Free Weekly Ableton Live Rack #11: Found Percussion

Percussion w/ objects from the Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a sense, music is merely a collection of organized noises.  I’ve always been fascinated when everyday sounds and noises are put into a context that makes them musical.  For a beautiful example of this, give a listen to Jon Brooks’ Music for Dieter Rams; every sound on this album originated from a Braun AB-30 alarm clock.  Create Digital Music did a nice write up here, complete with relevant videos and Bandcamp sites.  This weeks Ableton Live rack/sample pack makes musical instruments out of non-musical items.

A while back, I spent some time in my kitchen, recording percussive sounds using bottles, cans, candy wrappers, cabinet doors, car keys,  the hands of a clock, brooms, guitar picks on plastic caps… literally everything but the kitchen sink. These samples have been chopped and arranged on a drum rack with a variety of effects, most notably an Arpeggiator.  The Arpeggiator allows you to hold down a bunch of notes and create rhythms at a specified musical rate (quarter notes, sixteenth notes, etc. ) Set the rate fast enough (1/48 and above) and glitchy musical tones begin to emerge.  Play around with the filter LFOs and you may just fashion yourself a sort of dubstep wobble bass.

In the digital and electronic realm, it’s nice to inject some “living, breathing” type “instruments.” I find this rack quite useful in creating organic percussion parts.  Often, I route this rack, with the Arpeggiator running, to an audio track, and record it to create many unique bars of percussion.  From there, I pick out some of my favorite bars and trim those bits down for use in a song.   Of course, you can add your own samples to the collection by simply dropping them on the drum rack.  Thanks for visiting, have fun and if you like it, send me a tweet!