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Loopmasters // Ableton Drum Racks

The steps outlined in the article below are the same steps that are covered in the video above. 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to make your own drum beats using Ableton Live, drum racks and Loopmasters samples.

In a previous video, we walked you through how to download your free Loopmasters samples, and use them inside Ableton Live to remix existing projects. We also went through the Loopmasters sample pack, explaining the difference between one shots and loops.  Click here to view that video.

Today we’ll be using the Ableton’s drum rack to start making out own beats using one shot samples from the Loopmasters pack.

To start, open Ableton Live. This can be any version of Live, from Live Lite all the way up to Suite.

Then, go to ‘Drums’, and drag a ‘Drum Rack’ on to an empty MIDI track.

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A Drum rack allows you to load one shot samples, such as drum hits, and play them in any pattern you like using MIDI notes, and this is how we are going to start making drum patterns.

Let’s go and find some drum hits to use. You’ll remember that in each sample pack, we have a ‘Loops’ and Sounds and FX’ folder, which splits the loops from the one shots, so let’s go to ‘Sounds and FX’.

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I’m going to find some house drum kits, and show you how to make a basic boots and cats drum pattern, with a bit of variation to keep it interesting. Let’s drag in a kick, clap and a hi hat on to slots in the drum rack like so. I like to rename these as I go by right clicking and selecting rename.

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There we go, we now have 3 samples ready to make a drum pattern. To begin making this pattern, double click in an empty clip slot to make a MIDI clip.

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Now we can see the 3 samples on the left here, and we can put notes on this grid to play these samples when we want to hear them.

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The basic boots and cats rhythm has a kick drum playing on every quarter note, so let’s put that in now. Double clicking on the grid creates notes like so.

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Next, we need a clap on the 2nd and 4th kick like so. Here’s what we’ve got so far.

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The final step is to add in the off beat hi hats, which go here.

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You can delete notes by double clicking on them, or by clicking on them so that they turn blue, and hitting backspace. Feel free to adopt an attitude of trial and error at this stage, and have fun experimenting with sounds and MIDI notes to find what sounds good.

If you want to make this pattern a little more interesting, we can add some other sounds in. Let’s grab a snare, another hi hat and a rim shot. To switch between seeing the drum rack and seeing the MIDI clip, you can use the two tabs down here.

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Let’s add these new elements in the gaps in the current MIDI pattern to add some groove to this pattern. We can make the pattern longer by hitting ‘Duplicate Loop’ here.

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To control the volume of each of the sounds in the drum rack, press the little triangle here and then you have a volume control for each sound.

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A final tip would be to vary the velocity, essentially volume, of some of the hits in the pattern to make the drum pattern sound a little less robotic.

To do this, click on the note you wish to change, and drag this bar at the bottom up or down. The note will change colour intensity to indicate this.

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If you have any further questions, please contact technical support by clicking here.

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