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(Mark Mosher Music News) (Modulate This) Events Improvisation Musique concrète Octatrack Sound Design

“The Beauty Comes Out of the Spider’s Nature” Improv on Elektron Octatrack by Mark Mosher

The Natures of Siders.jpg

This is a an audio board recording of a live improvisation using only the Elektron Octatrack. It was recorded at the Jan. 25th, 2018 Beat Cypher event at Madelife.

Thanks to Justin Forthuber at madelife for organizing this event and Chris Sessions for the board recording.

Thanks for listening,

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Electronic Musician, Producer
Boulder, CO
ModulateThis.com


If you enjoyed this recording click here.

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(Modulate This) Concerts Events Festivals Musique concrète Octatrack Videos

Video: Carbon Dioxide Ensemble (CO2E) Live at Denver Noise Fest 2016

The Carbon Dioxide Ensemble (CO2E) had the honor of opening night 2 of the Denver Noise Fest 2016 on December 22nd, 2016 at Globe Hall. Here is a video of our performance.

As I mentioned in a recent post, the focus of our ensemble is on live improvisational performance of musique concrète. Thomas Lundy uses blocks for dry ice to cause the copper heart to vibrate (through rapid cooling, strikes, drags…). I then use the Elektron Octatrack dynamic performance sampler to live-sample the Tom’s performance via a contact mic on the copper heart. I then simultaneously performs and does real-time sound design with the captured audio. Victoria Lundy accompanies on Theremin and Reaktor.

Audio is from room via the Q4N video camera.

Rig Photos

Links:
CO2E: https://markmoshermusic.com/portfolio…
Denver Noise Fest: http://www.DenverNoiseFest.com

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(Modulate This) Mixers Musique concrète Preformance

Mackie 802VLZ4 – Perfect Mixer for Live Sampling and Experimental Music Performance

I’m doing final preps for the Denver Noise Fest for the Carbon Dioxide Ensemble set tonight (Dec 22nd, 2016) at Globe Hall. This work includes testing my signal flows and getting the mixer set. There will be lots of acts so a fast setup time is important. I’ve really been enjoying the Mackie 802VLZ4 for shows like this one so in this post I’ll pass along some notes on this versatile workhorse mixer.

802VLZ4  vs 402VLZ4

I see tons of 402VLZ4’s at shows so let’s first look at the what the 802 has that makes it worth lugging a bigger mixer. And don’t get me wrong, at $99 the 402VLZ4 is a great little mixer. The 802 has a few features though that make it well worth the $199 street price tag if you do anything other than basic sub-mixing to the house.

802vs401

Extra, Extra

In addition to the extra inputs, the 802 has some super handy features.

  1. 2 x XLR Main Outs. Yes in addition to the 1/4″ outs, there are XLR outs for the mains. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been setting up for a live performance and the house runs out of DI’s. Having XLR out saves the day and you can plug right into the snake.
  2. Aux sends and returns
  3. EQ’s on every channel
  4. Panning on every channel. Super handy for taking a mono signal and getting into stereo on channels 1 & 2.
  5. Channel mutes
  6. Pre-fader solo
  7. A more robust control room source mix matrix. Essential for our ensemble.
  8. And most important of all the mighty Alt 3-4 stereo bus.

Note the 802 is small enough to fit in a Pelican 1510.

Alt 3-4 Bus is Crucial for Live Sampling Applications

Any channel on the board can be routed to the 3-4 bus which has it’s own balanced ALT OUT.  In the case of the Carbon Dioxide Ensemble, I take input from a copper heart being articulated with dry ice as a mono signal into channel 1. I can adjust the gain and EQ it, then press the 3/4 button to route it to the ALT OUT which I send to the Octatrack in as a stereo pair allowing me to both resample it, plus route the channel to the master out.

Signal Routing

  1. Take a mono signal into channel 1. Adjust the gain
  2. Set the panning to stereo center which converts the mono signal to stereo
  3. Press the Alt 3-4 button to route this to the 3-4 bus
  4. In the Control Room Source section – press the “Alt 3-4” button and “ASSIGN TO MAIN MIX” button which routes this signal to both buses. Turning up CR/SUBMIX increases gain for both outputs. I route CR OUT to the Octatrack in.
  5. Send signal to the house via XLR outs
    802vlz4

Planning, Tape, and a Sharpie

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

3M plastic tape (which you can grab from Target) is great for mixer annotation in that it leaves not residue on the board. Sharpie up your notes in prep – not the night of the show. This will help you setup quickly plus reduce stress during a show. Click on the pics to see closeups. As I said, setup will be fast paced, so I’ve setup channels 7/8 as inputs Victoria’s rig in case the house runs out of channels on the snake. The entire ensemble can submix through my board to the house in stereo – bam.

Test

I always set this sort of thing up and test it with inputs from my phone. This helps me get muscle memory for the mixer before the show and test my assumptions about how the routing will work out.

Huge Value – Cheapest Mixer in the Mackie Line with These Features

Simply put – I use the hell out of this mixer. I use it for live shows, for the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer meetup, improv sessions. It’s the least expensive mixer in the line with XLR outs and the 3-4 bus. Highly recommended if you can stretch a little further dollar-wise.

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(Modulate This) Musique concrète Noise Octatrack Preformance Sampling Sound Design

Notes on Octatrack’s Role in Carbon Dioxide Ensemble’s Upcoming Set for Denver Noise Fest 2016

I’ll be performing with the Carbon Dioxide Ensemble (Co2E) at Denver Noise Fest. The fest starts today on Dec 21st and our set is on the second night on the 22nd.

See my recent article Spread the Word – Denver Noise Fest VII 2016 is On!!! December 21-22 Globe Hall.

The Carbon Dioxide Ensemble is a collaboration with myself, Thomas Lundy, and Victoria Lundy, and . In this ensemble we focus  on live improvisational performance of Musique concrète. In this unique act I use the Elektron Octatrack dynamic performance sampler to live sample Thomas Lundy as he manipulates a Copper Heart and other objects which with dry ice. Victoria Lundy accompanies on Theremin and Reaktor.

Octatrack Is Essential for Live Sampling and Improvisational Real-Time Sound Design

The Octatrack is aptly named as a “Dynamic Performance Sampler” and is perfect for this sort of gig. The Copper Heart has a contact mic on the bottom. When Tom articulates the heart with dry ice, the metal start shearing at a microscopic level causing the heart to resonate. He can also bang and scrape the ice on the heart. I capture this in real-time and then build instruments on the fly to compliment what both he and victoria are playing. I have some percussion samples in the wings and some other fun oddities that I can quickly can pull into the equation if the improv demands it.

I find it more fun, challenging, and interesting to perform without a safety net in this regard and forego a cue mix and just program the Octatrack “tracks” live in the PA – mostly performing in real-time in chromatic or slots mode. I use scene morphing to do things like pull the harmonic content of the heart into bass territory so I can “light up” the sub-woofers in the room. One fun “move” is to use the crossfader mapped to sample playback rate to tune the sub-harmonics to achieve sympathetic vibration with the room. It’s pretty epic to hear in person :^)

Video

It’s all pretty unusual and fun. Below is a video of a past performance. Audio is from GoPro mic so doesn’t really do the audio justice – but will give you a sense of the act.

Safety First

Oh, and if you working with dry ice, don’t forget to wear your safety goggles.

dsc00457

Links

Carbon Dioxide Ensemble.

Denver Noise Fest on Facebook

Denver Noise Fest Web Site

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(Modulate This) Concerts Musique concrète Octatrack Performance Videos Synth: Octatrak Theremin

Are You Ready to Hear a Copper Heart Played with Dry Ice Fed Through to an Octatrack with Theremin Accompaniment?

Heart-01

Are you ready to hear a copper heart played with dry ice fed through to an Octatrack with Theremin accompaniment? Well here you go.

Video of live concert footage: Concréte Mixer IV Denver – Co2 Copper Heart vs Octatrack vs Theremin with Thomas Lundy and Victoria Lundy. Recorded live at the Concréte Mixer IV concert at the Walnut Room in Denver on January 30th, 2015. I am live sampling the Copper Heart with an Elektron Octatrack and providing drum elements, Victoria Lunday is playing Theremin. The only audio source for Octatrack other than drum samples. Shot with GoPro with audio from Zoom H2n recording ambient room sound.

//player.vimeo.com/video/118355476

Live Concert Footage: Concréte Mixer IV Denver – Co2 Copper Heart vs Octatrack vs Theremin from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

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(Modulate This) Musique concrète Synth: Absynth

Absynth Sound Design Experiment – Non-Linear Radioactive Soda Can

Radioactive soda can

I recently did a post where I manipulated the sample of the sound of a pen striking a half-full can of soda with Ableton Push and pad pressure. In this post I used the same sample, but this time with Absynth. You can listen to the experiment on Soundcloud here or in the embedded player below.

The recoridng starts with the original sample just to illistrate the starting point. I built an Absynth preset with granular synthesis to manipulate the play head plus grain size. I use the Aetherizer effect to further manipulate the signal with a comb filter with feedback. I achieve non-linearity by setting the sample start envelope to "Loop" which causes the sound to keep re triggering and playing through the grains and filing up the Aetherizer's buffer. When played at certain pitches, this non-linearity feedback results in a Geiger counter-like sound. All that from a coke can strike :^) A play the preset with various notes to show how different the harmonic content is as it feedback at different frequencies.

I've become quite handy with Absynth, so if there is some aspect of Absynth you'd like me to do a post on, leave a comment.
 

 

Mark Mosher 
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
 
http://www.markmoshermusic.com 
http://www.aiwinter.net 
http://bouldersynth.com (meetup)

Categories
Ableton Live Ableton Push Musique concrète

Ableton Push Impov: Vinyl Needle Drops in Drum Racks (Real-Time & Step Automation)

Working with the Elektron Octatrack has gotten back into sampling big time. Some of the things you can do with an Octatrack – like per step automation – can also be done with Ableton Push when working in "Note" mode in drum racks.

Push-step-automation

  1. One you turn on a note in the step sequencer, you can then hold the note down to acces all sort of parameters for devices. While holding the step…
  2. Adjust params to your liking. In this example I'm changing the pitch of each step in the step-sequencer.

You can of course record real-time automation by simply pressing the "Automation" button when in record or overdub mode. 

Below is an example audio snippet I put on soundcloud of doing such that. I sampled audio from random needle drops on vinyl into clips and used them to build a custom drum rack.  I then improvised using Push to perform and sequence these clips including per step automation of various parameters.

Mark Mosher 
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
 
http://www.markmoshermusic.com 
http://www.aiwinter.net 
http://bouldersynth.com (meetup)

Categories
Ableton Live Ableton Push Musique concrète Synth: Ableton Sampler

Manipulating a Percussive Soda Can Sample using Pad Pressure on Ableton Push #MadeWithLive

Soda-can

I recorded the sound of a pen striking a half-full soda can. I loaded this into Sampler and went to the MIDI panel and mapped "Aftertouch" (pad pressure) to "Loop Length" with a value of -100. Now pad pressure modulate the loop length.

Aftertouch-loop-length

Here is a video of this sound design work in progress – http://youtu.be/Ld5KWyGs9_M.

 

Mark Mosher 
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
 
http://www.markmoshermusic.com 
http://www.aiwinter.net 
http://bouldersynth.com (meetup)

Categories
(Modulate This) Concerts Denver/Boulder Livid Base Musique concrète resolume Tenori-On

Concréte Mixer: An evening of solo and collaborative musique concréte in Denver Jan 25th 9PM at the Walnut Room

I’ll be performing in a very interesting experimental music concert later this month. Instead of playing my composed electronica songs, I’ll  doing some very unique collaborative pieces where I capture, shape, and perform with audio from other artists performing live. This includes a performance with a copper heart played with dry ice (see video below).

I’ll also be performing a solo piece using some field recordings I’ve made. I’ll be providing interactive visuals from live camera input from stage for most of the evening. Read on for more info and scroll to the bottom for videos which will give you a taste of what to expect.

SHOW INFO
January 25, 2014, 9 pm
3131 Walnut Street
Denver, Colorado 80205
(303) 295-1868
$10 advance / $12 at the door
21+ / www.thewalnutroom.com

PRESS RELEASE
“Today’s serious composer of electronic music will often incorporate some techniques of musique concrete. Prerecorded voices or instruments are often used as a source of sound to be manipulated by the composer, and used, along with electronically produced signals, as the principal music signals of a composition. It has been all but forgotten that in 1951, when the Germans opened their studios in Cologne under the artistic guidance of Eimert and Stockhausen, musique concrete was considered a separate vocabulary and not to be confused with the new German developments of oscillator developed sounds. Early writings on these subjects made clear distinctions between musique concréte and electronic music.” “The primary aim of musique concréte is the alteration of the listeners perceptions.” – Herb A. Deutsch, electronic music pioneer.
The Walnut Room in Denver has been a loyal supporter of experimental and ambient artists, and is a beautiful venue with superior sound and the best audio engineers in town. On January 25, five artists from different realms of performance and composition will convene at the Walnut Room  to present an evening of acoustic, analog electronic and digital noises, sound effects and tonal music inspired by the musique concréte form and philosophy. Mark Mosher will create expressive sample-based “instruments” on-the-fly, building up his instruments in real-time by sampling his own synthesizers as well as capturing audio from contact mics, and output from the other artists. To compliment the music and sound, Mark will also project interactive visuals. He will be joined by experimental musician Randall Frazier, theremin artist Victoria Lundy, noisician John Gross, and sound designer and musician Rick Reid all performing solo and interactive work. 
A special treat is the revival of the dry ice on metal “Copper Heart,” the central instrument from the former Carbon Dioxide Orchestra, which has been stored since about 1999!
BIOS
Randall Frazier: Orbit Service is the musical project of Colorado-based producer/engineer Randall Frazier
(helmet room, Bela Karoli, Kal Cahoone) produced in collaboration with Kim G. Hansen (Antenne), Dennis Swanson (Day Dissolved Dream) and Kirill Nikolai (Still Light). Orbit Service’s mystical leanings steer them close to the likes of Sol Invictus, but OS zigs where neo folk zags, giving them a sonic momentum that leads to a much outer part of outer space. This beautifully crafted set smells like moist earth covered in leaves. Orbit Service’s mining of ever deeper moods has yielded a subtle treasure that glows like distant sun. http://orbitservice.bandcamp.com | http://www.helmetroom.com/.
John Gross has been performing noise since 1994. He has appeared in Zoologist, Burn heavy, Page 27 Robot Mandala, and Suicide Notes. John is the curator of the Denver Noise Fest, and has performed around the country at Ende Tymes Fest, the International Noise Fest, and the Albuquerque Experimental Fest. https://soundcloud.com/noise27.
Victoria Lundy has been playing theremin in the Denver experimental/underground/punk scene since the
90s. She was a member of the avant garde Carbon Dioxide Orchestra, who opened for the legendary Silver Apples in 1997; is a founding member of Denver’s acclaimed nerd rock band The Inactivists and has appeared all of their 6 CDs and EP, and as a guest player live and in recordings with other local artists. She also was a member of Jackson Induced Mutant Laboratory and performed with them at the 2011 Denver Noise Festival and at the 2013 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase with ambient project Pythian Whispers. Victoria has appeared at many venues in denver as well as Boulder’s Dairy Center for the Performing Arts, and demonstrated the theremin at the World Science Fiction Convention. http://fandalism.com/victorialundy.
Mark Mosher is an electronic musician, sound designer, composer and performer from Boulder, CO. He has performed festivals and theaters around the country such as Electro-Music Festival NY, Electro-Music Festival in Asheville NC, Pacific Northwest Synthfest, Art Institute of Sunnyvale, Georgia Tech, Midwest Electro-Music Experience, University of Denver’s Performance Black Box, The Dairy Center for the Performing Arts and more. His 2012 dark ambient album NO GHOSTS. JUST FEAR. cracked the Top 10 on Bandcamp’s BestSelling Experimental Albums in Week of October 8th 2012.
At this event, Mark will be performing musique concréte by creating expressive sample-based “instruments” on-the-fly on a computer-less state-of-the-art hardware sampler called the Octatrack. He will build up his instruments in real-time by sampling his own synthesizers as well as capturing audio from contact mics, and output from other artists. He will then then perform with these instruments live. To compliment the music and sound, Mark will also project interactive visuals. https://markmoshermusic.com/.
Rick Reid has been the sound designer for more than fifty theater productions in the Denver area. He also performed soundtrack music for the locally-produced web video series “Lucha Libre: El Tecolote vs. The Body Thief From Dimension X” and will be playing theremin in the soundtrack of the upcoming indie feature film “The Cosmic Creature.” Rick has self-released two electronic music albums.  He has also been a voice actor on several local and national TV and radio advertising campaigns.  In his daytime gig, Rick creates movie previews for the Starz, Encore and MoviePlex television networks.   Find Rick on the web at www.RickReid. com.
Thomas Lundy will be playing dry ice on metal.

TEASER VIDEO FOR ONE OF THE COLLABORATIONS

This video features the Copper Heart and is just a small taste of some interesting sonic experiences we all have in store for you at the show so we hope you will come to the show and tell your friends. This improvisation was shot at a tech rehearsal in a Denver warehouse. It features Tom Lundy playing the copper heart with dry ice. The rapid cooling of the copper causes the metal emit all sorts of interesting sounds. The Copper Heart has a contact mic on it with the signal being routed to Mark Mosher who is sampling the signal on the fly and shaping and sequencing the sound in real-time with an Elektron Octatrack. So you hear both the original Copper Heart plus the manipulation. Victoria Lundy is playing complimentary parts on a Moog Etherwave Pro Theremin which is being processed by Mooogerfoogers. Mark is also running real-time interactive visuals with Resolume based on live camera input (which can be seen on the right wall at the beginning of this video). For the actual show these images will be projected behind the artists.

SOLO PIECE EXAMPLE

All be doing a solo piece where I simultaneously create music and sound from field recordings and manipulate visuals. I’ll be using an Octatrack, a laptop running Resolume and Absynth via Plogue Bidule host controlled by a Livid Base. I’ll also use a Tenori-On as Octatrack food. Below is a flickr photo set of the rig sand some rehearsals.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=138195

Excerpts from Ambient Improv 11/24/2013 (Tenori-On + Waldorf Nave Custom Presets + Octatrack) from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

Instead of using visual patterns, I’ll be processing live camera input. So this video illustrates what the video might look at the show.

Mark Mosher – Dark Scifi Controllerism Teaser Video 01 – “Alone” from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.