Join J. Scott Giaquinta for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating transitions with drum fills and tape stops, part of EDM Production Techniques: Drums.
Good transitions and fills can turn a good track into a great track. I'm going to show you a couple different ways I create transitions in Ableton using re-sampling and automation techniques. But first, I want to play loop and show you a couple of transitions that I've created here. All right, so as you can see in this first example, I have a tape spot sort of effect, and then up here I've got some snares obviously doing a fill, and I've got a little bit of transposition automation on it, and then a reverb on the end, so I'm going to show you how to do both. So firstly, what I'm going to do is extend these back out so I can show you resampling.
Give me one second. Let's mute that. So we're going to be using the snare track essentially, for re-sampling. What I'm going to do is I'm going to add a little bit, of a reverb to this, so that gives it a little more tail. Turn the white dry ration down a little bit, turn the decay up. Let's see what that sounds like. Let's turn the highs on that just a bit. The reason why I'm adding reverb to this snare is because I want to extend the tail out just a little bit, so that when I re-sample it, I have a little bit more room to play with it when I reverse it and stretch it out.
Turn the lows down a little bit. As you can see there's an EQ built into the reverb where you can adjust the frequency range there we go. All right, so what we're going to do now is we're going to create a brand new audio track right under snares. So you go create, insert new audio track. Now here in the routing and if this isn't on basically what you do is you click the IO button and this will come on. The input to this track is going to be the output to this track so under where it says EXTN, essentially go to snares, and what that does is it routes the output that track into the input of this audio track.
Another great way to do that as well is to go to resampling. Resampling essentially, is the master track that goes into your audio track. So, if you use resampling just remember that everything that's coming through the master track is going to be routed into audio track. So I'm just going to use snares for now because we don't want any other sounds to go through. Alright so next what we are going to do is we are going to mute this channel so that we don't hear it because we are already going to hear it coming out of the snare channel we don't need to double up, so, I'm going to hit the record enable button set my time right here actually what I am going to do is delete this clip in front of it just for now I will put it back when I am done we want to let that tail extend without having that snare come in, so, I want to start here.
I'm going to hit the record button. All right. So now what we've got, first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to click it and turn warp off. I'm going to go through, trim the beginning of that. So now we've got this reverb tail. It's a little quiet right now, but what we'll do is, we'll go and double click and we'll amplify that here in the clip. All right, so now we have a reverb tail, based on the, recording of the snare track. So let's delete that. Let's double click this and we're going to turn warp on, all right.
So, would you like to keep your clip's current timing? Just say, yes, and we're going to change this to complex. Difference between beats mode and complex mode is that when there's a lot of rhythmic information in a clip, you want it on beats so it retains the dynamics of it, but in Complex, it doesn't have any aliasing. You won't hear as many anomalies when you start to bend and stretch stuff around. So we're going to leave it on complex for now. Now what we're going to do is, you see this E button right here? This means edit, and it's usually on. So what we're going to do is we're going to turn off, turn it back on, and then we're going to go over here where it says envelopes, and under clip, we're going to go to transposition modulation, and what that's going to do is give us the ability to modulate pitch information within this clip.
So let's do that. So I'm going to click here, set our first anchor point, and then I'm going to bend it down let's just say an octave. All right, let's hear what that sounds like. Let's delete the end of that tail. Little much. I'm going to go to about seven. And what we're going to do is we're going to put a fade on the end of that. Let's let's make that a little more dramatic. There you go.
And that's how you make a tape stop sound. All right, so you'll notice over here, on this tape stop, it's a little bit different because, it's just a different day that I made it. This has some automation on it, and let me show you. There's an auto filter on this. Let me show you what this does. I'm going to take the auto filter off this first, so you can hear it with out. So what I've done with the auto filter, is I've basically filtered out the top end of it as it sweeps down, and then I filtered it back up, so it creates more of a dynamic sort of dramatic effect.
I think you remember where automation settings are from some of the previous videos, but I'm going to show you again. You're probably wondering what this part is now, well let me show you how I've done that. Let me create a new track and show you. New audio track. So now let me duplicate this track. All right, so let's delete this second part here. Essentially what those choppy parts are, is this reversed, and then the middles cut out so, first thing we're going to do is we're going to go to triplet grid because those are twenty-fourth notes. So I'm going to take this, and what I'm going to do is turn on this button right here.
Is this lock means that your automation information won't be copied over, it stays in place. So, I'm going to turn this on, I'm going to duplicate this clip, and you'll notice the automation information didn't get copied over. So, I'm going to turn this off now. Then, what I'm going to do is that I'm going to reverse this clip. So, now let's hear what that sounds like. Solo that. The auto filter you noticed we need to put that automation back in. And then the next thing we're going to is simply go in here and now let's make our triplet grid.
Triplet, 30 second notes. On triplet grid at 30 second notes it turns those into 48th notes, and we're going to cut out every other one. And there you go.That's how you create that effect. All right, so let me close this session now and open up this other one so I can show you the second transition we're going to work on. All right. Let's loop this second half so we're only hearing that. All right, the first thing we're going to do is change these snares here. Let's go in here. Go to triplet mode.
All right, back from triplet grid back to quarter note grid. All right and what we're going to do is adjust these velocities like I showed you in a previous video. Let's just solo this track. Delete these. All right. Delete these. All right, let's see. Awesome. Let's hear it in context.
All right, so obviously we have other instruments that are playing over the top of that that make it not work, so let's go through and delete some of those. Let's start with the kicks. All right, let's go through, delete that, delete that, this, this one. So let's loop it from here and let's see what we've got. All right, so that had a couple more kicks here to complement this fill. It's not going to be what's there already so I'm going to move some stuff around. So I prolly don't need that last one.
Also, what I'm going to show you is how to automate a reverb on the very last snare. So let's do this, I'm actually going to show you how to do this within the drum rack this time, and I think it's important for you to learn this, because it's super powerful to be able to route effects within the drum rack, as opposed to putting them on a channel or in a bus, so, let me show you how to do that. First of all, we’re going to go to the plug in list, we’re going to take reverb, and then what we’re going to do is we’re going to drag it into the drum rack. All right, and you’re going to see where to do that. It’s says drop audio effects here. So now what happens is this puts it on a send and return within the drum rack, and the way to automate that, you have to go up in this list here, where it says send and return and look for the sounds you want to automate, okay, so snare two, and then you see your send and return okay? Your reverbs on send A, so what you're going to do is if you want to hear a reverb, you essentially turn the send up within the drum rack.
So, let me show you what that sounds like, I'm just going to to play this is in solo by itself. All right, so notice when I start tweaking this parameter, that that automation parameter comes up here in the channel. We're going to come back to that later, but first of all let's tweak our reverb so that it sounds how we want it to. So, I'm going to double click on that and you can see to the right where reverb comes up, and let's turn up the decay time on that. What we're going to do is we're just going to loop this last piece here.
We just want that last snare to have a big tail on it. Now let's turn that decay time up. Perfect. We'll turn that down just a little bit. All right, so, next thing we’re going to do is automate this, we only want that to happen on the very last snare. You can see since I’ve been tweaking this parameter, you can see it move up and down in the channel there. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to create an anchor point right there and I'm going to turn it down to zero right before it gets there. So, this is what we're going to hear. Actually turn that up just a little bit more.
Excellent. In context with the rest of the loop. Awesome. One more thing I want to do, is I'll actually want to copy the tail end of this tape stock, that we did the reverse tape stop, the one that we chopped up over to, the right side, because it feels like it would work there. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to select what we want to copy, I'm going to hit Cmd+C or Ctrl+C on a Windows machine, and i am going to paste that over here and I don't know exactly where it's going to work yet so we are going to have to play around with that and move it but that how you strike gold you experiment and you figure out what works where,that's how I do it I don't think i just make happy mistakes all the time command V scoot that back just a little bit more perfect.
Let's hear it in context. Cool, one more thing I want to do for this fills, I want to do some crashes and what I'm going to do is I'm going to take this one and I'm going to cut and paste it, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to treat it like a real acoustic drum set where they do mutes with their hands, I'm going to do that here, I'm actually going to tune them down as we go so, you can either right click and do copy. So let's do this, lets paste these on those snares on measure eight. Let's do Cmd+V Cool. Let's shorten that, I'm going to put these on eight, 8.2 and this last one here which is right between 8.3 and 8.4.
I'll extend that one out. All right. Lets turn those up just a little bit. Automate those. Awesome. So now what we're going to do is we're going to tune these. So what you do is you double click on it. I'm going to leave this one at zero, and I'm going to put this one on, I'll just say, negative two, and I'll just make this one negative four. So this one, this, this should tune it down as it progresses. All right, let's hear that in context. Let's hear the whole loop. Obviously those crashes are a little loud, we'll get into mixing techniques later but those are the basics on how to create drum transitions, and, so remember to get creative with your transitions.
There are endless possibilities for creating unique and powerful transitions, so don't be afraid to try things you never tried before. This is the digital world, there are so many things that you can do that make your music unique and powerful, so, get creative, have fun.
This course features Ableton Live and Native Instruments' Battery drum sampler, but you can use these techniques in any DAW of your choice.