In this post, Dubspot blogger Josh Spoon investigates four unique Max for Live devices that can help add new life to the sounds you love, including Harmonic Runner, Spektro Nucleation, Buffer Shuffler 2.0, TransientDesigner.
If you’ve been making electronic music for a while, you have probably accumulated quite a few samples and loops. Some of them you may overuse, while others just sit on your hard drive. Today I will share four unique Max for Live devices to help you add new life to the sounds you love, and reinvent the ones you hate.
Harmonic Runner by Amazing Noises is a spectral device. A spectral device divides up the frequencies of the incoming sound, and processes them individually. Harmonic Runner is based around three “spectral LFOs” (Amplitude, Feedback, Delay), which take sections of the frequency spectrum and modulate effects based on tempo or free timing. It’s a unique way of applying effects to different frequencies over time. Harmonic Runner can create shimmering, unearthly tones and costs only $10 USD.
Buffer Shuffler 2.0
Buffer Shuffler, one of the Max for Live Essentials, is an effects step sequencer with a lot of depth. With independent sequencers for pitch, frequency shifting, stutter, step reverse and more, Buffer Shuffler can take an ordinary loop and breathe new life into it, or completely destroy it.
Some seasoned Max for Live users may remember Buffer Shuffler 1.0, but when upgrading to 2.0 you get a great new interface, pattern storage, and many different ways to transform sequences using the Dice button. Spend a little time with Buffer Shuffler and you will be amazed how many loop variations you can generate.
Transient Designer, created by David Braun, sculpts the envelope of a sound to enhance or suppress peaks and decays. This is good for drums that may need more punch, or horns in a remix that have too much attack and not enough sustain. No only does Transient Designer allow you to modify the the attack and release volume, it gives you sensitivity and time controls for fine tuning the envelope shaping. So, the next time your kicks aren’t cutting through the mix, give Transient Designer a go–it’s free.
Spektro Nucleation by Spektro Audio is a waveshaper and bitcrusher inspired by the Eurorack module WMD Geiger Counter. It comes with 255 factory waveforms for reshaping your audio, and if that’s not enough, you can modify and create your own with the included Wave Studio. For additional flexibility, a toggle next to the Bit Depth knob gives you the option to swap the position of the waveshaper and bitcrusher.
Specktro Nucleation is a device you can really get lost in–just fire off a loop and begin switching through the wavetables. It can add nasty grit to bass lines, and give your synths a more analog feel. For any given sound, you’ll find that some waves work better then others, but with over 255 you can’t go wrong. You can pick up Specktro Nucleation for $4.
Dubspot guest blogger Josh Spoon is an Ableton Live veteran, blogger, drummer, music producer and live performer. Josh has a residency with the eclectic Los Angeles electronic music collective Space Circus,performing every first Wednesday of the month, and just released his first concept EP of grooving low-end originals entitled Man on Mars.
The flagship of our music training, with every Ableton Live course offered at the school. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.
- Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
- Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
- Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
- Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
- Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
- Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music
This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.
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