TAKE INSPIRATION FROM Another Track
There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from another track as long you’re not blindly copying. By looking at stylistic elements rather than stealing riffs or sounds, you can ensure you put your own personality into the music you’re creating. In this case, we’re going to use OB Ignitt & Omar-S’s 2015 track ‘Fellow Me’ as inspiration:
Instead of directly copying elements, we’re going to think in terms of stylistic traits. This track has old-school sounding drums, an infectious chord hook and really nice vocal chops. Along with the rolling bass, this all contributes to the 90s-influenced house vibe. We’re going to take inspiration from these elements to kickstart a new idea.
We begin by loading a drum loop into Ableton and looping it. We’ve chosen a full drum loop which contains some of those classic Roland-esque drum hits, instantly generating that old-school feel. We can always come back at a later stage and program some drums from scratch, but whilst we’re in the mood for creating and don’t want to get too bogged down with the nitty gritty, this will work fine as a blueprint for our drums.
Next, we load up U-he’s modular powerhouse Bazille on a new MIDI track. We load up the ‘ST 80s & 90s Housechord’ preset from the Chords category. This patch has one oscillator pitched up three semitones and seven semitones, creating that classic old-school minor triad.
We program a two-bar hook in the key of A minor, and also apply the EQ Three device with the GainLow set to -8.60 dB and the FreqLow to 311 Hz, sweeping away some of the lower frequencies and making space for the kick and bass.
Thinking back to the OB Ignitt & Omar-S track, it’d be nice to get some vocal chops into the track now. Again we pick some vocal loops in the right key.
We take two of the vocals and chop them slightly so the vocal stabs sound at the same time as some of the synth notes.
Now to add some of our own vibe in there. Rather than going for the rolling old-school bass like in ‘Fellow Me’, we opt for something a bit dirtier and garage-esque. We load an instance of Rob Papen’s SubBoomBass synth onto a new MIDI track, copy over the MIDI notes from the chord synth, then move the notes that sound at the same time as the kick drum, avoiding a fight in the low frequencies.
The default preset in SubBoomBass sounds like a detuned 808 bass drum and is perfect for our needs. We change the Play Mode from Seq to Mono and turn off the Widener effect, then add Ableton’s Saturator to crunch the sound, pushing up the Drive to 23.4 dB. To remedy the volume increase, we reduce the Output setting down to -8.86 dB and we also take the Dry/Wet to 74.6%.
The result is the basis of a track clearly drawing on similar stylistic elements as ‘Fellow Me’, but ready to be twisted and turned in a new direction.