Dive deep into new swarm & glitchy sound design worlds with the new free M4L synths Swarmalators T & Cellular Degradation by Dillon Bastan.
Ableton released Live 11 on Tuesday in three versions: Intro, Standard, and Suite. The Suite is again the flagship version that includes besides the new features tons of new sound content. Among other things, it includes new experimental instruments and effects for Max For Live designed by Dillon Bastan.
The same developer recently released their own M4L devices, which are also available for download. One of them is Fractal Filters, which I reported earlier. There are now two more exciting free tools that are also very tempting.
Dillon Bastan Swarmalators T
Swarmalators T is a Synthesizer based on the “Swarmalators” model that is applied to a bank of oscillators as modulation. The oscillators move here like in a swarm and since each of these moves along in the swarm, they also modulate parameters at the same time, creating very complex oscillator patterns. The internal oscillators of each Swarmalator is applied to basic LFO shapes which together with the XY positions, you can map to audio oscillator parameters like the pitch, FM, and others.
The audio oscillators (up to 50) have tuning options via scala file or microtonal ones, FM, and a resonant lowpass filter. If you want a bit of chaos and unclean transitions in your swarm you can use the noise generator. It makes everything a little more glitchy and imprecise. I’ve played with the device for almost an hour now and I’m completely in love with it. It creates beautiful lush patterns and with additional delay or reverb on it, you have an improvised mediation in seconds at the start. Dillon, the developer says it capable of creating lush textures, glitchy/harsh soundscapes, as well as generative melodic and harmonic patterns.
Dillon Bastan Cellular Degradation
Cellular Degradation is yet another free sound design tool for Max For Live. It combines cellular automation with a polyphonic Synthesizer. Each stereo voice corresponds to each column of the cellular automation’s grid, while each row corresponds to the associated tone generator’s audio parameters. If you change now values of the cells from the cellular automata, then you get advanced modulation of the audio parameters of the tone generators.
The M4L device uses a very low rate sample playback engine (like an LFO) plus an SVF filter (LP/HP morph), a delay line, and a normalization via envelope following. There is also a feedback and cross-modulation functionality that lets you discover deep, harmonic rich sound worlds. Here you can modulate between the left and right channel pair, use FM, AM, and sample lookup.
On the paper rather abstract, in the practice, it is a very crazy sound generator that you absolutely have to try.
All in all, you get here two fascinating Max For Live devices for free that goes deep in sonic exploration. Big thanks Dillon for these devices.
Both new M4L devices (Swarmalators T & Cellular Degradation) are available now with a “name your price” tag. They require Ableton Live 10 & Max For Live.
More information here: Dillon Bastan