Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ableton Preset: Gillette

This month's preset is an homage to my favorite new softsynth, NI's RAZOR.

Yeah, yeah, I've been going on about RAZOR incessantly since it came out, but savvy readers know that I just don't gush unless a synth is incredible - and RAZOR is truly incredible.

So I got to thinking... How do I capture some of that magic in an Ableton preset that's compatible with Live, without using Operator as its core?

The result is a simple additive instrument called "Gillette".

For starters, I created four single-cycle waves: fundamental (1st harmonic), odd harmonics, even harmonics, and prime-numbered harmonics. Then I placed each in its own Simpler and placed those Simplers inside an Instrument Rack.

From there, I added the following macros:

1st Harmonic: Adjusts the volume of the fundamental.
Odd: Adjusts the volume of the odd harmonics.
Even: Adjusts the volume of the even harmonics.
Prime: Adjusts the volume of the prime harmonics.
Envelope: Continuously morphs the envelope from sharp & plucked to slow & pad-like.
Oddverb: Adds reverb to only the odd harmonics. If their volume is low or off, then this knob does nothing.
Animate Rate: Adjusts the rate of the harmonic animation. Synced to tempo.
Animate Depth: Adjusts the depth of the animation.

Animation notes: The animation is designed to morph smoothly between the harmonic types, provided all knobs are set to equal volumes. At slow rates, this creates an evolving, Wavestation-like effect. At fast rates, the result is more of a wobble.


- I'm posting the patch within a Live Set, as opposed to a Live Pack or single preset, so you can hear the patch with example chords and twist the macro knobs to see what's what. If you like it, then hit the preset save button on the macro and add it to your Library.
- There are two examples: A slow morphing pad with chorus and a stabby part with a touch of harmonic wobble. This shows a bit of the range of the instrument.
- The patch will run on Ableton Live 7.0.18 or higher.
- What you see/hear is what you get. I tested it on a couple of systems and the Zip file works as expected.

Download Gillette


  1. Francis thanks for Ableton Preset: Gillette very qualitative yours faithfully Estonia VLAD

  2. Thanks man! I bought your 'Remixer's Bible' several years ago, which is still a great reference. Cheers!

  3. Cheers for that, top stuff!!!

  4. Great stuff, thanks!

  5. Thank you immensely for this. Always very much appreciated. Trying to get mor versatile with this - and believe me I do appreciate that this is an easy to use, closed eight macro preset - but would the ability to change the source audio perhaps get more varied results? I don't want to break anything either.

  6. Nice work! Te gek! Bedankt! Thanks!