September 21, 2011  |   Ableton Tutorials, Tutorials

Ableton Live Tutorial – Deep House Arrangement w/ Launchpad

With the launch of another new course from Point Blank Online School just around the corner, we are going to tickle your tantalizers with another addition to our series of Deep House Producton Tutorials in Ableton Live.

In this video Danny J Lewis (Enzyme Black, Defected) lays down some ideas for the structure of his deep house track using the Novation Launchpad to control scenes in Ableton’s unique session view. This intuitive way of  recording your arrangement live appeals to many producers who find the linear structure of other DAWs to be somewhat uninspiring. Compared to dragging regions and loops around with a mouse to build a track this is way more fun! Check it out:

The tutorial is an exclusive taster of the video content that Point Blank students have access to on the 4 week Deep House Pro Producer Course in Ableton Live which launches next Monday (26th September 2011).

Check out some audio clips below to listen to the whole range of house beats you will be hearing on the course… all the clips are exclusively produced by Danny and once enrolled you will learn how to create these  sounds and how to develop the ideas into fully arranged professional standard tracks.

There is still time to enrol and a few places remaining on September’s class so get in touch with luke@pointblanklondon.com who will be happy to answer any questions you have and sign you up!

Keep up to date with all of Point Blank’s news, tutorials and giveaways by subscribing to our Youtube channel, or following us on Facebook and Twitter. Please leave a comment below.

Video Transcript

We’re at this section where the stab comes in. I’m just going to play it from here. I’m just visualizing in my mind things like effects and crashes. I said I felt doubtful about the bass. I really don’t feel that it’s time for the bass just yet. I’m going to turn that off. I’m just going to listen to this stripping down a bit. Now what I’m thinking about here is literally to take this last bit, to right click split, it creates a new clip and on here just to have that kick and just drop it down there. Now what I’m going to do is I’m going to take this over here, and we’re going to record a new section in here. I’m just going to zoom out a bit. This is going to really just get us busy with the rest of the track. I’m just going to have a look on my sessions on the Launchpad. This one, I think. Yeah, that’s what I’m going to start with.

So we’re going to get it set up here. Record and then I’m going to trigger this scene instead. Let’s take it out of the arrange view. Go back onto session, and it’ll give ourselves some more space to switch in on the next one, that progression. I’m not 100% on that vocal at the moment, but I remembered there was another vocal. Was it here? Yep. So let’s see what we’ve got in the next throw. OK, that’s flowing nicely. I’m just taking that string off. Maybe, the vocal here, I’m not sure. Let me just trigger it. We could probably do some bigger effects. Maybe, that should have come at the beginning. So just trying out ideas here.

Well, look, things are moving forward there, and we’ve got some new sections. What I’m feeling is that this is working. I’m not 100% sure over here. I think we need some kind of transitional fill, but I just want to listen to this again from here. Take a look at the vocals folder. I’m going to make some amendments here manually. Maybe, I’ll repeat this. I feel this string needs to carry on longer. I’m going to take this away and just drag this over. I’m also feeling that something new needs to come in about 73, maybe a high string. See, this is what starts to happen. When you start structuring your track, the things that are missing often start to come sort of subconsciously, so I’m feeling 73. I might need to get some kind of sustained high string to create some tension leading into where we’re going to break down over here.

So this is like a new section. Let me just keep going onto that. So yeah, I think we need some kind of little thing like we had last time where we had the beat. I’m just going to undo that. I didn’t see that it was all selected so I’m going to bring this back. I’m just going to make a copy of this. That could work as a transition there. So let’s take a look, 73. Let’s think about bringing something in here. Now what I would do is just take a look at what’s going on over here with the music elements. Let’s create here a new MIDI track. I’m looking for something like, as I said, a sustained string. We could, in fact, be looking at the same instrument that we’ve got over here. The strings, concert strings, so I’m going to make a copy and drag these over. Before we were using them with the chord device which is creating the chord. This time I want it to just sustain the note. Maybe. Maybe.

Let me try the octave higher. Yeah, there’s something about that sound that I’m not feeling at the moment. Now there was basically a series of sounds, retro synths, that were freebies as downloads, and these could be good for this. Now if I go to the instrument racks, I seem to remember it was Pure Magnetic. That was it, yeah. So Pure Magnetic retro synths. Inside here is string machines. So there is a selena strings. This is a classic synth string. I’m just going to drag this down to replace the existing device. That’s more like it. What I’m going to do is I’m just going to record that in as MIDI onto the arranged page. So I might as well do it whilst I’m here, so here we go.

You can see what I’m doing. What I’m doing is I’m mixing and matching between the hands on vibe of the Launchpad. We’re also bringing in the MIDI stuff and also working in the arrange window as well, so combining the different techniques. Let’s just take a look at this. Let’s quantize that. I did try to do something a bit different as you can see here, but I’m not sure that I liked the second part of that. So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to shorten this. Right click on it and then crop the clip so it’s just the same and come down to loop over here and just drag this out, so we’ve got a repeat of that. I’m just going to take the edges right up, and then we’ll have a listen. That’s good for the moment, and we’ll take a look at what else we need to do on the next video.