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Blog Recap: sidebrain Live at SamplenHold

SamplenHold is a new LA-based event for boundary-pushing performance artists hosted at Downtown LA hot spot, Resident. We are honored, grateful, but also not surprised our school's founder, Yeuda Ben-Atar AKA sidebrain, was asked to perform at the first SamplenHold event last Tuesday, July 11, alongside the likes of incredible talent like Amp Live, Josh Spoon, Portrait XO, and other special guests.

On SamplenHold's event page they described sidebrain as a "mastermind of multi-genre live performance and controllerism". He absolutely lived up to the hype. Using Ableton, a MIDI keyboard, and his famous Dreamcast controller - Yeuda threw down a set full of original loops, beats, and songs all while jamming out live with his controllers in masterfully creative ways. People we're feeling the heat and we can not wait for sidebrain to release some of the new material he was previewing.

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HALion 6 is an Epic Synthesizer and Sampler

HALion 6 is an Epic Synthesizer and Sampler   The latest generation of HALion, HALion 6, brings users ground-breaking new tools and instruments perfect for the modern producer, composer, and sound designer. The plug-in ushers in the next generation of wavetable synthesis, provides full interface customization with its Macro Page Designer, and has advanced live-sampling capability. Users will also be happy to know HALion 6 works with a soft e-licensor, so the USB e-licensor key is no longer a must to work with the plug-in. A new AAX plug-in format was also added to the program so Pro Tools is now compatible. HALion 6 still supports all VST 3, VST 2, and AU host applications.   Early reviews of the instruments have people very impressed with the sound detail and quality, as well as with the broad scope of sounds HALion 6 has covered with that high quality. For pianos, Steinberg has …

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Fragments: A Max For Live Granular Synth

Fragments: A Max For Live Granular Synth   Fragments, the latest from Spektro Audio, is a Max For Live granular synth with tremendous potential for creating new musical ideas and new sounds. The 8-voice granular engine is designed to create percussive loops in glitch rhythms which means the sounds you get will vary greatly depending upon the sample loaded. Imagine an endless landscape of new ideas and sounds. The layout and functionality of the device is designed to be manual and intuitive so Fragments has capability for first-time users as well as the more advanced.   To get started, users need to load an audio sample or loop into the “Audio Sample” section of the device. For best results, Spektro recommends longer loops like drums loops or vocal phrases. The 8-voices of the granular engine can be sequenced via the built-in sequencer or played in via MIDI. Once a sample …

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GrooveBox by Ampify: A Mobile Studio in the Palm of Your Hand

GrooveBox by Ampify: A Mobile Studio in the Palm of Your Hand   Ampify may be a name you’ve never heard before, but you know the products well. The development team Blocs grew out of Focusrite and Novation and gave us the Launchpad and Blocs Wave music-making apps. Now they have changed their name to Ampify for the release of GrooveBox; an all-in-one mobile studio for the iPad and iPhone. While still maintaining the user-friendly simplicity of Launchpad and Blocs Wave, GrooveBox offers more advanced synth parameters. Ampify’s intention is to create a program that is easy enough for beginners to start, and for the more experienced to master. From everything we’ve seen so far it looks as though GrooveBox does just that – blurs the line between ease of use and detailed control all with the user’s workflow in mind.     The free app is based around two dual-oscillator synthesizers and …

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Lido Workshop Recap: Wow

Lido Workshop Recap: Wow   Lido is one of those producers that producers get awestruck about; how does he get that swing? That sound design? Those percussion patterns? The list goes on. We are so grateful to the man himself for blessing the Lab this past Saturday with our most packed workshop to date!       The day started out with a packed house, and people just kept showing up. Halfway through the workshop we had people sitting on the floor, lining the walls, and even a crowd watching from the hallway. Lido never stressed though and he really made everyone feel welcome and engaged. His passion for music is obvious in his work, but what really left an impression with everyone in that room was his passion for educating and connecting with other producers. He had an air about him that he wanted to lift everyone up and …

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Balling On A Budget: Getting the Most Out Of Your Home Studio

Balling On A Budget: Getting the Most Out Of Your Home Studio   As modern music producers, we are blessed with many options for our creative tools and we all have gear we dream of being able to work with. While higher quality gear gives you higher quality sounds right out of the gate, it is not the missing ingredient of your music creation. YOU are the most important ingredient! An intimate knowledge of your setup and the sounds it gives you will take you further than an expensive piece of gear. Knowing your setup will also translate to understanding any other setup, and implementing expensive gear whenever you’re able will be the icing on the cake. Below we’ll cover some budget options to get your home studio up and running, as well as what to understand about the gear to get the most out of it.     Whether you have …

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You’re Doing Too Much: Common Mix Mistakes

You’re Doing Too Much: Common Mix Mistakes We are currently in the middle of two weeks of advanced mixing techniques in our most advanced class here at Beat Lab, and it’s amazing how the more we learn about the process the more we keep coming back to the basics. The simplicity of the concepts of proper EQ, compression, and balance can make these tasks appear to be easy and we often feel we have grasped their importance before we really have. We have all been there and every part of this process of creating records from songwriting, to production, to mixing, and mastering is all it’s own endless rabbit hole so don’t be discouraged. If you feel your mixes still aren’t where you want them to be it’s possible all that is missing is the strongest possible foundation. From there there is often little work left to do. More advanced concepts will definitely …

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10 Ableton Live Packs Now Available for Lite Users

10 Ableton Live Packs Now Available for Intro Users For our beginners out there this is huge news. With Ableton Intro, users now have access to thousands of samples, sounds, and effects; all of which can provide inspiration for all types of music making – from searching for synths, to writing a film score, or exploring genre specific styles. These Ableton packs deliver some really high-quality material to work with and were previously only available with Standard and Suite. Below we’ll give a quick overview of each pack. Even if you’ve had access to these packs before but haven’t used them check this out. You might find some inspiration.     1. Urban Cookbook 1 by Goldbaby We love Goldbaby (their drums in particular). Their loops, samples, and racks are sounds we always consider for our tracks. With Urban Cookbook you get 3000+ kits, hits, chords, bass and more production tools …

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