Ableton Essential Exercises Level 3: Advanced Drums | STRANJAH | Skillshare

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Ableton Essential Exercises Level 3: Advanced Drums

teacher avatar STRANJAH, Music Producer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Level 3 Introduction


    • 2.

      Lesson 1: Drum & Bass


    • 3.

      Lesson 2: Dubstep


    • 4.

      Lesson 3: Triplets


    • 5.

      Lesson 4: Trap


    • 6.

      Lesson 5: Separate Tracks


    • 7.

      Lesson 6: Footwork & Polyrhythms


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About This Class

Please download the following file, and extract it to your desktop.  Included are project files so you can follow along with each lesson as well as samples for use in your own creation.

Meet Your Teacher

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Music Producer


Hello, I'm Stranjah and I am a music production instructor!  Through my 20 years of producing music for international labels such as Hospital Records and Metalheadz, I bring a wealth of knowledge and insight to students who wish to learn music production but are having a challenge getting started.  I have been teaching for almost as long as I've been making music.  I started by teaching friends and colleagues, and later evolved to teaching professionally in group and 1 to 1 classes.  My teaching style is direct with a simple step-by-step approach, ensuring that students can follow along and progress.

Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions!

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1. Level 3 Introduction: Hey there, my name is stranger and welcome to Level three. And able to essential exercises in this level will be taking everything we've learned in the previous lessons and bring it all together to learn more complex rhythms, such as drum and bass and halftime genres such as dubstep and trap. As usual, make sure you have the corresponding lesson falls. So you can follow along and make sure to practice each exercise a number of times until you've memorized the patterns. With that said, have fun, and I'll see you at the first lesson. 2. Lesson 1: Drum & Bass: Essentially exercises advanced drums. Alright, welcome to Lesson one, trauma base. Make sure you have the exercise 01, D, and B file open. Now remember at the Funcn soul beat that we learnt in level two, and if don't run them bird, here's the basic funk beat. We gotta kick here and kick here. Snare on beat 24, like that. And then you can have some hi-hats running with it so we can put some hi-hats here like that. And then what the funk beat, you could have Ghost snares on these positions. Now the drum and base B is simply this beat pattern, but played at a 170 beats per minute as some drum and bass tracks are a bit faster but slower. I've seen drum and bass tracks up there, a 175 or even a 180 beats per minute. And I've seen slower drum and bass songs at around a 163. So a 170 is just a general number. And feel free to use a temple that feels right for your beat. So that's the basic Berlin-based beat using the funk soul pattern. And we call this the two-step beat that in some trauma based songs and we remove the ghost hits. So it's just a basic two-step like this. Now what Grumman based the selection of the kicks and snares are very important and will determined a feel of the song. So explore a different kicks and snares that I've provided you guys. For example, let's use a bigger snare. So notice how the feel of the drugs has changed just by selecting different kicks and snares. Okay, so this is the two-step drum and bass beat. Now here's another drum and bass beat that is used quite often, and I call it the stepper them, and it's based on the dance hall rhythm. So remember in level two, when we learned about dance hall, the dance hall beat has a rhythm like this. And we call this a fake triplet. Now the stepper drum and bass beat simply it takes this kick pattern at the center here and a snare here. So now we have this and we can add them high hat to go with it. We can try different snares. Yeah, you can play with this pattern by muting certain characters. For example, we can meet this kick. Now another popular one is to remove the second Keck. And then you can the space in between the snares with Ghost hit. So you can have a ghost hit here and here. And there. You can have Ghost snares here and here. So this is the basics of the drama base b. Now we can make that drum and bass Be a little more involved by adding a fat shaker. So here's the shaker here. And then just play the beat over. Of all, i, you have a drum beat. 3. Lesson 2: Dubstep: Essentially advanced drums. Welcome to exercise to dubstep. Now remember the drum and bass step or a rhythm that we learnt in the previous exercise. And how that was derived from the dance hall beat, which is this fake triplet here. Now, dubstep simply takes us pattern and adds a snare to create its rhythm. That only thing with dubstep is that the tempo is at a 140 beats per minute. Sometimes it's faster, sometimes it's slower, but generally in that range. And a second thing is that dubstep is sequenced and halftime. So we're looking at a bar of music right now. And remember a bar represents four beats. However, in dubstep, It actually it represents only two beats. So this area here, which I'm highlighting would normally represent two beats, but with upset the soil present, one beat and your second beat would be this area I'm highlighting here. Now in regular 4-4 music, we would typically put a snare here impossibly here. With dubstep, we put a snare here, which would be its beat two. And in normal 44 time this would actually be beat three. Now let's set the tempo to 140. Another way to look at this would be that dubstep is actually written in 70 beats per minute. The reason we sequence dubstep at a 140 beats per minute and then bring it down to halftime. Is that in the sequencer and then allows us more space between the grids to place little syncopated beats here and there. So you essentially there's more creativity in terms of how you program your rhythm. And then we can add a hi hat and we can choose the eighth note pattern. With that. Now you can try other types of kick them, snares and just like drama and base, by changing the kickstand snares, you get a different vibe for drums. Now we can also change at the high hat extra tambourine. Now to take this further, we can extend this to two bars, so duplicate the loop, and now we have two bars. But since again, this is an halftime, it really represents one bar in dubstep time so that we can play with the hits. And perhaps we may want to add a double-click here and may be removed. This kick here. As you can see here, the extra space between the beat. There's a lot you can do with making the beat more creative. For example, you could add ghost hits and certain possessions. Alright, so that is the basics of a dubstep beat. 4. Lesson 3: Triplets: Essentially exercises advanced drums. Welcome to exercise three triplets. Now since we are getting into more complicated rhythms Now, it's important to learn what a triplet is. So we're gonna play with triplets using our high hats. And now here's a hi hat written regular eighth notes. Now to get into a triplet mode, we right-click on the grid and then choose triplet grid here. And then let's write some hi-hats. I crossed the bar using the triplet pattern and notice that difference as opposed to the regular eighth note. And then back to the triplet. Notice how there's a swing to the rhythm. Now there's different ways that you can play with a triplet. You could add a triplet at the very ends are not all the time like this. We could bring in that regular eighth note hi hat. And then the triplet happens at the end here like that. And then you can try varying grid sizes, what the triplet notes. So let's go back to the triplet grid and see what happens if we choose the 16th note triplets. And notice now there are a lot smaller. Let's try quarter note triplets. Maybe it's dropped all across, and m will go 16 triplets over here. So it creates some really interesting rhythms. Now just being mindful of the rhythms that you're combining of triplets. Sometimes my week combined regular quarter and eighth notes and even 16th notes and triplets a may get messy, so just be aware of that. But otherwise have fun. What triplets? 5. Lesson 4: Trap: Advanced drums. Welcome to exercise for Trap music. So trap is typically written at around 240 beats per minute. Sometimes slower SLR is 110 beats per minute. And sometimes as fast as one hundred fifty and one hundred sixty beats per minute. And again, just like dubstep trap is written in halftime, so really represents the temple divided by two. So since we're at a 140 beats per minute, because really playing out 70 beats per minute. So remember that dubstep beat we had. Now we can take this beat and build a trap beat. Essentially, trap and dubstep patterns are very similar. The only difference is the selection of the drum hits. Kicks and snares entrap tend to be tighter and sharper, as well as the high hats. And it hits are typically processed 800 eight drum hits or chart taken from the poplar and classic 800 eight drum machine by Roland. Now Tropp evolved from hip hop. So the patterns in trap are very similar to hip hop, and only difference is that Trump is in halftime. So typically with trout, we like to sequence a two bar pattern. And again, that would represent one full bar and halftime. So let's duplicate this loop to two bars. And the trap pattern tends to be less repetitive. So we can have a more interesting Keck pattern. For example, you can have it kick like this. So you have double-click. Can bring the kick here. There's lots of room for experimentation here. Cut ticket the kick here. They bring this earlier. And let's bring an eighth note, hi hat. So we have a little rhythm to the US. Notice how this reminds us of the patterns we learned with hip hop, where Eddie snare is typically on the beat 24 and kicks his Where you really experiments so you can go crazy with the kicks. Sometimes trap, you may have sparser kicks, so less hits. So you could have one like that. Let's experiment more and find more patterns. It's really experimenting or finding a vibe. So this one really worked as well. Now another sand you may want to experiment with adding an open high hat. So you can experiment adding an open high hat here, here like this. So that's reminiscent of the house pattern where you have doped. It's just playing out a lot slower tempo. Now another popular thing in tropism to use low vocal snippets, such as chant, as percussive hits. So instead of this open high hat, we could have a chance here. Also, we can play with ghost note. So we could play with little funk shuffles were rim shot. So let's take this kick out here and that rope shot here and here. Another unique characteristic of trap is very interesting hi-hat patterns. So we can go a little crazy with the hi-hat sequencing to create more of a story along the high hat. So for example, you can switch over to the 16th note view and we could add a double high, high here or here, and one here. And remember how we learned to put the triplet rhythm in the previous exercise. So using the triplet is very popular in trap, especially with the high hat switch, switchover, the triplet view. And then we could add perhaps a triplet here. You can experiment with smaller granularities. We can add space in-between. And then you can go very granular using the 32nd note now using the regular grid and not the triplet. So here's a proper thing to do is to use Ferrari's and space using the 32nd note. Let's just extend this note here. Bringing the triplet back at the end here. Add a triplet here. Let's bring our open high hot and chance back so we can add an open high hat here and chant here. For a low More Funk onto bringing those rim shot back as are shuffled. Now if we have a functional four here, having the triplet here may get a bit messy, so we can have it regular high hat here. Okay? And one final thing with trap is most of the time trap is characterized with a heavy AIDL wheat kick. What that means is that the eight await is that deep base. So we can either layer cake with and 800 eight or we can simply switch to kick for an 808 and we have an eight away here. Now we can layer that with a kick. Alright, so that was your basics of trap music. 6. Lesson 5: Separate Tracks: Essential exercises, advanced drums. Welcome to lesson five, separating your tracks. So in all our previous lessons, we've been sequencing all it runs within one drum rack. Once you become a little more advanced than it's better to separate your drums into different tracks, especially one track for Kick, Snare, and high hat. They'll give you a lot more control when you move into the arrangement stage. So for this exercise, remember this drum and bass beat we made in lesson one. What you can do as you can duplicate desk two times and split the kick, snare and high hats. So I'm going to duplicate this three times. Now got to rename this to snare and S1, the high hat. So now we have three, Malika solo, S1. And then as you can see, they're all playing the same pattern. So all we're going to do is isolate the kick. So we're going to remove everything by kick for this one and add on to snare one. And we're going to remove the kick. And then we're going to remove the high hat. And we can keep the ghost snare sense. It's also a snare. And in the high hat section, we can remove everything but the high hat. And now you have each layer as a separate track, and this will allow you to large each track individually. And as you can see, this will give you a lot more control. And when you can introduce each layer and once you get comfortable sequencing, then I would recommend you guys to start sequencing your beads in this manner where you have a separate track for each hit. So let's make a new beat in this format. And over time, as you get more comfortable sequencing, you would then remember where all they mean hits should be placed. So we get out of here, here. And let's go into the snare section in there. And then the high hats. Okay? And that's player sequence. It's perhaps add a ghost note here. And then when you have separate tracks, you can group those trucks together. As I had this shaker with our pattern. Simply select the first track, hold shift and select the last truck, then right-click, and then group tracks. And that will send all four tracks to a group track. You can rename this as drums. Now you have a fader which will control all four patterns. And this makes it easier when you get into a ranging and mixing ATRAC. And one fun thing you can do now you have the truck separated, as you could add perhaps a reverb to your snare. So get comfortable sequencing your drums in individual tracks. 7. Lesson 6: Footwork & Polyrhythms: Welcome to lesson six, footwork and polyrhythms. So let's take everything that we've learned from all the lessons and exercises and bring it all together. Now make sure you have the exercise six project file open and we're working at a 163 beats per minute in this lesson. So remember the dance hall kick rhythm we learnt earlier. Now we can use this and double time it by clicking this button here. And this could be used to write rhythms for drum and bass. And now she just read them as the foundation for what we call footwork jungle. Now since we've doubled time that now this represents only two beats. So to make it one full bar, just hit duplicate loop. Now let's add a half-time clap over here. We could put a clap. So we're bringing it all together with what we learned with halftime rhythms, and we have a clap here. Now let's add some snares under double time that's used these traps there. Put a snare here and here, kinda like the stepper German based algorithm. Let's add a snare roll at the end for some syncopation. So maybe something like this. Maybe take this one out. Okay, now let's open the high hats and let us add a hi hat section. Let's just add a straight hi-hat through the bar. To make the high hats a little more interesting, let's add a double high hat over here. And maybe here we'll add a Drupal hi-hat using the 30-second notes. So now we're bringing it together what we learnt with trap. We can duplicate this section and at the end, let's make it a triplet. So turned on the triplet grid. And we can make these high hats here, triplet it. To mirror this, we can go back to our snare section. Did create this loop and make this snare roll. It triplet like that. Now since we have our trucks separated, then it's easier to mix the channels as well. So we may want to bring the high hats up a little bit. Now remember, you can use a velocity to add some variation, especially in the high hat roles here, we can introduce a roll-up, the velocity here to make it a little more interesting. We can maybe bring deaths went down a lot of it. Now let's layer with some additional components and we have a shaker here. Now we can add saw layer, a break beat. Now break beat as a recording of a drum solo which could be used chopped up or a looped in a track. Not gonna go into detail how I chopped up the sprayC because we're going to be getting into this into the next level. But simply I have a jungle think break here. And when it got into layer it with the rhythm that we wrote here. And to bring altogether, I have an 808 base here as rate of rhythm with it. It will use the same kick rather than So using that fake triplet, but double time like that. And let's play it. So we have a very complex Pauli rhythm here. We have this double time fake triplet of the kick. We have this halftime clap as all these syncopated snares. We're also adding a fast high hat with triplets at, and then we've layered it with a think break and shaker. So does this, how you combine different rhythms to create a polyrhythms. So I encourage you guys to explore different rhythms, practice writing and combining different cake patterns as snare patterns. And then it gets really fun. Once you master these patterns, then you can combine them to create some really interesting polyrhythms. So really encourage you guys to learn these different patterns and get creative. Alright, so this is the end of level three. Able phi1 is central exercises. Congratulations for making it this far. I hope you guys enjoyed this. It make sure to practice each lesson number of times until you've memorized the patterns. Until then, I'll see you at the next lesson.