• Reverse Snares

    Reverse Snares

    Load a snare sample into Drum Rack. Load another copy of the same sample onto an empty audio channel. Double-click the sample on the audio channel, then click the “Rev.” button. Ableton will reverse the sample. The reversed sample is an irregular length, which is going to make it hard to use in a MIDI loop. To fix this, click the “Warp” button to warp the clip, then drag the trim…

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  • Synchronize a Sidechained Compressor to the Beat

    Synchronize a Sidechained Compressor to the Beat

    Sidechained compression is an ubiquitous sound in dance music. Its pumping sound brings a shot of energy to basslines, pads, lead synths, vocals: nearly any element of an EDM track.

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  • How to Make a Trance Gate Effect

    How to Make a Trance Gate Effect

    Add the sound that you want to gate (either a piece of recorded audio or a synth plug-in) to a new channel in Ableton. Create a new MIDI channel, then add the Impulse drum machine to this new channel....

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  • Using Drum Loops

    Using Drum Loops

    Adding a drum loop on top of a programmed MIDI beat is a quick way to give it a more fluid, natural sound. Think of the MIDI clip as the base of the beat, and the loop as the ornamentation. Unfortunately, Drum Rack and Impulse can’t warp samples, so unless the loop that you’re using was recorded at the same tempo as the track you’re making (and is perfectly in time), you’ll need to add it to a separate audio track.

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  • Doubling Vocals

    Doubling Vocals

    Doubling vocals makes them sound bigger and fuller in the mix. A vocal doubler plug-in creates two (or more) copies of the vocal, pans them to the left and right, then adds a slightly different delay...

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  • Smoother Chord Progressions

    Smoother Chord Progressions

    When a group of instruments — like a string section — plays together, each instrument starts and stops each note at a slightly different time. Digitally programmed instruments, on the other hand, will start and stop exactly where they’re told to.

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  • Make a Moombahton Beat

    Make a Moombahton Beat

    Programming a moombahton drum pattern in Ableton Live is somewhat similar to making a house beat — but with some significant differences. To create its swinging, funky vibe, moombahton uses more syncopated and off-beat percussion than house usually does.

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  • Make a Drum & Bass Beat

    Make a Drum & Bass Beat

    Set Ableton’s tempo to around 175 bpm. Open Drum Rack and load up a kick and snare. Create a new MIDI clip, then put the kick on 1 and 1.3.3. Put a snare on 1.2 and 1.4. This rhythm is the basis of the drum ‘n’ bass beat. Load up three hi-hat samples: one short closed hi-hat and two longer open hi-hats.

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  • Build a Bass Mono/Stereo Rack in Ableton

    Build a Bass Mono/Stereo Rack in Ableton

    Generally speaking, the bass channel in a track should be in mono: most subwoofers (not to mention club soundsystems) play a mono signal much better than a stereo one.

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  • Extreme Sample Stretching

    Extreme Sample Stretching

    Stretching out audio can do magical things to it: hidden melodies appear, transients crumble into blurs, and tiny blips of sound turn into rich soundscapes.

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