• 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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  • 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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  • Make a Formant Filter

    Formant filters (loosely) simulate the characteristics of the human voice. When a formant filter is set to the letter “E,” for example, it emphasizes the frequencies contained in the “E” sound...

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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