Are you looking for new ways to Recycle your old drum loops? Needs some inspiration? Let’s have a look at every method to recycle your drum loops in Ableton that I can think of! This is the third part of a series. Let’s dive deep!

hey everybody, welcome to breaking audio
my name is Dave Parker
this video is the third and final part
of a series on recycling drum loops and
ableton live
so let’s pick up where we left off so in
some of my earlier videos we we talked
about some
ways of dealing with drum loops or maybe
give you more like
uh you know like typical results you
know like
like a drum beat you can really use and
you know it sounds nice or whatever but
with this video we’re going to get into
a little bit more of the maybe mangling
kind of uh you know glitch sort of
you know the crazier side of things um
i’ve recently taken
a you know a deep dive and and coming up
with ways of doing this
um and uh you know we’re gonna we’re
gonna kind of
we’re gonna look at several different
ways of doing this so the first thing
i’m gonna talk about
is uh is using clips
in session view um to
to kind of generate some some some
patterns some weird kind of glitchy
uh drum break type type stuff so we’re
going to do that on the first example
by uh by using follow actions
now i’m not going to go super deep into
follow actions a lot of what i’m trying
to talk about here is kind of like you
know broad strokes general concepts sort
of stuff
but you can find a lot of information on
how to use follow actions
um you know online pretty easily other
youtube videos and whatnot
um so um what i’d like to take a look
look at here
is um i’ve grabbed some uh brake beats
and this is stuff that just comes with
you know
the the ableton content so if you have
sweet which i recommend all my videos
are really intended for like if you have
sweet you know
um so if you you know if you download a
lot of the content
you’ll find you know there’s there’s
packs of breaks and stuff like that so
i’ve grabbed several of these things and
tossed them all
in on a track here and we’re going to do
here is we’re going to kind of set these
to randomly jump around back and forth
between all of them
and see what that kind of gives us so uh
here’s a quick tip
if you select all of them you’ll be able
to
change their settings together so
basically in this launch mode is where
you’re going to find
the uh the different modes for using the
follow actions and again
you look at the manual to find out a lot
more information about this but what i’m
going to do is i’m going to set this up
to
so in a way where it’ll play one of
these clips
and then go to any other
right so any would be including itself
but other is basically just go to any
other clip
except itself um and the way i have it
set up right now is two
every s two sixteenth notes which is an
eighth note
um it’s gonna change and go to another
one it’s gonna play in legato mode
so it’s gonna keep them it’s almost as
if it keeps them in time so if you
imagine i have one two three four five
like six or so drum beats here it’s
almost like if all six of them were
playing at once
and it just flipped from one to the
other so it stayed kind of in time right
so so the snares keeps landing on the
two and four you know that kind of thing
um if you don’t if i don’t have legato
mode on it’s just gonna start at the top
of every one of those so it’s kind of
gonna kind of be like in most of the
drum beats you’re gonna start to kick so
it’ll be like kick kick
kkk kick so i have uh you know legato
mode on there’s a variety of other
trigger modes
uh quantization global just keeps it in
time with the with the whole
you know global quantization which right
now is currently set to quarter
um and there’s some other whole variety
of other things here you can actually
have it like set up like you know
chances of doing you know one different
you know mode or another but i’m just
going to stick to this one again you can
look
in the manual for some more deeper
information on this so basically i’m
going to take one of these
drum brakes they’re basically like this
loaded a bunch of them in
and i’m gonna i’m gonna randomize
basically their
playback so let’s just check that out
real quick
[Music]
that’s pretty cool but these guys
original bpm is a little bit higher than
that so let’s just kick it up to like
130 or so
[Music]
right so we’re getting we’re getting a
pretty good juggle going on now
you know it’s usually best if you have
something say like maybe another bee
going along with it so let’s try that
[Music]
all right so sounding a little bit more
reasonable um another thing we can do
uh if you if you look back at the video
where i talked about the uh
the different clip uh automation and
uh modulations you can do this gets a
lot more interesting when you start
digging into that so if we
have a look at our envelopes and we
start adjusting a variety of things
you can check that video for a couple
quick tips on that
um you can also maybe one of these you
could turn around backwards
or you could start pitching a couple of
them differently to get even more like
bizarre
uh random effects but this um
plus all the clip automation can really
give you some wacky stuff
um and and and the best way to deal with
this by the way um
is to create another track as you see
here i have one called fa
capture that we’re actually monitoring
through currently
right and the best thing to do is really
to kind of
record it
and and that way you can kind of take
the results you get
they’re a little bit random and crazy
i’m gonna undo that because i don’t
really want that but a little bit random
and crazy
and be able to pick through um
you know like everything you’ve done and
be like you’re probably going to get a
lot of nonsense but you might get some
really cool
stuff um in there and then you can kind
of like hand select what you like and
what you don’t like and you can even
change some of the settings while this
is going as well you know
if you have a plug-in on it or something
you know you can modify that
you know take it even further with a
beat repeater whatever but uh
but that’s the basic idea you get some
really cool stuff this way so
speaking of things like beat repeat uh
we can have a look at that real quick
um there’s there’s several things that
can kind of get like an auto mangled
type effect beat repeat is one of them
uh there’s a max for live device called
buffer shuffler
um there’s probably a lot more macs for
live devices that’ll
that’ll mangle things in certain ways um
you know i mean you could
pretty much use this same concept for
even even like granular delay or or
whatever
uh you know you want in general um you
know to look
you know for example you could load a
plug-in on a track with a with a drum
beat so here we have one
slap something like beat repeater on it
so i got a little
setup setup dialed in here
you can tweak away like crazy um you
know
that that’s one okay way it’s not really
my favorite way of doing it
it’s a little like it always kind of
sounds like beat repeat really you know
um the best way to deal with something
like this or buffalo buffer shuffler or
anything else that kind of auto mangles
your stuff
um is again like i did in the last
example create a capture track
and record on to it and then so that way
you can go back and just
you’re probably gonna get a lot of stuff
that’s like so-so and pretty much all
the examples i’m going to show you today
you’re probably going to get a lot of
stuff that’s like yeah
and moments of like coolness and you can
go back and like kind of edit that out
like
and then just take the bits you want and
put them where you want
the same goes for something like
granulator which i also did mention in a
video earlier
you can take maybe this exact same drum
loop
right here that i’ve got here drop it
directly into the granulator
and kind of go a little nuts with it
mangle it is doesn’t sound very awesome
at first
you get some interesting sounds there
and it’s all generated from the same
drum loop
and then again record that onto a
capture track
and go through it and slice all the
little pieces you want out of it because
if you do the right movements i’m using
a controller with this right now i’m
using my push
so i’m changing the grain size and the
file position
on the flap you could automate that with
you know
automation whatever you know you can
kind of like do it by hand and then
go back and take the best bits and then
drop it in
you know end of a bars have a little
mangling come in and you know
you know whatever it is instead of a
drum you know fill because we’re using
drum loops right so
you can do some stuff like that so
that’s my advice for any plug-in
like kind of auto-mangling type of thing
so here’s something i did recently with
um some drum loops so in this case some
some extra percussion stuff so
uh tambourines and shakers what i did is
i created myself a rack here
that’s that has loops loaded in it
already and they’re all they all are
loaded in
simpler so i have a variety of different
tambourines and i have a variety of
different shakers let’s check this out
[Music]
all right so what this allows me to do
is this is all within a drum rack by the
way
this allows me to keep the the shakers
and tambourines in time
so if i lower the tempo let’s go to 101.
it’s going to stay in time so they’re
all insane and simplers and they’re all
warped
and also what i have is a chain selector
set up
so i can scroll through the different
tambourine samples that i have
[Music]
and they’re all in time same thing with
my shakers no matter what tempo i’m at
so the way i did this
is i took a track loaded simpler on it
there’s nothing on it
find myself some sort of drum loop that
i like let’s see what this one is
standard old shaker let me quantize it
all
ctrl a control u
now i have a tight shaker right i go to
my simpler
i’m going to drag that quantized file
right into it now if you see here
it’s no longer starting at the very
beginning of the file it’s starting to
wherever it is the you know the first
point
um you know i quantized it so it’s not
exactly the same all right
so i’m going to turn it on warp i’m
going to turn on a loop
and now i’ve got myself a shaker
[Music]
that will change with the tempo
all right so i can take all my favorite
bits
and i can throw them in a drum rack
like this and they’ll remain that way so
also what i did is in that drum rack
i’ve created a group
and by making new chains i drag a whole
bunch of different
tambourines or drum beats
into here right and by using the chain
selector
i can set it up so i can like
have control over which tambourine it is
that’s playing right so if you change
these regions right here
each one of these gets a region the
chain selector controls
this knob and here it is right here in
action
so i can change which tambourine it is
that i want in all of them in time so
that could be
a kick and snare pattern that could be
just kick patterns you could have
a bank of you know just kicks just
snares you could have you know whole
drum loops whatever it is
and everything stays in time and you can
kind of go through
and you put some real basic midi you
just put like you know one big long note
like c
or something you know put that in there
and you can scroll through and change
patterns and everything remains in time
so you can kind of have like an
auto beat generator sort of but it’s
made out of your own samples so it’s not
like
some plugin that somebody else has that
you’re using you know somebody else’s
predetermined patterns you’re making
your own so you can really get creative
with that
you know so it’s something that i’m
going to dig deeper into i kind of only
used it for auxiliary percussion
but i’m going to go back and i’m going
to start creating these things with
different patterns and
only pieces of patterns and then just
seeing how i can put things together
because
i mean honestly turning a knob so you
get quicker results than going through
and like
grabbing a file and editing it and
cutting it up and dropping into place
and moving around
you know so you can really get some
interesting things happening that way so
here’s the final
piece that i’m going to talk about here
um what i’ve made is
something just like what i made in my
previous video when i
when i beat sliced something to
uh well in this case maybe like a you
know like eighth note division
but uh you know as opposed to slicing by
transient right so
what you know watch my last video for
that i show how exactly how you do that
so i’ve taken that exact same idea here
and i’ve put it on a track with an
arpeggiator and a
in in a rack and uh i’m able to kind of
play it
i’m gonna use my push here and press
like a few different notes
um i’m gonna press four at once
and i’m gonna change which four notes
i’m pressing
and i can vary the beat
because basically what’s happening i’m
doing this a little bit fancy so i’m
gonna kind of
undo my fanciness here because i’m
basically
triggering one note at a time but the
arpeggiator
is going to play it out if i hold down
more than one note at a time so for
example
one note i’m gonna hold down two notes
i’m gonna hold down three right
[Music]
so the arpeggiator is going to keep this
thing playing in time
in this case i have the arpeggiator set
to 16th notes
but the beat is divided by eighths we’ll
listen to what eights are like
so this would be eighths at 101.
[Music]
um i can kind of have some fun with the
arpeggiator here
and go up to 16s
[Music]
there’s a little bit of b repeat stuff
in here as well that you can mess with
but i’m going to show you this as well
steps if i put steps up to one it’s
going to play out
another step and if i put distance up to
one it’s going to play out another step
transposed up a step so if i only hit
one note
it’s actually give me two so it’s going
to be one and the second one is going to
be
chromatically up one step which triggers
the next step
all right so i can get some extra stuff
out of this
[Music]
but be warned
you know if you go too high it’s just
gonna repeat that one
[Music]
so anyways this is a really fun thing to
do i recently used this exact patch
with a live drummer and was basically
doing me beat manglings
on top of him playing a straight beat
and it was really really really fun to
do
um uh you know you can take this whole
idea
quite a bit further actually so um right
now i have this
well yeah right right now i have this
set up with a variety of other
copies of this exact same drum beat with
a variety of
other effects uh hooked up to it so i
could obviously a delay and whatnot a
second arp which makes it just
play back faster pitch lfo which is
going to change the pitch of the beat
so what i can do here again using
um chain selector to select
which one of these is playing at any
given time i’m able to kind of go
through and
do some really kind of interesting stuff
[Music]
here
you know uh and get creative with it so
that that’s a little bit tame
actually but you can get it pretty wild
so when i started to kind of think of
like
you know how to do beat mangling like
this once i you know i started playing
with the
um you know slicing to beat division
and putting in a sampler and
retriggering with an arpeggiator i
started to look to see who else was
doing this kind of stuff and what other
kind of advice i could find and i found
a great video if you like
this type of stuff but want to take it
like way further you should check out
the videos made by ned rush because he
really walks through
piece by piece of like how he sets these
up and makes them really really wild
and it gets out there this stuff just
mangling like crazy in like a whole
other dimension so
i i was shooting for something a little
bit more tame and you know
uh you know usable for what i do but uh
you should definitely check out his
videos because it gets really really
really nuts
so um that kind of concludes the uh
the different ways in which i’ve found
to uh you know play with drum loops and
ableton and i think i’ve covered like
everything i could think of
um really i’ve really taken a big deep
dive during the
uh coronavirus lockdown and explored a
whole bunch of different stuff
um so uh you know my advice to you is
of everything i’ve covered usually the
best thing to do is a little bit of all
those things or a lot of those things
you know
so not a whole lot of one of those um
just like bits and sprinkles wherever
you need to and uh
you know and like really get creative
with it and find your find your favorite
uh things you know and uh incorporate
multiple methods and uh and it’s a lot
of fun all right great
thanks very much i’ll talk to you next
[Music]
time