Search Gear

Ableton Live Tip: Create Easy Rhythm Patterns

August 5, 2009

For a quickie Ableton Live 8 tip, check out this powerful combo: Arpeggiator and Drum Rack.

Simply drop, for example, an instance of Live's 808 Drum Machine preset for Drum Rack into a new MIDI Track.

Ableton Live screen shot

Then, drag over an Arpeggiator from the MIDI Devices folder, and drop it in-line just before the Drum Rack.

Ableton Live screen shot

Next, double-click in a Clip Slot on this MIDI Track to create a new one-bar Clip. Simply draw in notes all the way across on the pads you want to hear; choose 3 or 4 (the piano roll view will tell you the Pad's "name" on the left-hand side). Now, trigger the Clip and listen as the Arpeggiator creates a drum pattern for you.

Ableton Live screen shot

Go to the Style dropdown on the Arpeggiator device, and surf through the 18 options to hear all of the different patterns; use the Gate, Decay, Groove and Distance controls to fine-tune the performance. Try using different sounds and different numbers of simultaneous notes. For example, choose 5 for more complicated results or 2 for making simple house kick or hi-hat patterns.

Ableton Live screen shot

This is a great way to quickly get solid main beats or backing percussion elements. To get even more crazy, try this technique with something besides drum sounds. Vocal phrases? Look out!

You Might Also Like...

Show Comments

These are my comments.

Reader Poll

Do play more hardware or software synths?

See results without voting »