Long time no see around here! So, I’ve been thinking out aloud about producing Dub Techno inside the box using Ableton Live 9. Ever since writing this tutorial about chords and stabs-basics I felt like there’s a lot more to cover. Eventually so much more it wouldn’t fit a simple “do this and then do that”-tutorial format. Sounds don’t happen in a vacuum either, delivering context was my priority.

While we’ve covered a lot of things from gain staging for dummies (like me), good noise vs bad noise, programming organic sounds that keep moving, my intention was about the meta-schtuff…

Adopting a mindset, thinking OTB ITB:

  • understanding how things work in a hardware environment
  • details and how they can move a sound from dull to interesting
  • mindfully integrating them to your digital workflow
  • an approach towards analytic thinking, or simple if you will
  • making life easier for your future self (spare yourself my mistakes)
  • how to listen to music enabling yourself for asking better questions than “which plugin is that?”…

Timestamps, links to different topics (also available in the description on YouTube):

13:37 – OTB vs ITB, awareness for details, think simple
25:08 – VU Meters & gain staging for dummies [like me]
32:17 – Looking at the bassline
42:57 – Cutting bass for more bass?
52:35 – Why tuning your kick and bass matters
56:47 – How to listen to music, asking better questions
1:00:19 – Chords, movement, organic programming, layering
1:17:10 – Adding more movement using velocity
1:24:54 – FX

Thank you Matt/Surreal Machines for the Dub Machines license give-away (lemic won!)

Resources mentioned throughout the session (links at the end of this post): Airwindows tapedust, noise & totape5 (they’re available in the pack), as well as my fave music production podcast UBKhappyfuntimehour, and of course SM Modnetic/Diffuse.

What I learned about live-streaming:

  • boy, that’s a lot of open windows
  • levels in OBS are weird, I don’t speak mic-foo
  • structuring the session in notes helped a lot
  • water with gas in that context is stupid
  • need a safe space for bottles to leave them open
  • be more mindful about window positions vs overlay
  • I can’t be eloquent while learning to swim in a new pool

Please leave your questions, input, wishes, whatever in the comments on YouTube. I’ll create an event on the Tube again to make it easier for you to catch the next session (*cough* subscribe button).



[open in a new tab]

» Surrealmachines Dub Machines
» Airwindows VST/AU plugins
» UBK Happy Funtime Hour podcast

My background

[relevant to music production]

Founder of the tracking labels .schleudertrauma. & _rohformat, mentoring the launch of the Dub Techno label Thinner. Consulting developer of virtual instruments at AudioRealism. ‘Product manager’ of Polac VST Loaders for Buzztracker. Former Sound-Designer for games, co-founder of the demogroup Farbrausch. Betatested a lot of NI products, shared ideas with friends at Ableton, Bitwig, Cytomic, Smart Electronix.

I started with Protracker around ’90, Fasttracker, Buzztracker lateron. At the same time spent a lot of time in amazingly equipped hardware studios. Tried transfering what I learned to my ITB productions. In the early days it meant dealing with ugly limitations. Had to experiment a lot to achieve a certain quality and depth in sound.

Releasewise music on Thinner, Superstition Records, Forte Records, Bash Again, Wall Music, Kiddaz.fm, realaudio.ch, One, Uptide…

Fancy listening to something?