Drones have become synonymous with modern house and techno music. However creating them can seem like a time consuming, processing nightmare! With our new FMM Drone rack you can take almost any source material and turn it into a moving, evolving atmospheric drone in seconds. Plus with our pre-built macros you can drop the rack onto any channel, turn some knobs and instantly create a range of drone sounds to use in your tracks. Check out this week’s tutorial and download your free Ableton Live 10 rack today.
Okay so in this tutorial we’re going to look at a fast method for creating a huge variety of drone sounds. So these are absolutely perfect for setting the atmosphere vibe and tone in your music. Now to make your life even easier, I’ve built yet a drone rack so this guy is going to help you to really quickly turn most sounds into an interesting variety of drones. Now it’s totally on me free to download so grab yourself a copy to use in your own projects. You’ll probably see a link on the video any second and certainly there’ll be one sitting underneath this tutorial.
So let’s have a listen to our music example to get us started. We’ve got the beginnings of a techno track here [Music]. System nice little effects, nice shaker going on on the top but I want to add some drones to thicken this out. So I’m gonna start by making a base drone. This is the sound that I’m using and as you’re gonna see as we move forward, I’ve got a few different sounds that I’ve turned into drones. But this is the base hit, so it’s already a nice sustained base but I want it to run for a bit longer because at the moment if I loop this up, you can see if I keep it in the time of the track I’ve only got a one bar loop, and if we play this over [Music], it’s pretty repetitive. So what I want to do is make this a bit longer and the easy solution here is just to warp this. So I’ll go ahead add a warp marker, and then I can drag this out so that I get a couple of bars worth of information. In fact, I’m gonna go just a little bit longer than this so I can set quite a handy loop in here. So let’s in fact let’s set that in here, it’s going to make my life a little bit easier so we go for two-zero-zero. Perfect so we’ve got a two bar loop now, and now it sounds like this [Music]. So you can hear it still sounds like it’s looping over but the rack is going to solve that for us. Now we could have gone even longer, drag this out even further, of course played around with our warp settings. You’re gonna get a variety of tones. Remember the longer you drag your sample out for the more artifacts sort of Phase II things and strange stuff will go on. Nothing wrong with that, just worth keeping it in mind. So now I’ve got a decent sample to work with from my drone rack. I’m just gonna drag this out fill up my loop space and let’s turn this on so you can hear it in action. So you can hear it smoothed over all those problems we had in the audio. As you can see I got a bunch of movement going on in here and then we’ve got eight macros for you. So the first two are fairly self-explanatory. The dry gain is literally gonna turn up and down the dry signal that’s coming through this rack and then the effect is delays and reverbs and things like that. So if I just blend the drone effect in you’ll hear it [Music]. So you can use these to balance, get your volume right, get the sense of space right in the sound, then low cut fairly self-explanatory and let’s just get rid of this a bit confusing. You got your low-cut in here [Music], so if you want fizzy layers or you want it less thick don’t want it interfering. For example with a base line that you’ve got in this is really handy, high-cut take out any fizziness if we want saint really dark sounding like this [Music]. It’s a nice menacing kind of sound. I’m gonna take a bit of that tops out I think it was a bit extreme, wasn’t it? Would go quite menacing with this sound then we’ve got this little pumping section here. So at the moment it sounds like you’ve got sidechain compression to your kick going on, but you can change the rate of that. This is a nice parameter to automate [Music]. So that worked really nicely for example in your breakdown, and then we can have help deeply pumping is IE how obvious it is and then this shape parameter is quite interesting as well [Music].
So these are some really really nice movement to the sound. Finally you got stereo width as you crank this up it just boosts the side of the signal so it feels like it’s coming around your head a bit more, and that is the rack. It’s super simple but very very effective on a whole range of sounds. We’ve spent a long time tweaking this one. Now you may have noticed the little max for live cymbals in here, we’ve actually made two versions of the rack – one that you can use if you’ve got max for live, and one when you click the download that is gonna come and will go for people who don’t have max for life where we’ve set up filters and things for you. So probably if you’re using suite 10 you’re gonna have em Pharrell in there already, but if you’re not using a suite version then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered as well it’s gonna work for you. But you do need live ten okay? So what else? Let’s turn this down, and I wanted to just show you it being used on a slightly stranger sound source. Here, I’ve dragged a hair dryer found sounding so this is just a recording of a hair dryer, and with this one I’ve taken quite a lot of the dry out so it’s more of a spacey sort of effect taken a lot of the lows out of this one as well and I’ve got it pumping quite heavily. So let’s have a listen to this sale [Music].
So some really really nice movement. Now, let me play you the track with these added in so you can hear what they’re bringing to the table [Music]. So some really nice thick atmospherics in there, and it’s super important to realize that you can chuck any sounds that they say could be synth sounds, stabs, anything you can think of, pots pans, it doesn’t matter. It gives you so many interesting textures once you warp the sound, drag it out so it’s got a decent loop length and then feed it into this rack.
So as I said, this one is completely on me totally free just grab yourself a copy by clicking on the link underneath this video. Any sample is fair game and this one is a huge time-saver one extra tip for you, why not batch, record a bunch of these so that they’re ready to drop into the rack and create drones instantly when you’re making your music. Works a treat. Until next time take care.
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