Last night I continued working on my song for the Monome Community Remix Project.  I was feeling pretty frustrated for most of the night because I was still just sifting through my material and pulling loops from it.



At a certain point I had to just give up and start arranging the song except I didn’t feel like any of the stuff I pulled over the last couple of days were really all that good for an opening.  I felt like I should start with some kind of bass sample.  That’s when I pulled out the monome.



I loaded up a monome app called Press Cafe.  I had some luck on previous songs using this particular app for basslines.  Well, this evening I was reminded just how powerful it is.



The application is another impressive creation from the artist known as Stretta.  His line of applications are some of the most original and amazing of all the monome apps.  It’s kinda complicated to explain how it works but there’s no better way than seeing it for yourself.  Watch this video of Stretta demonstrating Press Cafe.




Suddenly I went from meandering through clips to suddenly creating awesome rhythmic lines.  And it worked magic on more than just bass samples.  Take, for example, a sample that monome user Antiphon submitted of the opening to the lone ranger.  The sample consists of an announcer, the opening musical theme, some gunshots and then the announcer again.  Even though only one part of the sample contains music the results after using Press Cafe were surprisingly musical.



Below you can play the original sample and then the results after performing them with Press Cafe.



Also, I want to mention that Stretta recently released an all analog modular synth album, A Funneled Stone.  It is a musical masterpiece in my opinion.  It stands with the kind of music you might hear from Wendy Carlos or Isao Tomita.  Also, knowing what it takes to produce this kind of music with a modular synthesizer makes it all the more impressive.  It’s only available as a free digital download with the small condition that you tweet about it.  He also just started a kickstarter program to get a limited release on vinyl.  So, If you feel passionate about it please donate to the cause as well because this album really belongs on vinyl.


Original Lone Ranger Sample
Press Cafe Lone Ranger

3 Replies to “Day 228 / Press Cafe

  1. Juan T.

    Wow, I think surprisingly musical is an understatement. Keep it up, both the creativity and the not smoking. Hoping the quitting part is going well for also, your site is one of the places I checkout when I get the urges also.

  2. Robert L

    Love your blog and all of your ideas, it would be nice to see you venture out of your comfort zone of music & photography a bit… to elaborate a bit, I bet alot of us readers would appreciate to some variance like food recipes, paint some oil/canvas paintings, origami, build a custom computer, make a short-film with special effects, build a chest of drawers, creative gardening ideas, etc… just random ideas :)

  3. The B-Roll

    Thanks for the comments guys! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.

    @ Juan T – I just did a calculation and it’s been around 100 – 110 since I had a cigarette. I’m still chewing the nicotine gum though. I really really need to quit the gum. It’s sad and funny that it’s easier to do one creative thing a day than it is to quit smoking.

    @robert L – Thanks for the suggestions. It is true that my interests lie mostly in music and video but I definitely attempt to keep things new as much as possible. Sometimes the most satisfying creative thing is the most random. I plan on bringing the oils out, no doubt. I have been beaten down by watercolors numerous times (

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