NES Light Zapper – Free Ableton Live Pack by Brian Funk
Brian Funk just released Free Ableton Live Pack #199. Nintendo’s Light Zapper was an exciting part of Brian Funk’s 80’s childhood. While getting blown away in a wild west gun dual in Wild Gunman and desperately firing away in Duck Hunt (often at that dog that laughs at you when you miss the ducks), the sound of that trigger clicking away was embedded into Brian’s brain.
If you listen closely, the spring resonates a pitch for a second or two after you fire the zapper. Brian decided to sample that ringing spring, as well as the trigger and whatever other noises he could make with it.
Brian produced three elements. A Drum Rack that is made up of the various clicks, clacks, and trigger noises. Each of the 16 sounds can be transposed, filtered, panned, and spread out in the stereo field.
A One Player instrument. This is a melodic instrument that starts with the click of the trigger and then loops the resonating spring. It has a percussive, plucking sound. You can adjust a bandpass filter with some LFO modulation, change the way the sample loops, and adjust the Attack and Release. The Macros that control these parameters have been disguised with names of Light Zapper games on the NES. This is to encourage you to listen with your ears rather than think too technically about the instrument.
And a Two-Player Light Zapper instrument. Brian stacked two of the One Player instruments into an Instrument Rack and panned them to the left and the right. You can then adjust parameters for each layer (or “player”) separately. Player One is colored grey and Player Two is colored red. You can go inside each layer for additional controls. There’s a lot of room here for designing the exact sound of your next track needs.