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+–: chance-based MIDI effect

Michael TerrenAbleton Super Powers, Free Downloads, Max for Live, noisemakerLeave a Comment

The Max for Live device I have here is a MIDI effect made for beats. Admittedly it’s not quite “algorithmic” in nature, but it uses chance to either add notes or take away notes, and you can control how likely that will happen with the two dials. The ‘+’ dial will add random notes by copying a note that comes into … Read More

Michael Terren+–: chance-based MIDI effect

Free MAPPA device – flip your Live and Push dials and encoders

Michael TerrenFree Downloads, Max for Live, noisemakerLeave a Comment

(Reminder: if you’ve already joined our Max for Live mailing list, you can access MAPPA at the download link that we emailed you when you joined!) Performing with encoders (also known as dials, rotaries, those 8 knobs at the top of a Push) is something of a haphazard affair for me. I’ve seen an awful lot of performances which just … Read More

Michael TerrenFree MAPPA device – flip your Live and Push dials and encoders

What is loudness? Using RMS meters (+ a free RMS meter to download!)

Michael TerrenAbleton Super Powers, Free Downloads, Max for Live, noisemakerLeave a Comment

There is a golden rule for mixing with plugins, and you could summarise it by saying “know your loudness.” Keeping loudness levels the same between plugins is essential to making crucial and objective decisions when mixing. Why? Because our ears aren’t very clever—they think that louder is always better. If you slam a compressor’s output gain by 8dB or so, … Read More

Michael TerrenWhat is loudness? Using RMS meters (+ a free RMS meter to download!)

Plate reverb presets for Ableton Live

noisemakerAbleton Super Powers, Free Downloads, livemaker, noisemakerLeave a Comment

bleton takes a hands-off approach to their audio effects. Whereas commercial audio effects will sell their effects with dozens or hundreds of presets (sometimes they’ll sell a few hundred presets separately), Ableton gets away with much less. I think the reason for this is to encourage producers to become intimate with an audio effect and explore its sonic capabilities and possibilities … Read More

noisemakerPlate reverb presets for Ableton Live

More keyboard shortcuts on a Mac

noisemakerAbleton Super Powers, livemaker, noisemakerLeave a Comment

I’m a big fan of making keyboard shortcuts wherever I can. Ableton isn’t that friendly with customising keyboard shortcuts—not unless Max for Live can do it for you—but there are other software that will let you customise how you use Live. Enter Karabiner. Karabiner has been around for some time under the tongue-twister name KeyRemap4MacBook, but Karabiner perhaps better indicates … Read More

noisemakerMore keyboard shortcuts on a Mac

Complexity and the DAW: Managing and staying in control

noisemakerAbleton Super Powers, livemaker, noisemakerLeave a Comment

This post takes a different approach to my previous ones, to talk about something that all computer musicians have to deal with: complexity. We all know that the computer is capable of far more processing, calculations, and data than the human mind is capable of, and this means we can now create music with a degree of complexity hitherto impossible … Read More

noisemakerComplexity and the DAW: Managing and staying in control

WAVE – an introduction to waveshaping and wave-terrain synthesis

Michael TerrenFree Downloads, Max for Live, noisemakerLeave a Comment

Waveshaping Waveshaping is a technique that, quite literally, lets you shape the waveform of a signal. It’s generally used to add harmonics to a signal, and often that means distortion. Ableton Live actually has a really great waveshaper built in, and it’s very well hidden inside the Saturator device. Press the arrow next to the Device On button, and in … Read More

Michael TerrenWAVE – an introduction to waveshaping and wave-terrain synthesis

Johnny Greenwood Stutter

Michael TerrenFree Downloads, Max for Live, noisemakerLeave a Comment

When teaching Max to beginners, I sometimes cast my mind back to how I first got into Max, back in 2010. It seems quite mundane really—I searched for MaxMSP (its proper name back in version 5) on YouTube, and lo and behold, the most viewed video was one of a guitar solo from Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. Me coming straight … Read More

Michael TerrenJohnny Greenwood Stutter

Reading the Live Object Model (LOM)

Michael TerrenMax for Live, noisemakerLeave a Comment

Almost everything in Live can be controlled using Max for Live. Each one of these things that can be controlled is called an object. Every parameter, every device, clip information, transport information, colours, viewing information… they’re all objects that Max for Live can handle. These are organised into a big hierarchy, and this is shown in the Live Object Model (LOM). The … Read More

Michael TerrenReading the Live Object Model (LOM)

Using the Live API abstractions

Michael TerrenMax for LiveLeave a Comment

Getting into Max for Live can seem intimidating when starting out, and I wouldn’t blame you for admitting that because I was exactly the same. There are a handful of ways for beginners to dip their toes in, so to speak, like Max’s extensive help files and tutorials, but in case they’re too extensive for you, allow me to introduce … Read More

Michael TerrenUsing the Live API abstractions