How do YOU achieve "groove" using Live?

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futureproof
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How do YOU achieve "groove" using Live?

Post by futureproof » Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:51 am

Groove quantize is a regularly requested feature here on these forums, but the fact remains that Live does not offer this functionality. I thought we could all share our various techniques for injecting some groove into our parts...

Ok, ummm, so I'll go first then!

1. When creating beats using impulse I find it much easier to bounce to audio first, then use the warp markers to achieve the feel I'm after.

What I'll do is make the beat, bounce, copy the clip to several slots, then warp each slightly differently so as to achieve some variation. Works a treat for me.


2. Play it until I get it "right". When laying down MIDI parts I'll often play the part for a good 32 bars or so, go back and listen, and chop out the best bits.

3. Use FL Studio. FL has some great quantizing features. Sometimes I'll create my MIDI part in FL(inserted as a vsti) , groove quantize it, then bounce. The cheapest version of FL is like $50 US I think and should allow you to do this, but check the FL site first.


anyone care to share any "groovy" tips and tricks??
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liquidfx
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Post by liquidfx » Mon Oct 03, 2005 2:17 am

meh. i just try to get it "groovy" without all that processing & warping.
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crytek
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Post by crytek » Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:35 am

When programming drums, I do EVERYTHING in midi. It's so much easier to manipulate and re arrange on the fly.

When I create my own breaks, like you I want them to have a groove. But you have to understand what a groove is. Sure the computer can do it for you, but with knowledge, you can really create your own and produce amazing results.

I would advise you listen to a lot of old 60-80's funk tunes. Try to block everything out and pay attention to the drummer. Notice how the drummer dosen't hit on on the 1,3 or the 2,4 on time. He's always a little bit early or a little bit late. Also, there are a few things that the drummer does to add groove to the drumline. What you may ask? Ghost notes, and his hi-hat line. Followed by some shakers, congas, or even bongos (there are more instruments and I can't list them all tonight ;).

They are what really add to the groove. Just listening to a Kick and Snare all day is boring. No matter how good the drummer is. But, combine that with a awesome hi hat line, some shakers, and ghost notes (those quiter kick + snare patterns) that goes on. ... you are really rocking now.

check out

http://breakbeat.hattrixx.co.uk/
http://www.tweakheadz.com/midi_drum_tips.htm
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar98/a ... rythm.html
http://www.tweakheadz.com/how_to_make_o ... tracks.htm for some good information on programming drums. Also check out http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Mike_Clark.html for a list of some great drummers.

Do you're homework man. Study how and why drummers do what they do. Study from your favorite producer. How he/she do what they do. Take 1 bar of drums from their track and try to emulate (not copy) them. Try to figure out why this his is placed here instead of here.

It may seem like a lot of work, but trust me it isnt. That and practicing combined will bost you're drum programming skills ten fold. Then you won't need any groove quantizing at all.


Best of luck

-crytek
"Procrastionation is a lot like masturbation. It's fun while you're doing it, but in the end, you're just screwing yourself" - Remix mag editors

TheAnimal
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Post by TheAnimal » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:20 pm

Thanks for these very nice links, crytek!

jbible
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Post by jbible » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:24 pm

http://www.rah.gq.nu/bourbon/breaks1.html

This site has original 60s-80s funk tunes tracks classic breaks/grooves thjat crytek mentioned.
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crytek
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Post by crytek » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:59 pm

jbible wrote:http://www.rah.gq.nu/bourbon/breaks1.html

This site has original 60s-80s funk tunes tracks classic breaks/grooves thjat crytek mentioned.
to expand on that check out http://www.phatdrumloops.com/old_site/. Just type in the name of an artist, tune, etc... and it will bring up the drum solo.

A great tool for searching for breaks.
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RePeter
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Post by RePeter » Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:07 pm

sorry for going slightly off topic....

when im mixing if i want to bring in a loop that is swung over a straight loop, i set the swung loop's quantize setting to straight, and the straight track to 1/16 quantize.

this way when you turn up the global quantize the straight track will swing with other track, but the swung track will stay the same.

ps. futureproof, im with you on the groove control.... especially groove extraction from audio loops, which you could template over other material.
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Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:16 pm

When trying to get a good drum part, I usually try to record my first unrehearsed run-through, even if it's just kickdrum and snare - there are often little bits of good stuff in there, which can be used to build the main beat. Grab it - it could be as little as one bar, but it's still useful. Copy it across 8, 16 or 32 bars, and overdub on it a few passes.

Also, if you're going for a meatier sound, layering the snare with a pitched down clap or secondary snare, which has been delayed a bit works really well. And don't forget the 808 under the 1 ;-)
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mike holiday
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Post by mike holiday » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:56 pm

i like to use the same patterns but change velocitys to give the drum line differnt feel with the same pattern
especially with those highhats you can get alot of variation with the same pattern

crytek
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Post by crytek » Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:19 pm

layering is also important. I use layering when I want to improve a sound (e.g. having a snare that has a nice attack but the tail is really short. I layer that with another snare that is the opposite of the origional. Thus creating a new snare). Velocity switching and crecendos are also important.

My drum setup consist of impulse for single hits, and battery 2 for when I have chopped a break. I also use impoulse for layering sounds. I normally have 2-3 kicks, 3-4 snares (splitting the frequency of each snare), and 2-3 hi hats (not really layering them, but using them to create a awesome hi hat line).


experiment :wink:
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futureproof
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Post by futureproof » Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:33 pm

mike holiday wrote:i like to use the same patterns but change velocitys to give the drum line differnt feel with the same pattern
especially with those highhats you can get alot of variation with the same pattern
nice one :)
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-some dude on KVR.

jbodango
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Post by jbodango » Tue Oct 04, 2005 7:37 pm

Do your homework man. Study how and why drummers do what they do. Study from your favorite producer. How he/she do what they do. Take 1 bar of drums from their track and try to emulate (not copy) them. Try to figure out why this his is placed here instead of here.

It may seem like a lot of work, but trust me it isnt. That and practicing combined will bost you're drum programming skills ten fold. Then you won't need any groove quantizing at all.
I couldn't agree more. Groove Quantizing isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I remember the old days of programming midi in cakewalk and messing around with "DNA"... a quantize pattern can never be substituted for understanding the placement of the drum parts. You are doing your music injustice by not giving the drum parts the TLC they deserve.

Here's an easy one to digest (regardless of what style of music you are into) Listen to d'Angelo's Voodoo album (2000),
Determine where each instrument is placed in regards to the beat. Start with the hi hats, kick and snare. The hi hats appear to be 'ahead' of the kick and snare... or are they the converse (the snare and kick is behind the hats)

Next listen to the same track you just digested and listen to the other instruments. Where are they in the pocket? Does the bass sound like its playing ahead of the drums?

Experiment with your own drum programming. Start out with something extermely lame and simple. Four on the floor, snare on 2 & 4 and 8th note hats. Go ahead and quantize it. Then adjust your velocities (just a bit) on the hi hats, try subtle accents between the eigth notes.

Now, select all the midi notes of an individual instrument (snare) or instrument group (hi-hats, rides) and turn off quantization and nudge them a tiny-winy bit (zoom in a ridicolous amount) Listen back again. You will notice the pocket and groove becomes infectious or horrendous :-) depending on your understanding of what 'pocket' and 'groove' really means.
Last edited by jbodango on Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:07 pm

...but always remember that you don't *need* to study any drum grooves before getting down and dirty. The best thing to train is, in my mind, your ability to "hear" what you want before doing it - the musical pre-ear, as it were. And this can be improved by busting your whatnots programming.
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montrealbreaks
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Post by montrealbreaks » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:39 pm

All these production tricks are great - but that's just it... They're for production!

All this careful placing of midi notes, capturing your best live "take", and using other programs (fruity loops) to create files to be imported into live are all for ths studio, but they're too time consuming for the stage!!!

If I grab a file, I want to be able to analyze it's timing ON THE FLY and apply it globally... Shouldn't be too hard with Live's Warp engine.

I agree with two of the points above - I do live takes of my own finger drumming on my Akai MPD-16, AND I use ReCycle to extract midi files from drum loops, and Cubase to take groove templates from those midi files and apply them to other files... To then be imported into Live.

Not stage friendly by any means. I'm intrigued by Fruity Loops however... Sounds like a possibility.

All these suggestions are great, but they do NOT remove the need for Ableton to incorporate proper on the fly groove template extraction and warping.

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crytek
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Post by crytek » Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:01 am

montrealbreaks wrote:All these production tricks are great - but that's just it... They're for production!

All this careful placing of midi notes, capturing your best live "take", and using other programs (fruity loops) to create files to be imported into live are all for ths studio, but they're too time consuming for the stage!!!

If I grab a file, I want to be able to analyze it's timing ON THE FLY and apply it globally... Shouldn't be too hard with Live's Warp engine.

I agree with two of the points above - I do live takes of my own finger drumming on my Akai MPD-16, AND I use ReCycle to extract midi files from drum loops, and Cubase to take groove templates from those midi files and apply them to other files... To then be imported into Live.

Not stage friendly by any means. I'm intrigued by Fruity Loops however... Sounds like a possibility.

All these suggestions are great, but they do NOT remove the need for Ableton to incorporate proper on the fly groove template extraction and warping.

it's all about planning ahead. If you are preforming on stage.. then prepare all your files before hand.



Problem solved 8)
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