PerforModule Recommends: Ideal Peak Levels

Kind of like every human being has a height value, every audio clip has a peak level value. So what can we do with that information, beyond knowing that going above 0dB usually isn’t advised? In our eternal quest for ultimate audio quality, the inclination can be inherent to record loudly—as close to 0dB—as possible, and thereafter maintain that peak level. We fear that by mixing with track levels that are too quiet, we might be losing fidelity, some harmonic detail in the saturation floor or something.

While it is true that recording analog signals as loudly as possible without signal clipping to begin with will indeed minimize noise floor, the benefits reaped by maximizing peak level for individual tracks tapers off as you get closer to zero. At what peak level are audio sources louder than they really need to be? At what level are they too quiet, that they might need to be boosted excessively later? Using an algorithm based on the energy of how sounds stack together, i devised a set of go-to ranges for peak levels based on track counts. Since peak levels can vary fairly wildly based on content, you are given minimums and maximums (instead of single target values). Juicy details ahead… Continue reading

2 New Packs Now Available at Isotonik Sounds: “Spirit Beats” and “ADM AMBIENT”

As curator of Isotonik Sounds packs for Ableton Live, i’ve gotten the chance to preview some amazing material. It’s been a great honor to be tasked with pinpointing unique and interesting artists and nurturing their product development.    -animus invidious
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Optimizing a New Windows PC for Audio Production (w/Profanity)

Having recently acquired a new custom-built PC, various steps implemented to optimize its performance and usability were taken note of. While not an expert in such things, i figured to share these tips in case they may prove useful. Keep in mind that this guide is presuming that you already dabble in audio production and are upgrading to a new—from an existing—system.

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Isotonik Sounds Launches with New Free & Sale Packs (+bonus freebie!)

Isotonik Sounds has officially launched, a section at the Isotonik Studios webshop featuring instrument and sample packs for Ableton Live by various developers.

Each month, new free and sale packs will be made available. The first two packs are Crumar Multiman-S by noted maxforlive developer NOISS COKO and ADM DRUMS by yes, you guessed it, the acclaimed wizard of Live: AfroDJMac.

First up, what i know most of you are going to go for, the freebie…

FREE: Crumar Multiman-S by NOISS COKO

Crumar.png
This is a SWEET little set of instruments multi-sampled from the Crumar Multiman-S Synthesizer (i know they sound good, because i beta-tested them).
The original hardware features 6 string voices which can be individually volume-controlled to create your own custom blends. The Ableton Live pack NOISS COKO has created for us features instruments showcasing each voice, plus an “ensemble” instrument with all voices.

My favorite thing about these instruments is their multi-sampling of each note individually, lending very rich, organic flavorings which stand out well in a mix.

Read More about the Crumar Multiman-S at Vintage Synth Explorer.

Crumar Multiman-S
Self-installing pack works with Ableton Live 9 or 10, Standard or Suite versions.

Grab it.

 

For Sale: ADM DRUMS by AfroDJMac
admdrums

The first in a series of ten epic packs, AfroDJMac’s “Grand Collection”, ADM DRUMS is an amalgamated, highly organized collection of drum racks, drum loops, and drum samples created by AfroDJMac from the start of his release history to the first half of 2018, now updated and reorganized into a self-installing Ableton Live pack.

Spanning content from a dozen different original premium ADM packs, this mega-collection allows you to browse among the vast selection of drum racks for jamming on or crafting beats, drum loops for layering or chopping, and drum samples for dragging-and-dropping to make your own custom drum racks.

Includes greater than…
>100 unique drum racks!
>1,000 unique drum loops!
>2,000 unique drum hits!

Everything is setup so that it integrates into Live’s existing library categories. So for example, you can browse the drum hits from within the existing Drums -> Drum Hits category inside the Live Browser. This makes designing your own drum kits super easy, and super fun!

Read Mark Mosher’s review of ADM DRUMS over at Modulate This for an in-depth impression from someone not personally involved in the pack creation. By the way, Modulate This is a really cool blog and resource for… well, you, most likely, seeing as you’re here now. Mark Mosher runs the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup in Boulder, CO, and you can listen to this interview of him on the Art + Music + Technology podcast.

You could also check out the Gearslutz Product Alert, if you’d like.

Yep, ADM DRUMS is a wee bit pricey at $76.50 (with current exchange rates). But when you think about what you’re getting and what it will do for your workflow, and the fact that many single plugins cost more… it’s sooooooooooooooo worth it!

ADM DRUMS
Self-installing pack works with Ableton Live 9 or 10, Standard or Suite versions.

Get it.

psssst, i heard a secret rumor that ADM Music Production Club Members might be privy to a special discount? Sshhh… don’t tell anyone!

 

But wait! We’re not done here just quite yet.

BONUS FREEBIE

(Live 10 Only…)
Here’s a rack i made while organizing my own ridiculous user library. I’ve always found it annoying how some kits are too quiet while many are too loud, desiring less level adjustment and other bullshit before jamming or composing. So i made an effect rack which is specifically designed to slap after the end of any and all drum racks and alleviate such issues. It’s particularly useful when hot-swapping between a bunch of different kits to audition them. I call it the “Drum Rack Endcap”. It’s also useful for some basic sculpting of said drum rack once decided upon, with carefully-calibrated low- and high-cut filtering and some tasty enhancement gimmicks. The thing has been gainstaged against pink noise for basically neutral default settings.
Available nowhere else.
DrumRackEndCap.PNG
Drum Rack Endcap (for Live 10+)
How to use:
Just slap it on the end of your drum racks. If a rack is too loud, it will take care of it already. If a rack is slightly too quiet, try using “Drive” to boost the signal by up to 4dB. If the drum rack is really quiet and that’s not enough, try clicking the “Comp” button in the Drum Rack Buss device to jolt it up. That’s all there is to it!
Tip: set the “low cut” and “low thud” parameters while playing through some medium-grade consumer speakers which don’t have much sub bass. This can help avoid making your kick drum too muddy by setting its fundamental too deep!

Click the image above or the words below and use the password to…

Grab it.

password: end

All PerforModule Sale Packs Updated for Live 10 (+ Final Live 9 Versions)

You can read the headline. That’s what’s up. If you buy a pack, you will have access to whichever version you need. If you own Live 9 now and later update to Live 10, you’ll be able to automatically install the update at any time just by dragging it into Live.

->Read about the final PerforModule pack updates at Isotonik Studios<-

Also, read on if you’re interested in the sale on “Guitaritis”…

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Ableton Live 10: New Feature Highlights

So i’ve been delving into the Ableton Live 10 Beta for a little bit now, did a couple of large mixes and some experimenting with it, and have accumulated a fair impression of how it differs from Live 9.

Ableton Live 10 ~ What’s to Like?

I’ll run over some of the things i’ve noticed in particular which stood out to me, while slipping in mentions of more minor program enhancements. Everything i explain below i will have confirmed personally with Live 9 and Live 10 side-by-side testing.
You’ll notice i completely ignore some new features. These are things i’ve either not tested yet, don’t care about, or would take too much time to dive into properly here. I not even touching on the new instrument or effects (yet…)
My overall impression of Live 10 is that they added in a lot of workflow improvements i didn’t know i wanted. Continue reading