Sound Design Workshop: The AMS Connection - KeyboardMag

Sound Design Workshop: The AMS Connection

Advanced waveform creation for Ableton Live's Simpler
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Step 1: Create an additive waveform in one
 of Operator’s oscillators. When you’ve got a timbre you like, right-click in the harmonic editor to find Export AMS. Clicking this exports a file called “OperatorWaveform.ams” to your User Library Samples folder. You can rename it, if desired.

Step 1: Create an additive waveform in one  of Operator’s oscillators. When you’ve got a timbre you like, right-click in the harmonic editor to find Export AMS. Clicking this exports a file called “OperatorWaveform.ams” to your User Library Samples folder. You can rename it, if desired.

Ableton Live has evolved so much since its introduction that its numerous exotic and useful amenities are often overlooked in favor of newer, more dazzling features. One such option is the .ams waveform format. Originally introduced more than a decade ago in Operator, the .ams format is an incredibly powerful tool—even if you’ve already mastered the synthesis options in Live Suite. Here’s how it works.

Step 2: Find the /Samples/Waveforms
 folder in your User Library and drag the file onto an empty default Simpler instrument. This will convert the AMS to an audio waveform for further editing.

Step 2: Find the /Samples/Waveforms  folder in your User Library and drag the file onto an empty default Simpler instrument. This will convert the AMS to an audio waveform for further editing.

Each of Operator’s additive oscillators includes an option called Export AMS. This allows you to save a .ams file of your custom additive waveform to the User Library, where it can be loaded into either Simpler or Sampler by dragging the file onto the sample window. From there, you can use Simpler’s synthesis tools to sculpt it in ways that are not always possible within Operator. For example, you can combine multiple instances of AMS-based Simplers—each with its own filter settings, modulation routings, and effects chains—within Instrument Racks to create complex, layered sounds.

Step 3: Because the waveform is static, it can be easily looped within Simpler.
 Turn on the Loop and Snap options to find zero crossing points quickly as you move the Start and Loop Length parameters. From here, you can treat the AMS waveform as you would any other synth waveform, applying filters, envelopes, and the LFO as needed.

Step 3: Because the waveform is static, it can be easily looped within Simpler.  Turn on the Loop and Snap options to find zero crossing points quickly as you move the Start and Loop Length parameters. From here, you can treat the AMS waveform as you would any other synth waveform, applying filters, envelopes, and the LFO as needed.

Step 4: By adding multiple AMS-based Simplers to a single Instrument Rack, you can create sophisticated
 layered effects, each with its own processing treatments. Alternately, you can use Operator to create a collection of both classic analog waveforms and unusual digital tones and keep them in your Samples/Waveforms User Library for future use.

Step 4: By adding multiple AMS-based Simplers to a single Instrument Rack, you can create sophisticated  layered effects, each with its own processing treatments. Alternately, you can use Operator to create a collection of both classic analog waveforms and unusual digital tones and keep them in your Samples/Waveforms User Library for future use.