I was super stoked to be a guest on the AfroDJMac Music Production Podcast. 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.
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 parasite 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.
Requirements: Ableton Live Suite, version 9.7+
File Size: 6.36MB (10.4MB unpacked)
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.
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.
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!
As you may have noticed, i have random ideas all the time. It’s just a matter of finding the physical time to implement them. One idea i had which didn’t take super long to implement was to make effects based on the “Special Zone“ (aka “Special World”, “Star World”) levels from Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo. I grew up playing and loving NES and SNES and so get all predictably nostalgic over such things, as many people in my age range tend to (thus the almost-nauseating overpopularity of 8-bit retro throwback stuff currently).
I tossed the idea of effects based on the “special zone” levels at AfroDJMac to see what he thought, knowing that he’s somewhat into retro video game stuff too.
One thing led to another and another and… well, just that one thing, actually. It was pretty straightforward.
So now you have The Special Zone Pack for Ableton Live. <- Click that to go to AfroDJmac’s site to read about / grab.
Super, super huge thanks to AfroDJMac for hosting this pack! If you browse around his site, you will find a near-limitless supply of amazing, weird goodies.
SO my friend mobdividual lent me a couple of microcassette players in order to import an old microcassette tape i found. It turns out the cassette was the very same used to record samples on this classic record. Neato!
BUT THEN i decided to also record the sound made when the tape player was playing a blank tape through the larger tape transcriber. It’s a nice, warm, rich, subtle hiss and hum. By varying the tone and speed controls in a methodical, timed manner, and crafting a sampler rack to play slices according to their timbre, you have a variable instrument you can use to recreate a range of tonalities. For extra swag, you could, for example, match the root note of the hum (by ear) to the key of your song.
I also created an instrument which plays in-pitch with whatever MIDI note you play, allowing for tape noise which follows a melody, hybridizing past/analog and future/digital techniques.
Lastly, there is a “stop clicker” percussion rack which can be used for nice analog clicking noises when you need them.
These instruments are available absolutely for free via Subaqueous, who also makes a vast assortment of mysterious and useful Ableton Live tools, from MIDI tools for compositional purposes to crafty effects and exotic instruments, as well as some deliciously tasty music.
A new free Live pack is available at Subdivizion.
It includes a handful of midi racks which are specifically designed for use before drum racks in Ableton Live.
Especially fun stuff for live performance if you like to play drum racks with a midi pad controller.
Also very useful for hastening studio production workflow.
Click the image below to learn all the details of the specific devices and to grab the pack.
Many thanks to Subdivizion for hosting. Enjoy!
p.s. don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to receive email updates when new items come out. We try to keep posts to Ableton pack related stuff & very special news only. Also don’t forget to subscribe to the isotonik studios newsletter to get even more exclusive free performodule packs.