Drum layering in Live - best methods + workflow?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Re: Drum layering in Live - best methods + workflow?

Post by leisuremuffin » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:54 am

this is probably a relic from my mpc2000 workflow but i just adjust the sample start times for individual simplers. simple delay is an excellent solution though.

but if i want the timing for each layer to vary, like for instance with claps, i'll group a bunch of tracks with the same sample, maybe detune and pan them slightly, copy and paste a clip with the desired rhythm and a blank groove to all of them. Then i can control how loose the clap is with the groove's random parameter.

What i usually do with drum racks is write with all of my drum sounds on one rack and mix later. So when i'm writing and editing my drum program i can see it all in one midi clip. When i'm done writing then i extract and group chains that i want to process together or create layers for. But i don't really bother with that until i have some kind of arrangement.
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Re: Drum layering in Live - best methods + workflow?

Post by ChiefNugget » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:15 pm

Some good suggestions in here. I just recently tried a workflow like leisuremuffin suggested - write/arrange with racks and extract racks for mixdown - and it worked great. I would like to add that I froze the MIDI tracks (and beat repeat effect, so it was locked in) and copied to audio tracks for mixing.

Back to the original topic of drum layering and shadowing or time shifting layers, I have used "Simple Delay" for that effect with success, but what I would really love to see is the Simpler/Sampler envelopes changed to Delay-Attack-Decay-Sustain-Release. The possible limitation for Simple Delay in this application is that its minimum delay time is 1 ms. That equates to 44.1 or 96 samples depending on the frequency response. It's not nearly the fine increment of 8 samples used in Eddie Basil's examples. Voxengo has a free sample-precise delay that could be a great alternative.
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Re: Drum layering in Live - best methods + workflow?

Post by drez » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:39 pm

lm and Chief Nugget,

I had been listening to NIN and was trying to determine how much percussion could be going on and how they could figure out how to keep it all separate from a mix perspective, but keep up with the patterns from a sequencing point of view. In the past I've had multiple drum tracks where you end up getting kind of lost trying to figure out where a specific sound is coming from. Its painful to the workflow.

What you guys are suggesting allows you to still group off stuff or whatever, but treat the sequencing from a single view. This would appear to solve my problem. Nice tip. Can't wait to try it out!
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