• 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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  • Tips for Using Reverb

    Tips for Using Reverb

    A reverb effect creates a complex series of echoes from a source sound. Reverb usually simulates a certain listening environment like a jazz club or a concert hall; used heavily and creatively, it can also warp a source sound until it’s unrecognizable.

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  • Using the Ableton Scale Plug-In

    Using the Ableton Scale Plug-In

    A musical key defines the relationship of the notes in a song. Without going into too much music theory, keeping the different elements of a track in the same key is essential to making them fit together musically.

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  • Make a Track from Found Sounds

    Make a Track from Found Sounds

    Prepackaged sample packs are great tools, but unless you alter the samples extensively, they can make your tracks sound cookie-cutter and samey. Recording your own sample packs gives your production a unique sound;

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  • Using Pitch Bend

    Using Pitch Bend

    Pitch bending smoothly lowers or raises the pitch of a note according to a defined envelope. You can quickly access a MIDI clip’s pitch bend envelope in Ableton...

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Using Keytracking

    Using Keytracking

    Keytracking changes a synthesizer’s parameters depending on which note the synth is playing. When positive keytracking is enabled for a parameter, the parameter increases for high notes and decreases for low notes

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