We open on a Christmas Eve dinner. The goose has been stripped to the bones, the third wine glass drained to its last drops. A typical-looking family leans back. Cut to a close-up on a scraggly-looking electronic music producer. He rolls his eyes at the next question.

“Why don’t you play some of that music you make? Didn’t you used to play the viola?”

“But, grandma, I make dark experimental techno and noise art.”

“Dark what? Play Jingle Bells!”

“Wait – I have just the solution. I remember, I just saw that free pack of samples on CDM. Let me get my Ableton Push.”

“Oooh, my, sonny boy. Look at all those colors. It’s like Saturday Night Fever.”

“Yes, it’s a grid on which I can sequence sampled sleigh bells. The lights represent — um, never mind. [clears throat] Dashing through the snow…”

A smartly-dressed young woman, the man’s cousin, mutters under her breath.

“What was that, Jenny?”

“Oh, nothing. Just you and your Ableton. Ableton, Ableton, Ableton. I used to read that hipster music tech site years ago, but now the editor moved to Berlin and he won’t shut up about Ableton Live and Berghain and techno. So, of course, that’s big news for you. I bet. Ableton Live pack. Bah, Hamburg. I mean, humbug.”

“No, wait! Look, let me get my USB stick. See, Ableton stores its samples as plain audio files. So you can absolutely load them into your copy of Cubase and HALion. I mean, you’ll miss out on this cool Max for Live Granulator, but I know you’re handy with SuperCollider, so maybe you’ll make your own.”

“Okay, Jimmy. Actually, these samples sound pretty good.”

“Right? Modded Rode microphones. Good stuff. Look, there’s an Instagram of i”


“What are you young people talking about?”

“Oh, yeah, back to Jingle Bells.”

Please drink Egg Nog responsibly. Let this blog post serve as a warning of the rambling, indecipherable posts that can come from glugging too much.

For more:
Merry Christmas: Free Jingle Bells for Ableton Live!

And yes, there are actually some neat tricks here: drum racks and instruments, samples you can use in any tool, and some clever use of granulation and melodic sequencing. Scroll down for links to Christmas Giveaways past.

And Frohe Weinachten, one and all.