Monday 11 May 2015

Drums - using layers in a rack...

The second part of my exploration of a commercial sample bundle is now available on the ModeAudio web-site. This time I actually used the 'Found Percussion' sounds for their intended purpose - drum sounds.

Actually, what I really do is just do layering of samples within a Rack, plus a bit of tweaking here and there. I find that this is one of the most useful parts of Ableton Live - the ability to be able to put together sounds into composites easily and quickly, and to have pretty comprehensive control of each sound layer. In many ways, the Ableton Rack is very similar to a modular synthesizer, but presented in a way that leads you to a specific way of doing things. This has the useful result that analysing a Rack is straight-forward: you just open it up and then look at each layer in turn. On a modular synthesizer I tend to have to work backwards from the output when I'm trying to figure out what someone has done in a patch...

The beauty of layering is that you can copy a layer and adjust the copy, or you can switch things in and out as required. In the article I do a couple of variations of a snare sound, and show how they have different spectrums (you might have a gap in the overall spectrum that each fits into, for example) - and of course, you can switch Spectrum in and out by using the power button too. A lot of my audio paths have stuff turned off using the power button that were used during development, and so they are ready to be included again when I need them.

The time it takes to become familiar with the possibilities of using Racks creatively is time well spent, in my opinion. I encourage all Ableton Live users to spend some time with Racks!

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