Music is Therapy.

Photo of a recording studio

Category: Music Page 2 of 3

The 64 Bit Question-Session 1

Frankly Studios is now a 64 bit Ableton shop. The conversion was not fun, but at least it was time consuming. 🙂

I started working on this song while fine-tuning Ableton and the machine, and it just came together pretty well.

Listen Responsibly!



Positive Inlook (An Electronic Excursion)

I found myself in a particularly positive mood today. I had done some pretty depressing and soul-wrenching studio work last night (up until 3 am), but today felt… lighter.

I did my chores, all the while thinking of what to create. No tune came to mind. No drums appeared in my head. I turned the studio on, all 13 switches. It, and I, came to life and I played the beginnings of this song. Several hours later I think it’s complete. It may not even be started yet…



Kawai K3, Kawai K5, microKorg, Korg MS20, Ableton 9.6.2.

Longevity (One Take)

We had a tragedy unfold in front of our home this afternoon. A young lady lost her life riding her bicycle into the path of a turning SUV. Fault doesn’t matter. We have video surveillance around our house, so to assist the police we reviewed our footage and found that we had captured the accident. In making copies for the police and local newsfolks (Caleb’s room was full of cops and reporters…) I had to watch the event over and over. And over. And after everyone left, I watched it again. It’s hard to put your mind around the immediacy of someone’s death, especially one so sudden and unexpected.

Music is therapy. So I went in the studio and turned everything on. I cut the beats by hand and recorded the piece in one take. I did edit it a bit. The graphics are a visualization from VLC. Here’s how I feel:


Glitchy – Sequenced, Torn, and Glitched

Another grand experiment in sequenced glitch processing using Ableton, a couple of Korgs (MS-20 and microKorg) as well as a Digitech RP90 (thanks, Dan!)

Enjoy! 🙂



Advanced MIDI and Voltage Controlled Sync – Live Modular Jam 

Ned was inspired after the last few sessions of MIDI basics. The arpeggio / Local Off project wasn’t finished decoding on YouTube when this piece started to take shape.

I did have to solve one technical issue to create this piece. I wanted to sync up my SQ-1, which is playing the MS-20. I’m out of MIDI cables (I used 3 to create the instrument chain for Local Off), so I had to get creative and make what we call a “Ghost Track”. In Ableton, I created a new send that only goes to output 3 and 4 on my 4×4 audio interface. Next I created a new drum track, and set it to “Sends Only”. I cranked the knob to my new send on the ‘silent’ drum channel. I take either of those outputs and run them to Sync In on the SQ-1. Now all I need is a short pulse (like a drum hit) to trigger the sequencer step by step. You’ll hear the SQ1 and MS20 come in at about 2:00. On the drum track I put a cymbal running 16th notes, with a pulse length of about 10 ms. That was enough to make the SQ-1 happy and advance the sequence with each cymbal hit. So it’s not technically voltage control, but it’s close enough.


Teaser – Ableton Tip 1 and the mystical “Local Off” option

We’re working on our next video. It will demonstrate Local Off, and show you how to use Ableton as a big midi arpeggiator for your external instruments. It has tremendous possibilities, and is a blast to play.

Stay tuned!


Ned fixes a nagging problem – The K5 Fix

Ned has owned a K5 for awhile now, and it’s had a problem with the patch selection buttons not wanting to be pressed. If you press really hard and rock them back and forth, perhaps you can get “2” selected.

We posted a video that demonstrates a fix we applied to our K5 that seems to be working just fine. Take a look and let us know. There’s got to be a better solution, but mine worked. So far. 🙂



(Sometimes I) Wander – Electronica

Just a strange combination of video and multiple tracks of real, physical synthesizers. Slightly psychedelic. Note: We’re using a new video editor that seems to be quite capable. Now if the operator can become as capable as the software…

Listen, enjoy, and subscribe. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well!


A Live Sequencer Jam Session

After we finished editing the MIDI 101 videos, Ned had a room full of synthesizers all wired up with no-where to go. Ned took care of that – Sample this, remix it, make something out of it – it’s a Sequencer Jam Session, just the thing to start out August.

Here’s what’s wired up:

  • The SQ-1 Sequencer controls the MS-20 via control voltage
  • The same sequencer sends MIDI note info to the microKorg.
  • The microKorg plays, and passes the MIDI note info along to the Kawai K3.
  • The K3 plays, and passes the MIDI note into along to the Kawai K5.

All of the instruments pass through Ableton, but only the Lyricon (K5) got any special treatment (I applied a couple of virtual guitar pedals). The rest of the video and audio is as it was created. No post on the audio of any kind, and the video was edited only to add captions.


MIDI 101 – Routing a 3 Synth Lead Stack

MIDI was introduced in 1983 by Dave Smith and Chet Wood. [MIDI History]

It’s used for everything from the obvious (music) to lighting systems and pyrotechnics. The concepts are simple, but sometimes the most obvious solution can be confusing.

We decided to put together our first How To video. I know there are 100 other “MIDI 101” videos out there, but this one features Ned. Using Ned’s regular voice.

If you’re already a MIDI veteran, this will be a kindergarten video for you, but if you have a few MIDI devices laying about, this vid may make you go buy a couple of MIDI cables…


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