What if your external clock could be the orbits and rotations of the solar system – and what if the ratios were accurate? That’s the idea behind the new Manifest Audio Solarus, a beautiful free giveaway from producer, developer, and Ableton Certified Trainer Noah Pred.

Using planetary bodies as a means for creative modulation is not itself new. But many of the tools that do this are either fairly complex, or hide away the actual data, or play fast and loose with the numbers, or a combination. Noah’s free creation here is both accurate (with tons of options) and works like a conventional LFO, meaning it’s quick to understand.

The upshot is that not only is this a novel tool for setting your ideas into motion, but it could be a teaching tool, too. And, like, it’s a space LFO.

A single instance of the Cosmus utility sets a base rate – and it accelerates what would be a full 24-hour Earth day, so you don’t have to wait sunrise to sunrise just to get the result. Then instances of Solarus let you apply that global – or, erm, astral – clock to modulation. So you add Cosmus to the master track, then as many instances of Solarus as you like. You can use this with musical divisions and your project tempo, or not.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, it might be because I’ve written about MFA’s stuff before – check the free Mod Squad, which I use all the time in my sessions.

There’s just a ton of thoughtful detail added.

  • Choose the celestial body you want on a dropdown
  • Orbit and Rotational modes (and a visualization with the LFO of the current orbit or rotation in hours)
  • Day rate can be set in Hz, MIDI divisions, or metrical rates / multiplier
  • Gravitational curve warping
  • Modulation quantization
  • Up to eight target parameters per Solarus instance

This is also optimized for Ableton Push – the new one (standalone or controller), or Push or Push 2. It does require Live 10.1 or higher with a Max 8.1+ license (as included with Suite). There’s a fresh update now, as well, since this came out last week.

Absolutely essential – and a perfect combo with MFA’s other stuff.

Manifest Audio: SOLARUS

Just put it on and levitate.

Feature image: (CC-BY) Philippe Put, low-poly solar system. www.ineedair.org

Now while we’re on the topic, let’s science a bit!

Love the 80s vintage documentary here: