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This section includes compiled posts from some of Lars Behrenroth's favorite (Deep) House and Tech blogs.
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Lovecast Episode 142 – Taster Peter

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Italian producer, Taster Peter, fresh off his LFO Shit EP release on Crosstown Rebels’s imprint Rebellion, mixes our latest Lovecast and stops in for a quick chat.

With releases on Truesoul, Suara, Highgrade, and his own label Extravaganza, Taster Peter is ahead of the game. His tracks have garnered the attention of many influential players in the biz, including Sven Väth, Laurent Garnier, Adam Beyer, Dubfire, Pan-Pot, Danny Tenaglia, and of course Damian Lazarus.

We would say Taster Peter is a hot up-and-comer but it seems he’s already solidified himself into the fabric of the underground techno realm, so instead we’ll just say Taster Peter is hot!

Check out the latest Lovecast episode from Taster Peter and learn more about the artist in the interview below.

Lovecast Episode 142 – Taster Peter

* CLICK HERE if you do not see the Soundcloud player.

>> DOWNLOAD MIX HERE <<

Taster Promo Pic

Interview with Taster Peter

How did you first get introduced to underground dance music? What’s the most challenging part of becoming a full-time artist?
I’m a big fan of electronic music since I was a teenager, my first love was in 1995 for Chemical Brother’s Exit Planet Dust Album, at that time they were really underground…damn I still remember those beats, they totally stole my heart!

When I was 14, I went to a concert and I felt shocked about how big electronic music could be… I went to a few punk rock and hardcore concerts before and it was good, but that slap at the chemical’s concert was unique!

The most challenging part of being a full-time artist? mmm, nothing…I just love what I do, I could stay 24h 7 days a week in my studio and I would never get bored :-)

What has been the most exciting turning point of your career so far?
Definitely in the last years I signed few records on amazing labels owned by true legends…first of them, for sure it’s this EP on Crosstown Rebels’ Rebellion. This label for me has always been so legendary, it’s such an honor to be on board, and I really hope that it will be a good turning point of my career as well!

The other one probably was when I signed ‘Set Your Noise’ with Adam Beyer’s label Truesoul, that release was on fire!

And last but not at least: my EP on Traum ‘Pelikans’ from the last summer, captured the attention from the guys at Ultra Music who asked me to be part of the Ultra Publishing family alongside some real legends of electronic music!

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What city do you call home? How does where you live influence your music? If we were visiting your hometown, what clubs and/or parties would we want to check out? What about restaurants?
Livorno is my home, I am very attached to it, I also lived in other cities throughout my life, like London and Florence for years, but I always missed my hometown so much.

Here it is where it all started, from the time with the band ‘Tasters’, where I played the drums for around 10 years, until the early DJ sets around the city.

Livorno is a city full of artistic influences and it’s the Italian city with the most active bands today…it’s a 100% rocking town!

I would suggest you to visit first the ancient Fortresses in the area of Medici’s Port, it’s a really cool place to go, also I host a party there called LIQVID, where you dance to good techno music surrounded by ancient high walls… it’s amazing!

About the restaurants I would suggest to go to try the ‘Torta’ and ‘Cacciucco’ which are the 2 specialities from the city, and there are many places around which are doing this food in an incredible way.  Just have a walk into the ancient ‘Venezia’ district and you will find a lot of great places to go.

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What advice would you give to an aspiring producer trying to make their mark on the world?
I think the most important thing is believing deeply in what you’re doing, even if you’ve had some disappointments in your career. With the constant hard-work, sooner or later something good will happen for sure.

What’s on the horizon for Taster Peter in 2016 and beyond?
Well, I will continue producing music and gigging around…I have few gigs in Italy and  Ibiza this summer, and I’m just back from Sonar in Barcelona where I hosted my label showcase with few great artists.

On the releases side I have an upcoming record on my label Extravaganza with a remix from the mighty Charlotte De Witte, and there are a few other things which are still being discussed, so I can’t say anything more at the moment!

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Dream gig…
ahhh too many…really don’t know ahahahaah

Dream collab…
Laurent Garnier

Dream label…
I don’t have a real ‘dream’ label… I think that if I’ll continue to put everything into making good music with all my heart, sooner or later I will be on board of all those record label that I have always considered amazing.

Name one track that has been lighting up dance floors for you…
Laurent Garnier – The Man With Red Face … ALWAYS!

Tell us about your mix…
With this mix I wanted to showcase my last release on Rebellion… so I based the track listing around those songs. My mixes are always just a product of what I am listening to at that time, and this one is quite acid, sexy and groovy.

Drink of choice…
A good Margarita is unbeatable!

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CHEERS!

- jams
Jimbo James
Managing Editor

.

The post Lovecast Episode 142 – Taster Peter appeared first on Music is 4 Lovers.

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This amp and FX pack shows what you can do with Reason

In music software, you have things that are modular, and things that aren’t. Modular environments like Reaktor and Max/MSP let you build things from scratch with essentially unlimited flexibility. DAWs tend to lock you into fairly rigid options for how you combine different instruments, effects, and other tools.

Well, Reason sits somewhere in between. Every virtual synth, effect, and signal tool can be patched into another in a single, integrated environment – even as it still remains a production tool with a timeline and mixer (or mixers). In a great example of why that’s cool, hard-core Reason expert Marco Raaphorst shares his latest creation, a powerful set of amp and effect tools.

It’s called Rockmen. Delivered as a ReFill, Rockmen includes nine guitar amp simulation presets, plus 71 additional tools for modulation, saturation, delay, and the like.

But inside the custom AMP Combinator device that acts as bedrock of this ReFill, everything is just built-in Reason devices. It’s the EQ/filter, compression, and saturation you know. But Marco spent over a year combining those into something that sounds like his favorite tube amp.

rockmen-devices

That might seem like something stale or removed from amps, but it’s quite the opposite – even without a single impulse response, you get a warm, realistic amp sound. Marco tells us he was inspired by the 1982 Rockman device, designed by Tom Sholz. Starting with that as a spark, Marco has built a new, dynamic animal.

What I enjoy about this is, for $15 you get a whole set of signal processing tools – and one you can take apart to appreciate Reason devices you might take for granted, in a whole new light.

Patching devices in hardware remains a great joy. But Reason and people like Marco also remind us just how much we can have fun in the box.

http://melodiefabriek.com/shop/rockmen/

Marco also makes some really lovely music and frequently shares that work with Creative Commons licenses.

Oh, by the way, if you want to expand Reason more, there’s also the option of Propellerhead’s “Rigs” bundles … which let you stock up on a bunch of devices at a vastly discounted price. Curious if any of you are using these.

https://www.propellerheads.se/reason-rigs

The post This amp and FX pack shows what you can do with Reason appeared first on cdm createdigitalmusic.

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10 Best (Late) 2016 Summer Festivals

Late-Summer-festivals-featuredLate-Summer-festivals-featured

Summer is inching towards the halfway mark, with only a few weeks in the mix – it’s time to turn our begoggled eyes to late summer festival season.

Its June. Thus far, you’ve probably had an alright summer – but the opportunities to be extraordinarily sinful whilst having copious amounts of ultraviolet rays absolutely burn your body are beginning to wane.  Most of the rave heads have probably made it a few festivals already,  but some of us working-life people are still looking to escape our tragic albinism.

That’s why we set out what we think are the ten best festivals during the second half of summer (July and August). Unlike previous years we left out a ranking because a) we’re not asshats and b) we don’t support nepotism.

NoG2015-01-Spiritzone-at-Flickr

Nation of Gondwana | 23-24 July | Event Page | Grünefeld, Berlin

Have you ever been to Berlin? You know how crazy it is there. Imagine all the true Berlin party-hats making their way over to this open-air to celebrate 36 hours straight. Welcome to Nation of Gondwana – where the trance of music will set you back to a land before time. For over several years now, its been a recurring hotspot for Berliners, as every year they seem to capture the sincere nuance that’s typically lacking at a festival. Whether its chilling by a large lake, dozing off into the forest in the middle of the night, napping under a tree, getting blasted by a gigantic aerial water hose, or soaking in the sounds provided by MCDE, Dixon, Job Jobse, Der Dritte Raum, or Sven Dohse, your going to find yourself at one of the best parties Germany has to offer.

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Dekmantel | 4-7 August | Event Page | Amsterdamse Bos

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Everyone knows this one – but for a reason. Set as a 3-day binge in the Amsterdam Bos, Dekmantel is once again curating the finest lineup in all of Europe. This year’s edition is bringing in artists from around the world such as Alessandro Cortini, Awanto 3, Ben Klock, Cabaret Voltaire, Dollkraut, DJ Harvey, Legowelt (Live), Marcel Dettman, Mike Servito, Randomer, Ron Morelli, Rodhad, Veronica Vasicka, Young Marco, and many, many more great talents… you better start trolling ticket swap because this edition of Dekmantel will slowly remove all the buttons from your shirt.

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Odyssia | 30 August  – 5 September | Event Page | Schinos & Alepokhori & Attiki, Greece

Representing the Greek Gods and all of their deity is Odyssia. Taking place from the 30th of August til September 5th, the festival offers its patrons great food, location, music, vibe, and plenty of boat parties to give Leonardo Dicaprio a bronze medal. You can catch Boo Williams throwing down his American soul, the deep submerging sounds of Vakula, the perfection of Marcellus Pittman’s house and techno cuts, and the never-ending Miami-vice-reminiscent romantic melodies of DJ Harvey. At least whenever DJ Harvey is around – love goes on and on.

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Oasis | 16-18 September | Event Page | Marrakech, Morocco

Offering the perfect fusion for festival and holiday, Oasis festival is one of the finest Marrakech has to offer. By day, the sizzling Moroccan sun ensures a laid-back festival vibe as guests cool off in the pool, experience the souk, yoga, and authentic local street food, all the while enjoying spectacular views of the nearby Atlas Mountains. As night falls, the dance floor brings the heat, with acts such as Bicep, Dixon, Helena Hauff, Hunee, Job Jobse, Leon Vynehall, MCDE, Omar Souleyman, and many more performing under captivating star-lit skies.

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Dimensions | 25-28 August | Event Page | Fort Punta Christo, Croatia

Held at Croatia’s Fort Punta Christo, Dimensions probably has one of the most amazing festival locations ever imagined. Let’s not even question the fact that there is plenty of time for daytime beach sessions, including daily boat parties taking off from the harbour. This year will see live performances from the likes of Massive Attack, Moritz Von Oswald Trio featuring Tony Allen and Max Loderbauer, Hiatus Kaiyote, Mood II Swing, Moodymann, The Zenker Brothers, Joe Claussell and many more.

The post 10 Best (Late) 2016 Summer Festivals appeared first on Deep House Amsterdam.

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Henry Saiz Launches World-Traveling Audio Visual Project

henry-saiz-launches-ambitious-new-projecthenry-saiz-launches-ambitious-new-project

Essentially an audio visual album, Henry Saiz has turned to Kickstarter to help fund the ambitious new project.

The album is meant to be written in various exotic locales across the globe, drawing inspiration while also providing the visual elements of the film component. Some of the locations Saiz looks to travel to are Joshua Tree, Tokyo, and the Canary Islands. As Saiz describes the visual component, “[the film] is not simply a making-of, but a visual journey including music videos that will help listeners delve deeper into the meaning of the album,” and will be a combination of documentary and fiction.

Of the project, the Natura Sonoris boss says,

“Recording synthesizers inside the Great Pyramid in Egypt, traveling to Tokyo to create a track with a virtual singer, composing a theme during a psychotropic trip in the desert of Joshua Tree, playing drums inside the volcanic caves of Lanzarote island or collaborating with a Maasai tribe on a jam techno session – these are just some of the creative challenges I intend to carry out in order to shape an album that promises to be a truly innovative addition to the electronic music scene.”

Find more information and support Henry Saiz on Kickstarter HERE

The post Henry Saiz Launches World-Traveling Audio Visual Project appeared first on Deep House Amsterdam.

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Why you should care that Reason 9 just arrived

Reason 9 is here, updating that singular virtual rack of instruments and effects combined with song recording and arrangement. And a quick look at the features will likely have some people saying “fine, sure, but my DAW can already do that.”

But – exactly. And also – can it, really? Because Reason has a of doing things in a, well, Reason-y way – one that keeps its die-hard fans uniquely loyal. And it sometimes has a way of doing things best.

Reason 9’s feature list should at least satisfy existing users, with some new stuff that could change how you work. It continues Reason’s long march toward doing things that DAWs do. It also continues to do so in a way that is ruggedly, stubbornly consistent with earlier releases.

I need more time to do a full review. But I’m impressed already with the new additions to Devices, as well as the sound quality of the pitch editing engine.

Why this upgrade matters:

Reason is the one mainstream production workstation that’s patchable. Remember when modular was a niche thing? Now, from hardware Eurorack to software environments like Softube’s virtual module or Reaktor 6’s Blocks, it seems patch cords are as ubiquitous as faders. Reason has had patch cords since version 1.0, and that means all its virtual devices can be combined and re-combined however you like – even as rival environments make something as simple as sidechaining a major chore.

That means anything Reason adds in terms of Devices becomes instantly more flexible than it is in competing DAWs. (See the MIDI devices, below.)

Adjust intonation, change pitches, and adjust vibrato with monophonic audio sources - natively in Reason 9.

Adjust intonation, change pitches, and adjust vibrato with monophonic audio sources – natively in Reason 9.

You can now natively change the pitch of audio. The dream of editing audio pitches as easily as MIDI is basically as old as MIDI. We’ve been waiting for a DAW to really get this right. We’ve watched some half-assed implementations, and we’ve seen DAW makers try to bake Celemony into their DAW – which gives them a pretty decent environment, but generally crippled in functionality and not native to the DAW. Well, now Reason has gone all in.

All the usual features for monophonic lines are there – adjusting intonation, changing pitch entirely, adjusting vibrato, and for light edits, heavy fixes, or experimental uses. You’ll still want Celemony for polyphony, but it’s nice to see it integrated here.

My first impressions were really good, and more experienced Reason users I’ve talked to have been absolutely blown away. This could be a reason to dive into Reason again, no doubt.

Audio to MIDI converts audio to notes. Also monophonic – but this is fun for singing in lines, for instance, rather than playing them. Also, cough, this easily bests Ableton Live’s terrible, overly ambitious audio to MIDI features. (But side note to Ableton: please don’t fix that, or at least leave a “terrible mode” switch – it’s so bad, it’s good, in that you can generate unexpected musical materials.)

The three "Players" give you some powerful options for transforming MIDI.

The three “Players” give you some powerful options for transforming MIDI.

It’s got new note-transforming devices. Dubbed “Player” devices, three devices focus on MIDI.

1. Note Echo: rhythmic, pitched delays, rolls, and the like.
2. Scales & Chords: monophony and polyphony, they are … things.
3. Dual Arpeggio: well, two arpeggiators. But that means you can make polyrhythms, and each on its own is powerful.

Do other DAWs have this? Yep. Can you patch into them? Nope. And there are some other nice details here (weirdly a lot of DAW arpeggiators are … not terrific); I’ll cover this in the review later this summer.

Propellerhead obviously care about them, as they recently did a full live stream to show them off:

There’s a dual channel LFO, free. Pulsar was one of the better devices for the Rack when Propellerhead released it – but now you get it free instead of shelling out fifty bucks. That may anger people who did purchase it, but I think it’s reassuring: for anyone who thought Reason would become an empty shell and you’d have to buy all the new devices, App Store style, that’s clearly not what’s happening.

And let’s say again: modular patching. It’s the business. LFOs just aren’t as flexible in any other DAW, because you have to deal with restrictive routings.

There’s finally a dark theme. Black is the new black.

Bounce in place. Augh. Yes. This one is huge for me – you can finally bounce in place to quickly create audio clips from soft synths. Oh, and … wait a minute. Then you could edit that with the new pitch editor and … hold on. I may have to go seriously abuse these features.

Reverse MIDI and automation with a click. Also clever and creative.

Split notes with the Razor tool – as you would audio. Necessary.

And there are 1000 new sound presets, though… c’mon, let’s make our own! Who needs sleep?

https://www.propellerheads.se/reason/new

The post Why you should care that Reason 9 just arrived appeared first on cdm createdigitalmusic.

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Can Pads Replace Jogs? Hercules P32 DJ Controller Review

Introduced at NAMM 2016, Hercules took on a bold new direction with their P32 DJ controller, a two-deck MIDI controller with built-in sound card that swaps out jog wheels for 16 pads on each deck. In today’s review, we take a closer look at this pad-heavy controller – and we’re even giving one away – keep reading to enter to win!

Want to jump right to the contest and enter to win a P32? Click here.

  • Reviewed: P32 DJ
  • Manufacturer: Hercules
  • Price: $299
  • What Rocks: Unique control layout is unlike any other all-in-one DJ controller, highly portable, and a good price for 32 pads
  • Compatibility: Works with all DJ software – included DJUCED 40º (Hercules’ own DJ software), mappings for Traktor Pro, Serato DJ, Virtual DJ 8
  • Inputs/Outputs: RCA Master Out, 1/4” headphone jack, USB port (also powers the unit)

Novation and Native Instruments might have been the first major DJ hardware manufacturers to replace DJ MIDI controllers’ traditional jogwheels with alternative controls (with the Twitch and Kontrol S8/S5, respectively). But in recent years the entire industry has caught on to the trend of “performance pads” as a key toolset with which to DJ.

p32-versus-hercules-lineup

The P32 stands out against most of the controllers that Hercules has made in the last few years

For Hercules, the P32 DJ a departure from a formula that they’ve been following for years, with smaller-than-usual jogwheels present on almost all of their previous controllers. But there’s no doubt that they’ve stayed true to their traditions of reasonably priced gear that emphasizes portability on this controller.

Let’s start out with the big question on everyone’s minds:

Can You DJ with Just Pads / Without Jogwheels?

Your primary deck controls: 16 pads.

Your primary deck controls: 16 pads.

The answer is yes – with some adjustment. Being presented with a grid of pads instead of jogwheels, turntables, or platters of any kind is a mental switch up for many DJs who are used to controlling the playing tracks in a traditional manner. Here’s what’s really fun about this type of setup with the P32 DJ:

  • 16 cue points for each deck – 16 cues allow you to easily have an entire deck on melodic or vocal chopping, fun to layer over top of another deck. This also works well with…
  • Slicer mode – (Freeze mode in Traktor) uses the top 8 buttons to slice through a track and the bottom 8 to adjust the length of the slices selected
  • Loop mode – makes it easy to select common loop roll lengths (top 8 buttons) or enable a loop of any length (bottom 8 buttons) quickly – this is a bit redundant with the loop encoder at the top of the controller, but still very useful to DJs who rely on loops to mix – which is way more common when you aren’t as focused on jog wheels.
  • Sampler – in Hercules’ own DJUCED software, this controls decks 3 and 4, which are sample decks. It also can control Remix Decks, Serato’s SP-6 Sampler, or Virtual DJ’s sample banks with ease. Just being able to hit the sampler button and quickly have access to a full 16 samples is a fun – it feels very similar to using a Kontrol F1 in this respect.

We also imagine that a number of Ableton Live finger-drumming producers will be inclined to view this bit of kit as a one-stop-shop for performance setups. There’s no included mapping for Ableton Live, but it’s easy to map on your own quickly. The one drawback in this context is that the rest of the controller is designed for two-deck use, which is great for Ableton users who already have their sets designed for two channels, but less ideal if you have a number of clips scattered across more than two channels.

Hands On 32 Pads

Speaking of finger-drumming, let’s talk about the pad buttons on the P32 DJ. The 32 pads are the central focus of the controller (thus, P32). They’re made of a soft, rubbery material, which make them inviting to touch and play.

P32 Pads - closeup

The action will be familiar to those who have used pads on Livid or Monome controllers. The pads push down, and the tactical feedback that you get is from the actual button material hitting the case. There’s no velocity-sensitivity, and while this isn’t most advanced type of pad out there, using this design likely allows Hercules to keep the price of the controller very budget-friendly.

Heavy users of MPC units or arcade button controllers will likely find these style of pads difficult to get used to, but for DJs looking for a solid start into the world of pad controllers, these buttons are totally acceptable.

The Rest Of The Controller’s Controls: Mixing, Loops, FX

Beyond the pads, the rest of the controller has a pretty standard set of controls that make it possible to DJ. There’s the industry-standard four FX knobs (three for FX and one for wet/dry) with on/off buttons under each.

The P32's looping, filter, and FX sections

The P32’s looping, filter, and FX sections

There are loop encoders with a basic LED display that shows the loop length. Push to enable a loop, rotate the encoder to change the length, shift+rotate to move the loop – all how you’d expect this type of control to behave. As noted above, it’s important to have a dedicated control on the unit for this, because not having jogwheels on a controller absolutely lends itself to using loops more in mixing.

Next to each deck’s loop section is a large filter encoder. The encoder is larger than any other knob on the mixer, which is great, but it feels like it should be a traditional potentiometer instead of a push encoder. Encoders are great for the shift functionality – a move / beat jump behavior – but with filters, encoders are very noticeable when used. You can hear it engage in “steps” instead of a smooth sound like you’d hear with a traditional potentiometer knob.

p32-mixing-section

For a budget controller, the P32 DJ’s mixing section is what you’d expect. There’s low/mid/high EQs, an easy browse/load section, and headphone cue selection buttons. The short-throw channel volume faders and crossfader might be harder for users of full-sized DJ controllers to get used to, but it’s important to remember that this controller is only 14 inches by 9.5 inches.

Portability + Design

small-bag

The P32 in a small backback

Hercules did a great job of making this a controller that really is the definition of portable. I was able to fit the P32 in a very small backpack. It’s also light, coming in at just 3.08 pounds.

Compared to controllers that have a similar functionality – two decks, FX, and a basic soundcard, the P32 does it all in a much smaller footprint, all while keeping the spacing of the controls relatively comfortable. I felt like the channel faders and crossfader were a bit too close together. Other than that, the full-size pads and other controls have plenty of room around them for heavy use.

Great For the Centerpiece Of A Modular Setup?

X1 and P32

There were a few controls that I found myself wanting dedicate controls for on the P32, the addition of which would probably have made this controller too cluttered. It felt like using the P32 alongside a second small controller might be ideal to cover these controls – which are available via a shift layer:

  • individual track gain
  • master volume
  • track tempo / pitch
  • scrub through tracks
  • nudge a track backwards/forwards in a track a tiny amount

P32: A High-Value Budget Pad Controller

For DJs looking for an analogous set of kit, it’s tempting to compare the P32 DJ to two Traktor Kontrol F1s with a Z1 in the middle. This unit is vastly more affordable at $299 (if you bought those Kontrol units, it would run $600). What you get is a complete DJing package – in addition to the unique control set, there’s a built-in sound card with master RCA outs and a headphone cue.

For the price and the size, the P32 is a solid controller. It might not replace a full-fledged DJ setup, but could be a perfect mainstay in a larger modular setup. It could also be a good choice for DJs who want something small and portable to take for spur-of-the-moment gigs. The P32 will surely encourage users to think beyond the jogwheel, ideal for DJs who have sets that rely entirely on loops, cue points, samples, and a layering-heavy workflow.

Giveaway

We’re giving away a single unit of this P32 DJ controller – just use the widget below to enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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