New Years 2023 Freebie: “Introspection” Pack.

Effect Racks for Live Intro.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ ‎Since my son has now acquired Ableton Live 11 Intro, I thought it would be interesting to make a pack of effects that utilize only effects native to that iteration of the software. These include Audio Effect Rack, Auto Filter, Auto Pan, Beat Repeat, Channel EQ, Chorus-Ensemble, Compressor, Delay, EQ Three, Erosion, Gate, Grain Delay, LFO, Limiter, Looper, Phaser-Flanger, Redux, Reverb, Saturator, Tuner, and Utility. This is no paltry collection to smirk at! Quite a range of possibilities. But also — a nice change of pace, being arbitrarily limited in options according to what I am used to as a rack craftor. I saw it as an exciting challenge. At the end, I’m super proud of what I’ve come up with. Methinks I’ll definitely be using these racks in the full version of Live 11 Suite aplenty moving forwards.

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-> Download the Introspection pack for Ableton Live Intro, Standard, or Suite <-

Read about the process of the device creation below.


The Research Phase: Planning the FX.

…Wherein I try to figure out a cohesive game-plan for a brand new set of racks.

Brainstorming notes for the Introspection pack.

‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎The first step was listing out the effects on paper and pairing them up, with the basic premise of using each effect one time in order to showcase their general capabilities. Here’s what was envisioned:

Auto Filter (bandpass) + Erosion.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ I thought that it might be cool to match up Erosion’s frequency focus with a bandpass filter, to supplement each other. Why not? Since so much can be done with Auto Filter, I didn’t want to get lost in a rabbit hole. This keeps the purpose very intentional.

• Auto Pan + LFO.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ How nifty is it that Live Intro comes loaded with LFO? I didn’t know that before. I experimented a bit with the idea of using the LFO to add a new dimension of movement to Auto Pan, struggled for a while, but then honed in on a wicked way.

• Beat Repeat + Looper.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ As the previous, It took a while to find “the way” to implement the concept, which in this case was to combine Beat Repeat with a Looper to make it more interesting. A devious glitch machine was fashioned. Making an exception to the “one device per rack” rule for the pack, a Grain Delay device was also added in order to use its pitch-shifting capabilities for extra fun.

• Channel EQ + EQ Three.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ I figured — since Live Intro doesn’t come with EQ Eight — why not try to make a “more robust” EQ Rack? Fiddling around with the combo, I found it to have a sweet bonus capability which is a pultec-like result when boosting and cutting the same frequencies using the mid-frequency bands of both the classic EQ Three and the newer Channel EQ. More on that below!

• Chorus-Ensemble + Phaser-Flanger … (Chorus + Phaser + Flanger).
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ I started making the Introspection pack in Live 10, in order to have versions for both Live 10 and Live 11 available, as I try to do when feasible. However, Live 11 has evolved Chorus, Phaser, and Flanger, into new beasts: Chorus-Ensemble and Phaser-Flanger. I started making the rack for Live 10 first. The rack I came up with using the legacy Chorus, Phaser, and Flanger devices turned out so nifty that I decided to not also make a more differenter Live 11 version. This makes it extra cool I think for Live 11 users who may not be used to using the legacy versions of the classic “modulation trio” of effects, providing quick access to them.

•Compressor + Gate.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ During development I sat on this combo last. Tried to make a Tightener rack. It was lame. Came up with a better idea! The Gate sits in the sidechain signal that a compressor listens to, and uses the built-in sidechain filtering (soloed) to create an ultra-frequency-sensitive compressor!

• Delay + Reverb.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ The classic combo. How to make it unique / interesting? Ok. The classic query: does reverb sound better with delay before it, or delay after it? Sometimes either. I decided to use a delay plugin instance to pre-delay the reverb in a special manner. And then a post-reverb, longer feedback delay instance to augment / spaceify the reverb. Have both and eat it too. A reverb sandwich with delay for bread.

• Grain Delay + Redux.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Dunno what’s gonna happen here, but know it’s gonna be crazy. Basically what happened: a delay that can be really crunchy and smeared — not all that crazy in fact, but definitely purposeful, especially for textural sound design.

• Limiter + Saturator.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Placing a saturation device pre-limiter seemed like an obvious choice if the goal was “how to make Limiter more powerful and exciting?”

• Channel EQ + EQ Three + Auto Filters (lo & hi cut).
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ EQ Seven ended up more like a unique weird tone box; not really a full-fledged EQ. I felt there may be something more helpful to offer Live Intro users for general surgical EQing tasks. The idea here is if someone would want to robustly EQ material using native devices, they are probably going to go for all of these effects, and want dedicated controls, for maximum flexibility… so that’s what it provides. It’s the only one that has sixteen instead of eight macros.


The Development Phase: Building the Racks.

…Wherein I start putting together the pieces, choosing mappings and adjusting value ranges, all the while testing the audio results and functionality (both by ear and with before/after analysis) over various assorted loops. After many revisions and fine-tunings, ultimate versions of the devices are settled upon, and macro help info text is composed for each device header and macro control. Read below for info on each.

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• Auto Filter (bandpass) + Erosion = Filtrosion.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Tone highlight / sweep FX device using an eroded parallel bandpass filter.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ This simple idea turned out pretty rad. Use Poke to add in the Filtrosion spike as a parallel effect. Fine-tune the exact Hz value that is affected with Freq, from 300 to 18k (unfold the rack to see the value — or better yet, adjust it solely by ear). The audible effect of Width depends on the Mode. Spice things up with LFO and/or Envelope Modulation, and alter its behavior with Mod Wiggle.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Use this effect subtly, set to enhance specific frequencies of different instrument parts like you might an EQ boost, helping them to stand out in a cluttered mix… OR go extreme, with wild automation for crazy fun sound design. You could use Filtrosion to temporarily transform any sound into an “uplifter” or “downlifter”, for example, by automating frequency sweeps fading in and out. It’s a delicate beauty, or a raging beast, or both — whatever you need it to be.

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Auto Pan + LFO = Revolvotator.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ This dual-action stereo tremolo revolves as it rotates, adding a new dimension to the traditional Auto Pan with controllable oscillation of the LR offset. Think of a normal rotary panner like two moons orbiting around you, opposite each other. Think of this, on the other hand, like those two moons orbiting around a third moon, which is orbiting around you! Or something.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Amount is like a dry/wet control. Turn it up to hear the effect in action. Offset Amount determines how much the phase alignment between the L and R channels is modulated, for the dual rotation effect. Dialing in various values for each of the two Speed controls leads to endless rhythmic combinations for creamy stereo width modulation. Offset Swing skews the timing of the supplemental LFO for a more swung or syncopated feel. Smooth vs Skittery will make the panning more unpredictable and also more abrupt as you turn it up, which can leads to pops and clicks on some material and thus is usually reserved for more experimental purposes. The device opens by default with extreme offset rotation settings so that it is easy to hear for dialing in, after which one can reduce the Amount knobs to taste. Doing so automatically adjusts output gain slightly, but if you need a touch more, use Volume Recover.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Note: While you can — technically — set the timing values to be beat-synced, this is not usually as much fun… since imperfect timing alignments between the rotations are often the very thing that provide that special element of dreaminess we so desire.

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Beat Repeat + Looper = Glitch Grabber.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Grab stuff! Glitch it! Wacky expanded edition of Beat Repeat, adding in bonus capabilities for bizarre glitch shenanigans.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ 1. Use the Looper‘s big button to capture a loop of playing audio during a live jam.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ 2. Adjust Grid to glitch the audio in realtime as it plays. Leave at certain values and/or move it around as you go. Snap to zero to turn glitching off.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ 3. Adjust the other macros to mess with the way the repeats are played back. Ideal with a MIDI controller, so that you can alter multiple controls simultaneously.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Think of the Glitch Grabber as Beat Repeat in “Super Saiyan” mode. In the past, I’ve generally only used Looper during live performance (usually with guitar). However, this rack opens it up for experimental usage in the studio for sound design as well. During production, resample glitched-out snippets into separate tracks to generate raw audio material for arrangement composition. Or use it during performance, but be careful about coming back on-beat after going down a crazy wormhole! You can still use most of the controls even without using the Looper button, but by grabbing a loop you gain access to two additional fun and dangerous functions: Speed and the Reverse toggle. The Repeat? control is a switch; turn it on temporarily to “grab” a specific beat to emphasize by repetition, while adjusting other controls still causing interesting effects.

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Channel EQ + EQ Three = EQ Seven.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Simple rack set up for easy “Push-Pull” EQ workflow.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ In order to fit everything onto eight macros, and for convenient workflow, the frequency adjustments have been distilled to one control, which has been carefully calibrated so that EQ Three and Channel EQ’s mid bands are perfectly aligned with one another. EQ Three’s mid band (labeled Mid B) is more rounded, with both a more broad peak area, and yet steeper Q edges. Channel EQ’s mid band, on the other hand (labeled Mid A), is more “triangular” — poking more precisely to a specific frequency, but also, at the frequency edges, tailing off more gradually. This means that you can’t really say that either of them are more narrow or wide than the other… at the focus point, EQ Three is wider — but at the outer edges, Channel EQ is wider. If you boost and cut the same frequency with them, they do not cancel out, but create an interesting contour. For example, by boosting Channel EQ’s mid band and cutting the same frequency with EQ Three’s, you get a little poke at the chosen frequency with a bit of a ripple effect, dipping the immediately adjacent frequencies (due to the EQ Three mid band’s more rounded shape). This so-called “push-pull” EQ technique can be a great way to highlight certain tones whilst curtailing the total amount of added energy and headroom reduction. For this reason, EQ Seven‘s dual mid bands are set to the same frequency, but you can adjust their gains independently. MidA moves about 150% more energy than MidB does, so if matching them, adjust dB values by that percentage. The other macro controls show the frequencies they affect, namely 80Hz Low Cut (toggle), 160Hz LoShelf, and 3k HiCut / ShelfBoost. The Variable Lo and Hi Shelves will adjust the frequencies below and above the chosen mid band frequency, respectively. By adjusting the various shelving options carefully, one can also achieve “pultec-like” effects.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Since it’s not obvious at a glance what’s going on with these interactions and they are delicate to balance, I’ve figured out some tasty “push-pull” setups using careful frequency analysis and provide the following nifty cheat sheet for engaging certain desired behaviors (also saved in the racks as Macro Variations). The Focus Bump and Adjacent Bump variations are meant to be used with variable frequency of your choosing; the other variations, however, are less adjustable, being only balanced at the shown freq macro values (namely: 33 and 78). To get two instruments in a mix to stand out from each other, place Focus Bump on one instrument, set to a chosen freq value, and place Adjacent Bump on the contrasting instrument, set to the same or a slightly lower frequency value. Thud Reducer could be useful on non-bass, non-drum instruments and Mud Reducer for lessening the dreaded boxy tone from pretty much any home-recorded audio. Upper Mid Bite happens to enhance a frequency that is perfect for making distorted guitar or synth tones sound more gnarly, and Bright Antiharsh might serve as a nice contrasting counterpoint to that.

SetupChannel EQ Band & dB ValueEQ Three Band & dB ValueAudible Result
Lo AntiThud160Hz LoShelf +12dBVariable LoShelf -11dB (freq 33)bottom end bump w/ 120 dip
Lo AntiMud160Hz LoShelf -5dBVariable LoShelf +6dB (freq 33)bottom end bump w/ 300 dip
Focus BumpMidB +6dB (any frequency)MidA -4.5dB (any frequency)focus boost 180 to 13k; adjacent dips
Adjacent BumpMidB -5.25dB (any frequency)MidA +4.5dB (any frequency)focus dip 95 to 12k; adjacent bumps
Upper Mid Bite3k HiCut / Shelf + 7.5dBVariable HiShelf -8.25dB (freq 78)top end dip; 2.5k hi-mid bump
Bright Antiharsh3k HiCut / Shelf -5.5dBVariable HiShelf +6dB (freq 78)1k mid dip; 4.5k bump; >14.5k hicut
EQ Seven “Push-Pull” Cheat Sheet

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Chorus + Flanger + Phaser = Triple Liquid.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Classic modulation effect trio, sympathetically integrated.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ This rack is a reliable go-to for when you want to add modulation to something, but are not sure what or how. The first three macro controls — Phaser, Flanger, and Chorus — each implement their respective effect, with evocative default parameters that immediately elicit the characteristic flavor of the device type chosen. You can alter the overall vibe with the Tone, Reso, and Wave controls. Add a degree of source-reactivity to the Phaser and Flanger with the Tone Envelope Mod control. Mix and match how much of each of the three effects to blend in with each other.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ A couple of things about Chorus: The C Width macro affects its stereo width. Certain settings can make a chorus device sound more like a flanger and this objective has been intentionally sought out and cross-mapped; by turning up the Flanger control, the Chorus module morphs more towards the audio process of flanging. Thus, combining the Flanger and Chorus knobs together results in the formation of a “Super Flanger” (well deserving of two exclamation marks)!!

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Compressor + Gate = Focus Compressor.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Highly selective compression engine.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ It’s a compressor which allows you to squish down based on very specific frequency content of the material it’s listening to. You can already set a compressor to be frequency-selective using its built-in sidechain EQ, so… what’s the point of this? It’s even more frequency-reactive than ever before. Plus the sidechain focus can be gated, for choosy intentional character response. Want a compressor to ONLY compress when a certain timbre strikes? It’s now more doable than ever. It’s not quite the same as a dynamic EQ or multiband compressor, because it ducks the whole signal whenever it’s triggered. It’s unique, and potentially very helpful. Setup is a breeze, with instant auditioning of the focus frequency and gating isolation behavior. Switch Focus Listen on to isolate and listen to the trigger signal. Adjust the Focus Freq, Reso, and Gate macros to isolate exactly what you want the compressor to be reacting to. Bold Reso values are recommended for a more blatant effect. After honing in on the desired offending frequency, turn Focus Listen back off and adjust Press to increase the amount of potential compression. Select between a Tight or Punchy mode — Tight will curtail peaks more abruptly, for a more controlled sound (optimal for the purpose of controlling wayward level); Punchy will allow transients to breathe and restore release in a less linear manner, for a generally louder, more aggressive sound (possibly more well-suited for enhancing groove & vibe). You will probably want to adjust Press after switching between modes, because they hit differently.

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Delay + Reverb = Spaced Verb.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Reverb Sandwich.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ -> Pre Reflect provides custom enhancement to the reverb’s initial onset, coordinating a tempo-aware pre-reflection along with the reverb’s built-in pre-delay and early reflections parameters. Bigger values sound like there’s more distance between the listener and the nearest reflective surface. Try to set it so that the reverb fluctuates in groove with the beat. Verb is the main parameter to determine how much reverberation diffusion sound is evident. Post Delay -> provides further echoes tailing off, resulting in the feeling of more connected areas branching off from the listening room. Spread increases a sensation of stereo width and Mass alters the apparent size of the sound-generating object and inclusion area, leading to lusher, longer decays (but without messing with the groove timing). Tone provides effortless sculpting and Swirl adds some subtle modulation, helpful for emulating environments that include non-uniformly-shaped and/or non-static surfaces and objects. After dialing in all your values to taste, you may wish to use the Wet Mix knob to blend in some dry signal with the now-diffused effect signal chain.

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Grain Delay + Redux = Grit Delay.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Lo-fi, pitch-shifted, ducked Delay.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ G-Delay Level will bring in the grit delay layer. Delay Decay increases both the decay time and the feedback amount; macro settings of 18 or higher generate tempo-synced echoes, while below that (the “flam” zone) it switches to using raw milliseconds. Crush destroys bits, and at maximum switches to the hard decimation mode. Downgrade simultaneously reduces sample rate and grain size. Pitch transposes the delay repetitions, while Flux adds randomness to the pitch and grains for a more scattered sound. After all of this, there was still something missing… and so an Antigate was incorporated which adds ducking capabilities using an inverted gate. Setting the value carefully according to the material passing through it lets you add breathing space by tastefully dropping out the delay signal during louder moments. This can be especially useful when Crush is bumped heavily which can greatly reduce overall contrast. The more you turn up AntiGate, the more it listens to the pre-redux signal (using built-in parallel sidechaining), helping to retain a musically rhythmic behavior despite any transient obliteration caused by the Redux effects.

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Limiter + Saturator = Loudifier.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Make stuff louder.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ It’s so dumb, it’s brilliant. Slowly turn up Push until things start to sound definitely a little fuzzy. Reduce the Push dial a little (maybe by 5 or 10). Now, turn up Tuffness Mode until at some point suddenly it becomes very obviously too fuzzy. Lower the value by about 20 from there (to back down one mode). Finally, reduce Push another slight touch, just to take the edge off. You should now be left with a tasty degree of loudness at this point, threatening the boundary of what is considered polite.

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Channel EQ + EQ Three + Auto Filters (lo & hi cut) = EQ Nine.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ A robust equalizer encompassing Live Intro’s tonal shaping tools.

‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ This is meant as more of a fully-featured tone-shaper than EQ Seven quite amounts to. Since Live Intro doesn’t have access to EQ Eight, providing the ability to tweak as many frequencies as possible — as easily as possible — in that version of the DAW seemed a worthwhile endeavor. Sixteen macro controls in total are provided, split across two sections. Section B is first, followed by Section A. While as surgical as is manageable, I’d still think of it more as an “analog EQ” than as a “clean parametric digital EQ”, since it’s not flat at default settings and is somewhat quirky.
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Section B includes a clean digital HiCut Filter followed by an instance of EQ Three. Why a HiCut Filter as the very first process? As mentioned in the PerforModule Effects Order Recommendation blog post, removing ultrasonics prior to anything else reduces the likelihood of unpleasant digital aliasing being generated by harmonics-altering effects later in the chain (such as EQ Nine‘s output circuit drive, for example), and so is an advantageous workflow when seeking to generally maintain a pristine sound. Use the Lo-Mid & Hi-Mid Split macros to determine which frequency zones the Variable Lo & Hi Shelves and the Mid B bands will affect. Changing these values will certainly change the phase response and can also alter the frequency contour at certain settings… even without altering band gains! You have more control than EQ Seven here, which is also more unpredictable when randomly sweeping knobs around. The energy of Mid B wholly depends on the frequency settings — with a wide berth between low and high, Mid B acts like a plateau filter, creating a flat boost or cut area between the extremities. Steep Slope?, when turned above halfway, will switch both the HiCut and the EQ Three band splits into doubly strict designations, for more intense frequency separation (and also more phase shift).
‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Section A includes an instance of Channel EQ followed by an output LoCut Filter with analog Circuit Drive enabled. Like with EQ Seven, the nonadjustable bands helpfully name the affected frequencies directly on the macro. The Mid A band is adjustable from 120 to 7.5kHz and can be used to highlight or attenuate a specific target frequency in a tasteful manner. The LoCut Filter being last in the chain allows for cleaning up any DC offset generated by previous processes. There’s also included a Filter Drive macro for saturating the heck out of weak signals that need some extra vitality. Use Lo Circuit/Slope? to alter both how steep the low cut filtering is, as well as the specific analog filter model applied (at maximum also switching on the Channel EQ 80Hz LoCut Filter). Adjusting this can change the sound greatly and afterwards may require further tweaking of LoCut Freq and LoCut Reso.
‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎You can easily swap the serial order of Section A and Section B by drag-and-drop, if for any reason you prefer the LoCut Filtering and Circuit Drive to take place before the HiCut Filter.

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Ableton Live 11 Key Map Guide & Template by PerforModule

The PerforModule Key Map Template for Ableton Live 11: mapping computer keyboard keys to as many potentially helpful functions as practical.

The Template

There are three parts to the template:
•a Live Set pre-loaded with the recommended key mappings,
•a Diagram showing color-coded key functions, and
•a Spreadsheet listing custom-mapped and built-in key mappings, also explaining some quirks.

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Mosey on over to this dropbox folder to download the Key Map Template Live Set, Key Map Plan Diagram, and Spreadsheet Guide. Read on for nauseatingly meticulous details below.

Continue reading

Free Loudness Meter VSTs

“WTF are Loudness Units?” you may ask. Well, they are simply a measure of loudness, just like decibels.
One LU actually is equivalent to one dB. However, an important difference is that Loudness Units are “shaped” according to the human ear’s proclivity to hear certain frequencies more easily than others. Effectively, LUs tend to feel more consistent to our brains than dB will when measuring varying frequency content, and therefore LU meters are preferable to use (compared to, say, RMS meters) for assessing the overall loudness of music.

Below are shown six free LU (aka Loudness Unit) meters, listing features of each. The most important value when matching the loudness of songs is IL (Integrated Loudness), which is the average loudness over the entire course of given time (with very quiet material gated out).

These devices are available as VST effect plugins for any capable VST host (such as Ableton Live, for example).

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HOFA 4U Meter, Fader & MS-Pan
In addition to showing you LU readings, this one also acts as a really nice all-purpose utility for general stereo and level adjustments on any audio track. Its “wider than stereo” panning knobs are super cool!

Stuff It Shows Us
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•L-R Peak or L-R ISP (True Peak).
•LRA (Loudness Range).

Nifty Functions
•Gain controls for Left & Right (or Mid & Side) channels, and for the combined output.
•360 degree Left & Right channel panning controls!
•Left and right channel phase inversion buttons.

_______find HOFA 4U Meter, Fader & MS-Pan here.

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Youlean Loudness Meter
The thing I like a lot about this one is the “loudness over time” display (aka histogram), which allows you to easily visualize which sections of time are louder than others, and by how much. It’s up to 5.1 channels and also has some presets for various media targets, though not as many as the TB plugins do. It has both a free and a paid version. I went ahead and got the paid version after using the free one for a couple of years.

Stuff It Shows Us
•SL (Short-Term Loudness).
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•LRA (Loudness Range).
•Momentary Loudness Max.
•Short-Term Loudness Max.
•ISP (True Peak Max).

_______find Youlean Loudness Meter here.

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MLoudnessAnalyzer
I like how you can customize the display of this one to show you exactly what you want, and nothing else. I use it during audio finalization to precisely monitor loudness as well as L-R peak levels for final output.

Stuff It Shows Us
•L-R Peak.
•L-R ISP (True Peak).
•ML Momentary Loudness.
•SL (Short-Term Loudness).
•Short Term Loudness Max.
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•LRA (Loudness Range).
•PLR (Peak-to-Loudness Ratio).
•Crest.

_______find MLoudnessAnalyzer here.

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TB EBU Loudness
This one has tons of presets for various loudness targets for worldwide media delivery. That and its surround sound channel capability might make it a respectable choice for someone working on audio for film.

Stuff It Shows Us
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•IL Gate State.
•LRA (Loudness Range).
•ISP (True Peak).
•PLR (Peak-to-Loudness Ratio).
•Integration Time (free, or synced to playback).
•VU, VU+Peak Hold, or SL (Short Term Loudness) 30 seconds to 60 minutes.
_______find TB EBU Loudness here (scroll down to unfold the legacy v3 plugins link).

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dpMeter5
This one is a bit customizable. It’s made by ToneBoosters and like TB EBU Loudness can run up to 5.1 channels and has various target presets, but with more types of readings, such as RMS and Dialog.

Stuff It Shows Us
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•SL (Short-Term Loudness).
•Short-Term Loudness Max.
•ML (Momentary Loudness).
•Momentary Loudness Max.
•ISP (True Peak Max).
•LRA (Loudness Range).
•ISP (True Peak).
•RMS Integrated.
•RMS Momentary.
•RMS Momentary Max.
•Peak Max.
•Crest.
•ILD (Integrated Loudness Dialog).
•LRA (Loudness Range Dialog).
•Dialog Percentage.

_______find dpMeter here.

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Audiocation AC-R128
This one is pretty darn basic and straightforward.

Stuff It Shows Us
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•SL (Short-Term Loudness).
•ML (Momentary Loudness).
•Momentary Loudness Max.
•Integration Time.

_______find Audiocation AC-R128 here.

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Two *not free* plugins that I own which show LU readings are the HOFA IQ Analyzer (probably the one plugin I use more than any other, for its before-after spectral energy analysis capability) and the SPL Hawkeye (which I don’t actually use very much).

That’s all for today. Peace!

Dither Presets for Metal

(intro)

It’s a set of free presets for Dither, optimized for the Metal genre.

They were made for the mastering of the upcoming metal album, Lust & Insecurity by Animus Invidious.

Noise-shaping dither algorithms are theoretically optimized to “bury” the noise in the frequencies you hear least, while avoiding so much in the preeminent tonalities (in this case, distorted electric guitars focused around 2.5kHz).

Download

You can DOWNLOAD HERE and open the .fxp presets using your DAW of choice. If you happen to use Ableton Live 11, you can additionally access the .adg Racks which allow for more easy snapping-to or fine-tuning of the intensity value.

⚠️ You are also going to need to grab the free TB_Dither_v3 VST2 plugin if you don’t have it already, which has been graciously set free amongst a slew of other awesome legacy TB plugins.

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Live 11 Updates for PerforModule Packs.

[Almost] all of the PerforModule sale packs (and some of the freebie packs) have been updated for Ableton Live 11 (finally)!

Primarily, this means that racks which had less than eight mapped macros (resulting in some blank controls) have been tidied up to make use of Live 11’s ability to customize the number of macros shown.

Occasional effect racks have also had some macro variations (aka presets) added to them.

Live 11 versions of MasterBuss Cassette Tape and MasterBuss Vinyl Record from the Bussification pack.

The following PerforModule packs have all been updated for Live 11. If you own any of the sale packs, you can download the updated versions from your account at Isotonik Studios, either now or at any later date when you acquire Live 11.

Everyone is welcome to grab the free packs!

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FREE PACKS UPDATED FOR LIVE 11
Emphasizers
ParallAux
Sweetie Pies
Turboencabulation
Utilification

SALE PACKS UPDATED FOR LIVE 11
Advanced Splytterz
Amplitude Operands
Bussification
Dephaultz
Drum Enhancerz
DynaMixing Ultimate
Empathy
Guitaritis
Harmonicality
Note Range Setters
One Knob Wonders
PMX FX
Testful Mastering
Uno Plus

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New Free Pack for Live 11: “𝓢𝓾𝓹𝓮𝓻 𝓐𝔀𝓮𝓼𝓸𝓶𝓮 𝓕𝓧”

This pack includes the bespoke Effect Racks from the 𝓢𝓾𝓹𝓮𝓻 𝓐𝔀𝓮𝓼𝓸𝓶𝓮 𝓢𝓸𝓾𝓷𝓭𝓼 retro keyboard instrument pack for Ableton Live i released in collaboration with Brian Funk (but not the instruments), updated for Live 11.

As usual, care is taken to map parameter values cleverly and gainstage things sensibly so that these racks are highly usable in many situations. I also tried to come up with unique signal processing chains leading to interesting results, like 𝓓𝓻𝓾𝓷𝓴 𝓕𝓻𝓲𝓮𝓷𝓭𝓼 sounding like your inebriated companions trying to sing along with you very badly — or like 𝓣𝓱𝓻𝓪𝓼𝓱𝓮𝓻 giving a one-knob guitar distortion that scales from subtle overdrive to brutal metal fuzz — or like 𝓡𝓲𝓷𝓰𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓔𝓪𝓻𝓼  emulating… your ears ringing (perhaps to be used for film sound design) — or like 𝓢𝓱𝓮𝓹𝓫𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓡𝓲𝓼𝓮𝓻 performing the auditory illusion of constantly increasing pitch.

(example device info)

Remember that you can hover your mouse over device headers and macro controls to learn about what they do.
Don’t fly blind! Or say screw it and go crazy with the random button. I’m not your parental unit.

^click to grab 𝓢𝓾𝓹𝓮𝓻 𝓐𝔀𝓮𝓼𝓸𝓶𝓮 𝓕𝓧 for free^
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Ten More Youtube Channels Worth Subscribing To

Aaron Holstein

I met Aaron Holstein (aka VibeSquaD aka Backpact aka the bassist/keyboardist from Zilla) at the 2007 Sonic Bloom festival in Colorado, where my wife Lore and i were supplying coffee and tea backstage for the artists. I remember chatting with them after their awesome set with Sporque (one of my favorite live acts to dance to ever which also had Ooah from the Glitch Mob on beats and Jamie Janover on percussion), wherein i mentioned noticing that a certain bass synth note they kept hitting happened to resonate with the stage, causing this extra delicious rattle. “It was a C sharp!” Aaron told me later backstage. I’ll always remember that.

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Parallel-Friendly Native FX Racks for Live 10+: “ParallAux”

Which Effects Work Best In Parallel?

So one day i got it in my head to figure out which of Ableton Live’s Effects are the best to use in parallel.

What is the criteria for this? Simply, which processes alter the phase of audio passing through them, either to the least degree, or in a nicely summable way.

Why does this matter? Because phase offsets, when summed in parallel with the original signal, will inevitably cause changes to the frequency contour. Sometimes slight amounts of this phase offset can add a nice creamy touch to the sound of things (and pretty much all analog gear causes it to some degree), but when being surgically technical like during the finalizing stages of a track, they are generally just not helpful.

An example of not altering phase at all is Live’s Compressor effect which is phase-neutral; it can be used safely in parallel with no unwanted frequency coloration whatsoever.

An example of altering the phase in a “nicely summable” way is Live’s Reverb. Technically, it’s altering the phase a whole bunch, but it’s doing so in a time-smeared fashion which results in far less likelihood of perfectly-lined-up frequency cancellations, and so, when at 100% wet, reverbs can be just fine to use in parallel, and are often preferred this way.

After carefully checking the phase response of all of Ableton Live Ten’s native Audio Effects, i came up with five distinct racks providing combinations of the most parallel-friendly native effects, optimized for specific purposes with maximal versatility of application.

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>DOWNLOAD PARALLAUX via Isotonik Studios<

FREE! Requires Ableton Live 10 Suite +

>Download ParallAux PDF Manual<

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PerforModule Recommends: Effects Order

While we all know that there is no such thing as a perfect or ideal FX chain order for all situations because it totally depends on context, i have eventually developed some general preferences for the order of effects in a signal chain. Recently updating all my templates for Live 11 has further honed my thoughts on the situation.

We can of course swap around the sequential ordering of effect devices, either for a specific intended result or as a matter of experimentation just to see if an alternate routing happens to sound better on given audio.

As usual when sharing my ideas, it is recommended that you not simply adopt the structure as presented, but rather that you test it out in practice and modify things over time to suit your particular style, keeping notes and updating your own templates as you go. Maybe you think the way i place transient shapers before compressors is idiotic. That’s totally fine!

I’ll share below my go-to effects order, and (most importantly)… WHY.
While some of the choices are probably pretty unorthodox, none of them are arbitrary; they all have reasons. Are they bad reasons? Good reasons? Who knows. But i like to think they are built on logical rationale.

Keep in mind you’re seldom if ever going to need all these types of effects on any single track, but for times when you are using even two different processor types, some guidance as to their ordering might prove useful. Resist the urge to add more effects to a chain just because you can. The fewer processors required to get a sound how you want, usually the better.

Scroll to the bottom for a handy cheat-sheet!

~`~

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Free M30 Reverb IRs

THE LEGACY of the M30

Here’s a bunch of Reverb IRs for you, sampled from the unobtainable TC M30 Plugin.
I believe that plugin was one of the very first VSTs i ever grabbed after i started getting into Ableton Live. I remember it being some sort of time-limited temporary free offer. After years of not thinking about it, i recently realized i still had a working 32-bit copy of the plugin, and so took some IR snapshots of it, because why not.


>>> DOWNLOAD M30 IRs <<<

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