• 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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  • 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 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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  • How to Make a Trance Gate Effect

    Add the sound that you want to gate (either a piece of recorded audio or a synth plug-in) to a new channel in Ableton. Create a new MIDI channel, then add the Impulse drum machine to this new channel....

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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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  • 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

    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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  • Doubling Drums

    Using two copies of the same drum sample in a beat makes the drums sound bigger and fuller. Load up a kick, snare and hi-hat into Ableton’s Drum Rack, then open the Rack’s “Chains” section. Right-click the snare drum in the list of chains and select “Duplicate.” Do the same for the hi-hat.

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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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  • 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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