5 Free Ableton Live Packs plus Slim Phatty Control Voltage Tutorial

Following up on the much-loved Minus Live Packs that Ableton gave to users in June comes a new set of 5 Live Packs that are free downloads for registered users of the software. The Create Diversity packs come as a nice change of pace from the Minus packs too. Taking aim at organic, world and experimental music these sets offer a broad palette of sounds and routings to work with and should inspire different avenues of creation. These kits feature experimental sonic textures and drum kits courtesy of Saturn Never Sleeps (USA), funky, Neo-Afro live stylings from Gazelle (South Africa), a breakdown of “Hit Me” — the Italo-disco take on Ian Dury’s classic by Telonius (Germany), as well as the results of a sampling spree through the catalog of Truth and Soul Records by Apple Juice Kid (USA) and some experiments in extreme compression from Ben Frost (Iceland).

These new tools for Ableton look great and come with nice bits of information from the artists who created them as well. I like this personal touch. I was immediately drawn to King Britt and Rucyl’s Saturn Never Sleep’s pack which offers spacey and otherworldly vibes (as their name would suggest.) Ben Frost’s kit offers some great insights into compression as he explains, “compression is a dark, treacherous beast and, in sonic terms at least, battling with it is at the core of this record… and this session, among other things is probably a fine lesson in what not to do with it (25:1 at -20dB on a kick drum, for example).” Apple Juice Kid offers samples from a classic Truth and Soul record for your remixing pleasure. Altogether this a nice holiday gift from Ableton for your creative growth and fun on those days off this season.

The second video that we have posted here was a bit of a treasure find last week and has been making the rounds at Dubspot. DJ Not So Much had a hypothesis to test: Will line level voltage perform as a control voltage parameter? And so he set about using Ableton Live and the Moog Slim Phatty to figure it out.

I asked a few people and no one understood what I wanted to do.  So I just bought the Slim Phatty blind hoping to exploit the CV inputs (filter, volume, pitch and a keyboard gate as well). Well, it worked very well. Better than I thought.  Here’s the video explaining the what and how! This is a tutorial/demo on how I pulled this off and everything you need to know! The Moog (notes) are controlled via the MPK25 but the filter and pitch modulation is via the CV inputs.

Yes – Line level (analog) signal has voltage. The modulation of the SF can be controlled with amazing accuracy and synchronization using an application like Ableton. The possibilities are endless – I am still trying to understand where I would like to go with this idea. For now – you have the basic knowledge. – DJ Not So Much

Michael Walsh is an audio/visual artist and journalist living in Los Angeles. Read more of his work at soundsdefygravity.com