TrackTeam Audio produces content packages, called LiveFills, for Ableton Live. There are three titles in the series: Tacklebox 001 ($49 CD-ROM), Beatbox 01 ($39 download), and Travelbox 01 ($39 download). The trio can be purchased as a bundle for $99. As the name indicates, LiveFills are similar in concept to Refills for Propellerhead Reason, and TrackTeam Audio also makes a Reason Refill called Fusebox 01.
LiveFills documentation is integrated into Live''s Lesson View (right). LiveFills presets and accompanying MIDI files are used exclusively in this Clip view song.
LiveFills consist of presets for Live's instruments and effects plug-ins; Live Clips, which are Device Group presets with accompanying MIDI files; and audio files, which consist primarily of waveforms used in Simpler and Impulse presets. Tacklebox contains 500 MB of audio loops. All three packages take full advantage of the new features in Live 5.
Tacklebox draws its inspiration from classic analog synth and electric piano sounds. Its collection of audio files covers a cross-section of ambient synth sounds, short Rhodes riffs and stabs, beat loops, and low-frequency material (see Web Clip 1). All audio files have accompanying Live analysis files, which makes them quick loading.
The synth audio files span a broad range of leads, pads, sound effects, and rhythm patterns but are united by their synthy nature. Although all the synth audio files have tempo assignments and are set up for looping, many of them are more suitable as one-shots than as loops.
The Rhodes audio files are almost equally divided between chords and lines, with tempos ranging from 90 to 120 bpm. The files were recorded on the same Rhodes, so they combine well. They are the most straightforward part of the collection.
The low-frequency audio files combine bass lines with synthy low and ultralow sounds. The emphasis is on effects, and you will undoubtedly use this part of the collection sparingly.
The beat-loop audio files, which range in tempo from 80 to 195 bpm, emphasize electronic percussion, though there are a number of acoustic loops as well. All the beat loops blend nicely with Tacklebox's collection of Live Clips for Impulse.
Tacklebox's Simpler presets are divided into basses, effects, leads, pads, and shapes. Many of the waveforms are taken from classic synths, and the collection has a vintage feel. Most of the presets are part of a Device Group with effects programmed to enhance the sound.
Beatbox is devoted to Impulse drum kits and complementary bass presets for Simpler. There are four categories of Impulse drum kits: standard kits; Hybrid kits, which contain more complex events such as snare rolls; Slice kits, which have a short section of a drum loop on each pad; and Stab kits, which have an instrument, vocal, or sound-effect clip on each pad.
Travelbox highlights world and ethnic sounds and is the only LiveFill with presets for Live's FM synth, Operator. The Simpler presets are divided into bowed, plucked, reed, and wind sounds, and all are sampled from real instruments. The Impulse presets feature a broad cross-section of world drums and percussion instruments, and like Beatbox, the collection also includes a number of Slice kits. Some of the Operator presets have an ethnic twinge, but mostly they are just well-crafted sounds. As with Tacklebox, most of the Beatbox and Travelbox instrument presets are part of Device Groups.
All LiveFills contain presets for most of Live's effects plug-ins, including the MIDI effects. The collection is a welcome addition to Live's somewhat limited selection of factory effects presets, and the effects presets are well-thought-out to complement the instrument presets. The inclusion of a substantial number of Device Groups and Live Clips, as well as their organization in Live 5's new library format, make LiveFills a pleasure to use.
Each LiveFills adds very usable content to Live's library and does so at a modest price. At roughly 150 MB each, downloading Beatbox and Travelbox can take a lot of time and is probably prohibitive without a broadband connection. The Tacklebox CD is the more viable choice in that case. All three LiveFills are well worth investigating, and demos are available from the TrackTeam Audio Web site.
Overall Rating (1 through 5): 4