January 16th, 2011
 
I got to stay home today!  It was nice.  I picked up Jenny from the airport in the morning and we had a wonderful day playing and napping together.
 
I decided to invite some friends over for an evening in the studio.  It’s been awhile since the last time.  Tonight my focus was to test out a new monome app called Mash.
 
Mash is an amazingly full featured live looping app.  Seriously, the designer, Stevie Ray Sean did an epic job creating this.  Although the focus of the app is live looping the program can do so much more.  It’s got a built in Ableton-style clip launcher.  It’s got a multi-channel mixer, each with built in lowpass filter and VST effect support.  Every control is accessible through the monome but you really have to have some practice with the software to exploit all of these capabilities.
 
While the features go on and on the basic functionality is so easy to use.  Plugging in an instrument and looping it is really simple.  Once you’ve recorded a loop you can then mash on the buttons and create new rhythms with it.  Pattern recorders also allow you to record your button presses, solidifying the new rhythm as the base pattern for more live loops.  Awesome!
 
With the right preparations this app could be super sweet for live performances.
 
This evening my pals Jeff and Reuban came by to play some instruments for me while I manned the monome and recorded their riffs.
 
We attempted to do a guitar/omnichord track for the video cameras but unfortunately it was already pretty late and our energy level was slowing a bit.  It became clear to me, as we were filming, that it was going to be too much editing work for me to make a good video out of it.
 
What I do have for you to listen to, though, is a little button-mashing I played on the monome with a group of the samples we recorded live into Mash.  We started by looping the bass guitar and then we pulled and switched over to electric.  The beat is a canned loop that we threw in for fun.
 
The best feature of this app is that the first loop that you record, whatever it is, sets the tempo for all of the rest.  It was great because when I dragged that canned beat into Mash it was instantly set to match the rest of the loops.  Mash is now going to be the app of choice for future jam nights.
 
Enjoy!

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