Puremagnetik releases free Ableton Live Packs inspired by John Cage

Puremagnetik has announced the release of Hotel Prepared Piano and Amplified Cactus, two free Ableton Live Packs inspired by the experimental, avant-garde composer John Cage.

Amplified Cactus

Amplified Cactus a la John Cage

Puremagnetik’s free Amplified Cactus Pack includes a drum rack of “plucked”, percussive articulations and a multisampled rack of “scraped” sounds. Rocks, grass, paper and feathers are among the exciters used to create these sound varieties.

Amplified Cactus was recorded using a barrel cactus mic’d with TranceAudio surface pickups and a custom built low-noise preamplifier.

Hotel Prepared Piano

Hotel Room Prepared Piano

Whilst abroad in Israel, Puremagnetik sound developer Micah Frank found his hotel room equipped with a vintage upright piano. After a few attempts to create a conventional upright piano recording, the plan was aborted due to outside noise. Instead, Micah jammed paperclips, seashells, twigs and pieces of plastic into the piano strings and recorded two octaves of prepared piano tones and noises.

Puremagnetik’s Prepared Piano is available as a free Ableton Live Pack that includes a multisampled Rack of the two-octave piano and a selection of effects captured during the recording process.

The packs are available to download at no charge.

More information: Puremagnetik


Soniccouture releases (Xtended) Piano, Kontakt Player instruments

Soniccouture (Xtended) Piano

Soniccouture has released (Xtended) Piano, a collection of 5 Kontakt Player instruments.

“Extended” is a term usually used to describe unorthodox techniques used when playing a musical instrument in an unconventional way, to coax new timbres from a traditional instrument.

Since the early 20th century, the piano has been at the forefront of this trend, with composers such as John Cage preparing the piano with nuts and bolts, Henry Cowell composing pieces in which the performer reaches inside the piano and plucks or strums the strings, and Stephen Scott bowing the strings with an ensemble of performers to produce an orchestral sound.

The latter inspired us to create the ground-breaking Bowed Piano instrument in 2008, and now we have revisited the same piano to build on that concept and further explore extended piano techniques for an exciting new suite of instruments.

For the ( Xtended ) Piano collection, we have explored 5 different techniques and created a virtual instrument for each.

(Xtended) Piano features

  • 5 Kontakt Player Instruments
    • Mute Piano – a technique in which you lightly touch the finger at a nodal point on the piano string and play the key to produce a harmonic.
    • Plucked Piano – the piano notes are plucked, either with the fingers or a plectrum of some sort. We used a guitar pick and recorded plucked notes with both the piano dampers down and up.
    • Mallet Piano – The piano strings were struck with foreign mallets : wooden & marimba, producing strange and different timbres.
    • Bowed Piano – The strings of the piano are bowed with fishing line and horsehair to produce both sustained and short notes.
    • SFX Piano – Strums, scrapes, percussive noises and all kinds of sound-scapes from the guts of the piano.
  • 6GB Sample Library ( 3.5 GB with NCW ).
  • 24 Bit 44.1khz Stereo Sampling.
  • Multiple Articulations, Key-offs, Round Robins, Velocities.
  • KSP Jammer, Strummer + Glissando modules.

The (Xtended) Piano collection is available to purchase for 99 EUR. A 15% discount is available until 1 October, 2010, with promo code 0EKR5R1HTT

More information: Soniccouture / (Xtended) Piano