Producers Conference - Atlanta

September 17th, 2008

I’m getting ready to head to Atlanta for the Producers Conference this Saturday. There are two sessions - one starting at 9:30am and one at 2:30pm. I’m actually more of a morning person, so the early show might be a bit more on point, and there’s a chance that the second session might be totally different. You better get tickets for both!

iPhone OSCemote Reason Patches

September 11th, 2008

There’s an update to Camille Troillard’s OSCulator application which interprets messages from Josh Minor’s OSCemote a bit differently. The 2.6.2 update makes it easier to direct MIDI note data, and i’ve updated my templates to reflect the changes. I’m making these available for people to download and try. Please note that even though the download is free, you will still need to purchase a few things: A Mac running Leopard, A wireless home network, an iPhone or iPod Touch, an iTunes Store account, Reason 4.0, OSCulator 2.6.2, and OSCemote (full version).

FM Multitouch Thor Patches

The patches function only with the OSCemote 2D cursor multitouch interface. The first event received triggers either the note or the sequencer. The vertical axis varies the oscillator pitch on both patches. With the step sequencer patch, the x-axis varies the number of sequence steps, while the MIDI version sends pitch bend of all oscillators from x-axis messages. The second cursor event modulates FM amount and modulator pitch from oscillator 2. The third cursor event modulates FM amount from the FM pair oscillator in slot 3 as well as the carrier to modulator fm amount on the oscillator. A fourth touch event modulates the filter cutoff frequency and delay time. Some events are routed through a Combinator to scale the modulation within usable limits.

In general, using two fingers will generate some very interesting FM Theremin type of results, and a touch event will create a heavy growl which can lead to noise. Releasing your fingers does not reset the FM modulation amounts, but aligning three fingers across the middle of the screen brings the FM amount modulations back to near zero.

Networking OSCemote to Reason

The patches require specific remote override mappings which are saved in the Reason Song Files included in the archive. If you don’t have Reason’s remote mapping established, the patches will probably not function as previously described. To make sure that these mappings are functioning correctly, you should first perform the following procedure:

1. Open one of the folders for either the Multitouch MIDI Note or Multitouch Step Sequence, and open a OSCulator Patch Document.

It’s important to use one of these patches since they have MIDI messages mapped. If you build one from scratch, you must map a note or cc message before Reason can recognize OSCulator as source.

2. Find the IP address of the Reason workstation (System/Network pane)

3. Launch OSCemote on your iPhone and enter the IP address with port 8000

4. Touch the OSCemote interface and monitor the activity in the OSCulator document.

5. Launch Reason (not necessarily the associate RNS files - you need to get the remote midi mapping setup first)

6. Open the Preferences for Keyboards and Control Surfaces.

7. Click on the “Add” button and select “ MIDI Control Keyboard”, and then click on Find. The “Find MIDI Input” Window will appear and wait for a MIDI event from OSCulator

8. Select the OSCemote Multi-Touch interface and touch the screen.

9. “OSCulator Out” should appear in the Find MIDI Input window. Click on “Choose”

10. Open the corresponding RNS file in the Multitouch MIDI Note or Multitouch Step Sequence folder.

If all goes well, the mapping should be functioning properly. If not, then you can consult the image file which indicates the controller mappings associated with the OSCulator files. The Reason song files contain automation data that I recorded to demonstrate the patches. Delete the data if you want to record your own sequence. When recording your own sequence, Note events can be recorded to either the combinator or Thor sequencer lanes, however automation recording should be armed for both tracks.


This archive is just a folder containing the OSCulator Patches and Reason Files. Click the link below to download them:

Download FM-Multitouch

If you have any questions, please respond via comments. Thanks!

iPhone Controlling Reason

September 1st, 2008

I’ve been playing around with OSCemote, an iPhone application that sends Open Sound Control messages over a wi-fi network. The OSC protocol is specifically designed for the transfer of real-time control information for synthesis devices over existing information networks. The protocol is far more comprehensive than MIDI and serves devices like the coveted Lemur. So being the geek that I am, this app seemed more attractive than the other MIDI control systems available.

OSCemote is available in two flavors: a free version which has a 15 button interface, and a paid version that has three different interfaces including a multi-touch XY pad and accelerometer response. Being somewhat skeptical, I downloaded the free version to test it out, and was happy to discover that it worked really well with some old max/msp patches. I then downloaded the paid version to try the other control interfaces. The slider/switch interface left something to be desired, but the multi-touch surface is very cool.

The obvious next step for me was to convert the OSC Data to MIDI so that I could interface the control into Reason. I managed to get a translation patch working on my old workstation and had a bit of fun using my iPhone to control Thor. I don’t have max/msp on my new Mac Pro workstation, and so by recommendation i tried OSCulator - which is more popularly used as the Wiimote bridge. It was pretty easy to get this configuration working, as the latest version of OSCulator has a configuration template for OSCemote. In Reason, you manually add a generic ‘ Midi Control Surface’ remote map, and launch and establish a connection between OSCemote and OSCulator. Once the connection is established, touch the iPhone to send data, and Reason will see “OSCulator Out” as a MIDI source.

I’ve posted a few items related to my experiments. You can find these on my YouTube page, and for those who want to give this a try, I will get a few configuration patches available for download shortly.

Replace The Bass

August 31st, 2008

I’m posting this for my friend Joe Lewis, a bass player based in San Francisco and proprietor of the cool space known as Blue Six (Follow the link through to MySpace). Joe has helped me out on many occasions with a variety of projects. Joe is my go-to person when i need to find musicians to work on a project, and he’s helped me with several sampling projects including several of the refills that are free for download here as well as samples on the Power Tools for Reason CD-Roms. If you don’t have these samples yet, please download them here:

Download Peff 021-Live Session 01.rfl

Download Peff 022-Live Session 02.rfl

One night outside of his place, Joe encountered a person who was intoxicated and bleeding. This random guy had just broken up with his girlfriend and was going through some odd emotional turmoil, so Joe, being the considerate guy that he is, took him in and tried to help mend the wounds. The drunkard went out-of-control, and in a daze, smashed Joe’s upright bass. It’s like the old saying, “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Sadly, i know how much Joe loved his bass. I was with him when we picked out his instrument from Alex at The Acoustic Bass Shop. Tonight, Joe’s friends are having a little fundraiser event in an effort to help him “Replace The Bass”.

From Joe’s Message:

Join us Tonight Sunday , August 31st at Amnesia Bar for the “Replace the Bass“ fundraiser Extravaganza ! Featuring a variety of live music from six incredible local bands – a hip shaking , foot stompin’ Rock & Roll getdown.

This is a fundraiser to replace Joe Lewis’ upright bass , which was sadly destroyed last month . Please come out for an evening with friends , music and drink…. And party for a good cause .

Here is the break down :

Sunday , August 31st 7pm – 2am
@ Amnesia Bar / 853 Valencia st. & 20th
$10-25 door ( no one turned away )

7pm - Craig Ventresco & Meredith Axelrod
8pm – Potholder and the Lid
8:45 – Ed Masuga
9:30 – the Ferocious Few
10:30 – Mark Matos’ Os Beaches
11:30 - the Jelly Roll Souls

P.S. So, enough people have suggested that I open up a Paypal account because they would not be able to come to the fundraiser. I set one up , and if you wont be able to make it to the party but still want to help: see below

Also , the very beautiful man Sergei Varshavski is going to match dollar for dollar what I raise for a new Upright Bass . He has challenged me to raise as much as I can because he wants to see me end up with the nicest Bass I’ve ever had . This info is truly mind-blowing . I am so greatful for all the love I have received.

It really sucked when the random drunk guy I was trying to help destroyed my bass, But through this whole process I have received so much love and support that there is really no room for anger in my heart . I have learned a lot about myself and the wonderful people in my life . It is real and I am thankful for everything that I have.

But , I don’t have a bass now :( so please come party your ass off with me this Sunday .

Thank you all , this is such a beautiful way to remedy this situation , you all ROCK ! - Joe

On the off chance that you read this and have nothing to do tonight, please swing by Amnesia and show your support. Joe’s a great guy and fantastic musician.

Update: Joe wanted me send his thanks to everyone who helped him out. He raised enough money to acquire a beautiful new instrument, and he’s back in the swing of things! Yes, I will have to get him down to sample his new baby :)

The Wise Man Has the Power… To Reason Away…

August 28th, 2008

Ten Points if you know where the headline comes from! If you’re a fan of the internet series Yacht Rock?, then you like millions of others are familiar with the smoothness of those lyrics. This show parodies the music business of the late 70s and Early 80s. Each 5 minute episode combines a bit of music history with very clever screenwriting that merges the dialogue with music of the era. Go to the site and at least watch episode 1 and 2. Episode 2 is hysterical, but Epi 1 sets up the plot.

The cast from this show had a party in San Francisco at the Rickshaw Stop where they screened all current 11 episodes. It was pretty amazing (or disturbing) to see how many fans came out to support the now cancelled show. Quite a few people dawned their nautical garb, and being in San Francisco, in was not surprising to see a few ardent ’sailor characters’ on deck. I wasn’t thinking ahead, so I didn’t pull out my insipid blue nautical blazer with the gold anchor buttons.

It was great to meet JD Ryznar, one of the creators and plays the Michael McDonald character, who seemed genuinely surprised to see a packed house. I also had a chance to chat with “Hollywood” Steve, who mentioned a few ideas of perhaps a final episode. Steve is currently working at MTV/VH-1 as a writer for some of their reality shows - so he is partially responsible for the decline and fall of the modern civilization. The show is going on the road with future dates in other cities, they are sending out bulletins on their MySpace Page

The evening ended with a musical performance from The Guitar Zeros, playing under the name “Coccoon: The Movie: The Band.” I’ve heard of these guys before, but this was the first time I had a chance to seem them perform. Their trademark is the use of Guitar Hero controllers to trigger software instruments running on laptops. A full tutorial and software download is available on their website - hopefully there are some industrious reason users out there who might trying to rig their controller to Thor ;)

Reason Summer Camp

August 8th, 2008

My friend, Tony Dias aka Cubricon, asked me to come by Cogswell College and meet the students of his Digital Music Production class. Six high school students participated in the Cogswell Summer Camp program to learn how to use Reason. Cogswell is a bit behind the times and only has Reason 3.0 installed on their systems, but that didn’t diminish the enthusiasm or inspiration of the students.

I dropped in on Tuesday and Thursday and gave the students a bit of a demo on using the Dr.REX loops and Combinators as well as look at Thor and shared with them a bit of Combi and Thor programming techniques. It was a lot of fun to see how quickly they picked up on things and especially how perceptive they were about the possibilities of Reason. I also had a chance to hear some of their tracks which were actually pretty good. Most of them they had some prior music experience and their tracks were developed with a good sense of composition.


July 29th, 2008

This is another test of soundcloud’s embedded player. Sorry, non-members cannot access the site during beta testing.

I’ve been messing around with a Reason 4 Track that I started about a year ago and have uploaded a newer version that has some extra analog goodness mixed in. There’s a bit of transistor and tube noise, but it adds some nice flavor. This version is different than the versions I’ve posted around on other sites like my virb page.

This is basically an experiment of tones generated in Thor with all of the musical sounds derived from sines and FM synthesis. I’ve got the RNS file posted on the Propellerhead site, so feel free to check out some of the crazyness.