#NMG2021 One Week Away!

#NMG2021cloudy water conflux,” a recorded collaborative composition based on structures found in blockchain. Top row: Patti Kilroy, Kate von Bernthal, George Lam. 2nd row: Gregory Oakes, Gloria Damijan, Ryne Siesky, Ron Coulter. 3rd row: Michael Roth, Lucius Gregory Meredith, Daniel Reyes Llinas, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells. Bottom row: Patrick Grant, Ting Luo, John Ferrari.

The New Music Gathering begins one week from today! We’re looking forward to being a part of it and to all the wonderful work we’ll see and hear! Visit our project page: https://tinyurl.com/cwcblockchain

FREE Remote Recording Workshops


Opt. 1: Thursday nights, February 11, 18, 25 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm EST

Opt. 2: Sunday afternoons, February 14, 21, 28 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm EST

These will be conducted over Zoom – Details TBA.

To apply please fill out the Google Form: https://tinyurl.com/y5f2alvg 

These winter courses are for new participants who did not attend last Fall’s workshops.

These courses are free to accepted participants. Fees are funded by the generous supporters of Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars. The courses are given by me, Patrick Grant, a composer, performer, music educator, and creator of Tilted Axes.

Remote recording, online sessions, file sharing – while the things these terms describe are nothing new, there are many musicians and songwriters that don’t understand them. Like many developments on the internet, there isn’t a universal nomenclature, and terms are used loosely. Which is why we thought it was worth taking the time to offer some clarity, and shed light on the opportunities that are available to people involved in every level of the music production process.

This is a great time for music and a great time to make music together. Collaborating remotely is not going away, so best to learn and sharpen those skills and be heard in every way possible.

The course is designed for Mac and PC users, laptops or desktops. Sorry, no tablets or smart phones. You must have a working audio interface to participate. This should be set up and running before we begin. If you require help, you should ask for assistance, but there’s plenty of resources out there for you.

You will need an audio interface. If you need to purchase a good audio interface, we recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, but there many you can chose from. if you already use one, great. For this course you can use an electric guitar, electric bass, electronic keyboard, or a good microphone and/or an acoustic instrument of your choice to participate. We just want you to use something that will make recording fun for you.

Ableton LIVE will be our default software. If you already use, or are more comfortable with something else, that’s OK, but in these workshops we will begin with Ableton so we have a common reference and since it is common to both the Mac and PC platform. If you need a copy of Ableton, you can download and use a functioning trial version for 90 days at https://www.ableton.com/. The version that you will use depends on the computer you current own. If you cannot use Ableton, it is acceptable to use Garageband (sorry, Mac users only). We will also be using Audacity (which is free to download) in a few instances.

While this is not an Ableton Live or garageband course, we will use this programs to varying degrees in the service of learning good recording technique, how to share files in a collaborative way, and how to use any kind of software as a generative musical composition tool no matter your level of previous experience.

The proposed course syllabus is:

Session 1 – The Physics of Sound Pt. 1, checking your interface, setting levels, creating and using a template for Tilted Axes (and other projects), initial recording, multiple takes, bouncing out your audio, Assignment A.

Session 2 – The Physics of Sound Pt. 2, microphone techniques, creating a multitrack recording, editing, panning, bouncing out your audio, Assignment B.

Session 3 – Acoustics: The Behavior of Sound in a Room, FX = Frequency, Dynamics, and Time, Post-Production, extended editing techniques, bouncing out your audio, the completion of the course Assignment.

Space is limited so apply as soon as possible. I will be getting back to everybody to finalize your participant.

Again, to apply please fill out the Google Form: https://tinyurl.com/y5f2alvg 

Looking forward to making more music with friends old and new.

Thank you all,

Patrick Grant &

Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars

Two Turntables and a Microscope

The sun beats down on a Brooklyn street and the neighbors are outside chatting or watering the plants. But inside DJ Scientific‘s secret lair, the beats are flowing, the strings are popping and the DJ’s cat is just confused by it all. I’ve just walked a few blocks from the G train to spend some time with composer/turntablist, Elan Vytal.

DJ Scientific is Elan Vytal, who mixes his unique beat juggling and scratching with classical and world musicians. His is a lush, but gritty, hybrid urban sound. Rocking nightclubs from Oakland, CA to New York City, performing live in opera houses and concert halls around the world, Elan’s numerous collaborations have taken him far beyond the standard notions of a DJ. One could say he’s a virtuoso on the decks, always striving to develop his “instrument.”

You may have heard of Elan through his work with composer/violinist DBR, Daniel Bernard Roumain. Elan is a member of DBR’s nine-piece ensemble, DBR & THE MISSION. From Elan’s bio: “The duo began collaborating extensively, creating and premiering a series of new works, including Call Them All, a laptop concerto written by DBR with sound design by Elan Vytal, commissioned by American Composers Orchestra, which premiered at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in 2006, and Sonata for Violin and Turntables, an hour-long touring program co-produced by Elan Vytal and DBR…

Hanging with Elan Vytal at his Brooklyn apartment, he told me about how he made the switch from rapper/MC to DJ, how he’s developed his career, and about his interactive relationship with live musicians using turntables, Serato Scratch Live and Ableton. You can listen to his comments and bits of his music here:

As a special treat, Elan invited six string violinist Matt Szemela (also known as String Theory) to jam on a couple of songs they’re writing as the group LB (Pound). So here, they did a demo of their set-up and performed two pieces for our home video cameras:

– Jocelyn

The LIVEs of Others

While I’ve always told my students that in the end, it doesn’t really matter what audio software you use, just make sure it works for YOU…a lot of the music folks we’ve been talking to are fans of Ableton LIVE. Though yes, Ableton is involved with our MMiX Festival later this fall, this ain’t no commercial. There’s a reason we mention LIVE. We’ve come across fellow musicians and producers who will use nothing else but Ableton to create their songs, DJ sets, or live arrangements. It’s like a religion or something. Since their first appearance at AES several years ago, when I think their demo booth was basically the size of a Ms. Pac Man arcade game, they’ve amassed a large number of users numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Having just released LIVE 8, they’re like the little-German-loop-based-audio-software-company-that-could.

The company’s been nimble about organizing and responding to their online community of users, quite similar to the hive mind of Linux folks who help keep programs on that platform constantly evolving in the spirit of tech geek fellowship. Although some of us aren’t quite so nimble on LIVE yet…(meaning me, because I’m still not done listening to all the Combinator patches in Reason 4.0) we always like seeing how artists use different tools in their particular music genres. Luckily, there’s a YouTube playlist where bands, producers and composers share their tips for harnessing the LIVE 8 mojo. We pick out some favorites after the tag…

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