A couple months ago I released the Dirty Trumpet rack, an Ableton Instrument created from samples of producer JM-DG’s old beat up trumpet. In a world of pristine samples recorded on near perfect instruments in the most sterile studio environments, these trumpet samples were a breathe of fresh air with their warm, beat-up charm. Many people sent along their own tracks using this unique sounding Ableton device.
Recently Mr. JM-DG sent along another set of samples of the same trumpet, this time using a muter inside the trumpet to add another level of character to the samples. In my opinion there is a smoothness to these samples that was missing in the previous set, and these samples are at the heart of this week’s free Ableton Live Pack.
Even though the source instrument is the same, I wanted to make something that stood out and functioned differently from the Dirty Trumpet rack. Since the samples are so nice, I also wanted to preserve the character and feel of the original instrument. So when you first open the project, the instrument is in its most natural form; I think it makes for a nice smooth muted trumpet. I added a control for some reverb to give it space, and a filter that you can move around in real time to mimic the subtle adjustments to the muter that a seasoned trumpeter would employ. Next, to start moving this instrument into new and weirder territory, I’ve added tremolo controls using one of Sampler’s LFOs set to volume. I used the square wave as the shape of the tremolo so that it creates instant changes in volume, creating a somewhat glitchy feel.
Where things really start getting interesting is on the bottom four macro knobs. I’ve enabled Sampler’s Frequency Modulation Oscillator and given you control over the volume, wave shape, and course tuning. If you really want to get some wild sounds that sound nothing like a trumpet, start messing with these controls. Try playing the instrument at the higher octaves, while lowering the course tuning of the FM oscillator. Similarly weird effects happen when you play the instrument at the extremely low octaves while cranking up the Course tuning. You can also get some unusual timbres by moving the FM OSC Wave knob while playing. Get your morph on. Finally, the last control reverses the samples and slowly adds delay to the signal. This can turn this instrument into an interestingly evolving pad.
So all in all, this Ableton instrument can get you some nice, character-filled, muted trumpet sounds, but can quickly be morphed into otherworldly oddities.
Before you run off into your own sonic getaway, check out and connect with JM-DG. Listen to his tracks and say hello and thanks for supplying us with these really cool samples! Have fun and use responsibly!
You can hear JM-DG‘s actual trumpet in action in the following track:
PS. I started an AfroDJMac Tumblr blog, check it out and follow for some fun things not posted here :)