Compressors control the dynamic range of a signal, changing the relationship between the loudest part and the quietest, it is a very useful and essential tool when used right, it helps create clear and punchier mixes and can also be used on many other individual parts including drums, vocals, synths, bass, aux, mastering/ full mixes etc.
A compressor's main function is to reduce the dynamic range of a signal by reducing the volume of its loudest point/ transient.
Compressors are really effective whilst grouping sounds together, a example would be on a return buss/ Aux buss, they help glue parts together into a cohesive block, for example a drum buss, taking the loudest peaks and reducing them whilst giving the quietest sounds and making them louder, this works well to get the tails of snares, hats etc.
One compressor doesn't fit all, this is so true when looking at compressors, there are not all made to equal each other as some compressors use 2 compressors in series to achieve a unique blend of compression as the Shadow Hills Master Comp shows below
The Shadow Hill Compressor has 2 compressors in series with each other, 1st is a gentle optical section with a set ratio, attack and release (Optical) & then a more aggressive and precise VCA (voltage controlled amplifiers) section (Discrete) each section can be bypass, you can combine these 3 ways, The output allows you to choose from 3 distinctive transformers Nickle (clean), Iron (coloured) & Steel (dirty), Sidechain give us a high-pass filter letting anything below 90hz through.
Every compressor has its own signature, configuration or algorithm which sets them all apart. Software emulations like the UAD-2 version compared to the hardware version is near enough exact.
The pictures below show iconic classic compressors that have shaped our music every since the 60's.
Each one of the above is a emulation of a classic hardware compressor, there are many companies who have emulated these & done a really good job in doing so, but again non sound the same as each other very similar but not the same. If you would like to know more about the setting of the compressor click HERE to be taken to the effects page where you can learn more and about other effects.
Layering & Creative Techniques
Welcome to the third instalment learning how to layer & use creative techniques in Ableton Live, in the past two week's we have covered a lot of basic and fun fundamental's, If you have missed any of the written tutorials then please start at the first one Making A Beat, then continue to Chord progression & Basic music theory.
This week we will be looking at another multitude of skills and techniques you can use & see what it can do for us. We will continue from last week and we will be building upon what we have learnt.
We will cover the following in this blog.
LAYERING CHORD PROGRESSION'S
We start by understanding what layering is, lets say we have a bass sound, it's sound is obviously very bassie, we like the bass sound but we think its missing something so we want add another sound to it that will compliment the sound, to show this as a example we will use our chord progression from last week, make a few adjustments and then see what they sound like together.
Open up your previous work from last week and add 2 x MIDI tracks into the Clip/Device Drop area.
Next load the Grand Piano onto one midi track and the Old School Roads onto the other, you can search for this by pressing CMD + F (MAC) or CTRL + F (PC).
Once you have done this click on a empty midi slot, we can now place in notes from what we worked out in last weeks blog, our scale is C major, a nice happy feel to our track.
Enter the following notes into the midi clip on the Grand piano as shown below (left) and enter the other notes on the Old School Roads also shown below(right)
Adding reverb, a touch of delay & compressing the two sounds will make it sound together and in balance. We will first group these two together by clicking on both of the midi tracks and by pressing CMD/CTRL + G, once this is done you should see that the two output from both channels are routed automatically into our new group channel, this makes it easier to compress both sounds and add other effects if needed as a whole, in turn saving cpu power.
We will now add some processing onto our two layered sounds, firstly the Grand Piano (left) & next the old school roads (right) with the overall processing on the group channel below the two.
There is a lot going on in these pictures, The grand piano has a subtle ping pong delay, whilst the old schools roads has a nice chorus adding thickness to it. Overall we have processed the two by adding a nice reverb to make sure the two sounds sound as though there in the same room, Whiles adding the utility and giving it some more width, we then added the saturator to give it a lot more presence we have only changed the curve type of the saturator and you can straight away notice there is a lot more volume and presence, we then added a redux, this reduces the overall quality of the sound via bit rate as you can hear the crackling at the end of the sample, then we overall compressed the two together giving balance & clarity to our layered sounds.
SAMPLING OUR SOUND
Sampling has been the forefront of many brilliant tracks over the years, there is a topic within itself by sampling but for this example we will look how to sample our own sound and use it in our track. Firstly we need to record the overall sound and after our processing this is called post processing, we create a new audio track and set the input to what our group is called in this case its 4-Group, Arm the audio track by pressing the record button at the bottom of the channel, you will notice it turns red & this mean that the track is armed to set to record. Once you have done this press a empty record button within a slot on the audio channel but before you do make sure the two midi tracks are not in LOOP mode, then when your ready click play on the two midi channels, this will record our sound (shown below).
After we have captured our processed sound we can drag the file named 7-Audio-1 into a new midi channel. to do this make a new midi channel and drag and drop the 7-Audio-1 file onto the sample tab. Once you've done that continue to alter the parameters as shown in the 2 picture's at the bottom.
The WARP button is optional I have left it on with the algorithm set to pro, formants & envelopes are also set to minimum and maximum. Try turning the WARP mode on and off whilst having a listen to the sample.
Once you have done this add the following notes into the midi note editor or make you own pattern. (You can then rename the Track of your choosing or name it Piano-Samp), I have also added another noted edit this is for the into of the track, if you notice the velocities of the intro you will see that they are all set to full, this adds digital distortion to the sample by overdriving the sample we turn down the mixer on the main channel by -7.0dB.
Below I have added a pitch bend to show you how to pitch bend inside of a clip using automation, you do this by clicking on the Show/Hide Envelope box in the bottom left hand corner, this will open the envelope box, you will see two box's on top of each other, the top box is what device you want to choose, and the box at the bottom is the control chooser. for the top box select MIDI Ctrl and for the bottom box choose Pitch Bend. You can then make a automated pattern by clicking on the red line as many times you want, you will notice a red dot appears, or you can press B and this will give you a pencil tool on which you can draw in automation to the grid size your in, you can also change the grid size by right clicking on the MIDI note editor and clicking on a certain grid size you would like. For this example I have just added a small curve just before & at the start of bar 7. You can change automation lines from straight lines via pressing ALT (PC & Mac) on the keyboard. This is just a example of how you can utilise pitch bend or other elements depending on what you want within the envelope editor.
ADDING THE BASSLINE
For the Bassline I will add a simple pattern that compliments our piano-samp track, this can be done by playing it in or by copying the pattern used for our piano-samp onto a new MIDI Track, add the Tight Full Bass into this track and press play.
You notice that the track doesn't have any real movement, its very static so we can alter this by making a new pattern or by adding to our existing pattern, add the following notes as shown below & add Notator 16C Swing to our pattern.
With the new notes altered and added, we notice a slight improvement to the bassline, we can make it better again by if we maybe a reverb, delay or both, then un-sync the delay from the grid this will fill in the gaps and add a nice loose feel to our bassline. We will use our BPM to Tempo chart where you can get for FREE when you sign up HERE, and use this to learn what value in milli-seconds we need in order to give our delay a in-synced vibe.
There are many ways to do this but the best way in our case will be via a return track, A return track generally host effects and not clips, multiple channel tracks can be fed into the return track via the sends on the mixer channel which we will show next.
First add a return track by right clicking on the Clip/ Device drop area and select return track. you will notice a new track has appeared next to your master channel, this return track will have a letter in the title starting at A, B, C etc, you will also notice in the track's channel there are rotator knob labelled up with the same letters, these letters are assigned to the corresponding return tracks e.g A goes to A, and with the rotator knob you can adjust how much volume goes through on to the return track from -inf dB to 0.0dB, note if your track volume is at -2db and you have the return track knob all the way up to 0.0dB then the maximum volume you will get on the return track will be the same as the channel's volume, which will be -2dB.
Once you have done this add the simple delay to the return track and click on the two button that say SYNC, you will notice the buttons and sliders are now represented in ms or milliseconds, We want to figure out in ms what value it would be for our track, we will use the BPM to Tempo chart to do this by looking at our chart below, as we want a 8th note delay we will look down the 1/8 note column and we search for the BPM our track is in, which is 120bpm and where the two meet that is our value, which is 250ms, this value shows a synced value very rigid to the grid, if we alter the value just ever so slightly we can make our delay stand out in the track and overall improving it.
Now we have our value we can use this in our mix, we want to subtly de sync the value so in the two time box's in the delay setting's the top box wants to be -1ms (249ms) and the bottom box wants to be +1ms (251ms) as shown below, We then want to set the DRY/WET to 100% as we want the full signal from our track being processed by the delay. Once this is done we can then look at adding SIDECHAIN via the compressor and look to EQ using the EQ eight, you can view a video showing what SIDECHAIN does and how we can use it within our mix's. Copy the values from the picture below and press play.
Below shows the Channel return track value set to full and the return track volume value. As you can hear this is a very subtly effect but it is very effective to fill in the gaps from our bassline, along with playing it against the piano track the bass compliments it really effectively. We can add the piano track to this by turning the sends knob on the piano track to the desired amount, in our case full.
COMPRESSION & FURTHER SIDECHAINING & LEVELS
We now want to get the levels of our track right so the Bass & Piano sits nicely together and with the drums, the bass want's to be at -12.9 & the Piano wants to sit at -2.6.
Next we want to group the Bass & Piano tracks together, we do this by selecting the Bass & Piano track and pressing CTRL/CMD + G, with these now grouped together we can add effects to both of the tracks at one time, this helps with keeping the load of our cpu down.
On the group track add a glue compressor and a compressor, we want to use the glue compressor to control the overall and the compressor for further sidechaining.
Put in the values & levels as shown below along with sidechaining the compressor to the kick.
As you can see if you press play the bass sits well along with controlling the piano sound and letting the drums cut through the mix, this technique is used not just for the pump effect but it can be used against other elements that are clashing with each other, as we have demonstrated with using the delay as a return track.
This week we have covered many main points within making your music creatively and also technically, using these techniques can really make a mix stand out so extra care when mixing your tracks as too much of something could effect something else within the mix, you've got to trust your ears and do what you think is right.
Chord progressions & Basic Music Theory
Welcome to the 2nd blog in this tutorial series, this week we are looking at chord progression, a basic understanding of how we put together a chord progression together & how we can use scales to keep our track in key and sounding good. Anything is possible with music & we can range out of the scales but for this tutorial we will be keeping it simple, this will allow us to get a better understanding of scales and how we write our chord progressions.
Most modern music generally use either a Minor or Major scale’s the following point which we will be going through in this tutorial are
· Difference between major & minor
· Key's & Scales in C (Major & Minor)
· Working out a scale using a secret formula
· Chords, Roman Numerals & Inversion's
· Chord Progression’s & implementing it into our track
MAJOR & MINOR
The reason I have picked Major & Minor is because they are the most heavily used keys that make up a scale in most modern music today, we usually play lead lines with a monophonic note (meaning one note at a time) and the Melody line usually is related to the track’s chord progression which in turn is related to the key of the track and is how everything fit in key with each other. This leads us to the two main types Major & Minor scales with each scale having 7 keys in them to make up that scale. Major is known for being a Happy, good feeling scale whilst Minor has a dark, sad emotion side. The most important note within the scale is the Root note or Tonic note this is what note we start the scale on and in this case, it’s C. From finding out our Tonic we can either pick Major or Minor and work out what keys are in our scale by following a pattern for each scale. For the next section you can follow along by right clicking on the Click/Device Drop Area and creating a MIDI channel, now search for the grand Piano via instruments and by pressing CTRL + F (PC) CMD + F (MAC), drag and drop the grand piano onto the midi track and use the keyboard or a midi input to play the keys.
KEYBOARD & KEYS
On a keyboard we have White & Black Keys, there are 88keys on a full sized keyboard starting from A and finishing on C, From the bottom note A all the way up to the last note C the spacing between the tones is a semi tone, we can also break down the keyboard into sections, As the picture shows you will notice there is a pattern of 2 black keys then 3 black keys, the white note to the left of the 2 black keys is where we will start and is always the key known as C, if we count 12 keys (including the black keys) up from the key C, we will notice that we are back on the note C, As we do count up the keys from C we will get the following, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B.
THE WORKING OUT OF A SCALE
So now we know about what keys are and how 7 keys make up a scale of either Major or Minor we can now use a formula to gain access to any Major or Minor scale. As we know there is a semi tone between each key we can add further to that by saying 2 semi tones is equal to a whole tone, for example from C to C# is a semi tone 1 spacing/ key, but if we go from C to D this would be called a whole tone as we jump up 2 spacing's/ keys. The formula to work out any Major or Minor scale is simple I will put down numbers relating to how many keys we jump up and I will put
2/T=Whole Tone &
MAJOR – 2-2-1-2-2-2-1 T-T-S-T-T-T-S
MINOR – 2-1-2-2-1-2-2 T-S-T-T-S-T-T
CHORDS, ROMAN NUMERALS & INVERSION'S
Now we have our scale we can work out different chords from each note within the chosen scale. As we are using C (root) Major (scale) (all the white keys) we can now put together chords which sound harmonically sound, the most basic chord there is, is the Triad. We will look at all the triads in the C major scale and from this apply roman numerals, this make's it easier to write down what chord progressions we want to use.
This might look a bit complicated at first site but as we break it down we can see how each chord is made. So we know we are using C (root) Major (scale) within each scale we have 7 notes and each note by adding two more notes make's a triad, as we start from the left C all we do is miss a note and play the next, miss a note and play the next so the triad of C major is C, miss D, E, miss F, G, so the chord is C, E, G or Cmaj, the next example differs from what we would think it to be E major instead it is E minor, to get the chord start at our root E, miss F, G, miss A, B, with the chord being E, G, B.
As you can see on the drawing above each root note within the scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, B with each note is given a number ranging from the tonic of the scale these are called Roman Numerals so in this case our scale of C major, the tonic/root C would be given a roman numeral of I because this is the tonic/ root of the key/ scale our track or music is being written in. We then count up from the tonic as follows, C, D, E, F, G, A, B - I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii, if you notice the numerals some are in lower case and some are in capitals, the numerals in capitals are Major and the lower case numerals are minor with the 7th in Major scale being diminished.
As you can also notice on the picture above I have greyed out some notes, we will use the roman numerals to understand why there are Maj, Min & dim chords within our scale. To figure out what the chord it is within our Major scale we look at the key spacing's in-between our chords, for example the Cmaj chord is a Major chord because it has 4 semi tones gap to E and then 3 semi tones gap to G as shown by the greyed out notes, to figure out a minor chord this is the opposite to maj as this has 3 semi tones gap first to G, and then 4 semi tones to B, as shown above in the drawing. The last chord you will notice is the diminished chord if you play the chord you will notice it just isn't like the others it has a dysfunctional feel to it, we know it is a diminished chord by noticing the spacing between the notes are 2 semi tone and 2 semi tones.
INVERSIONS & 7th,9th,11th,13ths
When building our chords it is normal to start with the root note, when we have our chord we can start to experiment with it by placing the keys within the chord in different positions, we can invert the C chord 3 different ways firstly by the root, the 3rd or the 5th either up a octave (pic left) or down a octave (pic right)as shown below.
This gives us different combinations from the chords we select and allows us more selection to write that we feel our track needs.
7ths, 9th's, 11th's & 13ths.
We can also add to our Triads by placing notes above 5th note, so far we have our root, our 3rd & 5th, we add notes for more variation and to make our chord & progressions sound more interesting, all the 7ths,9ths,11ths,13ths are shown below in C major scale, if you add all of them at once the chord might become over crowded and sound messy, try different combinations to see what suits the track your going for, Also note we can only go up to a maximum to 13th/ 7 keys as this will bring us back to the root note. There is also a table showing all the chords we can use within the C Major scale.
CHORD PROGRESSIONS & IMPLEMENTING IT INTO OUR TRACK
We have covered a lot of the basics in this tutorial and there is so much more, minor scale's have a different chord structure as compared to major scales but I don't want to fry your mind so we will leave it for another day.
We will finish off by writing some chord progressions via our Roman numerals and implement them into our track.
We want to write a chord progression to what we feel, we can stick to being safe and start at the root note or we can be adventurous and start anywhere within the scale, usually we want to take the listener on a journey and come back home to the root but in this example we are going to scrap that idea and use a chord progression I have made up, with what we have learnt try putting the following chord progression into the DAW, the chord progression is V, ii, iii, I try this before looking at the photo below.
As you can see this is our chord progression over 1 bar, we now need to spice it up a bit with a different arrangement that suits our beat and add a instrument that suits our liking, if you like how it sounds with the grand piano then you can leave it as it is.
This is our simple chord progression, there is added bass notes on another midi channel to try show the relationship between the two, both are in the same key and using the same notes within the selected chord's. We can deviate as much as we want from this but this is just a basic understanding on how we implement chords into our tracks.
Next time we will look at how we can take this chord progression further, by layering up different sounds & mixing them all to fit within the track, also to make sure they don't clash with each other and other sections of the track, so we will look at some techniques to compensate if a issue occurs.
Thank for reading and hope you've taken something out of this, if you haven't signed up as of yet please do by clicking HERE you will gain access to the awesome single Story of our live's f.t Natalie Major and also a free BPM to Tempo chart great for syncing or off setting your effects. You can also like my Facebook page HERE, and my Soundcloud page HERE.
Making A Beat In ableton
This post show how we can make a effective classic house style drum loop heard on many classic tracks using Ableton Live, If you haven't yet signed up to double lines then please do by hitting HERE, you will gain instant access to Story of Our Live's ft. Natalie Major and a additional BPM to Tempo (ms) chart.
ALL ABOUT THE DRUMS
Hi, I want to do a series on how I make a track so this we will start with DRUMS (oh Yeah), we will build a basic drum pattern and show how we can make it come to life with a bit of processing.
For this I will be using Ableton Live 10 (beta) as my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) & I will show you how to program your own beat and provide you with a bit of information/ knowledge so that you can incorporate it into your own productions. If you would like to follow this and try it out for your self you can grab a Live 9 copy at https://www.ableton.com/en/trial/ .
Within this blog for all ages & levels of music production, if your not into making music but just wondered how it was all put together then this is for you, if you want to start making music then this is for you & if you are a producer of all levels then maybe there might be a golden nugget you can take away from this, we will be starting at a basic level and getting to know how we program drum patterns and how to make them go from a static machine gun to a groovy make you dance beat. We need to make sure we continually save our work so through the process please press CTRL + S (PC) & CMD + S (MAC), if your saving for the first time a window will appear asking you to name what it is, We will name our work Series DL.
We will start with a basic pattern & we will use the classic 909 drum kit, if you have downloaded the trail version you can find this on the left hand side under the categories/ Drums there will be a file containing the 909 drums (as shown below) you simply drag the 909 Core Kit onto a MIDI in this case it will be on track 1. ( if you ever get stuck there is a information box in the lower left hand corner, each event I ask you to do will be highlighted in bold with the matching information that is within the info view)
You now need to insert a MIDI clip on Track 1 ( which was originally called MIDI but since you have dragged the 909 Core kit onto it, the MIDI track is now called 909 Core Kit), simply double click on a empty clip slot under the 909 Core Kit & you will be given a box looking like this.
In this new window and starting from the bottom you will see there is white and black keys this represents a the keys on a keyboard/ Piano. if you do not have a midi keyboard you can use then you can use the computer’s keyboard simply press the M button to activate the Computer MIDI Keyboard in the top left corner (you can see a yellow keyboard symbol when it is activated), with the button highlighted (yellow) your computer keyboard’s row of letters A-L will represent the white keys and the letters W-O will represent the black keys and with Z going down a octave and the X going up a octave, The octave you want is C1.
Right now we have established the how to get a midi clip down and load a drum kit onto it, now we need to start programming some beats, most dance music use the time signature at 4/4, this mean’s that there is basically 4 beats every bar, I won’t go into too much detail about the time signature as there is quite a lot to cover and explain so we will simply crack on with making our beat.
In the MIDI note editor press the B key on your keyboard and your mouse pointer will turn to a pencil, if it doesn’t then it doesn’t matter as a double click on a block will add a midi note.
We begin to program our beat initially over 1 bar, we simply do this by clicking on a block by placing midi notes as shown on the picture below.
If you now press your space bar this will play the clip you have just programmed in, (Note if you do not hear anything check your output within Ableton and make sure it is set to your output, options, preferences, Audio then select the correct Audio device (PC) and on MAC is File, Preferences, Audio then select the correct audio device (MAC).
Congratulations for those newbies into music production you’ve programmed your first beat (high five), We now need to add a bit of flavour and spice to our beat so we will cover this next.
To add a little something something to our beat we firstly need to extend our beat, add more notes & use a function called swing.
Firstly you will see two separate box’s to the left of the MIDI note editor called Notes & Clip press the button twice called Dupl.Loop this will double the loop the first time you pressed it to 2 bars then the second time to 4 bars, if you make a mistake at all you can hit the CTRL + Z (PC) or the CMD + Z (MAC) keys buttons this will undo your last action.
You will now see more notes on the MIDI note editor this is simply because we have overall extended our time signature of our beat program.
This is where a bit of theory come’s into practice, at the top on the sample display you will see number going from 1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, this represents the time signature as in beat’s or so called DOWN BEAT, you will also notice below that in the MIDI note editor that there are blocks split up into small squares, these are called FIXED GRID and if you right click on the MIDI note editor you will see a section with different note modes in, we will cover what this all means in another time, but simply put it if you count the blocks you will notice there are 16 blocks every bar, or 4 blocks per down beat, if you have changed the FIXED GRID please make sure that it is set to 1/16.
Now the fun part programming some more note’s in & adding a touch of magic to our beat.
Place the extra notes into the blocks as shown below & take a listen
Awesome this is a simple but very effective drum loop but it still feels robotic and needs another touch of magic adding, We will go back to the two separate box’s which are located to the left of the midi note editor where we have just programmed our loop, you will one box titled Clip locate Groove within that box and press the circle arrow button.
This will let you pick out a groove for our selected pattern, Click on Core Library, Swing and Groove, the Notator once in the folder drag and drop 16A, 16B, 16C, 16D, 16E and 16F into the Groove pool.
QUANTIZATION, VELOCITY & SWING
Quantization, Velocity & Swing can be applied from your drum pattern to the full mix. There is a lot to cover in all these area which will cover in another blog.
Below is a brief explanation on what each one does and we will apply some to our drum pattern to give it what I call it the little something something.
QUANTIZATION – Is a process of aligning notes onto a defined grid e.g 1/16, this is so what ever you place onto the defined grid will all play in sync.
VELOCITY – Is a term used for how hard a instrument is hit, in Ableton it ranges from 1 – 127 with 1 being the quietest & 127 being the loudest, Velocity is so important when it comes to the groove of your music.
SWING – Swing also known as Shuffle, is used to created a jazzy feel to our music, In Ableton & Logic they mainly use the swing function that originated from the famous Roger Linn’s LM-1 Drum Computer, This drum machine implemented swing by taking a bar of music that was cut up into 16th (1/16 the FIXED GRID we are in) and offsetting the notes by a certain percentage to allow a groove/ Swing to occur and with 50% being zero effect. These are known by 16A 50%, 16B 54%, 16C 58%, 16D 62%, 16E 66%, 16F 71%.
We will take a look at this next.
ADDING THE LITTLE SOMETHING SOMETHING.
We now can add whatever elements we would like to suit & what we are wanting to achieve with our music/ pattern. We add swing by locating the clip box next to MIDI note editor and look for the clip box below the word Groove , click on this box and all the swing templates that are in the Groove pool, if we first select 16A and press play we will notice there is actually nothing happening this is because 16A is at 50% and has no effect on the pattern, If we select 16F and press play we will notice that there is a massive amount of swing applied maybe too much but as its music if you like it then stick with it, pick one of the groove that suit’s your liking, for me I am sticking with 16D, We will then look at the MIDI note editor and whilst looking at your pattern press Commit under the tab where you selected your groove from.
As you can see the notes on ever even number making up the
16ths are effected, this is what adds flavor to our pattern & we can take it even further by changing some velocities of our drum pattern.
There are numerous ways that we can change our velocities but for this example we will keep it simple and make it nice and easy, in the lower left hand corner of the screen you will see 2 tabs, one is for the MIDI note editor and the other is for the Device View Selector click on the tab that says 909 Core kit .
We are now are going to use a nice easy way that will make our notes in the MIDI note editor be effected as though a Human is playing the drums. We simply do this by adding a MIDI effect in front of our 909 Core Kit & applying some setting which will mimic how a human would play, First add the effect in front of the 909 Core Kit and apply the settings as shown below.
Processing can be used if you feel you want more out of the pattern, this could range from reverb, saturation, delay to compression all adding the final touch to your drums or mix, I usually make all my processing changes at the mix down stage which is after all my arrangement & elements have been placed down and with what I am happy with. We will do the processing now so that you can use it in your productions if wanted and to see how settle difference with using a certain combination of effects can make your mix from being averagely good to being great. The key is small touches to compliment the work we have done so far. I won’t be going into a lot of detail about how the effects work we will cover that in another blog post but I will show you a quick starter guide with the final result being what I would leave it as.
To start we need to add Audio Effects after the 909 Core Kit, we do this be locating & clicking on the Audio effects tab in the browser side bar, you will then be able to select any of the audio effects by clicking and dragging one AFTER your 909 Core KIT, for this example we will keep it simple and select in the correct order Reverb, Saturator & Glue Compressor.
Then simply match the Audio effects parameters to the ones below and press play.
You will notice a slight change to the overall character of the drum pattern, try playing the drums and turning off a effect via the yellow circle in the top left of the effect & try notice the difference (please note to really listen to the difference please use headphone’s or some Studio Monitors). We added a small amount of Reverb so that it makes our drum’s come alive as though they was being played in a room. Next we added a saturator with a medium curve, this add bite & some grit to our drum by allowing the quieter sounds in the mix to pop out, then it is followed by a Glue compressor this has a very quick attack time of 0.01seconds & a release set to auto & a mild ratio of 2:1. The last thing is to make the levels the same as what they was before we added the effects, If we look at the mixer we will notice the Track Volume & next to that the Peak level indicator, turn off all the Audio effects by simply clicking on the yellow circles in the upper left off every Audio effect, they should now be grey. Press play and take a look at the Peak level displayed.
This concludes how we make basic & classic drum pattern’s in Ableton Live, you can apply this to any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), and achieve similar results depending on the effects, drums and patterns you use. If you’ve have enjoyed this I encourage you to take it further, mess about with what we have done, decrease the threshold of the glue compressor to -20 and crank up the make up gain to 11 keep a eye on the output making sure it doesn’t go above 0.00dB, add more decay time to the reverb to make it sound like your playing in a big hall or even add more effects or add more to the drum pattern, it is limitless to the combinations that are at your disposal, make sure you save your work for the next blog.
If you’ve found value in this or if there are any suggestions you’d like me to cover in my next blog please comment below, share & like with all your friends.