Newly added to our Warp Academy team, Merlyn Silva, an Ableton Certified Trainer and musician based in Aarhus, Denmark, dives into a 3 part mini-series of tutorials focused on Ableton’s Simpler.
Simpler underwent some mad changes when Live 9.5 was released, including in-device polyphonic warping, a new selection of analog-modelled filter circuits, and the introduction of three distinct ‘modes’.
Over the next three videos, we’re going to have a deeper look at these modes; as well as walking through their key functions in the context of a quirky, Future Bass-inspired track. We’ll pick up some neat tricks and workflows that you can apply to your own music making.
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Part 1: Using Simpler Classic Mode to Create a Unique Vocal Lead
We’re going to start off by looking at the Simpler Classic Mode. In combination with the new Warp feature, we’ll be taking a sample of my own voice and turning it into a gliding, unique lead instrument.
Part 2: How to Use Simpler One-Shot Mode to Create New Ideas
Continuing with the track that was worked on in the first video, Merlyn will now show you how you can use Simpler’s One-Shot Mode to quickly resample parts of your tracks to generate new ideas.
Taking a quick snippet of our lead synth, we use the various features of One-Shot Mode to build a drum rack featuring new and interesting versions of the sound, and then proceed to jam out a new section of the track. This is a great trick for making the most out of the loops, and utilizing existing sounds for new sections of your tracks, without adding new material to the arrangement.
Part 3: Using Simpler Slicing Mode to Create Interesting Vocal Chops
In this final video of the 3-part series, Merlyn we’ll be checking out Simpler Slicing Mode, which was without a doubt amongst the most exciting and innovative features introduced in Live 9.5.
With Slicing Mode, we can quickly and intuitively ‘play’ any sound we throw at Simpler, using it’s various features to hone in on the parts of the sound we want to work with, or otherwise discover something completely unexpected.
Merlyn will be walking through the various options Slicing Mode presents us with and applying what we find to the track we’ve been working on in the previous videos, transforming a sample of his voice into a pattern of rhythmic vocal chops. Before we finish, he’ll show you a great trick for getting out of the ’8 bar loop’ trap, too.
About The Trainer
Merlyn Silva is a musician, educator and sound artist living in Aarhus, Denmark. Cutting his teeth as a guitarist in the early 2000’s touring with a string of rock and dub groups, Merlyn later took a left turn at the crossroads and enrolled to study theatre in 2006. Shortly after, he stumbled into Ableton Live whilst working on a production, in a search for a more elegant backing-track solution than a CD. He has been mesmerized with the software ever since.
In addition to releasing a stream of glitched-up, psychedelic bass music, producing for singers and creating installation pieces, Merlyn has undertaken extensive research and practice in the areas of motion-capture technology, interactive musical systems and contact microphones.
Merlyn’s academic history includes a Bachelors degree in Theatre from the University of Exeter (UK), and a Masters degree in Electronic Music from the Danish Royal Academy of Music (DIEM), where he is currently completing a Postgraduate Diploma. After 10 years of using Live, Merlyn became an Ableton Certified Trainer in July 2016. Merlyn currently divides his time between teaching, performing, and promoting niche electronic music concerts in his adopted Scandinavian hometown.