Spend time to make wicked transitions.

When producing a song I can spend a good 20-30 minutes working on creating a single ear tingling transition. Usually I make transitions when the song is almost finished. The reason I wait until the near end of the song’s creation is two fold. First, I like to hear the entire song from beginning to end and as I do so my brain tells me, “This is the spot where something is needed!”. Second, I use the audio of the full song’s mix to create the effect. You can here the kind of transition I am talking about at :06 seconds right before the vocal starts:

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Here’s how it was done using Ableton Live:

  • I rendered one bar of the full song exactly where the transition is going to be placed.
  • I created a new Audio Track.
  • I delete the audio on all the channels where the new transition will be (cut a hole).
  • I drag my rendered clip into the arrangement on the newly created audio track and place it horizontally where I created the hole.
  • Now I play back the song. It should sound just like you have not done anything yet.
  • I experiment by loading different effect plug-ins on the new audio channel where the rendered clip sits. I try and find some heavy mangling plug-ins to really make the transition stand out.
  • I re-render the clip with effects on it. I will usually do 4 different variations.
  • I delete the plug-ins and the original plain rendered clip leaving a blank channel again.
  • I drag in each of my rendered variations one by one replacing them with each other and listening to figure out which one is the most interesting fit.
  • I also reverse each variation (in the Clip View) and listen to how that sounds.

Usually by this point I have a wicked sounding transition. In the audio sample I above I also cut and repeated the last 4 sixteenth notes and automated Ableton’s built in high pass filter to sweep down.

This process may seem like overkill but its the minor sweet effects that are the icing on a good song.

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on September 24, 2008 at 7:31 am, filed under Ableton Live, music, plug-ins, song writing, sounds, synthesizer and tagged , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Stamba remix with Creative Commons samples.

The next release on my record label is by French DJ and producer Stamba. I am remixing one of the songs called Deviation. All the tracks on the release are what you would call darkwave, ebm, techno. Don’t you love all these sub-genres? Take a listen:

SoundCloud Deviation-The Horrorist remix by thingstocome

I recreated his original song in Ableton Live, keeping his vocals but using all my own sounds. Some of the gear and plug-ins used include a Jomox Mbase-01, Vermona DRM1 MKIII, Audiorealism Bassline, Korg Legacy, PSP Nitro, Fabfilter Volcano 2, assorted TC Powercore dynamics and Sugar Bytes Effectrix.

We have released the remix samples under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. If you want to grab the samples for your own fun head to the discography page for this release at Things to Come Records:
thingstocome.com/discog/TTC-017

The full release will be available on August 4, 2008.

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on July 23, 2008 at 12:42 am, filed under Ableton Live, hardware, music, plug-ins and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



A video of the Effectrix plug-in from Sugar-Bytes.

Here is a Wire to the Ear video of an absolutely must have plug-in that has just been released. Effectrix is a VST/Audio Unit which sequences effects such as XLoop, Scratch, Reverse, Stretch, Tonal Delay, Stutter, Vinyl, Crush, Filter, Phaser, Chorus, Delay and Reverb. Sugar-Bytes from Germany has done a really fantastic job here.

Tweak your beats, create new rhythms, turn your stuff into colorful grainclouds….reverse parts, stretch others, apply delaylines or even create melodies out of atonal material. – Sugar-Bytes.de

I’ve been waiting for a plug-in like this to appear for Mac OS-X. On the PC side there has been Illinformed’s Glitch. In this video I set up a simple Roland TR-808 drum loop using Audiorealism’s ADM. I added the Ableton Compressor and Saturator to make the 808 more like “hot chrome”. I go through some of the presets, adjust a few parameters and alter some Effectrix sequence bars. As I recorded this I noticed a few parameters I need to figure out. For example, how to adjust the sequence step length and have one effect line modulate another. I also see there is a random function which I absolutely love.

There is a 30 day demo. Be warned: to try is to buy!

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on March 2, 2008 at 4:01 pm, filed under Ableton Live, plug-ins, video and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.