send RGB values to the cubes via MIDI. In the picture above, you can see a color fade being sent to an AudioCube via an Ableton MIDI clip. In a nutshell, you can sequence cubes as multi-color light sources against a timeline.  Controller number 14 is used for Red, 15 for Green and 16 for Blue.

Markmoshermusic_percussa_audiocubes_alchemy

Second, I’ve been experimenting with using AudioCubes+Ableton Live +VSTs to create "performance instruments” that I can play via cubes. In the picture above (click to enlarge), , I’m using Camel Audio Alchemy as a MIDI device with Ableton Live 8. The picture shows crop of a free Percussa app called MIDIBridge which is used to configure the cube settings. I’m using MIDI Yoke ports (I’m on Vista-32) between MIDIBridge and Ableton Live.

I am mapping device parameters to the X/Y of the remix pad in Alchemy. I then MIDI map faces of a an AucioCube in “sensor” mode to the performance parameters. In sensor mode, the AudioCube detects the proximity of my hands to their sides of the cube face and sends out a continuous controller value based on my hand position. So one face controls X, another Y. The same idea would work with Native Instruments KORE2.

Result = radical sonic changes within Camel Audio Alchmy presets with real time control via an AudioCube.

Links:

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

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

image
Download/Buy my album REBOOT on Bandcamp
Buy on iTunes