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Embracing Randomness in Ableton With Stevie R

Gracing the stage in the Dutch capital, Point Blank lecturer and record label A&R Stevie R walks us through how you can make randomness part of your workflow to fill your tracks with depth and interest. At Amsterdam Dance Event, a five-day electronic music conference Stevie R dives into how you can creatively utilise Ableton’s scene follow actions. He explores setting rules such as switching between audio clips at regular intervals, like every 16th note, to get awe-inspiring percussive textures and ever-evolving patterns.

To veer away from stale, repeating midi loops, Stevie touches on how random inconsistencies in your electronic tracks can mimic the human feel of a real drummer. He even exposes some neat tricks you’ve likely never considered, like setting follow actions to switch between Ableton’s unique algorithms, going from ‘complex pro’ to ‘beats’ to create unique glitch-like artefacts.

If you’re passionate about learning more about the inner workings of your DAW, sound design techniques or composing your own music, studying at Point Blank would be perfect for you. You can find more information about our Music Production and Sound Engineering course here. Eager to study but hesitant about a 3-year commitment? We also offer a 2-year accelerated course.

He goes even further than percussion and shows more innovative applications of this approach with a custom-made arpeggiator made by dragging any of your desired samples into Ableton’s sampler and randomising again, using Ableton’s custom rules.

With an extensive background in producing music, Stevie reveals some different workflow approaches he often jumps to, such as recording the output of your randomised instrument into Ableton and selecting the best parts or even just bouncing out the track with these plugins running in real-time for slightly different variations in every mixdown.

If you’ve found Stevie’s session helpful, you can download the project files for free here.

At Point Blank, we have a whole host of degree courses covering everything from Music Production and Vocal Performance to Music Industry Management, taught by a range of expert lecturers. You can apply now to study in London, LA or Online.

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