13 Change Your Default Drum Rack Simpler/SamplerWhen you drop a sample on to a Drum Rack, it always loads up in a particular instance ofSimpler, with a certain basic setup (volume -12dB, filter off, etc.) - settings different to theDefault Preset you may have set up. Its little-known that you can change this Drum Rackdefault really easily, by replacing the settings file in your library. Then you can ensure yourdrums are set up exactly how you want them straight away, saving time.The settings files are in the library, under Defaults/Dropping Samples/On Drum Rack/:The normal setting is a Simpler. To change it, drag the file on to a new MIDI Track andtweak away – just dont add a sample as it will change for each drum!One example use is adding velocity sensitivity by default, as most drums you edit you willwant some volume-velocity changes:To replace it for all future samples dropped on a Drum Rack, just drag the Simpler backinto the On Drum Rack folder. Make sure you replace the preset that is there by renaming.
Alternatively, you can use a Sampler instead for more advanced features such as multipleLFOs. Again make sure you arent using it with any samples loaded, and store it in thesame folder On Drum Rack. If you leave both Sampler and Simpler settings in the folder,the Sampler one will be used in preference.For example, you might want to set up Samplers 2nd and 3rd LFOs for some randomizationper hit, but then turn them off. This way, setting up the some humanization is just oneclick away for your future drums, instead of 20:Also note the next folder in the library Defaults/Dropping Samples/On Track View/ – thisselects what happens when you drop a sample file on to the instrument part of an emptyMIDI track. You can again choose between Simpler or Sampler, and what default settingswill be presented.
20 Gated ReverbOne classic technique that has been applied to both Drums and Vocals to increase theirimpact is the used of Gated Reverb. This is a strong reverb effect is combined with a gatedriven by the original signal, creating impact and width without having a long washyreverb tail. You can do it easily with an Audio Effect Rack in Live – well show you how toconstruct it.Start with the included Side FX rack, as introduced in its associated tip (by default inAudio Effect Rack/Construct Audio/Utilities/). Then add a nice strong Reverb preset on theFX channel, at 100% Dry/Wet:If you play with this now, you just have a back boomy reverb on the sound, and washingout the details. So now add the key element, a Gate, after the Reverb. You need to open upits Sidechain controls with the arrow in its name bar, and select the Dry channel frominside this Side FX rack:Now the gate will only let the Reverbd audio through when the main audio is playingabove the set Threshold – if you dont hear much, lower this level.If you are working with drums, the Attack should be set fairly fast at around 1ms, to let thereverb sound merge with each drum hit transient. Whatever your material, the Release can
be played with for different effects – longer values will give more of a tail to the drumsound, but setting it too high will undo the purpose of gating.Check out the included Gated Stadium Reverb rack, by default in Audio EffectRack/Construct Audio/Processing/) – unfortunately, due to Lives rack storage, youll haveto set up the Sidechain each time you load it.
40 Multi-routed Drum RackWhen using a Drum Rack for a large drum kit you can easily become annoyed at the use ofa single MIDI clip to control all the drums. So many different sounds to keep track of! Notto mention if you change the rhythm for one drum in one bar, you have a new clip entirely– so to update any other rhythm on another drum requires two clips to be edited now! Youwould be hard-pressed to fill up a whole drum rack before getting annoyed like this.There is an easy way though to keep multiple drum clips on different tracks withouthaving duplicate drum racks and any processing you want applied to your drums. All youllneed to create is some clever routing.First, add a couple new MIDI tracks above your Drum Rack with Ctrl-Shift-T/Command-Shift-T:Then change each of the new MIDI Tracks I/O settings to output to the Drum Racks track:(you may need to click the IO button on the right hand side of the screen)
Now for is the slightly confusing part; set the Drum Rack track to input from No Input(yes, no input) and set it to In mode:The Drum Rack has now stopped listening to its own MIDI clips entirely, but will take MIDIfrom tracks that send to it. Thus, the MIDI Tracks you just created can cause the Drum Rackto play. Move your original clips into one of the new tracks and they should play again:Now you can split the MIDI between the new tracks to ease up your drum control. Copy allthe clip(s) to each track, then delete all but the relevant drums for each track. In this case,we leave the kick and snare on the bottom track and the hi-hats on the top:You can now vary your drums independently – for example we will loop a 2 bar kick andsnare clip over 8 bars, but have different hi-hat clips for every 4 th bar. Editing each drumtracks MIDI is still easy, as Live looks forward to the Drum Rack to show you the names of
the drums on each MIDI note (rather than raw note names). To quickly add another drumtrack to control other drums in the Rack, simply duplicate an existing one and overwritethe clips.There is one drawback to this technique though; you cant draw modulation or automationfor the drums in these individual tracks. You must still do all this on the Drum Rackschannel – which means the two will be decoupled, and if you move a drum pattern youwont be moving its associated automation any more.For a full tune, the set of drums can then look as complex as this:The changes in each set of drums rhythms are clearly shown by their blocking, and thedifferent sounds are grouped under useful names. The drums can still be treated as oneinstrument as well, with extra processing added on the Drum Rack track.End of Sample TipsThanks for reading these three sample tips. You can get the whole set plusaccompanying racks in 50 Ableton Live Tips at http://constructaudio.com/50-ableton-live-tips/