Ammobox- Load up your Scratch Samples

Nathan Ramella, who is known for his work on the unofficial Ableton live Python API, has come up with something that is sure to shake the very fabric scratching as we know it today. Ammobox promises to finish the transformation of the turntable from a utility device to musical instrument by converting control vinyl signal into midi like values. Using his software in conjunction with Reaktor 5 allows you to take those values and scratch multiple samples at once or scratch a stream of pre-sequenced samples layered on each top of each other. You can even quantize and record the results to quickly “scratch” in notes of a song on the fly. Imagine a scenario where you have pre sequenced a set of well known drum samples and you build a beat from scratch by layering in each sound at a time.

Ammobox requires no special hardware, it is free as long as you own a copy of Reaktor5 and is available for download on the Ammobox wiki. Or you can try this direct download.

Reaktor is capable of storing 128 samples which you can then control in Ableton though midi to create your own battle record as shown in this first public demonstration of Ammobox posted on youtube:

This second video gives you a better look at whats going on in the ammo box ensemble. The midi controls playing in the background is triggering samples in Ammobox that makes up the song:

What you see is only possible with several scratch artists each using their own precut vinyl just for the one performance. Ammobox also also offers quantization making scratching easier than ever before.

This not only works using vinyl time code, it will also work with a CD deck playing a time code CD. You can load any of the supported timecodes into Traktor, route the timecode audio stream into Ableton and then from there into Reaktor ensemble. Doing this makes it possible to scratch in Reaktor with the various midi jogs on the market.

One of Ammobox’s very handy functions is that when rewired, it can send out its own unique timecode that you can then record and save as an mp3 or burn it onto a CD to use with a CD Deck. That means you do not need to go out and buy timecode to use with Ammobox unless you intend to a use a vinyl deck.

To make things easier i have recorded the timecode for you – Ammobox Timecode Mp3, right click and save target as on link if your having difficulties downloading the file.

If you find the time code too short you can simply use the looping function in your dj software to give you a non-stop timecode stream going into Ammobox without any adverse effects on your scratching.

Check out these two articles on routing audio dj software into Ableton if you have not already done so, they will help you to route you audio from any DJ software into Ableton –

This last video demonstration of Ammobox shows what can be done if effects are added into the ensemble, in this case the Chris List Beat lookup effect is being used – which you can download here.

It is also possible to use an XY pad to control the deck in Ammobox by loading the Ammobox timecode into MadHeads XY turntable ensmble. This will replicate scratching the Timecode in Vinyl, which you can then use to control Ammobox by routing the timecode audio into Ammobox.

MadHead left us a very nice present in his comments, his Reaktor scratch ensemble ! Grab it here – Madhead’s XY pad ensemble. Hopefully over time we will see users build in direct midi support as opposed to having to route timecode.

You need to bind the X and Y parameters of your XY controller to the X and Y parameters as shown in green in this picture. If you have problems finding these parameters click the small button as shown in blue, then drag the viewing window as(shown in red over) over to the right until you see the X and Y parameter controls.

Ammobox XY Ableton Midi parameters.

I tested Ammobox with my VCI-100, routing the audio from Traktor into Ableton and the only bug I have experienced with this setup is when doing fast spinbacks, the ammobox play position will wobble back and forward. I have not tested ammobox with a Vinyl or a CD deck so its not clear if this bug also exists using these interfaces. Please leave a comment if you do/do not experience this problem with Vinyl or CD.

  • Jamiecole67

    Anyone tried ammobox with the tractor s4 if so plz reply to this post thanks

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=”14516″]While it is true that Deckadance is not quite ready for this setup, in the near future Deckadance will have full ableton syncro, and since Deckadance was created from the start to be compatible with all midi/box/vinyl solutions Deckadance will be uniquely oriented to be the absolute best software for this type of setup.. Full ableton Syncro is in the works and Ms.Pinky is the most diverse vinyl solution so definitely keep an eye Deckadance. It’s future is very bright.[/quote]

  • [quote comment=""][…] erste Infos zu Ammobox geposted. Leider ist das Ammobox Wiki aktuell down, aber hier ist ein netter Artikel mit vielen Videos. Wenn ich es richtig verstanden habe, ist Ammobox ein Reaktor 5 Ensemble. Mit […][/quote]

    Hi Guys,

    Ms Pinky sends MIDI OUT and OSC.
    http://www.mspinky.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=864

    🙂

  • Ezmyrelda

    While it is true that Deckadance is not quite ready for this setup, in the near future Deckadance will have full ableton syncro, and since Deckadance was created from the start to be compatible with all midi/box/vinyl solutions Deckadance will be uniquely oriented to be the absolute best software for this type of setup.. Full ableton Syncro is in the works and Ms.Pinky is the most diverse vinyl solution so definitely keep an eye Deckadance. It's future is very bright.

  • Grafite – that is true, The Deckadance or Ms Pinky VST plug-ins are the easiest way if you just want to test Ammobox.

    However Ammobox is best used in combination with Traktors 3 other decks using Controllerism techniques. Sadly the Ms Pinky VST and Deckadance do not quite match Traktor when it comes to Controllerism. So i would not recommend these options to any Controllerist at this point in time.

  • @ bentosan

    i get this , i was saying that you might aswell just get deckadance for this rather than have ableton +traktor +reaktor all running (with other progs to make traktor n ableton work together)

  • No problem. Thanks BentoSan.

  • Grafite – You can use any dj software to manipulate Ammobox as long as you can feed the Ammobox ensemble the timecode. You still need Reaktor because Ammobox is a Reaktor ensemble after all.

  • deckadance?

    won't that cover the traktor and reaktor parts of this?

  • DJ TOS – Ableton, Traktor, and Reaktor once running is infact very stable as long as you are not opening/closing VSTs and changing latency settings(which you should never be doing live anyway). I have not once had Traktor, Ableton nor Reaktor crash when used in conjunction with one another unless i was doing what i just said not to do.

    Though i certainly agree that we should not have to go through these extreme lengths to control our audio like this, we are left with little choice until software catches up to our needs.

  • Sorry for the confusion MadHead, i made things much more clear, now the article states how the ensemble can be used to control Ammobox.

  • thanks for that bentoSan…will check it out when i next get a chance =]

  • Hi!

    Thank you the comments, but my scratch Ensemble is not Ammobox mod. My gear is simple virtual turntable with XY pad scratching. No timecode, no drag'n'drop samples. The Ammobox is better. 🙂

    Best regards, Thomas!

  • Nice piece of code but: TRAKTOR + ABLETON + REAKTOR on a live-performing PC running Windows. HOW MANY things can go wrong?!

    Btw, it will be interesting to see parts of thihs set-up cut-up and rewritten as stanalone software…(the reaktor part especially).

    I wonder if anyone has hacked(or in progress) the scratch-communication for traktor 3.3/TScratch….that would be nice, a midi->TScratch_communication for scratching with jogs.

  • I will post a picture in the article showing the two parameters you need to midi learn. The X-Y parameters are not learnable in Reaktor, you need to need to use Ableton to midi learn the two axises.

  • <blockquote cite="#comment-5109">anybody get MadHeadYt to work. not sure what i'm doing wrong, but can't seem to get the XY pad functioning.

    i'm having the same trouble..everything else midi learns fine except the XY pad of it.

    can you help us out please ean?

    thanks,

    Shane

  • Alan D. – Its possible to scratch to more than just a midi roll in Ableton, you could use your own Midi drum triggger to trigger samples to scratch to live. bouncing your audio constantly is not only impracticle, it gives you alot less live control over your audio. Also notice how Ammobox changes its play position to the next bar without the needle having to be picked up and moved, you would need several scratch artists to perform the same scratching on your audio as Ammobox.

    Djilo- Make sure you link the X and Y parameters to Ammobox using the Ableton midi learn function, click the down arrow in Ableton on the Reaktor VST box, that shows you what parameters you can midi learn. Make sure you link the X and Y parameters to the X and Y parameters of your XY pad.

  • Nice one Bentosan!

    Got to try this one day! 😀

  • anybody get MadHeadYt to work. not sure what i'm doing wrong, but can't seem to get the XY pad functioning.

  • i know ammobox for quite a while now…

    but i will have to read further into all that things (also the smartmixing stuff)

    but right now. i cannot find it usefull 😉

    there is just now usefull screnario for me. (also not to have deckadance as vst plugin or so)

    may be someone has a usefull scenario for me to discribe…

    for me its only controlling hte the audiostream or ensemble (sequecer-like) in the programm (yes i understand, the audiostream or sequenced music can be in multiple layers) but this only saves me from bouncing all this stuff and then mixing it with my software. or am i missing something? am i not creative enough without enough imagination?

  • it's a very cool system.

    to bad Reaktor costs $500 USD.

    oops. $450 usd. still after tax from local retailer…

  • it's a very cool system.

    to bad Reaktor costs $500 USD.

  • audiodestruction

    This is the boost that scratching needs to get more people to treat it like an instrument. I have love for Q-bert and the super tech guys out there but swamp and the other dj's finding ways to make the turntable more expresive are really where i am at. I thnk the combinations we are going to see ammobox in will blow our minds. arppegiated flares!!!