How to Create TR-808 Style Drums in Ableton Live Operator (video tutorial)

If you’re a new Ableton Live user then it can be easy to overlook or fail to understand just what the stock devices in Live are capable of. Before you start shelling out for more plugins and toys to add to your arsenal it can be useful to spend a bit of time really getting to know the different tools that Live ships with.

In the video below Robert Henke walks you through how to use Live’s Operator to synthesize TR-808 style drums from the ground up. Robert first creates an 808 style bass drum before tackling the snare, hi-hat and clap.

Making TR-808 Drums with Live’s Operator

Making 808 drums with Operator Video timeline:
0:32 – Creating an 808 bass drum.
6:16 – How to make an 808 style snare.
12:32 – Make hi hats in Operator.
13:47 – Making 808 style claps.

Watch the video and get up to speed with making drum sounds with Operator then start experimentating to create your own unique drum sounds – it’s not difficult and it’s time well spent if you’re wanting to get away from drum samples and explore drum synthesis. If all of the above looks like too much hard work then check out my guide to the best 808 plugins and samples to download.

What is Ableton Operator?

Operator is a versatile, easy-to-use software synthesizer which combines classic analog sounds and frequency modulation (FM) synthesis.

Is Operator free with Ableton Live?

Operator comes with Abelton Suite edition only. It is not included with the Intro or Standard editions.

You can learn more about Operator on the Ableton website.

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