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

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