Computer Music issue 217 - RACK BUILDER - JUNE 2015

HOURS of tutorial videos, 40+ VST/AU plugins for FREE, 850 samples and more, with Vault download for whichever format you choose.


GOOGLE PLAY (Android, Chrome for PC/Mac)
ZINIO (PC, Mac, Android,iPad)
**(NOTE: Los Suruba video only available with Print & Apple Newsstand editions)


The power to make your own creative tools is hiding just below the surface of most major DAWs, but few have tapped into just how powerful their rack system can be. It might sound complex, but we've made it child's play to build and tweak 18 custom device combos from scratch -or, if you're not a budding builder, you can download and use them right away.

Over 21 pages with 20 videos, we'll show you how to…

  • Get started with racks and macros, and what they can do
  • Use Ableton Live's racks to create devices like GlitchWidget, Dirt Compressor, Multiband Splitter and KitBuilder
  • Call on Reason's Combinator devices to string together a Master Pumper, a Slice 'n' Mix Rex auditioner, and a step-sequenced live device with Kong
  • Build Dynamic Wah and Reese Machine devices in Bitwig Studio for instant gratification
  • Wire together FL Studio's Patcher to create a Skrillex-style Formant Growler and a Boards of Canada-esque pad effect
  • Use Logic Pro X's Smart Controls and Environment to create a Retroiser channel strip and Vocal Harmonizer

All these devices are available to build yourself or download for immediate use, and as usual, every tutorial comes with a video version, so you can see the devices being snapped together, piece by piece.

PLUS! 70 pro-quality Ableton Live Racks from Puremagnetik. These ready-made instruments and effects from the Rack masters can boost your Live projects to the next level. Find out exactly what's in the pack.

FREE PLUGIN - Bass Engine CM

Bring weight and power to your productions with this hip-hop-inspired bass ROMpler from DopeVST. This free plugin will work on Mac and PC in AU and VST formats, and it's exclusive to Computer Music. With sounds recreating the sound of three essential decades in hip-hop production, you can choose from grungy, nostalgic tones straight outta the 90s, classy bass sounds with a 00s vibe or polished-yet-crushed techy sounds from this very decade.

Check out Bass Engine CM's features and sounds, and see what it can get up to in this introductory video, and check out the full spec of this down and dirty instrument to find out more.

FREE SAMPLES - Layering Toolkit

Supercharge your sound design with this pack of 850 layer samples. Whether you've got a kick that needs beefing up, a synth pad crying out for some extra spice, or beats that'd benefit from vinyl dust and crunch, you'll find the perfect layer right here.

This specially commissioned pack includes kick/snare layers to get a kit's mix right, weighty subs to add weight to your parts, groove shadows to sit behind your beats, noise and vinyl samples to add character, raw drum hits and loops, and loads more. All these samples are built to gel, totally royalty-free, and best of all, they're free with this issue of cm!


We shed light on the second version of this spectral synth, which we gave an unassailable 10/10 in last month's review. See Iris 2 in action from top to toe in these six videos, and open your eyes to every one of its features and functions. Here's one of the videos to get you started…


Everything you ever wanted to know about plugins but were afraid to ask - see it happen in eight different DAWs.

They may be the big guns of music production, but when it comes to plugin operations and specifications, there often feels like a 'don't ask don't tell' policy. In our guide, we'll show you how to decipher 32-/64-bit compatibility; unweave AU, VST and AAX formats and which fits onto what system, and that's not the half of it…

In this mammoth video feature, we'll also show you how to load plugins, reorganise your plugins list and troubleshoot common problems, all in not one but eight different DAWs. Just choose which software's relevant to you, and watch the process in action! After that, we've got more demystification in the article, as we delve into sidechaining know-how, wrappers, collaboration and more.


Ibiza's house hedonists have been rising to the top of the Ibiza music scene. We tracked them down to their sun-drenched studio to see exactly how they put together their tracks. In this in-studio video, the boys break down their remix of Dear David's I've Been Waiting, which they created in Ableton Live. See part 1 of this illuminating video below, and get the rest only in this month's issue of Computer Music.


Snare Design: Craft your own snare drums to fit any project - InsideInfo shows us how with LuSH-101 and choice effects, but you can apply the same principles with your own software
Drum Programming Mistakes: The six biggest errors made by novice drum programmers revealed - don't program another beat until you've seen this!
Organic Details: Breathe life back into your electronic mixes. Mix guru Owen Palmer likes his tracks au naturel, and shows us a subtle way of imbuing stale tracks with a touch realism
Inverted Chords: Improve the flow of your chord progressions - our resident theory expert shows you how.


  • Jason Graves: This game and movie soundtrack composer has been responsible for more than his fair share of epic music-read what he has to say about a life in the industry, fawn over his studio and lust after his gear in this in-depth interview
  • 2CAudio: Andrew Souter talks innovation in the digital world, and tells us what's next from this forward-thinking music software company
  • Alan Fitzpatrick: The techno whizz considers the top five pieces of music-making software he couldn't live without.


  • 2CAudio Kaleidoscope
  • Sonible Frei:raum
  • Eiosis AirEQ Premium
  • Livid Instruments DS1
  • Boz Digital Labs +10dB Bundle
  • PSP Audioware PSP L'otary
  • Unfiltered Audio Sandman
  • Lindell Audio ChannelX
  • Softube Mutator

PLUS 18 more reviews


• Every issue of Computer Music comes with CM Plugins, an exclusive collection of pro-quality VST/AU instruments and effects for PC and Mac. Check out our full CM Plugins list and the CM Plugins FAQ for more info.


***Producer Masterclass video is not currently downloadable. Apple Newsstand readers can watch it directly inside the app via internet streaming. Print edition includes Producer Masterclass on the DVD. Other digital formats inc. Zinio & Google Play do not include Producer Masterclass video.

cm218 is on sale now in the UK, Apple Newsstand and Zinio. Overseas dates for print edition are roughly: USA + 4 weeks after UK / Australia +8 weeks / Europe +2 weeks / South Africa +6 weeks / Canada +4 weeks

See more issues in our cmbackissueslist

Computer Music

Computer Music magazine is the world’s best selling publication dedicated solely to making great music with your Mac or PC computer. Each issue it brings its lucky readers the best in cutting-edge tutorials, need-to-know, expert software reviews and even all the tools you actually need to make great music today, courtesy of our legendary CM Plugin Suite.