Friday, March 5, 2010

Meet Yo Masta - A Remix of Nine Inch Nails

Meet yo masta (Remix) by Violets Dyed

Studio Photos

This is where I work.

I call it One Hand Clapping Studio.

The Plunge

Alright, I’ve taken the plunge.

I found a gangload of drum samples for free at this awesome site (…..). I began with using an impulse for both the kick and for the percussion section. I dropped several different flavors of kick drums into the kick one and so far I’ve dropped a snare, an open and closed high hat, and a tambourine into the second impulse. Although I suspect I’m going to mess with that one a bit I’m starting to get my simplistic 4-4 drum beat and I’m going to see if I can program a bass sound and get a good groove with my U-He Zebra synthesizer.

Ableton 8 apparently has a different way to initiate groove changes. I’m going to have to investigate that. However in the meantime.


Well look at me go. I have a kick, a percussion loop that I’ll need to change, a bass loop and a synthy loop. I also looked into creating wav style loops instead of midi and realized that you really need the midi sound down before you want to record it to analog. But it gave me a lot of opportunity to try some new stuff. Damn. I had no idea that Impulse was such a useful little goodie. I still haven’t found about the groove yet but I’ll get to that.

I had a very good session and am excited at the prospect of a log of how I’m doing.

Hello and goodbye everyone – signing off

I have a gig tomorrow!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Musings on The Electronic Muse

I don't know about you, but the thought of starting a new set is nervewracking. It's not the technical aspect, but it's the conceptual aspect. This composition could be anything at all. And keep in mind that I want to be different and have something unique to bring to the dance music arena.

Getting the Nine Inch Nails Year Zero songs in Ableton Live format proved to be a turning point in my development as a musician. Before that the idea that I could be an electronic music composer and performer was impossible. I was dedicated to analog and I couldn't imagine not being in a band.

But the access to these songs opened up the possibilities of my DAW (digital audio workstation). I didn't have to sweat about actually working out how to make these songs, they were there in a really accessible format.

I don't want to go on for another thousand words about my history with learning how to do electronic music, the point is that I have gotten a really immense education in just a couple of years.

So I came back to Tom Cosm's website and find that it is much fancier but still has access to some amazing teaching tools and downloads. I loaded up one of his sets (Swagger) and accidentally dropped part of a Nine Inch Nails song into it. To add to the weirdness of this I have acquired a Novation Launchpad that opened up the possibilities of live performing and how flexible I can be in setting up a performance set.

This combination led to a 20 minute first take performance. After that I loaded three more NIN songs into performance mode and now I have four 20-25 minute long sets of my NIN remixes.

So now I have the sounds, the newest version of Ableton and a challenge: create a new and completely original live set for performance.

OK - no big deal, right? With all my knowledge and connection with different types of music there's still that - vastness - there's so many different courses I could take. Should I start with the drums or the bass? Should I use samples? What kind? What, ultimately, do I want to do with this?

And this blog is to keep it on track. Let's create a context:

My first all original performance piece.

My best compositions to date have had a certain amount of surprise and improvisation which is what gives it that Alec style of uniqueness. So let's take that into account. I want some kind of a milestone or a goal. Something I can pin on the wall. So the first step would be....


setup track
compose bass synth - come up with a couple of lines
compose kick drum - come up with a couple of lines
compose percussion - come up with a couple of lines

by midnight Sunday, March 7, 2010.

I'll be sure to check in with more fun stuff for y'all!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Well, here we go

I'm gaining so much knowledge about composing and performing electronic / dance music in the Ableton Live 8 Digital Audio Workstation. It's a little overwhelming sometimes and I thought that if I had a blog that I could post to and drop samples and what not into it this could be a great tool for me and also for aspiring electronic musicians.

Thank you for the info and now on with the show.

By the way - The Magician is from Tarot of Dreams by the brilliant artist Ciro Marcetti.