Not sure what I am going to do with this site, to be honest. I am not a great reporter, writer, or tutorial maker, and I am not producing enough music to justify turning it into an artist page. Honestly, I just felt like typing something on it today, so this is what you get. I CAN tell you that I am working on a sequel to my wildly successful Killer Boomers 808 pack, and these kicks have two more years of knowledge behind them. Also, there IS an EP in the works, though the release date is unknown at the moment. That's about all I have right now....stay tuned.
If the name edIT doesn't mean anything to you, then I am surprised you are reading this blog. If you happen to be afflictied with that condition, however, let it just be known that has long been an innovator in the computer music world. His consistently solid and boundary pushing solo releases have solidified his position among many as a production legend; and his collaborative work within the group The Glitch Mob has brought his name to many across the world.
Personally, while listening to his work, I often find myself wishing I could pick his brain about some of the techniques that he uses. Naturally, when I discovered that he had begun a web video series and was allowing his fans a glimpse into his world, I was very excited. At the time of this post, edIT has posted 3 videos, onc a day since March 1st. It sounds like he plans to continue this series, so check out the videos he has already posted and subscribe to his channel to keep up on any new ones. Oh, and beware the BOOM at the begining. My heart skipped a beat when I h
Consider this a Public Service Announcement if you are a fan of the Neurohop sound (i.e. K.O.A.N. Sound, Opiuo, etc). A new forum was recently launched to focus on all things Neuro. You can check it out at the very appropriately named Neurohopforum.com. Its a brand new forum, so head over and help to build a good community full of See ya there!
Well, the release is right around the corner, and here is another video that briefly covers some of the new devices available in Live 9. Some of these look like they are going to really be fun to mess with.
So today, Tom Cosm, who is well known for educating the masses on production techniques with fast paced, profanity filled videos; posted up a great video outlining some of the new features in Ableton Live 9's Beta release. In the video, he does his usual create-a-track routine, and touches on a lot of the possibilities that LIve 9 will create. There are some great ways to use Live's new Max devices, functional uses for the new Convert to MIDI capabilities, and a fairly thorough tour of the new layout in the Browser. So sit back, relax, and take a trip into the future with Tom.
Well, here it is, the product of an espionage mission lasting two months and spanning four continents. This pack was stolen from the North Korean Ministry of Psychological Operations (who built it from salvaged alien technology) and has been scientifically engineered to break necks, melt faces, and propel feet into uncontrollable dancing fits. Strangeflow, from Bassadelic.com, and I teamed up to bring you a pack that will go down in history as the one that almost caused Mutually Assured Destruction. With 44 funked out basslines, 71 drum samples (including 27 banging beats), 27 bass sustains for building your own sampled instruments, 20 risers, and a healthy assortment of random tidbits that we couldn't classify; this sample pack has 480MB worth of everything you need to bring the neuro-funk-goodness you desire in your tracks. Wanna make Opiuo and KOAN Sound jealous? Then order your copy now!!!
So if you haven't figured it out yet, I am super excited about Ableton Live 9 and the Ableton Push controller. In fact, I am selling my mode of transportation to pay for them. I figured I would embed a playlist of the official Live 9 videos here just in case you haven't stumbled across them elsewhere. Rest assured, I will resume making tutorials and such as soon as I have my hands on these.
Well hello again Internet Faithful. I am back from hiatus with another feature for you. This time it is a pleasure to introduce to you Auxiliary Phoenix.
I have to begin by apologizing, both to my readers and to Auxiliary Phoenix. I have been sitting on this interview since well before Thanksgiving; and for various reasons both inside and outside of my realm of control, I haven't posted it until now. I definitely dropped the ball on this one. Auxiliary Phoenix is the brainchild of James Strain, who hails from that legendary island of leprechauns and magic mushrooms, Ireland. He definitely has a unique take on music, and an awesome attitude, it was a pleasure to speak with him. Check out the interview below, then go check out his tunes on Soundcloud.
I suppose I should start with my customary first question, where did you come up with your artist name?
The phoenix is my favourite mythical creature. Plus the word sounds pretty cool, I think. So that and auxiliary, also a cool word, together create this image in my head of some sort of mech phoenix robot thing, and I was feeling that, so I ran with it. I reckon it's a bit of a step up from DJ Zap, my old name.
DJ Zap, nice. How long ago were those days?
That began in 2004 and ended around 2008 I think, when I started getting into playing instruments more and playing in bands, and so my DJing and producing kinda came to a halt for a while, until I started making tracks as Auxiliary Phoenix around this time last year.
Well, it is good to have you back in the producing game. What kind of music were you playing in your hiatus?
All sorts of stuff! I had my own project, Round Elbow Lemons, that was primarily alternative rock sort of stuff, but I used that to experiment with progressive rock and metal and stuff too. But my main focus was a post-rock band I was (and still am) in, called Louis Walsh Assassination Project. But I was known as a bit of a band whore, haha. I pretty much joined any band on any instrument I could play and at one point I think I had like 5 different bands going at once!
Damn, way to exercise restraint. Haha. So how many instruments do you play?
Well, I consider myself a bassist, first and foremost. It's definitely my favourite and the one I'm most skilled at, but I also play drums, guitar, turntables (I count that, totally), and I do vocals too. So that's 5? Yeah. I would say keyboards but... you know, i feel i'm good enough to produce and make beats and tracks like that with it, but i wouldn't be confident enough to play it in a band!
five bands, five instruments, makes sense. I definitely think turntables qualify as an instrument in the right hands. So how long have you been involved in music?
Since 2004, started off with the DJ Zap stuff. got a set of turntables and a mixer for my birthday! mixmaster mike was such a huge inspiration. scratching was the shit. there's not enough scratching in hip hop anymore, i feel. it's like, the guitar solo of hip hop, y'know?
ya I feel ya, there isn't enough hip hop in hip hop if you ask me, lol
True words! to be honest im not feeling a lot of the up and comers at the moment. a lot of the new shit seems so bland and generic, nobody's trying new things, they're just going on that whole kanye vibe a lot of the time.
Even I can rap/sing with autotune
I mean, there's not been a new rapper in the past couple of years that's grabbed my interest, and that's a bit sad.
Its like anything else, gotta look underground. so what is the territory that you are trying to cover with Auxiliary Phoenix?
Hopefully slightly unchartered territory. my biggest goal is to create music that is truly unique. i really don't see the point of emulating your heroes, it's a bit superfluous. i've been told some of my stuff that i don't even consider that wonky to be quite wonky, but i don't mind that so much, because wonky it's inspired me so much, it got me back into producing, and it's not really bound by hip hop preconceptions. it can have anything on it; an orchestra, guitars, it can be a full live band even, but it's just got this undeniably cool flow when it's done right.
Who would you say is your favorite artists with a wonky style?
Busy is definitely just beyond anything electronic I have heard before. I think he's so great. I feel like if you played his tracks on an acoustic guitar even, they'd be great songs! Him, Dorian Concept and Low Limit are what really drew me in. But more recently I discovered Mono/Poly, and he's definitely been getting a lot of plays.
what are some other big musical inspirations that you have?
The Mars Volta turned my taste in music around so much. Before that, what got me into rock music, was Pixies. Of course there's Beastie Boys, and I'm not ashamed to say it because I was young, but i used to be crazy into Linkin Park. Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins are another huge one... Damn there's so many! I could go on but then I'd have to go on for paragraphs hah.
paragraphs i am much too lazy to type, haha.
so could you describe the processes that you use for Auxiliary Phoenix's tracks?
Well, I use Reason 4.0 because my Mac is a bit old and can only handle so much! So I just open that up and generally start with drums or a loop to chop up. Once I have that down it can go anywhere really, but I generally do some chords with some spacious enough synth, to have something to work around when I'm writing the bass line. Sometimes I take an idea I've written on guitar and translate it to a synth. After I have the track all written with all the additional synths and lead parts or whatever, I do a mix in Reason then render. Then a lot of the time I bring that into Ableton and chop it up and do some additional mastering and/or effects and add chopped vocals or a vocoder if it's one of those tracks. That's it pretty much, sometimes I branch out into Logic if I'm adding a guitar track or bass guitar track. Then I have a smoke and see how it stands up after not listening to it for a while, if i can!
so you multitrack most of your stuff I take it?
Everything is multitracked but when i bring the audio from reason into ableton, it's a stereo file, so when i chop it up, it chops bass, drums, synth, everything. I like the effect you can get with that. I think it helps create some really cool rhythms that may only happen once in the song for a bar or something.
Sounds like a solid process. So, born and raised there in Ireland?
Yeah, lived here all my life. Not as magical as people anticipate it to be. But our biggest city seems like a small village compared to London so... I guess that has charm? One thing I do like though, is that Ireland has some brilliant bands. A lot of utter shite, but some brilliant bands nonetheless. And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank, God Is An Astronaut, Windings. A fair few big names in post-rock and math rock.
so whats the best venue in Ireland?
That's a hard one. My favourite bands all tend to play in different places whenever they play here, but it's always Dublin. I think a lot of people might say Twisted Pepper or Button Factory, so I'll go with those!
Ill be sure to check it out when i roll through.
Hit me up when you do, we can spit out some tracks perhaps!
I would love to, just lemme sell some samples, and I will get my trip all planned. Thanks for your time, happy music making!
Sample outside the box.