• 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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  • 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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  • Vinyl-ize Your Track

    Incorporating the crackles and hiss from a vinyl record into your digital production adds a subtle layer of dusty soul to your track.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Adding Movement to Pads

    Pads are simple, drawn-out synths that sit in the background of a track. Because they’re background instruments, pads are usually fairly uncomplicated, so as not to distract from the rest of the track.

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  • 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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