May 2017

Transforming Your Sound

Want to turn your instrument or voice into something else? The options are limitless.

As the “Rise of the Transformers” feature in our May 2017 issue explained, advances in music technology (particularly software) have made it possible for singers and players to sound like any instrument they can think of—or imagine. We could probably come up with hundreds of examples, but that would be unwieldy, so we’ll just mention three. First, here’s a look at a nifty feature of Peavey’s Revalver modeling software: the ACT input module, which “profiles” your current instrument and then matches it to a selected “target profile.” This allows you, for instance, to turn an acoustic guitar into an electric guitar and a bass into a banjo, or vice versa.

If your tastes run more toward synthesizer sounds, this one’s for you. In Native Instruments’ Komplete software, there’s an instrument area called Rounds, which features some very cool hybrids of digital and analog synths.

Finally, this tutorial shows how to use a standard computer keyboard to make all manner of sounds using the software instruments in Ableton’s Live program.