Free Drum samples:
Waveshaper makes some really great drum/drum machine samples; very interesting stuff. They always have a free version of their kits and a pay version that goes for the ridiculously low price of $5.99. I love their stuff and promise that one day I will actually buy something. They just released 2 new kits: the one of a kind SoundMaster Stix 305, and an FM kit called Algo Operator (really like this one).
Hagever from KVR Audio put together this glitch sample pack. There is a lot of stuff in it and I really like the snares. Some pretty noisy stuff as you might expect from a glitch set, but lots of nice subtle stuff as well. Really nice job. Get it here:
A free acoustic set: this is a Sonor drum kit, lovingly sampled and it comes in EXS24 format. It’s really nicely laid out (you can use multiple outs, etc…) and pretty surprising that it’s free. I love people that make free stuff, and I really love when people make stuff in EXS format:
Free Guitar Amp Software:
Scorchcrafter Guitar Amp:
Ignite Guitar Amp: i think this one is kind of for the metal guys, although I have heard that the clean channel sounds really great:
Yamaha DX21 Solid Bass preset: this is only one sound, but it’s a really good sound. Classic 80’s synth bass sound. Comes in EXS 24 format (yay):
the website also has some nice drum machine samples from the Yamaha PSS 790
1850’s Pipe Organ. These guys make some great stuff. Unfortunately for me I don’t have Kontakt. If you have it, go grab this one:
I forgot to pay the bill for the data package here at WordPress, so I think pretty much all of my music is not working anymore. I was thinking of moving over to Soundcloud entirely. Still pondering that one; not really a pressing issue as it’s pretty rare that anyone actually listens to my music anyways.
My buddy Beale was an alt-rock god in LA when he played guitar for Lutefisk. His guitar playing was melodic and yet wildly abrasive and noisy. pop perfection really. Part of his secret was hand crafted effects, creative routing, using tubes he found in abandoned electrical appliances on the street, and Beales famous guitar tuning: E-A-C#- E- A- B. Try it out.
Cool new music: I think it sounds like 90’s shoegaze music played with synths and drum machines. But to those who are in the know, it goes by Dreampop, Chillwave and Glo-Fi. So far my fave band is Washed Out. But I also enjoy Blackbird Blackbird and have been told I should check out Toro Y Moi, Memory Tapes, Teen Daze, and Millionyoung. I love shoegaze, electronic and psych music. this has lots of reverb and delay (which I love). Blackbird Blackbird seems to enjoy sidechaining the entire mix though, which can become grating after awhile. I do seem to remember stories floating around where My Bloody Valentine supposedly ran whole mixes through a phaser, and I love those records.
Free samples: A guy named Epoch over at the dubstep forum made an interesting percussion kit from a bunch of stuff in his kitchen. Here’s the link.
a guy named Chad Kirk posted a track that was built around these sounds. very nice. check him out as well.
and here’s an oddly touching video about a fork and a spoon
Kevin had written a song and dropped it into our shared dropbox. Bryn did a whole version and Kevin and him were going back and forth quite a bit with it. I was busy with family and didn’t get to join in on that version (which I’m are will appear shortly). The stems were up and I grabbed the Omnichord part that Bryn had done, and wrote a drum part to it. Then I just started jamming to it and added Kevins vocals. It’s all pretty simple musically, but I did have some fun experimenting with plugins.
here is a video of the song Ghost
The first sounds you hear are Bryns omnichord (a little more warm and gritty sounding than the bells). The bell type sounds are a sampler instrument made from a HAPI drum, and then pitched too high, and another track of Logics FM synth.
The drums were made with some drum samples that I found online and loaded into EXS24. basically a high hat and a poorly recorded kick drum. I also have an EXS24 instrument made out of a bunch of sounds sampled in an office, I used those for all of the clicky sounds, and then ran them through Logics Spectral Filter and Delay Designer for some movement and variation in the sounds. I also used the free Pancake plug in to draw out panning for some of the percussion.
check out this DIY kick pedal.
all of the droney stuff and the track of something that sounds like it’s dripping and stretching were audio snippets from Kevin’s vocals that I stretched with Logics Flex Time until they didn’t sound like vocals anymore. These were also ran through filters and delay designer. I basically just kept turning knobs, bounced it all out and then chopped out the bits I liked and placed them throughout the song. The “aah” parts at the end of the song are Kevin’s vocals: I looked for a note in the right key and then cut it up, reversed, and then ran through a bit crusher at a 12 bit setting.
the perfect gift for me
Kevin’s vocals are phrased a little differently in his version and come in on the beat differently. I cut them up and moved them where I wanted them and then used flex time to make them fit in with this version. Once they fit I messed with flex time a little more to give them a sound like an old tape being eaten. Flextime is useful for fixing timing issues (for people who know what they’re doing), I really like to just mangle audio with it.
I used a few delays on this one (my favorite effect). I used Logics Delay Designer for the ambience, the kick drum is sent to a bus with Logics Tape Delay that I automated a bit to come in and out, and I used RP Delay on Kevin’s lead vocal track. Really liking this mellow, almost soundtrack sort of vibe lately.
was experimenting with effects and drum programming and came up with this. I picture it as a soundtrack. i used a lot of different stuff for the drums: samples of an acetone rhythm ace beatbox, my playground drum kit, some samples of drums that I loaded in alchemy and tweaked a bunch (for that galloping tribal drum sound), and a kit I made out of hissing sounds from in between vocals on other songs. the song started out as a slow song, and then just kind of morphed into this.
the synths and loops were all made with zebralette (my new freebie find) or alchemy. i recorded some of the parts and bounced to audio then ran through Logics spectral filter and sidechained with one of the drum parts. other bits I just cut out random phrases that I had played and then looped them through the song.
Alchemy is a really cool synth: you can use waveforms like most synths, or you can use audio samples and then manipulate and blend them together into something total wild. i’m not that accomplished at it yet, but i’m working on it. Although Alchemy is not freeware, they do have a free version. There isn’t nearly as much control, it comes with 1 gig of sounds and is a really nice addition to your arsenal. Here’s a link for the Alchemy Player:
and here is a link for Zebralette:
all of these pictures were found on my phone, and my daughter Sophie took the top picture.
2 interesting freeware finds today:
The Zebralette synth by Uhe. It’s like Zebra’s little brother; not as much going on as Zebra but more than enough to use for some interesting sounds. 1 oscillator, 2 LFOs, some onboard effects… The interesting part about this synth is the ability to draw in waveforms, and the spectral effects that can be drawn in. The CPU hit is not too bad either. I’m on a macbook and having no problems with this on a very busy track in Logic 9.
This synth wasn’t free until the other day, and Uhe made it freeware to entice you to check out it’s big brother Zebra. This guy knows how to make some really nice synths, so you should definitely check this out. There is a bug where you get a nag screen the first time asking you for a serial number. Urs from Uhe says that he forgot to take that out and will do so in the next update; so you can just ignore the request and the synth works perfectly. It also comes with a demo version of Zebra2 which I haven’t played with at all: I can’t afford it, so I don’t really want to know what I’m missing. If you don’t like to roll your own, here are a bunch of free presets for Zebralette (and the other Uhe synths as well).
Music Unfolding Effects
These are strange plugins. vibrato and tremolo plugs that are designed to work with expression pedals, distortion plugs that let you work on different frequencies, ringshifters with a lot more controls than you usually see on a ringshifter, interesting filters, wah’s that used formant filters, a 3 stage reverb/delay/modulation plug,.. Some interesting stuff, so far I have just tried the stuff out on a drum track and I had to turn it off as I didn’t really have the time to play around with it like I wanted. Sounded great though for experimental, psych or electronic music.
The guy who makes this stuff has a donation button and he gives the money to Dr. Denise Faustman’s research on children and type 1 diabetes. Nothing wrong with that. The plugs will only work on a mac with Snow Leopard and they are 64 bit AU. A little future proofing is always a good thing, but you PPC guys are out of luck.
I was going to post a song, but no energy for it today. I’m going to try and work on a track I’ve been doing and maybe incorporate some of my new toys. But first I’m going to read about this self folding origami that is freaking me out.
When I don’t have the opportunity to record I like to research recording and read about it. I’m on all the geekiest sites and consequently I run across a lot of free stuff, so figured I may as well start throwing it up here. I will always add the freeware I find to the freeware page, but I can’t be bothered to make a big list of all the samples I find. Maybe if get real bored some day. You can search on the front page for free samples, or drums or whatever and it will find all of the relevant pages for you.
Spunkface Samplers have a new free sample pack called Textures 2. Great for ambient textures and the overall vibe of an electronic angels choir. They also have 3 pages of other freebies, including loops, high hats and kits; definitely a minimal techno theme going on there but I found some of the stuff to be pretty interesting and useful for other types of music (there’s an interesting high hats pack that I can’t wait to try). Only some of the freebies are in Ableton format and EXS24, but all of them have the .wav files.
Here is a demo of this sample pack.
More free drums
Waveshaper has a bunch of really cool drum kits; mostly electronic, some effected acoustic kits as well. There are free versions of all the kits, and you can also buy expanded versions for next to nothing (i’m talking like 5 bucks). They are all in .wav format. I have no idea why he sells the stuff so cheap, it sounds really good. must be a labor of love.
Uncite from KVR audio just posted this sample pack of small motors and switches. I really like the switch sounds. These will be great to add to drum tracks.
It contains 100 samples: 50 samples of switches and buttons from all sorts of appliances, tools and instruments
and 50 electrical motors from kitchen appliances, cameras and a wheelchair, all recorded with a Zoom H1. The whole pack is released under a CC license and is 100% free:
He also has another great sample pack up on his site which is a mixed bag of really useable sounds, including loops, drums, FX and vocals. It’s a really nice set of samples and the guy should be charging for this. Make sure you check out his music (Tonescape) while at the site, and leave him a little thank you.
Here is a demo that he did of the Small Mechanics sample set:
Click the player to hear “You Have No Peace.”
Wish I used one of these
I made this song as a result of an experiment I was doing. Put a reverb send up for a guitar track, and then put a pitch shifter on the reverb. Played around with automating the pitch and I liked the results. If you just listen to the guitar track, there are a bunch of weird overtones and it starts to sound like trumpets and strings are playing in the distance.
Spacemen 3 how I love thee
It was really just meant to be an experiment, but the results reminded me of Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized, so I made a song out of it. A glorified drone really. I bounced out just the reverb signal and pitch shifted that as well, which really made it droney.
Logic’s Pitch Shift is a pretty simple affair
Did the drums with Ocean Way Drums which I got in a group buy awhile back. They sound pretty real and live to my ears. Also used AAS String Studio. I took a clean electric guitar “jazz” patch, and added fuzz, rotovibe, wah-wah, and finally a healthy dose of tape delay. Logic has a pretty awesome tape delay and I find myself reaching for it constantly.
Brian Eno’s tape delay set-up
I love to just tinker with the whole process, and figuring out what different types of effects and routing will do. That said, I am a complete novice and my desire to hear something outweighs the skills I have in finding those sounds. Fun to play though.
I’m more like the monkey
I think this song would be pretty cool performed live, with real instruments and real musicians. I have 2 kids and a computer, so it is what it is.
My friend Bryn took this picture
This song is called Thyme Honey and I made it in Garageband a long time ago. Just found it on my computer so I figured I may as well post it. It’s a sort of soundtrack/ambient/experimental track. I used a recording of bottles clanking that I found on Freesound, and ran them through KT Granulator and also through Expert Sleepers Crossfade Loop Synth (which is like a really old fashioned sampler). Crossfade Loop Synth is pretty rudimentary, but you can do some really cool things with your samples, really quickly. Can’t remember which synth I used, although at that time I think I had Eve and Alpha. KT Granulator is linked in the Freeware section.
did you know that glass can be recycled as insulation and concrete?
Still playing with Inkscape and Pixelmator. I think I need to get a graphics tablet to get the most out of it though. Although I haven’t really learned the basics yet, being able to draw easily would make the whole process a lot more intuitive and fun.
wrong way to do it, ergonomically speaking
I am a complete hack right now, but I always find it exciting to learn how to do something new.
the right way
My daughter Sophie is in pre-school and needed a picture of her favorite sea animal. The Beluga Whale. Just to make it fun I put her in the picture riding a Sea Turtle (although she prefers the Leatherback Sea Turtle). This was done in Pixelmator, which is kind of like a poor mans PhotoShop; think Reaper for pictures.
did you know that Raffi wrote “Baby Beluga”?
This is something I threw together for my online music collaborative APOD. Was experimenting with the function in Inkscape that turns a picture into a bitmap. Still trying to figure out how to re-arrange the bitmap so that i can use the fill tool on different sections. Right now if I click on it, there is just one bitmap and it fills the whole thing. I would read the manual, but it’s just soo horrible.
APOD will return soon
Thinking I was going to start a series of musical items from my past, I threw together this picture of the Small Stone (god I wish I still had one of these).
Seemed like a good time to experiment with the text features as well, so I added text. My friend Tom said that the sentiment of this picture inspired him to right a song. I like that.
I haven’t really had any time to record anything lately. I made some EXS instruments and some loops that I can use later. I spent about an hour taking a MIDI drum beat and assigning it to a horrible Dobro guitar sound, and then running that through some effects (mostly bitcrushers and Camelspace). I really need to buy Camelspace. I have a demo of it right now, and I just apply it to something and then bounce it to another track to save it (the demo stops every 30 seconds). Really have no excuse as I think they even have a student discount program.
So I have also been messing around with Inkscape; sort of an open source Illustrator. Tonight was my first big experiment with it. Decided to make a distortion box logo for my blog. I based it on the picture at the top of the page. I watched a tutorial on YouTube for a few minutes, but never figured out how to move images behind other images. When it got to that part, they guy just said “and now just page down to move those behind.” WTF does that mean? So in the picture below, you can see that the input and output jacks on my distortion box are superimposed on top of the box. I’ll work on that later.
I also encountered a problem with removing the original photo that was underneath of my image, so there is a white border that I can’t figure out how to get rid of (yet). I’m sure it’s something really stupid, but I’m tired so that will have to come at another time.
I like to draw a lot, but have never played with graphics programs before. This one seems pretty good, and has more features than I know what to do with at this point. Plus it’s free, and you can use it on a mac or a PC.
This is the final image I had before I gave up. Not too bad for my very first bit attempt. Not really something to be proud of either, but could be worse.
If you feel like trying out this program there are a bunch of video tutorials on youtube. Let me know if you find any good ones though.