Watch this free monster patch for Elektron machines, in action

This one’s too good to wait. Gustavo Bravetti, the Uruguay-born producer and DJ, is already something of a maximalist. He’s the sort of person who can rock alternative controllers live on a mainstage in front of massive festival crowds – the powerful counter-example to the notion that such high-pressure gigs have to be press-play. And now, he’s been hard at work on a powerful tool for expanding the possibilities of performance on Elektron’s hardware, all using Push for control. I could ramble on, but the best way to follow this is to watch the extensive tutorial video he’s just posted:


Watch Ableton Push Tame Elektrons Live, Hear Music from Uruguay

Gustavo Bravetti is indeed a man of mystery. The Uruguay-born artist is a live virtuoso of dance music, pulling out all the stops. And in his latest feat, he tackles a trio of Elektron black boxes. Fortunately, it’s not all mysterious. The Ableton Push-controlled, Max for Live-based tool that gives him these octopus-like powers over the gear will soon be coming to you. First, let’s watch. Even if this isn’t your own musical idiom, you have to concede it’s a nice rig, nicely played. And it’s a pleasure to premiere here on CDM: The secret sauce is something called Performer. …


Here Are Two Rigs That Let You Play Live with Hardware [Videos]

A funny thing happened on the way to the future. Thing is, at the same time the computer has improved as a music-making instrument, so, too, has standalone hardware. The reality is, hardware rigs for music making are more affordable and more accessible than they ever were before. They do more, better. They’re easier to use. And when it comes time to record and arrange, the computer doesn’t require the investment of cost and time it once did, either. So the upshot is, even the computer is making it easier to spend some time working with hardware. And that means …


Watch Elektron and Roland AIRA Sing, Live: Dark, Dubby Techno by Phelios [Video, Listen]

There was a time when “live” or live PA meant “I’ve hauled a bunch of gear to this gig and made a mess of cables and I’m going to improvise live for you.” Now, too often, it means “I’m going to DJ with Ableton Live instead of Traktor or CDJs.” Don’t get me wrong. It’s not so much about a laptop or hardware. But there is a spectrum – a useful spectrum, applicable to different artists at different times. And if you really want “live,” you want an artist who constructs music before your eyes out of building blocks. Electronic …


An All-Hardware Elektron Set – and Chat – with Experimental Techno Maestro Bill Youngman

With over a decade in experimental techno (working with the likes of Jamie Lidell and Cristian Vogel), and years more in production, Bill Youngman has earned his veteran ribbons. But this isn’t about the past. This is about what happens when you switch on the machines and make music that can only be heard live once, music you have to dance to in the instant. It’s electronic music with the spontaneity of traditional instrumental music, inside the dance idiom. And yes, you can dance to it – it certainly had me shaking around in the early Saturday morning of Krake …


Out-There Electrified Jazz, Trumpet + Electronics, Meets North Carolina and the Moog Factory

Look closer, as that’s not a Moog – it’s a clever, two-Elektron rig. Love that retro-styled case. Photo courtesy RPE Duo. Melding trumpet with live electronics and synths, RPE Duo is doing some hybrid jazz, further out. The pairing of (Doctors) Matt Postle (trumpet/synths) and Radek Rudnicki (electronics) is straight out of England – the two met while doing a PhD at the University of York – but here, we get to see it in the North Carolina hills. (Matt moved there, and they work remotely.) Synthesizers, southern fried. For the video here, they find a nice setting, too: the …

Tradition, at least. Elektron's team isn't the same one that produced the Machinedrum, but the legacy leaves on. (CC-BY) Acid Pix.

Elektron Teases Its New Machine; In Music, Any Machine Will Do (Plus The Field’s Kitchen)

I hesitate to give teaser/hype campaigns extra words, but there’s simply too much anticipation about whatever Swedish hardware maker Elektron is doing to ignore it. The makers of Machinedrum, Monomachine, and Octatrack have a minisite through which they’re gradually trickling out teasers for whatever they’re doing next. The safest bet – particularly given the samples, the background image, and “tradition & future” moniker – is some kind of hardware combining the Octatrack and older drum machine design threads in some new gear. And given the Octatrack’s focus on sampling, a new generation on the synthesis side seems a no-brainer. Update: …


The Future’s Sonic History, And 14-Year-Old Dreams: In The Studio with Matthew Dear [Video]

A Studio Visit with Matthew Dear presented by AIAIAI and Ghostly International from Ghostly International on Vimeo. What does the future sound like? For musicians using technology, that question can resonate on two levels. It can be an attraction to imagined futuristic worlds, and the connection of synths and gadgets to that world. And, even each time we sit down to make music, it can be a dream of our own future self – if not the rockstar, that future self who has finished this track that right now is just an idea or a feeling. In a film that’s …


How the Octatrack Sampler Actually Works, in Hands-on User Videos

I thought the promo video from Elektron perfectly explained, in practical terms, how their recent Octatrack sampler works. You plug it in, push some buttons, turn samples into techno, and then everyone turns into squids and dies. (Hmmm… that does suggest something perhaps a future firmware update might want to address.) But it seems some readers wanted more than sci-fi short films and inscrutable jams – they want to know how this beast actually works. Happily, reader Genjutsushi has obliged us with a video that explains its functions; see top — it’s shaky, but useful, and no squid are in …


Octatrack Hands-on Videos Begin to Appear, Featuring New Elektron Super-Sampler in Action

Elektron’s Octatrack sampler is shipping to producer’s hands, bringing this multitrack, time-stretching, step-sequenced, modulation-packing digital sampling hardware to real-world music-making. The results make comparisons like “Ableton in a box” seem pretty fair – and give you more an idea of what the thing does than Elektron’s bizarre (and wonderful) short science fiction film, which seemed to suggest the box would incite revolutions and make you grow tentacles and change into a tortured alien. (See below) Two of the people I’d most want to see work the device are featured in the videos above – at top, Richard Devine, and at …