SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

PurrCell—the latest Pro Tools | Sonic Drop

PurrCell Sonic Drop 1862x1040

PurrCell is designed to make music for your cats—not you. If you have a cat, you know that every action you take is actually in service to them. If you don’t... well, ignorance must be bliss... with tuna. A cat’s range of hearing far exceeds that of pathetic humanity’s and naturally they have a different set of sound preferences. PurrCell is designed specifically to cater to the frequencies that cats are most fond of, specifically low-end rumbles reminiscent of their mother’s purring in the womb and higher frequencies akin to the sound of birds chirping outside. So ditch the smooth jazz that you think Mr. Fluffernutter likes, introduce a little PurrCell into his life, and watch all those scratches on the couch magically disappear. PurrCell: nine instruments for nine lives.

So let’s get into the nine instruments that make up PurrCell, each of which also comes with a selection of presets.

Burdz is indeed designed to have characteristics of a cat’s flapping nemesis. The macro controls “Scratch” and “Hiss” add distortion and bit crushing while “Chirps” adds a pitch shifted delay furthering the high-pitched sounds that cats adore. Lastly, “Wet Cat” is a reverb to evoke when a cat lunges at a bird in tree, misses, and ends up tragically in the pond below.

CatBatPort lends itself well to ambient music with its soft and evocative pads. The macro “Stretttccchh” adds a shimmering reverb, “Wet” adds some modulation and the two controls—“Purr” and “Purr Harder”— allow you to quite literally make the instrument purr...

Cattanz In Spaaaaaace is, as the name suggests, what your furry pal might be listening to as a catronaut. Once again, we have similar macros in the form of “Stretttccchh”, “Hiss”, “Purr”, and “Purr Harder”.

Churpz was created by quite literally recording a bird chirping outside and time stretching it to oblivion to get a stable tone, followed by feeding the new sound into an Eventide H90 to give it some extra modulation. Once again, a similar set of PurrCell macros apply.

Coda Purr started as a literal recording of my cat Coda’s purrs as he sat in lap, barely tolerating a microphone being held by his face. The rhythm of his purrs kept changing however, so to get a melodically playable tone, his purrs were resynthesized into the quite harmonically complex tone you hear now. As you play lower on the keyboard the purrs are more natural sounding, and higher up quite synthetic.

Keira Purr belongs to Coda’s sister Keira. In comparison to Coda, Keira’s purrs were much more consistent and carried a stable low tone with them. In this case it was pretty easy to create a loop out of her purrs that could then be played melodically after some mild processing. Playing A0 on the keyboard is her natural timbre. Yes, Keira purrs in A.

CodaPurr KeiraPurr

Purrfect Reese was created by resynthesizing Keira’s purrs into a much more aggressive synthetic texture. This lent itself well to being molted into a Reese type bass, quite popular in genres of music such as Drum & Bass and Dubstep.

Purrrrrr is entirely synthesized with FM Synthesis as an alternative to the physical recordings present in some of the other instruments. Purrrrrr works very well for sub bass.

Wavebirds was created by taking a second recording of birds outside, but this time converting the recording into a morphing wavetable. There is also some subtle pitch modulation to give the wavetable a bit more life.

Nine instruments for nine lives
Purr Harder

Check out this video on how to access, install, and use these new PlayCell instruments.

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Like all Pro Tools | Sonic Drops, PurrCell is FREE with your active Pro Tools annual or monthly subscription or current Updates + Support Plan (for perpetual license holders). 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.

  • Matt Lange headshot

    Matt Lange is a multiplatinum artist, producer, DJ, and sound designer who recently joined the Avid team as Head of Audio Content.

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