Photos from Berlin’s fantastic Dense Record Shop by MPC2000xl / MIDI Mechanics, from his blog.

To me, the ideal kind of music tech writing is when you get to spend quality time with tools for musical reasons – not simply to talk about the technology, but to make stuff. Over the past weeks, we’ve been gradually assembling ideas, sound designs, knowledge, and tutorials into a string of blog-style posts on the CDM Kore site. I’ve organized those into an evolving guide to working with Kore as a musician, from getting a handle on the basics (including some stuff that initially befuddled us when we tried to use it!), to some “experimental” techniques for pushing the envelope.

Using Kore

We’ve been spending a lot of time with Reaktor, too, so expect a follow-up with that. The idea isn’t really to advocate any tool over another one — on the contrary, for me it’s about figuring out, okay, now you’ve got something, what do you do with it?

It’s been great to get all this input from Peter Dines, Eoin, and the readers, as well (particularly Jonathan Adams Leonard) — the guide above is sort of a “collective knowledge” about the tool. Having written a book and various magazine articles, it’s a totally different experience: more learning than teaching.

On the same lines, I’ve also put together a guide to working with the Kore controller without touching the mouse. That’s part of the whole appeal to me of the Kore system, but it may not be immediately obvious how to do it. If you’ve got Kore in front of you, this will walk you in front of how to do it. I’m still learning to assimilate this with my live sets, but when I get it going it makes me really happy — I’m able to focus directly on sound.

Reference: How to Navigate Kore 2 with Hardware – No Mouse!

This is good timing, as I’m just now back from Berlin where I got to do a short set which happened to combine Ableton Live and Kore. So, separate from this other stuff, I do want to say a big thank you to everyone in Berlin who came out. It was great to meet you, and I hope to come back soon — you have a really fantastic town; I loved being there. It was really creatively inspiring.

Several bloggers were nice enough to write up / photograph the evening:
MIDI Mechanics

— both blogs in German, but they look great; just added them to my RSS so I can keep practicing my German reading skills.

Big thanks, as well, to everyone at the DEAF Festival and in Dublin, in another wonderful and energizing town. I’ll be putting together my notes from the DEAF presentation soon to share.