Dreamr Lab Sessions #3 | Intro to Music Production (pt. 2) & Ableton Live with Derryck "Big Tank" Thornton

Apr 2, 2021 4 min read
Dreamr Lab Sessions #3 | Intro to Music Production (pt. 2) & 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

Let's begin!

STEP 01: DUPLICATE YOUR SOUND

To make the sound longer, you select/highlight your sounds from the bottom right (where the cursor is) and drag to the top left.

PRO TIP: YOUR CURSOR MUST HOVER ON THE SOUND BEFORE HIGHLIGHTING

If you click and drag outside of your sound, that part will also be duplicated as seen in the photo, so make sure you’re only highlighting the parts of the track that you want to duplicate.

STEP 02: RIGHT-CLICK + SELECT DUPLICATE

After you have your 2-bar selected, right-click and select Duplicate to create a 4-bar. Repeat this step again, but highlight the 4-bar this time, and then right-click and Duplicate to create a full 8-bar track!

STEP 03: DEACTIVATE CLIPS

Now, we will be editing our 8-bar loop. One way to edit is to Deactivate clips (shortcut key is ‘O’. The way to do this is to select the bar you would like to deactivate, right-click on it, and select Deactivate Clip to silence that part.

STEP 04: SHORTEN CLIPS

If you decide to edit parts of your clip by shortening it, you can hover at the edge of the clip, click + drag to shorten to your preferred length.

STEP 05: ADD NOTES TO A CLIP

Double-click on the clip you’d like to edit, use the pencil tool to draw in more notes in certain areas in the clip! Have fun with this step.

STEP 06: [REPEAT STEP 04] TO SHORTEN MORE CLIPS

As we continue refining this beat, we are going to shorten the strings, so repeat step 04 to shorten the ending of the string clip.

STEP 07: [REPEAT STEP 04] TO DEACTIVATE STRING CLIP

The same way we deactivated strings in step 04, we are going to do the same here.

STEP 08: [REPEAT STEP 05] TO ADD NOTES TO CLIP

To create a dynamic beat, we can edit different sound clips to add/remove notes. In this example, we will be adding more like we did in step 05.

STEP 09: BOUNCE DOWN AUDIO PIECE (FREEZE + FLATTEN)

In this example, we are going to turn the MIDI track into an audio track. To do this, we are going to select the drums, right-click and select Freeze Track. See next step to see how to Flatten Track.

STEP 10: FLATTEN MIDI TRACK INTO AN AUDIO TRACK

After you selected Freeze Track, right-click again and select Flatten Track. Now, your MIDI track is an audio track!

STEP 11: SOLO THE TRACK

Select the ‘S’ button to only hear the audio track. You will still hear the metronome with it, so you can click the metronome icon at the top & see next step to change/remove it, or you can adjust the volume at the bottom right.

STEP 12: CHANGE/REMOVE METRONOME SOUND

You can change the count-in, the sound, and rhythm. Play around with it! You can select None if you want.

STEP 13: ADJUST THE OUTPUT OF THE SOUND

By default, this will be centered (‘C’) which means it will be playing on both speakers, but as you start moving it from left to right, you will be adjusting which speaker the sound will be playing. In this example, the strings will be heard on the left (‘L’) speaker.

STEP 14: ADD AUDIO EFFECT ONTO AUDIO TRACK

Find an Audio Filter effect that you like and drag it onto the audio track.

STEP 15: ADJUST FILTER

When you drop the Audio Filter onto the audio track, you can adjust the filter in the bottom panel. Play around with the different filter settings.


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