A World of Sounds: Academik’s Francis Preve Shares Label’s Music, Studio Advice, Samples for Live

Francis Prève works the crowd. Photo courtesy the artist. The abundance of music, and the preceived ease of producing it, comes to some as bad news – or even harbinger of apocalypse. But load up a craft with quantity, and quality is what stands out. Francis Prève is a perfect Renaissance producer. With years of experience as a music technology journalist and sound designer, his own, signature flavor of tech-house is uniquely focused on timbre. His label, Academik Records, debuted last year at Austin’s South by Southwest, but it’s just now kicking into high gear. (If you are in Austin …


Pictures at an Exhibition: Essential New Gear and Reflections from NAMM

Dewanatron’s Brian and Leon were on-hand with their unique inventions. Photos by Marsha Vdovin for CDM. For the lover of musical instruments and technology, southern California’s NAMM show is a giant toy shop. It’s work for many of its attendees, of course, but we know many of our readers dream of the objects that will make their next creations. And sure, inspiring lust is not our aim; on the contrary, there is some love that goes into these things. In the ideal, that’s the relationship of creator and consumer. These are things not to be bought and discarded, but kept …


Free Exclusive Ableton Operator Download: “Less Cowbell” 808 Sounds, New EP

The simple interface of Ableton’s Operator belies some truly lovely soundmaking capabilities. Our friend Francis Preve, a principle Ableton sound designer who has contributed hundreds of presets since 2004, has a new single out that makes use of some of those sonic possibilities, combining Operator with juicy spectral and granular effects in Live 7. As a gift to Ableton users on CDM, he’s giving us both the rack he used and some tips on squeezing noise out of the Ableton instrument. (By the way, I’m open to tips for other platforms, not just Ableton — ask for what you want!) …


Guest Blog: Digital, Artists, Labels and the Crisis of Plumeting Expectations

Enough of the empty cheerleading. Web-only networking can have a dark side, too — and the music community can do better. Playing devil’s advocate this week to one-dimensional Web 2.0 optimism, we welcome Dave Dri, musician, producer, and founder of Segue. -PK I write a column for a weekly street press magazine in Australia. The vast majority of the universe won’t have picked up that magazine, of course. But my topic this week has been bouncing around Interwebs, cafes, and clubs like an alarm clock, waking the electronic music community from a happy slumber. The cause for alarm: the dire …


Free Tutorials, Techno iPhone Ringtone from Francis Preve, Celebrating Single “Caboose”

Sound designer, technologist, and remix artist Francis Preve sends us some gifts of techno and technology to celebrate his first solo release. For your brain, we’ve compiled the tutorials he’s been working on for Beatportal, which together provide a really great look at some basic music production skills. For your ears, we have his new Ableton-produced single “Caboose” which, coupled with a Josh Gabriel remix – and a free iPhone ringtone exclusively provided to CDM by Josh’s label Different Pieces. Being a technologist often makes actually finding time to make music a big challenge. But I’ve always been impressed at …


Like iTunes for DJs: Free Beatport Sync, Powered by Traktor

Beatport Sync, now an easy, free way to play OGG/FLAC files, browse external drives, and cross-fade. Beaport Sync is a free, DJ-friendly music player / librarian / mixing app for Windows and Mac. On its surface, it looks like a hook for online music store Beatport and a beginner-friendly DJ mixer (two tracks, auto tempo detection and time stretching, pitch control) — and it is that. But aside from the ability to mix and cross-fade, Beatport Sync has some features Apple’s iTunes lacks, which makes it potentially worth a download for just about anyone. First, it has real file format …