Snug live at Baseline (January)

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of playing Baseline, Halifax’s big house music night. It was the opening set–10 PM to 12 AM–and as you’ll hear I had lots of fun meandering between deep and tech.

As always they recorded the set live using a room mic next to the speakers. Truth be told this is one of the longer sets I’ve played in a while–especially in Halifax, where the average set time seems to be about 8 minutes–and I’m really grateful to the Baseline crew for recording it.

I had a blast playing, and I hope you enjoy listening! (It’s also downloadable as 320 Kbps if you prefer that to streaming)

Here’s the track listing:

Greg Parker & Terry Lee Brown Jr – Eclosion (Forteba Remix)
Tina Valen – Colors (Terry Lee Brown Jr. remix)
Robert Babicz – Simple Feeling
Matt Prehn & Marcia Alves – Insomniac Oasis (The Timewriter remix)
Nick Curly – Right or Wrong
Luna City Express – Seven (Agne’s Dubhouse Mix)
(Saint Germain – So Flute)
Atnarko feat. Nica Brook – Solid Ground (Fred Everything’s Lazy Dub)
Channel X & Jake The Rapper – Snug Descent
Terry Lee Brown Junior – Under Pressure
KiNK – Express
Matteo Matteini – The King (Dimo remix)
Jimpster – Porchlight And Rocking Chairs (KiNK remix)
Scope – Feel It (The Timewriter remix)
Questionmarq – Sun Day (Mirror Music remix)
Marc Romboy & KiNK – Delusion of the Enemy
Milton Jackson – Simple Life
Jim Rivers – Black Keys (Paul Ursin remix)
Sylar – Mellow (Sara Galli Shamalaya mix)
Simon Garcia – Hallucinogenic
Tom Middleton – Hawkes Groove
Jay Lumen – Spin Like Fire
Peace Division feat. Dan Diamond – Club Therapy
D-Unity – Afrika (Tribal Mix)
Rachel Row – Follow The Step (KiNK Beat Mix)
Tom Middleton – Penrose Steps
Channel X – Mosquito
Umek & Jay Lumen – Sinful Ladies
Jay Lumen & Gary Beck – Strange Fruit
Piatto – Work That
Channel X – Salome (Audiojack remix)
Terry Lee Brown Jr. – Across The Ocean
Angel Stoxx – Astro Panic
Junior Boys – No Kinda Man (Jona remix)

Latest Sonic State blog post; The Deep End back

Happy Saturday all! Just a quick note to let you know that my latest Sonic State blog post is up now. It offers some tips for automating external MIDI gear in Ableton Live.

In other news, my deep/downtempo night The Deep End is back in business as of August 30th. Head on over to the Facebook page and give it a “Like” if you’re in Halifax and interested in this sort of thing.

10 ways to work faster with Ableton Live

Sorry for the silence lately but the past couple months have been crazy! Several summer trips and out of town gigs, a new job, and unfortunately, basement flooding that’s led to me having to disassemble my studio and (temporarily) move it to a much smaller space 🙁

I realized I totally forgot to share my last blog post on this blog. It outlines some of my personal workflow tips for getting things done more quickly Ableton Live.
 
Anyhow, I’ll continue posting links here as I remember to! I typically blog for Sonic State once a month, and you can expect the next post within the next few days. Be sure to “Like” Sonicstate.com on Facebook, or watch their home page, as they post new blog posts to both.

SYNC your teeth into this

(Yeah, <groan>, another one of these. Whatever, I’ll try to keep it brief)

I press SYNC and I don’t care. I press play and I don’t care.

I see a lot of “old school” DJs complaining about this (SYNCing is cheating, laptop DJs aren’t DJs, blah blah blah). Honestly, this is so utterly, completely and mind-blowingly ignorant given that the umbrella genre is electronic music (I refuse to call it EDM as it’s not all “dance” music per se).

Last I checked, laptops, sync algorithms, DJ controllers, etc. had a hell of a lot more in common with the field of electronics than rotating platters, pressed wax discs, and synchronizing music by hand. Given that the music has it roots in technology why not embrace everything technology has to offer?

It’s akin to somebody riding around on a horse complaining that motorists are cheating. Or someone doing math by hand complaining that calculators kill the art of math. Seriously? Step off your high-horses and into the 21st century.

For the record (no pun intended) I started DJing on vinyl. I think vinyl is great and nothing compares in terms of feel/tactile response. But it’s heavy, expensive, it degrades, etc. Likewise, turntables are heavy, expensive, prone to skipping if not properly installed, and generally not really a standard commodity at shows nowadays.

Snug circa 1999. All vinyl, baby.

That said, I do have lots of respect for DJs who can scratch, do 3-4 deck mixes, etc. This takes skill. But so does rigging an Ableton Live set with synchronized lights, visuals, external synths, etc. So does a multi-deck mix on a controller with on-the-fly looping, live FX processing, overlaying synth and drum loops, etc.

Snug 2012. Vinyl + controller (SYNC button engaged!)

At the end of the day the end goal is to produce sound and/or entertain. If it sounds good and/or entertains then who the hell cares? So what if modern technological advancement means “everyone’s a DJ”? Honestly, when I was getting into it “everyone was a DJ” then, too. Same old story. As with anything, those with talent and drive will go much further than those without.

Closing thought: if “keeping things on time” is what you’re most concerned with then maybe you should consider a job as a railroad conductor or a dispatcher? You’d probably make a hell of a lot more money than you would DJing, anyway.

</rant>

Musication update #2: post-mortem

Well it’s been a few days since tearing things down and heading back to the city. Overall it was a success: I finished 5 tracks, mixed 7 and started 4 collab ideas. I also completed my first guest post for Sonic State and spent a bit of time learning about/playing around with  iZotope Ozone’s “matching EQ“, which will come in handy for mastering dubs/demos.

Part of the reason I wanted to do this was to see what it would be like if music were my day job, assuming this becomes a possibility some day. Would I lose interest? Burn out? The answer, based on this experiment, is no. I was able to work a solid 40 hour “work week” and stay focused for pretty much the whole time.

Here are a few pics of the setup (the last couple art courtesy of my wife):

Musication update #1

So I’ve spent three days at the cottage so far and it’s working out really well — I’ve been able to focus to the point of being able to work on 5-10 tracks a day! (not from scratch, mind you, but a bit of mixing, a bit of writing, etc.) It’s a very inspirational location, too; on a bay overlooking several small islands.

I’ve posted several new mixes of WIP tunes (Swagger, Exoplanet, The Letter V), completed a new Beardsley tune, made some progress on my EP for Ambra and my forthcoming chiptune EP. I also have some new stuff in the works that I’ll be sharing at a later date.

I’m taking a “day off” today to spend some time with my wife but will be headed back for another couple days tomorrow. There’s still a lot I’m hoping to get done but so far this has been a really positive experience and definitely something I plan to do again. To any artists out there who sometimes feel like they’re stagnating: I would strongly recommend doing something like this!

Here’s a lofi pic of my setup at the cottage. Better quality pics to come:

P.S. as you can see I’ve had to put the 32″ display to use, and naturally this has led me to hook up our 32″ to my home computer for some evening gaming 😉

My musication

Some people take a vacation. Others take a staycation. Well, next month I’m taking a musication.

WTF is a musication, you ask? It means leaving behind the distractions of everyday life and hunkering down to really focus on music.

The impetus? At the core it’s the 5 day work week. By the time I’ve worked 8+ hours, gone grocery shopping, made dinner and gone for a run I have roughly 5% of my daily energy left — approximately enough to take a shower and plunk myself in front of a TV or video game

I am most motivated in the mornings which means that, at most, there are only 2 days a week where I can work on music at “full capacity”. That’s two days if I’m lucky. Between the inherent distractions of having a studio at home and the million obligations that come with being a “grown-up” (marriage, home ownership, car ownership, pet ownership!), music often loses out.

In the past, herbal therapy helped me tune everything else out, but this introduced a whole new level of complexity into the equation, i.e. it became a crutch for working on music, and often my grown-up responsibilities fell by the wayside.

So next month I’m packing up my studio and heading to a cottage for 5 days x 8 hours a day = 40 hours. That’s a full “workweek” to apply all of my motivation to music!

Should be an interesting experiment and I will post updates as the week progresses.