Ableton announced the worldwide release of Operator, a new software synthesizer optimized for use inside Live 4. Operator brings an eclectic spectrum of possibilities, inviting creativity through the instrument’s depth and usability, allowing complex sounds to be created quickly.
Ableton conceptualist Robert Henke explains, “Our aim was to create a truly unique and inspiring instrument that combined the sonic richness and character of hardware synthesizers with the power of Ableton Live. By integrating Operator with Live, we were able to give users the flexibility and power of clip envelopes, hands-on control and zero latency. More importantly, Operator sounds amazing!”
Like Live, Operator’s design is geared toward promoting creativity and maximizing workflow efficiency. A set of highly varied and musical presets, sorted by category, is provided for quick access to Operator’s sonic spectrum. At the next level, two intuitive macro controls called Time and Tone can be used to modify the overall characteristics of the sound, handling complex operations through a single action. The most essential parameters of Operator’s synthesis engine are individually represented on the front panel. Musicians can use Operator’s central display to access the instrument’s graphic envelope editors and other advanced controls.
The core of Operator’s voice architecture consists of four oscillators and a resonant multimode filter. This setup allows for both subtractive and frequency modulation (FM) synthesis. In addition to a wide selection of sine waveforms, which faithfully emulate the aliasing artifacts of classic hardware FM synthesizers, each of Operator’s oscillators can also generate virtual analog synthesis waveforms such as saw, square, triangle and noise. Each oscillator can either deliver audio signals to the output or modulate other oscillators. To allow further dissection of your sound, Operator’s filter section, LFO and pitch envelope add great flexibility and expressive modulation possibilities.
Operator is powerful without demanding screen real estate. Every parameter of Operator can be automated or remote-controlled via MIDI, allowing you to get completely hands on. Parameters can also be controlled via Live’s clip envelopes.
Operator includes several integrated lessons, complete with screenshots and sound examples, so that you can quickly discover the power of Operator’s flexible sound design ability. The Operator lessons even take you through creating a variety of sounds from scratch. Each lesson is accessible via the Live 4 Help menu.
To purchase or try Operator, simply download the 4.1 update of Live from the Ableton Website at www.ableton.com.