Ableton Live offers countless routing options enabling the user to easily devise complex sound layers and atmospheres. Greg Heffernan presents how he uses creative routing techniques within Ableton Live to add and control layers of sampled sound during his live sets.
<Sample Selection and Envelopes>
When layering any drum sound, sample selection is hugely important. If the right choices are made here you can often get away with very little processing. To understand why sample selection is important let’s take a look at layering kick drum sounds as an example.
The kick drum is possibly the most important element of modern drum tracks, especially if you are creating electronic music. Of course some kick drum samples are fine left as they are, especially if you are sampling directly from other productions. You may find that these sounds don’t need a huge amount of processing.
After selecting a chunkier sound for the new layer, use a high shelf EQ to remove some of the high end. This does not have to be that extreme but enough attenuation must be taking place to allow the original sound to sit nicely.
There are no hard and fast rules to exactly which frequencies should be filtered here, it differs from sound to sound. The main point is that common sense should prevail, some frequency overlap is ok but generally each sound in the layer should occupy its own space.
More than two sounds can be layered using this technique and really interesting sounds can be produced when the qualities of a few hats are mixed together. Try using tambourines or other high end percussion instruments in conjunction with traditional hi hat sounds to create something a little unusual.