Thursday, February 9, 2017

As we say in the Midwest: "Aw Geez"

So, a bunch of people that I respect have been using this thing, and I needed something to write about for an upcoming newsletter article, so I Novation'd.

I'd been reading about, YouTubing around and generally obsessing about this since I saw that John Keston was using one, and decided that it was worth a go. Came in yesterday's mail, and I had all the right batteries lined up ready to work (although it came with Alkalines, I'm a dedicated rechargeable battery user...), so I spent some time playing last night.

And this afternoon. And I'll spend more time with it tonight. It's a ton of fun, it checks most of the Fun Boxes (the main one unchecked is the 'live sampling/looping' box, but <shrug>), and it both consumes and produces MIDI, so I should be able to integrate it with Ye Olde Modular. It actually looks like a decent sequencer for the modular - along with something like the Keystep as a front-end for it - and the addition of user-loadable samples means that I can also develop modular drum samples to be used next to my actual modular.

How fun is that?

Stay tuned for more. At the very least, this is going to be the perfect distraction while I'm waiting endlessly for my MPC Live to show up...


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sharing is Caring...

Argh - this guy (Andy Pidcock) is doing what I'd like to do, but with the foresight of actually doing it, and the simplicity of a Maths-driven system to boot. Enjoy a minimalist system doing The Right Thing...



We are hearing a lot about Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Alt-Truth and all kinds of crap. I thought I'd provide something that I think is pretty cool: Alt-Modular.

My friend Mark Mosher has been able to successfully avoid modular hardware to this point. But he is a little bit into Aalto, and now that he has a Surface Pro, it's become a little more 'real' to him. I often wonder what would be the best in-an-airplane patchable system; I think that Mark might be onto something here...


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Paging all Expert Sleepers...

Icaro Farre has just updated CV Toolkit, and it is a doozy. Version 2.6 has a feature I begged for in my Cycling newsletter review: input handling. Now, your CV inputs (from an ES-8 or ES-6) can be used as modulation sources within CV Toolkit, and you really have round-trip, fully-hybrid computer/modular interaction.

It's amazing to see things that I'd dreamed of decades ago coming together before my eyes. Makes me wanna cry or something. But instead I'm just going to be jammin' with the modular!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

MPC Live - Some Actual Answers...

In my upcoming Cycling '74 newsletter article, I bemoan the fact that Akai wouldn't let me in their booth to check out the MPC Live and MPC X. Bummer. That's the kind of crap that I'd...

Aw, nevermind. and JK Swopes have done the best job of cornering Akai (via Andy Mac) and getting some real world questions answered. They did some videos in the noisy Akai booth area; the result is some useful information for those of us that are waiting (patiently) for the hardware release.

Here are the links to the videos in a row - an order that YouTube doesn't want to seem to provide!


Frankly, I'm looking forward to the MPC Live showing up, even though I feel a little yucky supporting the company at the moment...


Monday, January 16, 2017

A Simple MFL-ES8 interface

So, if you read my latest Cycling '74 review, you'll know I'm pretty knocked out by the Expert Sleepers' ES-8 interface. Of course, I had to start coding for it as soon as possible. While I'm doing all sorts of stuff within Max (as described in the article), I'm also using it as my modular interface from Ableton Live.

So, rather than just keep it to myself, I quickly slapped together a Max for Live device that uses the same technique as in the article, but also provides a 'mono mode' to properly handle note allocation within a monophonic modular context. The result is the simplest direct CV way to interface a modular to Live (i.e., no MIDI-to-CV devices, no scaling or calibration hassles).

You can get this device from my github repo:

I did three tracks with this over the weekend, including part of the theme music for the weekend's podcast (with Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv). Completely solid, man!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Spilling my ES-8 Beans

Man, I've wanted to talk about this here!

I got an Expert Sleepers' ES-8, and just wrote up a long-ish review on it for the Cycling '74 newsletter. tl;dr is 'I love it, and you can't wrest it out of my hands!'

You can read the review here:

I also got a chance to do a bit of a review on SpektroAudio's CV Toolkit, which is a pretty perfect pairing with this device. Loving the hell out of it, and am anxious for future versions where audio input will also be included (meaning that I can pull 'CV' back into the package for even more mayhem).

So, right now, I'm lovin' life!