• Alesis DM10, Ableton, Addictive Drums + an additional audio source from laptop

    Alesis DM10, Ableton, Addictive Drums + an additional audio source from laptop

    Hopefully this post will help you if you’re looking to setup your eDrums with Ableton and Addictive Drums 2 (or any another virtual drum kit with a VST for Ableton). I don’t know that much about music equipment so it took me a while to figure out where all the pieces fall into place.

    My initial issue with Ableton and AD2 was that MS Windows OS has very bad audio support (drivers) for anything more advanced than the simplest form of audio reproduction through speakers or headphones. What I wanted was to connect the Alesis DM10 to my laptop to get better quality drum samples with AD2 than what I had with the DM10 module and to be able to turn on a YouTube video and to play alongside with it. It didn’t take long for me to realize this wouldn’t work. Even with ASIO4ALL drivers, I could either get Ableton or the browser to output the sound into the headphones, not both at the same time.

    So, after a bit of research and some advice from a few fellow musicians, I decided that what I needed was a USB audio interface that would also act as a mixer. After doing a bit more research, I found out that Komplete Audio 6 was quite popular amongst drummers who wanted a low latency audio interface for triggering VST’s. I’m sure any other USB enabled interface with balanced input could easily do the job as well.

    Amazon.

    The next few steps included removing the ASIO4ALL drivers, installing official Komplete Audio 6 drivers, setting up Ableton with AD2 VST (make sure to check the “install as VST” checkbox during AD2 installation) and wiring up the hardware together.

    dm10-komplete6-laptop-setup

    This is how the Komplete 6 is supposed to light up when everything is connected and setup properly (both inputs are set to INST, headphones are set to 1/2, 48V on the back side is ON and the monitor “ON button” needs to be pressed once every time you turn this whole setup on):

    komplete-audio-6

    This is how the channels IN/OUT setup in Ableton looks like (click to view the full resolution screenshot):

    ableton-channels

    Input:

    ableton-input-config

    Output:

    ableton-output-config

    Ableton audio preferences:

    ableton-preferences-audio

    Ableton link/MIDI preferences:

    ableton-preferences-link-midi

    Komplete Audio 6 control panel:

    komplete-audio-6-driver

    And this is the screen where you can map the DM10 MIDI triggers to AD2 sounds (this AD2 keymap might help you with that):

    addictive-drums-2

    To map the triggers easier, press the “Learn” button and then hit the element that you wish to map with a stick. This will utilize AD’s “smart learning” and will automatically map the input from a trigger with an AD2 element (snare, hi-hat, kick, whatever..). Sometimes it’s a bit hard to use this (for example the ride bell which can be somewhat hard to trigger on DM10) but I found that for all the other elements it does the job really well.

    You might also want to slightly adjust triggers sensitivity on the DM10 module itself to make the AD2 respond more to your liking and expectations (you can make it require more or less force to produce trigger sound). Use that in conjunction with the curve on the righthand side of the hi-hat image from the last screenshot.

    All in all, I’m really happy with how this works. The latency is very minimal and 99% of the time it’s not in the way of playing. I do have an SSD in the laptop and there was a noticeable difference in how Ableton/AD2 performed while the crappy 5400 was inside and after I installed the SSD. The CPU in the laptop is the i7-4510U (not sure if that makes any difference or not).

    Hope this helps. If you have any questions or a different setup that you’d like to share, leave a comment. Cheers!

  • How to add a YouTube channel feed to Google Reader?

    rss

    Before they rehauled Google Reader for G+ you could import a YouTube channel feeds into your Google Reader just by copying and pasting channels link into Google Reader, no problem. A link that looks like this used to work:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/CHANNEL_NAME

    But, now it doesn’t work any more (I wonder why they broke it and why isn’t it fixed?).. Fortunately I was left with some of the older YT feeds that still worked so I looked at how their links look now. What you can now do to import channels into Google Reader is to use this link form:

    http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/CHANNEL_NAME/uploads?alt=rss&v=2&orderby=published&amp

    Make sure to replace CHANNEL_NAME with your desired channel name and there you have it.

  • YouTube Repeat Bookmarklet

    Need a YouTube repeat button?

    Well, YouTube still doesn’t provide us with one… but you can use this simple javascript bookmarklet I made which will redirect you from any YouTube video to YouTube repeat service in a very quick and simple way – no more manual ‘repeat’ URL insertions… Just drag this link onto your bookmark toolbar and click on it whenever you’re viewing a video you want to put on repeat. Rejoice!

    drag >> << this

  • Street Guru

    They’ve incorporated their culture and their values in the city and they’ve enriched the city.
    Both like, from uh, you know a work ethic.
    You know the restaurants and the music and it’s really a diverse city.
    I mean you walk through the Vany Oven yu-you know you go through Korean neighborhoods,
    Old Jewish neighborhoods, Arab big neighborhoods, uh, Pakistani-Indian neighborhoods.
    It’s incredible. The intensity… I think yeah, development has pushed us away from other people.
    You know, a lot of times people are rude because they want like immediate access or immediate information.
    You know some things in life can’t be immediate, sometimes you gotta wait and let things happen.
    People are like increasingly rude. Like I’ll say someone will get in a cab, we’ll say “I’ll get em there in 5 minutes.”
    And they’ll say, “It should only take 3.” Now who gives a shit if it takes 5 minutes or 3 minutes, who cares?
    At the end of your life nobody’s gonna put shit I got in a cab in fi-seven minutes instead of three.
    It doesn’t matter technology has made us slaves of the time.
    Naw, a lot of people that are really have technical jobs they’re slaves to time.
    Time’s the essences of life it seems like. And they’re basically like losing it.
    They’re losing the essence of their life because, you know, their life is like just going away and,
    Their not enjoying it because their so engrossed in efficiency and productivity and shit like that.
    It’s almost sad. They all come here from somewhere else like seeking their fame and fortune or,
    Their tap jobs and they’re and caree-you know, in their in their industries.
    They get very engrossed in it and they into these you know these cell phones and computers.
    And I think the real important things in life are you know, people and your family.
    I think you don’t realize that, a lot of people don’t realize that until they’re older.
    I think there’s going to be a backlash against technology.

    ~Nitin Sawhney

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