Easy Drum Fills and Multi FX Rack for Ableton Live
Last week I put out Two Minute Ableton Live Tip #23. It showed how you could use Beat Repeat to create drum fills on the fly. People liked that idea and asked “Why don’t you put out a rack?” Great idea. But I didn’t want to just rack up a couple Beat Repeats. So Free Ableton Live Pack #71 is more than just a Beat Repeater, it’s the Drum Multi FX rack!
The Multi FX- Top four Macros
This rack is exactly what I use when I play live. It has both a high and low pass filter. As you turn the filter knobs, the resonance increases, making the effect more dramatic as you turn it up. Second is a Reverb/Delay knob. When the knob is in the middle, the signal remains dry. Turn it left and you add reverb. Turn it right, you add delay. Two FX on one knob, sweet! Third, we have a Bit Crusher/ Beat Repeat knob. Again, the middle is clean. Turning left does the bit crushing. Turning right activates a Beat Repeat. The further you go left, the bit crushing morphs. The further right you go, the repeat time changes. So on four knobs you get six effects. This is perfect when you need to make the most of your MIDI controllers.
Beat Repeats for Drum Fills!
The bottom four macros are your Beat Repeats. As soon as you turn the knob past zero, the Beat Repeat turns on. Each knob controls a different Beat Repeat with a different grid size. I like to map these knobs to a Momentary Midi button. This means the effect will only trigger while I hold down the button. To smooth out the sounds, each knob also triggers a subtle Chorus effect. I’ve found this helps mitigate any pops or clicks.
Use the FX Simultaneously for Maximum Fun and Try it On Different Instruments!
This rack becomes really fun when you start mixing the FX together. For instance, while creating a Beat Repeat fill, try playing with either of the filters. This will add dimension and interest to the fills. I find adding Reverb while turning the Low Pass Filter sounds like the drums are coming from another room. Delay and High Pass Filter is another great combination and a nice alternative for fading out the drums using volume. Of course, I am discussing this FX rack in terms of drums, but it works great on anything. You can create some cool stutter FX on vocals. Trying chopping and morphing pad sounds too. Experimentation is highly recommended.
Hundreds of Warm Analog Tape Sampled Drums!
The drum sounds in the video were created using my Super Tape Drums Ableton Live Pack. While the video only scratches the surface, these drums are capable of tons of sounds. There are hundreds of samples, which were recorded to my Tascam 388 Analog Reel to Reel Tape Machine. From there they were brought into Ableton and put into a bunch of Drum Racks. Check out the post. They will add a lively analog warmth and character to your beats!