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Creating drum racks

From: Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

Video: Creating drum racks

Drum loops often have limited uses because there's no way to add effects to a single drum instrument that's part of the loop. Let's take a look at how drum racks can solve that problem and more. So I've got a MIDI clip on this first MIDI track and as yet I don't have an instrument. So, this time I'm going to go into the Instruments category and I'm going to start with Drum Rack and I'm going to grab the default empty drum rack and drop that on to this first Track. Now it's a little bit different this time and I want you to notice that I get these Pads. Now I can drop samples directly on to those Pads.

Creating drum racks

Drum loops often have limited uses because there's no way to add effects to a single drum instrument that's part of the loop. Let's take a look at how drum racks can solve that problem and more. So I've got a MIDI clip on this first MIDI track and as yet I don't have an instrument. So, this time I'm going to go into the Instruments category and I'm going to start with Drum Rack and I'm going to grab the default empty drum rack and drop that on to this first Track. Now it's a little bit different this time and I want you to notice that I get these Pads. Now I can drop samples directly on to those Pads.

So let's do that. You can choose the area of the keyboard that you're going to work in by clicking this little box and dragging that up and down. And then once you get near the area you want to be. If you want to move by smaller increment, you can hold down the command key and then drag that. And now I can just get that C3 row right here so I can see the next octave above that. Now I'm going to go into my search area. And I'm going to do a search for some samples, so let's look for 808, and I'll go down to the Samples category and I'll grab the kick 808 and I'm going to drag and drop that on C3.

And I'm also going to use the open and closed hi-hats, so let me grab the 808 closed hi-hat and I'll drop that, there and I'll drop the open on A# and I notice that I just dropped the first one on the wrong slot. So, let me just click that and drag it over and put it on the pad where I want it to be. I need a couple of other things so, let me go up here and search for a snare, ambient and I want one of those. Let's see the rest of that. Let's get the stick hard and I'm going to drag and drop that on D and then I'm going to look for woodblock.

And I'll drag the woodblock high and put that on E. Now as I click each one of these, you'll note that it's loaded a Simpler and put that sample into the Simpler player. Let's drag this back out of the way a little bit, and I can lose that search. And I'll shift tabs a little bit so I can see the MIDI notes that have been assigned to that, and now let's just hear what we've got going. (music playing) This is pretty cool.

I've already assigned sounds. And I've got this set up really nicely. And if I want, I can go back over to the rack, and I can show the Chain list and I can see the parameters here that I have available to set. So I can set volume and pan right here. But I want you to know that as I created this drum rack. The track that that's on automatically got this Unfold button and if I click that, it shows that there are several return tracks already created within this rack. And the outputs of each one of these elements of the chain are automatically routed onto those tracks. So now if I want to set some panning for example for the hi-hats, I can pan those to the right.

All simple and very easy to do. If the kit gets a little loud I can pull that down there and the snare maybe a little bit. Now, if I want to add any signal processing to any one of these particular instruments, I can just select that instrument, and I'm going to double-click the title bar of that simpler virtual instrument just to minimize that. And now I can go into my audio effects and I can grab a kick conpressor and again I am going to drag and drop that inside the rack right after the virtual instrument.

So, that compressor is only affecting this kick chain if I click the snare chain, I can see there's the player I double-click that to minimize it and there's no effect there that is effecting the signal that's passing through the snare. We get some extra choosers that we haven't seen yet and I'm going to start off by clicking on this return chooser. Now once that opens up in the bottom here, one of the things that I can do is right-click that. And I can create a return chain within this rack.

So, we see that that's there and I'm going to also go over here and click on this synth show/hide button. And I get another column that opens up here, and one of the things that I can do within the rack is set differing amounts of level that are copied on to the send. So if I only want reverb on the snare I can do that and not have any reverb on the kick. Now, with that return selected I can go into my Audio Effects and, going to press my Left arrow to close that category. And then I am going to drop down and going to the reverb area and down into the room category and grab this drum's room and I can drop that effect over there.

So what's happening now, is any signal that I copy on to the send with in the rack, will then be sent into this chain through this drum room reverb. Now I'm going to delete that because that's not the only way to set this up. So, highlight that and click Delete to get rid of it. And then I'm going to open up that last chooser, which is this I/O chooser and that opens up one more column over here on the right. And you'll notice that it's greyed out on the individual elements of the drum group but in the return chain, it's active and I can click on that and I can actually select that to route to one of the return tracks that's actually already on the session here. Now, if I click on that return track, you'll see that I've already put a reverb with a drum room preset on that.

And I've also got the Send chain that opened up here on these tracks when I created this Return chain. So, I can either set those send levels here within the rack or my easier, I can come up here and do that on these return tracks that are of the group. So let me pull that up quite a bit so I can play this clip and we can hear that I have got reverb only on the snare (music playing). And that's a little bit soft I will pull that up a little bit so I can hear that snare just a little bit more (music playing).

And you can hear that there's reverb on that track but on nothing else. Another thing that I can do is, I can actually nest another rack within this rack. And the reason I want to do that is because I'm not really satisfied with this single sample on this kick, so I'm going to go back up into the instruments category. And I'm going to grab the default instrument rack, and I'm going to drop that on to the kick pad. And now when I come over here on the kick pad I can see that I've got another rack. So if I click on that, it opens up the rack over here on the right. And now I can go back and do that search again.

I'll go kick 808. And go into my samples area, there's that sample again. I'll drop that, in the sample area, and let me open up that chain list. An I'm going to go back in there, an I'm going to choose one more that I've already kind of looked for, an that one's called C78. So let me do a search on that, grab that, an I'll drop that, in that track as well. So, let's review what I've just done. I've got the strum rack, and I've got individual chains for each one of the instruments there, but I dropped an instrument rack on the note C3.

And so now, when I click that, I actually see the nested rack that's inside there. And I've loaded two samples. Now, if I look at the elements here that are within the chain of this instrument rack. I can see the note that's assigned to trigger that. So when I play C3, it's going to activate this chain and both of the samples that are inside that in this nested rack. And that's just going to allow me to create a fatter sounding kick sound. Now if I drag over here a little bit further and look at this. If I choose the C78 I can go back into my audio affects area, let me get rid of that search, and I can go back again to my compressor and I can find that drum kick compressor.

And I'll add that inside the chain or inside the rack for that particular instrument and then I'll double-click that to shut that down. And let me drag back over and I will choose the first sample and again, I'm going to double-click the simpler to minimize that. And let's grab an EQ, inside EQ eight and I'll go in there and grab a preset, looks like I've got a kick EQ. And on this one, I'll put it to that one, and I'm going to put it right after the preset.

So, now when I choose the first one we see I've got the 808, and then the EQ. And then when I choose the second one I've got the C78, and I've got the compressor. Now last but not least I want to show you that, we've got an additional column here that 's called choke. And I am going to hide the return chain here just for a second so I can see that more clearly and I can assign multiple samples to a choke group and that will allow me to choke a sample when one of the other members of that group is triggered via the pad.

So, for example I've got these two hi-hats and I don't want the open and the closed hi-hats samples ringing at the same time. So, I'm going to click one of those and assign that to one of the 16 available groups and then I'll assign the other one to the same group. So, if I trigger the F# on the hi-hat (audio playing) I hear the closed one (audio playing), and then the open one, so if I trigger that (audio playing) and then quickly trigger the other one. It'll actually choke the open hi-hat from sounding. So, now you know how to set up a drum rack, which will allow you to both layer samples and add effects to individual elements of the drum set.

Remember to use drum rack to save complex combinations, of drum set instruments and effect devices, for use in your other live sets.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 9 Essential Training
Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 11568 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      43s
    3. What you need to know
      47s
  2. 7m 44s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      3m 31s
  3. 11m 8s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      4m 0s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      2m 44s
    3. Optimizing performance
      4m 24s
  4. 38m 55s
    1. Nonlinear sequencing with Session view
      3m 42s
    2. Understanding the Session view window
      5m 8s
    3. Exploring the Live browser
      5m 49s
    4. Loading and playing clips
      4m 35s
    5. Moving and copying clips
      2m 55s
    6. Working with clip properties
      8m 17s
    7. Working with scenes
      8m 29s
  5. 24m 15s
    1. Using the browser
      4m 56s
    2. Searching for and auditioning clips and devices
      4m 19s
    3. Working with Live sets and projects
      4m 16s
    4. Managing files in Live
      3m 12s
    5. Exporting clips and devices
      7m 32s
  6. 33m 0s
    1. What is a software instrument?
      6m 29s
    2. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 0s
    3. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 47s
    4. Using a computer keyboard to enter MIDI
      5m 26s
    5. Utilizing the pencil to enter MIDI notes
      5m 45s
    6. Taking advantage of third-party and multi-output MIDI devices
      5m 33s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Navigating and zooming in the MIDI Editor
      5m 29s
    2. Configuring the MIDI Editor grid
      5m 2s
    3. Selecting and quantizing MIDI
      5m 3s
    4. Quantizing with grooves
      7m 23s
    5. Editing pitch and note duration
      6m 1s
    6. Editing MIDI velocities
      4m 24s
  8. 10m 10s
    1. Preparing to record audio
      5m 43s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 27s
  9. 34m 22s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      4m 10s
    2. Zooming in and out and playing in Arrangement view
      4m 46s
    3. Recording in Arrangement view
      4m 4s
    4. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 22s
    5. Adding and using locators
      3m 32s
    6. Copying, duplicating, and editing clips in Arrangement view
      5m 53s
    7. Reworking clips
      6m 35s
  10. 25m 35s
    1. Understanding the mixer
      7m 36s
    2. Using sends and returns
      6m 52s
    3. Building headphone cues
      4m 58s
    4. Grouping tracks
      6m 9s
  11. 41m 7s
    1. Working with effect devices
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 30s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      6m 26s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      7m 20s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 5s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      5m 47s
  12. 11m 15s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      6m 3s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      5m 12s
  13. 11m 44s
    1. Mapping keys with Keymap mode
      4m 12s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      3m 16s
    3. Using the instant mapping feature
      4m 16s
  14. 31m 51s
    1. Recording real-time automation
      6m 24s
    2. Drawing automation manually
      7m 48s
    3. Automating clips in Session view
      8m 36s
    4. Editing existing automation information
      4m 57s
    5. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 6s
  15. 20m 59s
    1. Understanding the basics of warping
      8m 43s
    2. Creating clips that loop smoothly
      6m 37s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 39s
  16. 10m 12s
    1. Exporting audio from Live
      6m 29s
    2. Freezing tracks
      3m 43s
  17. 42m 22s
    1. Exploring Impulse
      5m 5s
    2. Using Impulse as a multi-output instrument
      9m 15s
    3. Getting the most out of Impulse instrument parameters
      6m 23s
    4. Exploring Simpler
      7m 50s
    5. Smoothing sample start and end points in Simpler
      6m 32s
    6. Tweaking the parameters of Simpler
      7m 17s
  18. 36m 55s
    1. Unlocking the power of FX racks
      10m 48s
    2. Utilizing instrument racks
      10m 13s
    3. Creating drum racks
      9m 50s
    4. Working with rack macros
      6m 4s
  19. 10m 22s
    1. Introducing Max for Live
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mono Sequencer in Max for Live
      5m 30s
  20. 5m 54s
    1. Working with video files
      5m 54s
  21. 24s
    1. Next steps
      24s

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