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Socoder -> Art and Sound -> Computer Music Magazine

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Sun, 09 Jan 2022, 15:53

Ableton Live Lite

This month's issue of Computer Music includes a free copy of Ableton Live Lite.
I don't know what's Lite about the Lite edition, nor do I know why the Lite edition isn't just bloody well free anyway, but .. whatever.. there we go..

If you don't want the hassle of farting about with IRL magazines and the like, you can grab the digital edition (subscribe or single issue. I chose to subscribe, and I'm not really sure why I haven't done that before, if I'm honest..) from MagazinesDirect.com.
You then have to register the subscription through the app, and fart about registering that issue's code with FileSilo.co.uk, where they lock all the magazine's contents. You have to click on the issue you have, do a good old fashioned "word n from page e" thing to let you unlock it, then you can access the downloads from that issue.

.. Then you have to register at Ableton's site, and register the code that ComputerMusic send to you to add the Lite edition into your Ableton account.
THEN you can download Ableton Live Lite! (For Windows or Mac, btw)


Also, buying the magazine also gives you access to a bunch of free plugins, as well as monthly sample packs.
So, um..

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Sun, 09 Jan 2022, 16:10
Apparently it's limited to..
8 MIDI and audio tracks
8 different scenes
2 send and return tracks
8 Mono output and input channels
With complex warp models

8 tracks + scenes does seem incredibly limiting.
Hmm.. :/

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Mon, 10 Jan 2022, 00:50
Yeah, I have been looking at Ableton too. 8 channels is not really enough. Ableton is populair though.

No idea if Cakewalk is for Mac. But this one is completely free.
Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 05:54
Last month's issue featured a ton of drum loops.
Since KorgGadget can't seem to easily pitch drum loops to the right tempo (that I can find) I've opted to move all the drum loops into BPM labelled folders.
Last month's had TONS, and I ended up with about 30 different tempo folders each with around about a dozen or so loops.

This month's issue popped up this morning, so I downloaded all the samples and..

This month's issue features drones and tape-loops.

Oh boy.
White hiss, Pink hiss, Brown hiss. They're all here.
Hissing away, just like if you open a wave editor and tell it to generate 30 seconds of hiss.
It's basically that.
Over and over and over again.

And "synth" drones such as Peeeeeee, and Beeeeeeeee, and Eeeeeeeee... Like if you opened the wav editor and told it to generate a very very very basic waveform.
Over and over and over again.

Then there's "percussion loops", which is the hiss but stuttering.
I swear, what the hell was the point?!!
I originally bought CM magazine in the hopes of getting some nice drum loops and maybe even some odd vocal samples, to make ALChoons a bit more lively.
So far, the only vocal samples have been stuttering glitch-hop "ah"s, and not much more.
Really quite disappointed, if I'm honest.

... Here's hoping next month's not a bag of crap.

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Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 06:36
I think Neon editor had some kind of stretch feature. Bit of a workaround though.

The app Beathawk with some of its inapps has some nice drumloops. With the hip hop style packs. There are probably more on there. On sale periods they are quite affordable.

I bought this drum book 'the breakbeat bible' which has a code for downloading a large amount of drumloops and elements. 172 drumloops I think it was. The book is on sale on amazon here for 18 euro's. There's nice knowledge on drumming in the book too.
Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 06:48
I've certainly got enough drum loops for now.. What I could really do is a nice set of vocal clips.
There's a bunch of sites out there with bits and pieces, but all of those want subscriptions, too, and I'm not willing to pay cash "just" for those..
At least with a magazine, I also get a magazine to sit and read, too.

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Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 06:57
I looked at what I would pay for that magazine. 130 a year! And they usually do not ask you to renew but just do.

From what I have seen with other musicians. They just use a subscription site for samples and take out what they need when they need it.

Maybe the magazine wil one day do a large collection of vocals. I only have those ooh's and beah boops, samples from korg and roland. No idea where I would find a large amount of usable vocals.
Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 07:12
I'm looking at the PocketMags digital app, and am now wondering about their £9.99p/m subscription to that, instead.
It features all the back issues of a ton of mags, and even includes Computer Music, as well as Future Music, and then Retro Gamer and other choice mags.
Why did not think of that before!?!

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Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 07:25
How would that work with included dvd's? The reviews state issue's tend to disappear too.
Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 07:50
Works quite well, in fact.

Each issue of Computer Music and Future Music (and iCreate, Web Designer, and more.. Hmmm..) has it's own section at FileSilo.co.uk.
Register on FileSilo first, then get the issue to hand (digital/physical) and click on the issue on FileSilo...
It asks you a question, like "The third word in the headline on page 8", which you have to flick to in the magazine, and enter the word.
If you're right, it unlocks that magazine's DVD contents into your account, and you can download as you wish.

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Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 08:15
Right, I've now officially spent (and will continue to spend) a pissing fortune on magazines..

£9.99 a month, not too bad considering I also get to read RetroGamer and Edge each month, but .. .. I'm now left having just spent £40 on the Computer Music annual subscription, and its completely unnecessary. ... Bugger

Quick thoughts.

Computer Music
Very much computer orientated. Reviews lots of software synths, and DAWs and that sort of thing. Tutorials tend to be based on how best to use Ableton or that kind of thing..

Downloads : Computer Music has a VST library that gets built up each month.. You can download the complete library with just one issue. They also feature a few sample packs each month, and then there's the monthly video tutorials that you can access, too.


Future Music
Although it kinda all blends together with Computer Music, this magazine's more on the hardware side. They seem to review hardware synths and things like that. Tutorials are thus suited to how to twiddle knobs and use patch cables in interesting ways.

Downloads : Where Computer Music has a Synth/VST archive, Future Music has a Sample archive, which similarly builds up each month, and you can download the whole big bunch of them from the code of just one issue. They also have their own video tutorials, and feature different sample packs each month, too.


Very much iOS App based, though also includes Mac, too.. Has reviews of creative apps, and tutorials on how to use them to do various things. A fair few music related things, alongside how to use things like iMovie and whatnot.

Downloads : There's not really a lot they can do, here.. You can't exactly give away apps on a DVD! Instead, more video tutorials, and also.. .. A desktop picture. Oooh, fancy..
Bit piss-poor for downloads, really.


Web Designer
I might have to start reading this one. Full of CSS/API tips and tricks and things. Mmmm.. New CSS functionality!
The current issue has a "CSS Houdini" feature, showing off the new Layout, Paint and accompanying CSS stuff that's barely implemented in any of the browsers yet, and also discuses WebXR, which is something I've been meaning to look into.
Downloads : The obligatory tutorials, alongside ... Photoshop presets?! Because.. Apparently photo editing is part of Web Development..!?!

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Wed, 26 Jan 2022, 08:54
Not the magazine it used to be.
Can't find anything interesting in the magazine that grabs my attention, and .. Aaah, the cover disk contents.. Gee-whizz..
> Reveal 🔎

PC Pro used to be fucking awesome, and the Coverdisks were always exciting.
My original Blitz2.0 came on a PCPro cover disk.

Seeing that..
Maaaaan, that's gone downhill.

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Thu, 27 Jan 2022, 07:31
After a fair amount of back and forth'ing, including trying out a variety of other music editors on the iPad, I've eventually settled on sticking with KORGGadget, and the Zurich/Rosario/Durban waveform players.
They work well enough, but don't allow for retriggering.

Whilst Bilbao does allow for retriggering, it also tends to cut samples short if they're really long. Not sure on the exact length, but .. it's usually too bloomin' short, whenever I'm trying to use it!

The Zurich/Rosario/Durban have nice sets of filters and things, between them, so you can get some really nice sounds from them, which is nice.

The following audio is a test, and should not be taken seriously.

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Thu, 27 Jan 2022, 07:56
There are some ifx inserts you can apply to drumloops. The main one that allows for tweaking the tails and beginnings of the sample parts, the compressor. You can tweak with that so the drumloop blends in more with the other instruments of the song.

The reverb and delay ifx can also create some nice effects with drumloops. The saturator also can be used to make the drumloop get some room to let the drums not take to much away from the other instruments.

Those ifx alow for some nice sculpting. Oh, and less is more with effects
Thu, 27 Jan 2022, 08:05
As I was cataloguing all the drum loops, yesterday, I was alarmed to find a few > 160bpm, in the "Extreme hardcore/d&b/jungle" categories.
I figured I'd never use them, and so made the above choon for the sheer silliness of it.
Don't worry, AL won't be returning to that particular well any time soon. He's strictly 75-140 bpm!

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Mon, 14 Feb 2022, 11:36
... Back to the initial topic.

Today I wondered how good a Korg Gadget project might be if I exported it to Ableton.
Gadget : Project : Export : Ableton Live Project ...
And right at the bottom of that dialogue is the option to "Get free Ableton Live Lite"

Right there, in Gadget.
Didn't have to get the magazine, or anything.


So, I then tried the export. Had to use Dropbox because goodness knows how that "iTunes" export option works.
Uploaded to dropbox, grabbed it on the Mac, loaded it into Ableton and then didn't have a sodding clue what I was doing!
I eventually got it to reproduce.. .. Something..!
So, I guess that works.
Maybe I could use that for finalising tracks or something, in future.
It'd certainly be a lot easier to mix in Vocaloid results, that way, for starters.

.. though it's still limited to 8 channels x 8 patterns, what with it being the Lite edition.

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Mon, 14 Feb 2022, 11:45
The m2 macbooks wil maybe appear next month. I am curious on how music production on a mac would be. But I most likely wil be getting the m2 ipad pro when released later this year.
Mon, 14 Feb 2022, 12:02
Don't go overpaying if you aren't going to use it. The M1 Air has been fantastic for me. Most M2 users would probably want it for video production, but I'm quite happy using Luma Fusion on my iPad for that..
..I'm not exactly a power user. You'll have to decide whether you are, or not..

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Mon, 14 Feb 2022, 14:02
Maybe the m2 ipad has a better battery life. But using fl studio now it seems it uses less power than gadget does. I understood those synths keep active when not used in gadget making it drain faster.

I was looking at a bluetooth set of headphones. But having real monitors seem so much easier to work with. I can hardly isolate drum volumes from headphones. Inside the headphones the sounds are so much different than speakers. I might just use those older headphones for panning and last mixng checks.
Wed, 16 Feb 2022, 08:50
Meanwhile the new Casio CT-S1000V keyboard has a built in vocal technology.

View on YouTube
Thu, 21 Apr 2022, 04:32
Every issue of Computer Music magazine comes with a few musical plugins.

This month's issue (308) they redid their entire Plugin Suite, so there was tons to install.
File after file after file got installed to my Mac, and then I looked back and went "Now... What to USE them with..?"

I've been trying to find a suitable DAW* on Mac for a good while, and still haven't picked one.
To be honest, I'm just so comfortable using KORG Gadget on iOS that I'm finding it really hard to make the switch, but with all of these plugins lying around, it'd be a shame not to even attempt to make the switch to a new DAW.

And so, last night, I prepared myself for a marathon testing session.
I currently have FLStudio 20 Trial installed, GarageBand Full (it's free with Apple devices) and Ableton Lite 11 (Which came free with Computer Music magazine a few months ago) all installed on the Mac.
And I tried to get the AGameAWeek ditty up and running on each one of them.


FLStudio worked the way it used to work, back in the day, but had a major quirk when trying to get all of those plugins organised. It kept mixing up instrument and effect plugins, and it all became a horrendous mess. I'm also fairly sure than a bunch of the plugins just plain didn't work in FL, though I was struggling to figure out what should've been going where!!
Either way, more of the plugins worked elsewhere, so ... Maybe it's down to the fact that FL Studio is still very much a Windows thing, and the MacWorld confuses the poor program?!
Who knows.

It also managed to crash about half-a-dozen times whilst I was trying to get it doing anything.

I really do like FLStudio, but it feels like it's only going to "properly" work with its own plugins, and that kinda limits me in much the same way as I'm currently locked in with the KORG Gadget app.

Test - FL Studio


I could NOT figure this out!!!
Well, I half-could, but I also half-couldn't.
I plotted the notes for the first bar into a single (what I thought was a ) pattern, copied it to the second, third and fourth, then re-copied it for the fifth and within that coloured block, moved all the notes to the second chord.
When I played it back, it'd copied that change to every other copy of the pattern..
This would essentially mean that, each time I want to change a single note in a whole bar, I'd have to make a new "block", then copy all the notes over to that, then change the one I need.

.. I think..
I dunno, I got confused and gave up!

Test - GarageBand


This one let me copy + paste at will, once I'd realised how to switch to the correct mode.

Hitting Tab switches the main view from a vertical Mixer view to a horizontal Patterns/Blocks view, from where you can easily double click to create a new pattern, plop in some notes, then move the patterns around in the view to rearrange your song at will.
Add in the ability to easily grab drumloops and other samples, as well as all those lovely plugins, and ..
Yeah, I think we have a winner!!!

Test - Ableton


And then I looked at the price..
£269 for the "not entirely complete edition".
Two hundred and sixty nine!!!


(It's £479 for the complete edition!!!)

Now, I'm sure that once added up, I've spent WAY more than that on my Korg Gadget collection.
I mean, the number of instruments and synths I've bought on that over the past 8 or so years, is staggering. But that's bit by bit over the course of many years.
Not one great big lump sum!

So now I'm wondering if it's really worth it.
Or should I just stick with Korg Gadget on my iPad?
Incidentally, Korg Gadget on Mac is $299. But I wouldn't really feel the benefit of spending $299 and ending up with the exact same thing. So, that's definitely out of the question.

I dunno...

Either way, my bank balance is still recovering from all the bedroom furniture, so it'll have to wait!!


*DAW is the fancy new name for "Music editor"

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Thu, 21 Apr 2022, 12:45
There's also LMMS. A daw originally for Linux.(free) But it has windows and mac ports. I used it for a bit. It had a whole Lot of nintendo and sega instruments included iirc(synths)

I had some problems with vst's back then. Not sure if that improved.
Thu, 21 Apr 2022, 15:20
OK, let's try that then!!


LMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio) is a free DAW created (as its name implies) first for Linux.
It looks like the origins are "Why isn't FruityLoops available on Linux? Let's do that, then.."

GUI wise it's VERY similar, but in use it's full of odd little quirks, and feels very .. um.. Linux'y.
Things like..
I can copy+paste patterns, but only using the right-click menu. I can't use the keyboard to do that.
I can select a bunch of similar repeating patterns, but when I right-click to copy/paste, it only selects one of them.
I can't seem to group patterns.
Although it handles mouse scrolling, it doesn't do nice things like pinch-zoom and the like.

These are all minor gripes, but altogether they're adding up to a slight "Not sure I want to continue with this" sort of vibe.

It's actually quite good, though. Don't get me wrong.
If you're after a FLStudio freebie replacement, this is actually quite a nice piece of software.

Test - LMMS

Oh yeah, and it didn't initially pick up the Plugin-suite, so I redirected the plugin folder to the right folder, and now it crashes on startup.

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Sat, 23 Apr 2022, 04:29
Starting to get used to Ableton.
I seem to be able to do quite a lot with just this "Lite" edition, so.. That might end up being enough until I can afford the thing!

2022/16/Still_Learning (.wav)

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Mon, 02 May 2022, 04:30
Found a great set of free VSTi synths, over at FullBucket.de
Some fantastic stuff, including a ton of KORG-alikes, and more.
Available for Win/Mac

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Mon, 02 May 2022, 05:37
A lot of ipad and iphone synths are dying out. Last week I found another one that I bought a couple of years ago. That now has been removed from the store.
Those Korg synths are mostly not working anymore outside gadget either. The iaa system is close to being removed completely from the apple ios and ipad system. Apple announced they are removing older and not updated synths from the store too. Various korg and gadget synths are in this situation. Someone mentioned Korg just needs to tell apple that they want to keep them. But I think Korg might just drop a lot and focus on that korg module thing. I hope they release a better gadget with all the synths fixed on ios and ipados.

I bought the Bleass alpha synth last week for ios at a sale.
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