Really inspired by the singer and writer Julia Michaels and her song, “Issues”:
Really inspired by the singer and writer Julia Michaels and her song, “Issues”:
Takeaway: take your time!!!
What day is it
It’s all of life
We love each other
And we live
We live and love each other
And do not know what this life is
And do not know what this day is
And do not know what this life is.
I feel really good about the show at Pianos on Monday. It felt present, calm, happy, fun, connected. The new solo set is still in process of being set up, but the foundation is there. Set up now in the stu – Janet Jackson’s ‘Together Again’ has come back as a choice song to setup and strike my gear in the studio recently. And dance. Inspo as of late – Kate Moss pole dancing to an electronic pop track, directed by Sofia Coppola, originally for a music video for the White Stripes. Had to leave the studio since I need the internet for building the Alarke set. There’s no internet at the studio and date tethering is too slow. Hoping for faster internet around the world soon. Ended up working at this beautiful coffee shop, Devocion, in Williamsburg.
Today’s work (prioritized for GOALS)
1) update Ableton set with my new Live 9 and add normalized clips of stems, Just Get Here and Apollo (both from the previous set):
2) warm up for tonight’s Gypsy jazz gig at Le Fanfare
2) schedule future sessions with myself for next week where I’ll review the show at Pianos, review this month’s previous posts, and assess where the new solo set stands in the process.
3) get DJ fx setup – Muted1 Pure
4) NanoKontrol programming for Ableton
5) Launchkey Mini – investigate broken key that transmits midi without being pressed
6) get synth sounds – downloaded synth banks from Ableton’s license page + digital percussion soundbanks + instrument soundbanks
Evo’s session with DJ fx rack and instrument channels. I cannot get sound to play in his tracks. Test normalized tracks – are they the same volume as each other? If so, pull these into my set. Freeze and flatten both mine and Evo’s sessions. Authorize. Add Evo’s files to mine.
NEED TO GET _ ANALOG for ABLETON – DOPE AF SOUNDS
1) Authorizing Ableton:
Freeze & flatten tracks with analog or suite components.
Right click Freeze > Right-click Flatten
Preferences > License Maintanance > authorize on ableton.com
It will allow me to save the set.
2) Lives Places – add project folder to Places
I did a run-through of the live set for my roommates. It was helpful to have a concert from start to finish with a live audience and feedback:
More relaxed, authentic, less artificial. Had fun. Take the mic out of the stand.
Pick three songs to show my story – Mignon, Pulses, Reverse. Personal experience to let the audience connect.
Use the microphone as a dance partner.
Quicker transitions between songs.
Just You – add later in the set to group guitar with the other songs.
Make the beat ready, then introduce the name of the song, then start singing.
Normalize the instrument levels for all of the songs.
Add more fx with the voice – use options on the TC Helicon. More reverb.
Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You – make sure all bass parts are in tune (not transposed – was there a global setting from Pulses that applied to the entire bass track)? Practice when to come in with the vocals so I sync up with the clip. Should I make a transition between each part of the arrangement?
Mignon – loop and overdub the chorus – sing over it.
Morning – strum with fingers, not pick. More tender to match the vocals and lyrics.
Angel – ending – analyze the best way to end it.
Apollo – people really like this one. Go directly from A to B – don’t bring it back to A to repeat the arrangement. It kills the energy. Check the tuning in the bass in the lowest note of the B section – sounds sharp.
Get stems for Just Get Here – Elkin + Alarke – play in the Alarke set.
Sing into the microphone! Maybe take the microphone out of the stand and carry over to the gear.
Good to step back from the microphone and dance. Move more. Move my body while doing the electronics. Animate the DJ element. Reggie Watts.
All fx – launch bass and drums together.
Synth: delay & filter sweep
Stand closer to my table of gear so I don’t have to go far away from the mic.
Stay bouncy in my body and dance with the music even when I’m not singing.
Use more vocal effects on the TC Helicon.
Be more elegant. Being elegant never hurt anyone.
Studio session. Friday morning. So many ideas and goals. Gypsy jazz gig tonight with Tim at Le Fanfare. Alarke show on Monday at Pianos. 10am meeting tomorrow (Saturday) with Kirk (my mentor / president of Avatar Studios). I need to ask him for help in creating a schedule that I can actually do this coming week. I know this, but I need to understand through experience that baby steps are necessary and that I cannot get too ambitious within a short period of time. I need to strategizeeeeee.
Pianos show prep – can I use Touchable to see the Ableton set so I don’t have to use the computer? At the same time, I could use the iPad to document the performance. BUT – the most important thing is to have a good live show. Why use the iPad to document the show when I could use it to make an ever btter show to document?
Saturday run-through for Gisela – set up table top on the music stand. Check tonight to make sure I have the base of the stand. Time the set. Videotape it. Look into stand carrying cases online. Gig bags for all gear!
– tabletop for gear
– tape controllers to read what instrument their knobs correspond to
– stems for Just Get Here
– getting the NanoKontrol to sync with Ableton – it was syncing before and now it is not
– guitar for Just You, Morning
– play guitar at the Gypsy jazz gig tonight at Le Fanfare to get warmed up. Play with dynamics.
– need more dedicated practice time!!!!
– guitar on Just You – audio is not coming through. Why? Do I need this or will I play guitar? Need to get a guitar stand.
– Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You – TC Helicon harmony volume. Using this instrument is a strength. USE IT WELL!! Singing – my strength, over Ableton.
– normalize volume of all tracks. Reverse is louder than others.
– bass for Pulses
Updated the firmware on the Launchkey Mini. Research – why is there a synth sound bleeding through when there’s nothing playing but the tracked is armed? Solution – open up the keyboard and clean it?
Downloaded instrument and fx plugins.
Next session: map the new plugins to the LKM’s knobs.
Cool theremin on the wall that I want to play with.
Prepping for a new solo setup at Pianos next week on 3/13 (and onwards). I’ve got the new equipment – Nanokontrol 2 setup with a Novation Launchkey Mini. The goal is to have equipment that I can carry in a backpack because I want to tour the world with gear that’s as easy as possible to travel with. This means eliminating the guitar from the live set (or at least figure out a way to borrow one in said location). I’m translating the songs to keys and electronics (my dream – the WHY I go through the time-consuming setup).
Songs to focus on:
Pulses – build the bass and synth lines live.
Grace – how can I translate this to a Launchkey mini? It’s only 25 keys and I play it on a full-sized piano usually.
Reverse – the entire song’s volume is higher than other tracks.
Normalize the volume amongst all tracks.
Pulses – put a filter delay on the recorded synth. Play with rewind and fast-forward buttons in the intro and outro for cool fx. This may be currently stronger than playing and building the set live on the spot so soon. This guarantees the music will be in-time (nervousness could wreck that). Plus, the wet, spacious sound from the synth and its filter delay sound so good and why try to recreate it? Use what ya got and move on.
New bass line idea – bass from Drake & Sampha’s The Motion.
******Set a common transition time between clips and between songs. This makes sure everything is in time – CRUCIAL. ********
I need to ask Evo (music director for this live set with Ableton Live and new gear) how to most effectively group the tracks to 8 channels in Live (since that’s the max on the Nanokontrol).
Feeling good for deep work this am. Midi-mapped fx to channels/knobs on the NanoKontrol & Launchkey Mini. Experimented with bass parts for Pulses. Inspired by Drake & Sampha’s The Motion. Also use this song as inspo for my new song, Lovage.
Finishing up the session with Lauryn Hill & Can’t Take. Such a good song. Vocal agility warm up.
Start with a get the timing right to record
Map midi for macro beat count-in on channel 8
Drums and bass will be sampled with fx rack capable to be triggered
Synth recorded & looped live with fx triggered
Perform intro on keys
Bass – chorus
Figure out how to keep the recorded loop playing without being launched again
Map Pulses bass in C to use in midi keyboar
Tweak Pulses synth arpeggiator
Script for Ableton and NanoKontrol
Choose an instrument for the synth – text Evo & map to certain fx
NanoKontrol – better to use Bluetooth? Less cables around. Low latency and battery usage.
NanoKontrol – remap with a redo and undo button. https://youtu.be/AFxT-QBatnI
Performing with the launchkey mini: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQIEvx7rvwM&t=9s
Create backing sounds and fills to trigger