Hello all, I just spent a couple hours digging into the latest offering from Ableton, Samplification:
Sound-wise it is strongest in the ambient/evolving sounds that show what is possible with Instrument Racks. There are numerous surprises though, like a multisampled voice and some nasty basses. It fills some gaps in the Live Library, particularly with pianos, but doesn’t have a clear focus; instead, treat it as a lesson in Sampler programming and Instrument Rack construction. In fact, there are some excellent new Lessons on Sampler programming included with the pack. Oh, I should mention that week 5 of my advanced Live course focuses on Sampler, and you can check it out here for free:
There are two main types of presets in this collection: Adg (Ableton Device Group) are Instrument and Drum Racks, big patches with descriptions and extensive modulation; Adv (Ableton Device V?) are Sampler presets, most are the elements used to create the larger Adg sounds, perfect for creating your own racks.
For most Adg files there is a general description and tips on how to control the preset that show up in the info view. Each Adg patch includes 8 color-coded Macro Controls for sonic manipulation; if you have a control surface they map automatically to the first 8 knobs on your controller for easy tweaking.
My initial thought was to give a review of the library, but using HotSwap and the Browser is a lasting skill. So, what follows is a method for exploring a synth or sampler library regardless of the manufacturer.
Samplification downloads as a zip that includes Read Me files and the Live pack (.alp). Live must be updated to the latest version (8.04) before dragging the Live Pack into the Live app window, completing the install:
The included Read Me file mentions the inline lessons that guide the user through the new content.First, show the help view; then click on lessons installed by special add-on Live Packs to get a list of the new lessons:
Click on “Instrument and Drum Clip Presets” and the Browser will show you a List of what was installed.
Right click on the Browser title bar to show some additional columns; I have chosen Type and Live Pack, rearranged them to my liking, and sorted by name ascending.
A system for saving favorites makes exploring presets productive. Create a folder for yourself, I called mine MyFavoriteSimplifications, and set it as your first file browser.
Back to the presets. Double-click on the first sound, Ambient Abrasive. Make sure you check out the info view (“?” is the key command). The info on the larger Adg files is a great help when trying to perform with them!
So, I don’t love Ambient Abrasive, time to move on, the Hot Swap feature is perfect, click it and you will be brought back up to the search. Up and Down arrow keys navigate the browser and Enter changes patch.
The next preset is the Ambient Abrasive Adv patch, a component of the Adg preset we were just using, so I go down to Ambient Andromeda Horizon and hit enter, changing the current patch.
I can perform some pretty cool things with the patch after adjusting macro controls and figuring out a good range and playing technique. Record a short clip and drop it into Browser 1, your favorites folder. A clip with a short performance previewed in the browser gives you all that essential performance information immediately, much better then just a preset name. This is what I came up with:
After an hour of fooling around you are left with a collection of clips ready to be used, and a cherry-picked version of the new library; productive noodling!
Have Fun. Make Music.