Hardstyle Sound Design

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:17 pm

Hardstyle Sound Design

Post by Down8ch » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:12 pm

Before I scare you away with the title of this post, let me clarify:

Since the beginning of my journey into sound design, I've always wanted to learn how to design hardstyle kicks. Along that journey, I learned that most hardstyle artists tend to use Logic instead of Ableton, specifically for a few key tools that are native to Logic. In my naivety, I thought I could learn how it was done in Logic and be able to translate those techniques to Ableton. I looked up a few tutorials and boiled it down to the clip distortion device and the speech enhancer device from Logic. The combination of the symmetry parameter in the clip distortion plus the microphone modeling and eq from the speech enhancer was what was missing from my toolbox. Before I tried to look for Ableton equivalents to these, I just thought that the hardstyle kick was just something I could never achieve in Ableton.

I also noticed the way the approach to harmonic processing in Logic involved sending the audio signal through buses and applying effects in a serial manner in order to shape the sound. Before this, I never even thought about serial eqs. I always thought you could do any eq work needed with one eq. I also wondered if I had to find a way to mimic the signal path in Logic inside of Ableton to achieve the same results. Apparently, sending an audio signal to a bus channel isn't the same as sending it through the bus channel. (is that right?)

I came across Blutonium Boy's video where he basically layered up a kick in Ableton without using anything but the native Ableton devices and an M4L device called pluggo fuzz. Since there wasn't any explanation of what was being done in the video, I knew that it could be done and it gave me a bit of hope.

I found a distortion plugin from Goliath Sounds called Venm which had some similarities to the clip distortion from Logic, so I sank the money into it with the hopes that I could find some creative uses for it even if my quest for the hardstyle kick failed. After months of experimentation, I still seemed to be getting nowhere. Or at least going in circles.

I know I could solve my problems by making the switch to Logic. But Ableton is the DAW that I started on and is the one I feel most comfortable working in. I don't want to jump ship just because it seems easier on the other side. Am I still being naive? Are there any others out there who have experience working in the general genre of hardstyle in Ableton? I wish I could sit down with those people and pick their brain for a while. I need answers! Halp 8O

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