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So far Subaqueous has created 231 blog entries.

Sharing the Music – Shatter Spell

Music is a force that can bring us together. It invokes shared emotions, ideas, and hopes. This is exactly why I created Shatter Spell and why I’m now making it “free/by donation”.  Thank you to everyone that has supported or checked out the album. Much gratitude.

Grab it atsubaqueous.bandcamp.com


I made this album with the hopes of creatively inspiring myself and others. Its an immersive world with emerging sounds that I’d love to see in the hands of others and can use your help.  Please share the album to friends and those you’d think would enjoy the journey. If you do, I’ll share an unreleased remix of Niyaz with you. The remix actually inspired the album.

Just tag @subaqueous on Facebook or if you send it to friends just message me back and I’ll send you that private link.

Much appreciation,
Isaac Cotec aka subaqueous

By | 2017-12-12T11:32:24+00:00 December 12th, 2017|Producers Blog, Subaqueous News, Events and Music|0 Comments

Live 10 and Push – New Features and Packs

Yeah the software of Live 10 brings some cool features… but… we also have some rad improvements to the Push. In this article, we are going to be talking about Live 10 and the new features added to the Push.

Push 2 Live 10 Features

One of the biggest new Features in the update is the 32-step sequencer. When Ableton gave us the Melodic sequencer update in Live 9.1 I was excited. Playing with it over time I realized there were so many things I couldn’t do. It didn’t quite have some of the functions I needed when sequencing melody. It’s great for baselines, but that is about it. Well… Ableton fixed that with the 32-step sequencer.

The new Note Layout Mode on the push gives you a 32-step sequencer on the top half of the pad matrix and 32 notes on the bottom half. You can press pads in the lower section to select which notes to add via the step sequencer, in the upper section. Users can see, add, and remove pitches from steps by holding the respective pads.

In otherwords, you can play a chord and then press one pad on the sequencer to add that chord. Wow… this is a game changer.  Here is the official Ableton video on the new 32-step sequencer.

Ableton Live also gives us some added functions which speed up your workflow.

Workflow Improvements with Live 10 and Push:

  • Introduced a root level ‘Collections’ folder for color labels/collections in the Push 2 browser in Live 10. This prevents other important root level items like ‘User Files’ from being pushed off the screen by many Collection Labels.  
  • It is now possible to convert audio to MIDI from Push, using the Convert button.
  • It is now possible to crop MIDI clips from Push 2.

Packs and Ableton Push

One unexpected thing I saw with Push and Live 10 was how Packs work. I can tell that the team at Ableton is really thinking on the design of packs and how they can take advantage of the different layouts in Drum Racks.  I made this walkthrough video to give you a look at the new Drum Booth Live Pack coming with Live 10.

If you are interested in learning more about the features of Push 2 and what you can do with it, check out the Push Courses at Beatdrop.ca

Improved Visualizations

One thing Ableton is really good at with all their updates is adding little improvements. At first, they might not seem like a big deal, but it really adds up to create an easy to use environment.  Along with that Ableton has added some improvements to how they use the LCD screen on the Push 2. Here is a list of the things I have seen so far:

  • Redesigned the Filter Envelope, LFO Envelope, and Pitch Envelope banks for Operator on Push 2, and added a visualization to the Envelopes.
  • Visualization of filter bands was added to EQ Eight on Push 2.
  • Added a new parameter layout and a graphical representation of the Activity View to Compressor on Push 2.
  • Notes are now shown in Push 2’s Clip Mode, when a MIDI clip is selected. The velocity of each note is also indicated by the note’s opacity.
  • Visualization of the Wavetable Synth

Learning more about Push 2

I’m going to be writing more articles on Push 2 and Live 10. If your interested in staying up to date make sure you  Subscribe to my youtube channel or join the Email List below.

Join Email List
By | 2017-12-08T13:46:13+00:00 December 8th, 2017|Ableton, Producers Blog, Push|0 Comments

Loop In Review – Ableton Loop Music Summit

I had the opportunity to make it out to Berlin for Ableton’s music summit called Loop. The event left me inspired, helped grow my creative network, and gave me a lot of ideas to take into the studio. In this article, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on the event, highlights, and some review videos at the end. To start, I want to share my highlights of the event and what I think made it an amazing experience that I will want to come back to every year.

Collaboration:

I’ve gone to a lot of conferences over the years. Almost all of them are top bottom classes where you are listening to lectures. Sometimes there are panel discussions to get people engaged, but they don’t quite do it. Loop is on a whole other level when it comes to getting the attendees to collaborate. The event included open roundtable discussions where groups of strangers had structured conversations. There was open meet up sessions and rooms full of instruments that people could jam on. (image below is of me helping out the “Jam Room” with a 20 person set up. All sorts of gear and technology to play with). I loved seeing collaboration being such a strong aspect of the event. 

Diversity:

(more…)

Middle Eastern and World Sample Library – Free

I’ve been asked by a lot of people to release a collection of melodies so they can cut them up, creatively rework them, and add some of my ethnic feel to there tracks. I am stoked to release this free collection of 48 ethnic and world melodic loops. This is all free / by donation and Royalty Free for use in your music.

The Sample Library is all Wav files, so it can be used in any DAW. Download Link Below.


Download the Sample Library

If you want the full meal deal, check out the much larger Mystic Melodies Sample Library. The Library has 111 Melodic Loops and includes an extra library of MIDI.


This instrument has been featured on the new album, Shatter Spells. Check it out below:

Steam and download on other platforms

By | 2017-11-09T01:43:45+00:00 October 13th, 2017|Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Celtic Harp Instrument Rack

Good music is all about dynamics. One way I am able to get my music to have a wider range is having many different types of instruments. Instead of just having synths, I love to mix in organic acoustic sounds, physical modeling synths, and square wave synths. It gives the track interesting sounds and feels more dynamic and full.

One instrument I love to mix in my synth-heavy tracks is this Celtic Harp I created. It’s so clean and pops out the mix. It can add a delicate flavor to an otherwise heavy track.

This instrument is for free / by donation.  Check out the video below and a link to the download.


Download Celtic Harp


This instrument has been featured on the new album, Shatter Spells. Check it out below:

Steam and download on other platforms

By | 2017-11-09T01:04:22+00:00 October 5th, 2017|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Mixing Electronic Music? Don’t Make These 2 Vital Compression Mistakes

I was chatting with Rob Mayzes the other day about compression. Rob is a freelance mixer, musician, and educator. He has helped thousands of home studio owners produce better music and mixes through his website Musician on a Mission. After chatting a while I asked him to write a guest article on Compression techniques for Electronic Music. Here is his article. Love some of the ideas and reframing he shares:


If you find yourself applying compression because you feel you should, stop what you are doing. It took me a long time to truly understand compression. At first, I didn’t quite understand how it worked. But it didn’t take long to get to grips with the various parameters… Yet once I understood how compression worked, a new question came up.

Why do I need compression, and when should I use it?

I have spent 12 years mastering the use of compression and taught over half a million people about mixing in the process. Along the way, I have noticed one vital mistake pop up time and time again…

The assumption that the use of compression is the same in all genres.

It simply isn’t.

You’re about to learn why compression can make your electronic music sound far worse if used incorrectly… and what you should be doing instead.

Using Compression in Electronic Music

For most genres, compression is vital. After the volume fader and EQ, it’s one of your most useful tools.But most genres doesn’t mean ALL genres. In electronic music, this isn’t the case. You may have been misled by mixing tutorials that refer to genres with more acoustic elements, like rock music. In genres that contain a lot of acoustic instrument, compression is an absolute necessity. (more…)

By | 2017-09-15T09:15:52+00:00 September 14th, 2017|Music Theory, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Makaya McCraven – Beat Science

I was stoked to host the Ableton Live User Group in Portland last month. We had the rare opportunity of having the guest speaker Makaya McCraven. Makaya is a world-renowned jazz drummer. Pop Matters’ put him in the top jazz albums of 2015. In this Video Makaya MacCraven walks us through his creative process with editing, chopping, and working off the grid. Lots of gems in here, so enjoy.

Check out Makaya’s music at: https://www.makayamccraven.com/

By | 2017-09-06T18:42:25+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Ableton, Producers Blog, Sound Design Tech|0 Comments

Fast Songwriting with Odesi and Ableton Live

Sometimes I want to sit down and just hash out an idea. I might not have a keyboard with me or just feel like exploring unknown territory. Odesi has been a magic tool for me to do this. It’s fast, intuitive, and helps me discover new ideas in minutes.

Odesi is a stand alone program made by the people at Mixed in Key. In this video, I walk you through how to use Odesi and give you a deeper idea of what you can do with the program.

After I made that video I realized I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to show the ease of which you can create a song and then take the parts into Ableton Live. Once there, you can start putting sound design to it and build out your track. I have started sketches for a track in 10min or less using this program. Granted this is just a seed. You need to extend it out, build the composition, modulate, and all that stuff. Basically, think of Odesi as a fast idea generator, but you have to go build out those ideas.

I will also say I don’t generally use Odesi for melody creation. It just never “gets me” as a listener or producer. Seems a little flat, but some good ideas come out of it. As far as chord movement and beat… this program is rad!

Here is my video walkthrough of using Odesi and Ableton Live. Check out Odesi by Mixed in Key.

By | 2017-08-29T19:02:26+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Ableton, Producers Blog, Vst Review|0 Comments

Rock Drum MIDI Library

I have been stoked on Rock of late… It’s a new thing for me, but I am digging classic rock again. All the sudden I found a little of its influence sneaking into my music. Lots of rhythmic inspiration.  I decided to dive deep and make a library of Rock Drum MIDI. This collection has 56 MIDI Drum Patterns organized and ready to be used in any DAW.

 

Here is the video walk through:

Grab the rack for free / by donation. Consider throwing a few bucks to help the creative wheel go round 😉

If you want to see other MIDI Libraries, please comment below.


Download the MIDI Library

DOWNLOAD THEM ALL

Download the full collection of Free Live packs with the Download Archive. This collection includes all the Free Live Packs on Subaqueousmusic.com.  Instead of crawling through the site and other online sites that have featured Subaqueous Packs, you can grab all of them with one convenient download. This includes all the past MIDI Libraries.

Download The Full Archive


 

Check out these other MIDI Libraries:

Hip Hop MIDI Library

Carrabiean and Reggae Drum MIDI Library

Glitch Hop MIDI Library

Trap MIDI Library

Latin Percussion MIDI Library

By | 2017-08-23T17:21:53+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Ableton, Free Music Tools|0 Comments
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