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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » January » 04


How to make the free VCV Rack modular work with Ableton Link

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 4 Jan 2018 9:35 pm

VCV Rack, the free Eurorack modular emulation software, is a perfect match for wireless sync. Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Why Link? Link has already made itself known as a godsend. Not only does it work in Ableton Live, but Traktor, Serato, Reaktor, and Reason, and others. It works with numerous iOS apps, too. Get those tools on the same network (probably via wifi router), and all of them can use the same tempo and transport. There’s no master, no slave – in the style of a jam session, everything follows a shared tempo – which also means you don’t lose timing if one drops out.

And Link is a logical choice for VCV Rack. Both have an open source base. And whereas you own physical analog gear and modulars, you’d use clock signal by connecting a cable, here in the software domain, wireless, networked clock is just as useful.

Think modular. Even with the latest copy of VCV Rack, you don’t see a big, friendly “Link” button in the corner. Remember that the whole metaphor of Rack is that you have a virtual rack of modules. You’re going to have a module doing the Link synchronization – and you’re going to be able to use Link in some more modular ways.

To add Link support, you install a free, virtual module. (It’s the on-screen equivalent of coming back from the synth shops with a new bit of kit and bolting it in with a screwdriver, only this will be faster and … won’t cost anything or take up space in your studio.)

You may want to review our more in-depth guide to getting up and running with Rack:

Step one: How to start using VCV Rack, the free modular software

That article also includes instructions for building from source, though here we’ll use pre-built software for ease.

Installing Link on Rack

1. Grab a copy of the Stellare Link module. Link comes from Ableton, but it’s open and available to developers. So our friends Sander and Enzo (Stellare Modular) made their own virtual module for Rack. To get it, head to vcvrack.com and select the Plugin Manager. Type “Link” into the search box, then click “Free” to highlight it. This adds the Link module to your account, and will synchronize it to any Rack setup.

2. Synchronize your Rack. Now with Stellare’s module attached to your account, you need to install it to your machine. Launch VCV Rack (you need a current version), and click Update Plugins. You should see a progress bar appear, and you’ll be prompted to restart Rack.

3. On Windows, move one file. On Mac and Linux, you’re done with installation. Windows users need to add one additional step, because as of now, the Plugin Manager isn’t yet fully able to locate one needed file. (This feature is in development, so this may be addressed.)

After running ‘Update Plugins,’ locate the installed directory (using C: as an example):

C:\Users\[yourusername]\Documents\Rack\plugins\StellareModular-Link

Copy link-wrapper.dll from that directory to the directory where your Rack.exe executable is located:

C:\Program Files\VCV\Rack\plugins

— so that link-wrapper.dll is on the same level as Rack.exe.

Restart Rack.

Wire up Link

4. Add the Link module. If you’ve performed the above steps correctly, you can now add the Stellare Link module to any rack. Right click in a blank space, then choose Stellare, then Link. On Windows, you may be prompted to enable access for Rack on your network; make sure to check both boxes, and then choose Allow Access.

5. Get something to sync. Any iPad on the same network, running an app like Modstep or Elastic Drums, or any local desktop software (Ableton Live, obviously, but here for fun I chose Serato DJ instead) can now jam along with VCV Rack in perfect timing.

Make sure “Link” is enabled (highlighted) in the associated software.

6. Play with clock! We’re on to the fun part!

The “/4” output jack on the Link module represents quarter divisions of the current Link clock. Reset sends a pulse on each subsequent downbeat. You could obviously get fancier than this, but you don’t need the Link module to do much more – you can divide or multiple that beat with other modules.

Here are two free modules (both installable from plugin manager) you can try out as gateways from Link to other stuff.

Add Grayscale > Algorhythm. Try connecting from the “/4” output on Link to the “CLOCK” input on Algorhythm. Click the start/stop at the top left of the Algorhythm module, and you’ll see Link advance the clock.

Now add Fundamental > SEQ-3. (As the “Fundamental” name implies, you should almost certainly install this selection of modules.) Connect from “RESET” out on Link to “EXT CLK” on SEQ-3. Now, the bottom row will advance at the same rate.

What’s actually happening here, respective to the master tempo? Well, the “/4” in Rack represents quarter-subdivisions of the beat – so think sixteenth notes, since the Link beat is a quarter note. (You’ll get four subdivisions for each kick drum in four-on-the-floor techno, etc.!)

Try moving the patch cable on the SEQ-3. Drag on the end connected to “/4” – move it so it’s connected from ‘RESET’ on Link to ‘EXT CLK’ on the SEQ-3. Now, the sequencer advances on every downbeat.

7. Keep on ticking:

From here, you can experiment with other modules that take signal, clock dividers for transforming metrical divisions of the signal, and more.

A great place to start is by installing the Simple modular pack, then selecting Simple > Clock Divider. This will give you some different, musical divisions of that incoming clock.

Ted Pallas, who has been contributing our tutorials so far, uses that 1/16th signal to drive the VCV Pulse Matrix modules.

You can also make creative use of the useful ‘Offset’ knob – something missing in a lot of other Link implementations. Offset simply dials in a continuously controllable amount of time added or subtracted from outgoing clock signal. And that can be used as groove, as Ted explains:

A super cool feature I hope to see repeated next to every Link button I ever encounter is seen here for the first time: there’s an offset knob, and if you spin you’ll shove the link signal forwards and backwards in time. This knob allows you to really dial in the perfect sync between Rack and the larger system you’re trying to lock to. I’ve also used to Offset knob as something of a “swing designer,” placing my sequencer rhythm ever-just-so alongside a Tr-09.

Here’s a sample from Ted:

Oh, and another thing: there’s a lot of room for happy accidents and mistakes that wouldn’t make sense in another context. Because you’re just messing with signals, you may discover that something that isn’t theoretically what you intended is something you musically like. And since music is about making decisions based on taste, that opens up possibilities.

In Core, you’ll find a bunch of objects for routing MIDI signals – including clock – to modules. That may make a good future tutorial, and it’s where you’ll want to start if you have hardware or software sending MIDI clock in place of Ableton Link. (Hey, MIDI clock still has its place!)

The Link module isn’t a complete implementation of everything Link can do. There’s no way to transmit clock from VCV Rack using it, to adjust the tempo of other connected hardware and software on your Link session. And there could be additional rhythmic options built in.

But it’s free – so if you are already enjoying it or if you want to encourage such features, here’s a thought: donate to the developers!

More:

https://github.com/stellare-modular/vcv-link/ (though you don’t need this site to install automatically, source and documentation live here)

Donate:

https://paypal.me/stellaremodular

The post How to make the free VCV Rack modular work with Ableton Link appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Brona McVittie: We Are the Wildlife review – beautifully embroidered folk

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Thu 4 Jan 2018 7:30 pm

(Company of Corkbots)

Electronic music, used judiciously, can serve the folk song well, particularly when it’s teasing out subtler textures in the tradition, noticing the smaller stitches in its seams. This is certainly true of the work of Brona McVittie, an Irish singer and harpist who cites Tunng and French experimental artist Colleen among her inspirations.

She has recently returned to her native County Down after years living in London, and this album features her own promising originals alongside Irish folk songs that she embroiders beautifully. The Flower of Magherally’s harmonising flutes recall Virginia Astley’s pure pastoral instrumentals, while The Jug of Punch feeds an AL Lloyd drinking song through an ambient drama that summons up the spirits of both Talk Talk and the Unthanks (amazingly, this works). Every note of sweetness to McVittie’s voice has a bite behind it too, showing you the stuff under the skin. A stimulating debut.

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Differing Perspectives on Deregulation – Looking at Comments on FCC’s Proposal to Modify Rules on Public Notice of Broadcast Applications

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 4 Jan 2018 5:58 pm

While some might think that the business of deregulation is easy, that usually is not the case, as comments on the FCC’s proposals to modify the public notice requirements for broadcast applications make clear. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking about which we wrote here and here, as part of its initiative on the Modernization of Media Regulation, the FCC looked to modify the rules governing public notice that broadcasters must give when they file certain types of broadcast applications – particularly license renewals and applications for the assignment or transfer of broadcast stations. The FCC asked whether the obligations requiring most of these notices to be published in a local newspaper, in addition to being broadcast on the station, could be replaced by giving an online public notice. The Commission even asked if on-air notice was still necessary. The FCC also asked how the rules should be unified, so that the various exceptions and textual differences that apply to different rules could be made simpler to understand. Comments on these proposals were filed last week between the holidays.

While this proposal seems very straightforward, and many of the comments took the sides that one would expect, there were numerous comments that range from support for continued newspaper publication (principally from the newspaper industry), to calls for more detailed on air-announcements from certain public interest groups, to suggestions that the on-air notice be more abbreviated and used to direct listeners and viewers to a more detailed online disclosure. Let’s look at some of the specific comments that were filed.

An organization representing several state press associations took the obvious position in its comments of supporting continuing newspaper publication, arguing that the publication in a newspaper provides a qualitatively different experience than an online publication – as most people go online to find a specific item, while reading the newspaper allows for more serendipitous discovery of information provided on the printed page, which leads to more people discovering government-mandated notices. The comments also argue that the obligation to print these notices in the newspaper provides the news media greater notice about the matters addressed by the notice, causing the media to write stories about the matter in the notice. These comments also argue that the digital divide persists, contending that many people still do not have Internet access (though the comments don’t cite statistics indicating whether those without Internet access are likely to be newspaper readers). The comments do cite several instances where certain state government agencies have gone to online notices and found that public participation in their proceedings has decreased (of course, nowhere suggesting that broadcast notice of such agency actions was required).

MMTC, representing the minority community, suggests in its comments that requirements for newspaper notice impose an unnecessary financial burden on small businesses without any demonstration that any real public interest benefit is achieved. Other public interest groups submitted comments that focus not on the proposal to abolish the need for newspaper publication, but instead on the proposals to limit on-air notice of applications – arguing that these notices should be more informative and use less jargon so that they are better understood by the public.

Broadcaster comments point out that the obligations to provide these public notices are not justified by the public interest benefits that they provide. The NAB comments show that only 1.5% of all license renewal applications received any public comment at all, and most of that was generated by DC-based public interest groups unlikely to be relying on local public notices to discover the filing of broadcast applications. The NAB also points out that these notice requirements are only imposed on broadcasters – no other FCC-regulated entities have public notice obligations, yet interested parties are aware of those applications and manage to file comments where appropriate. The NAB suggests that, even if the FCC decides that some public notice should still be given, the appropriate notice is a brief on-air announcement directing listeners to a more detailed online statement, similar to what the FCC determined was appropriate for disclosure of contest rules (see our post here). A similar position was expressed by Nexstar Broadcasting in its comments.

We would expect FCC action on this proposal at some point later this year. This proposal, on what seems like a very small regulatory matter, demonstrates that for every rule, no matter how clear the need for reform seems to be, there is some constituency that will argue that change is not appropriate. We will see how the FCC balances the claims of the parties in this proceeding, and in the many other proceedings likely to follow in the Modernization of Media Regulation process.

THE BOSTON CALLING LINEUP IS OUT!

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Thu 4 Jan 2018 3:10 pm
Eminem, The Killers and Jack White all headline! Queens of the Stone Age, The National, Paramore, Tyler The Creator and Khalid also top the lineup!

Anthems From Front, The Gay Club That Defined Hamburg’s ‘80s Avant-Garde

Delivered... By Boris Dlugosch. Interview by Finn Johannsen. | Scene | Thu 4 Jan 2018 12:31 pm

The post Anthems From Front, The Gay Club That Defined Hamburg’s ‘80s Avant-Garde appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

Refraktions 2.2 brings you a lot more MIDI

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Thu 4 Jan 2018 2:02 am

It feels like there’s been a lot of generative stuff so far in 2018. Ok, it’s only two posts, but they’re both about generative apps. First Wotja, now Refraktions. If you don’t know what Refraktions is, it’s an 8-track generative MIDI sequencer with ‘artificial intelligence’ (whatever it is that that really means), that apparently processes input over time to create loops tailored to each individual user. I’ve not tried it, so I can’t comment personally on that front.

Anyway, in version 2.2 the developer has added quite a lot of new stuff, and a lot of it is centred around MIDI. Here’s all that’s new:

  • Audiobus 3.0.2 added. Refraktions is available as an Audio Source, MIDI Source, and MIDI Filter.
  • App can now receive note input from external MIDI controllers or other iOS apps (as destination “Refraktions”).
  • Play / pause functionality added by tapping center circle.
  • Added 8th synth, “Coastal Synth.”
  • Added ability to change root key in musical scales.
  • Added per-track customization of playback, composition, volume, and pitch.
  • Added global and per-track customization of MIDI sources and destinations.
  • Added shake detection, which rearranges the composition.
  • Improved note creation, including fixes to MIDI on / off for each tap.
  • Rebuilt internal metronome with average drift variance of < 0.7 ms.
  • Switch from UserDefaults to CoreData for data storage.

Refraktions is on the app store and costs $6.99:

The post Refraktions 2.2 brings you a lot more MIDI appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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