Mad Zach’s Tutorial On Building Soundpacks

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!


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 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


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
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