Drum Layering Techniques in Ableton Live – Clap

We can use drum layering techniques to create our own custom sounds from multiple samples. In this case we’ll make a hybrid snare/clap sound. Here’s the sound we’ll be making, playing alongside the kick and some tops:

Step 1.1 Step 1.2

Step 1

In Ableton, drag a Drum Rack onto an empty MIDI channel and load your first drum sample. We’ve worked with Vinyl & Tape Drum Hits pack and loaded ‘SM43_vth_tpe_snr_mch_bringithome’ from the Tape Machine Snares folder.

Below, we’ve loaded the sample onto C1 in the Drum Rack, and programmed a MIDI clip with the snare hitting on every other beat. Note that we’ve placed the hits very slightly before the beat to give the snare a loose feel.

Step 1.1 Step 1.2

Step 2

On the next pad in the Drum Rack, load another sample. We’ll go for a clap this time, loading ‘SM43_vth_tpe_clp_he_tite’ from the High End Claps folder.

Change the playback mode to Classic, and change the envelope settings to attack of 0.00ms, decay of 379ms, sustain -inf dB, release 60.0s. These envelope settings cut the tail of the clap, keeping just the initially snappy burst. We again place the MIDI notes very slightly before the beat.

Step 2.1 Step 2.2

Step 3

We’ve loaded the clap sample onto a separate pad so we can process it differently from the snare.

From the Audio Effects list, drag and drop a Simple Delay onto the clap sample. Click the Sync button on both the left and right channels so it turns to Time, then set the right channel to 1.00ms and the left channel to 29.0ms, with the Dry/Wet setting up to 79%. This creates a stereo effect on the clap. The snare, acting as the body of this sound, is centrally focused, with the clap now adding some stereo width.

We’ve also added an Auto Filter to sweep any low frequency from both samples, applying a high-pass filter set to 198 Hz. This leaves plenty of space for low frequency elements.

Step 3

20th December, 2015


  • Christmas just arrives for me ! Thanks a lot for all this tutorials !

  • 10 essential drum techniques??? 10 tutorials on how to do this or that using very particular DAWS and Plugins. Total waste of time.

  • I do like Attack and despite me mainly being into underground hip hop I play disco and some nu disco (which is house haha) and still love techno as in the minimalist Detroit sound, not bloody tech house. I DJ and come from a great position clubwise. Growing up in South London in the 80’s there was the soul scene then the warehouse, hip-hop, funk, Boogie, disco anthems, Kiss FM when it was a pirate was our Bible and on a Tuesday night there were prob 5 good clubs to go to, on a Saturday, 25 maybe. who knows. Then I lived and loved through 88- to about 93 when the original Balearic, anything went, all about the tunes was starting to go slowly and it was about the DJs and had split into 1000 genres. Boys Own, Slam, and others still kept a more undergrounf scene going away from momeymakers like MOS. (only time I went there I lost my mates within about 20 mins and looked in vain for a few hours. That wasn’t what it was about. I was in Brighton then anyway and we had the wonderful Zap. Now what we got? A weekly decent hip hop night on a Tuesday, once a month clubs like Russ Dewbury’s terrific Soulful Strut where I do the odd slot.. All the sefront clubs which were once cool are now for the geezer and hen night crowd.Then there’s patterns. If there is a decent DJ it;s worth it. If not it;s the usual kid playing his perfect and completely broring seamless tech house set. The crowd don’t actuyally seem like they are having a particularly great time and most people in their 20’s just go to the pub and I’m not surprised. Your ‘What makes a great DJ’ was terrific as it so backed up what had happened. Itl;s turned on it’s head so instead of buying tunes as u knew they would be bangers I can tell that tracks are downloaded ‘cos they fit in with other tracks, I call it anti-DJing and it’s nice to see Attack interview some of the greats like Derrick May etc. You would think that the kids who think they are DJs now (despite there not being many places to DJ) would respect people like that. Indie kids in bands worship those who went before but no…they think they know best, they DJs who shock horror mixed with vinyl and would drop lots of banging tunes on the One as we punters couldn’t have cared less about the mixing really. It was all about the tunes, Depressing really. Good that the drum and bass scene and a few others have kept going by not becoming commercial. Sad thing is in Brighton there are loads of us that want to put proper small nights on with little risk like u used to be able to but there’s no where to hire out now.

    Anyway I think all that was saying that you seem to be taking a more mature approach instead of articles like one I saw online which was “Is it possible to mix without using your EQ?” I just stared at it tbh in horror. The only time I tounch my EQ is when I turn the bass down for scratching. Oh couple of requests. How about a few more Beat Dissected on hip hop. The Underground has all kinds of leftfield beats and talented producers, and more minimalist techno. We of a certain age could make a house beat in our sleep. And can you please not make your tutorials so expensive plugin specific? We donl;t all use or can afford Ableton, Pro Tools, etc. I use Reaper, MPC Element and the best free plugins and synths that I have found. I’m sure Variety of Sound and Tokyo Dawn plugins could give a lot of commerial ones a run for their money. And making hip hop TyrellN6, Firebird and SQ8L certainly do the job. The only plugins I’be bought are the DopeVST Hip Hop romplers. And how about some tips on leftfield hip hop? Do people really still actually make ‘House Leads?’ I have about 50 in various presets that sound alright. Andy

  • Thanks for all these tips, great article!

  • This seems to be an advert for various (expensive) plugins rather than a tutorial on essential drum techniques. This should have been done using a DAW’s native plugins.


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