Instruments Tutorials

In terms of electronic music, instruments are sound generators. The term Instruments encompasses synthesizers, drum machines, samplers, and more. Typically, instruments are found in the form of plugins.

Instrument articles and tutorials are listed below.

Q&A: How do I send notes from a MIDI file into a VST instrument using Ableton Live?

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Ableton Help, Ableton FAQ, MIDI, VST Plugin. Having trouble using MIDI files with Ableton Live? Do you want to use a MIDI file you downloaded from the internet within Ableton Live? Then read on. For this lesson you will need:

  • Ableton Live 4.0 (or newer)

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Nepheton: 808 Drum Machine VST

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Nothing beats the 808 drum machine for a solid, club-worthy low end kick. Its sound is immediately recognizable in all styles of dance music. It is an essential component of every electronic music producers gear collection. For years, musicians have paid large sums of money for the real thing. But, thanks to the D16 Group you can get Nepheton, a VST instrument that faithfully recreates the 808 sound. Best of all, instead of samples, this VST synthesizes the sounds. This allows you the same sound design flexibility enjoyed by owners of the actual hardware.

Nepheton is a commercial VST recreation of the Roland 808 drum machine. It is available for Windows and Mac OSX. Click here to learn more about the Nepheton.


SonicTransfer DrumStack Download

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SonicTransfer DrumStack Download. DrumStack is an Ableton Live enhancement that allows you to construct huge drums sounds. This allows you to thicken up your sounds and build club-worthy drums.

Download SonicTransfer DrumStack

View the DrumStack Manual

Read a tutorial on creating a massive kick drum using DrumStack.


What people are saying about DrumStack:

I just wanted to take a second to say thank you! I love your drumstack device, samples, and tutorial.

I’m a progressive house dj/producer from boston ma usa, (lucky enough to have some of my latest work charted on Balance, release, monthly promos)… and with the genre associated its always a task to get that nice deep thick kick and drum sounds. Your drumstack is by far the best and most user friendly instrument I have used or tested to achieve this.

Great work and again Thank you!
Dj Taner K


DrumStack makes layering very simple and configurable. It is this very plugin that keeps me from using Logic extensively as it has no good drum manament and not nearly as simple.

Keep developing this utility!

jblongz – Producer


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VST Plug-Ins in Ableton Live

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How to use VST Plugins in Ableton Live. VST plugins allow you to have unlimited variety in your sonic palette. They are little computer programs that run inside of a bigger music program like Cubase, Protools, or Ableton Live. These tiny programs can make a dramatic improvement on the quality of your sound.

There are two types of VST programs: VST instruments (a.k.a. VSTi) and VST effects. VST instruments produce sounds and VST effects change sounds. A synthesizer is a common example of a VST instrument. A reverb is a common VST effect.

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Synth1 – Free VST Synthesizer

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Synth1 is an excellent replication of the Clavia Nord Lead 2. The Nord Lead 2 is one of the best synthesizers on the planet. To quote Vintage Synth Explorer, “The Nord Lead 2 is the synthesizer of choice for many professionals including: The Crystal Method, Fatboy Slim, Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy…

The Nord Lead 2 is an electronic music standard, and for that reason alone Synth1 should be in your musical toolbox. And why not? It’s completely free. Also, it has some of the best patch presets of any synthesizer – commercial or gratis. Click the link below to get Synth1, a bunch of presets, and the manual all bundled by Sonic Transfer.

Synth1 Free VST Synthesizer

Click here to read a tutorial on using Synth1 to build a Kick Drum.