Greetings from your resident head of audio content here at Avid, Matt Lange. I’m proud to give you all the details on our new program, Pro Tools | Sonic Drop, as this has been a big focus of mine since I came on board at Avid. In case you are not familiar with me, I’m an artist, producer, DJ, and sound designer. If interested, you can learn more about my work outside of Avid here.
WHAT IS PRO TOOLS | SONIC DROP?
Pro Tools | Sonic Drop is a delivery of audio content to you every month that include royalty free samples and loops, new Pro Tools | PlayCell instrument presets, Pro Tools templates, and more—all downloadable through the new Sonic Drop tab in Avid Link. Best of all, this content is FREE for all Pro Tools monthly and annual subscribers, and perpetual license holders with active Software Updates + Support plans (Artist, Studio, and Ultimate). It’s hugely important to the team that Pro Tools Artist users have access to the same creative instruments and additional audio content as Pro Tools Studio and Ultimate customers, and I’m thrilled this is now a reality.
Pro Tools | Sonic Drop is debuting with six sample packs I’ve created. A large part of my intention is to give you content that is inspiring but also unique. While there are many sample packs of classic legendary drum machines out there, I promise you none of them sound like the samples in the new Eventide H90 Drums pack, which takes some of those classic drum machines (and many other things) and processes them all with the incredible Eventide H90. I’ve personally been using these Sonic Drop sounds in my own work, and I can’t wait for you to hear them. My promise to you with Pro Tools | Sonic Drop is to continue to deliver inspiring, unique, and bespoke tools, and I look forward to hearing the music you make with them.
And now a bit about each of the packs in this inaugural Pro Tools | Sonic Drop.
I’ve always made my own drum samples and have released numerous sample packs over the years that offer my taste to the outside world—mostly in electronic drums. A general ethos of mine is to combine electronic, acoustic, and often found sounds. The hybrid has always been the most interesting to me.
In the Isorhythm pack, you’ll get drums that have been crafted on modular synthesizers, field recordings from a literal field, and all sorts of studio recordings that have been transformed into drums. You could say this is the signature Matt Lange pack and a summation of the percussion I’ve used over the course of my career.
The concept for pumpkins was conceived during Halloween season while I was stuck in traffic by the Hollywood Bowl, here in LA. While underneath a billboard for a Halloween-themed horror movie, my brain naturally arrived at the idea of buying a bunch of pumpkins and recording the sounds they make while I absolutely and brutally destroy them with a sledgehammer and baseball bat (while I also wear a ghost face mask, obviously). Included in this pack are also some slightly less violent sounds of a pumpkin being carved as well. The one-shot recordings were left naturally raw and longer than you’d expect to allow you more options if you load them into a sampler, while the loops themselves are starting points and examples of how the pumpkin recordings can be used to create interesting textural drum patterns. And I promise you, not a single non-pumpkin sound is used in the loops.
Here’s a video showing the creation process of Pumpkins.
EVENTIDE H90 DRUMS
Otherworldly drum loops and one-shots created using the extraordinary Eventide H90!
Read my full Eventide H90 blog.
ROB’S BASEMENT BEATS
Rob’s Basement Beats is a collection of loops, fills, and one-shots recorded in our very own Rob D’Amico’s basement practice room. While Rob’s day job is product manager of Pro Tools, his first passion was drums, and he still continues to be an avid drummer who performs regularly. I loved the concept of doing a basement drum library, as my own first band rehearsed in a basement in Brooklyn, New York. There’s a certain sound, as well as a nostalgia, to that kind of atmosphere. The main difference here is that Rob’s drums actually sound really good—far better than the recordings my old band made 20 years ago by sticking a 1984 boombox in the middle of the room, pushing record, and hoping for the best. These drums are also great for chopping up and resampling, especially common in genres such as Hip Hop and Drum & Bass.
I’m truly a sucker for a big 808 kick. As opposed to using an actual 808 drum machine to create these, I wanted to be a bit more contemporary and creative. The sources of these “808s” are varied, and include a Moog, an ASM Hydrasynth, a modular synth, and a couple of Elektron drum machines. The recording chain utilized a Heritage Audio 73jr preamp, a Warm Audio EQP-WA EQ, and compressors such as the AudioScape 76a and V-COMP, Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor, Warm Audio WA2A and WA76, and a Heritage Audio Successor. Let’s just say these are not your average 808s. Aside from all the raw 808 samples, there is also a folder of Effected 808s, which feature further processed samples using guitar pedals to add a different flair.
Some years ago, a major influence of mine told me about their use of the recording of a garlic press as a percussive snap in one of my favorite songs of theirs. Since then, kitchen utensil recordings have become a bit of an obsession of mine because of their particular character. In this pack, I recorded a can opener, a garlic press, a vegetable peeler, a wine key, tongs, and a knife. I also thought it was necessary to bang some pots and pans together. And like some of the other packs, the Kitchen Kit also includes raw recordings as well as processed recordings.
Try the raw can opener recordings in the place of a clap, or the wine key in place of a shaker. The processed samples were made by loading the raw samples into an Elektron Digitakt drum sampler and doing all sorts of sample mangling in there. Even the really beefy kicks were made with kitchen recordings (often the pots) in the Digitakt. I encourage you to load any of these samples, processed or raw, into your sampler of choice, pitch them up and down, get creative, and use them in place of your traditional drums. This has been a favorite technique of mine forever, and it’s such a great way to sound different and forward-thinking.
And this is just the beginning. There will be a new Sonic Drop every month, expanding the library with new instruments and sounds, exclusive collaborations with other companies we adore, and more—even content from other artists! Check the Sonic Drop tab in Avid Link (version 2023.3 or later) for a list of all the latest Sonic Drops. This is also where you can play audio samples and manage your content downloads. Watch this video to learn more:
I hope that you find inspiration in this content and be sure to share how you’re using these sounds for your own music on social media with #SonicDrop—I want to hear your creations!