Software

Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release – (ADSR)

Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release (ADSR)

If you’re new to music production, you might have heard of the terms Envelop and Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release (ADSR) but wonder what they’re all about, well hopefully this article will shed some light of the subject.

An Envelop is really the collective name for ADSR, as shown below in the picture.

As the Envelop consists of these four different stages, so the sound at each of these stages and be manipulated or automated, to get the sound and feel you want.

Attack – is when a note is first played i.e. by pressing a key on a keyboard and signifies the time taken for sound to go from silent to loud.

Decay – determines how quickly the sound decreases from the attack peak to the sustain level.

Sustain – is the sound level held until a key on a keyboard is released, at which point it then passes to the release stage.

Release – shows how long a sound exists, after the sustain ends, until it fades to silence.

A word on low frequency oscillators LFO’s.  LFO’s take a sound a vibrate it, therefore, rather than your sound travelling through your Envelop as a constant tone, an LFO can be applied, which will give a ‘wobble’ to your sound.  There are numerous effects like this that can be achieved by applying modulation, filters and oscillators.

Therefore, remember that the effect you apply to your envelop will affect your sound over the time it exists.

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Ableton: Programming a Tech House beat

In the following article we’re going to explain how to programme a Tech House drum track in Ableton, using the Roland 808 Classic drum machine. First up, go to the instruments section of Ableton, select drum rack, then Kit, scroll down until you find 808 classic, then drag this in to a MIDI channel. Your screen should look like the below screen shot.

All the Roland drum machines such as 707, 808 and the mighty 909 are great to use as the basis of your house track, as not only do they give that rich familiar sound but the 808 Classic rack in Ableton, comes with a multitude of additional sounds such as Congas, Claves and Maracas for adding something extra to your tracks. Double click on one of the clips in your MIDI track and the following MIDI editor will appear at the bottom of your screen.

The track is set up for 16 beats or a four bar loop.  The various elements of the kit can be found on the left side of the editor.  You can either use a MIDI instrument such as a keyboard or you can double click in the editor to programme your drum beats.

I have placed a kick drum on the first beat in each bar.  You’ll need to add a closed hat, cymbal, clap, snare and clave.  Use the screen shot below as insipration but play around with the sounds in the kit and the placing of beats to come up with a really unique sound, enjoy!

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Abelton 9: The Reviews

As mentioned a couple of months ago, Ableton have released version 9 of their incredibly impressive software, after a 4 year wait since their last update.

To find out if all the bug fixes have been addressed and the overall impression of the latest releas, check out a selection of quality reviews below.

Review 1 here

Review 2 here

Review 3 here

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New Jim Pavloff Video: The Making of “The Prodigy – Voodoo People” in Ableton

Last month we brought you the excellent Jim Pavloff’s Ableton version of the Prodigy’s Smack my Bitch Up, well following on from that,  we have another of Jim’s video’s, this time Voodoo People by the Prodigy.

Again, Jim gets behind the beats and rifts of the track and takes you to the original samples and shows you how they were manipulated to become Voodoo People.  Truly genuis and insipirsing stuff, check out the video below and also pay a visit to Jim’s website at www.jimpavloff.com

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Ableton release version 9!

As you may already know, Ableton are due to release version 9 of their highly successful DAW, in 2013 but did you know you can currently buy version 8 with a 25% discount and get a free upgrade to version 9 when it’s released. Sounds like a good deal to me!

The upgrade is all about enhancement rather than a radical overhaul and this comes in terms of being able to record automation in to session clips, tweaked studio effects and the new glue compressor, sound improvement and Max for Live is included, rather than being an add-on. All in all, a pretty impressive list of enhancements.
To find out more, click here.

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Ableton – .MOV files in………….Ableton?

Yep that’s right, as if Ableton didn’t do enough already, you can use Live to edit you videos as well.

Editing videos in Ableton isn’t a new things but it’s probably one of those things you’ve heard of but not really explored.

To add a video to Ableton it needs to be a .mov file, you can then add the file only in to the arrangement view  and start slicing and cutting up the film as you like.  Whilst not all of Ableton’s features are available, such as Consolidate, Reverse or Crop, you can Cut, Duplicate and use Warp Markers to speed up or slow down different sections.

There’s no restriction on size of file, just your processing power, which gives you the opportunity to add entire films in to Ableton.  You can now sample all your favourite films or add your own soundtrack to a film.

If there’s a particular video on YouTube you like, here’s a smart trick in how to get the .mov file behind the film.  This only applies to Macs, if anyone knows how to do the same with a PC, please add instructions as a comment.

  • Open YouTube
  • Select a video
  • Press cmd alt a (in the first few seconds)
  • Look for the largest mb (sized) file that opens up in the separate window
  • Double click this file and save to your mac
  • Add the .mov file to the arrangement view

If you create any masterpieces, add a link in the comments section and we’ll check them out.

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Ableton: How to Programme Tech House Drum Track

In the following article we’re going to explain how to programme a Tech House drum track in Ableton, using the Roland 808 Classic drum machine.

First up, go to the instruments section of Ableton, select drum rack, then Kit, scroll down until you find 808 classic, then drag this in to a MIDI channel.

Your screen should look like the below screen shot.

All the Roland drum machines such as 707, 808 and the mighty 909 are great for using as the basis of your house track, not only do they give that rich familiar sound but the 808 Classic rack in Ableton, comes with a multitude of additional sounds such as Congas, Claves and Maracas for adding something extra to your tracks.

Double click on one of the clips in your MIDI track and the following MIDI editor will appear at the bottom of your screen.

The MIDI editor is set up as a four bar loop, which you can see in the bottom right hand corner as 1/16 which means 16 beats in total or 4 beats in 4 bars.

There are two main ways in which you can programme beats in to the MIDI editor, either with a MIDI instrument such as a keyboard or by drawing the notes in to the grid.  To do this, select which part of the kit you want to use first, found on the left side of the MIDI editor, i.e. kick, then double click on the grid where you want the beat to fall.  I’ve placed a kick on the first beat of each bar.

Other parts of the kit you’ll need are a closed hat, cymbal, clap, clave and snare.

You’ll need to set them out as per the screen shot below but try adding in Congas or Maracas to get an individual sound you’re happy with.

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ABLETON: OFFICIAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL

If you’re new to Ableton or an experienced user looking for inspiration then look no further than the official Ableton youtube channel, which can be access via the link here.

Their latest video features Robot Koch mashing you some rifts and beats, enjoy!


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