4K in a DAW

I’ve been looking forward to get 4K monitor to use it with DAW and recently made it. I would like now to discuss the benefits and observations in a form of short guide, as seemingly many people are still confused about these.

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2016 Roundup

Ending year 2016 was quite interesting, full of ups and downs. For sure it was busy.

First and most important, I got my first track released – it’s remix of Ruska – Saimaa made for a contest. I was hoping now releases will be flying every month or so.

However, since then it was a downfall. Even though I feel I improve the quality of every new track, none of them was accepted. Some remixes were not good enough, others seemingly were off the style.

It took me a while to understand what is still wrong with the tracks and why people don’t enjoy them as much as commercial releases. And eventually I figured it out. Check the improved remix of Impellent:

The stats… we live in the world where no one cares who you are and what you do, but only how popular you are. I’m not very popular at all (especially compared to 2008), but the blog stats keep growing this year:

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This is with lowest post count ever. Most of visits hit Chaotic Wavetable Pack for Serum, which turned out very interesting for users even though it was made over one day and in fact is nothing extraordinary. Personally I never used it yet :P.

Growing stats may also come from the fact that I no longer post about “work in progress”, but simply finish tracks and post worthy pieces of music. Certainly it would help if I posted some tutorials and started video blog, but there are other things I need to deal with first. Neverthless, I gave some lectures on production this year so it’s not far from here. Especially earlier show on FM synthesis turned out great.

I only mixed like 9 DJ sets this year… unfortunatelly it takes a lot of time. Even though, these few sets get great number of plays, so once I get back to it someday, things should be running well.

The studio… I got quite some gear and a number of synths this year. Acually it’s more than I was able to use so far. Which doesn’t mean I don’t try to – the quest for ultimate studio drives me both creatively and at regular work. I not only need money for better place, but also need to actually make use of all the synths (yet alone gear) I gathered so far. Now the only thing that limits me is the time. Which leads to one last point…

The workflow. Earlier this year I decided to learn how to use Push for real. And I did, it just works so well. Now I’m working in Session mode, creating clips and layers one by one. Then switch to Arrangement View, create whole arrangement in one go and… voila! Track is finished. Let’s do another one. Making tracks, even very diverse, is quite repeatable process – one I know how to. And creating better track doesn’t neccessarily mean spending more time on it. It’s all about the skills and just know-how.

The future. The future is now, 2017 will be a breakthrough. Just at the end on the year I have all the pieces I need to produce great music. Just have to sort out earlier unfinished projects before getting new PC and moving on to future productions. All I need now is time – and to make good use of it. The same is true for DJ sets. These should come back in a month or two.

Happy new year 2017!

Studio expansion: audio interface

So I got adventurous and purchased serious audio interface – NI Komplete Audio 6. It replaces my old E-MU 0202 USB.

This 9-old year interface was alright and still served me well, so I bought Audio 6 quite in advance. I’m hoping to expand with serious studio monitors (finally!), hardware synth, or maybe guitar. But it’s all distant future.

However, good interface gives me some immediate benefits – both planned and unexpected.

Firts of all, I’m finally able to connect my XDJ-RX to other gear – in particular home speakers and PC. Record directly to Audacity or, better yet, Ableton with some effects – not only generic mastering strip, but also some creative FX played live. Need to try it out someday.

Secondly, I am finally, finally able to run Ableton and any other audio application at same time. Be it Audacity, Winamp, Rekordbox or just Youtube tutorials and cat movies. Previously it was impossible, so I had to close Ableton in order to check anything and hope that interface doesn’t collapse into erratic state (aliasing at lower sample rate, maybe?). Now it’s all gone. You can imagine how much time it saves me (or how much time previous interface wasted).

As to Komplete Audio 6 itself – someone on forums said “it’s build like tank”. Absolutely. It’s like a brick, but covered with aluminium. You could kill somebody with it. Works smoothly, has current Windows 10 drivers and nice config window.

Oh, and they gave me some NI stickers in box. The box also comes with a selection of NI crapware, including demos for Kontakt (seriously?) and a discount voucher. The voucher expires 3 months after it’s activated, so I simply didn’t activate anything. Overall, everything but stickers is a komplete waste of time.

All in all, I’m very satisfied with this interface. Now I need to figure out where to place stickers.

XDJ-RX is here!

Beautiful, isn’t it?

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Since 2006 I hosted 3 radioshows and recorded almost 300 mixes. However, it’s the first time that I have my own DJ gear. At least now I know how to use it. This is latest model with a number of features, so will serve me well for years.

Expect a plenty of mixes in the following days, recorded on this beauty.

The Push has landed

I am happy to welcome my new studio gear, Ableton Push.

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It is probably the most desired midi controller out there. Finally got my own and tried it out. It is amazing tool!

The midi controllers, in general, are there to help with layering down arrangements difficult to manipulate with mouse – for example acid bassline with multiple automations. However, Push is also able to replace more conventional midi keyboard thanks to it’s clip recording and manipulation functions.

It’s also drum machine and sample player, which will help me target the areas I find particularly difficult: drum loops and improvised FX. Also, ability to play live and improvise may help when I get stuck at certain piece and don’t move forward.

Of course, controller itself doesn’t allow user to do anything otheriwse he couldn’t. But it cuts the time needed to lay down melody and structure of a track dramatically. Also allow to check different ideas and see if they work together just on a press of button. That’s what I needed and that’s what I’ve got 🙂

Not to mention Push in particular appears very sturdy and solid piece of gear, hopefully resistant to my destructive powers. It is the most expensive single thing I ever bought, so it better last for years!

I wonder where it leads me once I have more time to finish another production.

Stay tuned!

Studio issues

I had terrible system failure last Saturday and it took me 6 days to recover. Nonetheless, now everything works perfect and I’m ready to finish the remix of Woven Drops.

Also, there was a short clip I made in the meantime – in fact, that was one-day session starting from scratch on my laptop. Still, you may find it promising and I advanced it quite a bit since then.

Also, though very simple, this got 60 plays first day only, which indicates I’m gradualy getting popular 😉

This clip sounds very techy, twisted and baging – though I plan to add some melody to resemble the original a bit more.

Will let you know when the full remix is ready 🙂