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Midular are the Free MIDI Modules Every Ableton Live Setup Needs

Friday, August 1st, 2014

midularpitcher

Forget fancy effects or sophisticated plug-ins – day-in, day-out, it’s those simple MIDI modules you wind up using again and again and again and again. It’s like having a bucket of paperclips on your desk. It doesn’t have to be exciting. It’s the simple stuff that gets used.

So, one of my favorite demos from the jam-packed sessions at MIDI Hack Day in Stockholm in May was unquestionably Midular. The idea was simple: make some basic modules that do stuff to notes and control events, then combine them in useful ways. It deserved an ovation.

And now, you can get those same modules for Max for Live, for free. They’re open source, properly under a GPL license (meaning, if you want to port them to Pure Data, you can, for instance). And they’re good enough that you’ll wonder with at least a couple of them why Ableton didn’t include these as defaults effects.

The starting lineup:

  • LiveQuantizer. Well, duh. And as the creator notes, this means you can do to notes what Live does to clips.
  • Repeater. Repeat incoming notes.
  • Buffer. A round-robin note storage-and-playback sequencer – cool. And that naturally leads to -
  • Rotator. 8-note rotating buffer plus an 8-step sequencer, based on the Roland System 100m modular sequencer. This is a no-brainer to add to that Roland SYSTEM-1 I’m dragging into the studio tonight, in fact, both in SYSTEM-1 and SH-101 modes – I’ll report back.
  • SuperPitcher Works the way you wish Pitch did in Ableton – but then also adds a step-based modulator, for other effects.

Yeah, so put them together, and then, you know, stuff.

Yeah, so put them together, and then, you know, stuff.

It’d be great to see this collection grow over time, particularly with additions from others in the Max for Live community. You can start on that right away by forking it on GitHub – or just download and get to playing.

So, yes, fairly simple. It’s combining these (and, no doubt, communing them with other tools and toys from the Max for Live community) that gets more interesting. Some video examples:

A simple demonstration showing how some of the Midular MIDI effect modules can be used together, focusing on the 8 note step sequencer called Rotator. I’ve tried keeping the sounds and sequences as simple as possible so that it’s easy to get a feeling for what’s going on.

A simple demonstration of how some of the Midular MIDI effect modules can be used to generate various arpeggiated sequences from a single sustained note. The sound is purposefully kept as basic as possible so that it’s easier to hear what’s going on.

News item:
Introducing Midular, a set of MIDI effects built in Max for Live

The project is the work of Knut Andreas Ruud. Brilliant stuff, Knut!

https://github.com/carrierdown/m4l-midular (look for the “download ZIP” link in the right-hand column if you haven’t used GitHub before!)

The post Midular are the Free MIDI Modules Every Ableton Live Setup Needs appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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XMonsta releases PULL – iPad Device Editor for Ableton Live and the Lemur App

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

XMonsta has released PULL, a touchscreen device editor for Ableton Live 9 that uses the iPad Lemur App. It is a fast and efficient workflow tool. Use it alongside other controllers, such as Ableton P [Read More]
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Mabelton Audio releases Ultra Analog VA-2 / Ableton Push Integration Pack

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Mabelton Audio has released the Ultra Analog VA-2 / Ableton Push Integration Pack. This is the instant way to use Applied Acoustics’ Ultra Analog properly from inside Push. The Ultra Analog Integratio [Read More]
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Ableton updates Live 9 to v9.1.4

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Ableton has updated Live 9 to v9.1.4, featuring the following bug fixes: Live would hang during launch when running as a ReWire Slave on Windows. Auxiliary audio outputs of certain VST plug-ins would [Read More]
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Sample Logic releases Rhythomatix for Ableton Live

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Sample Logic has announced the release of Rhythomatix, a Live Pack of hybrid loops and kits for Ableton Live. Rhythomatix is a collection of morphed hybrid tempo-synced audio loops and kits made for e [Read More]
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Learn How to Get Your Drum Machine’s Soul Back with Mad Zach, Ableton Live

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Mad Zach is not giving you a paint-by-numbers Deep House set. He wants you to play and tweak - and he's going to help us learn how to do it. Photo courtesy the artist.

Mad Zach is not giving you a paint-by-numbers Deep House set. He wants you to play and tweak – and he’s going to help us learn how to do it. Photo courtesy the artist.

It’s “the science of being imperfect” – and Mad Zach is one heck of a mad scientist at it.

We all know Ableton Live productions, even sometimes from fairly skilled music makers, can get painfully stuck on the grid. If that’s the disease, Mad Zach has the cure. Armed with Ableton Live and together with releasing a very special, very useful sound pack, this insanely-prolific DJ, producer, writer, and educator has some advice for how to get the soul and groove back in your machines.

CDM teamed up with our friends at Beatport Sounds to work with Zach on an instructional video that goes deeper into the craft of the groove. And I love what Zach has done with the tutorial. If you’re still learning your way around Live, I think you’ll still like it — just follow along the beginner and intermediate tutorials first before you tackle it. At the same time, if you’ve got a bit more production under your belt, it won’t insult your intelligence. I learned something, and I’ve been using Live since 1.0.

Highlights, as we “escape the grid”:
How to use the (oddly underused, misunderstood) Grooves section in Live
Extract an original TR-909 shuffle
Drawing in swing
Recording MIDI controllers

Now, some background:

Zach has been hard at work with Beatport on his Deep House Project, a sound library and construction kit both for live performances and music creation. It couldn’t come at a better time, I think: saying “Deep House” is only marginally more specific than saying “Techno.” It’s like saying “cheeseburger” or “pizza” – quality can vary.

The Deep House Project isn’t just a sound pack, a big box of LEGOs for making a generic toy. It’s a set of instruments, a gig and a half of material with hundreds of loops and analog synths and the like, and it’s designed around controllers so you can tweak everything, modify everything. You get 24-bit samples of the TR-909, Juno 106, Moogerfoogers, and British tube channel strip, drum racks, macros, synth racks, the lot.

In other words, you get a tool set that is tailored to the genre, but once you start twisting knobs and changing patterns and actually playing, you can come up with something that sounds … well, that sounds nothing like Mad Zach, in a good way.

I hope it catches on. The Beatport Sounds section is working with some great producers, but I know my heart sinks a little when I read the top ten list on some days – only because any producer expecting to download some top drops and make a track work is probably in for a rude awakening. And, worse, they’re missing out on half the fun. Now, not every piece of music needs to be experimental; there’s something beautiful about the way styles and genres build communities. But it should be possible to be original inside that genre, and this is that.

It’s that for one good reason: it’s built in a way that invites you to dig in and play. And Zach is one of the most active people on the planet carrying that gospel.

Here’s a look at the pack:

Have a go at that sound pack – it’s a stunningly-good buy:
Mad Zach’s Lab: Deep House

And do check the full tips/tricks/tutorials page with Mad Zach. It’s a tutorial on Deep House, but it’s also an Ableton Live tutorial, and offers insights whether you’re curious about dabbling in this genre or could care less (though it might get you hooked before you’re done watching, fair warning).

http://sounds.beatport.com/tutorials

We’ll have Q&A with Zach tomorrow on CDM, because I really wanted to know more about his work.

The post Learn How to Get Your Drum Machine’s Soul Back with Mad Zach, Ableton Live appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Puremagnetik releases Kardoni – ARP Omni Soundset for Ableton Live, Kontakt and Logic

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Puremagnetik has released Kardoni – a library of programs that deliver the legendary ARP Omni Mk2 right to your desktop. As one of the most prolific and versatile “stringers” of the late 1970s, the [Read More]
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Ableton updates Live 9 to v9.1.3

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Ableton has updated Live 9 to v9.1.3. Improvements and feature changes: Added control surface support for AKAI MPK225, MPK249, MPK261. Bug fixes: Fixed an issue which caused CPU spikes when moving a [Read More]
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How to Add a Tuner and Other Guitar Essentials, Free, for Ableton Live and More

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

guitarrigplayer

Computers – a category now very likely including the phone in your pocket – open up worlds of utility that previously required dedicated devices. Audio recorder? Metronome? Tuner? There’s really no reason that shouldn’t be right in the box.

That said, our friend Marco Raaphorst was musing on the absence of a guitar tuner in Ableton Live – and in the process, reminds us that that other Berlin developer has quite the freebie for anyone who needs a tuner in Live, or simply wants a whole load of cool effects whether they play a guitar or not.

Guitar Rig Player adds a fully-functioning guitar tuner to Ableton Live – the tuner Ableton left out. But it does more than that. You get a whole load of effects for instruments, enough stuff that producers who don’t play any instruments might want to give this a download. As with most things, it’s not entirely free. You have to give up your email address (though you aren’t required to opt into any newsletter), and you do have to install NI’s Service Center and enter a serial. That process was painless for me, though (having just repeated it on a brand new machine).

In exchange, you get not just a tuner, but a bunch of really capable effects and tools:

  • Jump Amp (British amp) and cabinet
  • Skreamer distortion/overdrive
  • Chorus/flanger, pitch modulation
  • Studio reverb
  • Delay Man vintage-style delay unit including chorus and vibrato
  • Twin Delay stereo delay
  • Parametric EQ
  • Shelving EQ
  • Pro-Filter, borrowed from the Pro-53
  • Limiter
  • Volume pedal
  • Tube compressor
  • Noise gate
  • Noise reduction

Note that you’ll need to go into Components > Products and select “Factory Selection” to avoid the demos of other things. Once you do that, though, non Guitar Rig users get a tasty selection of tools you can easily combine into some powerful chains.

Oh, and the tuner.

tuner

Speaking of tuners, Marco also endorses the Max for Live fp.Tune, as he saw on CDM in our previous Max for Live round-up. This is, naturally, more practical than Guitar Rig if you only want a tuner in your chain, as it integrates more neatly with Ableton – though it’s only free if you have Live 9 Suite. He also endorses smartphone tools, which have the advantage of working all the time – even when away from your lappy.

But I’m curious, now. How do you assemble your signal chains for guitars and other instruments? And what are you using for a tuner? Built-in tools, like those found in Reason and Logic? Hardware tuners? Guitar Rig and the like? Your iPhone or Android? Some combination?

I’d love to hear your workflows, so sound off. And check out Marco’s article among lots of other thoughtful commentaries on music and production:

How to tune a guitar with Ableton Live [melodiefabriek.com]

The post How to Add a Tuner and Other Guitar Essentials, Free, for Ableton Live and More appeared first on Create Digital Music.


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Mabelton Audio releases Integration Pack for Ableton Push and ReFX Nexus2

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Mabelton Audio has released the Integration Pack for Ableton Push and ReFX Nexus2. The Nexus2 Integration Pack will allow you to: Find ReFX Nexus2 and all its factory presets inside your Push menu. Br [Read More]
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