Free tools, Articles and Ableton Tips

PerforModule "PitchBend Vibrato" MIDI effect rack

As a producer we are always looking for expressive sounds that give the music a really unique and human quality. A straight sine wave is cool, but having it become really expressive is a key to a really provocative track.One of the ways I have gone about this is with Vibrato and Pitch Bend. Animus has created a really cool effect rack using Max For Live and some MIDI effects racks to make it really easy to control your midi instrument and add a really expressive touch to the sound.

 

Animus, a pack creator at PerforModule, hit me up about his new rack and wanted to share it with this community. I of course said yes, because the more awesome resources we can all share the better.

 

To start, here is the link to the download for free.Just become a member of the site and you will see the link below and have access to all the other amazing resources and premium content in our monthly newsletter.

So now that you are downloading that, Animus has laid out some awesome info on what it is and how to use it. Some really cool nuggets of wisdom in here.

Read more: PerforModule "PitchBend Vibrato" MIDI effect rack

The Process of Finishing Tracks

Something Joshua Penman, aka Akara told me years ago has stuck with me. He said that when making music you got to understand that it sounds bad all the way up until it’s completed. Only then, when everything is polished and complete, will you feel you have the track you wanted.

He also talked to me a lot about understanding that it’s a process and it takes time. When you are sketching out a song you should know it won't sound good, but somewhere down the line it will sound amazing.  In this article I wanted to talk about my process of making my album and how I used this wisdom to take time with my process.

The Process Unfolding

In a later article I showed off my steps to writing a track. I walked through the idea of making a sketch, a working composition, and then a final master.  I also talked about working on many tracks so you never get stuck on one, and you're always feeling fresh. 

The next step to this is how your sketches and compositions slowly turn into completed tracks.

Finishing Tracks and An Album

In this image I want to show how the process unfolds. When I am first starting out I might have a bunch of sketches and ideas. It looks nothing like a completed album. I can actually spend days and weeks before actually having a completed track, let alone 8 or more. 

What works for me though is knowing that I am slowly working on things and I will eventually get there. There is also a cycle to it. As I complete 5 sketches I usually take one sketch and turn it into a working composition. Then after a week I have 10 sketches, and 3 working compositions. Then I will spend a week on turning the sketches I like into compositions. From there I have a bunch of tracks that if I polish them I have a lot of completed songs. 

This way I am constantly working on new sketches, refining them into compositions, and eventually I have a bunch of finished tracks. It works in waves for me. Sometimes I just can’t finish a track, but can have a hundred new ideas. The years have taught me that it’s okay, and just flow with whatever is happening and know that at some point you will polish it all up. 

The Cutting Room Floor

When you look at that graph you will also notice that I always have way more sketches than final finished tracks. This isn't even counting the ones I work on and just throw away an hour after working on it.  I think this is a very important concept for producers to understand. 

It’s really important to come at this non attached. It’s all about making things and moving on. In making a lot of sketches you will find that only a small percentage of them are any good. It takes courage sometimes to throw out some potential songs in the hopes for a better one to come, but it’s worth it. 

Flowing with the Waves

Writing an album is such a complex and huge undertaking. I might be working for weeks and not have anything definitive to show for it. I might have sketches and sketches, but nothing polished. Knowing my own cycles and waves I can be a lot more relaxed with it and know it will all come to pass. 

Have patience with yourself. Let the sketches flow through you. Use your taste to decide which ones are worth working with, and slowly polish your tracks overtime. If you have patience with yourself, you will be surprised how fast these random parts and ideas becomes a cohesive whole. 

Using Velocity with Multi Sampled Instruments

Then a drummer hits the high hat, each hit has a unique quality. A harder hit has a different timbre than a soft hit. There are different harmonics and ringing with every hit as well. There are some techniques you can use in Ableton Live to really capture that quality.

Single Velocity Instrument:

A common drum rack in Ableton live uses samples. They take a sample, like a high hat, and put that sample into a Sampler. Then every time you hit that note, or drum cell, it will play that sample. You can affect the playback in different ways. 

Sigle Velocity Drum Rack

You can make it velocity sensitive to effect the sound. This way, when the MIDI had less velocity it will play back the sample at a lower volume, and Higher velocity at a higher volume. This is one way you can affect velocity, and the playback of the sample.

Velocity Sensitive Samples with Sampler

This is limiting in the sense that it does not capture what that sound would have been like if each hit was unique. Like the example of the drummer and the high hat. The way you can set this up in Live is with Multi Velocity based instruments.

Multi Velocity Based Instruments:

In Ableton Live you can separate the playback of a sound by its velocity. What that means is a lighter hit would play a different sample, and a harder hit would trigger another sample. This is what lets you make Multi Timbre instruments based on how hard you play / perform.

This will give your performance a much more realistic sound. A great example of an instrument like this is a drum rack by Drum Drops. This video will walk you through it and why Multi Timbre instruments separated by velocity can really add life to your production.

 

Separating sounds by Velocity

There are 2 main ways I like to separate my samples in both Drum Racks and Instrument Racks. I will show you both. First, lets look at using Sampler. 

With Sampler I can only have a single sample. If I put it in an Instrument Rack I can then have multiple instances of the samplers. This way I can have one sampler have the light hit and one have the harder hit sample.

Now if I open up the Chain Selector and choose the Velocity Selector. Now here I can make it so the one sampler only plays high velocities and the other lower velocities. You can then basically do this for any number of samples.

Chain Selector Velocity Zones

To add this to a drum rack you just need to make an instrument rack within one of the drum cells of the drum rack.

Now let's look at using Simpler for all you Suite Users. Simpler basically takes the power of Sampler and the Instrument Rack and adds them to the same device. Instead of having multiple versions in a rack you can open the zones in Simpler. Now you can have the different samples put in there. Using the VEL, or Velocity Zone you can change which samples play through the Simpler at what velocity. 

Key Zone Editor in Simpler

That is the basics on creating instruments by their velocity.

Practical Example by Drum Drops

One of the best examples of Multi Velocity Drum Racks have been by Drum Drops. They make a massive collection of packs that have multiple recordings of every aspect of the drums that are then placed into racks for Ableton Live.

Here is what their site has said:

The Multi-Velocity Pack adds the highest level of realism a sample pack has to offer, and is designed for those who do not have Kontakt 5 or do not need the Drumdrops Kontakt Interface. This pack contains all the different articulations of the kit with up to 16 different velocity levels providing 400 samples to choose from. All the samples have been mixed from a combination of the individual drum microphones and overhead microphones. This pack can be loaded into any DAW, sampler or drum machine.

I highly suggest you check out there Mapex drum. Not only will you have an awesome practical example of why this is awesome technique, but you will also have a rad realistic sounding instrument.  Here is there site: http://www.drumdrops.com/

Enjoy playing with the new technique!

Free Warp Academy Symposium

This month I am proud to be apart of the Warp Academy Launch.

 

Here is what Warpacademy.com had to say:

Over 4 weekends in April we have an amazing set of free live webinars for you – that's right, free! Join us - no need for a Credit Card or payment of any sort other than karmic high-fives! 

Over 7 sessions, our instructors will tackle many topics from getting the most out of your Ableton instruments through to live performance, creative inspiration, and beyond.  Attend one, attend em all, learn heavy production techniques from nimble Ableton ninjas in this Warp Academy grand opening!

 

And as a bonus, during the webinars, we will be giving away over $1000 of free Courses!  You only need to attend to be eligible to win!

Sign up for this awesome free interactive class at www.warpacademy.com. I will be teaching how to move you're studio tracks to your live performance set on April 19th. I haven't had the chance to ever talk to people visiting my site, and would love to meet some of you all, and share some awesome information. 

The Subaqueous Mix Contest

3 years ago the project Subaqueous was born. Along the way I have shared the techniques I have learned, the lessons, and the sounds. That is why for my anniversary I am excited to bring another Subaqueous Contest.

The Subaqueous Mix Contest

This contest is for aspiring and established musicians. The winner of the Contest will get hundreds of dollars in free gear / software. The two running up producers will also win a lot of swag.

Subaqueous remix Competition with Ableton Prizes

Big thanks to all the amazing companies that are helping support this community and sponsoring the event. Icon Controllers, Plugin Boutique, Warp Academy, Ableton, Wave DNA, Loopmasters. Audiofile, Sknote, and AfroDjMac.

 

Get in the Contest!

 

Step One: Visit our facebook page, like it, and download the Live Pack.

Just visit:The Subaqueous Page and Like it to download. The Pack is is full of samples, instruments, one shots, and more. Then you can mold these sounds into your own track.

 

Free Live Pack Download includes:

  • Glitch Drum Kit
  • (aq) Udu Water Drum
  • 2 Song Templates
  • Taiko Drum Rack

Example of the 2 templates below:

Step Two: Create a New Track

Once you have the Live Pack you can mold these sounds into your own track. The song templates are made to help kick-start your creativity. They lay out a feel and some parts. Take it from there.  

 

Any track you make from these packs is totally yours and you will have all royalties and ownership of them as well. You might win hundreds in Swag and get a new track for your next album.

 

Step Three: Submit Your Track

To submit your track just visit https://soundcloud.com/groups/tracks-made-with-subaqueous-packs and upload your track to the group.

 

Submit track by May 12th!

 

Step Four: Join the Conversation

 

Now that you have submitted a track feel free to comment on other people’s tracks and connect with the other producers. A great opportunity to see how other people use these tools, as well as their unique style.

 

The Judging:

 

Here is a quick bullet point of how the tracks are being judged.

  • Obvious use of Samples and Packs

  • Unique sounds and Arrangement

  • Sound quality

 

Prizes: 

 

Here is a full rundown of the prizes for the winners and some prizes for everyone that enters.

 

Grand Prize Winner:

That is over 800 in gear and production tools!

 

2 Runner Ups:

 

Over 300 in prizes for the 2 runner ups.

 

To stay up to date on the contest join the website to get emails and updates on the event. I will send out a reminder email and any other information if it changes. Thanks everyone for being a part of this. Enjoy the Live Packs and can't wait to see what you create!

The Creatives Scheduled Their Days

Yesterday I saw a really inspiring post by Info We Trust, that lays out how famous creators have spent their day. They took old correspondences and information about the person and made an easy to understand info graphic.

When we are creating and deep in our process sometimes we wonder if we are spending our day correctly. That is why I really appreciated these images. It very succinctly conveys how ingenious people throughout history has spent their time.

The First thing I realized looking at these images is that there is no standard. None... Honore de Balzac is nothing like Mozart, yet both have amazing works. If you asked every musician you loved, you will probably never hear the same answer. We are all unique and work in different ways.

How to Figure Out Your Day:

There are times in the day that are more "creative" than others. That time is different for everyone, but they generally work in a pattern. I know one amazing composer that mainly writes in the morning. He gets up at 6am and writes until noon. Then answers phone calls and office work. I personally feel most creative at about 3pm-9pm.

To figure out your own schedule, just watch what you are already doing. Maybe take notes on when you are really feeling in your flow. What time is it? What have you done that day? Also look at what stops you from being creative?

This way you can start making it a habit.

Staying Creative During Your Day:

There is something else that almost all successful creative people share as a habit. That is, learning to stop distractions. You will notice looking at all the way these famous artists spend their day is in chunks of time. Instead of doing everything at once they are doing a few tasks in large chunks of time. It takes us 30min to an hour to really get into our current task. It is rare that I can sit down and be fully engaged in creating music in the first 15 min.

This means cutting out on random phone calls, having to get up every few minutes for snacks, and other distractions. Get your day ready, shut off devices, and then create. This will greatly improve the quality of experience and outcome of the time you do spend.

How We Spend Our Lives:

We are more than just our work. It's important to remember that being human means we experience love, loss, fun, exercise, and more. It is also what makes us interesting. If you do nothing but work for years and go to a party and try to make small talk you will realize you are kind of a boring person.

Also, How we spend our day is how we spend our lives. We get into bigger patterns and don't even realize it for years. How you plan out your every day is how you spend your life. Try keeping this in mind as you develop your workflow as an artist.

Now that I have had my morning writing, I am off to making music again. To see the full collection of images and read more go to Info We Trust.

 

Many Paths to Creating Music

I have been in the studio for a few days and wanted to share my process of actually starting and finishing an album. In short, never get obsessed with one thing. Keep things moving and keep the ideas coming.

Over the past three years I have taught a private course on music production that takes you from the start of a track to completion. I've used the image below to help explain my process. If you want, you can right click and save the image. It is much bigger than shown on the blog.

Stages to completing a music track

What I am trying to show here is the logical process of song making to complete a track as fast as possible.  I have already talked about Stage 0 in a previous post. Now if you follow my blog full of Pre Production materials like creating drum racks, creating presets, and such you will see I spend a lot of time in Stage 1.  For this article I wanted to talk about Stage 2 and 3.

As I was making music the last 2 weeks I have mainly just been working on sketches. What I mean by that is little pieces of a song. Like a rhythm, a melody, and a fee to start with. Once I get one I move on. I generally get 2-3 done a day. So that means I have about 11 sketches. From that I know about half, if I am really doing well, of these sketches are rubbish. The key is to not get obsessed with anyone. Otherwise, you might work on a track for 3 weeks polishing something that was shit to start with.  Then After working on a bunch I go through and move some over to working compositions.

When I am in Stage 3, composition, it is important to keep the feeling of movement.  I do this is by having my hands in many creative paths. If I am working on a track for 3 hours I like to mix it up and move on to one of my other working tracks. That way I don't get in that endless loop we can find ourselves.  I have found myself working on different parts of the composition over a few days. So on the first day on a track I got the intro and the main beat. The next day I work on that tracks part b section, and then move onto another track where I write a part A section. I bounce around on all my tracks for many days until they start to get completed.

The advantage of working this way is that the whole album/ep has a similar feel. Since you are bouncing around any new techniques or sounds you might like, you will probably use on a few tracks. It keeps a continuity. It also keeps the feeling of movement as compared to being overwhelmed that you only have 1 track of your Album done. This way you have 6 almost done tracks and just need to stick with it. 

So here are a few pointers.

  1. Make sketches as fast as you can and feel unattached to throw it away.
  2. Keep the story line of your whole album in mind as you are writing.
  3. Keep things moving by working on multiple songs.

Enjoy the entire process. Take your time and know this takes a while and it's all good.  After 3 days hard in the studio I am going to enjoy the fact that I am on a beautiful island, Orcas. 

The Creative Process: Starting A Track

After a few months of teaching, gigs, and other lifestyles of the rock and roll I have separated a month for making a new Album. During that time I want to write some articles on here about my creative process so you can see how I navigate, making music, finishing music, staying inspired, and such.  I also want to inspire you, as I am being inspired, by the process of making music. This is a very personal perspective, I am glad to share with you.

 

So lets start at the beginning of making new music.

 

The best way to start making music is to start off by not making music. Seriously. Spending a few days by yourself and in contemplation will go a long way.  You need to take a moment to look at the larger picture of your art, music, why you are doing what you are doing. If you start by thinking;

 

I need to finish this new album.

I will lose fans unless I make something great in the next few months.

I think people would love a new album that  is dark, and uses this one synth sound, and like the other artist I love.

 

If you think like that going into making music it will be mediocre at best.  The reason why is you are coming from a place of fear. You will compromise your own expression and artistic integrity. Now what would happen if you asked other questions to start with;

 

What am I feeling of late and where am I at in my life?

What is really important in my life and experiences that I want to share with others?

What inspires me to make music? Why even make it?

 

These questions are much more existential, but I can guarantee you that everyone thinks these things and can relate. By exploring this yourself, you will be able to get into a much deeper and more creatively rooted place. Think about what music would sound like if it was diving into the questions and core feelings of the human race as compared to a song that is trying to be popular.

 

For me personally I escaped the city and went to Orcas Island with my partner.  I have been writing in a journal, taking walks, talking with friends, and taking moments to myself. Another thing that helps is making sounds for the fun of it. I just bust out my autoharp and play it for hours and explore the wonders of music. This way I have started to formulate thoughts of what my music is.

 

Creating Story

 

Another way of staying creative and motivated is thinking about the story. I have created an epic with every track and album I make. I have a whole mythos of the Subaqueous character. People might not get it, or even know about it, but it creates a sense of place and purpose that helps move my music.

 

Try to think of what room the music is in. Is it in the desert, a cave in Africa, a festival at twilight, or what.  This will add life and story to your music that people might not consciously get, but it will affect them.

 

So with that I will leave you with this podcast I did a while back about my artistic process. It walks through what I was thinking with my past music.

Over the next few weeks I am going to go deep into what making music means to me, some techniques for staying in the flow of things, and my process to help inspire other artist.  Register on the site to join the newsletter and get the newest updates in your inbox.  

What is Mid / Side Mixing?

When I sit down to make a new track I want to insure I have the cleanest and most professional sound out there. On my quest I have found out some techniques to really get a great sounding mix. I haven't shared these before, but wanted to finally let the knowledge be known about how I really take control over my EQ and panning of my sounds.

Most people get the idea of Panning a Signal Left and Right, but might not ever hear of Mid/Side Mixing. In this article I am going to explain the basics of Mid/Side Mixing as well as show how to use it in Ableton Live. These techniques will apply for any DAW though.

Definition of Mid/Side Mixing:

Mid/Side processing works by decoding a stereo signal into two components. The 'Mid' channel contains just the information that appears in both the left and right channels. In other Words it's the Mono signal.  The 'Side' channel contains all the information that differs between the left and right channels. In other words, this is the sounds only on the sides and no where else. Once encoded into M/S, these two signals can be processed completely separately. They are then summed together and you can use the normal Panning Left and Right.

Think about it this way, You can change the quality of your stereo field separate from the menu. This will give you a lot of new ways to manipulate the sound.

What and Why Use Mid/Side?

Let's say you have a kick. The kick is mono and in the center. If I add a slight reveb to i,t I will then get a unique sonic effect on the left and right channels. That reverb makes the sound feel like it is in a room.  Now lets say I wanted to eq the reverb sound and not the original Mono Kick sound. This is where Mid/side comes in.  I can then use Ableton Live's EQ 8 and EQ just the side signals. This gives you a unique control. 

Mid Side Mixing in Ableton Live with EQ

Here is another reason to use it. If I wanted to make a sound be persevered behind me in my mix, then I will want no Mid Sound. In essence, I can get just the outer edges of a sound and take out the center of it. 

Mid Side Mixing In Ableton Live

The example I put above showed us a glimpse into editing with Mid Side in Ableton Live 9.  I find the best way is to use the EQ 8 in the Mid Side Mode. What you do is drop in the EQ 8. Now you can choose the Mode to set it from stereo to M/S, meaning Mid/Side.

Once you have that set you can use the Edit to change from Mid to Side and change the EQ for both of them separatly.  As I said earlier, this will give you a unique control over your sounds with in Live.

In that first image of an EQ 8 was in a Rack. I did this so I can see the eq simultaneously. All I did is have two instances with each effecting the one parameter and not the other, letting it pass on to the next one. This was just easy for me to see what was happening. I then made some macro knobs I like.

Overview of Mid/Side Mixing

Now that you know the basics of what Mid/Side is you can experiment with how it can be used to improve your mix.  There are a lot of possibilities that open up. Try using Mid Side to cut out frequencies in the Bass, or making a more mono mix of a sound.  You can also add some air and breath by scooping out some of the mid-range frequencies from the Mid channel on your reverb return. Or add delay to just the Mid signal and not the Side. The sky's are the limit.

I've also created some nice Mid/Side Presets and Effect racks as part of my Mixdown Toolset. Check it out and grab it for a massive collection of tools to level up the clarity of your mix. 

Mid Side Mixing Ableton Pack

Alien Spaceship Soundscapes

Free Alien Soundcape Live Pack and Samples Alfredo Treccani, a SAE graduate in electronic music production, has been playing with the principles of sounds and waves that surround our every life.   Starting from that fascination for waves  and frequencies and harmonies and geometries  He started considering that each reality or world is made of its own sounds. With this idea in mind, he created what he thought an alien soundscape would be like. Designing the sounds from our world and into the next.  Alfredo Hit me up to tell me he has been visiting the site and loving the community here for a while and wanted to share some slivers of his alien soundscapes. And with that I am happy to share with you a live pack that he has created.

Alfredo describes this pack as: “a sort of gateway to enter some alien spaces and sounds... The cool thing to underline about the pack is that you can turn an explosive percussion into an ambience and considering the fact that each sample is already layered by 8 other samples, the combination of layering them together in a simple midi pattern  could lead to some really rich textural sound completely different from the starting ones.”   Using Granular Synthesis and Layering the has created a really cool free pack. Download it for free below in both Live 9, Live 8, and just the raw samples for any DAW.


Check out more of what Alfredo Treccani does at facebook.com/halfr3d  and his soundcloud at: soundcloud.com/halfr3d

Getting the Best Spatial Panning For Your Mix

One of the keys to having a good mix is the position of all your instruments. If you look at your soundstage of where all the sounds are coming from, you will have a richer mix. Not only that, but you can make it sound bigger and clearer sounding mix. In searching for the best way to position my instruments in Live I learned a lot about how Live Pans things and other techniques.

Panning is achieved by changing the level of one stereo channel in relation to the other channel. That is a very simple way to make something sound more to the right or left.  This doesn't truly represent what we as humans hear, but it is the easiest and cleanest way to do it. This is why Ableton Live has a Pan Pot, or the Pan function, on each track and master. 

How does it work: 

If the pan is centered you then the input signal is passed through unchanged. Each channel is amplified by 0dB. If you pan completely to one side you want the other channel to be off. How live does this, is it lowers the volume equally as it raises the other sides volume. That way when you are 50% of the Left then its volume increases by 50% and it lowers the Rights volume in half.  It Increases the volume of the left to compensate for the energy lost in the missing channel's volume. 

How this Affects Your Mix: 

Let's say you have a bongo recording that you used two mics for. One on The larger ongoing and one on the smaller size bongs. Now if in live you had this as a stereo track while mixing and you started to pan to the left you are not just moving both the large and small bongo sounds to the left equally. What you are doing is lowering the volume of the small one and raising the large one. This way you are losing the feeling that the whole instrument is to the left, but instead that the left mic was louder.  This will change the sounds of your final mix and might not be the realistic sound stage you were looking for.

Other things to Keep In Mind

  1. Panning only changes volumes, never the sound itself. 
  2. In Live, the boost at the extremes is + 3dB, so you might need to lower the volume after panning.
  3. The way the utility works is the same as the track panning, so it will act the same unless you use it in combination with stereo width. 

Alternative to the Pan Pot

There are quite a few tools out there to help give you more control of panning.  One of these tools is Flux, a free vst, and I highly suggest it. Over the last few years I developed my own tools to help get the psycho acoustic panning.  I want to be able to control the panning to make the whole signal move left and right in a way that makes more sense to me and creates cleaner mixes. 

The first tool you should look at for better panning is the Utility. It can let you select different Channel Modes chooser allows selective processing of the left and right channels of a sample. If, for example, Left is selected, the right channel is ignored and the left channel appears on both outputs. This is useful to separate stereo files into the Left and Right.

Then you have the Panorama chooser pans the signal anywhere in the stereo field. This is the same as the Pan Pots in each track. But if you use it with the Width Control you get a whole new level of control. 

The Width control acts as a continuous mono to stereo controller when set from 0 to 100 percent. Beyond 100% it widens the sound. We won't get into the widening techniques, but let's talk about the 0-100. So now if you take a stereo sound of those bongos and change the width to 50%, then the sound is 50% mono. Meaning that both sounds are spread more evenly in the left and Right. That way you narrow the field and can then pan it. This makes it much more like panning the whole instrument as compared to just changing the mic levels. 

I personally have taken this a step further with my own custom tools. One of these tools is the (aq) Spacial Scalpel. This Audio Effect Rack is a more advanced way of using Utility to split it into the Left and Right Signal. That way you can lower the Left and Right volume, change the depth of what Left and Right is, as well as add a delay to the Left or right to give it more of a psychoacoustic effect.

I use this tool as I go to in mixing and moving the sounds exactly how I want.  Below is a video that walks through how I use this and the Advantage to the effect rack.

This Audio Effect Rack is just one of my tools found in the (aq) Mixing Tool Kit. The kit has a Massive Collection of two. leas' for mixing including a binaural banner, mid side controls, and more. (aq) Mixing Tool Kit at the store to level up your mixing and have complete spatial control as well as other unique tools to level up your production. 

Ending Thoughts:

So next time you are working on separating your instruments remember what exactly panning is doing and how you can use it to move things in your sound stage to get a full mix. Ableton panning is great, but by trying the utility and other effects you might get  lot tighter of a mix. The nice thing about having a good stereo channel is it will add some much more depth in your mix.

Hopefully this gives you a new perspective on the sound stage. If you got techniques you like please share them in the comments below.  The video at the end shows off the Mixdown Toolset and all the different racks and tools found in it. 

Mix down in Ableton Live Pack

Bird Found Sounds and Texture

Capturing sounds of nature can be a truly fantastic pastime.  Even just going out in the world and closing your eyes, and taking a moment to really listen you will find all sorts of noises you love. When I was in Australia on tour I had the opportunity to capture many amazing bird and nature samples.

I have taken these bird sounds and done some sound design on them with granular synthesis to add a new depth and quality. They can be great to layer as percussion, add a unique texture / pad to your track, and more.  I have used them to add to my live set with great effect. especially for some late night house party where you want to trip people out.

I did have the live pack of these bird samples for sale in my Ableton Packs Store, but after a year I wanted to release these for free. It's really fun to use and wanted to just get it into more peoples hands. The live Set includes the original samples as well as one of my Water Riser Effects from the Quneo and Hot Hand Effect Libraries.

Enjoy playing with the sounds, and if you ever use them then let me know. I love hearing what comes out of these packs, and sometime post them on my facebook and such.

Login or join the community to download these files for free.

 

Here is a preview of the sounds: 

Put A Bird On It by Sub(aq) Sound Packs

We Won The Loudness Wars?

We Won The Loudness Wars?

Guest article by Erik Magrini (Tarekith)

For the last few months, more and more industry experts have been proclaiming that the loudness wars have been won. No longer do we have to fight each other to get the loudness master on the planet, we can all go back to just enjoying nice dynamic music.

Except nothing has really changed, has it?  How has this been won, when everything is just like it was before?

As a professional mastering engineer, I've noticed an increase in clients asking about this potentially confusing situation.  There’s a lot of misinformation out there on the topic at the moment, and not much real understanding of why this may come to pass.  To help people get better understanding of what’s going on, I thought I would try and briefly summarize the main causes of why someone might claim the loudness wars are over.

It all starts with ITU­R BS.1770.  Yes, that’s what it’s really called, and you can read it yourself if you really want:

http://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/rec/bs/R-REC-BS.1770-3-201208-I!!PDF-E.pdf

Originally introduced in 2006, this standard was written to help TV broadcasters transmit audio at a uniform volume.  That way one show is not louder than the next, and TV ads don’t playback louder than programs.  It not only defined what that uniform volume should be, but also described the way audio must be measured to comply with that standard. 

It gave us the means to measure music in a way that accurately reflects how humans perceive loudness.

By now, almost all TV broadcast stations around the world follow this standard, and slowly radio broadcasters have been following suit. Currently radio broadcasts are also volume controlled, but often with dynamic compression and other audio processing; this is not only expensive, it’s time ­consuming.  The new 1770 standard only allows for raising and lowering of the overall song volume, the audio content itself is not being altered at all.  Much cheaper and easier for radio stations to implement, and it sounds better too!

So far, this has nothing to do with us, I know.  But recently internet radio has become much more popular, and it too is starting to follow this standard.  Spotify has had a variation of it from day one, and Apple just adopted it for their iTunes Radio as well.  iTunes has a similar function called Sound Check that does this for your music library as well.

Read more: We Won The Loudness Wars?

Sacred Bass Sessions

Sacred Bass Sessions Event

During the Solstice I had the pleasure of playing an amazing event in Bellingham called Sacred Bass Sessions. The event describes it's self as a series of intentional gatherings in Bellingham celebrating music, art, spirit, community & freedom of expression. The night started out with an opening ceremony of sound bowls and moved into yoga. I helped create a soundscape for it and move it into the evenings dance. Later Michael Manahan layed down an awesome set to bring up the vibes to full on. 

Sacred Bass Sessions

The set I created that night was recorded and Sacred Bass Sessions just uploaded it. it takes quite a journey. 

I really love the intention and beauty of these events. I would love to see more intentional ecstatic dances and community dance space. So grateful for the experience. Hope to be back to play for this community. Check out there website to see more upcoming events. http://www.sacredbass.org/

After I played Michael Manahan layed down a fantastic set to bring in the darkest night of the year. Check out his live set below. 

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