Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Citizen
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Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by Citizen » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:37 am

The more I explore Ableton, the more I am getting confused by the myriad ways that things can be done. (yeah, I understand that it is supposed to be flexible - but right now I'm not sure which is the best way to do what I want to do!)

As I understand it, you can place individual drum hits as Audio - using Sampler or Simpler, or use Collision to make weird percussive sounds, or use Operator or Analog to synthesise individual snares, kicks etc from scratch - and then later use them in racks etc. I'm sure there are many other ways, too - which is half the problem.
8O

Then I DL'd the free 'Designer Drums' live pack: http://www.ableton.com/designer-drums - just to see different ways of how some of these sounds and patterns are constructed. 8O Man, that only confused me further!!! :cry:

From what I can tell - each clip is made from a large sequence of devices - but each begins with a drum rack that is somehow linked to Operator??

Image

So, I'd be keen to know what are the best, basic ways to start building up patterns quickly, so I can master that - and then maybe one day, bea ble to do some advanced shit like the example above?

Citizen
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by Citizen » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:41 am

Also, if I had a pattern that I've made and liked, but wanted to place an effect on ONE drum sound only (say, a reverb of the snare) - do I then have to cut the snare pattern out of my midi clip, and place it on a seperate track, so that the effect only effects it, and not the other drum sounds?

Further to this - if I wanted to place a reverb on just one hit in that pattern, would the best way to achieve this be using an envelope?

(oh, if anyone has some great clips/tutorials that provide an intro overview of all the different methods of creating drums in Ableton - please share!)

stu.b
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by stu.b » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:02 am

Easiest way would be to use an empty drum rack, drag the sounds you want into that, then you can effect the individual drums as they have their own track. Or use an existing kit, same deal. And use automation in arrangement view if you want to effect one hit in an existing pattern. [Device on and off.] Re tutorials, check youtube, there'll be tons of them.

Citizen
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by Citizen » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:10 am

stu.b wrote:Easiest way would be to use an empty drum rack, drag the sounds you want into that, then you can effect the individual drums as they have their own track. Or use an existing kit, same deal.
Hang on, but wouldn't that drum rack still be in only one track? How can I apply effects to the individual drum sounds?

stu.b
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by stu.b » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:26 am

No, once you have more than one sound in the drum rack you can unfold it [click the little triangle next to the track title] and see the individual tracks within that rack. You can then either use an effect on the whole rack or you can drop them onto the individual drum tracks.

Dexes
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by Dexes » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:45 am

Citizen wrote:
stu.b wrote:Easiest way would be to use an empty drum rack, drag the sounds you want into that, then you can effect the individual drums as they have their own track. Or use an existing kit, same deal.
Hang on, but wouldn't that drum rack still be in only one track? How can I apply effects to the individual drum sounds?
Image

Unfold the drum rack by clicking on the button in the red circle. If you place the effect after the instrument but inside the rack only that instrument will be affected (ie. the saturator will only affect the kick drum) if you place the effect outside the rack, the everything coming from the rack will be affected (ie. the compressor will affect the whole drum kit)

Dexes
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by Dexes » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:50 am

Also, if you unfold the drum rack's track in session view, you can access each pad as if it were a separate track:

Image

Citizen
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by Citizen » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:42 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you Dexes (and Stu) :D

That, straight up, is a revelation! 8O :D

Cool - I don't suppose your could also explain how something like the example that I posted is built? I gather it has something to do with Operator and something to do with mapping the macro dials to something?
:?:

Citizen
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by Citizen » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:29 am

* bump *

Anyone care to clear up that last point, too?

Thanks!

agent314
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by agent314 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:45 am

Operator just happens to be the thing that's making the sounds for all the different drum pads in your example - it could just as easily be a Simpler/Sampler or any other instrument+effects.

Drum racks are basically just a set of 128 slots for instrument+effects chains, each of which will only be triggered by a single note (C1, C2, etc.).

If you look at the thing that says 'Chain' in your example, you'll see each of those entries corresponds to one of the drum pads. Each of those chains is basically its own separate track that you can include an instrument and effects on.

The macro knobs (global time, Stereo Spread, Ringer Size, etc.) are just knobs to which different parameters in the different drum pad chains that have been mapped. Say you have 16 pads and each one has a Simpler on it. You could right-click a parameter (say, the Filter cutoff) and click "Map to Macro 1" and it'll be mapped to that Macro knob. If you do that for each separate Simpler on each pad, you can make it so 1 knob changes all 16 filter cutoffs at the same time. It's useful but not necessary to start building your own drum racks.

seattletruth
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Re: Beginner Q re. Drum Programming methods?

Post by seattletruth » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:32 am

you can drop operator or simpler / sampler right onto a drum rack. if operator is on fixed frequency mode then it will play a fixed frequency.

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