updated 02:20 pm EDT, Mon July 17, 2006
Sampler for Live 6 debuts
Ableton has released Sampler, an advanced sound-design and sound-sculpting instrument available as an upgrade within Ableton Live 6. Multiple samplers combine with Ableton's Instrument and Effects Racks in Live 6 to provide greater depth of control, automation, and sonic capability. Each instance of Sampler can host any number of sample zones, while users can define key and velocity ranges as well as crossfades using a graphical editor. The software supports the setup of numerous playback/looping options for each zone, and Sampler helps with mapping while assisting users in locating appropriate loop points. The Sampler GUI is designed to be instantly familiar to users accustomed to Live's look and feel, with short loading times and efficient handling of large-volume libraries. Sampler is priced at $200, and is slated for shipment in September (system requirements were unavailable).
Users can modulate Sampler's controls with clip envelopes, stack Samplers, attach effects, and save projects including all samples used by Sampler to send to colleagues for collaboration.
Memory usage, file support
Sampler avoids RAM shortages and loading-wait times by employing Live's disk preloading technology. The software also imports common sample formats which include AKAI S1000; S3000; GigaStudio; EXS; SoundFont; and (non-encrypted) Kontakt. Users can also access and edit Ableton's own Essential Instrument Collection shipping with each boxed version of Live 6.
Unique processing and modulation
- Modulation: A dedicated oscillator can modulate samples by frequency or amplitude, enabling selective harmonic or disharmonic enrichment of the original timbres.
- Morphing: Every voice is processed with a "morphable" multimode filter and polyphonic saturation stage. Users can polyphonically modulate each aspect of the original sample, including sample start and loop position as well as loop length.
- More modulation: Three LFOs, five multimode envelopes, and various MIDI inputs serve as modulation sources. Sampler offers the ability to modulate not only post processing but also the sample playback characteristics to extend the instrument's functionality in the direction of wavetable and granular synthesis.