Ableton Live's Drum Rack
I've been using Ableton Live off and on now for a few years. I love Live for it's ability to easily and endlessly tweak, manipulate and change sounds. I could spend hours twiddling knobs and shaping new clips.
As I tend to prefer using my own samples in Live the real light bulb went off for me when I figured out how to build my own Impulse instruments. This allowed me to clip short sounds and trigger them with MIDI which is perfect for making minimal blipy tracks.
A recent upgrade to Live 7 took this to the next level with the introduction of the Drum Rack. This new instrument is like Impulse on steroids. The same concept of sound clips triggered by MIDI still holds true but added is the ability to tweak each individual sample with things like Filter, LFO and any of the variety of effects included in Live.
Another light bulb went off for me last night after watching the video above at about 2 min 41 sec in where it is explained that you can automatically slice an audio file and dump it into the Drum Rack. This saves hours of manual slicing, although some slight adjustments may be wanted.
There is still so much that I need to learn about using the new Drum rack but for now I'm content chopping up sounds to make a few of my own preset racks. I highly recommend watching the videos found on the Ableton site to learn more about the features in Live.