Video: Original Zebra 2 Patch – Computing for You Now

 

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This is a follow up to my previous post,”Winter Projects with @uheplugins Zebra 2: Sound Design, New Max for Live Device, and Refining Lemur Patch“. In the video embedded below I offer an example of a patch I’m working on for Zebra 2 called “Computing for You Now”.

As you’ll see in the video, this patch is made up of a fairly large number of modules laid out in all 4 lanes of the main grid. The patch makes extensive of use of of all 4 X/Y performance pads including use of the pad to modulate effects parameters as well as the crossfading between lanes 1,2,3 and lane 4.

Leave a comment if you dig this. Many more videos to come so subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to see more. Also let me know if you’d be up for a patch library.

Mark Mosher
Composer, Sound Designer, & Consultant
www.ModulateThis.com

 

Using Ableton Resampling to Distill Custom Zebra and Rayblaster Programs Into Octatrack (or any Sampler)

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I've been invited to perform as part of a drone collective this Sunday a the Textures Ambient Showcase in Denver (Facebook invite). The show has these rules.

1) one synthesizer per player

2) all inputs into main mixer/pa (no indie rigs)

3) play single note holds only – focus is on sound manipulations & effects processing

4) music from 7-9:30 or so.. continuous with all players as inspired

5) players can break or not as desired

I went back and forth trying to decide what synth to bring. I know some of the other performers will be bringing Moog Sub 37, a Korg MS20, and Euroracks. The obvious choice for me was my Nord Lead 4. It's perfect for this sort of thing. But then again, there is already going to be a lot of oscillator based fire-power there. 

Going with Octatrack

Instead, I decided to play the show using only my Octatrack so I could compliment all those synths with some unique textural drones. I have developed techniques around using the Octatrack more like an organic synth making heavy use of morphing and LFO automation to make source material unrecognizable. I  can also get some great movement within drones as well by manipulating the loop length and such. 

Rather than live sample at this show (although that might happen), I want to bring in some prepared sources. I already have a lot of original Absynth content in my Octatrack audio pool but I wanted to add some new original Zebra 2 and Rayblaster content as well. 

Ableton Live Resampling to the Rescue

A fast way to go about distilling some raw waveform content from custom programs is to use Ableton Live's resample features. In a nutshell:

1) Insert a plugin into Live

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2) Create a MIDI clip that plays a single note. In my case the note lasts 8 bars so I can capture some motion in these original presets. 

3) Remove any effects you put on your virtual instruments so you can add effects later on Octatrack (or your sampler of choice)

4) Create a new Audio Track in Ableton.

5) Rename the track to the name of the synth your sampling. Example – "Rayblaster". What this does is name all the subsequent clips you sample in that track to that name with a number in front of them making them easy to find later – and easy to identify once you import them into your sampler. Below is a little video I did a while ago on using shortcuts to rename elements in Live.

 

6) Set the Audio From to "Resampling".

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7) Arm both the plugin and audio track.

8) Stop all clips to make sure you'll only being playing the clip mentioned in stop#4.  Play the clip from step #4. Stop. Over on the audio track you are resampling into, click on an empty circle on empty clip slot. This will start playback and record the audio from the plugin into an audio clip.

9) Hit space bar when you want to stop.

10) Go back and trim the sample to the number of bars you want, then right-click and "crop".

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11) Repeat 7-10 till till you capture all the content you need.

12) Save your project, then do a "Collect All and Save".

13) To quickly get to the samples you created, go to clip, right-click, then select "Show in Explorer"

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14) Now you'll see the pool of audio samples from this session and can them import them into your sampler. 

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Use with Clips, Ableton Simpler or Sampler

You've probably figured this out already, but this same technique gives you food for clip launching, Ableton Sampler and Ableton Simpler.

Why Go Through All this?

 Because the Octatrack is instant on, has incredible real-time synthesis and effects with super expressive automation and a very nice and accurate slider. Different user interfaces and wokflows yield different results. I get a different result staring at a screen than I do with using a piece of hardware. I also used this technique in my duo A.I. Winter to bring a ton of custom Absynth patches to the Octatrack for a performance that turned into the EP Instantiate.

 

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U-HE Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Zebra by Releasing 2.7 Update Which Includes New Distortion Module and Parameter Locking Feature

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U-HE Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Zebra by Releasing 2.7 Update Which Includes New Distortion Module. Here is what’s new.

  • A new Distortion module
  • Howard Scarr’s anniversary sound set
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  • AAX support for Pro Tools 10 & 11
  • Parameter locking feature. A recent feature added to all u-he plugins, parameter locking lets you stop the values of any controls from changing when you switch presets. So one example of how you might use this is to lock pitch bend up to +2 and down to –12. Just rightclick
    on a control and select ‘Lock’. To unlock again, right-click and untick ‘Locked’.

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    Another example is to  lock microtuning when browsing presets.

  • Improved installers
  • Zebralette no longer displays "enter serial number"
  • … and many more minor bugs and niggles fixed!

Dark Zebra’s zip has 2.7 as well, although it’s still labeled as a beta.

Looking Back

Checkout this post on U-HE’s news to see a brief history of Zebra – http://www.u-he.com/cms/143-zebra-turns-10.


Zebra 1.0 Performance and Synthesis (2003)

Free Soundset

My Outpost: Airlock soundset works great with Zebra 2.7. You can grab it here – http://markmoshermusic.com/synth-sound-sets.

Download Zebra 2.7

http://www.u-he.com/cms/zebra

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO
www.MarkMosherMusic.com
www.ModulateThis.com

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BBC Interview "Brian Eno on Apps and Albums" with Zebra 2 Cameo
U-He Releases DIVA 1.3 + Update to DIVA Synthesizer Anatomy Mindmap

NI Maschine Tip: Setting Default Plug-in Parameters for VST / AU

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One of the best features of Maschine is it can host third party VST/AU plug-ins. Instruments and effects are assigned to modules at the pad, group, or master level. The plug-in parameters are exposed to Maschine in the order the manufacture specifies and auto-assigned to pages in groups of 8. You then use the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the parameters in groups of  8.

You can custom configure the parameters assigned to each knob by right-clicking on the knob in the software and selecting “Learn Plug-In Parameter” followed by changing a control in the plug-in to link it to the knob. There also menus for cutting and pasting to change the auto-assigned order

If you want to save custom settings as the default for the plug-in by selecting the modulate pull-down then clicking  “Save As Default…”. Then the next time you insert the plug-in in the current project or future projects it will remember the settings.

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For example, using this technique you can map the 8 performance parameters of Zebras 4 X/Y pads to the first page on Maschine. So now every time you insert an instance of Zebra, you get instant expressive control.

Mark Mosher
Boulder, CO
Synthesist, Composer, Performer
www.MarkMosherMusic.com