Dubspot EDU Sessions: Harvard University. April 6, 2013

Dubspot EDU Sessions: Harvard University. Dan Freeman (CØm1x)

Dubspot EDU Sessions: Harvard University. Dan Freeman (CØm1x)

Really looking forward to this event next Saturday. For info, RSVP here.

 

 

 

 

 


50 Mixing Tips – Introduction

Lately I’ve been mixing a lot.  I’ve been mixing for years now, primarily on either Ableton or Logic, but like any art it’s something that I feel that there is so much left to learn.  So I decided that in order to up my own game as a mixer, I would create a work of 50 mixing tips in the belief that in order to teach something, you truly have to learn it. They’ll live under the tab 50 Mixing Tips 2013 on this blog.   The knowledge I’ll be sharing is stuff that I’ve gathered over the years.  I’d particularly like to thank Bob Power for inspiring me to really get into mixing and giving me some really great insights into the process.  Also, my colleague at Dubspot, Danny Wyatt who’s a great engineer and teacher and whose course at Dubspot I’d recommend to anyone who wants to really get deep into this.  Finally, for anyone really looking to improve their mix skills, especially those who work in small studios, this book by Mike Senior, is absolutely amazing and sits by my desk at all times in my studio. 


Using an External Synth With Ableton Live 9

 

I’m a big proponent of outboard synths.  I think machines built with the purpose of creating a certain sound are often richer than a laptop synth which is really running on a machine  built and designed for many tasks besides music-making.  Moreover, I’m a big fan of the richness of true analog, especially for bass and lead sounds.  My go to external synth these days is a Moog Lil Phatty and I like to mix analog sounds with colder digital sounds to create an amalgamation.  I like the digital coldness and even harshness as well and like the yin and the yang, these two sounds often balance each other quite well.

This is how to incorporate external synths into your Ableton Live 9 workflow. This is a basic example.  I will expand on this post in the near future with some pic and possibly a Dubspot video.

1. Firstly, you will need a synth with either a USB or MIDI port in.  This is pretty much any synth built after 1982.  You will need either a standard USB cable or MIDI cable. Finally, you will also need a Soundcard.

2. Connect the Synth to the computer with the proper cable.  General you can use a standard USB cable if the synth has a USB in or a USB to 10 pin MIDI cable, like this M Audio USB Uno: 

3. Set up two tracks In Ableton Live 9 – a MIDI and audio track. (Command T for an Audio Track and Shift-Comand T for a MIDI Track)

4. Insert the external instrument into the MIDI track and route the MIDI to the external synth

 

5. Connect the audio out of the synth to the computer’s Soundcard.

6. In the System Preferences, specify the Soundcard. Then in the track I-O menu, set the audio from the input channel of the Soundcard.

 

Dan FreeMan (CØm1x)

Dan FreeMan (CØm1x)

7. Now the MIDI from Ableton will be routed to the external synth. There you can do sound design and route the audio back to your laptop to be recorded as an audio file.  One thing I do a lot is mix sounds from analog synths like the Moog, especially the heavy bottoms, to sharper digital sounds like Massive or FM synths like Operator.


Upcoming stuff – Update.

 

On April 6, 2013, beginning at 7:30, me and DJ Shiftee will present two Dubspot EDU Sessions at Harvard’s Holden Chapel. These will be followed by two performances from 10 – 12.  It will be free and open to the public and it will be streamed through dubspot.com.

On April 9, 2013, from 7 – 9, I will be leading a clinic at Dubspot on vocal processing with Ableton Live 9.  It will feature special guest vocalist Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio

On April 22 – 30 I will be heading down to Santiago, Chile for a series of workshops and performances.  More deets to come.


Update on the PUSH Post

Here’s an update on the PUSH post I did a couple of days ago with a bit more detail on how it’s ‘Note’ interface works…

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

I received an Ableton PUSH instrument last month to do a special Dubspot/Ableton clinic introducing the PUSH on March 5th.  I had about two weeks to figure it out and I’ve still been playing it pretty often in the studio.  One of the interesting things about PUSH is that it’s actually a killer bass synth.  The fact that it operates in perfect 4ths means that as a bass player, the positions really make sense.

Here’s a vid I did last night of me playing some bass on the PUSH.  At the beginning I start in the PUSH’s session view, then go to the ‘Note’ view.  For bass, I find it’s best to operate in the chromatic mode, because then you can utilize the approach notes.

Here’s a bit of info about the PUSH ‘Note’ mode keyboard.

1. The blue squares represent the root note of the scale, in this case a G minor scale.

2. The white squares represent the other notes of the G minor scale

3. There is a button on the upper right that allows you to change scales.  When you go into PUSH’s scale mode, on the upper right, you will see an option to go to ‘Fixed’ mode.  Turn this off and this will take you to Chromatic Mode

4. The squares that are unlit are not in the scale, they are the chromatic tones.  For me the best notes in the scale are those that aren’t in it.

If anyone’s wondering why my thumbnail’s purple – it’s not my groovy nail polish.  It’s the result of a close encounter with my bedroom door. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 


FJAZZ

My friend and Dubspot colleague Fernando Arruda (aka FJAZZ) just had some of his tracks licensed for a film along with music by David Bowie and Brian Eno.  Read more about him and the movie here: http://blog.dubspot.com/dubspot-alumni-spotlight-fjazz-fernando-arruda-brazil-joins-eno-bowie-on-concussion-soundtrack/


Playing Bass with Ableton PUSH

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

I received an Ableton PUSH instrument last month to do a special Dubspot/Ableton clinic introducing the PUSH on March 5th.  I had about two weeks to figure it out and I’ve still been playing it pretty often in the studio.  One of the interesting things about PUSH is that it’s actually a killer bass synth.  The fact that it operates in perfect 4ths means that as a bass player, the positions really make sense.

Here’s a vid I did last night of me playing some bass on the PUSH.  At the beginning I start in the PUSH’s session view, then go to the ‘Note’ view.  For bass, I find it’s best to operate in the chromatic mode, because then you can utilize the approach notes.

Here’s a bit of info about the PUSH ‘Note’ mode keyboard.

1. The blue squares represent the root note of the scale, in this case a G minor scale.

2. The white squares represent the other notes of the G minor scale

3. There is a button on the upper right that allows you to change scales.  When you go into PUSH’s scale mode, on the upper right, you will see an option to go to ‘Fixed’ mode.  Turn this off and this will take you to Chromatic Mode

4. The squares that are unlit are not in the scale, they are the chromatic tones.  For me the best notes in the scale are those that aren’t in it.

If anyone’s wondering why my thumbnail’s purple – it’s not my groovy nail polish.  It’s the result of a close encounter with my bedroom door. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 


Upcoming Stuff

I’m now officially an Ableton Live 9 certified trainer as well.  Here’s a couple of things I’m up to in the near future:

1. April 6 – Dubspot Harvard Event w/DJ Shiftee.  Cambridge, MA

2. April 9 – NYC Ableton UG @ Dubspot 7 -9.

More info to come…

Dan Freeman, Ableton Live 9 Certified Trainer

Dan Freeman, Ableton Live 9 Certified Trainer