Flintpope releases Ambient 64 Pack for Ableton

Flintpope has launched Ambient 64 Pack, a free sound pack for Ableton Live. Celebrating Ableton 9.2 and the new 64-pad PUSH Flintpope’s

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Recording Connection unveils new Ableton Live courses

Addressing the growing popularity of EDM and other forms of electronic music production, The Recording Connection Audio Institute is unveiling a new

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These Tools Plus Live 9.2 Could Change How You DJ and Play Live


Ableton Live can be a fantastic tool for playing live, for improvisation, and for studio work. But while some people put together very effective DJ sets, it doesn’t always stack up to other software out there in terms of satisfying certain significant DJ techniques.

And that’s too bad. Because if your DJ aspirations include lots of creative juggling of beats, Ableton Live would seem perfect.

The DJ Collection from Isotonik Studios – the advanced Max for Live hackers who have been releasing a dizzying array of tools for customizing how Live works – provides some of the tools advanced DJs crave.

And by “DJing,” we really mean sophisticated beat juggling, slicing, and looping techniques – so quite relevant to anyone using improvisation and rhythm heavily, whether or not in a DJ set per se.

All of this gets really interesting as of Live 9.2. In fact, it was Isotonik who tipped me off to the fact that the Live 9.2 API had changed in some interesting ways. Now, it may not be clear to you why you should care about some arcane under-the-hood API calls having to do with how clips are triggered. And frankly, you don’t have to care. But because Max for Live developers were able to see daylight through these newly-poked holes, they were able to go spelunking in some new tunnels, as it were.

And what you will care about, some of you, is what you can do.

Isotonik Studios DJ Collection – DJ Hot Cue Universal MIDI from Isotonik Studios on Vimeo.

The DJ Collection bundles together all of these handy tricks into a single software add-on. If you use AKAI APC40 mkII or Ableton Push (or, soon, Novation’s Launchpad and Launchpad Pro), there are integrated solutions that immediately map this to hardware. If you prefer something else, there’s a generic universal MIDI variant, too, that you can use with anything (like that custom arcade-button-joystick affair in plywood you built).

Here’s what you can do, in brief (there’s a lot more detail on the official site).

Hot cues. Create and then play back hot cues on a single clip – rather than having to make a bunch of different clips just to have different cues. Then, see where those cues are via LED feedback on controllers.

Slicing. Credit to Serato: Novation Twitch has a beautiful, pre-mapped slicing effect. But if you’ve been jealous, now the Isotonik boys have brought it to Ableton. Take some sound, divide it into eight slices, then trigger them, with full quantization. (Push even works with eight tracks at once.)



Loop on the fly. Independent of the loop on the clip itself, you can at last loop on the fly – halve them, double them, move them, and set them to lengths as short as a 1/32nd note.


The upshot of all of this: you can at last slice up and cue clips freely in ways that weren’t possible before on a single clip. Sure, there are other ways of doing this – and if you’re comfortable with one of those ways, you can comfortably move right along here, nothing to see.

Likewise, by definition, a lot of this stuff is already easy in tools like Serato and Traktor – Serato, in particular, being good at the slicing workflows. So, from that perspective, it should (rightfully) justify your choice of DJ tool.

But at the same time, I think it is an impressive demonstration of what some subtle changes to Live’s API make possible. And for Live mavens, it’s fantastic news.

And combined with other tools only available in Live, this powerful set of tools – complete with all the documentation and sample files you need to get rolling – could be invaluable. At the price of a nice lunch in London, it’s a steal.

Isotonik DJ Collection [Isotonik Studios]

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Reveal Sound intros Indie Dance & Nu Disco Essentials for Spire

Reveal Sound has introduced Indie Dance & Nu Disco Essentials for Spire, a soundset from Big Sound Samples featuring a collection of

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Free Ableton Live 9.2 Update Now Available, Here’s What’s New

Ableton today released version 9.2 of Live. The free update brings improvements and additions to both Live and Push and is available now as a free download for Live 9 users. Here’s what’s new: Latency compensation – Live 9.2 introduces a number … href="">Continue reading class="meta-nav">→

Ableton updates Live to v9.2

Ableton has announced the release of Live 9.2, an update to the music production software for Windows and Mac. Live 9.2 brings

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Mad Zach Has Tips on Finger Drumming, Production, and His Free Live Pack

All those pads – it took virtuoso finger drummer Mad Zach to take advantage of them.

Mad Zach’s five free Drum Racks accompany today’s release of Ableton Live 9.2. Since he, frankly, makes most of us look bad with his agile use of the Push hardware, I wanted CDM to talk to him more about what he’s doing. He joins us to share some tips for live performance, production, DJing, and more.

64 Pad Lab by Mad Zach

Can you talk a bit about finger drumming? How do you practice / how do you stay nimble?

For me, finger drumming is a chance to truly play electronic music like an instrument. It lets me break out of the confines of linear music programming to infuse something alive into the sinews of my music. One of the things that interests me the most about it is the balance between sound design and performance technique. Because of how much power there is in great sound design and minimalism, there’s a lot of room to do something incredible which is actually quite simple.

In terms of staying nimble, I treat it just like I would guitar or drums — practice all the time. I don’t really do any special finger exercises other than jamming all the time and trying new stuff/patterns as I discover them.

You’re using Live 9.2 now. Anything you’re using in the upgrade (apart from the bits you added)?

I’m typically one of these people who never upgrades, but since they added the new 64 pad mode, it made sense. I also really appreciate the tuner. Other than that, it seems pretty much the same to me… which I like :)

Congrats on the pack; it’s really great work. How might people extend it in their own work?

The packs are really flexible, they can be used for finger drumming with a 64 grid, or also just loaded into a project and used for production. Additionally, all the waves have been organized so you can just sift through the one-shots and find something interesting to kick off an idea, or flesh out something you already have. Lots of sick stabs, bass noises, drums, atmospheres, etc. I often drag the waves directly into my timeline and chop them up directly, or drop them into a dedicated midi track with a sampler, and play them on the keyboard.

Okay, so that’s your pack. How might users go about organizing their own packs for performance and studio inspiration?

I usually like to start out pretty experimentally, just recording 30 minutes or so of different sounds – whether it’s synth noises, or sample manipulation, resampling, etc. I’ll set up my hardware in different ways and play around. Once I have a nice chunk of audio, I bring it into a Drum Rack and move the start point around looking for cool bits. The drums are a bit of a different story because they are more specific.

So, in my own music making, I like to use Ableton and Push alongside other drum machines, too – both hardware and software, so ranging from NI Maschine to the KORG volca sample and Jomox Xbase09. I’m curious, do you combine the Live workflow with any other tools? If so, how?

Yes, I’m a hardware freak. Mostly I just use Live for recording the audio and putting it in a Drum Rack. I’m always running MIDI out to my gear, processing the signal through a bunch of pedals, resampling it, etc. One of my favorite sounds in this selection of packs I made by chopping up an a capella, pitching it down, running it out through the Moog Moogerfooger Ring Modulator [MF-102] with some overdrive, resampling that back in, layering it with a long 808 kick and putting those together back through the Moogerfooger Cluster Flux. Then I pitched that down, reversed it, and booom, my favorite new bass sound!


And how do you go about DJing? Are you working with any hybrid live/DJ sets?

I do a hybrid live/DJ set that fuses my original productions with finger drumming sections. After much experimentation, I’ve come to that balance because I think there are certain things about DJing your tunes which are really good, and expected, while finger drumming offers something new and exciting for people. By fusing the two, I’m able to have the best time, and also give people a nice balance of what they expect, while surprising them with what they don’t.

Mad Zach @ Facebook

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ADSR Sounds releases Vespers Sound Design Bundle

ADSR Sounds has launched the Vespers Sound Design Bundle, a collection of 6 sound design products by Vespers, featuring more than 20

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Free Live 9.2 Arrives; Here’s What’s New – Including Powerful API Changes


A free update to Ableton Live, version 9.2, is now available and out of beta. We covered this in some detail before:
Live 9.2 Answers Your Warp, Automation, Tuner, and Pad Wishes
Hands on with the Ableton Live 9.2 Tuner [Video]

But today, in addition to the release, we get a closer look at the free Mad Zach sample pack included to help you exploit all 64 pads of Ableton’s Push hardware — plus some insider details on changes to the Live API that will impact power users and add-ons for Live.

First, let’s review what 9.2 adds. It’s some subtle stuff, but details I think a lot of you were anticipating:

  • Better latency compensation. Lower latency for plug-ins and Max for Live, plus latency-compensated automation.
  • Warping sounds and works better. Downbeat detection is better (phew!) and you can Warp Selection for the first time. Also, warping is more precise and punchier (in the better-sounding Complex and Complex Pro modes).
  • There’s a tuner. Hardly earth-shaking, but good that’s finally standard – whether you’re using a guitar or synth.
  • Max 7. The latest-and-greatest Max is now baked into Live – and that’s a great thing, given the cool stuff Max 7 includes (a lot of it waiting on this very Ableton update).
  • Push is better at aftertouch. Push harder. Aftertouch implementation itself is improved, and it’s supported in more factory sound patches, too.
  • Push touch strip does mod. You can now add modulation with the Push touch strip – maybe even more useful than pitch bend (already supported).
  • Push has a 64-pad layout. Whereas previously triggering samples and such split the Push layout into a separate step sequencer and pads, now you can use all 64 pads if you choose.

And, the bonus: to exploit those 64 pads, you get a free pack from Mad Zach pre-loaded with samples to try out. He walks you through that video here:

It’s called “The Lab,” and the sound pack and accompanying video walkthrough help you work with those 64 pads (at least if you haven’t already lined up four MPCs in your sets), sound design, and production.

There’s more in Live 9.2 though, beyond just the features Ableton announced today. The developers at Isotonik tell us they’re excited about new improvements to the API. In fact, it brings some of the first major Live Object Model updates since Max for Live was released half a decade ago.

Say wha?

Well, the “LOM” is the means by which add-ons built by users and third-party developers in Max for Live interact with Live itself.

If you’re a hard-core Live geek, this means more power for you to create new tools. But even if you aren’t, it means that those add-ons will be able to do things they couldn’t previously.

And some of these changes came from – well, you. You users asked developers like Isotonik and the Crashologists team for changes. They asked Ableton for those changes. And Ableton – as of today – delivers.

I’ll cover the first round of add-ons separately, but here are some highlights under the hood:

  • Load a clip into RAM, right from the API (for greater performance
  • Move around playhead positions without losing sync with Live
  • Integrate more tightly with hardware
  • Set loops to resolution as fine as 1/32 notes (not just quarter notes)

If you’re interested, we can go into more detail.

But all in all, this looks like a good update – and it makes me excited to see what’s next from Ableton in terms of Live itself, and support for external hardware.

Live 9.2 Out Now [Ableton]

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Biome Digital releases These Are The Kicks for Battery & Live

Biome Digital has launched These Are The Kicks for Native Instruments Battery and Ableton Live, now available at a 35% discount for

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