LittleDevil – Synthy



It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared any of my tools with you guys. This time, I want to introduce you to a very cool and powerful device chain that I use regularly in my sound design work. I initially created this tool as a proof of concept, aiming to build an analog-style synthesizer using Live’s simplers and basic waveforms like sine, saw, triangle, and square waves.

Live’s ability to create device chains and assign macro mappings inspired me to expand my synth and create a more comprehensive version of “synthy” using these devices as modules. The result is a remarkably versatile synth that’s incredibly light on CPU usage, and it opens up endless creative possibilities.

I’ve continued to enhance synthy, and it now boasts the following modules:

Master Mixer:

In the master section, you’ll find macros for controlling volume, pan, and effects. You can customize these macros, perhaps mapping filter controls or other parameters to suit your needs. When you fold this device, these are the eight macros you’ll have at your fingertips during a performance.


Some synths feature built-in arpeggios, so I’ve added one to synthy. Additionally, I experimented with mapping the MIDI notes re-triggered by the arpeggiator to specific keys, creating a unique effect. This key-mapper is somewhat experimental, but I find the results intriguing, so I’m sharing it with you.

An Oscillator/Amp Section:

This section includes two oscillators, but you can easily expand it to three or more by duplicating the device chain. The main oscillator section acts as a mixer for OSC1 and OSC2, and it also serves as the amp section. I’ve mapped the ADSR envelopes for both oscillators to the first four macros, ensuring that the ADSR envelopes work in harmony, much like traditional analog synths.

The actual sound from the oscillator is generated using basic waveforms like sine, triangle, square, saw, white noise, and pink noise. These waveforms were created using a tone generator and saved to a file. They’re set to 440Hz, which is the frequency of A4 or the A above middle C. If you want to learn more about the relationship between frequency and pitch, here are some helpful references:

When working with loops, it’s crucial to remember to loop at the zero crossing. The zero crossing is the point at which the amplitude is at 0, meaning there is no positive or negative amplitude. Looping at this point eliminates pops and clicks from your sample loops.

Filter/Mod Section:

I opted to use a separate filter module rather than the simpler’s filter to have more flexibility in its placement within the signal path. You can easily rearrange the modules as needed. Using device macros offers real-time editing convenience, especially with auto-mapping encoders like those on my APC-40.


I’ve included a chorus, delay, and reverb section. However, you can add any effect you desire, making synthy highly customizable and powerful. These modules allow you to control wet/dry and feedback/time, making real-time edits effortless during playtime.

I hope you find this tool useful for creating unique sounds in Live. If you come up with something cool, feel free to share it with me. I’m always excited to see what others create, and we can even feature your work here for others to enjoy.

Download LittleDevil-Synthy

— Juan