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Like the sound of 808s and other hard-hitting synth drums? Meet your new best friends…
New in Ableton Live 10 are the “DS 10” Drum Synths. These are Max for Live Instruments (look in your Max for Live Folder – Max Instrument), and they jazz up your arsenal with some epic beat-making weapons.
Whether you want to layer things up to add weight to existing samples or create your own unique sounds from scratch, these drums are deadly.
A solid place to start is with the DS Kick device. The bass drum, or kick, is an absolutely crucial element of any modern song, and the DS Kick doesn’t disappoint. It’s capable of everything from long, trunk rattling 808 sounds, to short and punchy 909 kick sounds. Probably the sweetest thing about this device is the tuning area, where you’ll easily see what pitch your kick drum is producing; after all, if you don’t know your kick’s pitch, your track is doomed.
I also really enjoy the DS Clap. This versatile instrument can sound like a group of people stomping and hitting trash cans (with Tone at 0%), or it can be a tight, sizzling clap perfect for some throwback funk. Of course, there’s a lot of other sounds you can get between those extremes. Add a Spread control to introduce stereo movement and you have a very fun, user-friendly device that will get you some unique claps with little effort.
Elsewhere we find the usual suspects—hihat, snare, cymbal, and tom sounds. But, there’s also the DS Clang (think future cowbell), DS FM (for all sorts of percussive or even melodic ideas), and DS Sampler, which allows you to drop in a file and create a custom percussion preset (think a quick and dirty “Simpler” device).
In my opinion, Ableton has seriously amped up the beat-making options in Live 10 with these bad boys. They’re an homage to classic drum machines, but also have their own unique steez you have to hear to truly understand. Unleash them on your next tune!
Happy music making.
Ian Gallagher (aka DJ IBG) & the Warp team.