New Brian Funk Pack: ADM CHIP

OLD NEW IDENTITY
In case you haven’t heard the news, Brian Funk is no longer going by the name AfroDJMac. You can hear his thoughts on the evolution to this “new” identity at his podcast episode here.

MONIKERS CAN BE AWKWARD
I recall, when i appeared on his podcast for episode 13, joking briefly about the awkwardness of monikers. So from my perspective, this shift has been a long time coming and is totally sensible. HOWEVER…. at the time it happened we were smack dab in the middle of the process of releasing a series of ADM packs, epic agglomerations of his instruments, collected into organized, self-installing, themed ableton live packs, ideal for satiating completionists who desire to access to the catalog of devices in the easiest manner possible.

TYING UP LOOSE STRINGS
“ADM”, of course, stands for AfroDJMac. So what to do? It seemed a bit odd to continue to release products through Isotonik Studios as the now defunct vendor name when he was no longer going to go by that title. So, what we’ve done is kept the name for the packs as ADM— which is appropriate, as they were crafted by AfroDJMac, during the ADM era. But the developer name has been upgraded to Brian Funk, and we collectively decided to pitch the series as “the last hurrah of the AfroDJMac era”, aka “a tying up of loose strings to move on to fresh new things, shedding the baggage of the past.” Or something along those lines.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Brian is not ceasing in his audio production and Ableton Live pack releases; if anything, he’s ramped them up. But now, he is no longer held back by the stigmas and limitations of the expectations wrought by being bound to an artist name that evokes a particular sensibility. In case you haven’t noticed, he’s also been knocking out super dope music production podcast episodes at a prodigious rate.

PACKAGED PERFECTIONISM
The ADM series of packs is ridiculously exhaustive, including EVERY SINGLE instrument released by Brian spanning from the very start of his release history up until a given point in time (other than those included in collaborative packs he’s done with other developers, and some freebies). I know this because i’m the one who did the curation, assembling, organizing, verifying, and gain-staging the instruments for absolute accessibility and consistency. Even if you already own most of the packs that have been released by him directly, supplementing your arsenal with the Isotonik Studios ADM packs adds massive value by providing access to the instruments directly from the SOUNDS folder of your Ableton Live browser, no file management whatsoever to worry about on your part.

The complete series will include ten packs total. The latest has just dropped: ADM CHIP.

BLEEP BLEEP BLOOP
Do you love 8-bit, retro videogame style sounds? Do you want to craft your own retro video game music, or layer those sorts of sounds into modern production? Then this is THE pack for you.

Pingdemonium

So i found myself slightly annoyed that Ableton Live’s Ping Pong Delay effect always starts the first echo repeat on the left side. Sure, you could flip the stereo field after applying it to reverse the direction—but that also reverses the stereo field of the source audio. What if i want the source audio to stay the same, but have the echo repeats reverse direction?

Well now, it’s easy..

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Using LR Effects as MS (+ free Encoding/Decoding racks)

For this tutorial we’re going to posit an example scenario: a way to achieve the common practice of narrowing the bass content of a stereo track by scooping out the S channel’s low end—but this time, using analog gear instead of plugins. But what if we don’t have any M/S gear? Not to worry.

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Before & After Analysis = Awesome

We could all use less “hmm, i wonder what this is doing exactly?” and more “aha, i understand exactly what that is doing!” moments in our lives, am i right?

Well, perhaps you have everything sorted out with absolutely perfect mental clarity at all times… but nobody that i know of does. The built-in perceptual capabilities of human bodies have limitations. Consequently, methods we can use to uncover and keep track of finer layers of detail to our perceptual input than normally possible can be quite useful for stepping outside our our usual—highly subjective and somewhat amorphous—human frame of reference.

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Skip Plugin Scan to Load Ableton Live Faster

This is just a quick, simple tip.

If it takes forever to scan plugins every time you open Live (due to certain poorly-coded plugins taking longer than others and bottlenecking the process), you can set it up to skip plugin scan. Keep in mind that if you do this, you’ll want to perform a manual scan (from preferences) any time you install or update any new VST plugins.

How to do it?
Add “-NoVstStartupScan” to your options.txt file

But how to do that?
To familiarize yourself with Ableton’s options.txt, i will point you towards sonicbloom.net’s awesome article and series of videos on the topic.

That’s it! Live will no longer do a scan every time it opens.

Ever since i applied this option, the stupidly vast size of my plugin collection doesn’t adversely affect my workflow. Live startup time is way snappier. When i occasionally buy or grab a free plugin, i just run a scan after installing it. Every once in a while you might have to do a “deep” scan (hold alt while clicking the scan button) if something doesn’t show up when it’s supposed to.

Note that from Live 10.1 onward, the plugin rescan button is located in the new dedicated plug-ins tab in Live’s preferences, rather than under file/folder, as previously.

Hopefully this nifty tip is inapplicable to you, as that means your plugin scan is not bloated. However, for those of you that are having issues with slow startup of Ableton Live (or in case it eventually becomes an issue) this may be a viable solution.

Over 420 free effect racks for free VST plugins… WHAT

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 in the future. FreeVST racks here will be updated occasionally 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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