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Pretty much all of them.

Aalto 1.7 Update

Madrona Labs Aalto adds support for Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE), enabling compatibility with next-generation expressive controllers. The Aalto 1.7 update is free for existing customers.

Aalto, the patchable software synthesizer from Madrona Labs, now supports Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE). MPE is a new protocol developed in cooperation with Apple, Bitwig, Haken Audio, KMI, Madrona Labs, Moog Music, Roger Linn Design, ROLI and others. With MPE, software and hardware synths can support the per-note expressive capabilities of new controllers like the Linnstrument, Seaboard, and Soundplane.

The Madrona Labs Soundplane, Roger Linn Designs Linnstrument and the ROLI Seaboard are all new musical controllers that provide per-note expression. Unlike MIDI keyboards, these multidimensional controllers let musicians shape each note independently using pressure as well as x/y motion, bringing an acoustic sounding nuance to electronic performance. Unfortunately, a typical synthesizer can’t process all this multidimensional information.

Enter MPE. MPE controllers and synthesizers use the tried and true MIDI protocol, so they are compatible with existing DAWs. But they use it in a new way: a single note is transmitted over each MIDI channel, so each note can have its own continuous pitch, pressure, x, and y changes over time.

Madrona Labs’ synthesizer Aalto now supports the MPE specification for compatibility with MPE-aware controllers including the Linnstrument, Seaboard, and Soundplane. With MPE as the connection between these instruments and Aalto, per-note expressive performances can now be captured and edited in most MIDI recording software.

Aalto version 1.7 also brings improved Soundplane compatibility with MIDI patches, optimized animation drawing, and bug fixes. MPE support in Madrona Labs’ Kaivo synthesizer will follow next month.

Aalto by Madrona Labs

Surachai – Heavy Mask

Digital release date: July 7th, 2015. Estimated vinyl ship date: mid-August 2015.
Surachai Bandcamp

Weight In Minimalism
Leaving Heavy Mask sparse left me in doubt for several weeks. Every layer I added seemed to take away from its initial severity and grit, and wash away the detail of the foundation tracks. I eventually surrendered to its simplicity and worked with maximizing the details. As a result of its simplicity, it’s been called a grower and not a show-er. Heavy Mask was written, mixed, and organized with vinyl as the preferred listening method.

Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15
Everything on this album went through a Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15. The Culture Vulture Super 15 is a very strange piece of processing gear that I have trouble recommending to anyone. The TCVS15 is a very specific tool for a very specific person – and apparently, I don’t know any of these people. The Cwejman S1 MKII was fed into the Eventide Space and into the Thermionic Culture Vulture Super 15 and was sequenced by the Make Noise RENE. If you’ve listened to Ritual or read its accompanying article, this should sound familiar. Except for the TCVS15, the signal flow is identical to how Ritual was recorded. If you want an extreme comparison, listen to how clean and dynamic Ritual is and come back to listen to Heavy Mask. On the flip side, Form Volume II was pre-mastered with the TCVS15 and was cleaned up and sparkly by the time it hit mastering.

Drums
The drums were performed by Charlie Werber during this past brutal Chicago winter. You may remember Charlie from Embraced where I’m still in awe of his performance. In the Heavy Mask recording sessions, Charlie simplified and complimented the existing tracks I brought in. In an active rehearsal space, I recorded Charlie using 4 microphones: 2 Earthworks QTC40’s for the overheads, 2 SM57’s on the kick and top of the snare, everything went directly into the RME UFX. UAD’s Neve 88RS, UA1776, and LA2A were heavily used.

Artwork
Sarah Sitkin. I’ve known Sarah for almost 10 years and I’m probably her biggest fan. She’s responsible for the artwork on To No Avail a few years ago and how much she’s evolved in that time is breathtaking. Hell, how much she’s evolved since creating the Heavy Mask cover just over a month ago is amazing.
John Crawford is the only person you need to follow on Instagram. Together, John and Emilie created the Ritual artwork last year and I needed John’s aesthetic on Heavy Mask as well. He’s been essential for creative input as well as execution and his instinct overrule mine.
Caspar Newbolt was responsible for the entirety of the artwork on Embraced and helped lay out Ritual. He graciously lent a hand again with making sure the vinyl packaging and general layout was consistent with our combined high standards.
A quick word about censorship: Heavy Mask will not appear anywhere that censors the human body, so far this only includes iTunes and its services.

Mastering
Shawn Hatfield of Audible Oddities. Again, always. The versions Shawn send back make me feel like I’m listening to a fully formed thought as opposed to just a number of tracks I made and ordered. Shawn brought Heavy Mask to a level clarity and brutality I’ve rarely heard before.

“When I first heard these songs, I immediately thought about how they’d benefit from being pushed a bit harder than normal through my chain, to bring in some subtle saturation and harmonics. I felt this really showed off the exceptional work Surachai had already done at the mix stage. I focused mostly on getting the gain staging for each piece of equipment just right to get the optimal sound for each song. In these various stages, the songs passed through several transformers, starting with Carnhill, into a pair of amorphous core Lundahl’s and then into a pair of Cinemag’s. I used two different tube stages along the way; one for transparent vari-mu compression using the Knif Vari Mu II, and the other a colorful class A tube pre-amp called a Creamliner II that adds some great detail by adding triode harmonics. At the end of the chain, a Dangerous BAX EQ was used to help balance the lows and highs just prior to capture.”

Lacquering, Plating, and Printing
The signal flow was the same as Ritual: Roger of SAE handled the lacquering which is then sent to Metalworks for plating and then to Gottagroov for the printing. The records are 180 grams and the jackets are thick tip-on boards with a matte finish that makes the artwork particularly menacing.

BL_K NOISE
This is the fourth vinyl release on BL_K NOISE. Moe Espinosa / Drumcell, who runs the label with me, described BL_K NOISE perfectly, “a small label to release music that is not restrained by genre or expectations. An open format label to release whatever music we feel like whenever we want.” What Moe left out is that all of our releases have been DIY, we go through great lengths to be involved in every step of the process and stand proudly behind out releases artistically on all levels. Anyone that has bought our vinyl can speak to the high quality.

We don’t pay for PR, promotion, or print and somehow we sell out of our releases. It’s equally humbling as it is confusing. Thank you for the support, it means more than you’ll ever know.

Sarah Sitkin
John Crawford
Shawn Hatfield
Caspar Newbolt

Reference 1
heavy mask outtake 3

Reference 2
heavy mask outtake 1

Deep Dream submitted by Jordan Paschke
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Harvestman Firmware Updates

You can upgrade the modules yourself by downloading the hex files and installing it with a PicKit, or e-mail support@theharvestman.org to set up an update service.

Firmware updates
These files will upgrade the functionality of your Harvestman modules. In order to use them, you must have a Microchip PicKit2 programmer (PicKit3 also OK), available from many electronics supply stores. You must also have a Windows computer, or a Mac (command line only). Older modules with a 2-row, 10-pin header also require the Piston Honda ROM Programmer Board to adapt the PicKit connector, available from your Harvestman dealer. Detailed instructions are provided in each download.

PISTON HONDA MARK ][
v2.0 – June 21, 2015
– Front panel controls stabilized further
– For all morphs on 1 or 2 axes, audio quality is greatly improved.
– Base frequency and range reset for use with Argos Bleak and Stillson Hammer Mark ][
– LED flicker reduced

Hertz Donut MARK ][
v2.0 – June 24, 2015
– Front panel controls stabilized further
– Audio quality greatly improved
– Sine wave quality increased
– LED flicker reduced (NOTE: Colored buttons no longer animate in LFO mode)
– Base frequency and range reset for use with Argos Bleak and Stillson Hammer Mark ][
– Crosstalk between channels reduced

Zorlon Cannon MARK ][
v2.0 – June 22, 2015
– Front panel controls stabilised further
– Internal oscillator performance greatly improved, less noise at audio rates
– Base frequency and range reset for use with Argos Bleak and Stillson Hammer Mark ][ (when square wave is selected and trigger is set to single-edge mode (orange))
– Crosstalk between channels reduced

Download Harvestman firmware updates

THE BLACK QUEEN: Dillinger Escape Plan Singer on Cathartic New Electronic Project

The Black Queen, Greg Puciato’s long-rumored electronic outfit, which also features sometime Nine Inch Nails and Puscifer member Joshua Eustis and former Dillinger, NIN and Kesha tech Steven Alexander. The group has finally released its first single, “The End Where We Start” and is set to drop its debut album, Fever Daydream, this fall.

Full Article on Rollingstone.com

Alessandro & Richard. June, 12. Atlanta, GA

Your opening act is Atlanta-based electronic music composer Richard Devine. The two of you have performed together in the past. Any chance you’ll be collaborating in any way at this show?

We’ve known each other a long time. We are part of an online collective called Trash_Audio, where we basically talk shit about people and post images of gear we like. We’ve played a few shows together in the past and done some things live together. But when I do something like play the Sonno record live, I have to stick to a specific gear configuration that doesn’t really lend itself to improvisation.

Tickets
Facebook Event Page
Alessandro Interview

Mutable Instruments – Clouds Parasite

Demo/tutorial of the Clouds Parasite free alternative firmware for Mutable Instruments Clouds. More information and download at http://mqtthiqs.github.io/parasites.

A parasite is an organism living in or on another, benefiting unilaterally from its host. Parasites is a series of free and open source alterative firmwares for the Eurorack modules from Mutable Instruments. Their purpose is to enhance existing features, and add new function and hidden modes, retaining as much as possible factory functionality.

More information

TRASH_AUDIO Synth Meet. June 14th. Austin, TX.

T_A-Synth-Meet-15-V2

Hey! We’re going to be in Austin to hang and perform. Both of these events are included in admission to the festival.

Church of the Friendly Ghost presents: Trash_Audio Synth Meet at the New Media Art and Sound Summit.
Saturday, June 13th, 2015
Salvage Vanguard Theater
2803 Manor Rd, Austin, Texas 78722

Co-Sponsors: I/O Music Technology and Switched On Austin

Synth Meet. 1-5pm.
Bleep Labs
Delptronics
Harvestman
LZX Industries
Make Noise
Noise Engineering
Super Synthesis
WMD

Performances. 5-9pm.
Alessandro Cortini (LA)
Richard Devine (Atlanta)
Baseck (LA)
Surachai (Chicago)
Dylan C (Austin)
Snowbeasts (Providence)
Tyler Thompson (Denver)

5:15pm: Tyler Thompson (Denver)
5:30pm: Dylan C
6:05pm: Snowbeasts (Providence)
6:35pm: Surachai (Chicago)
7:15pm: Alessandro Cortini (LA)
8:05pm: Richard Devine (Atlanta)
8:55pm: Baseck (LA)
9:30pm: Man Forever (NY, sponsored by Astral Spirits)
10pm: Christy & Emily (NYC) w/ Brock Monroe
11:00pm: Danny Kamins, Steve Parker, Damon Smith, Sandy Ewen
11:30pm: Kid Millions + Jim Sauter duo (NY, sponsored by Astral Spirits)
12:15am: Mongoose Ensemble

Photo by Dan McPharlin

Tickets to NMASS Festival
Facebook Event Page

New Media Art and Sound Summit – Austin, TX. June 11-13, 2015.

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Saturday, June 13th will feature modular synth performances by Alessandro Cortini (LA), Richard Devine (Atlanta), Surachai (Chicago), Snowbeasts (Providence), Tyler Thompson (Denver), Dylan C (Austin), Baseck (LA). Our day of programming focused on modular synths will also include a Trash_Audio synth meet co-sponsored by I/O Music Technology and Switched On Austin, with the following synth manufacturers: Bleep Labs, Delptronics, Harvestman, LZX Industries, Make Noise,Noise Engineering, Super Synthesis, and WMD. More details about the performers will be added soon.

Church of the Friendly Ghost
2803 Manor Rd, Austin, Texas 78722

Tickets
Facebook Event Page

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Waveguiding

Waveguiding from Joseph Fraioli on Vimeo.

no computers or external hardware were used in this performance :)
patch basics:
kick: tiptop audio circadian rhythms (CR) channel 1, blue lantern asteroid BDv4 (CR is in 1×64 step mode)
snare: CR channel 2, cylonix cyclebox v2 with expo maths envelope into intellijel hex vca.
hi hat: CR channel 3. noise engineering basilicas iterus.
karplus strong style bass: make noise mysteron triggered by the intellijel metropolis which is synced the to the CR clock out. output is then multed into a vca channel and opened by the sound machines light plane then fed into the make noise erbe verb. the light plane has two recorded gates that open the vca to the erbe verb…
plucked melody: mutable instruments braids PLUK being sequenced by channel 4 of the CR and pitch sequenced by the tiptop z8000 through the intellijel uscale then processed through the tiptop z-dsp. modulation to braids parameters coming from the modcan quad lfo.
bass chords: sound source is the cyclonic shapeshifter in chord mode (5ths) and overdrive at 99 on the BiPuls waveform. this is then fed into the cwejman MMF-1 in low pass and manually adjusted throughout. additionally there is amplitude modulation by way of modcan quad LFO into a VCA. this sound is being sequenced by the divide output of the metropolis into two pressure points.
chord harmony: this is the intellijel rubicon through the serge resonant eq and modcan dual phaser and qu-bit RT60.
this sound is also being sequenced by the divide output of the metropolis into two pressure points. though this time a separate row to create the harmonies. amplitude modulation here is also coming form the modcan quad lfo into a vca.
end sub kick: CR channel 8 triggering the tiptop BD808.
end claps: CR channel 6 trigging the hex inverter mutant clap through the flame fx6.

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