Mad Zach’s Tutorial On Building Soundpacks

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If you’re a DJ TechTools newsletter subscriber, then you probably know about Mad Zach’s popular, playable, and fun sound packs for Ableton Live. Ever wondered how to make them yourself? Today we’ve got you covered. Continue reading for a free tutorial video that reveals two basic techniques – along with information about a new one hour video workshop that goes deep into expressive Ableton sound design and advanced controllerist sampling techniques!

SOUNDPACK CRAFTING SECRETS

In the last year, we’ve given out over thirty soundpacks (all crafted by Mad Zach) with demand for more growing every day. When requests started rolling in for a tutorial on how he makes them, it was a no-brainer educational opportunity.

“I think anyone who watches will be inspired to create their own personal soundpacks that can provide hours of musical joy. This tutorial covers the new frontier of production techniques that enable live performance without boundries” Mad Zach

While building each pack, Mad Zach spends about 8 hours in total, including finding the sounds, planning out different playable elements, and setting up real time mastering that makes the pack rich, crisp, and cohesive. The attention put into each pack (see an example in the video below!) has even been praised by other well-respected names in the industry, including bass music pioneer and Ableton legend, Ill Gates:

“Dude. Wow. I can’t thank you enough! I bought all of your packs from DJTT, your programming is incredible.” – Ill Gates

THE SIX LESSONS THAT MAKE IT HAPPEN

The full 60 minute tutorial goes deep into every detail of the sound pack creation through six distinct lessons:

  • Crafting the Beat:  techniques for creating more dynamic drums for live performance – from scratch!
  • Setting The Mood: creating pads and atmospheres, including starting from a vinyl sample and turning it into emotionally driven sounds that will act as the hook and set the vibe of the track.
  • Melody of One: one note melodies re-envisioned, which can be easily played using one button while still remaining expressive and diverse
  • Risers 101: Creating Builds To Fit The Pack: creating interesting risers out of samples you already have on hand for buildups, breakdowns, transitions, and more.
  • Bass Face: Addressing The Modern Sub: How to use MIDI clips, modifiers, and clever patching to create a dope bassline that can be played live
  • GTFO: The Sounds, The Magic – adding flair to a performance soundpack, including making cool sounds using the simple delay, and recording some vocal samples that take the pack up a notch.

Watch all six lessons in the video workshop now for just $30!

From fun techniques like using a beer bottle to make an amazing kick, to more complex production topics, this tutorial covers a wide range of valuable material:

  • creative sample manipulation
  • mixing and mastering for live performance, including sidechain compression, compression, EQ, and more
  • pitch, filter, and volume envelopes
  • non-retriggering LFOs
  • granular looping and modulation
  • layering in instrument racks
  • FX bussing and drumrack routing
  • modifiers and sound layout
  • proper and creative use of delays and other FX
  • vocal processing
  • tweaking kickdrum sounds from scratch

STREAMING GOODNESS

If you are interested in diving deeper into soundpack creation. Mad Zach’s workshop is available to watch right now for only $30. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • unlimited streaming of each lesson, as many times as you want, forever.
  • all of the sounds used to craft the pack
  • the complete Ableton template
  • jamesgoodall

    This is insane. Paying this much money for a soundpack is nuts.

  • Tom

    Zach!!! I saw that in some packs you make use of momentary switches for modifier style buttons on the midi fighter… Well check this guy out, made a M4L patch for momentary. http://4live.me Could be useful to port some packs to other controllers, e.g PUSH!!!

  • River

    I just made my first soundpack, using nothing but components from a song I made last year. It took all day but im pretty pleased with the results. I didnt use the tutorial, just open up a a drum rack and went at it.
    Make your own sound packs!

  • LachieWatson

    Hi Mad Zach. Awesome set of videos, super stoked with the purchase. Just wondering if you could make a video detailing how to make a setup with multiple banks for a single controller? I’m looking to play sets with finger drumming (>5mins) and the same kit can get quite repetitive! Been trying to use the build up whilst trying to swap, but I’m not quite getting it right! Thanks anyways, Lachie

  • Guest

    Hey! Have any of you guys built a sound pack yet? I’m dying to see what other people have come up with.

  • Letson

    Hey Mad Zach…is there anywhere we can send you personal messages for questions we might have relating to the videos? Thanks

  • Die Famous

    Hey we watched your video and were so inspired we had some fun and made our own check it out let us know what u think!!

    http://youtu.be/hN0VnRBKSKg

    • DJ RB0t

      nice dude
      i loved it

  • SonSon

    Hey DJTT, just bought the vides and can’t wait to get started. My only concern is that I can’t watch the videos on my iPad. Any fix for this? Thanks.

    • Mad Zach

      good question, we’ll look into it!

  • slslslslslsl

    anyone purchase the tutorial and have any feedback yet?

    • Mad Zach

      someone just sent me this on facebook:

      “yoyo!
      just bought your sample pack tutorial and watched it in one sitting, i was thoroughly entertained!! I watch alot of tutorials and i must say alot of them are boring as hell, but yours was on point! It was inspiring, resourceful, easy-to-follow, hilarious and down right tasteful! Hella juicy beat too! I would buy another right now if you had it, meaning you should totally do another. You should do a part two of this series with more simpler and some sampler techniques. I would to see how you write a track from start to finish using these topics covered, that would be tiight!

      keep killing it~”

  • Alex B

    Would anyone suggest this for beginners in ableton?

    • Mad Zach

      yes absolutely

  • Anonymous

    I’m as broke as a joke but you best believe I’ll be buyin this shit next friday 😉

  • Mad Zach looks like a Bond villain sans a fluffy cat. As for the video I think $30 is a bit steep- is there a paid for DJ Tech Tools app in the pipeline in which you could have an in app purchases like this?

    • y

      Agreed. Consider maschinetutorials.com is $10/month for hundreds of tutorials, puts it in perspective. But LOVE you guys keep it up!

  • skrill crosby

    soo can you only use sound packs for abelton? orr would they work with fruity loops as well?

    • Mad Zach

      you can pull the samples into FL if you want but the soundpacks are optimized for drumrack in Ableton

  • Tom

    I cant’t find the tutorials in the store to watch again…? Please link

    • Mad Zach

      login to your my.djtechtools.com account (free), go to your “videos” tab and walaa

      • Tom

        Cheers Zach 🙂 Great videos btw!

  • Tom

    I cant find the link to watch it again…? It says its in the store???

    • Mad Zach

      go to my.djtechtools.com, login (with the same account you used to make your purchase) and go to your videos tab

  • ridlol

    btw Guys, what’s the name of midi fighter with faders?? is it being sold?

  • ridlol

    Mad Zach is just an extremely talented dude! I could figure the very first time i saw him.

  • bootymusic

    Mad Zach, you are a genius!

  • dj_sensible

    really good video, but the buffering is driving me fucking mental and there’s definitely nothing wrong with my internet connection…..

    • DJTT John

      Hi, can you try lowering the quality using the “HD” button on the player and let me know if that helps?

      • yeah boyyeee!!! helps loads, sorry if my message seemed a bit abrupt i didnt mean it that way. Cheers man

        • DJTT John

          Cool, I want to know if there is a problem, I can’t fix it if I don’t know! I upgraded the server yesterday too, just to make sure.

  • tr4gik

    Mad Zack you’re golden man, I think his insights are worth every penny.

  • And then there are those that will be saying: “If only I had a midi-fighter.” Seriously, this is tight. Mad thanks Mad Zack.

  • Reinout

    mad zach for president!

  • This is Exactly What I needed!!!!!

  • Wow, I didn’t think that article would be revisited so quickly (heh). I hope your class makes you enough money to live in S.F. I know it’s expensive here. Keep up the good work!

  • Shawnyd

    Exactly what I needed! Thanks Mad Zach and DJTT!

  • Yokanda

    Cool! yes! I just bought this.
    I Wait your next tutoral yet.!

  • DJ Clashy

    Nice one 🙂 When is the new mapping for MF Spectra gonna hit us??

  • kilbot

    great stuff! the red jacket really does it for me 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Yes,

    Give a man a fish, he can eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he can eat for a life time!

    🙂 scamo

    • Until the fish get over-fished and then there’s no fish left… (just sayin’)

      • Anonymous

        That’s why it costs $30. Not everyone will go fishing, when they have to pay for it first, so there will be enough fish to fish for. Go fish! Hahaha!

        • RockingClub

          But it’s absolutely right!

          By far too many people underestimate the importance of know-how! Buying another music production or performance tool doesn’t do the job if you don’t know how to achieve certain results!

          I’d almost bet: Spending 30$ for these tutorials is way more useful than spending 3000$ for gear!

          • Hey! have any of you guys made a sound pack yet? You got any videos up or anything like that? Just wondering if that know-how is being put to use.

  • le_phreaK

    yes, YES, YES!