Hardware is beautiful. But until we buy that private 747 and outfit it with an in-flight lounge, for instance, portability still matters. And that means for some of us even keeping both hardware and samples.
Let’s get down to it: it’s time for another installment of the CDM “goodies” series, where we point you to free downloads to keep your hard drive happy.
And this time, we get some of your favorite gear in the act: Prophet 12, volca, Minitaur. (Also, most come from Austin, Texas.)
Many of these are already assembled into Ableton Live kits, but if you prefer to use other tools, don’t fret. All of the Live kits come with a Samples folder that lets you use the files in any tool you wish. We also have a set of loops that are very platform-agnostic. Whether you use Ableton or not, you should go home happy.
Francis Prève treats us to a set of chord stabs from the awesome, 2013-favorite Dave Smith Prophet 12. I love Francis’ sounds because these are really samples designed for those of us passionate about sound design – they’re building blocks, real tool sets, so that you can adapt them to your own ideas. Ableton Simpler with presets, but if you know what you’re doing, the raw samples are plenty useful, too.
All of instruments are in default mode, with filtering, LFOs and envelopes off. No looping. Full length samples, some have a touch of vibrato at the end.
Free Prophet 12 Ableton Instruments [Francis Prève]
Since the volca beats is backordered (sorry if CDM made that worse), you might need volca samples to make use of this instrument. And, again, Francis doesn’t just dump a bunch of loops on you – you get the tools you need to make your own grooves, too. 123 bpm. These aren’t Ableton sounds; they’re just raw loops, so use whatever you like. (Pd!)
To keep things useful and interesting, I mixed up the pack with some full grooves, some kick/snare patterns, some hats and some top percussion loops.
Korg Volca Beats Loop Pack [Francis Prève]
Livid Instruments, the Texas company making some of our favorite controllers, is getting in on the free soundware act, too. In a release from just after Christmas, Livid invited KC Harvey Taylor to compile a Live pack full of sounds of Moog’s Minitaur synth, the successor to the Taurus. Yes, you get bass sounds, of course, and they’re sweet.
But he also makes a drum kit. And since the patterns are MIDI-based, you can easily make them your own. Livid explains:
He then got extra-creative and made a complete drum set from this thing that’s supposed to just sit down and be fat. That’s the beauty of combining analog and digital: you simply couldn’t use a Minitaur as a drum kit, but with some creative tweaks, you can get drum sounds out of it. The power of sampling prints it all to a format you can play with, and start exploring some new sounds from the unexpected.
There’s a link for raw WAV files, too, so if you really don’t want to be bothered, you don’t even have to navigate to the Samples folder in the Live Pack.
Finally, Ableton over the holiday break released their own set of free samples – 500 MB worth, pre-configured for Live 9.
These are loops more of the conventional variety, but the solution here is to provide arrangement flexibility so that you can tweak them to your own purposes:
Sample Magic loops are offered with up to four stripped variants for full arrangement flexibility and tempo-synced (90-174bpm) for total convenience.
I’ll say what I said about the above examples: stock loops make me sad. Construction kits make me happy. And at the same time, since I wasn’t above finding inspiration on old auto-accompaniment on organs or my first cheap, plastic Casio keyboard, it can still be useful to put something in an arrangement to get the creative brain turned on.
So, these are actually genre-specific (and thus unlike the examples above), but because they are stripped down and available at different tempi, they can remain flexible.
Now there’s no excuse for not getting something going. If you have music you want to share, do send it our way.