Behringer: TD3

Finally a release of an affordable Roland TB 303 clone and it has distortion emulation of the DS1 built in, the classic acid sound with software control and a very characteristic filter.

The classic mono synth re-crafted and sounding great, I hope we hear this in many new electronic music releases in the future.

 Originally used by Phuture, Fatboy Slim, Josh Wink, Hardfloor and many many more!

Behringer: Wasp Deluxe

80’s iconic synth re-crafted in a euro rack unit by Behringer bringing back the British synthesiser sounds used by Vince Clarke, John Taylor and Eurythmics.|en)


Sonic Lab: Behringer Poly D

So another big surprise from Behringer in their frenzy of 30 years celebrations. This one is the POLY D and yep, it’s a pretty heavily “inspired” instrument, that coming from the Minimoog of course. But with quite a big difference, and the clue is in the name, well sort of. The Poly D is a four voice paraphonic MiniMoog voice, with additional features. Paraphonic as in it can play four notes, but they go through a single VCF and VCA. Lets take a look….





Ableton Live Certified Trainer?

Have you considered becoming an Ableton Live Certified Trainer?

Maybe you want to learn more about Ableton Live?

Maybe you want to teach others to use Ableton Live?

Don’t forget to check out Ableton Certified Trainer Will Doggett, click the link below.


Issac talks about becoming an Ableton Certified Trainer.

Simon Stokes: Ableton Live Wavetable

Ableton Certified Trainer and music producer Simon Stokes goes deep into how he uses the flagship Ableton Live synthesiser Wavetable.

Simon also know as Petrichor on Glasgow based Soma records runs Shoogle Studios.

Learn how to use Wavetable and create unique sounds for your music productions.

Don’t forget to follow Simon on youtube for more music, videos and tutorials.

Phelan Kane – Max for Live Tutorial

Audio Mogul Ableton Certified Trainer Phelan Kane has been featured on the Ableton website and Computer Music demonstrating Max for Live.

Max for Live not only powers some of the instruments and devices in Live Suite, it’s also a platform to build your own instruments, effects and tools. If you’ve ever wondered how or where to start exploring the creative potential of Max for Live, check out this beginner’s masterclass with Ableton Certified Trainer Phelan Kane. In this comprehensive video, he takes you step by step through the basics of building, fine-tuning and using your own Max for Live device.

If you want to dig deeper into some of the Max for Live instruments and effects

Book your place on the Pioneers of Production Course starting in March 2019

50% discount for Ibiza residents


Remixing Adamski for Bulletdodge in 432Hz and 3/4

Occasionally things pop in in music production where you just can’t wait to get started, I was asked last year to remix Adamski, Gareth Whitehead and Werner Neidermeir for the Brood remix album and the track was called spinning.

The only stipulation was to remix in 3/4 as Adamski had specified when the track was completed and Gareth called me and asked if I would do this for the album.

I had been in the south of France for 6 months and was working with Bart Izard helping him develop his studio and move into a gothic church he had purchased the year before. He was ambitious and wanted to recreate the feeling of Abbey Road in St Girons France. Bart had studied music in Manchester and the equipment he had chosen for the build was nothing short of fantastic, you can see the list of toys here on Barts website.

We made a decision to use analogue and digital to make this remix and detune everything to 432Hz for the track based on what we had read about online and as we are not an orchestra we felt it could work at this frequency and as neither of us had tried before it was a great way to think outside the box of 4/4 timing and 440hz tuning.


The first instrument for the remix was Barts Santori we used the iPhone free tuner and changed from 440 to 432 on the app and then each string was re-tuned for the remix.


We then set the master tuning on the Korg Triton to 432Hz and proceeded to play the Santori and Triton together to make sure they sounded in unison.


We worked with the tuning of the kick and snare on the Korg SX meticulously to get all three instruments to sound right and harmonise together before we started to record in 3/4. 

Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 14.52.32

With Ableton Live we set the master to 3/4 and jammed some backing beats before recording the Electribe drum machine in and we set quantise to off, so not working with a regular timing only the metronome and tempo set. 


One of the great things about this remix, we wanted to break some new ground and turned our back on modern music production and looked at other creative methods and a few of our own endeavours in the process. Working together and bouncing ideas is great when you are with someone who also respects and appreciates music.


We decided to record the arrangement in the Church (this process lasted 3 weeks and a lot of experimentation with analogue compressors, Lexicon reverb and hardware EQ) We found ourselves lost in the sound and quite literally spinning around. We used the Waves Doppler effect on the vocals and panned every track with an effect in Ableton Live.

The final mixdown went into Logic Pro and exported as stems and then sent to a BBC 1/2 tape recorded over a series produced for Radio 4 The Archers, Bart had in his cupboard gathering dust. We recorded 6 passes through the reel to reel and finally mastered after 4 weeks of studio time spent on this remix. We are very chuffed with the results and wanted to share the experience and we aptly named it the OLD remix. Another way to break free of conventional music production we worked with EQ fundamentals but the rest was an experiment and an opportunity to work together on this unique and compelling remix.

Available to buy on Beatport, Amazon and includes remixes by Swayzak, Plaid, Joey Beltram, 808 State, Colin Dale, Alex Smoke, Suna Path and Silicon Scally.






Ableton Live Operator

This flagship synth is not new to Ableton Live but it seems to be one of the best for creative output and a lot of fun when designing new FM sounds for production.

I have sourced various videos and tutorials from the web and collated them here in this post for quick and easy access so you can learn the basics of F.M synthesis.

Operator has 4 oscillators know as operators simply put they are algorithms in the digital realm generating sounds including sine waves and saw waves to name but a few. These sounds are visual in operator based on the root sine wave and harmonics changing the sounds to other waveforms such as square waves.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 11.58.51

As seen here a single sine wave with no harmonics (pure tone) ideal for sub bass.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 12.00.30

Here you can see the root sine wave (fundamental) plus 2 harmonics create a square wave.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 12.02.54

You can see here in the EQ 8 the root and 2 harmonics make the basic square wave.

Each operator (oscillator) has its own amplitude envelope and this is unique to F.M synthesis. Due to the way operator works you can use it as a subtractive, additive and F.M synth depending on the layout of the operators as seen below.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 12.08.17

Due to the options, you have of multi-synthesis you can begin with the all-carrier algorithm as I have set above, this allows you to work with Operator as a subtractive synth before moving on to F.M and additive.

Daniel Dehaan goes much further into depth with Operator and explains the synthesis, a must watch for those who want to explore more about F.M and additive synthesis.


Here is a quick way to correlate the parameters of FM and subtractive synthesis when using a single FM oscillator pair.

Carrier Coarse Tuning: Overall pitch.
Carrier Level: Volume
Carrier Envelope: Amp Envelope
Modulator Coarse Tuning: Waveshape (e.g. the resulting timbre after FM is applied)
Modulator Level: Filter Cutoff
Modulator Envelope: Filter Envelope

John Selway of Dubspot explains here the techno fundamentals of using Operator for techno productions.


Looping is fantastic for creating complex, rhythmic textures that would be difficult to duplicate in most other softsynths. Fortunately, the principle is straightforward: When looping is turned on, the envelope repeats the attack-decay section as long as the note is held. Adjusting those segments allows for custom LFO-like results or repeating percussive patterns. Depending on which envelopes are looped, you can affect either volume (carrier) or timbral (modulator) elements.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 12.20.59

As you can see here I have set the first operator to loop in the loop drop-down menu and automated the attack in the envelope with a max for live LFO generating a rhythmic sound.

Check out these videos for reference to Ableton Live Operator

Looping envelopes can be a creative way to make unique sounds try it out with this tutorial below

I will continue adding to this post as I find more interesting information and videos on Ableton Operator but for now, have fun with F.M and start making the most of Ableton Live’s super synth.



Creative Block PT 1

This is a subject with a bottomless pit of answers and possible solutions but you will find a way to push past this elusive buron if you have a series of tools prepared and ready for the time when it eventually comes knocking. Below are 5 ways to kick-start a project and possible ways to get motivation in the studio.

  1. Take a break: If you are listening to the same loop over and over and it’s been some time since you have been away from the computer then follow your nose, a step back and time to relax or go for a walk might just be what you need. Ear fatigue is very common and the brain needs time away from the same sounds and the studio environment. If you have a studio in a small space try taking regular intervals away from the room, familiarise yourself with another space you can go to and spend at least 20 minutes out of the studio space without listening to music and let the mind wander.
  2. It’s true to say the internet takes a lot of our time these days and has become a part of our online presence when it comes to music production and DJ-ing. Switch your phone off and disconnect from the internet when making music and stick to it, we are easily swayed by social media and it is very alluring when sat on your own on a computer when you should be making music. I try and switch my phone off for at least the time I work on music and recently on nights out refraining from the need to constantly use the phone and stare at a screen.
  3. As platforms such as Beatport and Spotify have emerged and the charts have set precedence over genres, I see many tutorials online jump to the latest trends and the charts are full of new music sounding almost identical in production and content. Try making your own samples using found sounds, field recordings. Go out and use your phone to capture your environment and try sound design techniques rather than use the latest software or hardware synth. Stand out by using effect chains and working in serial and parallel in your workflow.
  4. A great way to get out of the block is to make a track using just one synth and for this, the best has just been released with Live 10. Wavetable has the potential to make just about any sound and has scope to make some new and crazy loops to add to any production. Try making drums first and then move onto bass and lead, don’t forget to have fun just another great way to beat the block, remember it’s fun we are supposed to be having with this equipment. Never take yourself to serious!
  5. Following on from no. 4 try and make the track in a few hours and no more, use the session view to get your ideas down and then jam into the arrangement view and make the track adding more automation, effects and new incidental sounds, prepare for the mix and get all the levels correct. This method can be used anytime with any synth you have in Ableton to make something unique and original changing strategy.

This is the first part of a series of possible solutions for the creative block! If you have any great methods I would love to hear them and post in future editions.