• 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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  • 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

    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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  • 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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  • How to Make a House Beat

    Open Drum Rack on a MIDI track, then set the global BPM to about 125. Load up a kick, snare, hi-hat, shaker, crash cymbal and ride cymbal. Turn all of the samples’ velocity controls up. Create a new MIDI clip, then put a kick on 1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4. Put the snare sample on 1.2 and 1.4. Program the hi-hat on 1.1.3, 1.2.3, 1.3.3 and 1.4.3. Add a shaker on every sixteenth note.

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  • Frequency Splitting with Effects

    Frequency splitting divides a sound’s frequency spectrum into sections, allowing you to alter one section of the spectrum without changing the rest.

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  • Make a Synth from a Sample

    All sounds, synthesized or natural, are made up of waves. Most synthesizers produce simple, pure waveforms, while naturally occurring sounds are much messier — and more interesting.

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  • 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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  • Audio Effects 101: Time-based FX

    Time-altering audio effects like reverbs, delays and choruses all function in essentially the same way: they capture a portion of an input sound, delay it slightly, then play it back.

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