Beginners Guide to Drums in Ableton

Beginners Guide to Drums in Ableton

As a beginner on Ableton, often the best place to start is creating a strong drum beat, Ableton has loads of great sounds and drum kits built into it, here at the DJ Gym this is often the first place we start. Below details a few tips and tricks to get you going with your Beginners Ableton Course.

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1. Ableton Drum Rack

The best way to think about drum rack is a bank of different sounds that rather than playing the same sample at different pitches across the keyboard each note holds a different sound. In the picture above you can see each drum pad corresponds to a note on the keyboard.

Drum Rack

2. Loading Sounds into Ableton's Drum Rack 

Ableton comes fully loaded with tons of great drum samples and hits which is ideal if you are a beginner you don’t need to look very far to get a great drum beat going. Using the search bar at the top of the samples tab type what sort of sound you are looking for and drag it into a free drum pad on the rack. I usually start with the kick at the bottom so I can see it easier when I am programming my drums.

Ableton Drum Rack Sounds

3. Which Sounds to Choose

As mentioned previously always start with a kick and then a clap a few hi hats and some Perc is enough to get the ball rolling. The order in which you put them is not crucial but can help you programme you drums easier if you do the kick first followed by the clap and then hit hats and then the percussion. Always nice to keep the different types of instruments close together so you can see how the patterns are playing off each other.

Which Sounds to Choose

4. Programme a Beat

Double click in the channel, a new clip this will automatically load up a one bar loop and open up the piano roll to show you all the different sounds you have loaded into your drum rack.

Program a Beat

Start with a kick on every beat of the bar by double click on the note.

Start with the Kick

Next add a clap onto every second beat

Add the Claps

Then add a hit hat on every third 16th and now you have a basic house beat

Add the Hi-Hats

Finally I start to fill the gaps with extra hi hats and percussion until I have an inserting sounding beat.

Finally add some other drums

This is a beginner beat. Ableton has a lot of features and tools to build more complex rhythms and patterns, which are all covered in our Beginner Ableton Course taught here at DJ Gym or our partners at London Sound Academy. Learn in our studios or learn online, contact us for information.



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