Sound Designer Nick Maxwell has just released a new series of videos of his wonderful collection of sound design tutorials for Ableton Live. Sound Design with the Operator synthetizer in Ableton Live is available now for only $40 directly from nickstutorials.com.
About the new series
FM synthesis represents an extremely powerful set of tools for creating your own sounds, and Ableton’s “Operator” instrument represents a well-thought-out entry into that world. Unfortunately, much of the instructional material relating to FM synthesis doesn’t really explain how it works in a way that doesn’t involve lots of math and theory while still showing how it can actually be used. The goal with this roughly 4 hour series was to fill that gap, showing the user through practical application just how amazing and yet easy to use FM synthesis can be.
The latest version of Operator, released alongside Live 8, allows the sound designer the ultimate flexibility in creating a timbre from virtually nothing, hand-shaping individual harmonic overtones to create amazingly rich sounds that can be further mixed through various algorithms. With this series, you can learn how to harness this power in a way that is both intuitive and creative. These video tutorials start you off with the basic theory of how sound is generated with fundamental frequencies and overtones, then moving from some basic sounds all the way through complex FM patches featuring tons of subtle modulation. The main goal here is not to teach you how to create one specific sound or another, but rather to show you through practical application how to create your own, personalized sounds. This knowledge will serve you far into the future, and will be applicable even beyond Operator and Ableton Live.
Some snippets from the series (The actual videos are MUCH better quality and zoomed in so you can see clearly – Youtube likes to mutilate videos like this):
Here are just a few of the things you will learn to create through these videos:
- DYNAMIC drumtracks being generated by just one Operator
- DEEP bass instruments that work well in any mix
- SIMULATIONS of the modified and abused devices from the world of circuit-bending
- EXOTIC soundscapes that shimmer and morph over their playback
- METALLIC percussion and stabs that are perfect for heavily rhythmic music such as Techno or Dubstep
- ALIEN soundbeds that are just as useful in music as they are in movie soundtracks
Additionally, you’ll receive:
- Easy to understand explanations of how timbres are built from harmonic and inharmonic overtones
- Comprehensive coverage of Operator’s interface in a way that relates the parameters to one another in a sensible way
- Screenshots of macro mappings so that you can easily follow along with creating the sounds in the video tutorials
- Live 8 preset instrument racks containing the instruments created in the videos – great for reverse-engineering the sounds!*
*Please keep in mind that these tutorials were created in Ableton Live version 8, relying on some Live 8-specific effects. Additionally, Operator 8 is used to create the patches. That being said, the meat of the series can applied to any version, so if you own the instrument in either version, you will benefit from almost everything present in the videos.