How to Make a Beat from Scratch on Ableton Live
Ableton Live is one of the more powerful music creation and editing tools in the world today. It features an extensive musical library as well as comes equipped with drum kits for creating your own beats. Using its “Live Drum Rack” feature, you’ll quickly and easily be able to start producing your own beats. In the following sections, we’ll teach you how to construct a beat in Ableton Live.
Building Your Virtual Drum Kit
The first step towards generating your own beats in Ableton Live is to build a kit. Start by opening up the software program and navigating towards the “Instrument Library”. Once open, click on the “Drum Rack” and drag it into an empty MIDI channel. Open up the instrument at the bottom of the workspace.
Start by taking your kick drum and placing it into the “C1” box. Double click this box in order to open and edit it. Adjust the sound of the drum to your liking. In order to create your own beat, go ahead and do the same thing with the snare drum. Expect this time, place it in the “D1” slot. Repeat this process and incorporate the style of drums that you want.
Constructing Your Beat
The next step is to start building your beat. If you have an MIDI controller then connect it to your device. A keyboard or USG trigger surface will work as well. Turn on your metronome, which will be located in the upper-left corner of the “Tempo and Tap” section. This is what is going to allow you to remain on rhythm when it comes time to make a beat.
The metronome will look like a box that contains two circles (one of them is completely black and the other one consists of a circle outline). Hit the “Record” button and make sure that you are running your beat on a 4/4 time signature. Click on the “C1” key so that you can start creating your downbeat. Hit the “D1” button so that you can start incorporating more drum patterns. Repeat these steps until you have incorporated all of the drum models of your choosing.
Where Can You Go From Here?
Ableton Live provides you with a very simple way to generate a beat from scratch. As you start becoming more and more familiar with the layout of the program, you’ll be able to create higher quality beats with more detail. Remember that you can create any number of MIDI clips as well as record them. You can even copy existing clips and create many variations of an original one.
When you make a beat on Ableton Live, you should consider toggling between “Track View” and “Clip” view quite regularly as one will display the Note Editor and the other will display controls and Impulse functions. For a little fun in beat production, try loading a preset from the Simpler in Ableton Live into your current track. If you don’t like it you can simply click on “Undo” to start the process over.