Horn Pad – Future Bass Inspired

You ever want that flume style brass pads? Well, here you go… I made a preset inspired by that sound with Wavetable. Check out the walkthrough video on how to make the preset, or grab the preset for $1:

Download Preset for $1

Want the full monty? I created a massive pack of Future Bass presets and Live Sets.  It’s a collection of top of the line Wavetable Presets with that tasty Future Bass sound.

Grab the Future Bass Wavetable Presets

By | 2018-01-15T17:39:05+00:00 February 3rd, 2018|Ableton, Producers Blog, Wavetable|0 Comments

Learning Ableton Live’s Wavetable – Basics

Ableton Live has come out with an amazing new synth, Wavetable. This thing has been blowing my mind.  In this article, I am going to be going over the basics of Wavetable, using the synth in Live, and some tips.

Picture of Ableton Live 10’s Wavetable Synth

What is Wavetable Synthesis?

Wavetable synthesis is a sound synthesis technique that employs arbitrary periodic waveforms in the production of musical tones or notes. The technique was developed by Wolfgang Palm in the late 1970s and published in 1979. Ok… that is the heady version. Simpler version… It allows you to pick a waveform, and then cycle through an entire collection of waveforms in an easy way. Thus morphing and changing the sound. It is a totally different approach to synthesis.  Keep going… this will be made clear below. 

Wavetables and Waveforms

Wavetable Synthesis has also been called “Sample-Based synthesis”. That is because a wavetable is a collection of Waveforms in one Wavetable.

So… most synths you pick your waveform in the oscillator. Let’s say with Operator you pick the Sine Wave. You can also pick the next waveform, Sine 4bit and so on. Each one of these is a separate waveform. If you were to manually pick between them you will notice it makes a click or some strange sound as you switch. This is because it is loading and playing a whole new waveform.

Image of the possible waveforms in Operator.

Wavetables are different. A wavetable is a collection of those separate waveforms in a single file or sample. A Wavetable Synth loads up that sample into its oscillator.  Here is a picture of Ableton Live’s Wavetable. The default is the Basics -> Basic Shapes.  This Wavetable has 4 different waveforms. Then using the Wave Position you can smoothly cycle between those 4 different waveforms and it will automatically change the shape between each one.   (more…)

By | 2018-02-01T23:52:06+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Ableton, Producers Blog, Wavetable|0 Comments

Ezra Brass Wavetable Preset – Future Bass

I was inspired by the track Ezra by Flume to make a new brass preset. I love that tasty fresh sound in his synths. They always have a unique feel to them. I recreated the sound in Ableton Live’s Wavetable. Check out the walkthrough video on how to make the preset, or grab the preset for $1:

Download the Wavetable Preset for $1


Want the full monty? I created a massive pack of Future Bass presets and Live Sets.  It’s a collection of top of the line Wavetable Presets with that tasty Future Bass sound.

Grab the Future Bass Wavetable Presets

By | 2018-01-30T21:26:52+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Ableton, Producers Blog, Wavetable|0 Comments

Ipu Hawaiian Percussion – Free Drum Rack

Ipu (Ee-p-u) is a percussion instrument made from gourds that is often used to provide a beat for hula dancing.  I love the unique sound of this instrument and have used it as additive percussion in my tracks. Always looking for unique sounds from around the world.

I took some samples I recorded this awesome gourd and put it into a drum rack in Ableton Live.  Watch the video below to learn more and the links to grab it for free / by donation.


Free / By Donation Drum Rack

Download the Drum Rack


By | 2018-01-31T18:39:53+00:00 January 31st, 2018|Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

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.  

Epic Orchestral Drum Rack – Free / By Donation

If your looking for some epic hitting percussion, then this free/by donation Live Pack is for you. In my tracks, I love to add juxtaposition to my sounds. Like having delicate bells alongside some huge sounding drums. It gives it interesting dynamics.

I put together a massive 64 pad Drum Rack for Ableton Live. This pack is for free / by donation as a demo of the larger Colossal Thunder Live Pack. Check out this video walkthrough of the Drum Rack:

Download the Live Pack Below:

Download the Live Pack

If you’re really stoked on having epic orchestral drums that are easy to use, then check out the full Colossal Thunder Live Pack.   Live Pack includes:

  • 104 MIDI
  • 27 Custom Ableton Drum Racks
  • Racks Optimized For Ableton Push 1 and 2
  • 293 One Shot Samples
  • 37 Colossal Drum Loops
  • One Ableton Live Pack

Still not sold… check out this trailer video for the Live Pack:


Grab the Colossal Thunder Pack


By | 2018-01-04T14:50:52+00:00 January 4th, 2018|Free Music Tools, Producers Blog|0 Comments

Serum Vs. Ableton Live 10’s Wavetable

In this article, I will be looking at xfer Serum versus Ableton Live 10’s Wavetable.  In the article, I hope to lay out the major differences and similarities to help you decide which synth you want to invest money and more importantly time into learning.


When I first wrote this article I got a lot of comments on how these are totally different synths. Like Apples versus Oranges. Well… first of all, those are both fruits. They’re both round… lots of similarities here.  Serum and Wavetable are both wavetable synths. They both do this through 2 oscillator wavetable synthesis.  The difference is found in the different approaches and parameters you have to control and shape that sound.  In this article, I hope to show those differences and where they’re strengths lie.

Video Walkthrough of Serum Vs Wavetable:

I made a video version of this article and you can watch it below:

Workflow and Speed:

If you can grab a synth and make a fairly similar sound but 2x as fast, you would probably always use that synth. Granted that usually means certain synths are much faster at certain sounds and every synth has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to workflow.

Serum has a lot of options. It has extensive routing options and quick controls for LFO’s and modulation. This does mean the workflow is a little complicated. It can take a while to find the parameter you are looking for. Setting up the Matrix can take longer, and so on.  The click and drag nature of the modulators is pretty slick though.

I’d say Serum is has a fantastic workflow, but still complicated enough to be a little slower at certain things.  My biggest pet peeve though is the load time! When switching between presets I have to wait up to 30sec. Seems like no big deal unless you spend 10 min just flipping through a handful of sounds. This slowly drives me crazy.

Wavetable is lightning fast. You can see most parameters on the first page, and in the expanded view you can see everything. The Matrix setting is really intuitive and fast to use.  I find I can make a lot of sounds really fast without even questioning where a parameter is. And I am new to this synth!

Load time on presets is almost instant. Thank god!

Serum Workflow and Speed: 7/10

Wavetable Workflow and Speed: 8/10

By | 2018-02-01T21:56:12+00:00 December 21st, 2017|Ableton, Producers Blog, Vst Review, Wavetable|8 Comments
Load More Posts