Monday, January 25, 2010

A Pint of Beer and a New Tattoo: Audio Damage Tattoo Reviewed

(picture stolen from

They say (or somebody does anyway) that drum machines have no soul but who's to say that? And Roger Linn lols @ u. Soul is a subjective, unquantifiable concept. And its not about "live" You can't tell me that every single hip-hop tune made with machines like the TR-808 or MPC is soulless. The same goes for any electronic beats. Sure, many are but that's the fault of the composer/producer.

I was still wanting NI Maschine and still peeved by the fact that it'd require me to get a new computer when I ran across Tattoo. Seems to have just come out and it does look promising. TR-styled 12 channel drum synth with nice step sequencer and randomization functions? Will control other midi instruments? And demos sound nice. Audio Damage doesn't offer demo versions but they will refund your money. So it seems like a sure thing... more review and audio examples after the jump...

( Screenshot swiped from Audio Damage. But that's what it looks like!)

The soul of a new machine?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Steppy Lite

Steppy Lite works with any version of Live Lite 7.0.18 or higher.

It  uses Impulse instead of Drum Racks to trigger samples and uses 8 midi tracks instead of 9.

Notes triggered are C3-D-E-F-G-A-B-C4 ...this maps to Impulse, its also maybe a more useful range than that used in original Steppy (designed for Drum Racks) though it includes no black keys. A midi pitch effect on each track will let one finetune notes.

Read the blog post below this to learn more about Steppy. Next up is to make a 16 step version and maybe one designed around APC40 instead of Launchpad. (Though it works great with both.) And some videos.

Download Steppy Lite here:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Steppy! A Step Sequencer for Launchpad+Live

(also works with Akai APC40)
I had some articles lined up but its very unlikely I'll get anything done until after New Year's.

In the meantime, though I came up with Steppy! (not the most original name I know) I just wanted a basic step sequencer I could control with my Launchpad or APC40, so I made one! Consider it a late Hanukkah/Early Xmas present, maybe its better than a lump of coal.

Steppy is an 8x8 monophonic step sequencer for Live. It was designed around Launchpad but works great with APC40 too. It's quite basic, I wanted something that would let me rearrange cut-up breaks on the fly, using Drum Racks and it was tested with Ableton's 808 preset for that. Steppy is simply an Ableton Live set. There are no midi effects (or effects @ all) and it doesn't need MAX for Live or anything. Works straight away with Launchpad in Session mode. It *does* need Live 8 to run, LiveLite 8.06 for Launchpad will work, that's what came w/my Launchpad. LiveLite 8.09 for Launchpad will not as Steppy uses 9 midi tracks. (I don't know about Mac versions) Am working on an 8-track version that will run on any LiveLite 7 or higher.

Download here:

See how it works... it's a massive kludge but it didn't take very long...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tweaking Netbooks for Audio (XP mainly, some Windows 7)

I hope this one is not too boring!

Netbooks have become one of the hottest sectors of the computer market, maybe they'll even muscle out those ubquitious lappies with little glowy apples on the lid. Mind, I don't really have a hate for Apple, I still have a G4 PowerBook which I'm fond of, it might even make an Old Tech article. But anyway a while back, I picked up a little Toshiba netbook myself, so I wouldn't lug my 100-pound Panasonic Toughbook everywhere, as badass as that may be. The advantages are obvious, the Tosh is light, cute, portable, has a lovely bright screen and cost $350. I wondered if it'd be powerful enough to handle a minimum of audio production and dj performance - and well, it is, with some work... I'd also spent some time tweaking the Toughbook prior, we're talking Windows XP, although netbooks are starting to ship with Win7 and don't mention Vista... and I know a plus for Macs is that you don't have to tweak them, but then you're missing out on all the fun...

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oops, I goofed. Just upgraded Live8 for Launchpad to 8.0.9 and now it *does* match the specs on Ableton's site. (8.0.6 was the one that came with Launchpad.) 8 tracks of audio, 8 midi; 8 scenes still sucks donkeys but you can use more third-party plug-ins - 4 effects and 4 instruments which make it a *lot* more useful for production. Until I get full Live 8 (really its a matter of time) I will be using it. And 7.0.18 for DJ... again, it works with both APC40 and Launchpad!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Here Comes a Challenger! Novation Launchpad vs Akai APC40 review

The Ableton world was abuzz with the release of Akai's much-anticipated APC40, which promised a hitherto unmatched integration with and a level of realtime control over Live. The buzz didn't last as long as Akai might have hoped as only a few months later along comes Novation's Launchpad, which offers a bigger grid and USB bus power for half the price. Does it deliver? Is it the APC40 killer? Failure to launch? (OK, thats harsh.) Or just a slightly Live-savvy monome clone made in Asia?

Monday, November 2, 2009