Microcassette Tape Instruments by PerforModule

PerforModule is an amazing producer and sound designer. I’ve worked with him in the past with things like the Free Drawbar Organ, Sub Follower, and the Pitch Bend Vibrato. So when he hit me up about a new instrument using a Microcassette tape I was stoked. He sent me over an awesome collection of sound designs using the tape sound.  The three experimental sound design instruments are crafted using noise from a microcassette tape transcriber, recorded at a sample rate of 48kHz.20160604_162304

Download the Live Pack below and read more about the instruments in this awesome pack by PerforModule.

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What is in the Live Pack:

Microcassette Hiss Machine Instrument
This is a device which can be used to provide authentic analog microcassette tape hiss, either to layer in as a background noise floor or for sound design purposes. It has a tone knob which is not a usual filter, but instead alters the playback loop point to highlight a different tone slice, each with a different combination of hiss tone and rotor speed, thus retaining full bandwidth and maximum fidelity at all settings. The brightest, default tone is with the knob in the center position; as it is moved to either the left or the right different sample slices will be resultant, each providing its own unique combination of hiss and mechanical tone settings. Any played key will generate the chosen slice (playing different keys will not repitch). A useful capability is to select a tone setting wherein the pitches of the hiss and rotor harmonically match the key of your song. There is also the option to switch between “SP” (standerd play) and “LP” (long play) modes, which each have their own distinct character.

Ideas for Usage:

  • Background Hiss: play a loop and set to a tone (by ear) which seems to resonate with the song’s fundamental key. Now that it is set, reduce the volume to just below where you can barely hear it in the mix, and let it loop throughout the entire song. This is a way to add a little analog background noise to an overly dry, digital mix, or to pretend to have recorded onto tape for hipster cred.
  • Sound design (custom sound effects): set up some of your favorite plugins after the instrument, particularly modulation and glitch effects. Record short to medium-length bursts of noise, play with plugins, and freeze. Chop up snippets that sound interesting and save them in your user library as composition resources.

Mecha Noise
Mecha Noise is an instrument which can be used to create or augment melodies out of mechanical noise (hum & hiss). This one is melodic, outputting pitches, matching the MIDI given it. The planned operation is to use it to double a melody line in a song, providing analog noise which follows the key. Since it is monophonic, it tends to work best with lead, bass, or harmony lines, and will give unpredictable results when playing chords (which still might be interesting).
Once you set it to double a line, you can then reduce its level to almost imperceptible for an analog noise which emphasizes the note flow.

An alternate usage of “Mecha Noise” is as a beefy, square-wave-esque synth with a warm, fat tone. When playing notes in the upper octaves, the ultra-low hum noise shifts into this type of sound, becoming a unique instrument of its own right.
Stop Clicker
Percussion drum rack made from “stop button” click sounds.
Simple, but useful for organic percussion programming.

  • Quick, fast transients with virtually no decay
  • Subtle variation and randomization between samples for human feel
  • Macros to modulate timbre for variety

PerforModule does a lot of amazing instruments and effects for live. If you want to grab more than check out his site at:https://performodule.com/

By | June 27th, 2016|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Geometry in Music Composition with Ableton Live

The Golden ratio unlocks a nature’s harmony, we see in the world around us.  Beautiful never lacks proportion, and mathematics is the language of proportion.

The Golden ratio occurs in nature all the time. From a shell spiral, architecture, growth patterns of plants, the human form, and more. Using this ratio in our music it injects a kind of natural beauty, similar to Da Vinci’s portraits.

last-supper-phi-golden-ratio

The golden ratio, also known as the divine proportion, golden mean, or golden section, is a number often encountered when taking the ratios of distances in simple geometric figures such as the pentagon, pentagram, and dodecahedron. It is denotedphi , or sometimestau .

The formula for the Golden Ratio is: (more…)

By | June 22nd, 2016|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Music Theory, Producers Blog|7 Comments

Free Music Box Instrument Rack – Ableton Live

I’ve always been searching for unique bell and piano sounds. I always associate a music box with this eerie yet delicate feeling. After I scoured for different music boxes, I went ahead and created a full Instrument Rack in Live using the samples.  After spending the time to create the instrument I decided to pack it all up and share it on here to give you more sounds to play with.

Here is a video walk-through of the instrument rack that is for free / by donation.

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By | May 26th, 2016|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|1 Comment

Fibonacci Sequence Delay in Ableton Live

Using interesting mathematics in our effects and music can add a natural depth to the sound. I’ve been playing with the Fibonacci Sequence with delays and wanted to share the free / by donation Live Pack I put together.

Video Walk Through:

What is the Fibonacci Sequence?

The Fibonacci sequence is referenced as far back as 900 BCE and is referenced in a lot of Indian Sanskrit and Greek text. In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers or Fibonacci sequence are the numbers in the following integer sequence:

1,\;1,\;2,\;3,\;5,\;8,\;13,\;21,\;34,\;55,\;89,\;144,\;

What is so intriguing about the Fibonacci numbers are how often they are found in nature. They appear everywhere in Nature, from the leaf arrangement, to the pattern of flower petals, pine cones, or even the bone structure of humans.

Fibonacci in Nature Rose Universe everything

If you want to read more about the mathematics behind the Fibonacci Sequence then check out Mathisfun.com

Download The Live Pack:


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By | April 20th, 2016|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|2 Comments

House Beat Sample Library – Free Download

Have you sat down to work on a track and wanted to throw in a beat for inspiration?  You then build out the track and you realize that Loop you used will only get you so far. You wish you had the kick separated, or that strange minimal sound. Well… That is exactly what I had in mind when I made this new Deep Tribal House Loop Library.

I love making Deep and Tribal House tracks.  I got addicted to the drag and drop nature of my Trap Beat Builder and got inspired to make a library of house beats for a live performance coming up.  Going back to some old projects and extracting out the beats was really fun.  Right after I put together the Sample Loop Library I was using it religiously in my new tracks. The video below will show off the Loops and how to use this unique library in your production.

 

Download the Live Version for free / by donation:


Download The Live Pack

 

Get the full Deep Tribal House Beat Builder with an added 62 One Shots, 77 solo elements, percussion, and MIDI files.  Grab the full Deep Tribal House Beat Builder.

 

6 Best Free Ableton Live Pack and Effects

An awesome Ableton Live Pack can be really inspirational.  Once and a while I look online for a new technique, sound design, or idea and love checking out Ableton Live Packs and Racks to play around. In this article I am going to list off some of my favorite packs and why I would use them. This is the cream of the drop.

Turntable Scratch

In my live sets I’ve always wanted to add a turntable scratch sound. One day when I was looking it up I found this awesome free pack by Yehezkel Raz at 4live.com.  This Instrument Rack is great for live performance and for the studio. It lets me get some awesome tape stop sounds live.  Check out the video below and download the Free Live Instrument. 

Low-fi VCR sounds

Sticking with the retro sound we have this awesome VHS VCR Tape Emulation from AfroDJMac.  If I am looking for a vintage scratchy sound this is the Live Pack go to. I love the tools AfroDJMac gives to add texture and character to your sound.

Formant filter

If you are trying to get a vowel movement, or spice up your bass sounds, then this Live Effect Rack is perfect.  Yeuda, a fellow Ableton Live Certified trainer, put together this awesome free pack that lets you scan different Vowel sounds and start to morph your sound.  I’ve used this with great effect on square wave basses or pads to add interest.

Formant Morpher – Human Vocal Vowels, For Your Synths (Free Download)

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By | April 5th, 2016|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Animatronix – Free Sound Effects Library

Having a collection of morphing Sound Effects can add a depth and texture to your music production. I worked with Animatronix to share this impressive collection of Sound FX’s. Animatronix put together this psychedelic collection of added sparkles, drops, and breakdowns. This by donation / free library contains impacts, weaponry, liquid mechanics and psychedelic sweeps. This is sample library is perfect for cinematic moments, complex transitions, and adding sound design strangeness to your tracks.

Download free FX Library for psychedelic textures and risers

Animatronix had this to say about the pack, “The sound design techniques I used to create Sonic Wizardry is layering of multiple samples from my found and folly recording library as well as mixed with my synthetic library of sounds. I love to morph and twist sounds into new sounds.  This is where layering different sounds together becomes lots of fun. I also made these samples by using a combination of granular synthesis, S-layer by Twisted Tools,  and synthesis in Omnisphere by Spectrasonics.”

To get an idea of the thick sound design Animatronix is up to, check out his music below:

Download the Sample Pack below. It’s all wav files so it can be used with any DAW.


Download the Sample Pack

If you want even more FX’s and risers, then check out the Ultimate Risers Sample Pack.  This Sample pack was hand crafted by me and has 115 samples.  Including Risers, Sweeps, and Drops. Also make sure you check out Animatronix bandcamp to listen to his music. 


DOWNLOAD THEM ALL

Download the full collection of Free Live packs with the Download Archive. This collection includes all the Free Live Packs on Subaqueousmusic.com.  Instead of crawling through the site and other online sites that have featured Subaqueous Packs, you can grab all of them with one convenient download.

Download The Full Archive
By | March 30th, 2016|Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Latin Percussion from Vintage Drum Machines

When producing Subaqueous tunes, I love to add rich percussion sounds. It really elevates the track on the dance floor. Over the last few years I find myself repeatedly going back to Latin Percussion sounds. I’ve put together an Ableton Live Drum Rack that features a collection of these samples. There is a twist to it though… All the samples have been taken from Vintage Drum Machines.

As much as I love Percussion, I equally love Vintage Drum Machine sounds. This Drum rack is a perfect blend of both.

Vintage Latin Drum Rack

This Free / by Donation live pack includes a Drum Rack and Samples taken from:

  • Alesis HR16
  • Alesis SR15
  • EMU Drumulator
  • Roland TR-505
  • And more

It also includes 40 original samples that can be used in any DAW or sampler. The samples were taken from the vintage drum machines.

Download the Live Pack and samples below:

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By | February 8th, 2016|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Getting Creative with Vocal Processing and Effects

Recording beautiful vocals is fantastic, but where I have a lot of fun is being creative with effects to spice the vocals up.  I just wrote an article on Processing Vocals in Ableton Live where I talk about the basics of getting a good starting vocal.  In this article I am going to take you down the rabbit hole of Vocal Effects, like chorusing, reverse reverb, and other tricks I have learned along the way.

For the past 2 weeks I have been working with Heather Christie, aka Cheraki, in the studio recording. We used a Miktek c5 microphone and were able to get some gorgeous recordings. I then processed the vocals to even out levels and clean it up.  From there a whole world of possible effects opens up.  In this article I am going to be using some of her vocal takes as an example of what is possible. You’ll also get a sneak peak at some new music.

Heather Christie Silk Drop

Complex Pro:

To start I want to show off some Ableton Nerdery. A while ago I did some videos on creatively using warp modes. This is a great example of using Complex Pro Mode in a creative way to give a unique character.  The reason I would use this effect is to give a deeper, and strange thickness to the vocal. If you are looking for a very intimate and realistic effect, then this is not for you.

I start off by duplicating the vocal track. I then transpose the track by -3, -5, -7, or -12. That way it is pretty safe harmonically. I usually go with -12.Complex Pro Vocal (more…)

By | January 21st, 2016|Ableton, Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|5 Comments
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