What is this mysterious “colouration” that ableton’s EQ Three has with “flat” mode disabled (also the default mode for versions 8 and older) which we hear so much about?
Why does it have a reputation for sounding “bad”?
Analysis provides the answers we seek.
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!
A deluxe suite including combo amp racks making the utmost of Live’s built-in Amp and Cabinet devices, “Stomper” effects designed like guitar pedals and guitar Chord presets.
Stuff it comes with…
Combamps a whole bunch (30) of combo amps which are crafted to optimize Ableton Live’s built-in Amp & Cabinet devices to their utmost. These racks make it much easier to dial in your sound (combination of preamp drive, tone, envelope settings, biasing, and gain structure) without having to constantly adjust the output level to match as well. They also optimize your timbre selection options by providing many “dual” and even three “triple” racks, which combine and balance the tone of multiple amps. In testing, these multi-combamps have been much-appreciated for an expanded range of unique amp flavors, as you now basically have 30 unique amp models, instead of 6. All combamps have been gain-staged at multiple points in the signal chain using both Peak and LU matching with both “Strat”and “Les Paul” styles, as well as bass electric guitars. The dual & triple combamps are gainstaged with a system resulting in relatively balanced levels at all gain settings when using wide panning (so that one amp is not way louder on one side than the other one). Since every guitar has its own tone & envelope character, these values are guaranteed to be imperfect, but it should result in you only needing to make miniscule volume adjustments to fine-tune your ultimate sound.
Post Amp Compressor a simple compressor with settings calibrated ideally for taming an amp output’s transients.
Guitar Chords 35 presets for Chord based on actual human guitar fingerings.
Stompers 18 racks set up like guitar pedals, designed for use with a Combamp akin to a physical guitar routing setup. If you have a midi foot controller you can use them exactly as such. Includes…
A robust collection of groove files which implement rhythmic “chop” effects in quarter, eighth, and sixteenth-note patterns.
Stuff it comes with…
Chopper Grooves 302 of them! Drop a Chopper Groove onto an audio OR a MIDI part, make sure your global groove amount is up, and hear it do its thing. Drop different Chopper Grooves onto different tracks… then when you turn global groove amount up… they all start chopping in their own way.
Audio effect and MIDI racks designed for enhancing and manipulating harmonics by various methods.
Stuff it comes with…
Harmonic Colorizer enhance harmonics using various different methods. By using different amounts of each knob, you can set up your own unique boost texture to help a part stand out against its various song elements, or use it to subliminally add a particular color to a submix or mix.
Overtone EQ (3 versions) EQ racks set up to select a target frequency, and then manipulate the harmonics based on that frequency. The Even & Odd version allows separate control of even & odd harmonics. The Even vs Odd will boost Even or Odd and attenuate the other (useful for hearing the difference between those types of harmonics). The Sculptor version is useful for manipulating each harmonic interval individually.
Undertone EQ (3 versions) just like the Overtone EQs, but these manipulate lower harmonics instead (not as common of an operation). They include the same 3 versions.
Harmonic Chord Presets these will add in MIDI notes based on harmonic intervals. Simple, but useful. Includes 2nd through 4th harmonics which each add only 1 note and also Coarse, Perfect, and Undertone versions which each add multiple harmonics.
Harmonics Extender (3 versions) MIDI racks which can be used to set (& automate) the amount of added harmonics. Includes Coarse, Perfect, and Undertone versions.
Utility presets allowing to divide or multiply level according to Sound Pressure Level, Acoustic Intensity Energy, and Perceived Loudness Sensation.
Stuff it comes with…
Sound Intensity by Energy (Utility Presets)
Sound Loudness by Sensation (Utility Presets)
Sound Pressure by Voltage (Utility Presets)
divide or multipy audio level by either “SPL”, “SIL”, or “Volume”. This is technical stuff. Check out http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-soundlevel.htm for more info. Basically…
-use SPL (voltage) division when you want to sum parts perfectly (i.e. 5 copies of something each divided by 5 SPL and recombined will equal the exact level of the original)
–use SIL (energy) for acoustic energy calculations. Like, let’s say you’ve got a really small sound, like a pin drop. Multiply it by 100 SIL to estimate the level provided by 100 pins dropping at the same time.
–use Volume (loudness) for the human perception of level.
So, to make something seem twice as loud, subjectively, multiply it by 2 Volume.
There are also included some racks to choose/automate which multiplier/divisor to use:
Note Range Setters
An assortment of midi racks, primarily for composers, which filter incoming notes according to standard instrument & vocal ranges, plus tools for making custom note ranges.
Stuff it comes with…
Note Range Setter (Absolute) define a playing range by setting the lowest and highest allowable notes
Note Range Setter (Relative) define a playing range according to distance from a root note
Note Range Blocker (Relative) set a sub-range of notes to block from being played within a range
Includes individual MIDI racks for a vast range of classical and folk instruments, as well as standard vocal ranges:
Brass 36 instrument ranges
Exotic 2 instrument ranges
Guitar & Plucked 58 instrument ranges
Mallets 8 instrument ranges
Percussive 5 instrument ranges
Piano & Keys 14 instrument ranges
Strings 15 instrument ranges
Voices 35 vocal ranges
Winds 88 instrument ranges
Simply set a note range before a MIDI instrument to allow it to only play notes within that range.
Two new premium packs for Ableton Live have been released, after extensive testing periods.
These are some of the most robust and practical stuff we’ve created yet!
All Premium PerforModule packs are self-installing, meaning that you simply drag them into Live and all the devices will now be in your library, categorized.
“One Knob Wonders”
Includes 64 different single-knob effects, each designed for a specific purpose.
They range from highly practical mixing tools to wacky, nifty performance tricks.
<- Click the link for more details.
Here’s a highlight of some my favorites from the set…
–Noisify: adds source-reactive noise and degrades signal
–FonePhilter: retro telephone tone with signal overdrive
–DownFilter Dirty: performance sweep utilizing Live’s new analog filter functionality
–GrainPitch Up: crude realtime pitch shifter
–Pianosator: “piano reverb” of chromatic resonances
–BassCream: velvety bass guitar process based on a classic pro studio workflow
–Shredder: scorching tone for hard rock/heavy metal lead guitar, easy-peasy
–Characterizer: adds mid-range richness and warmth
–De-Essify: de-esser which works like magic
–JuiceSnapper: aux buss finalizer / transient enhancer
–SuperUltraMega: Makes. Stuff. Louder.
–Chube: chorus to sound like going through a metal tube
–Breepitate: glitchy fun
–BrownLoop: loop and shift a clip down to half speed
–SeaShore: transform any audio into a pleasing surf wave
–PongFreez: more glitchy fun
–TapeFlange: emulates splitting the feed into an extra tape machine
Want a taste test? Click here to grab “DownFilter Dirty” from One Knob Wonders right now for free!
(The free effect posted here will be changing periodically)
Includes template racks used for splitting up any audio source into multiple chains by various methods.
<- Click the link for more details.
Useful for when you want to do things like
-apply different effects to different frequency ranges
-apply different effects to the left and right sides of a stereo file
-apply effects to just the mid or side channels for super easy m/s processing
-different effects chains which alternate based on a time interval
-effects applied separately to above and below a transient threshold
It also includes three “tri” devices pre-loaded with effects and a “behind the back panner” for an interesting phase-shift panning technique.
Telling you about the “Drum Enhancerz” Ableton Live pack by PerforModule.
<- Access the sale page by clicking on the drum head.
It includes racks which are calibrated for sculpting of specific drum elements. Included are…
Each rack includes 8 macro controls for sculpting your drum sounds with ease.
A few of the capabilities are…
-plush control for smooth cymbals
-smack control to add top attack to kicks
-smash: go-to overhead compression
-pitch-matched resonance for boomy toms
NEW free pack available via AfroDJMac: Vinyl Snackler
“Instrument with 128 Unique Analog Vinyl Noise Loop Samples.”
This is a sampler instrument which is designed to play a loop of background vinyl noise which you can select from 128 unique samples, each with their own character. Some of the samples are primarily background hiss, but some also have pops, clicks, and other artifacts which can be useful as percussion elements. Big thanks to the one and only AfroDJMac for hosting this device.
(It’s free! Go grab it!!)
PS…. if you are not already a member of the ADM Music Production Club, then you are missing out on a crazy-affordable source of insanely cool, high-quality, monthly awesome stuff delivered to your face. If you are interested in steadily building up your ableton library full of production and performance assets to be able to more quickly dive in to making your own bizarre unique sounds and developing your own twisted techniques, this is one of the most practical possible methods you can consider, especially if you’re a fan of the more odd and innovative side of things (which, if you’re reading this here now, i’m guessing you probably are).
Now unveiling “Planetary Convolution” – a pack of Reverb Impulse Responses, each based on a planet (including dwarf planets!) in our Solar System.
They were created using different custom settings of Ableton’s built-in Reverb Algorithm, re-sculpted into Impulse Responses, and then further enhanced.
Each is presented as a “Convolution Reverb Pro” preset for Ableton Live 9 (+MaxForLive) with individual IRs, tone control parameters and a special 1-knob extra effect each.
Using Ableton Live, the presets will open with their corresponding impulse files automatically.
Non-Ableton users can use the IRs too… just open them with your favorite Convolution plugin (though you won’t have access to to the custom EQ shaping parameters and bonus FX, sorry).
Now for an overview of the Impulse Responses that come with “Planetary Convolution”.
Has a sizzling, bright tone, like you’re getting fried by the sun.
Xtra FX: “Liquid” – adds a creamy movement; molten.
Sandy-sounding with a smooth high end.
Xtra FX: “Scorch” – adds a subtle fuzz which is affected by the tone control. Also has an enhanced “Thick Chorus” control.
Our good ol’ home planet, you know? This has a medium room sound, good for hip hop drums. The overall tone is (you guessed it) earthy.
Xtra FX: “Gravel” – this adds a nice gritty, chalky color to the reverb.
This reverb has a punchy, forthright quality. It is well-suited for march-style drum patterns, brass, or other high-energy instruments.
Xtra FX: “Anger” – dials in some burning bite to the sound.
This reverb has a ridiculously long and smooth tail (25.6 seconds to be precise). Use this for extreme spaciousness and super fade-outs.
Xtra FX: “Storm Swirl” – adds movement to the sound as you get carried along the current.
Very large and with a resonant, ringy quality.
Xtra FX: “Rings Twirl” – take a trip along the concentric circles.
Has a billowy texture, as if enveloped in thick fog.
Xtra FX: “Vapor” – adds a smoky layer of reverbish decay.
Has an icy, chilly spaciousness.
Xtra FX: “Frost” – dial in some crystalline crunch.
Very small, very cold. Just listening to it will drop your body temperature by a few degrees.
Xtra FX: “Interior” – fade into the interior cavity of the sphere. It must be hollow?
A lesser-known dwarf planet, Eris is known as the Goddess of Chaos, having a bizarre orbit.
It has a short, foreboding sound, like the feeling of someone watching over your shoulder.
Xtra FX: “Dirt” – adds a muted, broken darkness.
Booth Type (very small)
Room Type (small)
Hall Type (large)
Epic Type (vast)
Ableton Racks Macro Controls_
Dry/Wet: Convolution Reverbs tend to be quite lush, and often are audible at even 1% wet. These start at 23% as a default starting position — make sure to adjust this carefully to not over-apply reverb.
Tone: Starts in the middle by default. Each planetary reverb has its own unique band-interactive filtration which will occur upon moving the “Tone” control up or down. If you have the EQ pane open you will see the visualizer of the audio input spectrum and the EQ curves. After adjusting with the “Tone” dial, you can grab any of the 3 individual EQ nodes and adjust them by hand to fine-tune (they are not locked to the macro). However, once you move the tone knob again, that planet’s custom filter curve will take over again.
Distance: This begins at the default (normal) setting. Turning it down will make the object sound closer; turning it up will make it sound further away. Use this to alter the spatial depth of elements in a mix.
______ (Special Effect): This Macro is named differently for each planet, and has a different sonic effect on each.
Predelay: The time before the reverb first begins. Can be useful for preserving your original transients or adding a stuttered rhythmic feel.
Chorus: Adds a subtle creamy stereo movement. The planet Venus has a more extreme “Thick Chorus”.
Stereo Width: Lower settings place the reverb at the middle of the stereo field; greater settings lead to more spread, up until the maximum possible.
Also: Using controls on the Convolution Pro device (which aren’t mappable to the audio effect rack), one is able to lengthen or shorten the decay, shorten or lengthen the size, combine 2 different planet IRs attack and decay sections, alter the shape of the early reflections and length, cause “cascade” overlapping of decay curve, implement reverb fade-in or fade-out, adjust the Damping Curve (basically the EQ for the decay), or even flip into a reverse reverb.
-“Planetary Convolution” self-installing Ableton Live Pack. Simply drag the .alp file into Live to install it, and the presets will show up in the “Room” and “Hall” folders under “Places”. BAM. That easy.
-“Planetary Convolution” set of .aif Stereo Impulse Responses (L + R files). These are for anyone who doesn’t have Live.
Provided as a single zip file to download. Once unzipped:
If using Ableton Live: use “Planetary Convolution by PerforModule.alp”
If using another DAW: use “Planetary Impulse Responses” zip file. Unzip it and find the aif IR files inside for usage in your Convolution plugin of choice.
ps. On the topic of celestial bodies, check out the “moon reverb” ableton preset which comes with “PerforModule – Dephaultz”.