Ableton Live 8 Released (For Real)

Scenes from the Live 8 launch event in Berlin other Live 8. Actually, Live 8 will totally make you feel like eight men. Ableton, you can quote me on that on your press clippings page if you like. (Pictured: Live 8, the relief event, no relation to Live 8, the software.) Live 8 is now officially out – for download versions, that means you can go grab the thing right now; retailers are also offering the software in boxed form today. See my previous look at top features. The sorts of things that might make you like this new version: …

READ MORE →

Electro-Harmonix Voice Box: $200, Fun Voice and Instrument Effects, Gender, Vocoder

Electro-Harmonix has made a quick-and-dirty vocal effects box. Usable parameters, good fun, and $200 – sure, it may not be the highest-fidelity vocal box ever, but what’s not to love? Our friend Collin Cunningham at MAKE gets the jump on this one. It’s got some surprisingly unique features: 256-band vocoder “designed by the same EMS genius who made vocoding famous,” they say It will harmonically match electric instruments as well as vocals. 2- to 4-part harmonization, at the 3rd and 5th (labeled “Low” and “High” in case you slept through Music Theory class) 9 programmable presets Gliss Gender bender male/female …

READ MORE →

NI VOKATOR, SPEKTRAL DELAY Now Intel-Native for Mac

Let the spectral madness begin, all speedy and Intel-y on your MacBook: VOKATOR and SPEKTRAL DELAY are finally here, rounding out NI’s Intel-native lineup and gathering the last of the stragglers onto Apple’s faster new machines. Vokator 1.2 and Spektral Delay 1.6 each add Intel-native support for Macs. That’s it; there’s nothing else here for you. Windows users, move along. (Too bad, as it would have been nice to get some little present in the update. New presets, maybe? Anything?) Nonetheless, these are two of my favorite processing plug-ins, and having them ready for Intel Macs is truly a great …

READ MORE →

Tips: Vocoders + Ableton Live; Vocoder Resources, Free Universal Vocoder Plug-in

Vocoding is capable of a broad range of sounds, from the traditional “robot talking” effects to unique, organic-sounding synth and drum effects. Like many commonly-used techniques for synthesis and processing (and qualifying as both), vocoder effects can be cliched — but they can also be used to great effect. Before today’s vocoders, there was the voder, developed at Bell Labs as a sound compression mechanism. From “As We Think”, Vannever Bush 1945, via Obsolete.com. The only real challenge in using vocoders in software is routing, since you need two signals — a carrier and a modulator. People are regularly asking …

READ MORE →