Workshop 14 - Intro to Push with Thomas Faulds

 

Decibel Conference

 

Lesson Info

Workshop 14 - Intro to Push with Thomas Faulds

Our next presenter from chicago is thomas folds he's unable to in certified trainer and producer and he's going to be walking us through using push with able to live pushes a really great tool and instrument that is that has changed the way I work with able to and he's going to tell you a bit more about that today so welcome thomas folds hey guys how's everyone doing thanks for coming here today before you get started with my presentation on able to pushing live I want to really quickly get an idea of who I'm talking to you so I'm just curious by show of hands how many of you guys are completely new to able to live and pushed raise your hand? I mean you guys are intermediate advanced and having you guys already have a push yourself physical preview ok, so what? I'm going to have a very limited amount of time I want to show you some of the coolest features are both push and then a little bit about able to live that maybe you didn't know about there's some really cool things that live do...

es that no other software program is able to do in the way they live does it? So the way I found my way to a bolton is I'm originally a jazz drummer got interested in computer music and how the potential for manipulation is virtually limitless once the audio is ah syria's of ones and zeros and the flexibility of the idea that I could be a one man band and I can collaborate over the internet. I could do drums, bass, full productions that khun mixmaster and release my own records. It was really revolutionary for me, so the last ten years of my life have been moving away from the drum set and playing in bands and towards the computer as an instrument and a bolton invented software called live, which is the first software that is really optimized and designed for live performance. That's. Why the software is called live so the name of the company is able to and able to now makes two products there's live, which is the software side of things and push, which is a new hardware instant, the website says, pushes a new instrument designed to solve the old problem of how to create music from scratch. How many of you guys have novation launch pad or in a kite? A pc, twenty or forty regions, so they look similar to the push and that you've got the sixty four pads. When if we can get the push up on the screen, there we go. The key difference is that those air controllers designed to launch clips, scenes, control effects live. But pushes the instrument designed to create those clips from scratch, so it really is a new instrument designed to create something from nothing and that's, we're going to start here when I show you this demo, I'm gonna go to the software and create a new set so there's, nothing in the software now my favorite thing about pushes that you could create away from the computer, uh, working for able to it's not unusual for me to spend four to six hours a day in front of the computer working like this when I want to make music and be creative, the last thing I want to do is there a computer screen? So push allows me to close the laptop and work off of this display in front of me. I don't know how well you can see on the screen, but this says no devices press browse toe added device and that's where you're always going to begin with push. If you don't have a copy of the software even but able to not calm, download the free trial it's all the features free for thirty days, you could say with it, you can export with it, you can use third party plug ins everything for free for thirty days, and it works just like this if you get a push, plug it into the computer no devices press browse to add a device. And right here in the upper right hand corner is the browse button. So the first thing you do is hit the browse button. And now you have access to all of the sounds that are inside of the live software, something that my demonstration the videos in the literature really can't show you is the build quality of this thing. The pads feel amazing. The knobs have got the perfect amount of resistance the's buttons, all the soft, satisfying click I really recommend you go up there and talk to cole and check that out after the presentation. So once you hit the browse button, we get all our sounds. I've got these orange buttons, which allow us to navigate up and down through the menus and the sub menus on push through the software, and you can alternatively, use these touch sensitive knobs took quickly. Go through the sounds if you have a lot of sounds. So I mean, who is going down and navigate over to my core library and load up a simple eight await kitt drum. Set the green button. Here we'll load up the selected device or instrument so if I had the green button you'll notice now push is smart and it knows if you loaded up a drum based instrument or a note based instrument and it will configure these sixty four pads accordingly. So if I load up a drunk it, I get it thiss lower sixteen bank of peds because my sounds that I can play live this row of pads over here next to their these sixteen becomes my loop length or my pattern life or bars or measures have you want to think of it, so this would be one bar, one measure, one one loop however you want to do that and the way this works is you hold down the first and you define the range, so I wanted to bars for bars, eight bars and you could jump around like you do these three bars this really useful tool for experimenting with ideas both live in the studio and on stage, so I'm just going to select the two bar loop here and then you'll notice that this rope pads these rows of heads becomes a real time step sequence so you could see the green play head moving now shows us where we are in time this is one, two, three and four and I can of course play might be in and recorded live by simply talking about toddling on the record button here and you'll notice what I play gets recorded into that visual step sequencer exactly as I played it there's a plan ties but mon push compress it and it will instantly do time in correction I could hold down the qantas qantas button and get access on my conservation parameters here it's really nice this record plant size but in a fiction that on I can play live and then when it loops back around it's going to be in time without me having depressed the conservation but could be really useful tool especially if you're playing drums with one hand while you're playing something else with another hand but with this real time steph secrets check this out I could program with the faster than I could play it live just visually so you could see this is really fascinating program and also useful way to play live I've seen richie hawtin play a lot of live shows with this push and doing exactly like this and he build up like a snare roll something like that into a breakdown to talkto get rid of any of those sounds or do we decided you simply hit the pad again and I've just never found anything else that is this fast fun and inspiring to program and drums and meets you change your temple right from push like I'm doing now you could tack temple directly from the unit and something that a lot I find a lot of people don't know about the software and push is you can use the tap tempo let's and playing with a guitar player or a band or trying to match up to ah vinyl record or anything really I could tack this four times it will average the tempo of my tapping and the fifth apple launch this evening as a drummer I've spent half of my life trying to play to a veterinarian we're play to pre recorded music now I can make the computer followed the drummer and I could keep tapping the tempo speed it up it's like magic to me um a great feature of pushes this repeat but it's one of my favorite things that works like no repeat on some other devices where this role of pads here when I'm not in this repeat mode it will change the step grid resolution of this step sequence or so if you want to triplets for example you can see these are read it out meet indicating that they're not being used because of the triplets hey you all the way up to thirty second no triplets and all the way down the quarter notes I'll keep it a sixteenth notes because that's the default and that's the good middle position but that's how that works if I hit this repeat button here and I hold down a pad it's going to repeat based on what I've selected over here on the right hand side and this is one of the first things I noticed is the sensitivity and expressiveness of these pads it's ridiculous how soft you can touch it and still get sounds I've never played pads quite like this, and my original instrument is an npc four thousand views mpc is my whole life use the electron rhythm and these are the best kinds of ever played for sure I could record that in live like this let's find heads and, uh, soldiers down so I toggle recording on and everything that I do will be recorded in real time. Is that it's recorded up here? Now I'm gonna hit this device button in the upper right hand section and now the access to change it sound perimeters let's say these high hats or two out or I want to tighten it up with the decay envelope here, so push can record automation of these non movements can be recorded in real time. All I need to do is make sure this automation button is on which it is by default that's off that's on make sure I'm in record mode, which, you know, we're recording because the pads light up red indicate that we are recording now I'll have to do is touch these touch sensitive knobs, which is really crazy if you simply touch it knows it's being touched I've seen anything quite like this and I can record my non movements as automation by simply moving that not now when I let go, you'll notice there's a little dot next to the pitching perimeter to indicate that automation has been recorded now if I don't like what I've done, I can simply grab that touches sort of knob and you'll notice it will continue to overwrite the automation that I've recorded so I can play around an experiment until I find something that I liked me well, you do a couple of times once let go and the last thing that I did is what's recorded something really nice and elegant you know it's all these little things and both live and push but I'll show you one thing you know I used to never show and I did it once in the whole crowd would an odd so not always show it you can hold down the delete button let's say I don't like this automation I could simply ten the knobs and it deletes all the automation on that there's something so nice about doing automation just that it's silly but like I said it's the little things in life it adds up you could have up to sixty four drums on these pads is a new feature something that able to this constantly doing is updating the software in the hardware for free so you buy one of these and it gets better without you having to necessarily keep buying the new things so something that was new that it didn't do enough when push first came out is the sixty four pad drum mode. This particular instrument only has these sixty four sounds, but if I hit the note button now I can play up to sixty four pads at my fingertips which is really amazing for finger drumming and the idea of live electronic music so much electronic music is space bar or play on the deejay controller and put your hands in the air but push allows you to play every sound live I really think that's the next level or the next step in live electronic music performance and the sixty four pedro mode is a really great example of something like that so you could toggle between those two modes here with this note button so what? We can record my not movements in real time but I can also do these parameter locks which is a really great way to build detail into your sound let's say I've got this snare drum here and the way this works to select the sound on the push you simply hit the pad got repeat on them you simply hit the pad and it lights up blue to indicate that that pattern that sound has been selected so if I want my stare down I just hit it if I'm playing live and I don't want to hear it I could hold down the select button and I could select sounds without hearing them what to do here is added three snare drum hits at the end of the phrase here and hold down a step this's the parameter locks I'm talking about you could hold down this step and I could change the timing on a per note or per step basis or I can hit this automate button which is this is something new that about a year ago that the original release the push didn't do that now it did in a free update I can tie the pitch perimeter to just this that it also works effects with effects if I want to just revealed about one of these steps or notes I could just hold it down turn the knobs and now when it gets to these notes you're gonna hear the pitch descend and you could do that so quickly get your ideas out um it's really unbelievable to see when if I sit here and just make a beat without talking I look like this it's so easy to learn it also took me about two hours to find out where everything is pushes a really focused instrument it's really focused on creation and performance it doesn't do a whole lot else the ideas that the computer does certain things really well like detailed editing you know the mouse's and really nice for precise mixing types of things but it's kind of a drag in the sense that you can generally only change one parameter at a time and then of course you look like this when you're working which gets to me after hours and hours of doing this every single day if this is all that push did to me this would be the most sophisticated way to program beats and deal with drums but the developers enabling since live well there's more to music than just drums and rhythm right there's also melody harmony sound design an arrangement which pushed those but I'm gonna load up I'm gonna hit the ad track button and lit up a new mini trach and I'm gonna find an instrument now that's not drums and for this example I'm just going to load up a very simple grand piano sound so you can hear what's going on with the notes and how pushed deals with notes so green button loads up the instrument push a smart you know is what you loaded up and for me I went to music college but I'm a drummer I never the piano never really made sense to me. Why is all western music based on the weight in the black keys of a panel for so many years I've been using the panel keys to controlling play instruments that are not necessarily the piano I feel like there's got to be something else out there on dh when I have to take a piece of music and transpose it into different keys, the math I'm not I'm not good at that really puts really hinders my creative flow. Eso push I feel a lot of ways he's made for someone like me. What this does now is folds up the piano keyboard onto the sixty four pads, and the way this works is you can go left to right up and downs in threes. Can you tell my drummer I don't have my finger independence? So now this gives us new ways to think of melodies and harmonies thinking in terms of patterns and shapes. So for example, a triangle shape he is a triad now, no matter where playing e I love this idea because to me the ultimate rule of music is if it sounds, but it is good, and even if I'm a if you're a virtuoso piano player composer, this is simply a new way to look at things and to interface with these ideas of melody and harmony in terms of patterns and shapes. So when in doubt you could play a triangle and remember it always goes up in threes, blue pads are the root of or the tonic of the scale so on then because the keyboard has essentially been folded up into the sixty four pounds you'll notice there's some duplicates within that lights up green is just the same note which also allows you to play fast if you had big fingers because I think he's like me you can get him on the one spreadem out peds also have this really nice sense of a rebound it feels like a traditional percussion instrument and a lot of ways I can get double stroke rolls out of this and you can slide your fingers around this all kinds of really fun things you could do there's a scale button here when you hit scales now the display changes and gives you access to the twenty five scales and twelve keys and up here you're by default year in this fixed in key mode and what this does is you dial on your scale or your key let's do a minor blues in d now there's no non diatonic notes there's no wrong notes or no notes outside of the scale and this makes it very difficult to sound wrong. So now I can pretty much I don't know how I'd be able to do that on the panel just and so there's that and then I was playing with push by myself one night and I had this epiphany that if I learned one song or one pattern in one key automatically know him and all twelve keys you don't have to transpose. So if I do this indeed and I want it in a flat. If you're on the panel, we have to go home that pass that on. Plus you go. They fled it's tragic. So if you learn your favorite song in one key, you can transpose it just like that. Playing the triangles also realize is kind of a trick. You can do this so that's really interesting inside it can be very satisfying. And then I've got a six year old daughter at home. I heard I was making her dinner one day and she's playing with my push. And I heard this as what did you learn how to play ragtime were acquitted, but she's she was watching these shapes and she has, like attention deficit disorder with like everything else. It seems she's a really but it seems like it, but then pushed through her in. And I just seen a jordan brutus, the famous patrols keyboard player had his push for two days and he just shredding on this thing and I thought, wow, push it's for like the greatest. Keep a player that's out right now and it's for the five six year olds that can't focus on anything else. So there's these twenty five skills up here, all the major minor jazzy modes mix a lady in frigid and all that stuff blue skills, pentatonic scales. And as we get towards the bottom of these twenty five, you'll notice some really exotic, non western style scales, things that I don't even know what a ny watteau scale is, but it sounds cool that I would never think of that cool, moist. Someone said these air hawaiian skills so spanish scales it's really inspiring. And of course, if you want to play dramatically, you could simply toggle this. But in here and now you've got the white in the black keys. You can play all the notes with white keys are lit up, the black keys are not. And if you're like me, you had that so there's another way now to deal with melodies and harmonies in terms of patterns and shapes. And this is something else that the developers that ableto gave us for free it's this note button here I can talk him out of the melodic steps england, sir. So even program melodies like this, I can hold it down and do the perimeter locks. I can extend the length of these notes this starts to feel like sculpture or something when I'm doing this in real time manipulated hit the brows about him and change the sound from this grand piano to maybe something like a bass sound a little bit third party plug in this is um if you want to switch to the software I want to point out that everything that I'm doing is recorded here in the computer and I also wanted to mention just how yes, you could do third party plug in directly from push this is my favorite native instruments plug and called monarch and you saw me pull it up right from push and here is the software able to live here is my drum beat and maybe so now I can go to the computer and do all the detailed editing everything that the computer is good for mixing, fixing mistakes, doing fades that kind of stuff is my baseline and maybe this would be interesting for you to watch the computer screen while I change things on push. So when I had notes everything they do on push is mirrored in the software so really quickly I want to show you something about able to live got like very, very little time left but for everyone that's brand new to the program I just want to show you a couple of resource is that changed my life and made it so that I thought this program to myself via the mableton dot com blogged that hamilton inc youtube channel and this built in in full view in the lower left hand corner this is probably the most important thing if you don't take anything else home from this presentation remember this the info view in the lower left hand corner when you put your cursor over something it tells you exactly what that perimeter is how it works and in most cases how to get, uh professional results out of it you can hide and reveal it with this button in the lower left hand corner so I'll hide it too conserve screen real estate but it's great even if I forget what something is you can simply turn it on put your cursor over everything in the help menu up here this is the other thing you should remember to take home with you help you to me I call it the lesson view in my head because when you pull it up it brings up the built in lessons here on the far left side and if you're coming from a different program like f l studio reason pro tools logic you base any of those other programs you khun learn live in probably thirty minute it's teach yourself by going through these lessons clicked on record audio and it goes step by step assuming that you know nothing and by the end you'll actually have created a piece of music that sounds good if you go through all these lessons in order so it's a really phenomenal resource, the manuals also also built into the software, so you'll have to carry around the pager manual and you can search for things and find them very quickly. So all that's in there, I want to just talk or demonstrate the audio too many feature and able to live because so amazing, and I find most people haven't really check this out yet on I don't know of any other software or hardware solutions that works quite like this. So the story that I like to tell us I'm based in chicago and I don't have a car, and for whatever reason, I get my best ideas for songs and for beats when I'm on public transportation, like on the ct here on the train, so I pull out my iphone and beatbox intuit hama baseline email it to myself when I get back into my studio, I will drag and drop it. It might be box that phone does a pretty good job, so I'm gonna drag and drop this right from my email into dragon audio file onto a middie track in life and watch how friendly live is it's going to instantly recognize that I because there's no other midian on that track, but what I actually want his audio track and will automatically converted to an audio track loads of the file up there so you don't have to think of it doesn't even ask if it's ok just takes care of it. So I got my beat box there's a way for him, so we've got sliced committee her slice the new mini trach inside of live, which will chop up the beat, much like a hip hop or house producer with sample audio, but what's new is this ability, tio go audio to maybe or drums too many. So my beat box and I'm going to go convert drums to new mini trach notice you could do this while the music's still playing and how fast it works. And then here is I have no idea how they're able to developers figured out how to do this, but this is mind blowing to me. When I was in music school for drums, I could only dream of something like this. This has analyzed the drum pattern of my voice and found the high hat sounds the serum sounds, the bass drum sounds, and if you look at the bottom, the velocity two is extracted, and now that this is, maybe we can change the individual sounds, we can do far more than we can with just audio in terms of sound design and sound replacement and it doesn't stop here we've got uh say I've got a baseline idea, so check it out hate the sound of my voice but see what I could do it let's go so I'm gonna do hot melody too many track it goes through and it attracts the melody puts on in default sound and sounds so that's my little humming a melody and many and this of the default sound but what I'm going to do is show you how easy it is to load up a third party plug in something with the bass sound I know like like a lot of people are using native it's with massive so let's just load that up, find a sound uh, base and I've got a really convincing sub bass sound coming from my voice in my phone put that with some drugs finally there's harmony committee so I've got a loop that's not just one note at a time and I won't extract the court information. I use this as an example because it's not perfect source material you'll hear that muted bass drum in the loop, so I do that to show you how the algorithm works when I go harmony too many track and for whatever reason this is the fastest one and it is so easy to so here's my harmony now on and then it's very easy to hear and see these air the drum hits that I don't want, so I just draw selection window around him, delete I've got exactly what I want and that's a pretty cool start of a beat or a song that came from my phone when I'm away from my studio. So we've seen two great ways to start music and get music out of your head with push and this audio committee kind of bring this full circle now you can watch, push, play the baseline, the drum beats that came from your voice and you could have ideas that come out of that and then teach yourself how to play them on the push and kind of reverse engineer or reverse universe teach yourself um, I think that's very, very interesting one other thing, just me that we have so little time I've got this so much stuff I could show you, I just want to show you the max for a live device and ah, explain what max alive is for anyone that doesn't know show of hands how many know what maximus p is? What max for live is raise your hand real high about half of you guys listen half so maximus p is a software program made by another company called cycling seventy four able tennis cycling seventy four have come together with this partnership that puts maximus peek inside of the able to live software no other vigilante workstation program does anything like this if you use maximus p with pro tools or logic, for example, you really can't it's not a plug in you need a third party application like sound flower to simply route the sound out of your mac's patch into pro tools and then back out to the max patch or vice versa with natural I've it's integrated perfectly into the software you can use the secret sir you can round things it's really the best of both worlds and there is nothing that I can think of that you can do with maximus p stand alone that you cannot do with able to live there might be one or two things that I don't know about that I really cannot think of them and it's included with the sweet version of the software used to cost three hundred dollars as an add on product with the release of able to live nine the sweet edition it's simply included you get max for live, so if you're max msp creator your user base, the people that will ultimately use your devices and patches has grown exponentially and that your audience essentially and if your user all these you can use macs for live without having to learn how to program so there's using the devices and then there's making devices yourself I like to think of max for alive is the ultimate problems over if there's something that you want the software or even the hardware to do that it doesn't out of the box you can theoretically make it do it with max for alive because natural I've allows you to hack into the inside of the fbi both live and push itself so if you're a hacker able tennis for you, max for alive is for you it's just included with the copy of ableto sweet I'm gonna show you ah it's a patch that guy in new york made the solves the problem for me, which is always wanted to add visuals to my music but my hands are full doing the music after college I found it difficult to find talented visual artists that will work for cheap and, uh, I've always wanted to do visuals with performance so this got him at a rock star in new york came up with the patch called rock lid, which does exactly that and I'm going to show it to you because it's very fun and easy even if you don't know anything about programming or max for live so here's the rocketed plug in and I'm just going to drag it on my master track here we can drop max alive opens up inside of able to live, and the best thing about match alive is that you don't need to know anything about programming to use this really cool device with the simple graphic user interface, but I want to show you if you want a program, if you want to hack, you hit the edit button right here and it's going to open up maximus p inside of they're able to live environment check this out and I'm just going to size patching mode, and this is what maximus p looks like I took a bunch of maximus p classes when I was in college, and it was enough for me to learn that I I don't have a brain in for this. This is for people that program but it's so much easier than programming in a text based language because it's it's object away until you have these modules essentially it's a lot like modular synthesis where you connect patch cables, but these air virtual patch cables it's a bit of the language because you have to know what all these arguments and with all these things mean inside of the boxes but it's not that hard, but it's hard for me, so I don't do any of this, but you can what I do is I close this and I have fun with these instruments that other people I'll make like this rock of it and this is like I'm gonna drag and drop movies into here work so that everything quick time so here's something just with the phone driving around here is a video with my music so you've got well obviously just play back the video but what gets interesting here when you process the video with these failures so this is the error parameter this is the candy parameter with two mouse clicks I get this really abstract interesting visuals that looked nothing like the source material. Now we could go down there's the drop them and you below these fighters and we can dynamically modulate the parameters with these periodically forms like saw signs square random or modulate the parameters from aspects of the music. So I'm gonna have the base in this music drive the error parameter. So now the visuals are in time with the beat and with the music let's do this to the trouble let's do this to a sign wave every four bars that still this assign lee every three quarters of a bar. I see this the tambor this volume, this sign we'll do some hurts instead of beets and, uh, we're going pretty crazy there's a randomised, but which allows us to randomize the visuals so you get an idea of the range of effects and then I'm have not yet found the limit missile process, a cz many quicktime videos is you can throw it, I think in fact I'm just going to shift, select all of these dot movies, movies and drag and drop him where says drop movies in the box and notice how elegantly that plug it handles it. And now I've got all these videos in here hit randomize a few times you get an idea there's a switch here for auto pilot, which will automatically shuffled through these videos. You can toggle that to manual, and now it's not going to change the video until it hit one of these arrows to go to the next one. Next one, next one or two the previous one so you can have as much manual or artificial intelligence as you want in here and then that's not all this thing has got a button for the camera, and if I hit it, it turns on the web camera or I usually have an external camera here, appear connected to my computer and then there's the and will be to cam. And if you turn that up, it will mix in the the webcam and, uh, thank you guys so much.

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The Decibel Conference is three days of panels, workshops and other events that runs in parallel to the Decibel Festival. Now on its 12th year, Decibel is one of the nation's longest-running and most respected electronic music festivals, and CreativeLive is proud to partner with Decibel to produce the 2015 Conference. For details on the schedule and content, please visit the official Conference page.

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