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AKAI Pro Force Review

Posted by James Cullen on

AKAI Pro Force Review

It’s now been a while since Ableton released Push 2, and it seems like a gap has opened for a fully integrated controller to take centre stage. Back when Ableton Push was released, the hardware was constructed by Akai, but this was noticeably gone from Push 2, where Ableton brought all of their hardware construction in house. Akai must have missed creating for Ableton, because they’ve recently released the AKAI Pro Force, an absolute powerhouse of a unit with tonnes of features to unpack. It has a steep price tag at first glance, but when you explore all of its...

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Top 5 Ableton Skins

Posted by James Cullen on

Top 5 Ableton Skins

Ableton Live is the most popular DAW for electronic music producers worldwide. Whether it’s trap or tech house, Ableton has the functionality to facilitate seamless and easy production of any genre. For all its bells and whistles, synths and plug ins though, there’s one area that could be slightly improved.  The interface. Some people say that Ableton’s interface is clunky and clinical looking, but luckily you don’t have to be stuck with it! Thanks to the folks over at abletonthemes.com, you can choose from a wide range of skins to give your favourite DAW a make over. Whether you want...

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Creative Mixing Tips

Posted by James Cullen on

Creative Mixing Tips

The perfect radio ready mix is a dark horse. It’s an elusive, mysterious goal that many producers and engineers reach for but rarely achieve. Getting that perfect mix is dependent on a lot of factors, some of which being the genre, the instruments used, or even the intended format of the release. It’s a fundamental part of a producer’s skill set, and it takes years of practice and repetition to develop the skill.  Some people find mixing easier than others; to some it comes naturally, as it’s simply a process of using their ears. To others, it’s more of a...

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Performing live with Ableton

Posted by James Cullen on

Performing live with Ableton

The astute users among you will have noticed that while it’s usually referred to as ‘Ableton’ the DAW’s actual name is ‘Live’. This is because it’s been built from day 1 as a Live performance environment as well as a DAW. This means that while Ableton Live contains all the features of a traditional DAW, there are also a tonne of other features bundled in which make it a perfect tool for performing electronic music live, a market which is surprisingly lacking in options on a large scale. For the purpose of this article however, I will refer to it...

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Best free VSTs

Posted by James Cullen on

Best free VSTs

If you’re producing on a budget, and let’s be honest most of us are, then you’re always on the lookout for new exciting free VSTs. There’s always room in your library for a cool new instrument or an effect, and keeping your ear to the ground for the best recommendations is always important. There is a lot of controversy around paying for music software, especially given that plug ins have historically been quite easy to obtain illicitly, as well as some of them having extremely steep price tags which are out of the price range for all but the most...

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