Sound Design Crash Course | 808 Kicks | Ableton Live

  |  Caiti VerBrugge  |  

In this multi-part sound design crash course, Pyramind instructor Will Clark goes over making 808 kick drums in Ableton Live. He uses Ableton’s Operator device and crafts a kick drum using additive synthesis. After covering various ways you can shape your 808s, Will finishes off the course by demonstrating how to make a 128 rack of kick drums. 


Download the 808 Ableton Live Template Here


In part 1, Will goes over additive synthesis and harmonics. He also covers making the “transient” (or higher end) part of your kick drums, as well as using pitch envelopes.

In part 2, he covers the filter section, and the importance of putting a limiter on your master. He also refers to the original 808 and demonstrates how to use macros to shape your drums.

In part 3, Will moves on to audio effects. He covers waveshaping with Ableton’s Saturator, as well as EQ and compression techniques. Then, he shows you how to make a rack using your 808 samples.

In part 4, Will uses Ableton’s fade and consolidate tools to edit and clean up his 808 samples. He finishes off the lesson by showing you how he made his 128 rack of kick drums, and how he uses Ableton’s chain selector to select each sample individually.


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