FEBRUARY 22, 2024

Pro Tools | Sonic Drop: Analog Snarl - Sub Growl

This month’s Sonic Drop comes in the form of a new set of Pro Tools | PlayCell Instruments titled Analog Snarl: Sub Growl. Analog Snarl is a new series based around the theme of sampling classic analog synths and then twisting them within the PlayCell engine to have the ability to aggressively snarl as if you took its beautiful bloody steak away (relax vegans, it’s just a waveshaper… a very nasty waveshaper). The first of the series, Sub Growl, is sampled from a highly renowned monophonic synth widely recognized for its iconic bass sound. While all the raw waveforms are present, as are detuned oscillators, there are some highly processed sounds in Sub Growl that would never be possible in the synth’s original form, not to mention polyphony! Which brings us to another development…

We also just updated PlayCell to include monophonic and legato voicing modes, glide, as well as a big update to the internal scales. Monophonic and Legato voicings are hugely useful and important to me, especially when working with any sort of bass of lead sound. On bass, monophonic will negate any form of note overlap which is often necessary for a clean low end, and the variation of Legato allows for smooth transitions. With glide enabled in Monophonic all notes will glide between each other at the user set rate. Legato makes it a little more interesting where glide will only occur between notes when the note input overlaps. This allows you to be quite expressive as you can control when you want notes to glide and when you want them to start perfectly on pitch.

Sub Growl Voicing Modesv2

One of my personal favorite uses of this is in the context of a “Reese Bass” popularized by Drum and Bass where the motion of the bass can be quite warpy. The other benefit of Legato is that the notes aren’t retriggered if they overlap, so if your bass sample is nice and long, you’ll hear a resampled pitch shift, and the evolution of the sample continues allowing for complex textures. In Monophonic mode, notes and envelopes are retriggered with any new note input which allows for a much more uniform output. Both modes are very useful and bring additional musicality to PlayCell. We’ve also updated the existing Palette Series to include the new voicing modes. And while it’s great for instruments such as bass and solo orchestral instruments, you might find some inspiration via a Legato Piano or Pop Choir, untraditional as that may be.

Pro Tools PlayCell Scalesv2

The Scales have been updated as well to include all traditional modes (Dorian, Lydian, etc…) as well as scales such as Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, Diminished, and Wholetone (for the Holdsworth fans among us). Creatively it can be quite nice to set the keys to be quantized to whichever scale you select and send an arpeggiator or sequencer that isn’t necessarily quantized and seeing what melodic output you get. It’s a wonderful little trick to come up with new melodic ideas you might not have thought of.

Pro Tools PlayCell Keyboard Quantizev2

Now you can have all the monophonic leads and basses to gigantic analog polyphonic pads underneath your proverbial paws. Analog Snarl: Sub Growl is beautiful and refined or as nasty and raw as you want it to be. Keep your eyes peeled for more additions to the Analog Snarl series in the future. Remember to update PlayCell and the Palette Series via Avid Link or your Avid Account and then get your Sub Growl instrument from the Sonic Drop tab in Avid Link.

  • 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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