The audio sample world is a vast place with many treasures awaiting rediscovery. Samples have inspired some of the best music to date, and they continue to do so.
In music production sample selection is half the battle. Knowing what to do with it and how to make it work in production is just as important. We will be taking a look at how we can take a sample and change its purpose. Not every vocal sample has to be a voice and not every kick drum has to be a part of the rhythm section.
This 3 part series will dive into multiple sampling techniques and demonstrate how versatile a single sample can actually be.
Let's take a look at the many ways to FLIP a sample!
Method 1: Long Bass Textures to Plucks or Stabs
A sustained note or chord can be easily turned into a stab or a pluck with basic amplitude envelope modulation.
Within Simpler’s “Classic” mode, bring the sustain level all the way down to –inf dB. Now begin to adjust the “Attack” time for punch and the “Decay” time for length of your newly created bass stab!
Tip: Try adding a fast pitch envelope (high to low) to create extra punch! Experimenting with the pitch can turn stabs into drum-like hits. Don’t forget to increase the “Amount” control for the pitch sweep to function.
Method 2: Evolving Ambience or Vocals to Lead Instruments
A sample with a lot of movement may sound indirect. Looping a small portion allows you to extract a select few unique waveforms to create stable sounds.
Within Simpler’s “Classic” mode, zoom in and loop 1 to 5 cycles of a waveform. Play with the “Start”, “Loop,” “Length” and “Fade” parameters to optimize your sound. Note: “Warp” must be off to enable “Fade” function.
Tip: Leave the “Sustain” at 0dB when creating holding notes.
Method 3: Drums to Bass Instruments
Using the low frequency information in a kick drum or snare can provide effective sustained bass sounds.
Within Simpler’s “Classic” mode, load a kick, locate the section with predominantly low frequencies and engage the “Loop” function. Once again, fine tune this sound by playing with the “Start”, “Loop”, “Length” and “Fade” parameters.
Tip: To tune an instrument, simply load “Tuner” after Simpler and trigger the note C. If “Tuner” detects a different note, calculate the difference between the note pressed and the pitch detected.
Transpose the sample by this number of semitones to tune your instrument! If you need centitones to slightly detune your sample, this option is available via “Detune” directly below “Transp”.
Method 4: Long Samples to Rhythmic Percussion
When creating vocal or instrument chops, editing samples in “Arrangement View” can be a tedious process. Create predetermined slices via different modes and have the power of the entire sample at your fingertips.
Within Simpler’s “Slice” mode, load a long vocal or instrumentation sample. Engage “Transient” (or experiment with other modes) under the “Slice By” menu.
Now, create a MIDI clip and begin writing percussive patterns as you would with a drum kit. If your song lacks rhythmic movement, this can be a great way to achieve it!
How to Flip a Sample in Ableton pt. 2/3 - Generating MIDI from Audio
WEDNESDAY MARCH 25TH!