If you are an Ableton Live user your are most likely familiar with Puremagnetik. If not swing by http://puremagnetik.com/ to check out there interesting and affordable Live Packs. Anyway – Puremagnetik is really the work of Micah Frank…
Puremagnetik is the project of sound programmer Micah Frank. It is purposed since 2006 as a creative sound design outlet, releasing “packs” inspired by all types of ongoing recording work.
Micah Frank is an award winning music and sound programmer. He studied Jazz and Contemporary Music at The New School, afterwards spending many years as a professional composer and sound designer. His sound projects include programming for major synthesizer manufacturers, interactive sonification installations and more.
Residing in Berlin, Germany, Micah is the lead developer/owner at Puremagnetik and the Sound Packs Manager at Ableton AG.
In 2014, Micah started work on a cool new sound ecology project at acousticecologies.com which is a Tumblr Page allowing you to follow along on his adventures.
Puremagnetik just released a new sound library of high quality multisampled wooden marimba instruments called MalletPak One. This Micropak was created in collaboration with Richard Lainhart. In addition to being an award-winning composer, author, and filmmaker – Richard also spent a number of years as a jazz vibraphonist. Puremagnetik conducted a great interview on the trajectory of Richard’s musical journey which I linked to at the bottom of this post.
I met Richard for the first time earlier this month at Electro-Music 2011 and I also caught his wonderful live performance. When I read that he was involved with this Micropak I reached out to him for some additional information on this library. Richard was kind enough to send me some high-rez photos from the recording session (click the photos to enlarge).
According to Puremagnetik, the vibraphones were “recorded in a reflective room with a pair of Shure KSM32s in an ORTF configuration to capture the wide stereo field of the instrument..”
The Micropack contains a collection of 13 multisampled instruments in Ableton Live Pack, Kontakt, Renoise and Apple Logic formats. There are over 900 high quality samples under the hood and the samples include “multiple mallet types, hit variations and sophisticated velocity.” I’ve embedded the audio samples from Puremagetik’s Soundcloud set below.
I bought the Ableton Live format of the library and I’m really enjoying it. The source samples from Richard are fantastic and the collaboration with Purmagnetik has resulted in an excellent use of Ableton Live racks that I’ve come to expect from Puremagnetik. The macro knobs offer excellent performance articulations of the marimba. Some patches are programmed to take the sound into the synthetic realm with excellent use of AM and FM synthesis and Ableton effects.
Puremagnetik System B Micropaks
This is not the first time Richard has collaborated with Puremagnetik. They have also released two Micropak’s based on Richard’s work with the Buchla 200e modular analog synthesizer. The instruments in these libraries are based on a dense and complex master performance patch that was years in the making by Richard. Here is an excerpt from the interview Puremagnetik conducted with Richard that offers more detail:
The reason I got the Buchla in the first place was to have a flexible modular system that I could perform with, which the Buchla is ideal for because of its patch memory. So, since I've gotten it, I've been developing and adding to one master performance patch, which lets me change its configuration quickly in performance but still allows for the maximum degree of sonic variety. That's the patch you're referring to, and which by now, after a couple of years of work, has gotten pretty dense and complex. The Continuum interfaces with that patch via the Continuum Voltage Convertor, or CVC. The Continuum senses finger position on its surface in three dimensions - horizontal, vertical, and depth or pressure - and the CVC converts the data stream from the Continuum into a set of 12 separate control voltages of three dimensions of control for up to four separate voices. Most of the patches are set up so that the X dimension controls pitch, Y controls filtering, and Z controls amplitude, but there are some patches where the Y dimension controls oscillator waveshaping or timbre modulation,for example, or the Z dimension control modulation index. It all depends on the patch and what I want to be able to control in that particular sound, and the system has a lot of flexibility that way.
To put this in more concrete terms, checkout this fantastic video of Oraison, composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1937 for six Ondes Martenot, transcribed for Buchla 200e synthesizer and Haken Continuum Fingerboard controller and performed by Richard in 2009.
B-System Basses and Leads Features: A richly programmed library of Buchla leads & basses from the synth arsenal of Richard Lainhart.
• Over 1000 24-bit Buchla 200e samples
• 20 expertly programmed multisampled instruments
• 30 Ableton Live Clips with integrated Macros and effects
• 30 Apple SIAL loops
• Custom Kontakt KSP GUI and native Kontakt effects
B-System Percussives Features: A unique sonic adventure through 10 electronic drum kits and 40 rhythmic loops recorded from an original Buchla 200e modular synthesizer.
• Over 650 24-bit electronic percussion samples • 10 expertly programmed kit menus • 40 Ableton Live Clips with integrated Macros and effects • 40 Apple SIAL loops • Custom Kontakt KSP GUI and native Kontakt effects
Again, both of these Micropaks are simply excellent and highly recommended. I especially like the “Morphopox” instrument in Basses and Leads and the “Voltog” kit in Percussives.
Get the Micropaks Note that MalletPak One is the current Micropak so you need to be a subscriber to get this today. Subscribers pay $5.75 a month or $60 per year. B-System Micropaks are available to those with an “All Access Pass” or for a $12 fee for everyone else.
More on Richard’s Work Watch for a future “Music Monday” post featuring some of Richard’s Releases. Till then use the social links below to explore his work. I think we’ll also see some future collaborations between Richard and Puremagnetik in the future so watch for those Micrpaks as well.
I Love Sampler! I’m a huge fan of of Sampler, Ableton’s advance sampling instrument. I was recently corresponding with an artist who was considering Live and I wrote this about it:
“Ableton Sampler breaks with the classic sampler metaphor and supports a more immediate and "organic" workflow than other hardware or software samplers. This workflow is well suited to turning found sound into musical instruments. If you add Sampler to a rack in Live you can then easily assign 8 performance knobs to just about any parameter within Sampler.”
Sampler is simply a fantastic tool for helping you make your tracks more creative and unique. For sound designers it’s interface makes for rapid tweaking.
I just received some info from Ableton marketing.
Promotion ”Every customer who buys Ableton Live 8 before August 31st will get Sampler, Ableton's advanced sampling instrument, absolutely free. Sampler, worth 99 EUR/129 USD, combines traditional sampling features with advanced sound design functions.“
New Movie Ableton has also produced a new move “Making sounds with Sampler"—which shows “how Sampler transforms a single piano note into an organic, modulating synth bass”. Watch on YouTube.
Free audio pack for Sampler ”Samplification All Sampler owners, old and new, can also download the free Samplification audio package, which offers Construction Kits, Live Sets with drum clips, new Instrument Racks, new lessons, and sounds from Puremagnetik, Cycling '74 and Sonarte's Sound Objects Lite collection. Samplification is a Live Pack—450 MB download, 950 MB installed and requires Sampler and Live 8.0.4 or higher.”
Puremagnetik has released the second edition Guitar Rack Micropak. It contains an assortment of captured acoustic guitar chord menus, articulations and loop phrases. The Micropak is sustomized for Ableton Sampler, Kontakt 2 and EXS24.
According to Puremagnetick marketing info:
Ableton Live and Kontakt versions contain extensively programmed integrated effects and dynamic controls for easy editing and tone sculpting. Over 60 high quality loops, riffs and phrases are also included with Guitar Rack Volume 2. Ableton Live users can take advantage of Live Clips with integrated Macro controls. Kontakt users can instantly load loops in .nki format with full KSP editing functions while Logic and Garageband users can take advantage of these sounds in Apple Loop format.
Using the highest quality Schoeps 221B tube microphones combined with API 512c preamps, this acoustic guitar was meticulously captured in 24-bit stereo.
Guitar Rack Volume 2 Includes: · Mutlisampled, 24-bit Chord Menus · Over 60 Live Clips and Apple Loops · Extensive Ableton Macro & Kontakt KSP Programming · Integrated Effects for Live and Kontakt · Articulation and Guitar "Effects" Menu