• Using Triplets in Beats

    The elements of electronic music are generally divisible by four: four kicks per bar, eight bars per loop, sixteen notes in a melody. To add interest to your beats, break up the 4/4 using triplet drums. A triplet jams three notes into a space that should only be occupied by two.

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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Track Maps

    One of the best ways to learn about arranging tracks is to analyze other artists’. Pick one of your favourite tracks, then listen closely to it, noting how and when each element enters and leaves the arrangement.

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