One Knob Wonders 1.2 Update

The PerforModule Audio Effects Pack for Ableton Live, One Knob Wonders, has been given a long-overdue update.

Better Gainstaging

Containing some of my oldest-crafted devices which i used a lot when actively DJing from around 2010 to 2014, it’s well past time to freshen up the pack. I have edited them to have more stable gain unity at various settings and implemented the prevention of occasional obscene overs with various methods of limiting, clipping, et cetera (as appropriate by taste for each device).

Live 11 Version Available

There are now versions of the pack for both Live 10 and Live 11.

Audio- and control-wise, all the racks are identical; however, the Live 11 version makes use of the new capability to have any number of macros shown, so the racks now satisfyingly only show a single macro. Ah, nice.
If you have Live 10 Suite now but plan to upgrade to Live 11 later, you can upgrade your pack install at that point too, no prob.

New Racks!

Additionally, i’ve crafted six brand new Audio Effect Racks to spruce up the collection, bringing the total up to 70.
They include:

okw DownFilter Shift
One-Knob performance filter which starts dry high and sweeps downward, coupled with pitch, formant, and frequency-shifting.

okw UpFilter Shift
One-Knob performance filter which starts dry low and sweeps upward, coupled with pitch, formant, and frequency-shifting.

okw Grain Comber
Deliberate implementation of comb filtering for characteristic effect.

okw Splat
Swats your audio like a fly, crushing the poor thing and smearing the remains.

okw Cave Drip Echo
Venture into creepy caverns!

okw Dumbper
Get that “Fake Four on the Floor Sidechain Pump” thing goin’ on.

~`~

You can get One Knob Wonders at Isotonik Studios HERE for £31.66 (approx $50 USD).
Your support is highly appreciated!!

Peace☮




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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New series of $1 Racks for Ableton Live 11: “Zinglez”

𝒁𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒆𝒛 is a new series of individual one-dollar racks for Ableton Live 11 by PerforModule.

1 Rack = $1.


Simple and straightforward.
Just grab what the ones that entice you the most.
Ignore everything else!

Read about them below.

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New PerforModule Pack: “Empathy”

EMPATHY is a pack for Ableton Live 10+ Suite containing a handful of high-end effect racks designed to consistently improve a wide possible range of audio sources passing through them. Each rack is suited to a particular purpose, with easy-to-dial-in controls. Together they provide a robust toolkit for general mixing and mastering.

Contains:

Ultimatum: “The ultimate” audio effect rack designed by PerforModule, it’s a 10-step algorithm to magically improve both the tone and dynamics of any audio source in realtime.

The One’: One-stop shop for suave, go-to tonal adjustment of tracks in a mix, with low & high cut focus, “light shine” focus, surgical slice, l-r twist, and M vs S intensity.

Auditory Miximizer: The PerforModule twist on the infamous sonic maximizer, with tastefully optimized frequency contours and dynamic reactivity. Comes in 3 versions: stereo, L-R, and M-S.

Dilation Warder: Combination gate and expander for when you want to increase the dynamic range, tighten things up, emphasize punch, and add more of a percussive staccato feel.

~`~

Skip to the bottom of this post to check out a video overview of the Empathy by Brian Funk, or read on for a more detailed overview of each the included devices and what makes them special.

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Freebie: “Golden” Multiband Presets

   Multiband Dynamics Processors. Such Beasts. So Much Power. So Easy to Abuse.

   During experimentation for a different purpose (making the “ultimate audio effect”… stay tuned), i got carried away and made “Golden” presets for a bunch of Multiband Dynamics plugins.

So what are Golden Multiband presets?
   I’m glad you asked. The basic idea is to sculpt an audio source to be less like white noise and more like golden pink noise. So what is golden pink noise? A modification of pink noise that is colored by the “goldilocks curve”.

   For most of the “Multiband Dynamics” type processors i own (see brief reviews of many of them in this recent post) i’ve crafted a “Golden” preset.

   Since most music follows more of a pink noise curve than a white noise curve to begin with, applying the full effect is far more likely to have a “warming, thickening” effect than a “brightening” effect, though it does depend on the particular source and plugin.

   However, you’ll notice that if you compare a golden multiband preset applied to an audio part — as compared to a similar, static EQ curve, that they feel less “murky” than they do “bulky”. The Pinker rack is included in the “Xtras” folder to test this concept with quick A/B tests.

   For evenly balanced to bright mixes, a golden dynamic preset can be perfect to smooth things out and add a dash of debonair; for mixes that are already leaning on the darker side, they can still be helpful for adding in a grounding touch of solidity— but in these cases should usually be used to a more subtle degree.

   I’ve fashioned such “Golden” presets for the following plugins:

~TB Broadcast*
~Brainworx bx_dynEQ V2
~Brainworx bx_XL V2
~ProAudioDSP DSM V3
~HOFA Dynamic Tilt
~Waves F6
~GVST GMulti*
~VoS Limiter6*
~VoS Nova67P*
~TDR Limiter6 GE
~
Ableton Multiband Dynamics
~TDR Nova*
~TDR Nova GE
~Xfer OTT*
~Klevgrand Pressit
~Newfangled Punctuate
~IK Quad-Comp
~Sonic Anomaly Quadracom
~Reaper ReaFir*
~Reaper ReaXcomp*
~W.A. The King
~Max for Cats TriComp
~Acoustica VioletCM
~Freeverb3 WindCompressor*
~Beatassist X-Press*

   Since each plugin has different functionality, the exact curvature varies between them (which gives them individual character). Some, for example, have no low- or high-cut capabilities and so retain more of those frequencies. The dynamic behavior of each also differs, so they may affect various material dissimilarly (especially the ones that have upward in addition to downward compression!).  What all the presets share in common, however, is a basic sculpting which is more likely to help than hinder your overall tone for consistent playback on different speaker types. The more you use them, the more you’ll get a feel for the unique quirks of each.

~`~

DOWNLOAD THE “GOLDEN DYNAMICS” PRESETS HERE
golden dynamics

   Provided both as Audio Effect Racks for Ableton Live 10+ (.adg) and as vst presets (.fxp for VST2 or .vstpreset for VST3), organized in folders by type.
   They load the same presets, but the Ableton racks are also hard-wired with some useful macro mappings for quick knob twisting of the most relevant parameters.

   You can either grab the zip file with everything in it, or you can only grab the specific presets for the plugins you own. I would probably recommend that latter strategy. There is also a pdf user manual which includes links to all the plugin vendors.

   When both VST2 and VST3 versions of a particular plugin are available, i’ll provide both .fxp and .vstpreset extension types, and the Live rack will load with the VST3 version, with sensible macros mapped for easy access. When no VST3 version is available, the rack will load the VST2 version instead.

USE WITH ANY DAW
   You should be able to use the .fxp and .vstpreset files with any DAW, as long as you have the given plugin installed.

Nifty Tip: I just recently realized that .vstpreset files can be dragged directly into a track in Ableton Live to load a plugin, just like any Live rack, which is super cool.

CAVEATS:

Designed for busses or the master channel more than for single tracks:
   Since the goldilocks curve upon which golden pink noise is based was formulated based on analysis of complete songs, these “golden” dynamic presets are not always appropriate for application on individual parts, suited more for groups or the master channel. But if you’re having problems with a certain track in a mix, one of them just might be the ticket.

Based on Flat as a Starting Point:
   If your mix is basically following a pink noise curve or leaning towards white noise (flat), golden dynamics presets tend to work pretty well at tasteful overall tone shaping. If your mix is already on the dark side with the top quite rolled off, however, they might make it too dark, in which case you may want to apply less of the effect, or add some top-end brightening to counter-balance.

Calibrated to -16 LUFS Integrated:
   These presets are designed to give a perfect frequency contour when applied to material which has been loudness-normalized to -16 LUFS integrated. Since dynamics processors utilize level thresholds, setting a base target level was essential. For optimal results, first make sure the audio feeding into it meters at or close to -16. You can still use the presets on louder or quieter material, but you might have to fiddle with controls to fine-tune the results to be optimal.
   Why -16LUFS? It’s my go-to loudness level for mixdowns and audio playback, giving a solid degree of punch with enough headroom for mastering. By getting in the habit of mixing down all of your songs to (and listening to all reference tracks at) -16LUFS (or whatever reference you decide upon), you can develop a more clear objective grasp of the relative spectral contours between them than you would when listening to tracks at erratically differing average levels.

You need to own the plugins!
   A given preset will only work if you have the corresponding plugin it uses installed in your system and recognized by your DAW. Don’t have any of these? You can fix that… the ones with *asterisks* in the list above are free!

   Interested in the “Goldilocks Curve” this was based on? It is contained within the “DynaMixing Ultimate” mega-pack for Ableton Live 9 along with a crap-ton of other carefully-crafted, highly usable effect racks.

   Interested in the upcoming magical device that adjusts dynamics and tone to make everything just wonderfully better? Stay tuned!

Fayt EP Released

The Fayt EP

Sometimes i forget that i’m a musician. I spend so much time in Ableton Live but most of it is working on things for other people, or working on PerforModule effects or instruments, or refining templates, etc…

But i’ve somehow managed to get my shit together enough to finish off some tunes. It’s my first new music release since 2016!

The Fayt EP‘s basic theme is a journey through time, enacting your own story which is eternally burned into the record of existence and which you can never undo.

𝓕𝓪𝔂𝓽 is a 15-minute epic (built from a hypnosis-inducing fingerpicked guitar lick i wrote around age 16) which i’ve attempted various renditions of over the years, always falling short of my imaginings. The latest version is vastly closer to what i’ve always had in mind for it and is now presented in its “definitive form”. This lengthy piece meanders through various moods and styles, taking the listener on a mysterious adventure.

𝓒𝓻𝓾𝓶𝓫𝓵𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓡𝓸𝓪𝓭, also mostly written long ago, other than the lyrics and vocal melody which were more recent, has never before been released, and is in a more straightforward “rock n’ roll” style than typical for me. The idea is a road which is crumbling behind you with every step, forcing you to continue onward without the ability to go back. It features lead guitar by Dave Irmo, who originally taught me to play guitar back in the day.

Bandcamp for Bonus Goodies!

I recommend grabbing the music from bandcamp rather than some other service because you can download pure, high quality, lossless, 24-bit tracks, song lyrics are available to peruse, and artists get a higher proportion of the dough. And you’ll also get some super nifty free Bonus Goodies!

The bandcamp release of the EP (just $3) comes with extra bonus instrumental and 5.1 surround sound versions of songs, as well as (for the first hundred EP buyers) a direct download of the premium Guitaritis effects pack for Ableton Live 9+ Suite by PerforModule (worth $35!).

Here’s the HyperFollow page instead, if you prefer Spatoofy, Oople, or whatever: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/animusinvidious/fayt


Super Awesome Sounds

We’ve got a new pack for you, Super Awesome Sounds, featuring samples of the Casio SA-20 Keyboard. This was my first instrument as a kid and thus has a very nostalgic place in my heart, so i recently re-acquired one and went nuts sampling its 100 patches and making instrument and drum racks for ableton live out of them (plus audio effect racks inspired by them), using the amalgamation of my accumulated knowledge over the years to create the most refined PerforModule instrument pack to date.

The SA-20

Since it seemed to fit nicely with his existing collection which includes quite a lot of 80s- and 90s-esque sensibilities, i’ve teamed up with Brian Funk to release the pack. We talked about it as well as various other random topics on his show, the Music Production Podcast. Many thanks to Mr. Funk for having me on, always an interesting and insightful time.

There is a free version of the pack as well as the full version linked below, which can be currently had for just $6 by joining Brian’s Music Production Club this month (along with a bunch of other cool stuff). That’s a sweet deal! The MPC is a great way to acquire a constant influx of goodies into your inbox every month for a very accessible sum, so that even poor, cheap bastards like me can afford it. It’s rad! The price for Super Awesome Sounds is otherwise $15, itself a tubular deal considering the vast assortment of wonderful gadgetry it contains within.



Click to check it out at Brian Funk’s site.


Read ON FOR NERDY TECH DETAILS…

Social Isolation Freebie: “Secret Weapon” Racks.


***Note: “Sweetie Pies” has been updated for Live 11 Suite! Grab the new version here.

(For the original version, continue below.)



While we’re going through some crazy times right now, it has been heartwarming to experience how humans have upped their compassion game in response to shared crisis. I’ve seen more freebies and crazy deals going on this past week than any other time i remember, which seems because people want to help each other, share and be nice (well, not so much a certain political faction in the usa who seems to prefer that regular people suffer as much as possible. But that’s another topic). With graciousness and care for their fellows is how humans should act, rather than trying to take advantage of each other sleazily—which happens all too much.

In this spirit, i am offering up my super secret stash of “Sweetie Pies”—a small collection of effect racks for Ableton Live Suite 10, each crafted to address a specific need in a sweet manner. These are highly practical yet fun racks with the primary purpose of “getting stuff done”.

i WAS planning on releasing this pack eventually anyways once it grew a bit more, but to expedite the process of getting you the goodies, i’ve decided to simply omit the not-quite-finished devices, give everything a good once-over, and release the pack for free as it is now.




SO WHAT ARE THESE GOODIES OF WHICH YOU SPEAK?

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Array Mbira Pack by Sonic Bloom

The mbira (aka kalimba aka thumb piano) has a peculiar sound all of its own. I think they tend to sound pretty cool, with a distinctive tone that is reminiscent of some other types of instruments but not quite exactly like anything else.

But what’s this? The Array Mbira? It has four octaves, you say? Including multiple copies of the notes? Well, then. That’s sure nifty.

The Array Mbira


Madeleine Bloom, whose Ableton Live Tutorials i wholeheartedly recommend, has sampled one such Array Mbira and assembled the results into a series of 34 Instrument Racks for Ableton Live. There are only a small handful of Ableton Live instrument craftors whose work i’ve encountered that put in the depth of care that i consider the level of the adept, and Sonic Bloom is one such. I’ve had the grateful opportunity to give the instruments a deep look and am here to report on my findings.

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