Have you ever been to a garage sale to buy instruments or raided your younger brother's toy chest for things to sample? If you answer yes to either question, The Fromage Pack is for you. We sampled the ranges of two classically crappy keyboards, the Casio SA-3 and Casio VL-Tone. First, we recorded the sounds onto tape and then we brought the sounds into Ableton's Sampler to assign useful macros. The Fromage Pack will make great leads, pads and basses. It's certified to add a sharp, aged flavour to your mixes.
This seemingly worthless synth/calculator hybrid weighing in at under a pound has somehow found fame and fortune despite looking like a kid's toy. Its ultra cheesy sounds have been discovered and immortalized in the hit songs of such artists as Trio for "Da Da Da" and White Town. The Casio VL-1 or VL-Tone as it's also called has 29 little calculator-type button keys, five preset and one user memory patches, built-in rhythm machine (waltz, swing, rock, samba, etc.) and a 100-note sequencer. There is no chance at any external or MIDI control and there are no filters or effects. There is an LFO with vibrato and tremolo effects and an ADSR envelope.
The tinny monophonic blips and beeps that come out of the VL-1 provide a childishly funny accent to your music, if you're into that sort of thing. The VL-1 is analog, it's tiny, it has a built-in speaker and a useless built-in calculator. The synth itself is quite small, light-weight and portable when running on batteries. The keys are unreliable and cheap soft buttons with absolutely no natural feel, response, aftertouch or velocity. The VL-1 was succeeded by the VL-10 (same spec, smaller case) and VL-5 (4-note polyphonic version with a useless bar-code reader). Strangely, the simple cheesy sounds of the VL-Tone have been used by Apollo 440, Devo, the Talking Heads, the Cars, Dee-Lite, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Vince Clarke, Beastie Boys, The Human League, Trio, White Town, and Bill Nelson.
Casio SA Series
The Casio SA series ToneBank keyboards were the first cheap sound bank instruments with up to 100 PCM preset sounds based on samples using a single- chip CPU. They were initially released as competitor to the Yamaha VoiceBank FM instruments those also had up to 100 preset sounds.
All Casio SA keyboards sound very similar and employ a wavetable synthesis engine that mixes 2 looped samples using independent, partly very complex algorithmic volume and pitch envelopes (made by program loop synthesis?). Most samples are of low resolution and typically short looped static waveforms, which gives these instruments a characteristic cheap and cheesy digital lo-fi appeal; the sounds tend to be cold, harsh and have much digital aliasing noise, which is very different from the always quite warm, bassy, smooth and noble sounding Yamaha FM timbres. The Casio SA tablehooters instead sound tinny, squeaky, thin and kazoo- like - it's exactly that sound you likely would have hated in the early 1990th, when it was the over- glorified, over- used and almost only available timbre in consumer home keyboards and PC wavetable soundcards.
Save the princess, gets the coins, throw a chicken, we're playing slappers only. For this Ableton Sample Pack we drew on everyone's favourite 64 bit video game console. Ten classic games were sampled to give your tunes a touch of nerdy nostalgia. Our signal path was straight out of the console, into a Focusrite 6i6 interface and directly into Live.
Each pad contains Simpler to provide the ability to shape envelopes, control LFOs, control filters and alter playback mode. Two return track were made within the Drum Rack to add space with reverb and delay.
Designed for the Push
The layout of the pack will map to 64 pad mode on the Push and we designed it for jamming and controlling. These sounds aren't organized in any particular order but it will be a great tool for adding one shots and SFX to your tunes.
For this Ableton Sample Pack we drew on a collection of classic and modern gear. Drum sounds were sampled from the iconic Oberheim DX and Roland's TR-8. Bass lines were crafted with Oberheim's OB-8 and Novation's Bass Station II. Leads were made with the Novation Bass Station II. Pads were made with the Oberheim OB-8. Effects were made with the OB-8 or the Bass Station II. Our signal path was a Focusrite 2i4 interface directly into Live.
Each pad contains a Simpler that provide the ability to shape envelopes, control LFOs, control filters and alter playback mode. Two return track were made within the Drum Rack to add space with reverb and delay.
Designed for the Push
The Push layout we have designed is for jamming and controlling. See image on the right. There are 4 quadrants. Drums, Bass, Leads and Pads. The Drums quadrant has sampled drum hits and samples as well as 1 drum loop for beginners. The Bass quadrant has 4 different bass loops (4 bars in length), individual notes and some bass riffs and fills. The Leads quadrant has 4 distinct lead loops (4 bars in length), individual notes and some risers, drops and licks. The Pad quadrant has 4 unique loops (4 bars in length), 2 different styles of chord progressions, arps and pad fx.
3 fun ways to use the Stank Pack
*1 - Pad Drumming - The Stank Pack can be used as a live tool for finger drumming. Make your own beats and musical phrases or trigger prerecorded drum and instrumental loops.
*2 - Step Sequence - Use the Push's build in step sequencing capabilities to build your own arrangements with the tools we provided in the pack.
3 - Session and Arrangement View - This is for all the non Push users who just own Ableton Standard or Suite. You can create at midi clips and trigger the samples by using the pen tool or arrow.
* Ableton Push Required.