Friday, July 17, 2009

Don't Mess With Open Source

With the APC-40 out for controlling Ableton Live, we have seen probably the tightest integration yet with Ableton. Other controllers like the monome and JazzMutant Lemur can't help but be jealous. MaxForLive was going to be the holy grail for integrating controllers with Live, but it has been slow to be released. Enter "LiveAPI" which is a python remote script API to Live, put together by members of the Open Source community. This API gives MaxForLive functionality now! It was no mean feat as these APIs to Ableton needed to be discovered and uncovered without any help or documentation from Ableton.

Thread is here on
LiveAPI Discussion

One of the fruits of this effort is a new Lemur template for API-40 like clip launching control from the Lemur. It works wonderfully an has some tricks up its sleeve the APC-40 can't match like textual labels on the clips, tracks and scenes. Even the colors you choose in your set synchronize with the Lemur. This template was provided on the Covert Operators site here with an instructional video on how to set it up.

Covert Operators Lemur Template for LiveAPI

Live 8 Lemur Clip Launcher by The CovOps from Bjorn Vayner on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm always tripping over the word "realtime" when I describe a recording or a video or a performance. What is "realtime" and what is not? It's pretty fuzzy these days. Is a sampled instrument being played "realtime"? Is a midi pattern you just recorded on the fly playing back "realtime"? Is a loop, you are slicing up by pressing keys on a keyboard or monome "realtime"? It's kind of a hazy concept isn't it?

Maybe we need a new term. I need some candidates. How bout a definition first. "A performance state where a sound can be transformed and manipulated at a moments notice by the performer so that the outcome of the performance is not known ahead of time ".

Give me a good term for that.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Self playing patches are another area of using the modular that are fascinating. Using random voltages and subtle interplay between modules to create a patch that plays itself without human intervention of any kind.

This is my first. Sounds like a great horror movie sound track to me. Now if my modular could keep producing this stuff on it's own and cash in on the horror genre movie royalties, I could stop working.

More fast forward here. Just started working with Kyma sound design language. Here is a little noodle using one sound from Kyma that I used for bass and melody and then sampled and created reverse slices to accent the melody. I play these slices with some nice granular reverb. It doesn't really go anywhere yet, but I'm working on it.

AAC version sounds better and posted here.


Soundcloud for ease of access.

What is it about drones? I've never really understood why people make them before I got a modular and now I see the art form. They are also cool to listen to. There is something unpredictable about them where your ear tries to tune in and make order of it. There is beauty in that. I find the subtle ones can be quite beautiful to listen to.

Here's a little snip of one of my first.

Oh wow, I am so behind on this blog. A lot of new stuff, so this may feel like a fast forward. First of all, new video tutorial posted on how to get started with SevenUpLive.

SevenUpLive v1.1 Getting Started Tutorial from bar|none on Vimeo.

Secondly, I've been super immersed in learning how to use my modular synth. What a cool learning experience. The hardest thing is letting go of cool sounds once you patch them. There is no "Save" option. This is an amazingly cool thing and a terrifying thing all at once.

This next video is one of those sounds that I patched. It sounded awesome and I just had to record something immediately. It's great to document this way, but then comes the hard part of unpatching it and knowing you can't get it back exactly the same ever again.

Flight Test from bar|none on Vimeo.