Wednesday, November 25, 2009

back to a more musical vein

There are so many things that you can do with Ableton Live. It is truly engrossing. Drum Racks, their virtual drumkit framework, for example, and slicing loops to midi.

If you have a beat that you like and you can tap it out on a table or a coffee can or congas or tupperware or what have you, record it to a clip in Live.

Then apply the 'slice to midi' function to the clip (look this up in the manual if you want details, just describing the process here).

It slices out the transients and plugs the samples into a drum rack, quantizing the transients to midi notes and plugging those into a midi clip.

Then, the bomp you did in the middle of the tupperware for the kick, you can replace with a real kick, wherever it appears in the rack. The 'slap' you did for the snare replace with a real snare, and the 'tap' for the hi hat with a real hi hat, etc.

To add a bassline, route the midi from the drum clip into an adjacent midi track and drop in a bass instrument plug. Transpose it down if you need with a pitch plug. Drop in a scale plug and turn off the notes you don't want to hear. If you want to vary the length of the notes, drop in a note length plug, and use an envelope in a dummy clip to mix up the note lengths.

For some rhythm/harmony type overlay, duplicate the bass track, replace the bass with a pad or keys type plug, transpose up an octave or two or three, adjust the note length clip to play longer notes, and then drop in a chords plug in there somewhere, maybe in front of the scale plug.

Finally, drop a rack that mixes up the rhythm of the drums a little, it might contain Live Cut or dblue Glitch or Beat Repeat or something similar.

Then sit back and listen to it play, adjust here and there.


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