Category Archives: Sound Creation

Name Your Sounds based on Emotions and Words from the Heart

Super tip to find your sounds based on your heart and emotion. Use the first feeling that comes up in your mind when you hear a sound: love, dreaming, stinky, crystal, red, …

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Replicating Rave Sound

Classic Rave Vocals

  • Begin with a rough vocal
  • Load it within a sampler
  • Pitch it up a few semitones
  • Use the time-stretchin feature of your sampler – called “warp” in Ableton Live for two or four bars.

Layered Rave Stab

  • Use Korg M1 or any synth with preset sounds
  • Layer a lot of sounds on each other:
    • Typical piano sound
    • Choir
    • Tubular bells
    • Strings
    • Pizzicato synth strings
    • Pizzicato sound
  • Put an LFO / envelope audio effect at the end and make the ADSR in a slow curve
  • Add a saturator, bit reducer (to 12 bit or so) to fake the sound of the 90s
  • Add a bit of hiss (vinyl), distortion, reverb or delay

Rave Bass Sound 1 – Prodigy

  • Use two square waves and detune them in opposing directions creating a harsh stab that sounds a bit like the Prodigy.
    • Use Analog instrumen in Ableton Live
  • Add bitcrushing and some reverb

Rave Bass Sound 2 – FM Synth

  • Simply use a sine wave to modulate the frequency of another via a short envelope.
    • Use Ableton Operator instrument
  • Add reverb and bit reduction to fake 90s sound

Building a Layered Rave Breakbeat

  • Take a breakbeat sample and put it in a sampler without time-stretching
  • Put a 4/4 bar in and drag a not over the whole loop
  • Now pitch up the note until you hear the breakbeat fit in the loop
  • Put saturator, bit reduction; EQ as per your need, distortion as you want
  • Put on a second layer a 909 drum kick or 808 and layer the kick and snare of the breakbeat or other sounds

 

Have a Muted 4/4 Kick As Sidechain – Always

Ableton Live: Dummy Clips Follow Actions for Sound Design and Jamming

Need of some inspiration. Want to have immediate access to live audio effects on your session view. Use Dummy Audio Clips. Here is how:

  1. Create an Audio Track in Session View
  2. Record any short clip of audio.
  3. Set the Audio Track Monitor feature to “In” and route all the other session view tracks you want the effect to trigger on to the DUMMY audio track.
  4. Put the volume of the audio clip to zero by opening up the clip (double click on it and select Envelope and set volume to zero.
  5. Add an audio effect rack on the audio track.
  6. Add various effects in the audio effect rack
  7. Select “chain” in the audio effect rack and give each effect in the device a chain number.
  8. Copy paste the dummy audio clip as much as you want in the audio track session view
  9. Open every dummy clip, select the envelope and set automation on the envelope to trigger the “chain” number of the audio effect you want to use for each live effect.

followactionsbeats

Play the session tracks and trigger the dummy audio clips to activate the effect.

  • Use follow actions to go after each dummy effect played back to a dry mode.
  • Select various drum loops and send them through the dummy effects:
    • Set follow actions Any on the drum loops with legato on (so that the drum clips when triggered continue on the bars being played instead of each time going to one again).
    • Set the follow actions on the dummy audio clips.
    • Record the outcome as new wonderfull beats.
    • Additional tip:
      • Copy paste the drum clips and set them with a transpose higher and lower to trigger as any as well. New beats gallore.

Creative Reverb

Several ways to creatively use Reverb. Perfect for Trance-like riffs

Long Filtered Reverb

This one is great for vocal riffs or trance lead riffs. Works well on melodies.

  1. Put a very long reverb on the sound in the track. Make it longer than you usually would use.
  2. Send the output of the track to a Return Track.
  3. Put on the Return Track an AutoFilter (Resonant Filter)
  4. Program the AutoFilter to move slightly automatically

Layering Multiple Effects with Reverb

This one can be used to add some alternative background sound to beats or other instruments.

  1. Put a reverb on a Return Track to which you will send your sound
  2. Put a delay on which an LFO slightly moves the filter of the delay.
    • In Ableton Live use a Simple Delay and put in front the Max for Live Audio Effect LFO.amxd. Map the Frequency to the LFO
  3. Put a phaser or flanger after the delay
  4. Put an AutoFilter to filter out the bassy notes by using a low-pass filter

Alternatively render the Return Track to audio and put it as audio track next to your original sound and mix it in. Apply some gentle compression to make the dynamics of that reverbed sound louder.

Creative Reverb 2

Frozen Reverb

Something that can be used as ambient sound is to put the size, decay of the reverb to its full maximum, like if the reverb is kept frozen.

Then send some of your track’s sound to the Frozen Reverb Return Track to create some atmosphere.

Put some additional effects after the frozen reverb for some extra creativity.

If you bounce the frozen reverb you can create a new Synth Pad sound from it. Put some effects on it like phaser or tremolo to make it a new sound.

Create a Rhythmix Gated Reverb

For some groovy reverb in a track to add a bit of “schwungg”.

  1. Put a Compressor after the Reverb
  2. Sidechain it with input a basic Kickdrum for example (4 x 4 kickdrum)
  3. This will duck the reverb on every beat and create a rhytmic reverb

Dynamic Reverb Return

Heavy reverbs with long decay time and size can sound amazing but difficult in a mix.

  1. Process a vocal with heavy reverb
  2. Insert a sidechain compressor after the reverb and feed its input with the vocal.
  3. The reverb will now duck when the vocal is playing and come back when there is space.

Jean-Michel Jarre in His Studio on Album Electronica

Rare! Finaly an inside look in Jean-Michel Jarre’s studio explaining how he worked on his latest Electronica album.

Check out at the end how he used a tape machine to create a fantastic beat!

Learning for me:

How to create the typical string sound of Jean-Michel Jarre:

  • Take a really simple synth string sound (preferably from an old analogue synth)
  • Send the synth sound through a mono channel and pan it completely to the right
  • Send the synth sound as well on a delay channel and leave it in stereo.
  • Makes both together to get that nice typical Jarre sound.

If you want to get the above as an Audio Effect in Ableton, feel free to contact me. I’ll be glad to send it to you for free.