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Benjamin Ang (www.cosmicarmchair.com )

Lesson 2 Playing Synths and Samplers in EDM (Electronic Music 2014)

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Text of Lesson 2 Playing Synths and Samplers in EDM (Electronic Music 2014)

  • BenjaminAng (www.cosmicarmchair.com)
  • Drums Bass Lead Pluck Saw / Super Saw Arpeggios (Arps) Pads / Strings Brass Keys, Bells Effects Descriptions Screaming Buzzing Fat Resonant Ambient Airy Wobbly TRYTHEM
  • 1. Choose Instruments 2. Select instrument 3.Arm the track (click red button) 4. Switch on metronome 7.You can edit the notes that you have played 5. Start recording, Then stop 6. Click on the clip to see your notes
  • Double click the clip Menu Edit Quantize settings Choose your resolution 1/8 1/16
  • Attack : makes the sound start slower or faster Decay: makes the sound shorter or longer; set Sustain to zero to really hear the difference Sustain: makes it continue while you hold the note down Release: makes it fade away faster or slower
  • Filter, cutoff frequency makes the sound brighter or more muffled This is for High Pass Filter; there are Low Pass Filters that filter out the low end Resonance imaging makes the sound more squelchy, like Acid Bass Try adjusting both the Filter cutoff and Resonance at the same time
  • Make your sound move with LFO You can map the LFO to either the Amplitude or the Filter Rate changes how fast the movement is Delay makes the movement start later Try the different shapes of LFO Sample and hold shape LFO mapped to filter cutoff, and with high Resonance
  • This makes the notes glide from one to the next
  • Use the Filter envelope to make your own builds and elevators and explosions
  • If your synthesizer doesn't have one, Ableton provides it MIDI Effects - Arpeggiator This takes the notes that puts hold down and plays them as a broken chord or arpeggio
  • 2 3 1. Choose blank MIDI track 4
  • 2 3 1
  • Drag a sample from the Browser into Simpler. Adjust theTranspose to tune it to the correct key - you will need another instrument to compare with. If the sample is too soft, you can increase the Volume from -12 to around -3.
  • By default, theAttack, Decay, Sustain and Release work onVolume - in the same way that we learned in Synths. Usually you want to increase the Release to make it fade off more naturally. One difference is that the sound may not continue for long when you hold down a note, because it plays once only.To make it loop, you need to adjust the Loop and Length - this can take a long time to get right.
  • Switch on the Filter button (by default it's "Off") so you can change the Frequency and Resonance.At this point, the Frequency Envelope (ADSR) is not activated (the check box next to the Filter tab in the Envelope section is not ticked), so you are hearing purely what the Freq and Res knobs are doing. Increase theVelocity sensitivity so that the Filter responds differently according to how hard you hit the keys (on a musical keyboard, not the computer keyboard) Experiment with the differentTypes of Filters e.g. the LPF eliminates bass frequencies, useful if the sample is too muddy.
  • Increase the LFO amount and switch on the LFO button. Change the Rate from Hz to follow the beat - either 1/2 or 1/4 to hear a slower change, or 1/8 to 1/16 to hear a faster change You can even make the sound Pan from left to right following the LFO Finally there is Glide (like Portamento) and Spread (amount of stereo image - needs good headphones or monitors to feel it)
  • Keys Metal poles e.g. in the lift Glass bottles Plastic bottles Metal bottles Bicycle bell Washing machine in spin cycle Fridge door alarm Rumbling of a bus
  • Record using lo-fi devices e.g. mobile phone, because you don't need to get the most accurate sound recording Use the samples out of range i.e. too high or too low, which creates unrecognizable sounds Make loops of unexpected parts of the sound to create strange textures Record any time any where!
  • Drag samples from the Browser into Impulse You can play them using the white keys on the keyboard, or the ASDF keys on your computer keyboard (if you can't hear, you may be in the wrong octave, use Z and X keys to adjust)
  • You can build up an entire percussion section from non-drum sounds OR you can pick and choose your favourite kick drums, snares, crashes from different sources Every drum pad can be individually tuned, volume adjusted, filtered, panned etc.
  • Lesson 3 building up your song / track with structures