Ableton “Wavetable” Synth using Simpler

A while ago, I wanted a simple “wavetable” style synth. I love the Moog Animoog app on my phone which is a “wavetable” synth and thought I might use that in conjunction with Ableton. After some research, I ran across some interesting info about how to load samples into Animoog, and I did just that with my Animoog app.

Animoog is great, but not terribly convenient for using in the studio. Everything starts and ends in Ableton for me, so I tried to create a “wavetable” style synth in Ableton. It turns out that the same samples I loaded into Animoog worked great in Simpler to create wavetable type of sounds. It isn’t as smooth as wavetable synthesis, but it does select a small portion of a sample to loop like an oscillator, and the position can be manipulated/ modulated. Unfortunately, when Ableton moves the sample point in realtime it creates some audio artifacts, but with some smoothing of the loop point it sounds OK.

What I ended up creating allows me to create synths very quickly with a multitude of different “oscillators” at my disposal. The way it works is that the raw sample (an adapted sample from Adventure Kid Samples for the Animoog app) is a collection of 16 single cycle oscillators laid back to back. Inside Ableton, Simpler plays 6.25% of the overall sample (exactly 1/16th of it) and loops it. The start point can be manipulated in order to sweep through the various single cycles in the raw sample. The 5th macro knob labeled “Grain” allows you to choose where the sample start point is. The Grain position can be varied from 0% to 93.75%, and it should be noted that  when the sample start point (Grain) is mapped to a rack macro Ableton jumps in .8% increments. If you so choose, you can access the start point directly and get a finer control over the start point (0.1% increments), yet you need to be careful not to get beyond 93.75% or else the loop will become shorter and the pitch will go up.

You can get the waveforms here:

concatenated version containing 294 timbres

I have created an Ableton Project containing the samples and a template Simpler Rack. If you want to experiment with different samples in the rack, just open up the Current Project in your Places folder, select Samples then Imported and you will see all the AKWF samples in this format. Grab a sample and drop it on top of the existing sample in Simpler within the AKWF synth Instrument Rack and you are ready to go!

AKWF samples in Browser


AKWF Synth Rack

Macro knob definitions:

CUTOFF: Low-Pass Filter frequency
RES: Filter resonance
Attack: Amp Attack
Release: Amp Release
Grain: Selects portion of sample (wavetable) to loop
VCF Decay: Active when above 0%- this sets Filter Envelope Decay time
LFO:  Amount LFO will affect pitch- Active when above 0% and higher values increase LFO speed
Pitch Decay:  Active when above 0%- this sets Pitch Envelope Decay time

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