And… done. Or is it started?

Well I finally got around to setting up my own blog, something I’ve been wanting to do for too long now.  The main intention is just to get some discussion going on mostly music-related topics, though who knows where it will lead.  Same rules as all the forums I help run: no religion, no politics, and no flaming/trolling.  Act like a grown-up, simple enough.

Of course, things are never as easy as they seem, so in the process of creating a new blog, I ended up redoing my entire website as well.  If you get any errors or notice a dead link, please let me know so I can correct it as soon as possible.

First up then, do you think the roll your own midi device trend will continue?  So many controllers coming out that seem to lack any form of inputting very much physical input.  Lots of grids of button and shiney touchscreen.  Is this really the way things should be going?  Do musicians really need to worry about crafting their own instruments now?  It sometimes makes me wonder if there are people out there who just like creating systems instead of music.  The idea of having to actually ‘code’ something I need to make music makes me shudder  🙂  What do you think?

Deeper discussions on production coming up soon, I plan to make this a pretty active blog, so subscribe and check back often.

Peace and beats,


16 Replies to “And… done. Or is it started?”

  1. Nice… I just got done rebuilding my website, just in time for the service to lapse and for me to have to get in touch with my server to put it back up! Check back later to see my website.
    I for one am no longer interested in the fancy touch screen controllers, although Touch OSC on a iPad might be cool for a gig prop. I tried doing this using a touchscreen laptop as a controller; the controls aren’t as tactile. The touch screen controllers are interesting, conceptually, but when it comes to working with them… I’ve found it smoother to use hardware.
    I think these controllers are really best as a gig prop; all the lights blinking, etc… it looks cool on stage and adds to the interest of the performance.

  2. I agree about the tactile nature, it’s hard without any feedback to tweak things when you’re really into it. The other downside IMO, is that this causes you to watch the screen of your device MORE, which just just helps perpetuate the ‘checking email’ syndrome.

    1. I went back to mixing on an analog mixer because of not finding a midi controller that had the right feel. Still using a midicontroller for triggering and efx.

      I actually got positive feedback from another Ableton DJ who i played with a few months back, told me i was interacting with the crowd way more and not “checking email syndrome” He felt thats all he was doing.

      1. I’m sort of struggling with that now myself. Recently decided to give Traktor S4 a go for DJing, and I’m not sure yet if I like it more than a simple controller, my Xone62 and Live. In general the midi controllers out there just don’t seem to be as of nice a quality as something like a well done DJ mixer.

  3. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a nice interactive iPhone app for all my tutorials (and some new ones). Probably beyond me at the moment. In the meantime this site now has an icon for iOS homescreens at least. 🙂

  4. I haven’t played with any of the touchscreen apps out there but I believe I would miss the tactile nature of twisting knobs and pressing buttons. I do use a launchpad to navigate Ableton during a live set but most of my controls are still mapped to a killamix mini.

    I enjoy seeing the stuff people come up with, and I’ve seen some great stuff done with bespoke midi controllers, but it’s easy to get sidetracked by all of the shiny hardware and stop paying attention to the music.

    There seems to be something for everyone though, and it is a great time to be playing with electronic music.

  5. Proper topic to kick off the new site.

    I just recently sold ALL of my controllers. As far as keyboards go, I feel like Novation is on point with the SL37 to 61. However I’d like to see knobs more like the Keystation 88 Pro. The button matrix controllers started out as appealing, but after owning some, I just as limited felt limited as I did with out such things as APC40’s or Launchpads. I feel like those controller eventually steer your creativity into a box, by the user trying top conform their ideas to the controller they bought. After experiencing these and seeing what people do with DIY stuff, I started to realize what I would really enjoy is something that was a specific hardware controller, as oppose to some all in one with lots of modes stuff. Getting lost in modes seems just as debilitating as checking email. When I first saw Livid CODE, I thought it was a great idea, then I found out all the knobs are also buttons. This to me looks is the type of direction I would like to see things going. I’d love to see a Livid CODE with a 6×32 button matrix and that be my dedicated drum sequencer.

    I am also in the market for a 2channel DJ mixer and it’s almost depressing looking at the current stock of ideas. The S4 just seems too much like an all in one watered down device.

    As far as the iPAD’s go. At my job we got one as soon as they were released. I got some DJ apps as soon as they were released. At the time, the WiFi stickiness of the controls, and the lack of “feel” on a screen, making you dependent on “checking the screen” to turn a knob, really turned me off. HOWEVER since then the development of TouchAble has become very attractive. I could see myself building a nice hybrid digital/analogue set up with such things. So I have reconsidered the iPad, but am waiting to see what others are willing to produce as far as touchscreen toys. There is talk of being able to “feel” controls, and pressure sensitivity. That being said, I just dont see screens completely replacing hardware. Not for me anyways.

    Lastly I definitely support giving people the opportunity to code new devices etc. It is a daunting task to consider jumping into. I believe you can loose yourself in it and build devices that you never use, more than producing tunes and moving on. M4L was also an exciting release to me, yet the simple RemoteScripts popping up seem much more attractive to use. I hope to see more of this. I’m a long time Reaktor user, not much of a builder though. However I believe Reaktor has spawned some of the more popular devices or ideas we see and hear a lot of today.

  6. Congrats on the new site design… it’s looking good. I agree with mykul on the tactile nature of hardware being crucial to your connection with what you are playing. I know on my mixer exactly how every knob and setting is adjusted without looking. At clubs, the house mixer is usually one I have used before, and even when it’s not, after a quick glance I can feel my way around it fine. I really prefer a setup that I can trust enough to run blind with, something simple and doesn’t demand any extra attention, so that things become natural, and fine tuning is second nature. Vinyl and CDs got me through until say a year or so ago, and now I’m using a padKontrol, which I like because of the large pads that launch clips in Ableton, blink when I want them to, and do nothing else!! In reality, that’s what I need during a set, and no more. If anything, I guess I’d like to see more modular hardware kits in the future, where I really can eliminate EVERYthing I don’t need…. but building my own mixer isn’t in the works…. as of yet 😀 A mixer with interchangeable parts is something I’ve read about several times, but haven’t looked into all that much.

  7. Yeah, it’s too bad that the Mawzer midi controller never really got off the ground, a modular set up like that would have been pretty cool.

    I guess what I was mostly trying to get it was less about the tactile versus touchscreen aspects, and more about how manufacturers are relying on the end user to provide the functionality for their products. Instead of say Novation working on a new type of midi controller that provides more experssive control, we get a hardware version of a spread sheet. For instance. Seems like a lot of companies are at a loss as to how to progress the controller angle.

  8. Just wanted to say hey…. and thank you for not only your great Ableton Live DJ effects patches, but you contributions and interest in Wave Editor.

    Look forward to your new blog.

  9. No problem man, happy to provide the guides. Wave Editor is a really good app, here’s to hoping version 2 turns it into a really awesome app! I have a lot of mastering specific wishlists for it 🙂

  10. The Mawzer…. that’s it…. couldn’t remember the name of that one.

    I see what you mean though. It’s like the hardware companies aren’t really giving you new things to do with their gear, just lots of ways to LOOK different while accomplishing the same task. That said, I haven’t tried the S4. I owned a VCI-300 for a while… it was great for home use but not something I saw myself playing out at clubs with. If I was still a wedding DJ, that thing would be perfect. I don’t want to code or program anything either, but plug and play feels too limiting. That’s why I felt Ableton was a good fit for me. I’m getting more gigs now, and almost all the DJs I spin with use Serato SSL. I think Rane is doing it right with the integrated mixers, but they are worth more than my car 😀

  11. Yeah, I gotta say I never understood how on Earth BT not only used but ENJOYED things like CSound (and I imagine Kyma isn’t a whole lot different). I tried it. Once. No thank you. Emulated synth panels are enough to put me to sleep. Making it pure text is the stuff of nightmare. Hence why I’m DJing right now instead of producing. 😀

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