Today on DJ Rap's MTC Blog we’ll be focusing on Resampling.
'Resampling' is one of the most underrated processes I don’t ever hear or read enough about. It’s heavily used in genres like Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Hardstyle and Hardcore among others were bass sounds are heavily processed and mangled in creative ways. In this article, I’d like to get into its practices and demonstrate how easy it is in Ableton, and why you should be sampling your own sounds.
The process is exactly what the name implies, turning a sound source you’ve stacked with effects into an audio sample. It's also a great way to start archiving your own sounds to essentially build your own unique sample library. You can achieve some very unique results you wouldn’t traditionally get from keeping sounds in a VST.
Create a new audio track under the sound you would like to resample
Then we’ll navigate to the ‘Audio From’ drop down on the audio track and select ‘Resampling’
Before we sample the source we’ll want to make sure we aren’t clipping or going in the red on the master bus. Make sure you’re only hearing the track you're trying to resample. If you’re working with multiple tracks in an arrangement its best to solo the specific track you’re trying to resample so nothing else gets recorded.
Arm the new resampling track, hit the global record button, and watch your instrument or sound source turn into a waveform as that segment in the arrangement is recorded
As I record these passes I usually play one note variations while messing with different parameters in the Synth or Effect chain through automation or In real-time. The results can be spread out on a long audio clip with unique results. Its also good to generally save the whole recording into a personal sample library. you can do this by simply right-clicking on the recorded waveform and clicking ‘show in browser’ from here you can drag it to a created subfolder where you’d like to keep all your new sounds.
You’ll want to be subtle with any type of compression or limiting when ‘resampling' as you may be affecting the resampled sound through these processors again if necessary. This could lead to over compression and nasty artefacts after a few layers of modulation and fx. Its often best to parallel process sounds to achieve the best dynamics with your sound source.
Resampling also saves computer power (CPU). You're essentially left with a clean track and a sound source that’s already been heavily processed. In most cases, you’ll probably want to do some fine tuning with EQ to mould the sound into the track.
Further Manipulation with Ableton’s Sampler
Once you've resampled you can dump the sample into a ‘Sampler Instrument'. This allows you to play the sound in ways similar to having the original instrument source device or synth. The Sampler instrument will automatically spread the sound throughout the keyboard range and stretches every note around your fundamental note. This process can create some really interesting effects and variations in your sound or tone, especially with the way the notes are spread. The sounds playability factor often changes in dramatic and unique ways. Sampler also features some interesting parameters and its own synth engine for even more unique sound sculpting.
Mangling and Modulating with Ableton’s Warping Engine
Some of the most interesting results come from stretching and manipulating your waveform with warping and time stretching. Ableton’s warping algorithms all sound a little different, its all about pushing, pulling and manipulating these different warp settings to achieve unique results.
Note that in order for you to hear the warping engine process the sound you’ll want to have to stretch, re-pitch or shorten the audio in the clip you are working with using the warp markers.
This concludes our Resampling walkthrough, Tune in next week for more advanced music production techniques and Ableton in-depth tutorials