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This section includes compiled posts from some of Lars Behrenroth's favorite (Deep) House and Tech blogs.
Copyright to each post is owned respectively by the author and issueing website.

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Hack Arturia’s MiniBrute, MicroBrute for More Synth Goodness


Arturia’s quirky, compact, unmistakable-sounding MiniBrute – and the patchable MiniBrute – are among some of the nicer desktop instruments to hit recently. But you can make them do more with hacking. And that’s especially relevant as the original MiniBrute goes on sale.

The MiniBrute is already a nice synth. Sure, it’s not as compact as the more recent MicroBrute and lacks that synth’s cute little modulation patching section, but you also get full-sized keys, and it’s still a lovely instrument. The trick is, you can hack it to add an SH-101-inspired step sequencer as found on the MicroBrute and the SE edition of the MicroBrute. Couple that with an offer than through the end of June prices the limited supply of MiniBrutes at just €399 / US$299 / £299 – that’s the sort of “oh, okay, maybe I will get one after all” price.

You can add a step sequencer with a free SysEx hack:
Converting a vanilla MiniBrute to a MiniBrute SE and vice versa…

Yves Usson’s Hack a brute site has a lot more, too, in both English and French. There are schematics and blueprints for the MicroBrute, and hacks for both the MicroBrute and MiniBrute. (There’s just one for the Micro, but it’s cool: “Add a CV input for controlling the VCA.”) There are even instructions for adding wooden endcaps to the MicroBrute, if you’re into that sort of thing:


Here’s what happens when the MicroBrute meets up with the soon-to-ship Arturia BeatStep Pro:

More on the hack site:
Hack a Brute

Thanks to Source Distribution in the UK for the heads-up.

The post Hack Arturia’s MiniBrute, MicroBrute for More Synth Goodness appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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Maschine and Komplete Kontrol Updates Make Them Way More Useful


The changes are subtle. And if you’re looking for some kind of splashy way of integrating Maschine with Traktor or transforming how you play plug-ins, this isn’t it. But some point updates to two flagship Native Instruments production tools are worth applauding. They make these tools not only more useful, but give them more longevity.

Maschine sounds better. Maschine and Komplete Kontrol play better together. And whereas hardware/software integration sometimes seems designed solely to lock you in to certain products, Komplete Kontrol now not only works with your host and other gear, but works even when it’s unplugged from your computer – as it should.

Let’s look at what’s new in Maschine 2.3 and Komplete Kontrol 1.1 – starting with Maschine:

Maschine Studio's knobs and display now do more.

More Drum Synth sounds. The Drum Synth was one of the best parts of Maschine 2, moving the machine beyond samples to real tunable, playable synthesis. There’s now a Cymbal module with “Crash” and “Ride” modes – yeah, you needed that. And “Hi-hat” accordingly gets a “Hybrid” mode. The Snare and Tom get new modes, too (dubbed “Breaker” and “High,” respectively).

Better-sounding reverbs, more effects, guitar cabs. If you liked the old Reverb effect, it’s still there, renamed “Legacy.” But there’s a new reverb to try out, with hall and room modes. There are new effects, too – a new distortion mode, more transparent limiter, and from Guitar Rig a new selection of cabinets and mics.

Easier to play, better integrated with Komplete Kontrol. The Arpeggiator has a hold function (on keyboards and pads). And for us keyboardists, there’s really a reason to use a keyboard with Maschine and not just the pads. Aside from the ability to work in both directions with Komplete instruments and metadata, and save settings from each, you can now use the keyboard’s touch strip modes (including the wacky bounce-y ones, fun for modulation). You can see octaves and key switches.

There are a bunch of other tiny details and enhancements that have clearly kept the engineers busy, but I’ll let you dig through the readme if you want to get to that level of detail.


In keyboardland, Komplete Kontrol 1.1 delivers a bunch of features we knew were coming but that finally move this from a “sit on the shelf” toy to “oh, okay, now I remember why I thought this was a good product idea in the first place” tool.

Yes, you can get MIDI notes from the Scale and Arp features out to your host.

Yes, you can also output those Scale and Arp to external hardware via the MIDI Out port. (And you were wondering why it was there.)

You can use the Light Guide to show a scale without remapping notes, if you want a visual aid to learning scales but don’t necessarily want the piano keys to stop acting like piano keys. (This works in Maschine with the keyboard, too.)

And finally, you can access touch strip settings from the hardware. Previously you had to dig into a menu and … yeah, let’s just say it was enough work to make the feature kind of useless. Now, the touch strips are fun and useful, and you can easily choose whatever you want the touch strip to do from either the Komplete Kontrol software or Maschine.

You can also tempo sync modulation on the touch strip. This is the sort of thing that previously required Lemur. Very cool.

And best of all, Komplete Kontrol works as a standalone MIDI controller when you’re not connected to a computer. You can create control pages with the Controller Editor and use that hardware

Oh, Hell, yeah. So, that moves my rating of this keyboard from “admire from afar” to “buy.” Because let’s be clear about this. It’s a practical thing. Most of us now own some kind of synths, especially since some are dirt cheap. And it’s a philosophical thing. If you drop your laptop on the floor, or just don’t want the temptation of booting up your machine and looking at some depressing email or Facebook instead of actually making music, the pretty, pricey music hardware you own should not – I repeat, not – turn into a useless brick. End of rant. It’s fixed.

Good stuff, and as I plan to take this gear on the road I’m really pleased. So, hey there, Komplete Kontrol S25, time to see if you fit easily into my suitcase.

Of course, Native Instruments has some competition nipping at its heels – particularly in the form of Akai’s own controller keyboard, the Advance. Now, interestingly, though, several of the issues I raised back in January have been addressed by NI. In fact, the things that most bothered me – the inability to use Komplete Kontrol in standalone mode or to work with plug-ins and hardware with the built-in arp and chords and scales – were just fixed with this very update. But that still leaves an interesting horse race, and I hope we’ll have a full review of the Akai soon.

What are you using? What do you want to know? Let us know.

The post Maschine and Komplete Kontrol Updates Make Them Way More Useful appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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Maschine 2.3 Out Now, Free Komplete Select Instruments

Maschine users have been anxiously awaiting their next update for a number of months, and finally today version 2.3 is just hitting the NI Service Center downloads. In addition to a number of major usability updates (full changelist below), the new version of Maschine includes access to Komplete Select, which is a selection of some of the best instruments from the Komplete library, including Massive, Monark, Reaktor Prism, and more.
image image image

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Inside The Glitch Mob’s Crazy Rockstar Live Electronic Rig


Press play? More like bang drums hit stuff finger warp touchpad go crazy.

The Glitch Mob are one of America’s leading festival electronic acts. (And members like EdiT have IDM, not just EDM, credits to their name – so they were “glitching” before it was cool, in other words.) But while that circuit is in a frenzy of one-upmanship when it comes to spectacle, there’s some real playing behind this act. And that distances them from artists that put on a big show visually but have shied away from anything risky in the set – like actually playing the parts, beyond basic scene triggering or knob twiddling.

With their latest rig, The Glitch Mob apparently want to do more than just look like an epic rock band. They want to play like one, too.

And that means that while of course some complicated show and performance elements are sequenced in advance, the trio are playing – a lot. As the sun rises over California this morning, they are unveiling a new show rig. The eye candy for crowds is certainly amped up. But dig deeper, and the artists have given themselves more to do, not less, with a massive load of computational and audio hardware to back them up.

EdiT gave CDM an advance look at the rig over the weekend. Here’s a quick run-down – but if there is something of interest you’d like to know, let us know and we can talk to the band.

The Glitch Mob: Behind The Blade from the glitch mob on Vimeo.


As EdiT explains, “there’s nothing off the shelf that we can buy to play our music.” So this is an all-custom rig, centering on some serious collaboration, including custom programming and Max/MSP patching by Matt Davis (who calls is a “real instrument”), live show production by Martin Phillips of Bionic League, and Gregg Lacey of Vision Scenery.

We’re talking real heavy hitters. And for all the (justified) talk lately about Berlin, this is a great example of what makes LA special. It’s the one city that can attract festival dance music culture and cross-breed it with Hollywood production values. Lacey literally builds movie sets, making science fiction imagination more realizable. I mean, it’s tough to find people who can draw as well as these guys can sketch out the set ideas, let alone build them in production-ready settings.

But because those production values go into the live performance itself and not just how it looks, this is about more than the stage effect. As they say in the video, you should be able to hear that effort in the music.

Gear watching:

In production, Ableton Push, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol, Livid’s BASE, and NI’s Maschine all get a healthy workout.

Bits and pieces of their set are then loaded into Sampler instances in Ableton Live.



“Little Kim,” the performance rig by Matt and Ed includes:
2 Mac Pro audio computers, each running Ableton Live (one ‘A’, one ‘B’ – redundancy, kids)
2 Mac minis for control data from onstage
One huge Max/MSP rig (see pics), handling sync, control, and presentation
Multiple Universal Audio Apollo audio interfaces
Radial SW8 Switchers
MOTU MIDI routing
Network gear

Then the stage setup:
Roland V-Drums (some built into giant taiko props)
Roland Octapad controllers (SPD-30)
Performance stations with iPads running Liine Lemur
Integrated grid controllers (either AKAI MPD or Livid BASE)




And now you know what playing Rock Band on Xbox looks like – if you’re playing with top Sith lords.

Analog and digital MIDI signals all get routed, split, consolidated, translated (via Max/MSP) and then processed for Ableton Live.

They keep referring to “she,” the performance beast; I half expect her to turn evil and try to kill them all, GladOS style.

Speaking of evil computers, it’s worth watching from around halfway through when they get into the behind-the-scenes story. If you’re wondering if something this complicated can cause some headaches, and if, like you, even celebrity electronic acts do sometimes have coffee-overdose moments of panics as things keep breaking, that’ll be an affirmative.

The result is a stage set that is fully functional rather than decorative. So, rather than flying down in a spaceship (not that there’s anything wrong with that), anything large onstage is part of the instrument. Giant drums are giant drums, and you can expect them to get hit.

It feels from looking at it a bit like the wild synth performance rigs you saw in movies in the 80s and 90s, only it actually works and you can buy tickets. Subtle, it ain’t, but technology is certainly catching up with science fiction.


It’s funny, but I think The Glitch Mob really here get at the heart of what a big-festival project is – and the rising popularity of so-called EDM not only in America but Europe and internationally, too. It’s, as they say in the opening, hitting stuff hard and sweating.

The crowd’s expectations so obviously come from the world of those bigger rock shows (and big-stage hip-hop shows after them). That’s why it’s odd to me that people return to forced comparisons with the underground club scene that has a different lineage. But in understand the spectrum of live computer performance, it’s essential that we recognize those differences. It’s obvious to me that the stage presence of someone playing a giant festival stage is different than someone playing a small room discotheque, yet discussions about what electronic performance is or should be often makes no distinction.

What’s encouraging here is that even with the demands of spectacle, it’s possible – indeed, preferable – to actually play something. And so there’s good reason for The Glitch Mob to be vocal about what they’re doing – because once someone is pushing the technology here, no one can reasonably make the excuse that technology is what’s holding them back from genuinely playing live.

You can catch The Glitch Mob in an AMA on Reddit May 20th at 11am Pacific time. Or see them in North America and Europe:

5/22 – Vancouver, B.C. at Vogue Theater
5/23 – Portland, OR at Roseland Theater
5/25 – Quincy, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
5/28 – Reno, NV at Knitting Factory
5/29 – Berkeley, CA at The Greek Theatre
5/30 – Santa Barbara, CA at Santa Barbara Bowl
5/31 – Las Vegas, NV at Brooklyn Bowl
6/1 – Salt Lake City, UT at The Complex
6/4-7 – Austin, TX @ X-Games
6/5 – Dallas, TX at South Side Ballroom
6/19-21 – Scheessel, DE @ Hurricane Festival
6/19-21 – Neuhausen Ob Eck, DE @ Southside Festival
6/20 – Wiesen, Austria @ Urban Art Forms
6/25-28 Cluj, Romania @ Electric Castle
6/25-28 – St. Gallen, Switzerland @ Open Air Festival
7/31 – Morrison, CO @ HARD Red Rocks
8/1 – Pomona, CA @ HARD Summer
8/30 – New Orleans, LA at Joy Theater
9/2 – Nashville, TN at Marathon Music Works
9/3 – St. Louis, MO at The Pageant
9/4-6 – New York, NY @ Electric Zoo Festival
9/4-6 – Chicago, IL @ North Coast Festival

Photos courtesy EdiT for CDM.

The post Inside The Glitch Mob’s Crazy Rockstar Live Electronic Rig appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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untitled secures soundstream and iron curtis

remember that time when you went out and it only cost a fiver to get in? exactly. it rarely happens, but actually it does as this bank holiday, sunday may 24th, untitled is back at the horse & groom with a line-up that makes aldi value look poor.

it’s a mystery as to how they’ve managed to pull this off but for a fiver you get disco supremo and all round musical maestro soundstream as well as the highly regarded deep house don iron curtis, whose solo production and remix work has seen him work with labels including smallville, hudd traxx, mirau and retreat. soundstream of course needs very little introduction and has a back catalogue packed with jams played and charted by anyone whose anyone across the spectrum of house. his consistently high quality, disco tinged goodness released through his own sound stream label has seen demand for both his dj and live sets rocket so this is a real coup and one not to be missed.

residents ewan smith and chris graham will steer the party from start to finish with their signature sound of carefully selected, groove laden deep house cuts. bank holidays at the horse and groom are always a sell out so move quickly; tickets available through ra.

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