Music is Therapy.

Photo of a recording studio

Category: Videos Page 2 of 4

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! 🙂



Ned creates a Lead Patch on the Korg MS-20

No words, just patching. The “base” patch on the Korg MS-20 is the most boring sound on the planet, which makes you immediately grab a handful of lowpass…

In this example we used both inverted envelopes, both normal envelopes, and every filter mod. I’d have split some of the routings but I don’t have any of those little stackable patch cables. I really need a patch / split / inverter box. That may have to be a project video.

In any case, we start with Korg Basic and end up with a lead patch with a bit of after-touch effect thanks to the inverted envelopes which are routed to the Hi and Lo pass filter mod ports. This is Ned’s go-to solo patch, but it never sounds the same twice.


Ableton Tip 1 – External Instruments and Local “Off”

As promised, we’ve been working on a video to demonstrate a technique that will revitalize your creativity if you have at least one MIDI synthesizer laying about that supports “MIDI Local”. You need to be able to set “Local” to “Off” for this technique, but it will be worth it. If you’re fortunate enough to have more than one MIDI synth and a few MIDI cables, you can do some really cool stuff by using your DAW as a big MIDI pedalboard.

What is this “Local” thing I’ve been yammering on about? Its simply a keyboard-equipped synth’s way of separating the keyboard from the built in synth. When Local is on, the synth can be played by its own keyboard. When Local is Off, the synth might as well be a rack module, and the keyboard is just a dumb controller. This allows us to inject MIDI effects between the keyboard and the “module” (our internal synth).

Have a look and a listen, try out the technique, and let me know what you think!


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 – Adding a Sequencer to the Mix

Here’s the long awaited follow-up video to the first MIDI 101 video. Without further ado, I present “The Sequencer”.


Coming Up: MIDI 101 – Introducing the Sequencer

Korg SQ-1

Korg SQ-1

Our next instructional video will build on what we learned in the first MIDI 101 , adding an inexpensive sequencer to the mix.

We’ll be using a Korg SQ-1 which runs about $99 u.s. Any sequencer with a Midi out will work, the simpler the better.

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