Bongo Percussion Samples and Drum Racks – Free

Every killer track needs a bongo solo… right? Well, either way, bongos are cool. It’s an iconic percussion that can add interest to your tracks.

I’ve created a sample library of Bongo Samples as well as a collection of Ableton Live 9+ Bongo Drum Racks. Check out this video walkthrough and download below.

Download Live Pack and Samples


If you end up using this in your production, please send a link below. Love checking out what people are up to with the libraries I put out into the world.



Download the full collection of Free Live packs with the Download Archive. This collection includes all the Free Live Packs on  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. This includes all the past MIDI Libraries.

Download The Full Archive


Free 16 Bit Retro Video Game Samples

Ok… I got to admit. When I hear that classic coin sound from Mario brother, I get a little gitty.  Don’t hold it against me.

I finally got around to collecting all the random sound design bits I have made over the year emulating the classic video game sounds. I compiled it all together into on free / by donation sample pack for 16 bit sounds.  It’s a collection of coin sounds, power-ups, lasers, jumps, and more. All you need to add that nostalgic touch.

Here is a link to the free / by donation download:

Download the Sample Library

If your looking to add sounds similar to Mario Brothers, Super Nintendo, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter then this pack’s for you. Enjoy!

If you want an optimized Ableton Live Drum Racks with these samples then check out:

  • Live pack includes 9 Drum Racks.
  • Optimized for Push 1 and 2 and MIDI Controllers
  • Easy to modulate effects and more.

Grab the full 16 bit Drum Rack for Ableton Live it here.


Ableton Live 9 Basics – Now $9

Live 10 is out and that means it’s time for me to update my 101 courses.  What that means is if you have Live 9 and still want to learn the program before upgrading to 10, then this is the perfect time to grab my Live 9 course. I am making it only $9! Originally 80 when I first made it 2 years ago. This course is a massive collection of videos on the basics of using Live 9.

So you want to stick with live 9 and learn it…. Here is info on the Ableton Live 9 Breakthrough Course.

What You’ll Get:

  • 6+ Hours of Course Videos
  • Downloadable Example Sets
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Updates to the Curriculum for one year

Who It’s For:

  • Complete beginners
  • Musicians Moving from Another DAW
  • Intermediate Users as a Review
  • Bedroom Producers
  • Performers Wanting to use Live

What You’ll Learn:

  • Navigating Ableton Live
  • Editing MIDI
  • Building Your Tracks Arrangement
  • Basic DJing with Ableton Live
  • Using Audio Effects
  • Recording Audio

Still want to learn more about the courese?  Here is the trailer I made for the Live 9 course.

Course Trailer:


Grab the course for only $9 while we develope our new Live 10 course.

Get Started Today!

If you still aren’t sold, then check out the Ableton Live Breakthrough Course page to look at the Outline, example videos, and more.

Thanks, everyone! Now I need to get to work making those Live 10 Videos.  If you’re interested in learning more about Live 10 and upgrading, then check out my article on Upgrading with Live 10.

Ableton Live 10 – Why Upgrade and All you Need to Know

Live 10 is out!  I have been using the Beta for 6 months now and am stoked to see the full upgrade out in the world.  In this article I am going to be sharing a bunch of resources for learning Ableton Live 10. From linking to videos, sharing my thoughts, and giving an overview of Live 10.

Looking at Live 10’s Features

First off… lets start with a trailer from Ableton.

Ok… After seeing that I was pretty stoked.  There are 3 BIG reasons why I was so excited.

1. Wavetable and new Devices

This new synth is awesome and I love seeing these new devices. Overall all the new devices seem to have a really easy interface and unique aspect they add to Live. I am obsessed with sound design with Wavetable and will be making weekly videos on presets at my youtube channel, so check it out and subscribe.

Here is an overview video of Wavetable and below that is a playlist made by a musician friend, DJ of Cryonaut Media, in Portland that gives you a rundown of all the new devices in Live 10.

Youtube Playlist on the new Ableton 10 devices

2. Capture

Capture is awesome!  It has totally changed how I first grab an idea with Ableton Live. Here is a quote on what Capture does taken from

Turn your most spontaneous ideas into music, without thinking about recording. Starting a song? Just arm a MIDI track and play. When an idea emerges, press Capture after you played it. Live will match your tempo and timing, and start your melody or groove in a perfect loop. You can also use Capture to progress your songs: add new parts or overdub MIDI into existing clips without breaking your flow—just press Capture after you’ve played it right.

PRO TIP:  This is my tip on using Capture and why it’s great. Have you ever wanted to just play the keyboard and get in the groove and not want to turn on the metronom to start? But… after you turn on the metronome it’s a little confusing how fast or slow you can go?  Well… Capture lets me get into the grove and then hit the button and it will automaticcly change the BPM to whatever I played it in. This is HUGE!

This can help you with a live set where you start playing a beat without a metronome, hit the capture button, and start the rest of your track from the BPM you were playing off. Thus making the program bend to your will, and not the other way around.

3. Multi-Clip Editing

I’ll be honest… I first saw this in Bitwig and was a little jealous. So when Live announced it with there new update, I was stoked. Multi-Clip Editing lets me select two clips and see both of there MIDI and edit them. Freaking lifesaver when it comes to Drum’s and Bass, or in many instances.  I love this new tool. Check out this video by AfroDJMac to learn more about it.


Why Upgrade from Live 9?

I get this question all the time about 8-9 and now Live 9 to 10. So… Let me give you the number one reasons to upgrade, even if you don’t want the fancy new features.

The number one reason is Collaborations!

I work with a lot of musicians from around the world. I can’t tell you how many times having different versions have gotten in the way. I have Live 9.1, 9.7, and Live 10 on my computer just for this but it is still a headache. If you want to easily collaborate with musicians you got to be on your game and the new version. I have stopped working with some musicians because I was just tired of not being able to use my current toolset.

Here are some other reasons:

  • If you download Packs or Presets online you will want the newest update
  • You get a host of new tools and updates in Live 10
  • One day you will probably have to update anyways… so just do it now 😉


Price of Live 10

As of right now, the release date, the prices of the different versions are as follows:

If you are upgrading go to:  and log in for prices.

Live 10 Out Now

Allright… there you have my review of Live 10. Stoked to see this released. If you have comments on Live 10, things you want to know, comment bellow.

Party on!



Mastering for Streaming Online – LUFS Standards

OK… this is going to be heady.

I tell musicians this all the time. Mastering is not music. Mastering is more of a technical science then it is a musical expression. Yes, there is an art to it, but you have to understand a lot of basics on how we perceive sound and different loudness standards.  If you want to be a musician, you might skip this and get a mastering engineer. (Shameful plug… I do Mastering) If you are interested in learning the art of mastering, continue on my brave friends.

Back in the wild days of the internet (Are they done? Bitcoin anyone?), many streaming services arose. At the same time, there were loudness wars ramping up on Tv and video streaming. Along the way, we had a massive range of loudness per platform. If you had your headphones in and listened to a song on iTunes, and then flipped to Youtube you might hear a huge difference. Or worse, TV and commercials. So… some really smart people made a standard of tracking loudness. There are two main ones LUFS and LKFS.  Now… I know some nerd out there will give me a talking to, but LUFS and LKFS are in practice the same thing.

(Read more on the Loudness War with this Guest Article)

This standard helped make volumes of songs or video be pretty close to each other. It has helped a lot in ending the loudness wars. But… The different streaming services have different loudness standards and algorithms to take measurements and apply the normalization.  When mastering our songs we want to keep the LUFS range to about the final range by that particular streaming service. Otherwise, if we go over then the service might lower the volume to get the LUFS they have decided to keep as a standard.


Below is a graph of the different streaming services and the LUFS standard they use.


Note: There isn’t anything on Soundcloud? That is because as of now (Jan. 2018) there is no loudness standard for Soundcloud. That means the loudness wars are alive and well there.



Well, this means a few important things.

  1. If you are thinking of self-mastering and don’t understand LUFS, consider learning it or getting a Mastering Engineer.
  2. You might want to have a different master sent to the different services. At the very least a different master for YouTube than for iTunes.

I also like to remind engineers of the art of mastering as well.  The rule of thumb has been the same since the 90s, make it as loud as possible as long as it still sounds good. You want to make it loud, but not distort the sound.

Having said this, it makes sense to know the LUFS standard of the platform you are releasing on. There is no reason to push the sound louder and degrade the sound further if the platform you are releasing on is going to lower it anyways, resulting in the same volume and worse quality. You want to balance the art of making it sound good with the science of the standard of each platform.


There you go… Keep this in mind the next time you are mastering tracks and wonder what LUFS to set the track at.  If you’re interested in learning more about mastering, I teach 1-on-1 classes and we can dive into the subject. Or if you just looking for a mastering / mixing engineer, hit me up.  

Sharing the Music – Shatter Spell

Music is a force that can bring us together. It invokes shared emotions, ideas, and hopes. This is exactly why I created Shatter Spell and why I’m now making it “free/by donation”.  Thank you to everyone that has supported or checked out the album. Much gratitude.

Grab it

I made this album with the hopes of creatively inspiring myself and others. Its an immersive world with emerging sounds that I’d love to see in the hands of others and can use your help.  Please share the album to friends and those you’d think would enjoy the journey. If you do, I’ll share an unreleased remix of Niyaz with you. The remix actually inspired the album.

Just tag @subaqueous on Facebook or if you send it to friends just message me back and I’ll send you that private link.

Much appreciation,
Isaac Cotec aka subaqueous

By | 2017-12-12T11:32:24+00:00 December 12th, 2017|Producers Blog, Subaqueous News, Events and Music|2 Comments

Loop In Review – Ableton Loop Music Summit

I had the opportunity to make it out to Berlin for Ableton’s music summit called Loop. The event left me inspired, helped grow my creative network, and gave me a lot of ideas to take into the studio. In this article, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on the event, highlights, and some review videos at the end. To start, I want to share my highlights of the event and what I think made it an amazing experience that I will want to come back to every year.


I’ve gone to a lot of conferences over the years. Almost all of them are top bottom classes where you are listening to lectures. Sometimes there are panel discussions to get people engaged, but they don’t quite do it. Loop is on a whole other level when it comes to getting the attendees to collaborate. The event included open roundtable discussions where groups of strangers had structured conversations. There was open meet up sessions and rooms full of instruments that people could jam on. (image below is of me helping out the “Jam Room” with a 20 person set up. All sorts of gear and technology to play with). I loved seeing collaboration being such a strong aspect of the event. 



Recording Multi-track with Ipad and Zoom H6

While working on my new Subaqueous Album, I came up with an idea. I wanted to record vocals with Marya Stark  but not in the studio. I wanted to trek out to a remote place in the woods and dive deep into the music. After much experimenting, I found out a way to use the Zoom H6 and the Ipad to record. We were able to do full multitracking, layering, and even editing out in the woods and it all fit in a backpack.

Here is the video walk through. Below that, I have some links to the app and gear used.

Here is a list of some of the things you might need. (more…)

How to escape the 8 bar loop and finish more tracks

Written by Daniel Dixon, content writer for

We’ve all been there before—you’re writing a track, the separate elements are falling into place, and a steady groove has emerged. But when it comes time to arrange the loop into a full track, things start to fall apart. You’ve become too entrenched in the loop to take it somewhere new, and you’re left feeling stuck.

Not knowing where to take your track is a common crux for many producers, leaving us with folders full of incomplete projects. There are, however, many ways to avoid this from happening—check out these seven tricks to help you escape the 8 bar loop and finish more tracks.

1. Use a reference track

Listen to a great track within the style you’re trying to create—how did the producer structure it? Drag and drop the track into your DAW, and use locators to make note of where it changes (intro, drop, breakdown etc.), using them as guidelines for your own music. After doing this a few times, you’ll stop needing the reference, and start adding in unique twists and developing a signature style.

Create a reference track, change it’s output to ext. out 1/2 (your master output) so the reference track doesn’t run through the mastering chain. Then mute the track—you don’t want it to play while yours does.

Add Locator:


Adding a Reference Track:


2. Make Loop Variations


Load More Posts