Ableton Live Auto Sidechain Plugin

There are a few ways to very easily get sidechaining going in Ableton Live. Sidechaining triggers a compressor on the master bus or channel using a kick from a different channel. This causes a pumping effect ala Daft Punk. Used subtlety it can make sure the sharp transients of you kick always sit above the mix by itself. Live’s built in Compressor has sidechaining and you can also simulate the effect using Autopan. The Point Blank Music School has a nice free Max For Live drag and drop device available to download: click here. If you have Max For Live why not grab it? Take a look at the video above for the demo.

“Point Blank instructor and course developer Daniel Herbert has created this Max For Live custom auto sidechain plugin for use in Ableton Live. Watch the video to see how it works, what makes it unique and and how to set it up.” – pointblankonline

For more info: pointblankonline.net

Supacut

I sat on the fence for a long while before purchasing Max for Live. I now find it an indispensable tool in my arsenal. I’ve yet to try this new Supacut freebie but it looks tasty.

“Inspired by the classic beat effect plugins LiveCut and SupaTrigga, Ned Rush designed Suparcut for Max for Live. Suparcut’s parameters, including beat loops of various lengths and classic stretching and pitching effects, can either be sequenced or controlled by probability sliders.” – ableton.com

Get the free device: maxforlive.com/library/device.php?id=1001

Schwarzonator for Max for Live


http://www.youtube.com/v/yhfvzTivVLg?hl=en_US&fs=1

I’ve been watching Max for Live waiting for the patch that will make me buy and Schwarzonator made me do just that. Grid pattern making patches and hardware hacks don’t get me going as much as software that helps me create melodies. Schwarzonator was created by Berliner Henrik Schwarz and I am finding it very useful. I really love the random function! Check out the video above for what it can do.

“The Schwarzonator is a note twister. It’s all about helping musicians (or non-musicians) find the right notes and chords in real time. It turns one finger playing into chords that fit together well. Choose from a list of Chord Sets in a drop down menu. Then all notes you play on your keyboard will fit into the selected Chord Set.” – Henrik Schwarz (from Ableton’s website)

Get the Schwarzonator here: www.ableton.com/schwarzonator

Happy Birthday Ableton

Ableton_Logo

I spend most of my music making time in front of Ableton Live. It’s stable and Session View lets me flesh out ideas before I head to arrange. Most importantly, once you spend time to learn the program it’s fun to use. Ableton has kicked off it’s 10 year birthday celebration. We are lucky because the Berliner’s seem to not know that on Birthday’s they get gifts not give them! But hey I’m not going to tell them. They are giving away 10 free Artist Live packs to any Live 8 owner. Go get them here: ableton.com/able10-artist-packs

“To celebrate our Able10 anniversary, we’re giving away 10 free, exclusive Live Packs from Ableton artists. Take a look inside these songs and sounds and see how these exceptional artists work their Live mojo.” – Ableton

But what if your late to the party and your still not sure if your the Ableton type of guy? Lucky for you there is now an inexpensive way into the club. The all new “Live Intro” is a not so shabby version of Live for $99. This is now my recommendation for anyone who asks me, “I’m starting to make music what should I use?”.

So what else is on tap for the party? Discounts on upgrades for current Live users and the geeks will be happy to know Max For Live will be out November 23. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

For more info: www.ableton.com

Max for Live and Volta: Are we scientists?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDJdq3WlLdc

I am thrilled with all the new enhancements in Ableton Live 8. Two other NAMM 2009 announcements having me scratching my head a bit though. Max for Live and Motu Volta are two new products that have a large buzz around them in the blogo-twittersphere. Max for Live is an extended version of Ableton that will allow you to create your own instruments and effects. It uses a flow diagram, object and element metaphor as it’s interface. Motu Volta is software that turns MOTU and RME audio interfaces into highly editable CV (control voltage) interface.

The question I keep asking myself is, “Will these new tools help me make better songs?”. Since I already own Ableton Live, a Motu interface and several vintage analog synths with CV there is no doubt my curiosity will lead me to my credit card.


Volta First Look from Matthew Davidson on Vimeo.

What excites me about Max for Live more than programming my own devices will be the devices other people come up with. I own a Kenton Pro-2000 CV to MIDI interface but because digital audio recording is so easy these day I rarely use it. I just record my old synths as audio and manipulate them after the fact. As much as Volta intrigues me I fear it may put an unnecessary software layer between my hands and hardware knobs.

I  know Max and Volta are completely different beasts but I think you get my point here right? I guess there is a time for right brain knob twisting and song writing and a time for left brain analytical sound design.

What do you think?

Wire to the Ear’s Winter NAMM 2009 picks.

Ableton Live 8

Ableton Live 8. My passion Ableton Live has reached number 8. Once again the Berlin coding masters give us new features that fit nicely into the Live interface and workflow. So what’s new? Add grooves to clips using the new Groove Engine. Adjust grooves in the new Groove pool. Extract grooves from existing clips with simple drag & drop. Enhanced warp modes and a new warp engine that auto-assignes handles to transients. A new plug-in called Looper: Create endless layers of loops in a live performance jam with auto tempo recognition. Five new effects: Vocoder, Multiband Dynamics, Overdrive, Frequency Shifter, Limiter. Workflow enhancements: Crossfades, Enhanced Midi Editor, Collapsable and easy to create Group Tracks, Multi Parameter Manipulation (adjust several volume faders at once, etc.. (yay!)), Screen Magnifier, Audio & Midi Browser Previews now have a waveform display and scrubbing. Share: Built into Live 8 is a new way to share and collaborate over the internet. A new option in Live’s file menu called Share Live Set will send your song to Ableton’s servers. The song gets it’s own webpage and link. You can set the privacy settings. Songs files can be shared anywhere such as MySpace or Facebook. Suite 8 also got an upgrade: All new Library, new version of Ableton’s FM Synth Operator, Collision a creative percusion synth that uses physical modeling. link

Max for Live

Max for Live. Full integration with Cycling 74′s Max. Create your own audio and midi effects inside the LIve interface. Building and editing of new effects and instruments takes place in real time. Check out the video on the Ableton website of the step sequencer created with Max for Live. I can’t wait to see what people come up with! Luckily there are built in tutorials. link

Akai APC40

Akai APC40 Ableton Live Controller. An official hardware controller for Ableton Live from Akai. Clip launch section with buttons that change color to show if a clip is playing or not. Dedicated clip stop and stop all buttons. Dedicated scene launch buttons. Multiple banks and bank selection methods help you quickly and intuitively jump around a large session view. Mixer section with faders, mute, solo buttons, cue and arm track buttons. A track control section of 8 knobs for pans and sends. Tap tempo and sync buttons to match external turntables or devices. Assignable Crossfader. Transport and record controls for studio work. Make this an extension of your arm and your live show will be a lot better.  link

Waldorf Largo

Waldorf Largo. I’m going to quote the Waldorf press release on this one because it says it all, “Many producers and synthesizer enthusiasts asked for a full-blown Waldorf Synthesizer for their virtual rack. We listened, and now we proudly present Largo. Largo mirrors the technology used in Blofeld and Q hardware synthesizers.” If it has the sound of the Q it’s a great win. link

Native Instruments Maschine

Native Instruments Maschine. A controller built by Berlin’s NI with a companion software instrument perfectly matched to it. It can run stand alone or in your DAW. Maschine can also be a standard midi controller. link

Motu BPM

Motu BPM. Don’t let the Groovebox look fool you because the new BPM from MOTU is purely software. 15 gigs of sounds, multi-effects including convolution reverb, Step and Note Sequencers an internal mixer and more. I bet some producers will make their full songs all in this software. Could it gain a cult following? Just like Propellerheads Reason I can see this on my laptop for an alternative view every now and then. AU, MAS, TRAS, VST, MAC/PC, in your DAW or Stand Alone.   link

Roland AX-Synth

Roland AX-Synth. Finally, the return of the “Keytar” from Roland. You get keys, you get a Ribbon, D-Beam and modulation bar. The new AX-Synth also touts 6 hour battery life and MIDI over USB. I like it but why isn’t this wireless? link

All the above I want in my possession. Some other interesting things that peaked my interest at this year’s NAMM included the Celemony’s Melodyne Editor with DNA, Arturia’s Minimoog V 2.0 and the Moog Etherwave Plus Controller Theremin.  Some of you maybe happy about Cubase 5, Novation Automap 3 and the newest Virus TI synth? The weekend is just getting started so I will update this post when I find more goodies that peak my interest. What’s getting your goat going?