Animus Invidious on the AfroDJMac Music Production Podcast (+ new free effect racks)

I was super stoked to be a guest on the AfroDJMac Music Production Podcast. I’ve been on a live fm radio show once before but that has been thusfar the extent of my “on-air” experience, so it was a no-brainer of an opportunity to hop on. Here’s your chance to hear my actual, real-life voice(!) The sound quality on my side is not wonderful since i was recorded over skype, but whatexer. I had a great time chatting with Brian about random stuff… the conversation decided upon its own meandering path, touching on various topics including the crafting and sharing of Ableton Live racks, VST hoarding, my custom Elemental Mixing template channel strip database, workflow optimization, cassette processing, dynamic contrast between songs on albums, and even the Legend of Zelda (nerds). All in all it was a very invigorating experience and i definitely wouldn’t turn down being a guest again at some point in the future. I myself have quite enjoyed the other podcasts, as they contain a plethora of unconventional tips which are superb for kick-starting the creative juices.

Oh, and we also dropped a couple free audio effect racks for you to grab, including something i brainstormed up quite a while ago and finally implemented perfectly: ‘Dynamic Panning’ (compresses in one direction while it expands in the opposite for source-reactive width modification).

Check out AfroDJMac’s website to access the show.

“DynaMixing Five”

DynaMixing Five includes a suite of eleven Ableton Live effect racks brand-new for 2017, each designed to provide a specific useful tool for production & mixing, both surgical and characterful in style.

16-Band Fixiator
Auto-magically sculpts the input source with 16 bands of dynamic EQ. All you do is turn up the knob to enable and calibrate it, while it does the work of listening to the 16 bands and adjusting them in real time under the hood. You can also adjust the output level to match the original density. The audio material itself is not split, only massaged, which helps to avoid phasiness. Used moderately this can be great for pre-sculpting (pre character and effects processing) of individual stems, or subtly for final mastering (pre-limiter) of a mix.
You can also use it to assess where it thinks your material needs to be cut or boosted, to then adjust with your own favorite static EQs. For example, you could place it on your mixbuss to see which frequency it attenuates the most, figure out from which instrument that frequency is primarily originating, and then adjust that instrument’s level and tone. Please note that this rack requires MaxforLive to function.


BandOff
A different but cool way to highlight a particular tone in an audio source. If plain ol’ EQ and compression isn’t giving something the zing it needs to poke out in a mix, try this trick.
To use it, first choose a Focus Frequency and turn up the OffBand Amount control to bump it up using a smooth parallel bandpass bell peak. The catch though is that you have separate delay controls for the Left and Right channels, allowing you to stereo-widen that enhanced tone bump as well. By listening extremely carefully coupled with a good goniometer you can adjust the phase of each side (via the delay ms) exactly where is most beneficial. You can further refine the enhanced parallel tone with shelf morphing and add nonlinearity  with optional envelope and LFO modifiers.


Bass Shuffer
Implements functional bass widening of stereo tracks which emulates the way our human ears actually hear low frequencies emanating from live instruments in a physical space (which is de-emphasized when transferring mic recordings for direct playback via speakers). Try it out on a mix of acoustic instruments and you are likely to be pleasantly surprised.
Tip: You can combine this with the common practice of low bass “monoification” by placing Bass Shuffer first to enhance low-mid bass, then use your bass narrowing afterwards to tighten up the low bass and sub.


Body

Use it for creative experimental psychoacoustic sound-sculpting. What it does is split up your audio source into a bunch of different chains, each based on a human body part, and each loaded with effects carefully plotted to emulate and alter physical characteristics. They split into one master rack & three main racks  worth of macros to sculpt the resultant output (20 controls total). You can alter the person’s Girth, Height, and Symmetry in the main rack. In the “Head” rack grouped inside that you can alter the shapes of the head, neck and mouth, set the sensitivity of the eyes, ears, and nose. “Appendages” lets you open or close your arms and hands, determine how wide your stance is and set the angle of your feet. Clicking on “Torso” reveals the controls to adjust how sharp your shoulders are, how puffy your chest, the shape of your hips, how well your blood flows and even how prominent your booty. Please note that this effect is never neutral; its default state is provided as close to neutral, tone- and level-wise, as is practical, but will never provide a flat output (whereas most PerforModule racks are perfectly neutral at default settings).


Devil’s Compressor
A gnarly beast of a compressor, utilizing 6 serial compressors each with very specific settings to react and compress in their own particular way. The sum of all 6 is a supernatural megacompressor which seems to cheat, working to bolster any type of audio material without having to dial in any settings other than its intensity. At subtle settings, it will seductively tickle; at moderate settings it will arrogantly encourage; at high settings it will crush with baleful impeccability.


Goldilocks Curve
Simply implements a scalable frequency curve which was determined based on the analytical average of thousands of tracks of all genres and eras. Moves any audio more towards what the human ear considers “pleasing” with an extremely smooth slope boost while cutting extraneous ultrasonic and infrasonic content.


Loudness Contour Enforcer
Implements a scalable frequency curve based upon the human perception of loudness, boosting the frequencies we naturally hear louder. You can set the SPL to match the decibel level to alter the contour (for example, at higher decibel listening levels, low bass seems louder). One use would be to get more apparent loudness out of something without removing all available headroom.


Loudness Contour Fader
Similar to the Loudness Contour Enforcer, but instead of arbitrarily imposing the loudness contour, it ramps it up as you fade down in volume. This can be a really awesome way to preserve the perceptual clarity of instruments as you automate their levels. Just use this in place of a normal volume fader after all other effects in a track’s processing chain.


Low-End Bump
Implements a classic effects chain often used in analog setups which serves to “bump up” the bass end of an audio source . You can set the frequency to match your main low thumpy transient to “burl it up” while minimizing boost of the transient itself (keeping headroom more manageable). In addition, we also added in a harmonic dirt control to spice in a touch of enhancement tingling the harmonic above the selected focus frequency, which can help the bass come through on small speakers.


Scrunchifier
This unique rack serves to attempt to isolate the “background space” element of an audio source, bring it out artificially, and then scrunch it, if desired. This can quite interestingly alter the resulting output. You can use it subtly on an instrument recording to enhance its natural room reverberation, or  you could use it on a duplicated track with extreme space isolation to generate a very nice source for parallel reverb and delay effects.


ToneDuct
Pure surgery here. Hone in on and scoop down a problem frequency using a morphable phase cancellation filter. Just choose the frequency you want to focus on and the amount of reduction. For extra fun, automate the “morph” control.

 

Remember, you can always open racks and study the way they are assembled to understand why they work the ways that they do, modify and save your own versions in your User Library (Live is awesome like that). Or if you just want to focus on intuitive mixing and don’t care about the technicalities, just twist the knobs and enjoy!

Click here to get DynaMixing Five for Ableton Live 9 Suite.
Stay cool, everyone.

“DynaMixing One”

DynaMixing One? What the heck?
The DynaMixing series each contain Ableton audio effect racks which are specifically designed to give useful tools for the purpose of audio mixing. At isotonik studios you can already pick up DynaMixing Three and DynaMixing Four.

The newest is DynaMixing One.

The original “DynaMixing” pack was one of the first offerings here at performodule.com and is now in legacy status. The main theme of it is “Ease of Use.” These effect racks are designed to get to your end goal faster, without having to muck about with tons of parameters.

Well, we’ve updated and spruced up those devices as well as added a new suite of channel strips based on the colours of the visual spectrum. This pack is a great for diving into a mixing project without spending hours fiddling around.

DynaMixing One Contents

Updated OG Devices
EQ 8 ToneExplorer & EQ ToneExplorer MS
Handy racks with which you can use the Push2 (or any midi controller with 8 knobs) to explore a boost or cut frequency while fine-tuning low and high cuts and enhancing mud and sparkle. Useful if you want to EQ something without using your mouse, or without screwing around with a zillion parameters. The MS version is built with pre-calibrated differentiation between the center and side channels, for a tasty width enhancement.

Nifty EQ
Designed for live situations, this will allow you to immediately  sculpt the overall tone of a full mix to better suit a venue’s acoustics and optimize listeners’ clarity. It has a home on my master buss when DJing live or when doing sound for a band, and proves invaluable.

Brainless Hybrid Compressor
Implement compression instantly and easily with only two parameters. Use it to decide subjectively which compression type to use (digital or analog) or blend between the two.

Compify
Implement VCA-style digital compression with only one knob. Just dial in the sweet spot!

Glueify
Implement API-style analog compression with only one knob. Just dial in the sweet spot!

Dynamify
“Pull audio apart” for a wider crest value. Enhance the natural dynamics of your low, mid, and high frequencies (rather than squashing them), reducing density.

Fadeify
A volume fader which concentrates more resolution in the quieter range for smoother fades to and from silence. Use it for fade-outs or fade-ins.

Gateify
Implement gating with only one knob. Dial that sublte spot in to remove unnecessary background noise in the cracks between transients.

SideRump
Similar to its cousins SidePump and SideHump, this implements sidechaining with its own unique character. Don’t forget to set the sidechain source!

Squashify
The opposite of dynamify, this Squashes lows, mids and highs with 8 parameters, adding density to what you want, carefully yet quickly.

Squishify
One-knob squisher, reducing crest range and adding density with a single knob (you know what spot to dial in. Yeah, the sweet one).

Brand New Channel Stripes
Channel Stripe – Blue
•Channel Stripe – Green
•Channel 
Stripe – Indigo
Channel Stripe – Orange
Channel Stripe – Red
Channel Stripe – Violet
Channel Stripe – Yellow

Each Channel Stripe has its own assortment of contents, each designed to provide certain basic features but each with their own distinct, unique character and vibe. By placing different Channel Stripes onto different instrument tracks, they will each have their own “colour”, helping them to stand out with individual highlights, leading to a more cohesive overall mix. Each Channel Stripe includes the modules:
•De-Noise
•Filters
•Preamp
•Dynamics
•EQ
•Imagery

So for example, the Blue channel stripe will be using a different method to provide de-noising and preamplification than the green channel strip does. Et cetera…

System Requirements: Ableton Live 9 Suite (MaxforLive not necessary for this one)

 

“Bussification”

The newest sale pack is here: “Bussification”. It consists of channel strip racks designed for placement on groups of tracks, auxiliary tracks, and on the master buss during mixing. Each macro control for each is specifically restrained in minimum and maximum ranges to exemplify the relevant characteristics of different types of instruments.


(massive props to Joshua Casper for the above video demonstration!)

Group Busses
By grouping similar instruments in a mix and placing different Bussification racks onto them, each is given a distinct frequency character “home”, leading to a clearer and more vibrant overall mix when applied carefully. For each buss, decide upon a frequency to enhance, in particular, to help it stand out. You can sculpt the brightness and darkness to fine-tune the resultant tone, remove unnecessary frequencies with “tauten”, and infuse parallel saturation. There is a “juice” control which determines overall intensity of various parameters, parallel saturation calibrated uniquely for each buss type, and finally a knob for natural-sounding, sophisticated level automation which works by balancing various internal parameters.

Auxiliary Busses
Set up two return channels (CMD/CTRL-ALT-T), one for “Dirt” and one for “Space”. Solo them and send just enough of each channel in the mix to it to be able to barely hear. Use “Dirt” to add a bit of edgy presence for a less muddy mix. Use “Space” to emulate a nice room tone, helping to glue all elements together and cohesify punchiness. After balancing all track sends, unsolo the return tracks, reduce their levels to minimum, and slowly introduce them into the overall mix for added vibe and color. A next-level trick is to automate those levels to introduce more dirt and space during different song sections.

Master Busses
Place one of these on the master buss to subtly alter the overall character from digital neutrality to match the media of choice. These each have different controls. “CD” is for general-purpose, modern pre-mastering with an emphasis on the solidity of bass and the clarity of high frequencies. “Vinyl Record” adds in custom emulations of turntable rumble, stylus quality, and surface grime, also with RIAA pre- or post-equalization. “Cassette Tape” is equipped with a very nifty tape hiss generator which creates the hiss based on the original material as well as nonlinear subtle sub and air contour distortion.

Grab “Bussification” over at isotonik studios. Available now!

click on that

Holiday Gift 2016 – The PK Rocket Monster!

performodule-rocketmonster-large.png

The PK Rocket Monster is a wild, roaring, growly, nasty multisynth made from samples of the waldorf rocket synth. The really crazy thing about the  PK Rocket Monster is its unique internal self-vocoderization (which to my knowledge has never been implemented in an Ableton instrument until now): it includes two chains, one which plays and one which alters the timbre of the other. You have two selector knobs, one which chooses the Primary Voice and one of which selects the Alter Voice. There are 37 available voices, meaning that by mixing and matching the Primary Synth with the Alter Voice, you have a total of 1,369 possible unique timbres available. (Don’t believe me? Go here and put in “sum 37d37”. Probability is fun!)  The PK Rocket Monster excels at providing gnarly bass tones, but can also result in scorching sci leads. By experimenting you can get even weirder sounds. Suffice to say, it has incredible “replay value”. The samples were recorded at 24-bit, performed by the producer phat kid.

PK Rocket Monster features:
•Voice matrixing for over one thousand possible resultant combinations.
•”Sweep” control which uses formant shifting for even more timbre flexibility or for drama-intensifying uplifter /downlifter effects (tee hee).
•”Pulse” which arpeggiates the Alter Voice to modify the Primary Voice’s tone rhythmically.
•Pre-calibrated one-knob “ee queue” for quick tone polishing.
•”Grain Amp” for junky chunk.
•”Redrive” for buzzy bite.
•”Space Trail” which dials in metallic ping verb.

The instrument is provided for you in a live set. Once you install it and open it in Ableton, simply drag the rack into your user library in the browser (or hit the little “disk” icon) to save it wherever you want. The samples will be automatically imported into your library for immediate use in any project.

Click the PK Rocket Monster image above, or this sentence, to grab! 

Requirements: Ableton Live Suite, version 9.7+
File Size: 6.36MB (10.4MB unpacked)

 

 

 

New Free Live Pack: “Turboencabulation”

On a whim, i made a series of effects based on terms from this silly turboencabulator video:

Grab the effects for Ableton Live FREE via isotonik studios.
performodule-turbo

For more history on the Turbo Encabulator, check this out.

Update: Huge thanks to Ableton for sharing the Turboencabulation pack for “FreeStuffFriday”! I love you, Ableton! Side-fumbling has indeed been effectively eliminated.

ALL Free VST Effect Racks for Immediate Release as of Now

EaReckon VST Rack.PNG
Due to an increasing upcoming workload, we’ve decided to release the freeVST racks all at once, instead of in monthly batches as originally planned. That’s over four-hundred and twenty individual racks now available! Talk about an expanded toolkit.

These are “default/template” audio effect racks for many different plugins which are available publicly for free in 64-bit. You simply load any of these Ableton racks, and it loads its corresponding plugin (assuming it’s installed). Each rack includes help text which will be shown when hovering over macro controls.

Most of the plugins we have racks available for have 32- bit and mac versions as well; however, some are 64-bit or windows-only. Mac-only and AU plugin racks are planned for a future update. FreeVST racks here will be updated periodically as necessary to reflect developer updates. If you know of a free vst developer we missed or encounter any issues, please leave a comment.

ABLETON LIVE 9.6 required (Intro, Suite, or Standard).
Yes, you can even use all of these racks with Live 9 Intro!

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