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Thank You Ableton For Not F*cking Your Ver. 7 Users Over

Posted: November 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: music production | No Comments »

Ableton Live 7.0.18 Released, Version 7 Users Rejoice and End World Hunger.

Ableton Live 7.0.18

(OK, maybe not the last point)

The Mac OS 10.5 install DVD was already inside my Macbook, the button was about to be pressed – I wasn’t going to put up with the most infuriating block to my music production workflow any longer. I had already decided upgrading to Snow Leopard was a horrible idea, if only for this one issue that would have my copy of Ableton Live 7 crashing.

Quite a few people on the Ableton Live forums had already put in their two cents about how the ‘complex’ sample warping mode would crash their Live session — unless they disabled their audio output altogether and re-enabled it once they altered their warping mode. Here’s the forum post on the Ableton Live forums.

Nico from the Ableton Live support team responded in SEPTEMBER :

I can confirm that Complex mode in older Live versions is incompatible with Snow Leopard. The Complex mode is based on zPlane’s “Elastique Efficient” algorithm ( zPlane has already released a fix for it. There will most likely be a final update for Live 7 which includes this fix.

Live 8 is not affected, because it uses v2.1 of Elastique Efficient which works fine in SL.


Finally, yesterday, I had casually wandered into the backstage download area for Live and lo-and-behold 7.0.18 was available for download.

So no roll-back. No switching to other sequencing software. No crash-induced furniture flinging.

Now I’m back to writing music. Phew.

A few points to the Ableton Live team:

1. Not everyone can afford to or see a reason to upgrade to version 8.

Don’t leave them in the dark. It was beginning to appear that Ableton Live was forcing users to fork out for an upgrade to 8 by intentionally keeping vague about a SL fix for Ableton Live 7. You guys wouldn’t want to be accused of unethical business practices as a software company, look at Microsoft.

2. A development roadmap will keep your customer’s expectations in check.

We wouldn’t have to constantly harass guys like Nico with questions about WHEN bug-fixes are about to happen. Transparency keeps everyone happy and your customer support lines clear for more important issues.


I found it hard to believe that Ableton Live didn’t send a a release to Peter Kirn over at Create Digital Music. He’s been such a great supporter of the Live software and he carries allot of credibility among digital musicians. Here’s his coverage of the Live 7.0.18 fixes.

4. Time is money.

I know for a fact that allot of semi-professional commercial music producers and audio engineers depends on Live to support themselves. As a graphic designer, Snow Leopard really improved my rate of production, and forcing users to hold back on such an important OS update reeks of slack.

But really, thank you for not closing the door on Version 7. It costs us ALLOT of money this side of Asia to be able to fork out to buy original software in the first place. Great to know that Ableton Live keep to their word.

Changelog for Ableton Live 7.0.18

Aman and her chicks.

Posted: October 19th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: photos | 2 Comments »


While I was away in Kuala Lumpur, Aman, our household hen gave birth to 10 chicks. So far, 9 of them have survived and continue to terrorize our garden with their peeping and chirping.

It’s quite a racket.

After a her morning stroll around the compound with her kids, I finally managed to snap a picture of her taking a little nap with her brood.


Ah – the simple life.

Roof Shrine

Posted: June 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: photos | 1 Comment »


It’s Monday. 2:36am here in Penang. It’s a lovely night out with a full tropical moon with plenty of wispy clouds trying out for a lunar tan.

So I climbed onto the roof and took some photos.


Click here to see the full-sized pic.

This is my first HDR photograph following this tutorial. There seems to be allot of grief going around about HDR photography, especially the kind that uses 3rd party software to generate the high dynamic range.

But whatever, it looks cool.

It’s a picture of the spirit house that’s on the top of my parents house with the Batu Ferringi skyline in the background. 30s long exposures in 3 multiple exposures with different exposure biases for each one.

Tripods and remotes rock!

This is what the plotting looks like…

Posted: April 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: photos | No Comments »

This morning.


The Spicy Secrets of Michael Williams

Posted: April 15th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: photos | No Comments »

Introducing: The Laksa Ladies


Mike Williams, myself, and some of the Mindvalley guys have followed these women to 3 of their outlets for over 2 years.

This culinary explosion is best enjoyed with 2 glasses of iced Chinese tea. This would allow the spot to be proverbially, hit.

This is where you can find the BEST laksa in Kuala-friggin-Lumpur. You find a map of power.

May Flower Seafood Restaurant and Food Court,
144A, Jalan Vivekananda,
Off Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields,
50470 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA

Send them our love.

Music: Autoparking

Posted: April 14th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: music production | No Comments »

How to Solve Parking Congestion

A Scolex project.

Production Notes:

The aural guide to urban origami. The perfect way to have a car and live in a city is to have foldable transportation.



Dual bassline layers. Primary layer celebrates an acid house pattern, while the secondary layer keeps pace with a sub/saw tone with a touch of high-velocity reverb — creating space.

As it breaks, the bassline shifts chords into a syncopated EBM-style but retaining the secondary layer. This creates a sense of tempo while retaining space.

132BPM. Very out of my typical BPM range. But allowed me to fill in the blanks with a series of re-modulated sounds. Fractals.

Casio SK1 sample. Looped with a tape-looper.

Breaks from Keith Hillebrandt‘s Useful Noise Vol. 2. The only sample release I’m proud to own.

Sequenced on Ableton Live 7.0.11 on my MacBook (2.2GHz/4GB).

Vember Audio Surge

Click to listen:


Don’t forget to leave some comments!

Music: Wet Pavement

Posted: April 10th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: music production | No Comments »

KL was raining yesterday.

Production Notes:

For the Scolex project.

I was walking around Pudu. For the most part, it was raining.

Moist Agoraphobes Chanting


Polyrhythm dub delay. And organic acid-style conversation.

Reverberated bassline. Modulated waveform sync / freqs. Denotes slippery pavement with a literal physical movement.

Percussion adds pace. Staggered particle sizes to give illusion of speed.


Sequenced on Ableton Live 7.0.11 on my MacBook (2.2GHz/4GB).

Click to listen:


Don’t forget to leave some comments!

Music: Seitch

Posted: April 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: music production | 3 Comments »

An Arrakean Community Chant.

Production Notes:

A Seitch is community of Fremen, from Frank Herbert’s Dune

“Sand keeps the skin clean, and the mind.”


Dry sand-type atmospheric patches blended with low fidelity stabs and bulges. Bounced Surge patches controlled via PS2-USB-MIDI controller.

Bass-line depicts the movement of the Fremen people across the deserts of Dune. Rhythmic parts intended to capture an post-civilization ethnicity with organic overtones.

Completed overarching ambient themes first.

Custom bass patch from TalBassline.

Sequenced on Ableton Live 7.0.11 on my MacBook (2.2GHz/4GB).

Click to listen:


Don’t forget to leave some comments!


Posted: December 3rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: dance music culture | No Comments »

Why We Need More Dayclubs

A few minutes after sunrise has always been one of my favorite times to practice on the CDJs. There’s just something about that cool blue light filling up the house.

Nightclub culture wouldn’t be what it is if it didn’t spend its formative years in the dark. But when did dance culture go the same way?

I guess that’s why outdoor psytrance experiences have always been so fun. Especially how many of these gigs have DJs specifically for the mornings.

And it’s a different experience compared to listening to a DJ play for an entire night then into the following morning. After 8 hours of continuous dancing, your mind and body respond very differently. Tiredness calls for completely different kind of music.

This isn’t the morning I’m describing.


Dancing in the dark has become a bad habit. If you are truly uplifted by the act of dancing, by dance music, then stop hiding behind the parcans, strobes, and smoke machines. There’s a much better venue.

Try this, compose yourself a ‘morning playlist’, it really doesn’t matter what style or genre it is, you don’t even have to play it loudly. No headphones allowed.

It helps if the tracks serve to inspire, energize, or even heal.

Double-plus good mornings call for double-plus morning music.

Make sure fresh, clean air is moving about. Then let your playlist do it’s work.

Don’ forget to share your results and playlists here.

The Kalama Sutra

Posted: November 25th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: philosophy | No Comments »

How to Discern, What to Rely On


Daniel (DJ Sanuk) mentioned this sutra to me. It’s a really wonderful experience to meet someone who has attained such a high level of self-awareness. I hope you find this as illuminating:

Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching.
Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words.
Rely not on theory, but on experience.
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

- the Buddha

So far this has been one of the lighter, more straightforward direction towards clarity. However, getting past the ego is something else altogether (my ego…)

How’s YOUR ego doing?

Also, here’s the Wikipedia entry on the Kalama Sutra