As soon as I finished my blog post about ableton & lion compatibility they announced the release of Live 8.2.5 featuring full Lion multicore processing goodness as well as improved midi sync.

I’ve also been trying very hard to program visuals in Apple’s Quartz Composer but its just too frustrating and clumsy. I’m going to stick to Processing. I still have to close a window and open another between every song to get different visuals however which is annoying and I can’t for the life of me get my head around a mini-program that promises quick and easy switching between sketches called 'Mother' which is aimed at vj-ing in processing. My other alternative is to code something like the mother environment myself. This would involve putting each of my visual sketches into an individual class each and then place all of these classes in one processing sketch and a switching mechanism via key presses for example.

But thats harrrrrd to code. And all to save an audience seeing my operating systems desktop for a split second…. not worth it!


^ a sketch I’ve adapted that receives volume data from Live to determine x-y positions of circles and changes colour of circles depending on button presses. Based on Caroline Kassimo-Zahnd's 'Simplicity 4'

After defending my trusty Dell XPS m1530 through three years of abuse and hardship from mac users’ condescending glares, I have finally made the switch from windows to mac. The good fight is over Bill Gates. I’m sorry.

Bill Crying

^ I think I made Bill cry

One major issue with the new laptop is that Apple’s new operating system upgrade 10.7 (or simply called ‘Lion’) came pre-installed, and it is near impossible to downgrade to Snow Leopard with the early 2011 edition of Macbook Pros. At the moment nearly every popular DAW or audio plugin recommends not upgrading to Lion until they release support updates, many of which won’t arrive until the end of this year. So I have found myself involuntarily doing some beta testing before I could get recording any new music.


^ this Lion is scaring the shizzle out of Ableton’s programmers

So far so good though. Ableton do not recommend using Lion yet however by turning off Multiprocessor support it hasn’t crashed on me unexpectedly once. Losing multicore support is a big loss, however I do not require vast amounts of power for the songs I play live. My waves AU plugins do not work, but their VST versions are perfect. I have a preference towards using VST’s anyway versus their Apple AU counterparts, although this may just be a hangover from my windows habits.

Virtual midi is also running like a dream too despite Ableton’s many warnings. I have also found a great tool which can split and send midi messages to different applications called Midi Patchbay (a mac equivalent to the handy Midi Connection Centre). I’m still searching for a replacement for the windows only EDrum Midi Mapper which is perfect for translating incoming midi messages from electronic drums to something like Reason.

I am also going to be moving from Nuendo to Logic. This will take me a while as I loved Nuendo (the film soundtracking sister to Cubase) very much, and Logic has some annoying quirks. For example it took me a while to find out that the ‘Follow playback-head’ button was actually a little graphic of a stickman running and called ‘Chase-mode’. Fuck sake.

Quit running away on me 

^ quit running away on me

In other ramblings why is listening to birdsong so pleasant? Stripped of all its connections to springtime and rising suns and nice things, a lot of bird song contains regular intervals found commonly in western music. And although a lot of music has been influenced by birdsong (just check out Olivier Messiaen’s back catalogue) I still think its amazing that so many birds sing in the diatonic scale.

A friend brought this up while I was blabbering about Shepard tones (not such a big deal people, its just science messing with your head again) and also introduced me to my new favourite word: Euphonius




adjectivepleasant in sound; agreeable to the ear; characterized byeuphonya sweet, euphonious voice.