(no)poem Concert Events Photos

Photos from (no)poem Experimental Ambient Concert at Walnut Room in Denver

Darwin Grosse and I performed another (no)poem set the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup on January 12th. (no)poem is our original experimental ambient duo. We improvise using graphical scores. We also use generative feedback-based visuals via Max Patch that Darwin developed. This performance was in the wonderful Walnut Room in Denver which has a fantastic PA.

Below are photos from the show. A big thanks to Chris Sessions and Jeff Navarro for contributing photos.

Ableton Live Ableton Push Live 9 Max for Live

Photos form the Ableton Live 9, Max for Live and Push Premiere Event the University of Denver

I attended the Ableton Live 9, Max for Live and Push Premiere Event the University of Denver on Wednesday February 27th.

Ableton Certified Trainer and electronic artist Orville Kline joins Darwin Grosse from Cycling 74 for a unique performance and presentation covering the new features of Ableton Live 9, the potential of Max for Live and exploring creative approaches for composition and performance using Ableton’s new hardware instrument Push.

Here is a flickr set from the event.

Ableton Live Artist News Denver/Boulder Show Report Synths & Instruments (Virtual)

Show Report: Two Days in Denver with Robert Henke (aka Monolake)

Photo: DMNS Gates Planetarium

Robert Henke of Monolake and one of the creators of Ableton live came through Denver and performed his work “Intersection” on Monday and then delivered a lecture at Denver University on Tuesday. This invitation only event was hosted by The Digital Media Studies program at the University of Denver.

This was a real treat as this was one of only a small number Robert’s performances in the US. Here is a show report.

Intersection” is a work which incorporates “field recordings made in Hanoi in 2009, reconstructed through narrative, music and sounds”. The performance was presented in the context of the amazing full-dome digital theater of the Gates Planetarium

Before the show started the event host Trace Reddell, Ph.D. (Director, Digital Media Studies University of Denver) introduced Robert who talked a little bit about the piece and the show.


Robert described the show as a real-time collaboration between himself and Gate’s Planetarium’s own VJ / Pilot / Scientist Ka Chun Yu Ph.D. on visuals (pictured below).


They had only met a few hours before the show and the concert was almost completely improvised.

Music and Sound
On the sound side of things, Robert describes “Intersection” as follows:

Intersection is entirely created using field recordings taken in November 2009 in and around the city of Hanoi in Vietnam. The field recordings were transferred to a laptop and layered, filtered, slowed down and processed in many ways to form the composition. The idea of using recordings of day by day sounds as material for musical expression is not new. It has been pioneered shortly after the advent of tape recorders in the late 1940 by the French composer Pierre Schaeffer and others. They coined the term ‘musique concrete’ for these kind of works.

Ableton Live Max for Live

Max For Live News: Ableton Live Co-Founder Henke Releases Max for Live Devices + Ableton Denver Meetup “Presents An Evening with Darwin Grosse from Cycling ’74”


Robert Henke, co-founder of Ableton has released some interesting looking Max for Live devices on his website – Devices include:

  • The legendary PX-18 step sequencer
  • Black – "A simple device which does two things: It displays songtime in hours:minutes:seconds- at least as long as you are working with a constant song tempo. And it allows to black out the computer screen while listening to the music…"
  • Distance – "This audio effect device is for those who are into careful placement of sonic events in the stereo field."
  • Circular Doppler – "Two virtual microphones rotate around a single sound source. Doppler delays, distance dependent amplitude modulation and filtering included. Movement of source and microphones synced to song position. This allows 100% reproducible effects."
  • Grain Freeze – “A granular audio freezer effect. Creates lush textures out of everything!”

Timer permitting, he indicated he’ll be uploading more devices in the future.


In other Max for Live releted news. The Ableton Denver meetup presents “An Evening with Darwin Grosse from Cycling '74” – Meetup is Jan 24h, 2010 at the Walnut Room in Denver at 7:00 p.m. If you live in the Denver area register for the meetup and swing on by and say hi.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Composer, Sound Designer

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Ableton Live APC40 Max for Live

Modulate This Takes A First Look at Max for Live


Last weekend I attended the Communikey Festival of Electronic Arts at the Atlas Center in Boulder, Colorado where I was lucky enough to be one of the first to see Max for Live in action. Cycling '74's Director of Engineering Darwin Grosse gave an hour and half seminar offering an preview of Max for Live. In this post I'll share my notes. Alas I only had my iPhone with me so some pics are low resolution.

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Overview of Cycling ‘74 Products
Darwin began the talk by describing Cycling '74's existing product line.

  1. Max – a graphical programming environment that provides user interface, timing, communications, and MIDI support
  2. MSP –for real-time audio synthesis and DSP
  3. Jitter – for video and matrix data processing

Max for Live
First Darwin gave us an overview of what Max for Live does. Rather than type my notes I’ll share the concise description from Communikey seminar description:

Cycling '74 and Ableton announced Max for Live, the integration of Cycling '74's Max/MSP environment into Ableton Live. Available as an add-on product to Ableton's  newly announced Live 8, Max for Live permits users to create devices that extend  and customize Live by creating instruments, controllers, audio effects, and MIDI  processors.

Devices developed with Max for Live utilize the same features as those created by Ableton engineers. This includes UI controls, MIDI mapping, multiple undo, tempo-based effects, sample-accurate automation, and comprehensive file and preset management. Devices created in Max can be shared with Ableton's new web collaboration features. An innovative “preview mode” feature permits editing in Max  while devices continue to process audio and/or MIDI as if they were inside Live. When an edited device is saved, it updates in place inside Live's device view.

Something For Everyone with Ready Made Devices
While the primary audience of Max for Live is certainly Tweakers who want to extend Live, it’s worth mentioning that Max for Live will ship with ready mad devices. Darwin demoed:

1. Step Sequencer
“Play up to four concurrent sequences, each with up to 16 steps and each playing a different instrument. It also features adjustable step size and step probability, sequence shift buttons (up, down, left, right), a "random" mode and comprehensive real-time MIDI options.”

2. Buffer Shuffler
 "Shuffles incoming audio by buffering the audio, then replaying it in whatever order you've specified. Each channel of the stereo signal can be shuffled with different patterns (unlike Beat Repeat) and there is also a "dice" mode that randomizes the shuffle pattern at each bar crossing. Finally, a smoothing setting limits the amount of clicking at each transition point. Use sensibly to add subtle variations or go full-on to see where it takes you.”

3. Loop Shifter
image“This instrument is essentially a creative loop playback device that generates some surprising and innovative results. If there was ever a "sound of Max," this device embodies it. It uses MIDI notes as triggers for playback states, each MIDI note representing one such "state": a combination of playback rate, loop points and filter settings. Although the Loop Shifter is a relatively simple device, these functions don't exist yet in any other commercial loop playback products.”

4. APC 40 Extension
Darwin didn’t demo this, but Max for Live will ship with an extension that “turns the APC40's button matrix into a hardware interface for programming MIDI sequences in Live. A mode switch on the APC takes you in and out of sequencer mode, where you can set and clear notes in a MIDI clip just as you would with an 808 or analog step sequencer.”

Live as a Real-Time Max Editing Platform
One of the downsides of working with Max Plugins is the workflow isn’t real-time. You have to edit, then compile, then preview as a VST. If something isn’t to your liking you repeat the process.

According to Darwin, Cycling ‘74 was looking for a platform that would support real-time workflow for device creation – which of course is why they partnered with Ableton.

So in Max for Live you simply click the edit button top on the top right hand side of a device and you enter the Max Editor. Close the editor and you are back in Live. In either mode, Lives audio engine doesn’t stop. The device actually operates while editing with no need for compilation! While demoing this feature he popped in and out of edit mode and built and played devices on the fly.