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Gear: Ableton Profiles Pantha du Prince and the Bell Laboratory in New Mini-Doc

Catching up with Pantha du Prince and his Bell Laboratory outfit in London before its performance of Terry Riley's flagship minimalist piece, In C, Ableton's new mini-documentary chronicles the creative challenges and intersections between technology and musicianship which fuel the ensemble's work. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 04/07/2014

Gear: Watch Legowelt Give an Hour-Long Tour of His Studio

In a new—no joke—hour-long video, longstanding producer and noted gear head Legowelt gives an extensive tour of his studio, a place filled to the brim with an assortment of classic synths and drum machines. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 04/04/2014

Gear: Watch Tom Demac Make a Beat in 10 Minutes

London producer Tom Demac recently took the Against the Clock challenge, crafting a surprisingly developed track in just 10 minutes using Ableton Live, Push, and the man's enviable array of hardware. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 04/04/2014

Gear: Download a Drum Rack of Elektron Samples from Noah Pred

Decade-plus house and techno veteran—and former XLR8R podcast contributor—Noah Pred has compiled a new sample pack "painstakingly made" by extensively sampling his own Elektron Machinedrum. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 04/03/2014

Gear: Artist Tips - Tycho Details How to Get Quality Tones Without the Use of an Amp

If one were to make a list of artists whose music sounds great on a purely sonic level, there's little doubt that Tycho (a.k.a. Scott Hansen) would need to be part of the conversation. Just two weeks ago, Hansen released 'Awake,' his latest LP for Ghostly International, and the eight-track effort is unsurprisingly full of the gauzy textures, shimmering melodies, and crisp percussion that have become his trademark. However, there is one key difference between 'Awake' and its predecessor, 'Dive': the new album relies much more on actual instruments. It's not that Tycho's aesthetic has changed, but some of the tools he's employed most certainly have. Now, we've known that Hansen is something a of a wizard behind the boards ever since we visited his production lair for an 'In the Studio' piece back in early 2012. Still, we wanted an explanation of how Hansen managed to maintain his signature sound while continuing to press forward with his music. He was kind enough to oblige our request, and put together a basic breakdown of exactly how he finds—and maintains—the gorgeous tones that populate his records. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 04/02/2014

Gear: Check Out a "Portable Animation and Sound Kit" Called Patatap

A collaboration between designer/developer Jono Brandel and Japanese musical outfit Lullatone, Patatap is a "portable animation and sound kit" which turns one's browser and keyboard into a musical/visual playback device. It's also a whole lot of fun to play with. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/26/2014

Gear: Artist Tips - Hauschka Shares the Secrets of the Prepared Piano

Last week, German composer and pianist Hauschka (a.k.a. Volker Bertelmann) released his latest LP, 'Abandoned City.' (For those who haven't heard it, the album is still streaming online.) A concept album that finds Hauschka employing improvisational techniques while creating music to accompany an imaginary journey through ruined urban landscapes, 'Abandoned City' also showcases Bertelmann's skill with the prepared piano. While many pianists prefer to focus on classic sounds, Hauschka takes things further, altering the instrument by placing objects on or between the strings, hammers, and dampers. Though the benefits of his methods—and the expanded musical possibilities they facilitate—are likely apparent to just about anyone who's heard his output, we still figured that Bertelmann could pass along some further insights. He obliged by detailing a few of his methods, but also took the time to explain the conceptual appeal of the prepared piano, and even shared some tips for properly amplifying the instrument. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/26/2014

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