Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 340: Our Stage is your stage...

Many new and interesting music sites seem to be bursting into existence right now, and today's offering is no different.

We're back to social networking in a music styleee again. Seemingly as people tire of the monolithic social networks, more specialised ones are emerging. Makes sense in a way to actually want to operate in a network that specifically interests you.

Today's site is by no means small and niche though. This appears to be a new project from AOL, and possibly their attempt at muscling in on more music sales too.

The site is a simple 'set up an account and upload tunes' kinda deal. However they also sell your tracks for you, non exclusively (which I admit I was surprised about!). Also there is an added competitive element introduced via a "Judging" section. Where you are presented with 2 or 4 songs (depending on how you set it) and then have to order them. This is good in one sense, because it goes a long way to eliminate blind voting, people spamming their voting link about etc etc.

The only problem though is that it makes the whole process quite tedious, as you are forced to listen to a certain amount of each track before you can vote on it etc etc. Also, not being harsh, but there is some dross on there too. The winner each month in each category wins a prize, with a much bigger prize for the over all winner.

Hopefully this means the focus is on good music, but let's see how it actually pans out.

Anyways, enough talk, best check out the site your self. All in though it looks like a worthy addition to the online music hosting collection...




Day 339: Top 10 Music Gadgets this year.

The air is full of marketing, the wallet is getting thin... it must be Christmas time.

This means shops screaming at you as you walk down the street, the air filled with the smell of cheap sweets, and family arguments. Oh the cynicism.

It also means no end of Top 10s, best of the year awards and other such cheap content. We're no different. In fact we're worse. Instead of compiling out own, we're just bringing you someone else's. Ok, we may do our own... but for now here is someone else's. Beatport's in fact. So you know you are in good hands.

Top 10 studio gadgets for 2009, read it here.

I'll be disappointed if I don't get all of these in my stocking this year.




Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 338: How to Warp beats in Ableton for Creative Effect, not function

You may remember recently I posted a guide on how to warp your tracks quickly in Ableton. Well today I am going to show you how to do something different with the very same tool.

Warping is Ableton's way of allowing you to manually get beats, tracks and loops in time. Sometimes when you are given a sample, simply put, it's badly saved etc. Warping allows you to easily tidy this up, get things water tight and back in time.

That's the intended purpose anyway. Today I am going to show you a misuse of that process for a creative, rather than functional effect.

Firstly open up a clean loop in Ableton. This can be done with anything, but I am illustrating it with a drum beat, as these are often over looked when it comes to creating affect.

Here is how the loop sounds unaffected:

If you are wondering, this loops is part of Prime Loops' Fidget House Grooves pack.

Now double click on some of the beat markers and drag them about. For this to work well you will need to double click the marker before and after the one you are moving as well, as this holds them in place and stops Ableton moving them back and forth to keep time.

Remember this is misuse, so we need to tell it what to do, not the other way. Basically what we are doing is increasing, or decreasing the time between one beat and the next, whilst the over all loop still remains in time. This gives the loop a new feeling or swing.

Putting emphasis on different parts of the loop like this can really change the feel of the rhythm, and make it sound less stuffy and precise.

Here you can see the same loop with a few of the markers moved.

And this is how the loop sounds now:

This definitely has a different feeling, and it almost sounds like a snare roll at the beginning. This is only a quick example, but with a bit of creativity, this can be used to infinite effect.

No go play...




Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 337: Let's Mix! New site for DJ mixes.

We blogged about this a while ago, but that was when it was just an idea, now it's a reality. Those awesome DJ friendly peeps at Tonium ( the same people who bought you Pacemaker) have made a site dedicated to DJ mixes.

Their original site was meant to be a place for owners of their device to upload and share mixes, but it soon became popular with the broader DJ community. As the user base grew it became apparent a change of approach was needed, and out of this came "Let's Mix".

With Sound Cloud recently alienating DJs with their new time limit system, this could be welcome news for some people.

I'll certainly be considering it as the new home for my mixes, keeping Sound Cloud free for tracks.

The site launched today, so get stuck right in!




Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 336: How to use Serato to mix with only one Turntable

I've never used Serato, but I hope to change that very soon. Lots of news and rumours recently about them stopping production of 1210s, but there is still something appealing about the DVS method.

This video yields two benefits. One is a excellent and smart way to carry on working in a club should one of the turntables fail for some reason, the other is that if you are skint like me, you can enjoy the benefits of serato, just with one turntable... that is good news. As I was only planning on buying one to have about. Being able to actually mix two tunes with it is just pure bonus.




Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 335: Gigsby - Music Network for better gigs.

Please dear lord, finally might we see something to put the final stake in the heart of MySpace Music.

There have been many exciting specialised networking sites coming through over the last few months, but this one looks top of the pops for us DJ/Producer types.

Not just because of the glitzy sleek and colourful website. Though I do like a tidy looking web-site, instills the confidence (and they have one of them cool viral promo teaser videos (below).

So, the site. It's called Gigsby, and it promises not just MORE gigs, but BETTER gigs. Although not even in Beta yet, I can tell by the design, the promo and the copy that this is going to be something good! These sort of projects always look like the best places to work too.

So I'm on the mailing list, and I'm going to wait patiently for more info. I recommend you do the same, and then follow them on all the usual sites.

Please please please no more myspace/Facebook fansites, let this be the way forward...

Video below, check the site here.




Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 334: White Christmas on the Theramin.

Tomorrow being December the 1st, means that the barrage of Christmas related adverts and marketing really is going to step up a gear.

So, what better way to get in the mood than watch a rendition of White Christmas skillfully played out on the theramin, that most magical of musical instruments:




Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 333: Above and Beyond get Rick Rolled.

Following on from yesterdays masterclass, I noticed the following video in the 'Related' section. While fairly amusing in it's own right, what I love more are the comments below the video.

While it's fairly standard for youtube comments to be the purest source of moronic wisdom, some of these are very interesting. Proving if nothing else that people who like this sort of ubiquitous Trance have no sense of humour.

Well the one's who feel the need to comment on youtube videos at least.