Sonic Faction Tricky Traps review

Max For Live devices get a stellar bundle

  • €49

MusicRadar Verdict

Tricky Traps is a fantastic and cohesive electronic music production toybox, especially for Push/Launchpad owners.


  • +

    Packed with features.


  • -

    Frustrating freeze issue when forgetting to unassign Push.

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A joyous bundle of Max For Live devices comprising five MIDI sequencers, three parameter sequencers and eight instruments that sport impressive integration with Ableton Push 2 and Novation's Launchpad controllers.

The MIDI sequencers are the highlight. 4Play sees four playheads travelling simultaneously through the same sequence, each with its own settings for rate, loop, direction, gate time, etc; ISO Arp generates semi-random polyphonic sequences within a selected scale; Radar is a circular four-lane percussion sequencer; Ripkord merges chord generation and arpeggiation/sequencing; and Ripple creates echoing "sound ripples" via separate note and repeat points.

At the percussive end of the Instrument folder, 808 Bass puts out TR-808 style kick drums and subs; Syndrum offers four channels of analogue drums; and Tropix delivers tuned percussion of various kinds.

The five sample- based melodic instruments cover plenty of ground, from the vowel morphing of Dirty Talk and floaty textures of Ambn, to the harsh noises of Glitch Thing, and the epic bass and lead tones of Mad FM and Trancebot.

The three remaining devices are freely mappable parameter controllers.

Grid Ninja enables eight parameters from anywhere in Live to be assigned to eight knobs, which snap to zero when released and can be 'played' using Push or a Launchpad's pads; Seq Mod lets you control a single Live parameter using a 64-step sequencer; and XYZed does the same, but using a 4x4 sequencer with an amount knob for each step, and the direction and offset of the X and Y axes being independently adjustable.

The main idea behind Tricky Traps is to use its many devices together (Radar with Syndrum, say, or ISO Arp with Ambn), and, indeed, doing so proves creatively fruitful and fun, with even minimal user input yielding all sorts of wild and unexpected grooves and patterns.

The only annoyance is that forgetting to 'unassign' Push when deleting a MIDI Effect assigned to it results in the pads freezing until a device is assigned in its place.

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