• Snare Rolls

    Snare Rolls

    It’s been around forever, but the snare roll is still a dancefloor-devastating way to lead out of the breakdown and back into the beat. If your snare roll sounds too robotic and programmed, use MIDI velocity control to make it sound more natural. Program in a basic snare roll (four eighth notes, followed by four sixteenth notes, then eight 32nd notes).

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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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  • Tune Synths to A432 in Ableton

    Tune Synths to A432 in Ableton

    The idea that the note A3 should correspond to the frequency 440 Hz is a fairly recent one; although A440?s been in use since the 19th century, it’s only since the 1950s that it’s been accepted as the standard tuning.

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  • Return Track Tips & Tricks

    Return Track Tips & Tricks

    Ableton’s Drum Rack instrument has its own integrated send/return section, which allows you to add return effects to individual drum samples.

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  • How to Use Multi-Layer Synths in Ableton

    How to Use Multi-Layer Synths in Ableton

    Using MIDI tracks to play the different instruments inside a multi-layer synthesizer plug-in can potentially save you massive amounts of CPU power. Instead of loading a new copy of the VST instrument for each part, you can open several instruments inside the same plug-in.

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  • How to Synthesize Risers

    How to Synthesize Risers

    Whooshing risers act as punctuation within a track, signifying the end of one section and the beginning of the next. The simplest kind of riser is just a white-noise generator run through an automated filter.

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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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  • 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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  • How to Make Sub-Kicks

    How to Make Sub-Kicks

    If the kick sample you’re using isn’t beefy enough, layer it with a low-pitched synthesized sub-kick. The sub-kick adds bass without overly changing the tonal character of the kick.

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