Sonic Beds is a fuzzy ambient Ableton Live pack that doubles as stress relief

From the wonderful Jogging House – the producer behind Seil Records (Hainbach, etc.) – don’t miss Sonic Beds for Ableton Live (or WAV download). It’s a fuzzy, analog, modular and vintage and broken cassette analog pack so good, you could noodle with it like it’s a never-ending album and use it to lower your blood pressure.

Sonic Beds Volume 1 dropped early in summer, but maybe now as we get ready for fall here in Germany is the right time. I’ve been playing with the pack, and I have to say – this is one of the more exquisitely assembled sound libraries I’ve seen. It’s idiosyncratic and engrossing enough that you really could just play around with it as a Seil Records fan. I found myself dissecting Boris’ approach to think about how to handle samples in my own work.

There are also just a lot of ways to work with this:

  • There are 117 stereo drone samples – all with unique character – running between half a minute and a minute each
  • There is a separate folder of just WAV files for use in your own samplers – maybe your own vintage gear
  • There are some 60 sample-based Ableton Live Racks
  • Each Rack has 4-6 macro variations (and is a good example of how to use that in your own sample organizing)
  • … and you can randomize things
  • …and some of those Instrument Racks contain more Effects Racks (Boris doesn’t even mention that in the product info)

There’s also a nice combination of gear:

Analog centric Eurorack system (with modules from Make Noise, Mannequins, Joranaloque, Xaoc, Doepfer, ALM Busy Circuits, etc.), Ciat Lonbarde Cocoquantus 2, Palmelund Synthesizers SuperDuber, Chase Bliss Habit & Generation Loss MK2, eKalimba, Roland SP404 MK2, OTO Bam, Marantz PMD 230, Tascam 424, Tapeloopboyz modded cassette player, Revox B77, Allen & Heath GL2800, RME Fireface UFX 2.

And you can just buy the WAV files for even less, if you’re not a Live user.

The detail work is perfect here. You open up the project – or put it anywhere you want on your drive, then add it to your Places – and you get a huge array of instruments to explore:

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With those default Racks and variation options at the default C, you get essentially a master class in fuzzy lo-fi sound design – or a press-one-note, get-a-Jogging-House release interactive album you can toy with.

But you can tell right away that Boris appreciates that you might want to make these your own, too. I love the idea of these being “oscillators with character.”

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For composition, that’s really useful. I’m sure it’s happened to you that you wanted to learn a new granular plug-in, for instance – and then you’re looking for a sound source. It’s nice to be able to reach for these fuzzy sources as well as the usual defaults. Because they have such complexity, you can quickly transform them into something that sounds entirely unlike Jogging House or the original settings – especially with extreme ranges or new modulation or mucking about with the devices that are there.

I’m definitely going to keep these handy for effects demos and whatnot. It’s like opening yourself up to having a whole bunch of earthy, unpredictable oscillator sources in addition to the usual waveforms – like having fine incense instead of air freshener.

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They also manage to have these rough edges without being unruly, which is a challenge. Boris writes that they were “processed, mangled, crushed, smeared and gooed-up with all kinds of fun studio tools from modular to pedals to semi-broken cassette machines, recorded to 1/4″ tape and then re-recorded at 96KHz/24Bit with a RME Fireface UFX 2 interface.” But the sound level between them is remarkably consistent, even with all these advanced effect racks, which makes them easy to drop into projects.

Let’s just finish with some beautiful Jogging House music – and yes, you can also try an EP. But this feels like an EP, too – like experiencing it from the inside.

Well recommended. It’s just the sample pack you need after dealing with our modern world.

Sonic Beds Vol. 1 (Ableton Instruments & WAV Files)

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Some Jogging House for you…


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