How to give more life to my stabs

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
TechnoLover
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 pm

How to give more life to my stabs

Post by TechnoLover » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:11 pm

Hi everyone,

As you may have noticed it with my nickname, I am a techno producer ! :)

I would like to give more life to some of my tracks which are mostly based on some stabs.

The perfect example of what I am looking for is the legendary "Groove La Chord" from Aril Brikha !
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM2It3WbXGk )

I've tried to work it around with a LFO (on Ableton's "Auto Filter") but It still too linear... So if anyone got some technique or some times to achieve it, it would be really helpful !

I also plan to buy a few new FXs (VSTs) so feel free to advice me on some filters/phasers/whatever :)

Thank you in advance!

mholloway
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by mholloway » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:31 pm

Rather than buying more FX, I'd recommend simply working on learning how to create more dynamics in your mix using the tools that Ableton already offers. People resort to spending $$ on fancy toys before ever really understanding the magnificent FX devices already inside Live. They are fantastic! In my work, I use Live's Native FX for probably 90% or more of my FX processing, including both standard mixing (like EQ and Comp) as well as special FX. The only place I regularly outsource to 3rd party is Reverb.

When you then start using Clip Envelopes / Automation to keep the FX parameters moving (there's way more to do than the auto filter LFO !!) you'll find its a genuine rabbit hole....no end in sight.

Just spend a day with Filter Delay and see how much you can accomplish!


/2cents
-Michael
my industrial music made with Ableton Live (as DEAD WHEN I FOUND HER): https://deadwhenifoundher.bandcamp.com/
my dark jazz / noir music made with Ableton Live: https://michaelarthurholloway.bandcamp. ... guilt-noir

sana48
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by sana48 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:41 pm

Sylenth or massive will get you there, as long as you draw in super short chords. Not a lot is done with a LFO. Ive seen a guy throw a vocoder on his stab chain and it worked well. There are few good tuts on YouTube if you look. Personally, I have been using Hive more than Sylenth lately. The only real fx you need after the stab is some reverb and and a good delay.

Good luck

sana48
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by sana48 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:42 pm

mholloway wrote:Rather than buying more FX, I'd recommend simply working on learning how to create more dynamics in your mix using the tools that Ableton already offers.

And this .

TechnoLover
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 pm

Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by TechnoLover » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:47 pm

mholloway wrote:Rather than buying more FX, I'd recommend simply working on learning how to create more dynamics in your mix using the tools that Ableton already offers. People resort to spending $$ on fancy toys before ever really understanding the magnificent FX devices already inside Live. They are fantastic! In my work, I use Live's Native FX for probably 90% or more of my FX processing, including both standard mixing (like EQ and Comp) as well as special FX. The only place I regularly outsource to 3rd party is Reverb.

When you then start using Clip Envelopes / Automation to keep the FX parameters moving (there's way more to do than the auto filter LFO !!) you'll find its a genuine rabbit hole....no end in sight.

Just spend a day with Filter Delay and see how much you can accomplish!


/2cents
-Michael
Thanks for the tips! I agree with your point about Ableton's native FXs. I use them a lot and only use "external" VSTs (I bought most of them while I was still using Ableton 8, I don't think I would have buy them again if I got Ableton 9 when I bought them) when it comes to mastering...

I already spent a few hours playing with the Filter Delay but I really don't want to add any more delay to the stabs ... I don't think that's the kind of FX

I use a lot of envelopes/automations but it still sounds a bit too linear... Sorry but english isn't my native language so it's a bit hard sometimes to explain my problem correctly.

TechnoLover
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by TechnoLover » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:51 pm

sana48 wrote:Sylenth or massive will get you there, as long as you draw in super short chords. Not a lot is done with a LFO. Ive seen a guy throw a vocoder on his stab chain and it worked well. There are few good tuts on YouTube if you look. Personally, I have been using Hive more than Sylenth lately. The only real fx you need after the stab is some reverb and and a good delay.

Good luck
Thanks for your answer!

Well, I own both Sylenth & Massive but I like to use the TAL-U-NO-LX to make my stabs! I like that old "Juno" sound :)
(the only VSTi I own are Sylenth , Massive , u-He Diva, the TAL and Korg M-1 btw)

I have no problem to play the chords and create the stabs, but I want to add some variations as those stabs are played the same way during the whole track (that's why I took "Groove La Chord" as an example)

googoo
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by googoo » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:12 pm

Adjust the filter etc freehand for the duration of the track.
If you played it on old hardware then that's how you would have to do it.
Maybe even play the notes in too for a while without quantization.
Oh and the sound jumps about the stereo image too.
Hope that helps.

sana48
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by sana48 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:05 pm

googoo wrote:Adjust the filter etc freehand for the duration of the track.
If you played it on old hardware then that's how you would have to do it.
Maybe even play the notes in too for a while without quantization.
Oh and the sound jumps about the stereo image too.
Hope that helps.


Exactly this.

Sounds like the in the example you provided the filter cutoff is somewhat random at the end of each stab.

Altering the velocity of each stab will also add a lot of movement..

yur2die4
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by yur2die4 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:09 pm

Tone down the fx so it is clear, if you haven't already.

Then duplicate the entire channel so there are two instances happening at once.

Delay the second one very slightly, and pan them out a little.

Then have your LFO's both be at different rates from one another. Like maybe one at 3 bars another at 4 something like that.

If you're desperate, you can remove individual notes from one, and remove the opposite notes from the other and see if that gets you anywhere.

Also, I noticed in the clip the note lengths are shorter and longer. Dunno if you're making use of that also. And having a little motion in your filter envelope.

mothergarage
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by mothergarage » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:11 pm

i don't know. from the example you posted I would say just tweak lp filter freq, resonance and amp and filter envelope's attack and decay. but forget the lfo, do it by hand.

like this (just a quick fix)
Last edited by mothergarage on Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel W-J
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by Joel W-J » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:24 pm

You could try playing the screetching music from Psycho in the background! :lol:

poonti
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by poonti » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:50 am

Joel W-J wrote:You could try playing the screetching music from Psycho in the background! :lol:
:lol:

LFO8
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by LFO8 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:43 am

Imo you should always try to see what options you have in the synth you are creating the sound with in the first place. Modulation: most synths have two envelopes (one for amplitude and one to bee freely assigned to, for instance, filter cut-off or pitch) and at least 1 LFO.

So, if you are looking to spice up a sound that comes out of a synth; look at the modulation options on the synth first. It makes all the difference in the world.

TechnoLover
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by TechnoLover » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:14 pm

Image

That's the one I use the most for the stabs (these are some random settings as I took the image from google images)
I tried every idea I had but couldn't get what I am looking for.

Is this synth too simple?

mothergarage
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Re: How to give more life to my stabs

Post by mothergarage » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:52 pm

did you listen to my example? wasn't it what you were looking for? those stabs were done with TAL U-NO-LX.
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