We have just unleashed our third free Max For Live device following on from the hugely popular sidechain and riser plugins. In this video demonstration Point Blank instructor and designer of the Point Blank ‘Reverse Reverb’ device, Daniel Herbert shows off his creation. Simply click here to download the plugin.
This post was originally published in DJ Magazine’s free online edition DJ Weekly issue 129
“The whole idea behind this plugin is to simplify the process of creating the classic reverse reverb technique when using your sequencer. We cover many classic techniques like this in our online courses, and this popular technique can be heard in all styles of music, but more commonly in dance music with vocals.
It typically involves several stages; First you would reverse the original sound like a vocal for example, apply a reverb, bounce this effect 100% wet to a new file and then finally reverse this file. There are many variations on this technique but it was originally created on analogue multi-track tape machines by literally flipping the tape spools so the tape played backwards. Reverb or delay would then be added, and recorded onto a spare track or two (noting that with the tape upside down, the tracks become inverted i.e. track 24 would play on 1!), and then the tapes flipped back again.
The Point Blank Reverse Reverb means you can now recreate reverse reverb by just pressing one button. Its typically used on lead vocals (although can be great on other sounds), and as we weren’t able to distort the very essence of time for this device, you will need to copy the initial part of your vocal exactly 8 bars before it starts onto a track with the Point Blank Reverse Reverb loaded. Once the device is armed and Live plays from that exact point, it will automatically trigger the reverse effect so it syncs with the original vocal 8 bars later and then we recommend you flatten this effect once you are happy with the sound.
The device features Reverb, Delay, Reverb into Delay, and Delay into Reverb. If you want a longer reverse effect then you can also select the 16 bar option, which means you’ll need to copy the initial part 16 bars earlier.”
Simply click here to download the plugin.
Hi, I’m Dan Herbert and I’m a course developer and tutor at Point Blank Online. I’ve been working for over 20 years as a musician and sound designer and programmer. I released tracks in the mid ’90′s on Oush [SP], Tastee and Storm and have also worked in TV and film.
In this here tutorial we’re going to be checking out the max for life plug ins which we’ve been developing here at Point Blank. These are available for you guys to download for free. Make sure you subscribe to the Point Blank YouTube channel and also check out our free sample courses at PointBlankOnline.net.
So in this video we’re going to be checking out Point Blank’s new Max for Live Instruments. Which you can download for free from PointBlankOnline.net.
The Point Blank riser machine corrective range of sweeps which are ideal for use as ear candy in your productions but will only run on systems which have Max for Live installed as well as Ableton.
The device is based on census techniques which we cover in the Ableton sound design course as well as native instrument sound design course at Point Blank. So once you’ve downloaded the plug in, you’ll have to unzip it. If you want to you can load that directly into Ableton just by using your browser.
So here is the Macintosh HD. Let’s go to the user folder and find downloads, and then we can just drag that straight into Ableton and it will load the plug in. However we can also get access to it from the devices by copying the file into a specific folder. So let’s just move downloads folder over there. I’m going to locate my user folder, then into library, then application support, then Ableton, and then Ableton’s library. Then we’re going to open up the presets and instruments and then within instruments we can find max instrument; and that’s where we copy the device into.
Once that’s done if we now jump back into Ableton, go to the devices we can then locate the plugin within max instruments, and there’s the point blank rise assist. Drop it onto a MIDI track, and straight away it’s ready to go. So I’m just going to select a two bar riser. Press the key on mega keyboard. And there we get a noise sweep over two bars.
So let’s take a quick tour of the device. The device is divided into four different section. We have the noise section here, the envelop section, the synth section, and we also have an LFO section as well.
So let’s start with the noise section, and this is essentially filtered white noise. It defaults to a low pass filter. But you’ve got a choice here of a high pass filter, a band pass, or even a noche filter. I’m going to select band pass. It gives us a slightly more focus now. And we can also adjust the resonance or que, and this will help give us a more intense sound.
We can also turn off the noise section by clicking on the noise button here. So let’s move on to the envelope section. And this determines the direction and speed of the filter sweep, also the shape as well. There are several different presets provided for us from this menu here. So we could choose for example a fuller. And rather than playing my keyboard I can just click this button here to trigger it. And we could also have a kind of rise and fall as well.
And one of the great things about this plug in is we can also specify the length which is based on the tempo. So if we want a one bar rise and fall. Or even shorter, half a bar. We can easily specify it here. Or you might want a longer build up over 16 bars for example.
Over on the left hand side of the envelope we’ve got two controls here. Curve up and curve down. If I just put this to simple rise, with the curve up you can actually change the shape. You won’t actually see it reflected in the envelope, you’ll be able to hear it. OK. So that now goes up really quickly, or we can get it to rise up quickly and then slow up towards the end.
So it gives you quite a lot of control over the shape of the envelope curve. We also have a trigger button here. So if I click on that, it switches it to note off mode. So if I play my MIDI keyboard, I can now determine the length of the riser simply by the length of the MIDI note.
Moving on. We’ve also got a synth section. So I’m just going to turn off the noise section. When both noise and synth are off you won’t be able to hear any sound, so let’s turn synth on. So now the envelope is rooted to this synth section and it creates a riser sound. We can select different wave forms so let’s go to a saw tooth. In fact let’s just adjust this curve here, and let’s have it going over two bar.
So above the wave form we can also specify the range of the riser. So we’re just going to click and drag here, and bring this one down. So you can tune it to the key of your track or specify a larger or smaller range.
Below the waveform we’ve also got detune and voices. Detune will not do anything unless voices is set to a value of two or more; or we can hear that it’s just louder. However if we can now get on the detune control, we can now detune to oscillate these against each other or we can increase the number of voices, kind of a more intense sound. Switch to eight voices. And we can really create some quite interesting rise sounds.
Now typically what we’d do rather than listening to this dry is add some effects onto it. So let’s quickly set this up. I’m going to open up the audio effects and let’s put on a phaser, and then root that into something like a delay. In terms of the sound; I’ll just bring down that dry/wet balance.
Get a bit of modulation as well. Just kind of get a bit more interesting this area build. That’s fine. And then I’m just going to bring down the dry/wet balance of this delay and push the feedback area up a touch.
So let’s jump back to the Point Blank Risers. So in the synth section we also have a couple of additional parameters. FM tune and FM amount. So similar to detune, FM tune won’t have any effect unless you’ve turned up FM amounts. So let’s push this up a bit. OK.
So it’s basically kind of gives us dirtier texture so I’m just going to switch this back to sound waves. So now it’s creating FM based sounds. And that’s why we’re getting a real nice base crunched sound. And also if you really want to you can automate these parameters as well.
So that’s the synth section. What I’m going to do now is basically switch the noise back on and check out the LFO section. So again we’ve got an amount down here. If I increase the LFO amount and increase the LFO frequency slightly. We will hear it now gives a kind of wobble to the sound. OK. Still increasing the amount. Or the frequency. It’s going to be quite interesting automating these.
We’ve also got an envelope to frequency button here. And what this does is it roots the envelope to control the LFO frequency. So you can hear as it rises up the frequency increases. If we’re going to change the shape of this riser; let’s go for a rise and fall. It’s speeding up. That downward part of the envelope seemed to go quite quickly, so let’s just adjust the curve down control here.
You can really sculpt the shape of your rises and falls using these two controls here. If you want even more control over the envelope, then you’ve actually got additional nodes. OK. So we can just click here and drag them back out. You can really spend some time getting exactly the rise you’re after. If you’re going to use this method then I suggest you switch the curve controls both to zero.
You also have some additional presets as well which automatically happen. Nodes laid out at equal points across the envelope. So this is the Point Blank Riser, hopefully it will be useful for you in your productions and you can either trigger it live within your sequence or actually just use it to generate songs. At Point Blank Online you’ve got two methods of interacting with your tutor. Firstly, you got the weekly online master class, which is in real time. And then also we’ve got feedback on your assignments and that’s known as DVR.
So the online master class in a one hour session you get with your tutor every week. You can ask questions about lesson content and get instant feedback and also demonstrations on the fly from their computer desktop with our streaming technology.
DVR stands for Direct Video Response and the concept is really simple. You upload your Ableton based project file to your tutor. He downloads it. And then pushes record on the screen capturing software and evaluates your work so basically giving you one to one feedback. You see all of the mouse movements and any parameter changes made by your tutor is kind of like sitting in the studio, over their shoulder, watching what they’re doing whilst they work. We’ve found the DVR process has truly revolutionized the way that we teach at online. The results speak for themselves. Book your place on a course now by visiting PointBlankOnline.net