Friday, May 29, 2009

Technical Inspiration:

Here are some tutorials that I am particularly fond of that have and will be inspiring the techniques I develop this summer for my live performance set.  Most of these feature clever software tricks, custom software implementation, and the use of software features that are often overlooked but carry much potential.  

These videos are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to anyone just using Ableton Live for their live music sets; as well as those interested in doing live visuals.  So check them out!!!

Ableton Tutorials:

This video introduces the basic concepts of Dummy Clips in Ableton Live utilizing the Chain Selector.  Dummy Clips allow you to create extensive preprogrammed (and sequenced/automated) effects that can be launched as clips!  (By the way, if you haven't figured out how to use chains within Live's Racks, you really should!  The Covert Operators have a great tutorial and explanation on the topic here!)

Part 2 goes more in-depth to show you how you can use automation envelopes in your Dummy Clips to create dynamic filter sequences.  Pay special attention in the second half of the video as they demonstrate an automation recording trick, switching between the arrange and clip views, that has many uses beyond creating Dummy Clips.  

I actually use this automation recording technique when working with external synths and drum machines in order to instantly record into Live all the MIDI CC parameters that I might want to automate.  I find this especially useful when recording sequences that I preprogrammed on my Elektron Machinedrum as (in addition to recording the MIDI note sequences) it allows me to instantly record the MIDI CC automations created with the special Parameter Lock/Slide functions of the machine.

Though this tutorial is a bit long, it really gives a better idea of many of the cool things you can do with Dummy Clips.  It also delves into using Follow Actions in combination with Dummy Clips which looks quite useful for making a dummy clip automatically reset after it has played through, as well as creating random jumps through the Dummy Clips for creating generative effect sequences.

Tom Cosm also has a lot of other interesting Tutorials worth checking out.  If you are new to using Ableton Live to perform with, his tutorial Moving from the studio to live performance using Ableton Live covers some good fundemantal techniques for building your p.a.  Or if you want to drool over Akai's new APC 40, check out Akai APC40 - Opening The Box.  

In addition to using dummy tracks to control effects and automations within Live, I plan to port these automations out to Max/MSP/Jitter or Modul8 to control effects upon my video as well.  For this, I am adapting strategies and custom software presented in the following tutorial.

A/V Sync Tutorial:

Please excuse the poor production of this video.  I recommend going to his tutorial page here in order to be able to fully understand what's going on in the video, as well as download the necessary tools to make this work.  For those of you fairly experienced with Max/MSP/Jitter and OSC,  you should be able to quickly figure out how to port this over and receive the OSC messages in Max.

For everyone else (most of you?!) let this video serve as a preview for my own solution to this problem for use with Modul8 or Max 5 that I will be releasing soon for free along with a tutorial on how to use it.  I have built a modified and expanded version of digital funfair's Pluggo VST that will port multiple OSC parameters (either 8 or 16 per plugin instance!) from Live to Modul8 through a configurable Max 5 router (or possibly/alternatively OSCulator).  It will allow you to send and scale Clip Automation Envelopes in high resolution from Ableton to Modul8 using completely free software (Cycling 74's Pluggo Jr. and Max 5 Runtime).  So essentially you will be able to use Ableton's Clip Automation Envelopes to automate effects in your video, the same as you can with audio, all perfectly synced and with extremely high resolution (16,383 steps as opposed to MIDI's 127 steps).  Additionally, you could port MIDI or live controller information this way as well... (which might seem pointless except that it opens up the possibility of using a wireless network to sync music and visuals between multiple computers, among other cool things!)

Lemur Control Tutorial:

I was hoping to have the new APC40 today, but sadly it seems Akai promised A LOT MORE units to be shipped than they actually produced in their first run so like many I will probably have to wait until later this summer to get my hands on one.  In lieu of this I think I will probably make use of this awesome new Lemur patch/interface made by The Covert Operators to control clips in Live.

I will post more tutorials in the future, including some produced by me.  Please feel free to comment and ask questions about anything I've posted.  Thanks!

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