Map any parameter in Ableton Live and control it with a flexible modulation engine
Observer is a patch that lets you harness the powers of Ableton Live and of your own plugins with a flexible and intuitive modulation engine. Featuring traditional geometric waveforms, an ADSR, and a custom mod-waveshape designer, you can assign up to 16 parameters to be controlled by a single instance of Observer.
Observer’s minimalist design presents the user with four modulation sources. Each of these sources can use one of the 3 available modulation methods, be it a geometric wave, an ADSR, or a custom waveshape. Also, each one of the four modulation sources can have up to four destinations – allowing for a single mod source to control four parameters simultaneously. A delay control for each source allows the user to put the mod sources out of sync, leading to a unique interaction between parameters.
A distinctive feature of Observer is that it allows you to manipulate your mod source in a variety of useful ways:
- a) You can scale the amplitude of the modulation – which determines the depth of the effect
- b) You can set a center – which determines the point from which modulation is applied to the parameter
- c) You can control the polarity – which determines the directions in which the modulation moves the parameter
- d) You can control the folding – which allows you to determine the mod source’s behavior when it reaches the edge of a parameter’s value
Observer also has two ways in which it can interact with user MIDI input:
a) In auto mode, it ignores MIDI input and it modulates parameters at all times
b) In MIDI mode, the modulation output is retriggered each time a MIDI note is entered, and the modulation is engaged for the duration of the MIDI note.
LFOs can be synced to the tempo if desired—you can switch between setting a frequency in hertz (frequency mode) or a frequency in note values:
With note values, you can select whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eight notes, sixteenth notes…all the way down to 64th notes. By clicking on the “nt” button, you get triplet notes, and by clicking on the “nd” button you get dotted notes. The “n” button leaves rhythms straight. This feature has been added to the LFO and custom waveshape modes.
Observer is a highly useful tool that can bring life into sound design, composition, and mixing, by allowing users to seamlessly control multiple parameters with the help of a simple and elegant tool. The familiarity of geometric waveforms, the flexibility of custom-drawn wave-shapes, and the innovation brought through the inclusion of a center and scaling parameter creates a unique and powerful tool, which can comfortably be a part of your own Ableton Live sessions.
Programmed by Armando Gonzalez