Ableton Tutorial: Making beats with Arpeggiators

Mr. Bill – Tutorial 2 : Making complex drumbeats using arpeggiators from Bill Day on Vimeo.

It’s interesting to peak into someone’s left brain meets right brain work flow. You can pick up a few Ableton tips and tricks in this video and see how pushing pixels turns into sound.

“So in this tutorial i have used Ableton’s Simpler, Arpeggiator and utility to create some complex beats out of simple ones. The idea here is you don’t have to program everything by hand if your more into the idea of chance music or your just lazy or want to control things in a different way!” – Bill Day

I never knew that dragging a audio selection onto a MIDI track would automatically create a Simpler with the audio set up. Did you learn anything new?

For more tutorial from Mr. Bill:


  1. I liked the tip about using the Utility module to do volume automation so the actual track volume channel is free for mixdown. I’ve struggled with trying to balance levels over automation a few too many times. Never knew the thing about dragging a sample to the device area either.


    1. Yeah I picked up the Utility trick a while ago from my friend Miro. It’s the little things like that plug-in that make my love Ableton. Another use for Utility: click here


  2. Umm…i could be mistaken but it certainly appears as if he’s using curved automation!!! As far as I knew that wasn’t yet a feature in Live, despite near incessant bitching for it. Is it an API hack or something?!? What gives? I want!


    1. Live 8 has curved fades, just drag from a cut and see for yourself! What I want to know is what the squeaking noise is! Birds?


  3. this is how a lot of people do it in Logic but minus the arps and automation. i like this method and will give it a try. i use 7 so we’ll see how much less automation allows me to mimic this style.


  4. Hey Oliver.. great post! I learned a lot from this video and found myself thinking of all sorts of new ideas as a result. Just found your blog.. will be reading. Thanks!

    Ps = reposted the video with some bloglove at =


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