Insane Colors, Touch, Knobs: Ander’s Crazy Custom Live Controller, and Some New Music

What if software could leap off the screen, transforming into physical form? Ander’s custom controller for live performance looks like just that. An epic array of candy-colored buttons, with a dizzying arrangement of knobs atop it, it’s the opposite of what many live performances these days can be. Rather than a spectacle that distracts from the live performance, it is a spectacle that embodies the performance – not only Ander’s physical gestures, but the way he conceives his music. By making all of his set touchable – even though that involves a lot of advance preparation – the performance it …

READ MORE →

Playing Live, Dangerously: Mouse on Mars as Augmented Band [Video]

When it comes to live performance, this might be the year of living dangerously. There’s not one answer to the question of how to play live, but as we consider the possibilities – and the risks of playing live – Mouse on Mars is one terrific case study. Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma are joined by drummer/vocalist Dodo Nkishi. Since part of their setup is playing live as in Ableton Live, Ableton shot a video mini-documentary of their performance rig earlier this year. It’s an intensive setup, but you might just glean some ideas for how you play live. …

READ MORE →
Deadmau5 Performs At The Chelsea At The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas

Deadmau5, Honest About His Own Press-Play Sets, Misses Out On “Scene”

Pay no attention to the mouse behind the curtain; just look at all the pretty lights. Seriously, that’s what he’s telling us to do, and on that, more power to him. Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage (CC-BY-ND) The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Deadmau5 might want to take off that mouse head and look around a bit more often. But give the artist some credit: he’s brutally honest about his own music. In a set entitled “we all hit play,” he has this to say about his own performances: “I think given about 1 hour of instruction, anyone with minimal knowledge of …

READ MORE →

Bitwig Studio, Approaching Beta, Releases Video Demo [Weekend Update]

Bitwig Studio, the new production and performance tool from an upstart Berlin development team, is now nearing beta. It’s the first real news we’ve seen since the product was first announced in January. Unfortunately, the latest video does little to tease new features (unless you look really closely). It still gives the impression of software with a UI paradigm modeled closely on Ableton Live, and because it’s largely a music demo, focus can easily shift to the sound of the track rather than the function of the software. That’s too bad, as we do know this software does promise some …

READ MORE →
glitch_apclayout

Glitch Factory: A Complete Performance Environment for APC40 + Ableton Live

Some people release remixable stems. Some people release little tools or utilities. Glitch Factory is a complete tool set for live performance, combining performance presets, an Ableton Live set, and even remixable track stems. It’s like getting to borrow someone else’s computer to see how they play – after they first cleaned everything up and made it usable for you. It’s a chance to break out of your performance world and walk in someone else’s shoes for a bit, then use that starting point to warp things into your own musical aims. The work of Mr. Bill and Will Marshall, …

READ MORE →

Multiplayer Music: Max for Live Patch Perfects Sync Over Wifi with Ableton – and a Coffeemaker

You’re not, in fact, a lonely bedroom musician with no friends. You’ve got friends. You’ve got collaborators. You’ve got audio and visual artists who want to play with your laptop with sync piped between you, and yet wireless synchronization for laptop performance has often been an elusive ideal. Here, in spectacular fashion, you can see it all come together over WiFi with Ableton Live, a projection-mapped coffeemaker, and everything from percolation sounds to the keypad sound effect from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This just in from Barcelona – a new Max for Live plug-in is making laptops and …

READ MORE →

If Movies Didn’t Play Forward: Toni Dove, R. Luke Dubois Make Gestural Live Cinema

What if film, rather than being projected from start to finish and proceeding in a straight line, could be reconstructed and performed? Every live visual performance involving video has more or less asked that question. But not every performance tries to convey a narrative in the process. Toni Dove’s Spectropia, coming this weekend to the storied Mixology Festival at New York City’s Roulette, does just that, interweaving a sci-fi storyline across imagined future and past through gesture-controlled, computer-vision activated remix. Just one friendly piece of advice: if you start thinking and feeling the way these main characters do, maybe it …

READ MORE →

If Movies Didn't Play Forward: Toni Dove, R. Luke Dubois Make Gestural Live Cinema

What if film, rather than being projected from start to finish and proceeding in a straight line, could be reconstructed and performed? Every live visual performance involving video has more or less asked that question. But not every performance tries to convey a narrative in the process. Toni Dove’s Spectropia, coming this weekend to the storied Mixology Festival at New York City’s Roulette, does just that, interweaving a sci-fi storyline across imagined future and past through gesture-controlled, computer-vision activated remix. Just one friendly piece of advice: if you start thinking and feeling the way these main characters do, maybe it …

READ MORE →

FL Studio Unveils Performance Mode Alpha; Live That Isn’t Like Ableton Live?

If you’re looking for a way of triggering sounds in live performance, but you want to meld that notion with the sequencer rather than play a drum machine-style sampling instrument, your commercially-available options are limited. And it seems, in particular, new creations simply work the way Ableton Live’s Session View does. Bitwig, a new DAW, struck many observers (myself included) to be strikingly close to Ableton’s Session View. More recently, a homebrewed effort for the tracker Renoise also aped Ableton’s interface. Today’s appearance of the much-anticipated (well, by FL Studio users, anyway) Performance Mode is something different. Seen in a …

READ MORE →
Interface4FINAL

Pushing the Live Performance Envelope in LA: Mike Slott, Artists on Video; Party Friday

Music has always moved forward when people get together to play. Groups of artists in Los Angeles’ Interface LA collective – and other California groups, like LoveTech and controllerism.com – are challenging each other to keep expanding their technique in playing electronics live. I’m pleased with CDM and some of our friends to support a party Friday night in downtown LA celebrating playing live. Interface LA is a group centered on live electronic music performance and interactions. We’ll be bringing you video coverage after the event here, thanks to talented videographer Charlie Visnic. But we can kick things off now …

READ MORE →