Abletonalies – From Electro, IDM and Glitches to EDM
A new set of small editions for Ableton Live suitable for Electro IDM, Glitch or EDM producers. As long as they are cheap enough that we can afford it, let’s go for it!
by A. Arsov, Sept. 2014
In this issue we will take a step further to discover some tools and packs that are not just EDM oriented. As you probably noticed browsing through the Ableton store, there are plenty of packs from many developers covering almost all genres: cinematic, atmospheric, down-tempo, hip hop to pure blip–blip electro.
We will start somewhere in the middle, or maybe more a bit closer to the blip–blip electro style: the Soniccouture duo are well known by their top notch sounding sound libraries for Native Instruments Kontakt, nailing every single detail of any instrument that they decide to represent. I’m glad that they’ve decided to expand their business by making some libraries available in Ableton Live format.
SonicCouture – Abstrakt Breaks 1 & 2
Abstrakt Breaks 1 & 2 are Ableton Live packs that bring us nice collections of drum loops and loop elements suitable for Electro, IDM, industrial, cinematic, glitch or any other similar genre. Every pack brings you over 40 grooves broken into more than 200 loops. At first glance it might look a bit limited in the number of different grooves, but as soon as you try a few loop elements, you will realize the diversity of grooves, and their parts will allow you to combine various elements from various grooves in a large number of interesting combinations. The overall quality, crispness and clarity of all loop elements highly exceed the asking price – €39 EUR for each pack.
All grooves and loops in those packs sound very powerful and energetic along with being a bit odd in a good way. This is ideal material for spicing your songs with a touch of madness. They may not be suitable for some tastes, but they are definitely worth trying out. Here you can hear some demos: Abstrakt Breaks Abstrakt Breaks 2
SonicCouture – Tremors Vol 1 & 2
Tremors Vol 1 & 2 sounds more Electro with Dub elements – not so aggressive, far more sparky, gentle but still very vivid. Actually both packs offer the sort of loops that you can hear in your favorite Electro songs. Tremor Vol 1 brings 63 grooves in whole-tempo range from down-tempo to d’nb speediness divided into 300 drum loops, bringing plenty of separate elements for those grooves. It costs €59 EUR while Tremors Vol 2 is a bit more expensive – €69 EUR.
I haven’t heard such inspirational packs for a long time – very “duby”, darkish, unusual, crisp and all-in-all very useful. Sometimes you get some drum loops that sounds good but you can’t start doing anything with them as they are all over the place. Thankfully this is not the case with the Tremors collection. I plugged in my keyboard, start banging along with those loops and instantly got some good results. They simply sound good being in the background while at the same time leaving enough free space for filling out the arrangement with other instruments. Demo and additional info can be found here:
Tremors Vol 1 Tremors Vol 2
I’m sure that you come across this situation, being blessed with inspiration in late hours, or when you are on the road, traveling in train, bus or plane, or just sitting in a bed near your partner. You know that everyone around you will complain regarding the noise you are making with your laptop, repeating over and over same phrase, or the whole song on your sequencer.
Headphones are good solution, but not for mixing or mastering. OK, at least I thought so. So, I decided to ask my dear Google, to find how many companies offer solutions for my troubles. A few minutes later I downloaded several speaker-simulating plugins and tried most of them. There was one that satisfied me, one that sounded almost like my near-field monitors: Toneboosters TB Isone. I even ended with default preset, setting only speaker level to 0 and decreasing the distance to 0.8 m, as this is how my near-field monitors are positioned in my studio. I’ve tried to mix and master few of my songs that I had been working for several days, just checking through the monitors at the end of final mastering to see if there is everything as it should be. No changes were needed, so a few days later, I had a performance using the backgrounds that I made with my headphones and everything went perfectly. The balance between low and high frequencies were the same as I got through the headphones.
TB Isone offers presets for EQ section, another set of presets for various spaces – defining room size and shape along with a great number of general presets covering different most commonly used combinations. Add to all that a few additional separate parameters arranged over the main window, that can help you fine tuning your simulation, and you get a far more options than you will ever need.
For only €19.90 EUR you can have all your night mixes finally sorted. Not bad at all.
DanceMidiSamples – Shockwave Presents: Essential EDM Bundle
We’ve already written about various DanceMidiSamples packs and templates. This time we will present you with only one mega-pack, composed from seven various Shockwave packs filled with loops, sounds and MIDI clips along with one Sylenth 1 preset pack. All that for the sum of $49.85 USD. Actually, for that money you’ll get almost everything you’ll ever need for producing EDM music: a selection of MIDI files, various audio effects, risers and drops, a great number of audio files with lead, bass and pluck loops. There is also a large number of percussion loops and other drum loops and elements – even a sizeable number of tuned kicks.
Actually, we get over one GB of material that can serve us well for a long, long time. The Sylenth 1 bank offers a great number of up-to-date sounds that can help you keep your music in time with current trends while all other audio and MIDI files cold serve as a wonderful starting point offering you to start a new EDM song in a minute without losing two hours just compiling various background elements.
As they wrote in a press pack, “a must have”, and at least in this case, they are right. Listen to demo clips, talk a bit with your wallet and then – decision is yours.
In a next issue we will represent Autobeat from K-Devices, a very cool pattern generator for Max for Live. Until then you can discover what can you achieve with extra €5 EUR, buying yourself a coffee or maybe spend it on some of other small, nice plug-ins that K-Devices made for Max for Live.
One is a Shaper that can destroy your sound by giving it a whole different character. Then there’s EXT2, an effect that allow you to modulate almost anything inside Ableton Live. The third option is REF, envelope follower with few extra options. Nothing is a biggie, but they are still amusing enough to justify giving them a try. So, for a small fee you can get those small tools that can add some extra spice to your arrangement.
See you in the next Abletonalies.
by A. Arsov