Auto-Transposing Percussion

Use an LFO on the Transpose function in Ableton Live’s Drum Rack to make shaker and hi-hat loops more interesting.

Program in a simple house beat with a kick, snare, hi-hat and shaker:

Program a four-to-the-floor beat using Ableton's Drum Rack.

Turn the shaker’s LFO on. Change its “Type” to a triangle wave, then set the “Beats” to 1.5. Turn “Retrig” off; otherwise, the LFO will restart every time the shaker plays. Set “LFO” to 100% in the “Transpose” section, then apply a hi-pass filter.

Modulate the shaker's Transpose control with an LFO.

Switch over to the hi-hat and turn its LFO on. Set this LFO to ramp up; change its rate to 8 beats. Turn up the LFO in the “Transpose” section. Remember to turn off “Retrig.”

Set the hi-hat's LFO to modulate its Transpose control.

Experiment with different LFO type and rates; you can also create some more movement in the sound by modulating the sample’s filter with the LFO.

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