We know you’re itching for Ableton Live 9 to drop next week with all those fancy new features. But you can still add new sounds to Live 8 by downloading instruments, racks, patches, devices, and effects that have been created by the program’s vast user community. Below are a few recent favorites that we’ve turned to for inspiration in our Ableton creation sessions…
eightKNOBS of Effects
Musician and developer Yehezkel Raz makes some incredible devices for Ableton Live and gives them away through his 4live.me website (make sure to bookmark that one for future reference). Recently he’s been gaining viral momentum with a clever promo video for his eightKNOBS effects rack which features clips from the film The Big Lebowski. Recently he posted, “this is probably my last post before Live 9 is out :))))) so in honor of the unforgettable times we had with the great L8, i give you eightKNOBS – a new DJ Rack made of 8 oneknob effects.” Download eightKNOBS and also check out REPEAT ME, PUMP ME and TURNTABLE from Raz.
Francis Preve’s SH-101 Simpler Instruments
Roland’s SH-101 is one of the most sought-after monophonic synthesizers in the world, with a rich, warm sound and cutting filter that have appeared on countless dance music creations. While current prices for an SH-101 top the one thousand dollar mark, producer Francis Preve has created a set of free Ableton Live instruments that emulate this classic synth with Ableton’s Simpler instrument. Preve’s pack includes Simpler presets including SH-101 Saw, Square, PWM, Saw+Sub, Resonator Sweep, Resonant, Noise and Bass sounds. He explains how to use these patches on his blog where he states,”As with the all of the other Simpler packages on this blog, I left the devices in their default state, with filtering, LFOs and envelopes off, so you can use them as starting points for your own sounds.” Download: Francis Preve – SH-101 8-pack.
Sonic Faction EvilFish 303
Sonic Faction’s EvilFish 303 instrument is another re-creation of a classic Roland piece that is available as an Ableton instrument at the bargain price of $19.99. And while this is a bit more costly than the other devices we have listed here, we can attest that the EvilFish 303 is well worth the price. It’s not just a TB-303 clone, but a sampled and processed Devil Fish 303 that has a bit more sonic bite than the original 303. The company explains,”we painstakingly recorded the Devil Fish 303 note by note through high-end analog gear to capture the warmth and detail of the original instrument. Because we used the best tools available in the recording process the sound quality of our instruments is unmatched.” EvilFish 303 is available for $19.99 from SonicFaction.
Taiko Drum Rack
The sound of the giant Japanese drums known as Taiko has become familiar in film soundtracks, where its cavernous deep low end is often useful for creating impacts or powerful pounding rhythms.
Isaac Cotec a.k.a. Subaqueous has produced a free Ableton Drum Rack of sampled taiko hits that lets you use this powerful sound in your own productions. You can download the rack from here.
Isaac also put together a video that explains how he put the Rack together and how to use it. The instrument is fairly complex and there is more to it than just a few drum samples thrown in a Drum Rack. You can play sounds on both the rim and head of the drum and each sound is multisampled at a range of velocities to give it a more natural response.
Live Packs From dublab
If you haven’t tuned in to the experimental vibes emanating from Southern California’s Internet radio pioneers dublab, you owe it to yourself to give them a listen and expand your mind with their cosmic vibes. dublab has been spreading the power of music online since way back in 1999, and is funded largely by their semi-annual Proton Drive fundraisers. They got some help for their fall 2012 fundraiser from Ableton, who joined them in co-presenting a full day of live broadcasts featuring live sets played on Ableton from artists including Suzanne Kraft, San Gabriel, Matthewdavid & White Rainbow, Co.Fee, Sweatson Klank, Contact Field Orchestra, D33J and Alter. The live sets were recorded and can be heard here.
As part of the event, a number of the artists who performed also created custom Ableton Live Device Packs for download through dublab.com, including some ‘altered’ percussion kits, laser sounds, talking drums, ambient synths, lo-fi drum sounds and more. You can download all of these from the same page on the dublab site.