Sektor is a beautiful Ableton Live freebie, a graphical tool for capturing bands of a sound’s spectrum and then looping and sampling them. Here’s a quick play.
David Johannes Meyer created this one. It uses a four-band spectral frequency gate – and you can actually drag a rectangle across the spectrum to choose the portion of the sound you want. It’s wonderfully visual.
You’ve got some nice sampling and looping tools, as well – freeze, transposition, forward/backward controls, length, and crossfade. (Don’t miss the grid control at the bottom left-hand side of the spectral display, too.)
From there, add modulation: each band has two dedicated LFOs with offset, amount, frequency, waveform, and targeted parameters. David has done a nice walkthrough:
You can also route out individual tracks for more possibilities.
The simplicity of this is really nice, and it feels like a native Ableton device. This is a 1.0 release, though, and I encountered what I think are some bugs – closing and reopening caused some issues with LFOs, and I saw some UI slowdown if I ran more than one instance. I’ll try to investigate if there are fixes there. But it’s well worth trying – and it’s free.
Here’s some of what happens as you get these bands in motion, combined with other effects:
Sektor is free on GumRoad. Requires Live 10+ Suite (or a Max for Live license).
Darius, thanks for the reminder – of course there is also Dillon Bastan’s incredible Iota, which Ableton distributes. It also uses a graphical spectral UI to let you hone in on the sounds you want. Actually, I had to do a double-take as these two are slightly more different than I expected once we referred to Iota – meaning, I expect Iota fans will be happy to grab Sektor, and this is a nice reminder of all the unique tools Iota has, as well: