The Death of Soundcloud and Soundcloud Go

SoundCloud just unleashed their newest mistake called SoundCloud Go.  SoundCloud Go has completely changed the way I look at SoundCloud and to me it is ushering in its own demise. In this article I am going to be looking at Soundcloud Go and how it affects the indie musician. I am also going to look at how musicians should be an active voice in the discussion.

soundcloud- Go and why you should get it

To start lets look at what Soundcloud Go is. In the email announcement I got today from SoundCloud they said; Soundcloud Go is offering an expanded catalog of tracks and albums that are new to the platform as well as ad-free, offline listening. We’ll also continue to have the existing free ad-supported listening experience.

Ok, so lets decipher that. Basically Soundcloud is now going to charge listeners $9.99 a month to listen to music add free. I like how they state having a free ad-supported listening experience is a perk, we will debunk that soon enough. This new move really upsets me, not because people are paying for music, but how this came to be. To understand this, lets look at the history of Soundcloud and why it has become the go to for independent musicians.

Soundcloud was founded in August 2007 but really started to take off in 2009. At that point there was a lot of new services. Myspace, reverb nation, and many others were taking off. What made Soundcloud different was two factors. First was accessibility, and second was community.  SoundClouds core function was too easily let anyone post their music for free and share it with their friends.   You could record a sketch on your iPhone and upload it to friends on the spot. That friend could then comment, on the timeline, about the track. This made it an amazing tool for collaboration and connection. It was accessible because it was free, and it was a great way to share your music as an independent artist with your community. (more…)

By | March 31st, 2016|Producers Blog, Subaqueous News, Events and Music|7 Comments

Vocal Treatment in Ableton Live

Over the last year I have been working on a new project called Silkdrop. After New Years I was honored to have the chance to work with Heather Christie, aka Cheraki, to record vocals. During our time in the studio I was able to experiment with a lot of techniques in vocal treatment.  In this article I am going to share some of the techniques and tips I use for working with vocals and getting them to sound crisp, clear, and upfront.

This article is going to be looking at creating a very natural and professional vocal sound from your recordings. We are not going to look into the more creative ways of modulating and morphing vocals(pitching, reverse vocals, and so on).  Our objective is for a clean and beautiful mix. After that we can get creative with chorusing and so on.

Riding the Volume:

There are a few key components that make a really good vocal. One of them is a smooth control of volume. If your singer has great mic technique, like Heather did, then it should be a pretty smooth vocal to start. There might be instances where you want to accentuate a tail, or lower a plosives. (p, t, k and so on)  It’s a great idea to listen through the track and do micro edits in the gain to fix these subtle problems.

To do this, add an instance of Utility to the track. Then use the Gain knob to make those fine adjustments in gain. There are a few reasons that using a Utility is better than the volume fader. First of all it lets you change the overall volume of the track easily, but keep the fine adjustment.s It also means the volume changes will happen at the beginning of your effect chain. If you have a compressor or de-esser those effects will happen after your gain automation and make for a much better vocal quality.

Utility Gain


Ableton Live Compressor as a De-esser:

A de-esser is a very important tool to have in editing vocals. For the particular recording I did with Heather we used a very sensitive mic (Miktek c5). This mic was bright and picked up the S’s and breaths pretty strongly.  The easiest way to deal with this is by using a de-esser. A de-esser is like a type of compression that happens around a certain frequency range. You can use it to just lower the higher frequencies found in S’s. (more…)

First Official Music Video – Feat. Mr. Moo

Performing my music is one of my favorite things in this world. I feel so alive while I am deeply concentrating on my music and feeling the dance floor respond to it. I also dance like a mad man (if you have seen me live you know what I am talking about).

This summer I had an amazing experience performing with Mr. Moo (Milo Hayden). I loved seeing the dance floor and energy we had as a duo. We were so inspired we created a music video of our performance. Watch it, share it, and see what happens.

We’re hoping to share the video with event promoters as we start building our winter tour. If you know of an event promoter, please hit us up and send them our way. We are excited to be on the road and sharing some new music with y’all.

Check out more of Mr. Moo’s music below:

By | September 21st, 2015|Producers Blog, Subaqueous News, Events and Music|0 Comments

Free Live Class on Ableton 101 – Creative Live

If you’re just starting with Ableton Live, or know someone that wants to start down the path of music production, then this is a class for you. I will be doing a live broadcast on the basics of Ableton Live.  I’ve been teaching this class for 5 years. It goes over the basic navigation of the program, adding your own samples, and starting to build your own tracks in Ableton Live.

The class will stream on August 12th. 

Learning ableton Live Fast Start

Normally I charge $240 for this class, but you can join the stream and watch it for free. If you can’t catch it on that date, then you can get it on demand for only $30.  That is a hell of a deal. We are also looking for 3 people to be in the studio audience. If you are in Seattle or the outlying areas, then go to the page and follow the links for in the studio audience.

I am really looking forward to helping musicians across the globe with this live event. We will go deep into Ableton live and get you up and running in creating the music you have always dreamed of.

By | August 3rd, 2015|Producers Blog, Subaqueous News, Events and Music|0 Comments

List of the Best Music Producer Blog’s

I do a lot of reading, research, and experimentation to stay at the top of my game. I am constantly looking for new techniques, inspirational insight, or information on the changing music industry.  I’ve decided to share my top blogs and websites with you. I’ve had these blogs bookmarked for a while and find myself constantly going back to them.  Now there are tons of blogs out there, but these are the best and the ones that I’ve repeatedly found relevant.

Muisc Blog List round Up_2 (more…)

Nepal Instruments – Musicians Helping Nepal

The news of what is happening in Nepal really hit my heart. My thoughts are with the Nepalese people and everyone affected.  As a musician and music producer I wanted to help in the way that I could.

Years back, I was working with Tibetan music for some ambient albums I was working on. On the way I got a lot of recordings from instruments traditionally found in Nepal.  I have now gone back to these recordings and turned them into Ableton Live Instruments. These instruments will be available for By Donation. I set up a new Gumroad account just for this, so all donations will go directly to relief funds to help the people of Nepal.

Donations will go to UUSC organization as well as some organizations on the ground doing direct food and rebuilding projects.  I am working directly with organizations that work to help the people of Nepal.

Download the Pack

I wanted to put this pack togeather to both share the beautiful culture of Nepal, but also give resources to musicians making compilation albums or tracks for sale to help the Nepalese people (like I am working on).
Learn More about the Instruments: (more…)

Why Teach Ableton Live?

Teaching Ableton Live can be a really rewarding experience. It can not only let you distill your knowledge, but it can help propel your career in a whole new way.

isaac Cotec teaching ableton Live

Here is a list of benefits of teaching Ableton Live:

1. Better Learning Through Teaching

As any teacher will tell you, when you have to teach somebody something you become way more proficient at it.  You have to know the in and outs of the subject so it opens up whole new avenues you might not ever have known about.  Also, because your students ask questions it opens up new learning opportunities for you.

2. Added Income

Teaching has definitely helped me as a musician. It’s helped me turn to a full time musician a lot faster than if I was 100% depending on the gigs. It gives a nice side income to help support any level of musician.

3. Deeper Connections in the Industry

Being a teacher will open a lot of opportunities.  You might find your local community college asking you to teach. There you could run into professors that do art grants, or students that are going to be the next Skrillex or other connections. In the last 7 years I have connected with MIDI controller companies, software developers, schools, festivals, and you name it.

4. Added Bonus to your Booking

Getting booked can be quite hard these days. There is a lot of competition. Anything you can do to stand out will help. I have found offering a workshop has been something that tipped the scale. In some cases it was mine in on a festival that wouldn’t have me to begin with, but after they have me as a teacher they booked me as an act.

Don’t get me wrong, teaching takes a lot of effort, but I think it’s worth it.  There are over 2 million Ablation Live Users out there and new users every day looking to pick it up.

If you are interested in connecting with other Ableton Live Teachers and learning about the industry, then check out the new Facebook group I put together: Teaching Ableton Live and Music Technology

Join the group and share you experience or questions around Teaching Ableton Live.

Join the Club with AfroDJMac

I’ve been a long time fan of AfroDJMac. For years he has been pumping out amazing videos on Ableton Live. He has hundreds of free articles and devices up on his site. I really love his creations. I was fortunate to meet him at the Ableton Live Certification Event we were both at. Really awesome guy that is full of integrity and Ableton genius.

Just the other day AfroDJMac stepped it up another notch. He released a membership side of things for his website. This way you can sign up and get his packs sent to your inbox. When you sign up you also get some amazing packs to start. I am always looking for cool new sounds, so I went ahead and joined the club.

Check out his site and read more about it.  Thanks for continually pushing the boundaries AfroDJMac.

Ableton Live Producer Club

10 Free Ableton Live Templates – Tides of Twililght

I just released the remix album, Recreate, a week ago and wanted to take this to the next level. I wanted to not only share the music, but make it easier for others to make remixed and learn how I go about things as a musician.

When making music there are so many possibilities. To get the same exact bass growl you could go about it in 10 different ways. This is one of the most amazing things about Ableton Live and the most daunting  What can be really helpful to starting musicians is seeing how someone else went about things.  Even if you have produced for years, seeing how someone else makes a track can be really helpful.  That is why I spent countless hours putting together this collection of my tracks as Ableton Live Packs.

I took all 10 of the tracks from the album Tides of Twilight and turned them into Live Packs.  This way you can open them up and explore who I went about and made the music. This is designed to help inspire you with new production ideas, organization, and show you what a finished Subaqueous track might look like.



To give you an idea of what is in the Templates, here is a walk-through video.


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