Wednesday, November 21, 2007

AES & Notthesame are The Years

Michal Menert aka AES & Benjamin O'neil aka Notthesame of the Pretty Lights are currently working on a project called The Years. I had the chance to listen some of their new cuts and they're ridiculous, the world might not be ready. AES is producing the music on whats sounds like primarily the MPC, using his wide array of synthesizers for the sound design; and Notthesame is singing and writing the lyrics, I do believe. I am going to post one of their tracks as soon as I can get a copy... don't you worry

Hearts Revolution remix

sunzino>>> i don't make house music. i've always been a hater. but this whole electro/punk stylee has me interested. now i wanna buy serato and start spinning bottle service clubs in LA. lol. not really. i did this track in 8 hours for the Hearts Revolution remix contest posted on the iheartcomix blog. no additional samples.
listen to the original on their myspace page. It's called C.Y.O.A.
I submitted the track to them for the remix contest and it was quite pleasing when Lo (the singer) messaged me back and said that my submission was one of her faves and that its being considered for the contest. we'll see.

Hearts Revolution - electro punk group from LA

Concepts in tha house

In mid august of 07 the DJ/producer resposible for the hotass turntablism on Taking Up Your Precious Time,(Ken Daley aka Concepts) moved to Dallas to teach philosophy at SMU. He came back to visit this week and brought a hot new cut that he produced since he moved down there. We've done a little more work on it since he's been here, but at this point i'm gonna post what he had done when he arrived in FC. peep his steez hizzere.
and the track live and direct>>>>What's Up Manhattan

PL shows in Boulder

"a manifestation of the Pretty Lights collective" is how it was described when derek from PL played live sets with Cory on the kit(from Dubskin&Listen) in NoCO on the 7th and 15th of November. The 7th was a raging house party in 4 mile canyon and the 15th was at Trilogy in Boulder with GSP and Vibesquad. I took a few pics on my phone which didn't turn out so great, so i'm promise to have good pics to post from the next show. The shows were super fun and the new sound system at Trilogy is unbelievable!
Thanks to everyone who repped with PL in B-town last week.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

my ears hurt

Its been several days now... and there are a number of notable events i'd like to share. First, last week, I participated in whats known as a QuixIt on Its where producers log into a secret chatroom in order to get directed to the server with the 9 files that we're all gonna use to produce a track within 60 minutes. it was dope and it actually was the cause of some insight and inspiration that day. download my QuixIt track made in 60 minutes>>>

Saturday night was fucking crazy. I wish more of the pretty Lights could have made it, but instead we had to work with who was available and it turned out being sick anyway,,, or as valley girl boulder light guys say> sock bro! I'm continually amazed how hype the crowd gets at Robby's house in 4 mile canyon. damn, i gotta split and can't finish, but i will post my new hotass remixes asap. and i'm playin in Boulder tomorrow at Trilogy Wine Bar, so come peep!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

my first audio post

My homie Blake came to Fort Collins from Dallas last weekend and he had a song he wanted us to remix. I have been getting quite into it , and having more fun than i expected producing a house remix. I have a feeling there will be more to come.. that is if he can can get dj's to spin it like he says he can.
working mix of I Believe Remix

efx racks & macros in Live 6.

i've often daydreamed about the huge potential of multi chain effect racks with several parameters linked to one knob/slider/touch pad/ or my favorite the mod wheel/pitch bend combo joystick on the ole Xstation.. i had built several effect racks in live 6 tho(primarily to complexify drum patterns) before i came to fully understand mapmode for mapping the macro knobs. i knew you could map several parameters to one macro.. what i didn't know is that you can designate the high and lowpoint of the parameter, or switch them for that matter. so>>>for example> with one movement of my modwheel i can turn the cutoff down from 20khz to 600hz, turn the resonance up from 0% to 50%, turn the chance on a beat repeater from 0 to 100, take 10 decibels off the lowshelf of an eq while simultaneously increasing gain, lowering the q, and sweeping the frequency of another band of the eq. the potential for these kind of efx racks is huge for all types of electronic producers and performers.
I built a few of these effect racks with mapped macros that i'd like to share. they mostly use effects all from live 6, but i occasionally include the vst or au of Supatrigga, available for free at [url][/url]
so this first one is comprised of two chains, one completely unaltered and the other with utility, 5 beat repeats, two auto filters, a redux, a gate, and a phaser. i have it set up so that when you turn up the mod wheel, the volume on chain two goes from 0.0 to -inf and chain one does the opposite. chain one's 4 beat repeats and one filter are switched on but the others are not. when the mod wheel is up all the way, the effect can morph in two different ways, up or down on the pitch bend. go up and the redux and gate turn on, go down and the hpf auto filter, phaser, and another beat repeat turn on.
this is effect rack preset:
once downloaded, put it in user/library/applicationsupport/ableton/presets/audioeffects/audioeffectracks
or the equivalent on a PC

this is a live set that has a drum loop in track one and the mod wheel & pitch bend routings already in place so you can play with it quickly.
one issue with the chain switch method is that the fade curves cause a short audible hole in the music. however, i've worked this out by implementing the crossfader. it responds much quicker.
So, instead of using two chains and switch between them with a macro, use two tracks and switch between them with the Live crossfader.
here is the one chain version of the same rack:

and here is a set with everything set up and two tracks playing the same clip:

Let me know if anyone wants more of my custom effectracks/macro setups, i have quite a few. I have seen people selling this kind of thing online (covert operators, puremagnetik)but i'm unclear of the quality and sophistication of the racks because i haven't used them.
so far i love this site and this is my first blog.. i hope that it is enjoyed and that it possibly gives people some ideas on how to make their own adg.'s and evolve their production. i would love to try out anyones rack creations or if their are links to more free stuff like this, please share.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

a new found fondness

I was not huge into this track when we made our album available online last year, but when i listened to the album recently it stuck out to me as a favorite. Switch Up

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Logic Pro 8 installation

Yesterday my upgrade to Logic Studio arrived in the mail but I did not install it til today because I had to find 50 gb's of stuff to delete off my internal and external drives to make room for it. I'm still a bit confused why apple tripled the content and halfed the price. It makes the app seem less pro, but seeming less pro doesn't mean anything i guess... its a strange emotion i'm feeling here. To all Logic users that haven't upgraded from 7 to 8 yet.. I would suggest backing up the Logic Folder in Library/application support. I have read of many a user who lost their channel strip and instument/effect presets, which would suck to say the least. The features I'm most excited about are the new expanded Ultrabeat sequencer, the delay designer, and MainStage... which I will blog about soon. The installation did not affect my Logic 7 app, which is quite relieving, because I'm sure i will need it for awhile for clients projects... until I'm familiar enough with 8 to make a full transition. Here are a few links to bands whose records I am currently producing.
Dubskin ( roots reggae, dub, and dub-hop)
Champagne Breakfast (rock, pop, alternative)
Wooleye (funk, rock, jam)
I urged the bands not to put the new material up on their myspace profiles yet, so the music on all three pages is far from up to par with my standards. I will however post mp3's of some of the new working mixes asap.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

so you know

This is Michal Menert & Derek Smith of Pretty Lights wearing producer suits and solar shield sunglasses posing for the Rocky Mountain Chronicle. The article that was written to go along with this photo shoot can be read here.

This is the album cover for Pretty Lights most recent release "Taking Up Your Precious Time" which can be downloaded for free at
Which Rocky Mountain Chronicle named one of the best local albums of 2006. read article

my conceptual justification for creating this blog

check one two. this blog has officially been started. for anyone who doesn't know: Pretty Lights is a small group of people who have all thought of themselves and eachother at one point or another as musicians, producers, performers, and or artists. Up to this point we have all been much more focused on creating as opposed to networking and sharing our music with the world. this blog will be an attempt to step up that which is currently quite lacking. my aim in this endeavor is to create a place where people who enjoy pretty lights music can keep up to date with what we're working on; and check back often for new songs & remixes to download. Something that I am also interested in doing with this blog is posting patches for software instuments and effects that other people can use and deconstruct..particularly for Ableton Live but also Logic 8 and Reason 4. I have also downloaded a screencasting program and plan to create short tutorials and/or tips&tricks for the above software. Who's knows what will happen with this blog... i don't. i have often been very inconsistent with previous similar endeavors, but i AM going to make this blog FRESH.,.,whether or not i am able to live up to the "keepin it" part of the title is yet to be seen. i'm out