Dreamr Lab Sessions #3 | Intro to Music Production (pt. 1b) & Ableton Live with Derryck "Big Tank" Thornton

Mar 29, 2021 3 min read
Dreamr Lab Sessions #3 | Intro to Music Production (pt. 1b) & Ableton Live with Derryck "Big Tank" Thornton

Big Tank has worked with some of the top music artists in the industry such as Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera, Jhene Aiko, and Rihanna. He is currently the SVP at Sony Music and is known for producing music for hit films and tv shows like The Chi, My Wife and Kids, You Got Served, and The Boondocks.

DOWNLOAD THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE HERE
PLAY WITH YOUR SOUNDS

Find an instrument that you like and drag it on top of your track to change the sound! When you find an instrument, you can effect the sound in the bottom panel where you can change the pitch, level, tone, etc. Have fun exploring the sounds!

STEP 01: CREATE A MIDI TRACK

Right-click over the track and select Insert MIDI Track. When you create sounds and instruments, you must select MIDI Track; for vocals, you would select Audio track. You can click on the new MIDI track and drag it underneath your other instrument.

STEP 02: DRAG INSTRUMENT ONTO MIDI TRACK TO MAKE BEAT

Select a base instrument and drag it into the MIDI track to begin recording. Once you drag the sound over, it will automatically go into Record, so you don’t have to do anything in the MIDI settings.

STEP 03: QUANTIZE YOUR BEAT

Hit the Record icon at the top when you’re ready to record your beat. When you’re happy with it, select Quantize in the Edit menu.

STEP 04: DUPLICATE YOUR BEAT

Highlight your MIDI tracks, right-click and select Duplicate to make it longer than 1-bar.

STEP 05: EDIT YOUR BEAT

After you’ve created your 2-bar. you can highlight & delete a bar that you want to recreate. In this example, we will delete the 2nd bar of the bass instrument, and create another beat.

STEP 06: [REPEAT STEP 03] TO RECORD YOUR 2ND BAR

Hit the Record icon at the top when you’re ready to record your beat. When you’re happy with it, select Quantize in the Edit menu.

STEP 07: [REPEAT STEP 01] TO CREATE ANOTHER MIDI TRACK

A good practice is to keep your sounds together, and delete Audio tracks when you are not using vocals. Pro tip: double-click on the ‘stop’ icon to start at the top of the beat, and start playing around with the beats.

STEP 08: EDIT THE TRACK

To edit parts of the beat, double-click on the MIDI track to open up this MIDI Note Editor panel to edit individual parts of the beat.

STEP 09: ADD TRIPLET GRID

Right-click on the MIDI track and select Triplet Grid; when you have that activated, you will notice a ‘T’ at the bottom right. You can draw in your triplets with the pencil tool.

STEP 10: ADD ANOTHER BEAT!

Repeat previous steps to create another MIDI track to layer on top of your beat. Double-click on the track to edit the beat with the pencil tool (click and drag) to add some cool effects.


YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

You've made it halfway through this 3-part course! See part 2 to continue.

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