Detunized: sampling the rare and unusual


Detunized is the brainchild of Stephan Marche, Steffen Merche, and Steve Market, depending on which country you find him in. Stephan is from a sound-design background, and it's obvious that he has a great ear for sound. It seems from the stories I read, that 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' could be the motto from which Detunized has arisen. From smuggling Russian synths across the border, to recording a rotting piano just before the building it was in caught fire, there doesn't seem to be a potential sound source that isn't out of the intrepid Detunized founder's reach.

From this rich source of material, Detunized creates Ableton format live sample packs, set up as instrument racks, so each pack is playable straight out of the box. Just browsing through the audio demos on the website, I noticed that the quality was consistently excellent, and there was something catching my ear on every demo. The sound sources range from from unusual and rare synths both digital and analog, through to field recordings and baroque instruments. They are all 24 bit 44.1 standard Ableton live packs, and there are so many of them!

Each live pack is only 9 Euros, and they weigh in at between 250mbs to almost a gig. For what you pay, you get a lot of usable sound too. Excellent value!



I got the vox populi2 live pack - the latest live pack released by Detunized. It's a sampling of a Polivoks russian analog synth that Stephan bought from a garage sale in Russia, and brought it back home to get recording. And it sounds lovely. There are 46 Presets that come in varying categories (Pad, synth, lead, keys, drums, bass).

The presets are all laid out as macro racks, and each contain a variety of built-in ableton effects presets, all assigned and ready for instant tweaking. The huge advantage of this is that this saves yourself a lot of time setting up a macro and effects, and is ready for recording, tweaking and automating without really any effort.

The sounds are excellent, and have a really distinctive character. Having never used a Polivoks before, but seen youtubes of them, the typical character seems gritty, rough and beautifully analog. These characteristics are represented well in this pack, with all the sounds having a dirty edge to them.

The effects that are built-in to the macro really aid and emphasize the raw characteristics of the original material. There's overdrive and tremolo, compression, chorus delay and reverb. There's a filter with cutoff and resonance, attack release and AM filter depth. These effects are present on each of the 46 presets, so there's continuity across the set of sounds.

Here's a demo of the typical sounds in this pack:



I also checked out 'Phase facets', based on samples of two older synths- The Casio VZ10m and the German Hohner HS2/E. They both used a synthesis technique based on the Interactive Phase Distortion principle. There are 30 presets in this live pack, with layered velocities, and unusual sounding titles.

The sounds are very rich harmonically, and have sound characteristics fairly similar to FM synthesis. Bright, bell-like, string-like sounds feature, and again, the presets are racked up using ableton's excellent built-in effects, and they are changed slightly depending on the presets. Again, this provides instant playability and it is easy to create some really fresh sounding patches. Of course, you can always add your own effects to the rack, and alter, but it's a great place to start.

Here is some audio sampling of this live pack:




Conclusion
Detunized is a solid and very deep ableton live pack library. His sample packs are exclusive to Ableton, but I like that. I feel that committing to one DAW enables the sound creator to use more of the assets available within that DAW, and create more quickly, without having to make the sample packs available in every format. I was absolutely blown away by the value and quality of these packs. The sounds are far from standard fare - but they are without doubt extremely useable, and being set up in instrument racks with highly tweak able effects as standard, it's hard to find fault. If you're looking for that something else to add to your tracks I highly recommend this website as a place to browse for inspiration. Bravo Stephan/Steve/Stephano/Steffen etc!

Price
9 Eur a pack

...'One man's trash is another man's treasure' could be the motto from which Detunized has arisen...


Product page

PROS
  • Unbelievable value for money
  • Great sound quality
  • Quirky, fresh original sounds
LOVE IT OR HATE IT
  • Nothing to hate about this lot. If you're into music and sound, you need Ableton, and you need to fill it with livepacks from Detunized
CONS
  • At this cost? NONE
by Andy Dollerson

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