Oblique Strategies No. 1

Recently I had set aside some time to make music, but when I opened a Live Set I wanted to continue working on, nothing came. Total writer's block. Luckily it rarely happens to me and when it does I look at my own "Oblique Strategies".

It's a list of things that have helped me get over creative hurdles in the past. It's loosely based on the original "Oblique Strategies" by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt, but ranging from ideas to change your perspective or mode of thinking to concrete production tricks in Live.

Anyone can be hit by writer's block or feel stuck in old habits, so I thought I'd share them here on Sonic Bloom. I hope you'll find this new series of posts helpful and inspiring. If you have any tips of your own to share, please do so in the comments below.

Warp an audio clip to the extreme, crop or consolidate, warp it even more.

By |2018-01-29T12:07:09+00:00March 21st, 2014|Oblique Strategies|10 Comments

About the Author:

Madeleine Bloom is a musician, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer from Berlin. She studied Electroacoustic Music at the Franz Liszt Conservatory. In the last few years she's worked as a technical support for Ableton and has helped countless people with her in-depth knowledge of Ableton Live, various other music apps as well as audio engineering.


  1. chris March 21, 2014 at 22:38 - Reply

    There’s a free MaxForLive device called Oblique Strategies that cycles thru the cards at random. I keep it on my master track at all times. Sorry no link, on my cell.

    • Madeleine March 21, 2014 at 23:33 - Reply

      Thanks for the heads up. Turns out, there are two Max for Live devices now. The other one’s called Oblique. I might test both and then report back soon.

      Some of my oblique strategies are gonna encourage different approaches and using features in the “wrong” way specifically in Live. Like the extreme warping I started things off with. Not many people try it, but it can yield very cool results.

      • chris March 28, 2014 at 13:34

        Oh great idea! I didn’t realize you were gonna make yr own Ableton related cards. Don’t forget about the I Ching — I like to think of it as the great grandfather of Oblique Strategy decks.

      • Madeleine March 28, 2014 at 13:58

        Yes, a lot will be specific to Ableton Live, but I’ll also have some more general tips in there. The I Ching will forever remind me of “Man in the High Castle” by Philip K. Dick. And then we should also mention Tarot, I guess. :)

  2. Jim April 22, 2014 at 04:19 - Reply

    I love this Madeleine – very creative idea! Thanks for posting and please keep this up so I don’t have to keep reaching for my deck of cards ;-)

  3. Gabriele kkj February 8, 2015 at 18:17 - Reply

    Really helpful posts..thank you!

  4. Christoph June 8, 2015 at 00:45 - Reply

    für oblique strategies:
    erfinde eine gute Melodie

  5. Pete July 7, 2015 at 06:16 - Reply

    Just thank you! :)

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