Creating a new set.

Sorry I have been absent again. I am deep into this years Live Set and even though I have felt the urge to write something a few times I just didn’t reach a point where it felt necessary.

It’s a strange process that I go through to create a set or maybe I should call it a musical journal entry? I am always thinking about where to go next with music and the process sits with me constantly and I have noticed that it reaches a point of breakthrough and it all pours out of me quite quickly in the end.

I see from my previous writings that I started the year off using the iPad as my mixer and feeding the machines through that. I really did dive into the iPad, but, in the end when I started to load up the iPad with the necessary FX and channels I needed it fell over. The iPad I have, an iPad Air (series 1), is ok until a point where I had to make sure I rebooted it before I started any music work. This was not going to work for me in the long run.

So I went back to Ableton (version 8) as I knew it well and I knew it would suit the task, but, it also started to play up. After dragging the Korg Zero 8 mixer out of the box and started to build a mixing environment for my Live set I found that I started to get the same little performance issues that I had seen in the past. So why didn’t I upgrade Ableton 8 to version 9? Well it comes down to money, like everything else and I just couldn’t justify spending over $200 to upgrade Ableton. I could buy a new Korg Volca for that money and another machine is worth far more to me than software ever will be. Software for the mixer environment is a nice touch to my live set but it is not completely necessary.

Then I found out about Reaper by Cockos ( and all I can say is WOW!! I have spent a week so far trying it out and I am very impressed with how efficient this software runs and the much lower the CPU load is when I start loading it up. I am really really impressed!! I have started to build a new mixer environment and so far I have not had any issues at all. I am using a 2013 MacBook Air and my Korg Zero 8 mixer (in MIDI mode to control Reaper) and feed all my machines into it all and mix away.

I have finally been able to spend some time to polish off the tracks I have built on each machine and it is sure sounding good so far. I might actually do a video soon as a sample.

I have also spent a lot of time focussing on how to engineer my sound better and I came across a bunch of really good videos from Graham Cochrane at which have helped me get a better handle on EQ and sound reproduction/recording. So far I am very happy with applying what I have learnt and I can tell I am heading in the right direction for sure. I hope to lay down some recording samples soon and then try them out on different systems to see if I have improved. The main hurdle I have had in the past stems from my monitoring process I think. I would sit in the studio and record something, played Live, which sounded good at the time but when I played it back on there systems it sounded really hollow for some reason. I think it was too much of a difference between what I was listening to and what was being recorded.

I hope I cracked it this time :-)