Slap that bass on your keyboard with this excitingly good VST

Waves Bass Slapper is a virtual instrument that brings the joy of a slap bass sound to your setup without even needing a bass.

Slapping a bass with your thumb makes such a powerful, unique sound that recreating it is near impossible. But no longer will you have to settle for a flat bass sound with Waves new VST giving you all the pops, slaps, bops, and baps you could want.

Bass Slapper gives producers new possibilities in their mixes but also gives an easy alternative to bass players who can’t master that slap but the sound is vital to their latest composition. The virtual instrument is capable or faithfully replicating the sound but doesn’t scrimp on playing techniques.

With the Bass Slapper you can control the articulation of every note and recreate “thumbing, popping, hammer-ons, pull-offs, open strings and even dead notes”. The creators say: “Bass Slapper includes the world’s most extensive sample library of special bass guitar sounds, with slides, left- and right-hand mutes and harmonic strums.”

The software they’ve built for Bass Slapper allows you to intuitively design each note by position on the fretboard, articulation of playing, which strings to use for their different tones and even more. Beyond it’s amazing playing versatility Bass Slapper also features a variety of studio-grade stompboxes all beautifully recreated within the VST. Select your FX with wahs, delays, chorus’, overdrive and more. You can even choose from authentic amp sounds or a DI box tone.

With so many cool features, here’s an easy summary of the awesome Bass Slapper:

  • The world’s most extensive slap bass sample library
  • 11 interactive playing positions with automatic string switching
  • Full 5-string articulations: thumbing, popping, mutes & more
  • Real-time MIDI controls
  • Customizable Keyswitch Editor
  • Studio-quality effects & authentic amp simulation
  • Detailed tone controls with 4-band EQ, sub octave, low boost
  • Authentic amp & clean DI tones
  • Plugin or standalone instrument
  • NKS-ready for NI Komplete Kontrol and Maschine

Bass Slapper is currently on sale from Waves at just $29 down from $69. Don’t miss out, bag yours now: www.waves.com/plugins/bass-slapper

Remix Pharrell Williams top hits and beats in ROLI’s free app

ROLI are bringing one of the world’s hottest producers to their free app to remix hits like ‘Happy’ using their awesome devices.

The creators behind the incredible expressive keyboards ‘Seaboards’ and more recently the fascinating BLOCKS devices, ROLI are back with some Pharrell for you. Through their free NOISE app ROLI have launched a unique soundpack that deconstructs Pharrell beats for you to build up again.

‘Lemon by N.E.R.D.’ is the Studiopack which takes all the vital elements from Pharrell William’s new band’s track ‘Lemon’ and transforms them into easily manipulated sounds and elements. Using the pack in ROLI’s free NOISE app music makers can play with the band’s high quality sounds and mould it into new soundscapes.

Lemon is N.E.R.D.’s first song in 7 years by the supergroup made up of Chad Hugo, Shay Hayley, and of course Pharrell Williams. The song, released on the first of this month features Rihanna hitting up the vocals with a rap flow on the groups bouncy and bass-heavy track.

On a Pharrell kick lately, ROLI also recently released a NOISE Studiopack of ‘Happy’ the number one hit that radios couldn’t get enough of. Inside the pack are the beats, basslines, and Pharrell’s vocals to be manipulated, remixed and recreated.

There’s a reason ROLI are giving lots of love to Pharrell and that’s because he’s given a lot of love to them. In fact on the 28th October Pharrell was appointed ROLI’s Chief Creative Officer. Together they plan a long partnership of innovation in developing revolutionary music equipment, something ROLI have been doing for years now.

ROLI’s new CCO has even invested into the company although ROLI say reports suggesting Pharrell is now a co-owner are untrue. According to the BBC, ROLI founder Roland Lamb met Pharrell when he reached out on a trip to Los Angeles and says he will have a real influence on the company’s development. Lamb said they bonded over making music more accessible to non-musicians, in particular children.

Lamb said: “When we met it felt like we were on the same page… The ‘Happy by Pharrell’ and ‘Lemon by N.E.R.D.’ Studiopacks are just the beginning of our exciting work with Pharrell and other artists.”

You can download NOISE for free for iPhone and Android now and start playing with the free sound packs.

Ableton Live 10: Everything you need to know about the next Ableton

The announcement of a new version of Ableton always gets us excited and they’ve just announced Ableton Live 10 with awesome new features.

Ableton have announced Live 10, a bunch of new features, wicked new devices, improvements and when we can expect to get all that. Strap in producers, recorders, anyone who has ever used Ableton, because their first full version update in 5 years is going to be a big one.

2013 was when Ableton launched the last full version of their incredibly popular DAW – Live 9. Whilst it’s seen numerous updates keeping it running and adding cool new features Live 10 will be a massive overhaul of the software.

Capture

Of course the update comes with loads of new features, tools and things you can use. One of the new features that caught my eye early was the new Capture mode that makes jamming, creating and recording on the fly seamless and simple.

When an idea emerges, press Capture after you played it. Live will match your tempo and timing, and start your melody or groove in a perfect loop. You can also use Capture to progress your songs: add new parts or overdub MIDI into existing clips without breaking your flow—just press Capture after you’ve played it right.

Edit multiple MIDI clips

 Create drums and bass, or chords and melody in tandem. Work with multiple MIDI clips across multiple tracks within a single view—in both Session and Arrangement. Now you can edit smarter and take better control of the musical relationships in your song.

Create and arrange more fluidly

The Arrangement View has been optimised for quick creative editing and more efficient song creation. Easily stretch a clip, slide its content or create audio fades with new clip interactions that work directly in the Arrangement. Automate with greater control using grid snapping and other improved breakpoint interactions.

Focus instantly on what you need to with quick keyboard shortcuts: toggle automation visibility for all tracks, zoom in and out of selections of your song, nudge clips, and even make audio edits like reversing samples.

Lets look at the 4 awesome devices new to Live 10:

Wavetable

Immediately playable, infinitely capable, Wavetable is a new synthesizer built by Ableton. Shape, stretch and morph sounds using wavetables derived from analog synths, and a range of other instruments and sounds. Start sculpting sounds right away—even without a deep knowledge of synthesis—or explore its rich palette and potential through an intuitive interface.

Echo

Echo brings together the sound of classic analog and digital hardware delays in a single device—your new go-to delay. Drive and shape sounds with its analog-modeled filters, turn up the noise and wobble for vintage imperfections, or add modulation and reverb to create diffuse soundscapes, wailing feedback and more.

Drum Buss

Drum Buss is a one-stop workstation for drums, capable of adding subtle character or bending and breaking drums to your will. Add warmth and distortion with drive and crunch, take control of dynamics with compression and transient shaping, dial in and tune boom and control bass decay with the dedicated low-end section.

Pedal

With separate circuit-level models of overdrive, distortion and fuzz guitar pedals, Pedal brings the character of analog stomp boxes to Live. The effect goes all the way from subtle to reckless—it excels at warming up vocals and other instruments, driving synth sounds or completely smashing drums. And of course, it sounds great with guitars.

Beyond what’s already mentioned is still so much more including loads of workflow improvements, new sounds, enhanced power with Push and then some. Find out way more about the massive Live 10 upgrade here: www.ableton.com/en/live/
It’s set for a release early next year and you can get a free upgrade from Ableton Live 9 which happens to be 20% off right now. Go grab it!

Take full control over your sound, right from Google Chrome

Take back the power over your sound without ever having to leave your webpage with this audio extension for Google Chrome.

Audio Channel is a free Chrome extension that gives you loads more control over your sound all from your web browser. We all know how some sites blast noise at your ears, and then the next will be quieter than a mouse at Christmas – well no more will this issue plague your life, and this extension also provides some fun.

With Audio Channel you get control over a bunch of different features. The most useful feature has got to be the compressor which pops up first when you open the extension. You are given control over the threshold, attack, release, knee, and ratio so you can easily standardise your audio levels across sites with in-depth management.

After compression you have a 10-channel equaliser which works surprisingly well. Whether you feel like the audio sounds flat to your precise ears, you want to boost the bass, or just adjust the levels to your preference, you gain a world of control over what you’re hearing. Then the fun starts.

In addition to actually useful controls over your audio Audio Channel gives you some effects which you can have fun with. There’s a pitch slider which you could use to correct a mispitched video or song, but why do that when you can make Donald Trump squeak like a dog toy or transform Kate Bush into a deep growling man accompanied by bassy orchestration.

On the more tame side of things is a reverb function that allows you to create and manipulate space in your sound, though don’t expect a high quality effect. Then lastly you have a chorus effect which makes everything ridiculous and can make for some pretty hilarious sounds. Imagine watching Planet Earth except David Attenborough is an alien…

Features:
– Volume control (including boost over default max).
– Audio Limiter / Compressor.
– EQ – 32 to 16khz.
– Stereo / Mono toggle.
– Stereo Pan.
– SFX: Chorus, Reverb, Pitch-Shift.
– Save your own personal presets.

Download Audio Channel for free here: chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/audio-channel/hafdgamhnmiioimpcdhhbhgcjndgmphd?authuser=1

Learn to code music in your web browser by controlling this jazz trio

Have you ever looked at music programming and thought “Nope, that’s far too hard. Goodbye”. Well this new site is here to introduce music coding in a fun and easy way.

Jazzari is a free website that guides you through the basics of programming music with a jazz trio under your control. With a simple layout, groovy sounds and a gorgeous interface Jazzari will have you programming an experimental piece of breakbeat techno with Aphex Twin in no time.

The free site opens up presenting you with 3 spectacled, animated musicians with their notes across 4 bars shown below them. To the right you have your sidebar where you scroll through tutorials, examples and write in your code. At first it can seem extremely intimidating, but start with lesson 1 and in no time you’ll start to understand how simple coding with music can be.

A set arrangement will be created automatically for you which you can edit or delete entirely to create your own loop. With 16 beats to each bar, and 4 bars, you can programme in your drums, keys and bass to create a jazzy rhythm and play around with the different elements of music code. You can even download it as MIDI to use in your DAWs or other software.

Tutorials range all the way from how to input your first note, to changing the volume and length of every hit, randomising certain notes, and even using trigonometry in the advanced stages. It’s easy to find the process overwhelming but by following the guides step to step Jazzari provides potentially the most accessible platform for starting music programming.

Jazzari music coding programming trio jazz code

With a visual layout showing you the timing and notes it’s easy to get tempted to just drag and click your ideas out. Fortunately, Jazzari doesn’t make that possible so you’re forced to create via code. It’s annoying at first but if you’re looking for that experience you can use any of the hundreds of programs that are capable of notation and playback already.

My personal experience, as someone who has never attempted any music programming before, was that this is a fantastic program. Within 10 minutes I had gone from no idea what I was doing, to creating a disjointed yet funky drum pattern. It’s simple enough to breed creativity whilst maintaining the core factors that you need to know when coding music.

Jazzari gets it’s name from the 12th century scholar and inventor Ismail al-Jazari. al-Jazari is said to have invented one of the first ever programmable musical machines. His invention was a “musical automaton, which was a boat with four automatic musicians that floated on a lake to entertain guests at royal drinking parties.”

The creator says that whilst Jazzari may have educational benefits it isn’t meant to actually teach programming or music theory (though it’s a pretty cool introduction). The creator says:

Not really. While I find it conceivable that a motivated reader might be able to learn a bit about loops, variables, scales, or rhythms while using JAZZARI, I don’t  think that JAZZARI is a particularly good tool for learning about programming or music. Bret Victor has persuasively argued in Learnable Programming, that making conventional programming environments superficially friendlier, “adorning a JavaScript editor with badges and mascots” does little to support novice programmers. If people manage to learn a bit about quarter notes or JavaScript while using JAZZARI, it will be because they are motivated and patient, not because JAZZARI is well designed for educational purposes. There might be the slightest twinkle of a constructionist sandbox here, but even saying that is slightly disingenuous.

If you’re interested in environments that have been designed specifically to teach programming, check out LOGO or Scratch. Sam Aaron’s Sonic Pi is designed to teach programming through music composition. Ear Sketch is another.

If you’re interested in interactive music tutorials, I recommend Ableton’s Learning Music, NYU’s musedlab, and Funklet.

Check out Jazzari and get coding: jackschaedler.github.io/jazzari

Ableton Live says goodbye to 32-bit as they go 64-bit exclusive

Ableton will discontinue Live 32-bit by the end of this year citing “persistent crashes” as they move to 64-bit OS only.

Depending on what you’re running on your PC right now, this could be some bad news. Ableton Live, the staple DAW for loads of producers, DJs, and musicians, is ending 32-bit support and going 64-bit exclusive.

Ableton claim that they are making the change due to “persistent out-of-memory crashes” caused on the 32-bit version of Live. The issue with 32-bit versions of software is that they are only capable of using 4 GB of RAM. With music software typically using a lot of resources and power that limited memory access can quickly be exceeded by large projects, powerful plug-ins and more which was the cause for many Ableton crashes.

Whilst you might think 64-bit would just equal double the power it is in fact much more powerful. Using the 64-bit version of Ableton the software can access 16 exabytes of RAM which as thousands of times more than computers have, essentially giving you unlimited memory access for computers with large RAM.

If you’re computer isn’t compatible with 64-bit software of if you’d like to continue using Ableton Live 32-bit you can keep the program, but it will be exempt from software updates from late 2017.

Users will be able to have two versions of Ableton, a 32-bit and 64-bit version installed on their computer at the same time. Users will also be able to download the final 32-bit version of Ableton anytime they like form their User Account where it will remain permanently.

For 32-bit legacy plug-ins you will need to read Ableton’s articles on using JBridge or 32 Lives for bridging plug-ins.

Find out more about the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit software and the benefits of moving to 64-bit in Ableton’s FAQ.

Meet the instrument that “pushes the threshold of electronic music production”

Klip is a powerful instrument and drum machine that creators Sample Magic say will push the threshold of electronic music.

Klip is a unique digital instrument and drum machine designed by sample and plugin creators Sample Magic. The powerful instrument features inventive parameter editing matrix and over 4000 samples built-in.

The powerful Klip allows you to manipulate beats and samples to an impressive length in it’s internal drum machine. After you’ve mashed and chopped your beats together you have an incredible level of customisation at your fingertips, with a range of editable effects, an 8 channel mixer, filter routing and more.

Klip can be used with mouse and keyboard or via MIDI controller depending on your own preference, allowing you get even more creative with the instrument’s capabilities. Complement your beats with carefully collated and expertly recorded analogue synthesiser waveforms included as part of Klip’s powerful sound library.

FEATURES:

  • A powerful sound library with over 4000 high quality Sample Magic samples, pooled from a vast range of titles across Electronica, Techno and House
  • Vast variety of presets from leading Sample Magic sound designers
  • Unique ‘FX’ matrix allowing independent manipulation of up to 16 parameters per pad, across 32 steps
  • 20 Filter types across High Pass, Low Pass and Band Pass
  • 70 Lane presets for quick, enhanced pattern writing and effect manipulation
  • Multiple FX types including Distortion, Saturation, Bit Crusher, Delay and Convolution Reverb with flexible routing options
  • Powerful dynamics processing including Compression, Limiter and Transient Shaper
  • Warm, characterful 3-band EQ per mixer channel
  • 8 Independent mixer channels, each of which can be custom assigned to its own output
  • Unique Convolution Reverb algorithms recorded at some of the world’s finest spaces
  • Up to 8 Sequences in each pattern, with easy copy and paste shortcuts.
  • Full Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol(TM) and Maschine(TM) integration with extensive MIDI CC implementation
  • Drag or export pattern lane to MIDI functionality
  • Transpose and timestretch all sounds and loops to the native key and tempo of your DAW
  • Playback swing to mimic classic, timeless dance music grooves and sequencers
  • Effortlessly record pad movements or input steps using MIDI devices
  • Randomise pads and preset lanes at the click of a mouse for unique, inimitable grooves
  • Variable grid synchronisation from 1/1 to 1/32 of project tempo for up to 32 bar patterns
  • In-built mixer limiter for easy, professional mixing
  • Extensive collection of vintage analogue synthesiser waveforms and drum hits from a host of classic rhythm boxes and keyboards
  • Key adjust any sound or loop key from major to minor

You can find out more and purchase Klip for yourself from the Sample Magic website: www.samplemagic.com/details/1868/klip

Klip requires the free Kontakt Player to work.

Sony Music begin licensing STEM files for DJs & producers

Sony Music may begin a revolution in music becoming the first major label to start licensing its STEM files to be used in mixes and new tracks.

STEM files feature all the different elements of a track, allowing producers and remixers to peel tracks back and recreate them in their own design. But not only has it been difficult to get hold of tracks in the new audio file format, it has also seen very little support from majors – meaning most mixes/remixes featuring STEMs are illegal for distribution.

It could all be about to change though. Nashville based-music tech company Remix Hits have just created a major deal with Sony Music that will allow them to sell STEMs from Sony in their ‘Stem Marketplace’. This means there will be an official shop where producers and DJs can legally acquire fully licensed STEMs allowing them to remix vocals and instrumental parts.

With their legally licensed tracks/remixes artists can then distribute their new music on Remix Hits store. Remix Hits have also set up a revenue share plan so that when licensed music is used the original rights holders receive their share of revenues for every sale. At the moment this seems like one of the best ways for independent artists to reclaim giant songs from a major label and legally spread it out to the world.

Remix Hits’ CEO Sam Brooker spoke on how the current remixing system is broken and that’s what informed their new deal with Sony Music. Brooker said: “We’ve created a technology that’s finally caught up to the needs of the remix culture. It’s been really tough over the decades watching all the instances of copyright infringement end in takedowns and litigation against remixers, all the while artists and rights holders continue to suffer from lost revenue.

“It was a no-brainer that we needed to create a system that gave remixers access to legal stems and the legal release opportunities they’ve been dreaming of. We also provide a brand new revenue opportunity to help reinvigorate the music industry we love so much. I’m excited about being able to legally release major label content, and the chance to do this the right way…

“We’re about to create some big opportunities for their artists and all aspiring remix artists around the world.”

Remix Hits confirm that they are also talking to Warner and Universal about similar opportunities.

Become an Ableton master with thousands of lessons from Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill, producer extraordinaire, is here to show you how to create amazing songs on Ableton with just your mouse, keyboard and Ableton Live.

You may know Mr. Bill from his extensive discography covering a wide variety of amazing electronic music. As a talented producer Mr. Bill wants to share his knowledge with the world, and that’s where his incredible Ableton programme comes into play with hundreds of lessons, resources and more available helping you to become a pro.

Signing up as a “Hardcore Abletoneer” with Mr. Bill gives you access to a massive host of Ableton Live courses by Mr. Bill himself, project files that you can use and experiment with, Sample Packs to use in your work, and much more. All of the content on Mr. Bill’s site is available at a cost without a subscription but as soon as you become a Hardcore Abletoneer all digital content becomes free to access.

Mr. Bill’s site is already packed full of thousands of dollars worth of resources, materials and lessons to kick-start or boost your music production career. At just $120 a year or $15 a month for access to years worth of content it’s an incredible deal for anyone looking to master Ableton. With a subscription you also gain instant free access to all the amazing content released weekly after you start your subscription.

Mr. Bill says on his site: “Follow along with all of my courses and I’m confident you’ll be well on your way to becoming a superb Ableton Live user… I’m giving you the power to open the guts of the track and see how it was created, reverse engineer it and even create your own things from it. Some tracks even have supporting production footage so you can watch how it was made.”

Check out what you’re in for now on Mr. Bill’s YouTube channel where you can see a taste of the amazing Ableton lessons and resources that could be YOURS: www.youtube.com/user/MrBillsTunes

Find out more and sign up for yourself here: live.mrbillstunes.com

Propellerhead reveal massive Reason 10 upgrade

Reason DAW gets it’s next major upgrade with Reason 10, introducing a bunch of brand new instruments and tools to use in your music.

New sounds and new gear pave the way for new music, and Reason 10 is here with a rackload of new synths, instruments, samples and more. Grain and Europa: two massive, brand new synthesizers. Klang Tuned Percussion, Pangea World Instruments, Humana Vocal Ensemble: three new live-sounding organic instrument devices. Radical Piano: a top-notch acoustic piano. Synchronous: creative modulation device. Loop Supply and Drum Supply: a multi-gigabyte infusion of cutting-edge drum loops and samples.

Europa Shapeshifting Synthesizer

Europa synth DAW vst instrument software

Europa was created for huge, epic sounds and oh boy, does it deliver… From big stacks of buzzing sawtooths to shimmering, glitched-up sonic explorations, Europa has you covered. To call it a wavetable synth wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s so much more than that. Apply a wide range of modulation to the waveform itself, to start with. Add advanced spectral filtering, harmonics processing and even draw your custom waveforms. And the best part: despite it’s deep synthesis powers, it’s still surprisingly easy to use.

Grain Sample Manipulator

Europa synth DAW vst instrument software

Get granular with your samples! The Grain synthesizer opens up the world of granular synthesis for your creative use. Drop any sample into Grain and explore the endless sonic variations you can create with Grain’s selection of playback algorithms, ultra-flexible modulation, routing and effects. With immense sonic power and an inviting interface, Grain is the easy-to-use sonic lab that turns your samples into grains and your grains into music.

New sampled instruments

Reason 10 puts three brand new organic instrument collections in your Reason rack. Expertly crafted in cooperation with sampling experts Soundiron, these new devices offers a wealth of inspiring and natural-sounding instruments to your music making.

Klang Tuned Percussion: 
A collection of tuned percussion instruments

Glockenspiel, Music Box, Wineglasses and a whole lot more. Tuned percussion sounds are great for creating melody lines or adding an organic dimension to an electronic production.

Pangea World Instruments: 
The sounds of planet Earth

Add more colors to your sonic palette with this collection of instruments full of character from all corners of the world. Plucked, pumped, blown or strummed, these instruments will add a new dimension to any style of music.

Humana Vocal Ensemble: 
Choir and vocal instrument

Give your music a human touch with the sound of Humana’s selection of choirs and solo voices. Perfect for soundtracks or epic pop ballads, these singers will add depth and harmony to your music.

Loop Supply & Drum Supply 
A huge cache of inspiration

Update your sound with this multi-gigabyte injection of cutting-edge loops and drum samples made to deliver up-to-date pop. electronic and hip hop sounds for Reason. Get creative with a huge selection of patches for Reason’s Kong drum machine and Dr Octo Rex loop player.

Radical Piano 
Advanced Acoustic Piano

The premise is simple. The results are stunning. Three basic pianos paired with the technology to make an infinite number of your own. Based on a custom blend between sampling technology and physical modeling algorithms, Radical Piano affords songwriters, producers, and sound designers an unprecedented level of control to craft a realistic piano that is 100% unique.

Synchronous Effects Modulator 
Timed Effects Modulator

Bring your music to life with Synchronous’ modulation effects. Create quick sidechain effects or draw your own LFO curves to control filter, delay, reverb, distortion and level. Make your sound evolve, change and loop over time.


Reason 10 is currently in beta testing for Reason 9 and Reason Essentials 9 users, you can sign up to test it here.

Reason 10 will launch officially on October the 25th and will be available as an upgrade for all older Reason users at $129/€129. It will cost $399/€349 for those who don’t have a previous version of Reason. Anyone who has purchased Reason after the 1st September this year will get the upgrade for free.