Live Perfromance with 4 x Korg Volca and Waldorf Rocket

I recently watched an interesting video with Saytek on how he does his live performances and got a few ideas for my own.

I started out by creating kick, bass and pad loops in Reason, and imported them into Ableton Live as clips. I then created additional parts with the internal sequencers on the Volca Bass, Beats and Sample and used Ableton Live to sequence the Volca Keys and Waldorf Rocket. I love the  Volca Keys but the internal sequencer is pretty useless in my opinion.

All the hardware synths go into Ableton Live for real-time FX processing and mixing (no multi tracking was involved). I set up the Korg nanoKontrol to control volume on the kick and a couple of other tracks, to be able to fade them in and out.

I played around with the parts for a while and set up a few scenes in Live to outline the arrangement. I maximized the width of the master track in Live and typed in notes along with the scene names to guide me during the performance – a cool trick I picked up from the Saytek video. I mapped one of the buttons on the nanoKontrol to “Scene Up” in Live and used it switch scenes during the performance.

All in all I think the setup worked out pretty well. The notes really did help me bring more structure to the performance but they are also somewhat constraining. I will probably not use performance notes moving forward – I prefer to improvise… after all, making good electronic music is all about fortunate accidents!

Ambient House Track: Detour #1

I did a new track tonight with my “tabletop” hardware synths going into Ableton Live. I used a LaunchPad to bring in Ableton Live parts and a nanoKontrol2 to control the Ableton Live mixer and effects.

I recorded a live performance of about 8:30 minutes to multiple tracks in Ableton Live which I then edited down to the final 5:43 minutes. Nothing was added in the editing process – I basically just cut out the boring parts, rearranged the drums a bit and fixed the levels in a couple of places.

Detour #01 setup

Gear used on this track:

  • Waldorf Rocket
  • Korg Volca Keys
  • Korg Volca Bass
  • Korg nanoKontrol2
  • Novation LaunchPad Mini
  • mda ePiano (free plugin)
  • TAL-U-No-62 (free plugin)
  • Ableton Live instruments and FX