Ableton Goodies: Free Fairlight CMI Sounds, Skins, Amazing Reverb, and … TETRIS!

Want to relive the sweet sounds of the classic Fairlight instrument, because you love the 80s? Want to reskin Ableton so it doesn’t offend your aesthetic sense or blind you and bathe you in blue light when you’re onstage? Do you want a different reverb from a master sound designer and patcher? Do you just want to unwind in the middle of a studio session by playing TETRIS on your Push? We’ve got you covered. Our collection of freebies for the ever-ubiquitous Ableton Live continues to grow – especially as talking about it is causing more people to send stuff …

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Ableton Goodies: Free volca beats Drum Rack, Drums Smash Effects Rack

We give you news of the thing. Then we give you a virtual thing that helps you with the thing. Then we give you a virtual thing for when you don’t have the thing with you or want a taste of the thing before you get the real thing. Or something. And we’ll keep this Ableton Goodies series going as long as people keep sending nice freebies and treats for Ableton users in our inbox. In our last volca-related episode, we shared some free control patches built in Max for Live that make automating and manipulating the volca series from …

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Propellerhead Reason 7: External MIDI, Integrated Slicing Get Serious, Overdue Love [Preview]

Happy 2013, everyone! Here’s CDM with the latest news. It seems there’s a new synth called the Korg MS-20! Or you can have a monosynth with filter saturation – that arrangement of three oscillator knobs looks cool. All of these things use a ground-breaking format called MIDI that allows digital instruments to talk to one another. And you can even get software for your computer that now supports MIDI output. So, you can use your computer to talk to your synth – that is, if you aren’t busy taking advantage of the computer’s ability to slice up audio. In case …

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Reason Opens Its Rack To Developers: Q+A with Propellerhead, What This Means for Plug-ins

Reason’s Rack, a walled garden no more. Hmmm… “reason.” “Logic.” I’m calling my next musical creation “Inanity.” Sound good? Who’s in? Photo (CC-BY) Marco Raaphorst. He’s a fan. Users want more: that much is clear. But for years, Reason has famously (or infamously, depending on your point of view) resisted plug-in formats as a way of extending its production environment. At the moment, plug-ins have been dominate largely by Avid (RTAS), Apple (AU), and Steinberg (VST), as open source alternatives have failed to gain wide commercial traction. Those formats apparently didn’t make the cut with Reason. That changed officially tonight. …

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Six Months of Free Ableton Racks, Six Favorites from the Creator

An Ableton rig with a dramatically-lit Novation Launchpad grid controller. Photo (CC-BY-SA) alexwire. Ableton Live fans hungry for sounds, what a good half-year it’s been. AfroDJMac alone has been busy putting together delicious-sounding, versatile racks of virtual Ableton-ready gear. After six months of contributing free downloads and videos – and discovering the use of this kind of generosity as a tool for exposure – he’s come up with some 26 such racks. You can grab them all, but I asked the artist to choose his six favorites out of the bunch: 1. Nintendo Rack- Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but these …

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A Free Sampled Yamaha CP-35 Saves You From Lifting; Handmade Albums Lift You Up

Yamaha’s CP-35 may fall short of being a classic, but it is capable of some pleasant, dreamy sounds. That is, if you can actually lift it. Impossibly heavy and cumbersome, here’s a job for sampling if ever there was one. A free Ableton Live rack gives you convenient access to the instruments and live effects. I should note, by the way, that Ableton Live is not a prerequisite to using the samples AfroDjMac, aka Brian, aka Nairb Funk, aka the guy who’s been giving us the gift of tons of free Ableton Live stuff, talks to CDM. He shares some …

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Make Ableton Sing Like a Tuvan Synth, or Bleep like an NES

Zap! Photo (CC-BY-SA) candescence. Ableton has introduced various features to its flagship Live tool over the years, but one of the simplest ideas – combining instruments and effects into accessible Racks – is also one of its most useful. They make those sound controls immediate and functional, and they can be a great way of delivering sounds. Two cases in point: free downloads that incorporate synthesized vocals and retro Nintendo blips. AfroDJMac keeps his free Live goodies coming with noises constructed on a vintage Nintendo Entertainment System, the 8-bit timbres orchestrated by the sadly impossible-to-get MidiNES MIDI adapter. True to …

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Free Ableton Live Racks from Old Upright Piano, Bowed Guitar

Speaking of goodies for Ableton Live, NYC-based electronic artist and songwriter AfroDJMac has been creating some unusual, nicely quirky Device Racks for Ableton Live. Unlike a Max for Live patch, these are accessible to anyone with a copy of Ableton Live – and may be easier to edit for those of you not comfortable tinkering around with Max patches. Each creation begins with a sample, then twists it into playable instruments in virtual device racks. AfroDjMac has been releasing these racks on a weekly basis; weeks two and three are already looking good. At top, a 1960s Gibson acoustic guitar …

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Ableton Users, Grab Gigs of Custom Instruments for Free

Inside an Ableton instrument sample. Photo (CC-BY) Cliff Beckwith. Live’s Instruments can be a terrific way to explore Ableton Live – rather than simply giving you black-box preset sounds, these include custom racks that can be customized, disassembled, and warped to your own applications. I’m a fan of the work of some of the folks doing the programming, too, like the talented Puremagnetik folks; rather than just generic productions, you get a lot of the sort of oddball stuff that we love. Live users may already know this via Ableton’s mailing list, but in case it got into your “marketing …

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Step Sequencers in Live: How-to, Free Rack Download

The Covert Seq – Creating patterns and Presets from Bjorn Vayner on Vimeo. The Covert Operators and Bjorn Vayner have become my favorite go-to source for wild Ableton Live hacks. And even before the release of Max for Live, Bjorn has built some terrific, simple step-sequencers using Live’s Racks feature. That’s just the Racks feature – no Max patches or hidden features anywhere to be found. Sure, I suppose the clip view itself can be seen as a kind of step sequencer, but this gives you a unique way of generating sequences. If you just want to begin playing with …

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