Today, I like to generate drum fills with the help of Ableton‘s MIDI effects. My starting point is a drum rack with samples I made and a programmed drum pattern:
The drum beat sounds no so bad, but probably a bit boring. I would like to get something like that:
And here is the way I created this drum variations and fills. First of all I grouped three MIDI effect devices. Ableton‘s Arpeggiator, Randon and Scale.
Please consult the screenshot for getting the parameter settings. Of course you can’t use all of my Scale device settings. In case you are not familiar with the Scale device, think about a matrix or filter. The horizontal axis represents the incoming MIDI note and the horizontal axis the outgoing MIDI note. Such a filter leaves the notes as they are, if all red squares are building a diagonal from the lower left to the upper right. Enough with theory – I would like to hear only the clap, snare and bass drum when the device is enabled. There is no need to say that the these settings depend on the drum rack. You have to find your own settings.
The mapping of the macro knobs is a bit tricky. After pressing the Map Mode button you should map the Chance parameter of the Random device to macro one. Then map the device on/off switch of the Arpeggiator and Scale to this knop, too. I like to switch on the Arpeggiator and Scale only, when the chance value is over 50 percent. This is achieved by editing the upper Macro Mappings table. The minimum value should be 64.
Finally I mapped the Arpeggiator’s Synced Rate to macro knob two and the Style to macro knob three.
So, we are done. Just vary the Random Chance in order to get drum variations and fills like in the example above.
I hope that helps. Happy new year!