Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Streakulator Max4Live Device by Audiomodern - DCSI overview

New Max4Live devices are always welcome by Ableton users, craving for new stuff to melt down their tracks dna, and this new STREAKULATOR device seems won't disappoint their expectations.

Streakulator is designed by AudioModern and Ernesto Cecco D’Ortona aka StrangeLines.
First of all, its requirements to run are Ableton Live 9.5 as host and Max for Live 7.1  (or higher).

After being installed in the proper folder, you're going to find available within Live 9 a brand new mangling audio effect, which is midi driven and modulated.
Whats does this means?
Once launched, you'll find Streakulator consists in two modules: the bigger main one you can see above, which gives you all the controls and parameters available with this multi effect (and where you will actually squeeze the hell out of your sounds/loops/track), and the other tiny which one has to be placed in a midi track.

The midi events recorded in that midi track will trigger various Streakulator effects and their parameters.
Which ones? Let's have a look at its main interface.
On the upper part you find available in 3 separate zones, form left to right:
the amp envelope, the filter, and the filter modulator, like you may find in some way on a synthesizer.

Below: the effects gui, and the gate section.

The amp envelope hosts a variety of 5 different preset envelopes to chose from, plus another one customizable, and the option to bypass this section. In details these are:
5 points, 7 points, Sidechain, Waveshaper, Twinpeaks, Custom.

In every one you can grab each node and move it around to shape your chosen envelope.

The filter section gives you 4 kind to chose from: LP, HP, BP and Notch, with the relative cutoff and resonance knobs. Finally you find the four knobs to control the usual filter envelope:
Attack, Decay, Sustain Release.

The effect section "Streakulator" shows up a Sample and Bit reducer and a modulation effect which can work as: Vibrato, Flanger, Chorus, WChorus and Doubler.

These are presets recalled by simply clicking on the their name listed on the right side.
You can however achieve several degree of variations of these by tweaking parameters on your own.
The knobs will allow you to change Depth, Rate, Delay, Gain, FF and FB of the modulation effect, and select how much of the whole process you'll add back to the original sound, with the dry/wet fader.

To spice up things there's the Gate section. Here the left and right audio channel will be affected in sync with the BPM of the track you're working on, several timing choices, channels linked or unlinked, depending on your choice. Dry/wet fader available here too.

On the bottom of the gui you can store and recall up to 8 different Streakulator configurations plus with 2 last different knobs you can tweak/warp the overall pitch and set the output volume.

Cool, that's the stuff, but, how it sounds?

Well, being midi triggered you're going to sound design your audio track/audio samples rhythmically, synced to your host/daw tempo, and as said befor, triggered and automated by midi events placed on the midi track.

The sonic results will be varying from simply spicing things up in a subtle way, to drastically morph, destroy, decompose and recompose every possible frequency in otherworldy ways.

You can automate each sort of filtering, gating, wobbling, chorusing, flanging, pitching up and down, bitcrushing, doubling in various dynamic way, metallizing, destroing things, distorting or growling things, widening even, thanks to the possibility to vary the synced gate tempo differently for the left and the right channel.
To allow everything being correctly connected don't forget to set the same letter (A, B, C, D...) in the Streakulator "MIDI TO" setting, within the mini midi module, and in the main effects module, in the "MIDI FROM" area.

Streakulator comes with a bunch of presets to start with and a demo projects, where simply lauching and playing it will immediately give you the feel of how it works.

All in all is really fun and easy to use, the gui is neatly organized, allowing to do a big deal of sound design, letting your creativity flow freely.
Don't forget to do and save your own presets each time you'll find some settings you really enjoy.

For what it gives the price is right too, accessible, and you're supporting the work of independent developers, which is honorable.
Go ahead to the Audiomodern website and grab it.


Thanks for reading and see you soon with the next DCSI review.

DCSI - Diego