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Ableton Live 12 Techniques: Distorting Sound Using ‘Roar’ Plugin w/ Chris Martin

Any producer can attest that sound design is a complex yet exciting adventure. On one hand, you can use existing sounds or samples to revitalise your work. In fact, some of world’s greatest producers are known for their ability incorporate samples into their own style. However, we also believe you should never fear designing your own little noise too. You never know what the result might inevitably achieve.

One way to develop a sound is by applying distortion – one of the most common creative audio effects utilised by producers. It’s the alteration of the sound signal to create a specific effect, typically adding harmonics, noise, or an overall ‘grittier’ texture to the audio. It’s truly a fundamental tool in genres such as rock, metal, hip hop, and electronic music.

Now, Ableton Live 12 was officially released on March 5, 2024. This version introduced several new features and improvements, including the highly anticipated ‘Roar’ plugin. Why is this relevant to us? Because ‘Roar’ is the brand-new dynamic saturation and distortion effect that can be used for everything. From subtle warmth to intense sound mangling, it’s a great tool to help design your own sound! If you’re interested in learning more about Ableton Live 12, check out our Music Production course (London, LA, Online) which will teach you everything you need to know about using this cutting edge DAW.

Our Curriculum Manager, Chris Martin, found the new tool and couldn’t wait to share his discoveries! Therefore, he took the reins and guides us on how to transform a simple sine wave into a distorted Drum and Bass synth employing ‘Roar’ on our YouTube channel. Click the video below to watch:



‘Roar’ offers multiple routing modes (such as Single, Serial, Parallel, Multi Band, Mid Side, and Feedback). Chris shows us how to add higher harmonics by cranking up the drive input and adding multiple stages of distortion. After toggling between the Amount, Bias, and Frequency inputs, he plays around with the advanced modulation options with two LFOs, an Envelope Follower, and a Noise generator, making it a versatile tool for creative sound design​.

Interested in exploring the intricacies of music production and Ableton Live further? Point Blank Music School offers a range of courses that delve deep into these subjects, guided by industry professionals and state-of-the-art equipment. Whether you’re a budding producer or an experienced musician, there’s always room to grow and innovate. Our platform is available to all students globally (LondonLAIbizaOnline), regardless of whether you’re doing a 3 year degree or weekend course. We also offer 1-2-1 sessions with industry experts, access to a wide range of events and masterclasses, and opportunities for real-world industry experience. Enrol now and start your journey into music production today.

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