Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 338: How to Warp beats in Ableton for Creative Effect, not function

You may remember recently I posted a guide on how to warp your tracks quickly in Ableton. Well today I am going to show you how to do something different with the very same tool.

Warping is Ableton's way of allowing you to manually get beats, tracks and loops in time. Sometimes when you are given a sample, simply put, it's badly saved etc. Warping allows you to easily tidy this up, get things water tight and back in time.

That's the intended purpose anyway. Today I am going to show you a misuse of that process for a creative, rather than functional effect.

Firstly open up a clean loop in Ableton. This can be done with anything, but I am illustrating it with a drum beat, as these are often over looked when it comes to creating affect.

Here is how the loop sounds unaffected:

If you are wondering, this loops is part of Prime Loops' Fidget House Grooves pack.

Now double click on some of the beat markers and drag them about. For this to work well you will need to double click the marker before and after the one you are moving as well, as this holds them in place and stops Ableton moving them back and forth to keep time.

Remember this is misuse, so we need to tell it what to do, not the other way. Basically what we are doing is increasing, or decreasing the time between one beat and the next, whilst the over all loop still remains in time. This gives the loop a new feeling or swing.

Putting emphasis on different parts of the loop like this can really change the feel of the rhythm, and make it sound less stuffy and precise.

Here you can see the same loop with a few of the markers moved.

And this is how the loop sounds now:

This definitely has a different feeling, and it almost sounds like a snare roll at the beginning. This is only a quick example, but with a bit of creativity, this can be used to infinite effect.

No go play...




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