Thursday, 15 February 2018

Echo - Ableton Live 10 Device

'Echo' is such a formidibal sounding tape delay/echo device it deserves a place here all of its own,even though it's only available in 'Live'

If you’re a fan of old-school tape delays like we are, you’re definitely going to enjoy messing around with Echo. As you’ll see in our accompanying video, there are a lot of options to twiddle.

We particularly like its raging feedback; the strange metallic and tonal effects you can achieve with short delay times; and you can also use Echo as a pseudo ‘retroiser’ using its Noise section. It might not replace your favourite third-party delay plugin, but it’s definitely useful to have as a bundled device inside Live.

We leave no stone unturned in this huge walkthrough on Echo.
Step 1: Let’s take Ableton Live 10’s new Echo device for a spin. Live’s other onboard delay devices are rather utilitarian – except for Grain Delay, which is especially ‘out there’) – so it’s nice to see a substantial new delay to rival third-party options. Seeing as the device is a creative dub-style echo effect, we’ll load a new instance over a dry reggae ‘skank’ sound.
Step 2: Like any delay plugin, Echo’s Dry/Wet governs the balance of dry signal to delayed signal. We’ll keep that at around 50%. Up in Echo’s top left, you’ve got separate Left and Right controls to set delay time for the left and right channels. Sweep these around for tape-style repitching effects as the echoes spring to their new values.

Step 3: Left and Right times are locked together by default, but you can decouple them by detoggling the yellow Link button that sits between. Both Left and Right times are synced to host tempo – detoggle one of the Sync buttons if you want to set delay time in milliseconds.
Step 4: Below the Sync buttons sit dropdown menus, where you click and choose one of four beat-synced modes. Under that, increase or decrease values in the boxes to offset either delay earlier or later by a few milliseconds. This is useful if the Left and Right delays are set to identical speeds, as you can create width. These work independently even when the delay times are locked.
Step 5: As you’d expect, you can crank up the Feedback knob to feed the delay outputs back into the inputs for more and more repeats. After the dial is pushed past around the 12 o’clock point, the feedback starts to self-oscillate, for those wild dub-style delay effects. This is definitely a fun, tweaker’s delay!
Step 6: Next, we’ll back down the Output and crank up the Input, which will distort the delay signal. Toggling the D button causes the input gain to also distort the dry signal – set the Dry/Wet to 0% to hear this more clearly. The Polarity button inverts the feedback’s polarity, and noticeably changes the delay’s character, especially with short delay settings.
Step 7: In true Space Echo style, there’s also a simple Reverb onboard. Mix it in with the Reverb knob, and shape its length with the Decay slider. With the dropdown underneath, you can select where the reverb is placed in the signal path – Pre, Post or Feedback, with the latter getting pretty wild when settings are pushed.
Step 8: Flanking the reverb is a Stereo knob. Setting it to 0% monos the wet signal, 100% leaves the original width, and 200% gives maximum widening. Under that are three delay modes: there’s the default Stereo mode; Ping Pong is left-to-right as expected; and there’s a Mid/Side mode – when selected, the Left time becomes Mid, and the Right becomes Side.
Step 9: At the bottom of Echo’s black centre section are controls for shaping the tone of the delay repeats with resonant high- and low-pass filters. HP and LP controls set the frequency of either filter, with Res boosting a peak around that frequency. Click the small arrow to pop out the filter display, where you can drag the filter nodes for more intuitive tweaking.
Step 10: Now to the Modulation tab, where you can modulate delay time and filter frequency with an LFO. The yellow and blue lines represent LFO shape for the left and right channels – click an icon to choose one of six LFO waves – and the relationship of these lines represents phase between L and R, altered with the Phase amount below.
Step 11: Sync switches modulation between clocked and free-running. Increase or decrease Mod > Delay to apply LFO modulation to the delay time and wobble pitch. Use Mod > Filter to modulate cutoff. Set the LFO’s Rate amount or punch the x4 toggle to scale that up by a factor of four. Push up Env to blend the LFO modulation with an envelope follower – 100% is envelope follower only.
Step 12: Over in the Character section, you can alter the delay’s dynamics and flavour. Ducking does exactly as the name implies: it pulls down the wet signal when the input is triggered, a bit like sidechain compression. Pulling down the Threshold induces gain reduction, and Release sets how long it takes before the wet signal comes back up again. Time this with your song’s tempo for groovy pumping effects.
Step 13: Gate cuts any input signal below its Threshold value. Noise dials in grunge and fizz to simulate a noisy analogue delay – you can Morph between different types of noise. Wobble randomly wiggles delay time, and its Morph control sweeps between different mod types. The Repitch button at the bottom prevents the delays from changing pitch when delay times are altered.
Step 14: Just like with Wavetable, Echo’s visual feedback is particularly useful. Ableton call this centre dome-like display the Echo Tunnel: circular lines represent the repeats, the distance between lines is Time, and the density shows you Feedback.Review from Musicradar

Friday, 9 February 2018

Ableton Live 10.0.1

This  super major update gives Live a new lease of life and the Push 2 controller too. Better graphics and smoother workflow are now much better integrated and there's a plethora of small enhancements. The new 'ECHO' audio effect is just brilliant, reminding me of the Waves H-Delay ,but this thing can do so much more! The new instrument  'WAVETABLE' is a very advanced synth with many sonic capabilities under it's hood. In my opinion the best just got better!

Create bolder sounds with Live’s new devices. Stay in the flow with a multitude of workflow improvements. Do even more away from the computer with Push. Build your sound with a curated library. And get the unlimited potential of Max for Live, seamlessly built in.

Create with new devices
Meet Wavetable, Echo, Drum Buss and Pedal: new devices that mean colorful new sounds are possible with Live’s instruments and effects.

Immediately playable, infinitely capable, Wavetable is a new synthesizer built by Ableton. Shape, stretch and morph sounds using wavetables derived from analog synths, and a range of other instruments and sounds. Start sculpting sounds right away—even without a deep knowledge of synthesis—or explore its rich palette and potential through an intuitive interface.

Echo brings together the sound of classic analog and digital hardware delays in a single device—your new go-to delay. Drive and shape sounds with its analog-modeled filters, turn up the noise and wobble for vintage imperfections, or add modulation and reverb to create diffuse soundscapes, wailing feedback and more.

Drum Buss
Drum Buss is a one-stop workstation for drums, capable of adding subtle character or bending and breaking drums to your will. Add warmth and distortion with drive and crunch, take control of dynamics with compression and transient shaping, dial in and tune boom and control bass decay with the dedicated low end section.

With separate circuit-level models of overdrive, distortion and fuzz guitar pedals, Pedal brings the character of analog stomp boxes to Live. The effect goes all the way from subtle to reckless—it excels at warming up vocals and other instruments, driving synth sounds or completely smashing drums. And of course, it sounds great with guitars.

Stay in the flow
You’ll find improvements to Live that help you stay in the flow at every stage of your creative process, whether you’re getting ideas down, organizing your setup or editing the details of your music.

Do even more from Push
Live 10 brings new functionality and new high-res visualizations to Push. Now you’ll spend even less time with the computer—whether you’re composing ideas, editing MIDI or shaping and mixing sounds.

New melodic step sequencing layout
Simultaneously sequence notes and play them in from the same pad layout – the bottom half of the layout allows you to play notes in real time while the top half lets you sequence them.

Advanced Device visualization

See Wavetable or Echo in rich detail on Push as you play. When mixing, you’ll see spectrum analysis on EQ Eight, as well as advanced Mid/Side and Left/Right EQ modes. Get real-time audio visualizations from Live's Compressor: see threshold settings and compressor activity, plus set up sidechain routing.

MIDI note view
Navigate and refine the notes of your pattern in context directly on the Push display. Press and hold a step in your sequence to zoom in and use the on-screen control to adjust velocity, note position and length.

New library of sound
With new collections of Packs, Live 10 has more sounds that are ready for finished music, right out of the box. They’re set up for tweaking to your needs or taking in different directions. Plus the library has been reorganized to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Noiiz - Plugin

'Noiize' is a relatively new website and a one of a kind too. Featuring there plugin which gives one access to drag and drop samples/loops from a variety of  packs right into your own DAW. A unique and very innovative idea which previousy required a paid for membership to be able to do this. Now though it is available FREE with a few limitations. Since i am a member and was asked to invite my friends i would like to share this with anyone out there who is interested. By the way there is also a free 1GB storage space to upload your own samples. For the FREE invite to join' Noiize' go to

Working with a team of musicians and sound designers to create fresh and unique sounding content across 40 genres, UK based Samplephonics have produced well received royalty free sample packs since being founded by former producer and mastering engineer Davis Rose in 2011.

With subscription plans increasingly becoming the norm within the world of Pro Audio and professional software tools in general, what can Samplephonics spin off service Noiiz bring to the table for the cloud generation ?

There a three elements to Noiiz which are loops, one-shot sounds and preset patches for ES2 – FM8 – Massive & Sylenth. The best way to experience Noiiz is to download the VSTi available for Windows or Mac for once you have set up an account. Alternatively you down browse for sounds via website and download them from there.

The site says there’s over $10k’s worth of content available to it’s subscribers but it doesn’t say how many loops or samples this amounts to but it’s a lot and with more arriving on a regular basis from various contributors it’s hard to see how one person could ever exhaust it all.

The first port of call upon inserting the plugin or opening up and logging in to the website is your “feed”. This is a list of the latest pack releases and seems to have something new appear every week. You can browse the samples packs in the feed or if you’re looking for something more specific click the “Sounds” menu.

The sounds menu has a list of Sample Packs complete with cover art that you can browse explore as well as play-lists. You can also organize any content that you discover by tagging favorites or adding individual samples to a folder for i.e. for each project you are working on. Any previously downloaded samples are also accessible here to grab again should you need to.

There’s a broad search box that you can type a keyword into to start looking for samples or you can go to an advanced search page where many more parameters can be entered.

For me the advanced search is where Noiiz comes into it’s own. You can search by genre which covers Acoustic, Ambient, Bass, Disco, Drum & Bass, Dubstep, EDM, Electro, Electronic, Electronica, Experimental, Film, Funk, FutureBass, Hip Hop, House, Jazz, Melodic EDM, Pop, Reggae, RnB, Rock, Soul, Sound Effects, Techno, Trance, Trap, Tropical House and World.

You can also search by instrument, creator, tempo range and whether you want a loop or a one shot. One of the best search features for me is the ability to set which key(s) you would like the sample to be in. Although the plugin can actually pitch shift it for you and most DAWs come with this feature I like having the option to preserve the audio fidelity of the sample by keeping it’s original key if possible.

Once you have a list of samples that fall within your search parameters comes the fun part of auditioning the results. You can sort the search results by various methods, Random, Date Added, Popularity, A-Z by name, Tempo, Key, Instrument, or Pack. Depending on how broad or narrow your search criteria was you can have hundreds of results or just a handful to go through.

With the website you can play , loop, add to favorites download or share them via twitter, Facebook, email or create link. In addition the plugin version brings some DAW integration to the party which allows you to match sample playback to your project tempo and have the chosen sample previewed alongside your track at the right speed. Although this feature has been available within my own DAW of choice (Sonar) for many years for previewing samples already on my hard drive it’s pretty cool to be able to do this with cloud hosted previews when there are so many to choose from.

You can also pitch shift them up and down if you wish independent of the tempo and then once your happy it’s a small matter of dragging and dropping the sample from the plugin into your DAW where it creates a new audio track containing the sample complete with any tempo or key changes.

Now I live in the middle of nowhere so we don’t get anywhere near the broadband speed of them city living folks so there are a few times when jumping between samples takes a little longer than my impatient fingers would like. I don’t whether it’s my kids playing their online games, or the Noiiz servers that have a bit of a lag. Sometimes it’s snappy as I could wish for but other times I might be clicking my heels for 10 or 15 seconds whilst it catches up with me. I figure this is still much quicker than trawling my own drives for that perfect Trap snare or percussion loop.

All samples are royalty free and yours to keep forever even if you no longer subscribe. The cost of accessing the abundance of material here is a very reasonable $9.99 per month or $100 per year. Personally I think this is great value for money if you use samples within your work on a regular basis.

Writing consistent high quality music for Libraries is hard work and anything that can lighten the load, help inspire new directions or get you out a creative rut is worth it’s weight in gold.

The time saving alone in being able to find what you want when you want it and not spend hours every month trying to remember where heard that kick drum sample that’s perfect for your latest track let alone which folder it’s in is worth the admission price. Never needing to go buy one off sample packs again is incredibly appealing and in my first few months of using the service I’ve been able to use it as a springboard into new genres that have opened more doors for me as a composer. Review from MusicLibraryReport

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Iota - Dillon Bastan

Very interesting device to manipulate sounds by looping small segments of audio or triggering via midi notes. These can then be automated in a variety of ways and movements etc can even be recorded and played back. Great for soundscapes and droney type textures.  Requires the latest Max for live for Ableton Live.

Iota is a ​Max for Live ​Instrument to be used with ​Ableton Live​. Iota uses granular synthesis to loop individual segments of a sample. Loops can be drawn as rectangles over a spectrogram, designating the region of the sample to be looped, as well as the frequency range that loop is filtered through. You have access to many parameters for each individual loop. Loops are played back either constantly, or by triggering loops with MIDI note messages.


Spectral waveform ui

Create loops with individual parameters




Volume window

Playback direction

2 Filter options (fft or biquad hp/lp pair with Q)


Record parameter automations

Global parameter offsets (filter, pitch and position)

Playback loops simultaneously or trigger with MIDI notes (with volume Envelope)


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Morph - Zynaptiq-

On the surface one might think of Morph as just a crossfader of two sounds, but actually does much more than that, by blending (morphing) those sounds into each other vertically on the XY axis. Some truly unique sounds can  be created here and your only limited really by your selection of loops. This is a one of a kind plug in which will create very individual sounds not heard elsewhere.

MORPH 2 is a real-time plug-in for structural audio morphing, the sonic equivalent of one object slowly changing its shape to become a different object - for example, one face becoming another. Super-charged with a selection of 5 different morphing algorithms, a stunningly clean formant shifter as well as a lush reverb that seems to extend sounds much like some highly revered vintage hardware boxes, MORPH 2 opens up a whole new universe of sounds to explore.

Create seamless morphing transitions, new hybrid sounds that combine aspects of existing ones, physically impossible instruments, the furthest-out creature and robot voices, talkbox-esque effects and other outrageously unique new sounds. Whether you're a sound designer for film or games looking for that signature sound, or a music producer or remix artist wanting to create new content from existing recordings...look no further, MORPH is for you!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Eventide Newfangled Elevate

Very advanced limiter/mastering plug in, which just by using the presets makes an enormous difference  to the sound of ones tracks or full mixes. Definitely one of the best your likely to come across even if the look of it is a bit on the drab side.

Mastering with a Brain

Elevate is the most advanced mastering plug-in ever created. This unique multi-band limiter, human-ear EQ and powerful audio maximizer will increase the loudness of your mix while maintaining or improving its dynamic perception. It uses intelligent, adaptive technology that responds in real time to your music; creating not only the l

Developed by Newfangled Audio, Elevate maintains subtle dynamics and improves the tonal balance of your mix. The adaptive limiter analyzes 26 frequency bands and alters the gain, speed and transients for each band in real time. The result is a transparent, natural sound, no matter how hard you push it.

Elevate utilizes 26 critical filter bands modeled from the human ear. Each of the bands are spaced to give maximum control over how the sound hits your eardrum. Draw curves, solo bands and manipulate the transient attack for each individual band to bring out particular instruments such as kick or snare drums.
Adaptive Technology

Elevate uses artificial intelligence algorithms to make it easy for you to get the best sounds, but you can still get under the hood for as much precise control as you desire. This includes giving you control over the tonal balance and transients inside the final limiting stage. The adaptive algorithms reduce audible artifacts and the additional controls give you maximum flexibility with professional results.


Analyzes and alters the gain, speed and transients of each filter band in real time.
Includes presets by: APS Mastering, Matt Lange, Jeremy Lubsey, Eric Beam, ROCAsound, Chris Tabron and John McCaig.
Automatically adapts the attack, release and look-ahead parameters for each filter band to greatly reduce "pumping" and breathing artifacts and perceived distortion.
Preserves or emphasizes fast transients to avoid squashing your mix.
Manipulates transients across the critical bands to preserve the attacks from kick drums, snares and cymbals, without affecting the entire mix.
Uses linear phase auditory filters — based on the Mel Scale — to manipulate the audio in a way that is natural to your inner ear.
Solo the output of one band (or a number of bands) to hone in on problem frequencies, tweak transients or alter gain.
Use the Auto Output Level feature to compare the limited signal to non-limited signals with the same amount of gain allowing you to easily hear what impact the processing is having on your sound.
Use the Spectral Clipper to overdrive the final output without affecting the tonal balance or allowing the signal to get “tubby.” Perfect for a more aggressive sound.
Six different types of metering allow you to keep an eye on every aspect of your output audio.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018


Not just your usual reverb, Adaptiverb is capable of some extraordinary ambient type  soundscapes which sound designers will just love! I know i do!

ADAPTIVERB is a revolutionary reflectionless reverberation plugin. Unlike traditional reflection-based acoustic room modeling, ADAPTIVERB adds perceived depth, harmonic richness, and butter-smooth tails without obscuring the source.

Preserving the tonal definition and directness of your mix, it adds size, glue and body – making it perfect for mixing and mastering applications alike.
Powered by ray tracing, source separation, and advances in artificial intelligence, ADAPTIVERB automatically adapts to the input audio like a chameleon, blending with your sounds perfectly, and conforming its reverb tail to the tonality of the input or a user defined set of notes.
While exceptionally fast to use, its advanced synthesis, cross-filtering and reverb pitch processing functionality provides ambient artists, film composers and sound designers with exciting new creative options for making evolving drones, organic pads, lush ambient sound scapes, and more.