Exploring the Drum Rack in Ableton Live

This is the third lesson in our multi-part course series, How to Make Your First Beat in Ableton Live. To follow along from the beginning, click here, or check out our Mainstage course, Beat Making in Ableton Livefor a more in-depth mentor-assisted experience!

In the video below, we go through a quick overview of the basic controls of the Drum Rack instrument. If you haven’t already, make sure you have loaded up the preset Kit-Core 808.adg so you can follow along.

Alternate Views

Let’s just take a quick glance at the other views of Drum Rack. This is something we go a little deeper with in the longer Mainstage Course, but for now, it’s good to know what these are.

The top button opens the Macros. Some preset kits have this section pre-mapped. Kit-Core 808 has nothing there. These knobs can be assigned to control various elements in the Drum Rack simultaneously using various effects or envelopes.

The second button down opens up Drum Rack’s Chain view. In the Mainstage Course, we’ll talk through how to use this Chain view to set up some really useful effects and routing. Also, notice that opening this particular view causes three additional buttons to appear on the lower left side of the Drum Rack.

Finally, the bottom button is the Device view. Here, we see the Simpler instrument in which each sample resides and the individual effects on the corresponding Chain. This view lets us modify each drum individually within the rack to tailor the exact sound we’re looking for.

As discussed, we go deeper into these views in the full course, but it’s useful to know regardless.

Before you proceed, make sure you have a Kit-Core 808.adg loaded onto a MIDI track. When you’re ready, click the NEXT button to continue.

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