Puremagnetik creates and sells mini monthly sample packs for Ableton, Kontakt & Logic. I recently met Micah Frank at IMSTA FESTA and thought I would follow up with this interview.
I really like your subscription model. Tell Wire to the Ear readers how it works.
Puremagnetik produces a new “Micropak” each month. A Micropak is a small (usually under 600MB) sound set that is very focused on a particular instrument. You can subscribe for $5.75 per month and download the Current Micropak. We keep each Micropak current for 2 months, so there are two Current Micropaks available at all times. You can also buy a full year subscription or buy the entire catalog. Additionally, users can purchase back catalog Micropaks individually – similar to back issues of a magazine.
Tell us about your recording chain. Are there any microphones or outboard processors your in love with?
I mostly program Puremagnetik’s electronic content. I prefer to keep my signal chain as transparent as possible. Good A/D matters most to me. I rarely use compression during tracking but sometimes I like to use my API Lunchbox’s 512C’s as a DI. Our other sound developer Brian produces all of the acoustic stuff in some great studios. He uses all of the Pultecs, Chandlers and Neumanns.
Sometimes we go shopping (Toys r Us). We also have a great network of studios and synth geeks all up and down the east coast. If I can find a good deal on eBay, I’ll jump on it – Synthi owners speak up! A lot of the stuff I’m working on now is more conceptual so it requires less defined devices.
What percent of your customers would you say subscribe vs just buy a pack they like?
It’s a 50/50 split. Some people like the subscription model. Just as many people are happy grabbing them once they become back catalogued.
What is your most popular Micropak and what are your top 3 personal favorites?
The most popular Micropak is an oldie but goodie – Eight Bit. It is a pack of sounds from a Commodore 64 SID chip.
The Micropaks I like the most are the ones I enjoyed working on the most. I love the ability in Live to reverse engineer the concepts behind some great synths. If you look at Puremagnetik’s Vector, Waveframe and P-50 Linear you will see that I have broken the synths down into their core components and reconstructed them in Live Racks. In Waveframe for instance, I took all of the Fizmo’s wavetable content and reconstructed the whole synth in Live using Ableton Sampler’s modulation functions.
Brian also did the same kind of reverse engineering in this month’s Omnichord inspired pack. In my opinion, this is where Puremagnetik really shines – when we break away from the same old multisampling conventions.
I know you make music yourself. Tell Wire to the Ear readers some of the bands you work or have worked with and some places online they can hear your music.
The only band I have worked with in the past few years is a local artist named Atarah Valentine. I got in touch with him through Ableton and Damian Taylor (Bjork). The highlight of my work with him was this past June when we opened for La Roux at Terminal 5. He’s a very talented singer so I look forward to working with him a lot more in the future.
My big project for the past year is Tectonic. It is a realtime sonification of earthquake data as interpreted by Max and then synthesized by a Kyma/Pacarana system. http://micahfrank.com/tagged/tectonic. For the past few years I haven’t really enjoyed making horizontal music. By that, I mean music that is pre-composed in a given timeframe by a horizontally oriented DAW. I am finding it much more gratifying to create a system like Tectonic or just grab my DrumKat and improvise under my alias Kamoni (kamoni.net) You can see and hear all of the other stuff I’m up to at micahfrank.com or soundcloud.com/micahfrank.
What music are you listening to lately?
Tim Hecker, Robert Normandeau, Ben Frost, Alva Noto, Zoot Woman
Here’s a public offer. If you want to make a Micropak out of my Electrocomp-101 (number 521 out of 2000) feel free but you have to come to my place. I’m not lugging that thing to Brooklyn!
Thanks Oliver! That would be totally awesome. You have just been inducted into PECSGN (Puremagnetik East Coast Synth Geek Network).
photo credit: Rachel Papo
This entry was written by interviews, sounds and tagged 8bit, Brooklyn, Micah Frank, Micropak, Puremagnetik, sample library, samples, sound. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I had a great time speaking on the “Geek Out” panel at this weekends IMSTA FESTA. The event put on by Shocklee has pro-audio companies show their stuff in different recording studios at SAE Manhattan. As I approached the street entrance a young guy stopped me and asked if I would buy one of his hip-hop CDs. I was surprised because I didn’t think I looked like a good target audience for him. I asked if he was coming inside and I was surprised again when he told me he had no idea what I was talking about. I let him know he should come up and there would be producers, djs and lots of stuff to check out. He looked a bit afraid and I got the idea he was probably 15 years old or so. Anyway I went in without him and wondered if there was anything at all on the CDs he was trying to sell.
On the 9th floor of SAE there were about 10 security guards in the halls. Once I meandered into the recording studios I knew why: there was lots of nice equipment inside! Immediately I ran into Fady Hayek who is the National Sales Manager for SSL. I was a regular at the Club Cubase meeting he ran when he worked for Steinberg in the 90s. James Bernard had a nice audience watching him go through some amazing tricks and tips with Reason and Record. I love watching him demo stuff. He really gets the software, knows the shortcuts and makes you want to run home and do it yourself.
In the VIP room I met Peter Kirn (Create Digital Music) for the first time face to face. We spent some time thumbing through the latest Keyboard Magazine where Peter wrote the lead story about Moog. We instantly got into the Voyager XL and how it doesn’t make any sense and how awesome it is. I met the Micah Frank from Puremagnetik who apparently I had some emails correspondence with in the past but forgot. Sorry Micah! I briefly met Julie Covello (DJ Shakey) from Warper and we moved to the panel room. We decided to each chat about the one thing that’s blowing us away these days. Peter chose Pure Data and explained in other words it’s the code he’s got a passion for. That it can be on his old desktop machine or his phone and it’s been with him a long time. He’s pure geek for sure! Julie picked SoundCloud and YouTube. I didn’t even consider a non-tangible object so props to her because I think we all spend more time in Social Media than making music (shame on all of us!). I thought her pick was a right on. Micah picked Renoise the old school Tracker that was recently updated. I made the obvious choice to everyone that knows me… iPad! What was unexpected is upon polling the crowd we found that only two people there owned iPads besides me. I showed off iElectribe, SynthPond and SoundPrism. We had a short Q&A where we learned Micah translates earthquake data into sample packs. Yep… he’s a geek too. Propellerheads let me give a few shirts and hats away and it was a wrap. Thank you Jo-Anne for inviting me I enjoyed it greatly!
This entry was written by hardware, interviews, iPad, promotion, Propellerhead Reason, synthesizer and tagged IMSTA, IMSTA FESTA, Julie Covello, Micah Frank, Oliver Chesler, Peter Kirn, Puremagnetik, SAE. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I will be speaking on a panel with Peter Kirn (Create Digital Music), Micah Frank aka Kamoni (Sound Designer & Founder of Puremagnetik), and Julie Covello aka DJ Shakey (DJ, Creator & Promoter of the Warper Party, Music Collector) on Saturday, September 25 at the SAE, 1293 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 10001.
The IMSTA FESTA is free and should be good fun and of great interest to anyone who reads this blog. It’s a pro-audio manufacturer get together and panel series. It’s from 11:00AM – 7:00PM. Some of the exhibitors include Ableton, Arturia, Bias, SSL, Celemony, IK Multimedia, Image Line, Native Instruments, Pianoteq, Propellerhead, Rob Papen, Steinberg and Waves.
UPDATE: Over 1,000 people are registered. Come on down!
“IMSTA FESTA, a celebration of music software is coming to the heart of New York City. The First IMSTA FESTA started in Japan where it was highly successful for technology companies, producers and hobbyists alike. IMSTA FESTA brings a collection of the top audio technology companies together in an environment where they can interact with music makers face-to-face. If you use music software you will benefit from this event in a number of ways.” – http://www.imsta.org
For more info: http://www.imsta.org
This entry was written by interviews and tagged ableton, Arturia, Bias, Celemony, IK Multimedia, Image Line, IMSTA, IMSTA FESTA, native instruments, Oliver Chesler, Peter Kirn, Pianoteq, Propellerhead, Puremagnetik, Rob Papen, SAE, SSL, Steinberg, Waves. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Puremagnetik is a subscription of Ableton Live (and Kontakt/Logic) devices filled with samples and presets around a theme. This past month’s release is based on Casio’s Phase Distortion technology.
“Phase distortion synthesis is a synthesis method introduced in 1984 by Casio in its CZ range of synths, and similar to Frequency modulation synthesis in the sense that they are both built on phase modulation. Basically a sine wave is played, but by modifying the phase angle, the sine wave is bent out of shape.” – Wikipedia.org
Micropaks are $12 al a carte or $60 per year. Some interesting past “paks” include samples from toys, digital drum machines, Atari 2600s, Korg MS20 and vintage organs. More info: http://puremagnetik.com/
This entry was written by Ableton Live, sounds and tagged Casio, Micropak, Phase Distortion, Puremagnetik. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Today a good friend of mine asked me if it was ok if we just traded mix CD’s this year for Christmas. I guess hard times are here so this years official Wire to the Ear Christmas gift guide is strictly limited to great but budget priced stocking stuffers.
Schematic of Moog Synthesizer T-Shirt. $14. Available at Etsy. link
Puremagnetik Micropak Sample Pack. $5.75 per month. link
Great American Jaw Harp. $11.50 Amazon.com link
KingMax 8GB Tiny Machine Washable USB Memory Stick. $15.40 Amazon.com link
Naiant X-P Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone. $29 link
So what are you giving this year?
photo credit: julian
This entry was written by hardware and tagged Christmas, gift, Jaw Harp, KingMax, microphone, moog, Naiant, Puremagnetik. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
If I had unlimited cash I would go onto eBay right now and buy every single drum machine I could find. The next best thing is a good sample collection. Puremagnetik has an interesting subscription model that delivers you monthly “Micropaks” of sounds all ready to go in Ableton Live. This month they hit my sweet spot with some nice 80s digital drum machine sets. Here what you get:
Korg DDD-1: A programmable drum machine from 1986. Includes 18 drum sounds with a famous 12-bit crunch. Alesis HR-16: One of Alesis’s first drum machines manufactured in 1987. Includes over 40 unique drum and percussion sounds. Kawai R50: Legendary 12-bit sound from 1988! Includes a selection of over 20 dirty drum and percussion sounds. Sound: A very rare Soviet era drum machine manufactured by Zhitomir electronic factory in 1989. Includes sampled percussion sounds with a tightly compressed flavor. – puremagnetik.com
For more info including a video walkthrough and audio clips: click here
This entry was written by Ableton Live, sounds and tagged Alesis, digital, drum machine, Kawai, Korg, Micropak, Puremagnetik. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.