The Drum Rack in Ableton Live is a unique device that allows the producer to expand the ways in which they program MIDI drum parts in their tracks. With a similar look to pad based drum machines, sick the Drum Rack is a vital tool in any Ableton Live users arsenal. For drum pad playing enthusiasts, healing the Drum Rack is a great way to be creative and play not only Drums but full song arrangements as well. In this workshop we will go over the various components and features of the Drum Rack including the built in mixer, macros, and internal effect sends. We will also talk about creative ways to expand the capability of the Drum Rack by using other tools in Ableton Live like the Instrument Rack, and how to use the Drum Rack for more than just programming drum patterns.
About the instructor:
Mitchell Owens is a guitar player , sound designer, and electronic composer/producer from Durham, NC. He attended Berklee College of Music right here in Boston and has over 5 years of experience with Ableton Live producing and performing music under the moniker Subalias, as well as doing sound design and soundtrack composition for independent films and animations. Mitchell’s music blends the organic and synthetic for a balanced fusion inspired by sample based HipHop, Downtempo, House, Funk and R&B. He believes in freedom of creation and expression and likes to cater to students’ specific needs in order to teach them the proper skills and techniques needed to achieve their musical goals.
Mitchell Owens, Mmmmaven Instructor will discuss the new Max for Live device, BeatSeeker, has opened up a new avenue for live performers to sync their Live sessions with the “push and pull” of a live drummer. However, BeatSeeker is capable of much more than just syncing your sessions tempo to a drummers groove, it can read any rhythmic audio input and adjust your Live sessions tempo accordingly.
During the workshop we will explore BeatSeeker and its functionality, as well as some basic synthesis in the context of a modular synthesizer environment. Then we will explore the possibilities of syncing a Live session with an ever evolving modular synthesizer patch.
The Effects you Don’t Use in Ableton Live
Damian Silva, Mmmmaven instructor will give an overview of most unused effects in Ableton Live including Corpus.
The instructors here at Mmmmaven are a diverse group of people with a wide range of musical backgrounds, and that manifests itself in the production styles of each one. Instructor Mitchell Owens‘s unique music making method draws equally from his acoustic guitar background and his degree in Electronic Production and Design from Berklee.
“Even though the electronic music I write now is much different than the angsty “singer-songwriter” acoustic music I used to write when I was a teenager, I still follow a very similar creative process when producing electronic music,” Owens explains.
It all starts with a sound that I’ve designed to carry the main harmony or chord progression. This sets the vibe of the whole song, whether it’s minor, major, or interchanges between modes. Once I’ve set the tone of my creation, then everything after that is derived from that initial feeling or inspiration that sparked the writing of the chord progression.
This creative process has resulted in a distinct sound that carries over into each one of Owens’s songs, which play out like dreamy soundscapes from the future. “I know that the music I make is a bit removed from the mainstream flavor of today’s electronic music scene,” Owens admits, “but the production techniques and skills I use are mostly universal and can be adapted to just about any genre of music.” Spoken like a true teacher, Owens is excited rather than nervous when students come into his classes looking to produce electronic music in a subgenre far removed from his own.
“I am always excited to get a student that has a far different taste in music than I do because it gives me a chance to be exposed to something new and exciting,” Owens says.
“I had a student in a recent class who was really into Peruvian flute music and wanted to incorporate that into some of the electronic music he was making. I had never been exposed to a lot of music like that but it ended up giving him and I some really good ideas for a track that we later collaborated on.” This open mindedness on Owens’s part can be seen in every aspect of his music, right down to the sound bytes it’s made of.
“I carry a handheld digital audio recorder with me almost everywhere I go,” he divulges, admitting that he knows it sounds a little nerdy. “My favorite things to record are construction sites, he adds. “[There are] so many percussive and metallic sounds that have distinct tones and pitches to them; perfect for making into sampled MIDI instruments!”
Considering his time spent learning the art of electronic production during his college years here in Boston, it’s really no surprise Owens found his way to Mmmmaven. After interning with the school, he quickly became enamored with the entire organization, ultimately landing him a job as an instructor. “Mmmmaven is something special, its not like any other production/DJ school out there,” he says.
Its roots run deep in the love of electronic music, and being in a city that isn’t really known for its electronic music scene, they have shown how that is about to change. Mmmmaven is still very young, but after 4 years it has grown into a very strong source for DJ and music production knowledge as well as connecting with like-minded individuals. I only see Mmmmaven getting bigger and better at what we do.
Want to learn how to produce like Mitchell? You can get your start by registering for his Mmmmaven production class. Or simply email me and let’s get started.
Did you miss out free Friday session on how to warp audio within Ableton Live? Fortunately for you, we recorded it for posterity. Take a peek at our hour-long session and learn just a part of this powerful program.
One of Ableton Live’s most iconic features is its powerful audio warping capabilities. From chopping up drums, stretching vocal samples, to outright mangling sounds, Ableton Live allows any producer to transform any sound into something completely unique.
There’s a lot more to Ableton than warping! In fact, musicians of all kinds have been know to use it in remarkably unique ways. Want to dive in? Our Master Program is the best value for learning the ways and means of the digital music world. Email me to get started!