It’s that time of the year, when the halls echo with the sound of … horrible electronic synthesized Christmas tunes, playing on endless loops from strings of lights and other cheap electronics!

But wait – what if you could take those sounds and embrace their low-fidelity, chippy sounds to more inventive musical purposes?

Turn to our friend AfroDJ, who has gradually built up several dozen Ableton Live racks. The latest samples Christmas tree lights for a festive, chiptastic holiday timbre.

I just put up my Christmas tree and put on some lights that play Christmas songs. The songs are comprised of very simple monophonic melodies, coming out of a tiny little speaker, but as soon as I heard it I was transported back to my youth sitting around the tree late at night. Naturally I had to sample it. So I put my AKG C3000 right up to the speaker and let it play. I selected four different notes to use in the instrument.

With reverb and the wave shaper inside Ableton’s sampler, those samples get a bit more creative. (If you don’t have a copy of Live, you can use the samples and add your own effects chain.)

The results are good fun, and could be just the thing for an improvised track while fiddling with your laptop, the warm glow of Egg Nog spreading through your fingers. Enjoy! (And if you make a track with this, do send it our way!)

Want more inspiration? AfroDJ is selling packs at 50% off through January 1. So take that holiday, and make some music.

Ableton Live Rack #39: Christmas Tree Synth