Monday, 23 November 2009

can't sleep so counting.. samples?

While my wife and cat decided I was unworthy of bed space tonight, I was lying unable to sleep. So I got up, made some tea, and fired up my Beta version of Max for Live enabled Ableton and started browsing through the free user patch collection at This is a really cool community where everyone is sharing the patches they've made, and even though it's only been live for a short while, there's some absolutely remarkable development going on.

I downloaded a patch called "sliderAmbience", which plays back a sample at four different speeds. Cool. I plugged it into my copy of Live, and away I went. I threw in a sample from the decarly ep i recorded a year ago with Nathaniel de Heer and the boys (the vocal track from Animal Follow) and started fiddling. The results were really, really impressive, I thought.

A single vocal sample can be transformed into a whole new instrument.. Slowed right down to a ethereal groan, or flicked and twisted to sound like some bizarre turntable.. And there's four of them going on at once!

Anyhoo. Here's what I came up with, just improvising away and a few tiny adjustments afterwards. Listen the whole way through if you've got time, there's some beautiful, amazing textures and tones in there. Especially towards the end. Oh and if you've got decent speakers/headphones.. Use 'em.

By the way, if you're thinking of buying Ableton, or Max for Live, now's the time to do it. They're giving 20% off because it's their tenth birthday or something. Sweeeet.

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