While there are times when you’ll want to work with drum samples, drum synthesis can be a much quicker, creative and fun way to cook up new and unique sounding drum parts and complete kits.
There are many drum synth plugins you can try and buy but if you have a copy of Ableton Live 11 then you already have everything you need to start synthesizing your own drum parts. Live ships with eight dedicated ‘DrumSynth’ devices – software devices designed specifically to create unique drum and percussion sounds.
In the tutorial video below, Liam O’Mullane gives you a crash course in using Ableton’s DrumSynth devices. Liam builds an electro style beat while walking you through what each Drum Synth does and how you can shape their sounds. Liam shows you how to use the DrumSynths in a Drum Rack to create an electronic drum kit and how to layer it with acoustic drum sounds and tune them.
Drum Synths video tutorial timeline:
0:13 – What are Ableton Live’s DrumSynths?
0:40 – Making kicks with the DS Kick device
1:52 -Making snares with the DS Snare device
2:50 – DS HH and multiple timbres
4:27 – DS Clap device
5:49 – DS Cymbal device
7:06 – DS Tom device
8:46 -DS FM device
10:10 – DS Clang device
12:15 – Using the DS Sampler
13:06 – Layering synth sounds with acoustic drum sounds
15:20 – Tips on tuning layers
17:13 – Recap
Does Ableton Live Intro have DrumSynths?
If you have a free copy of Ableton Intro you’ll need to upgrade to either the Standard or Suite edition to access the DrumSynths. See the Ableton website for a comparison of the different editions.