How to make break beat tutorial 2020 on a Ableton Like Bcep


I’m trying to I’m trying to make this tutorial really interesting and here I am going to share steps how you can build up your break big project using ableton. Kindly go through the tutorial in each and every point wisely.

make music like “Bicep”. I’ve had so
many requests from you guys for this – to

make music in the style of Bicep – so that
is what this tutorial today is about. I’m

going to be using the stock plugins in
Ableton Live 10 but you can follow along

in any DAW, because the fundamental
techniques still apply. But why would you

want to make music like someone else?
Well, you wouldn’t want to copy them,

obviously… they’ve got their own style…
But you can pick up tips and tricks you

can apply to your own music, and then
develop your own signature style, so it

is worth trying to replicate music you
love because you’re going to learn so

much so quickly like that. You can
download the free project file and

samples and all the presets that I used
today, for free, below and what we will be

covering will be the kick the bass… the
break beat… chord progressions… vocals…

sound design… mixing… a touch of
arrangement (a little bit of arrangemen)t

so there’s lots to get through. I hope
you enjoy! If you like this video, give it

a big fat “thumbs up”… don’t forget to
subscribe to my channel and share it

with your friends if you like it, and
without further ado, let’s hop into the

DAW. Okay so the first thing we’re going
to do is pick apart what the vibe of

biceps music is like what kind of vibe
does biceps music have so they’ve got

this kind of old-school breakbeat wavy
type vibe which I really really like and

it’s got pretty much a very few elements
but they’re just chosen really well and

put together really well so let’s do it
first the tempo if we go for that break

beat kind of tempo we’ll go for 1 to 9
BPM and then I’ve got my magic list here

as well all in one take no editing and
all of that stuff so yeah the first

thing we’re going to do is find a nice
break beat to base this on so I’m just

going to create an audio track this is
set up as my default template by the way

so a couple of MIDI channels few Mindi
tunnels and then this one as well which

I’ll explain soon anyway let’s find a
break beat now I’m going to use splice

for this because it’s just a great way
to kind of find samples and I did a bit

of research earlier so I’ve got some
recently added ones but if you just

write in something like mmm break beat
or rave something like that then you

know it’s going to come up and then
let’s have a preview like that’s all

wrong okay so if you do something like
this instead rave and then search for

let’s say drums and then write I’m sure
I saw one that said breaks oh yeah there

we go break me genres break but you say
let’s have a listen so that kind of

thing you know that old-school break
beats sound but obviously if you choose

loops instead of single shots then
you’re going to come up with some stuff

so I found one earlier anyway this one
so I’m just gonna drag that from splice

there and you can then just loop it so
let’s have a quick listen to this and

Ableton has automatically kind of got
the tempo correct just analyze it cool

so what I’m going to do is I’m going to
loop the first part of that track and

then just so that change in the tempo
sorry that changing the beat happens at

the end of the part like that so I’m
just going to duplicate that and to do

I’m gonna color that green call it break
beat and this is what we are gonna be

basing the track around primarily break
a vite oh yeah by the way the track is

called tricep you see what I did there

right okay let’s just consolidate that
and grabbing it all press command + J

and then we can just easily loop it
let’s call it great beat cut green and

then there we go now the next thing
we’re gonna do is we’re gonna quantize

this because there’s a bit of groove to
it a bit of Swing to it but I want this

beat to be pretty much on the grid so if
we zoom in close here we can see that

this beat isn’t actually on the grid so
to tighten that up I’m just gonna press

command + a to select it all you might
not even have to do that then I’m gonna

open up the quantize settings make sure
it’s set to 100% press ok and you’ll see

it’s created these walk marks and it’s
shifted everything so now it’s bang on

the grid cool okay on to the next thing
we are going to make that beefier

because we want that like a really nice
full sounding break beat and we’re gonna

do that by augmenting it with some other
drums so the first thing I’m going to do

is augment it with a kick so let’s just
find a nice kick sound and that’s just

to give it more weight so then we can
program in the kick where the kicks are

hitting in the loop so let’s do that

am i hearing that yeah and I’m just
gonna copy that and then remember at the

end of the break beat in the fourth the
fourth bar we’ve got the change up of


and next we are going to find a snare
just to make that the snare hits even

snappier so let’s just go to snares and
have a listen it’s got to be short and

snappy like a real sounding snare so it
sounds like it’s actually being played

on a drum kit that’ll do then I’m gonna
play that from a sampler in Ableton this

is the drum rack and you’ll see I’ve got
these auxiliary channels linked up to my

main auxilary channels for my reverb and
that’s all I can add some to the snare

on its own rather than the whole drum
kit and the way you do that is click

this routing button here then you can
right click create return chain I did

that twice then you can go in here and
select your rack output and just choose

you know choose your main reverb here
and now you can add reverb to your

separate drums so you can press that
they close it up so you’ve got these

send controls now so anyway let’s
actually just show you what I did that

if we listen if we turn the breakbeat
off you’ll hear what I’m doing so I’m

following the main beats they’re kicking
the snare and programming it in and

that’s just to be able to have more
control and give them more power if

needs be

I’m gonna do a little escape there as
well cool and remember the rhythm

changes in the last part of this change

duplicating that cool there we go
perfect right on to the next thing

Bosh the vocals this is the main one of
the main sounds for bicep they’ve got

these ethereal ray V type vocals so I’m
going to add those necks and we will be

going back to this stuff soon to do the
mixing so we won’t be making it sound

better as well but what I’m gonna do now
is choose vocals and this is going to

help determine what key that we’re gonna
write this track in and again I’m going

to use splice now I’m not affiliated
with splice although they have just told

me that my master class students can get
a month’s free of splice which is quite

cool so that is something that’s just
come through for me

right so I wanted something like Indian
by Eastern sounding kind of ethnic

female vocals so it’s quite ethereal so
what I did was I just searched in splice

sounds I think I liked you see I found
this one and what I did was write in

Indian and then I wrote in I chose
vocals yeah Indian vocals female and

then it came up with these and I just
selected one

I chose this one because it’s quite rich
and nice I like this so I’m gonna drag

that in and we can see it’s in the key
of B flat it’s in the key of B flat it

tells us that here now when we write the
chords to this having it in the key of B

flat can make it a bit tricky because
there are lots of black notes and you

have to know your scales quite well if
we drop it down one semitone to the key

of a minor or a major although this
could be major or minor because it’s not

got any thirds in the vocals then it’s
gonna be much easier because we’re only

going to be using the white notes so
we’re not going to get you don’t have to

be a piano maestro to create something
in the key of a minor so let’s have a

quick listen to this

what I’m gonna do is double click I’m
gonna choose complex Pro because it

sounds nicest with vocals then I’m gonna
drop it by one semitone with the

transpose button and now and now it’s in
a which is gonna make our job for

writing the chords and the bassline much
much easier but I want to make this a

bit longer and epic so what I’m gonna do
is I’m gonna split it there I’m gonna

hold shift and I’m gonna drag it and
it’s gonna stretch that second bit

sounds a little unnatural but it doesn’t
matter because it’s the effect that

we’re really going for the main thing
now I’m gonna show you how to do some

cool gated triggering stuttering thing
like they did in their track glue I

think it was called glow of a couple of
years ago so this is cool fact right

we’re gonna choose a gate from Ableton’s
the thing is technical term for effect

open up this little tab here and we can
see we’ve got the sidechain option and

now what we can do is we can play in a
rhythm that’s gonna make the vocal kind

of cuts like it’s being transformed
scratched okay so we can hear the gates

already working there so I’ll just
create a MIDI track I’m gonna call this

trigger and then I’m gonna just load in
any simple instrument so operators gonna

be the most simple and I’m gonna tap out
a rhythm that I wants the vocal to be

kind of chopped up in or two

this latency I’m gonna program it in

almost there so it’s kind of like a
Morse code sound but we’re not actually

going to be hearing the sound itself
it’s just going to be used as a trigger

for the vocals perfect now let’s check
out what happens first I’m going to

duplicate it command + D consolidate it
then I’m going to press this routing

thing and make sure that it sends only
so we won’t actually hear it but it is

playing and now we can feed that through
the sidechain gate on the vocal tract

like so trigger and check this out

so this is without the gate oops let’s
just fade that in a bit and now with the

gate then you can choose to play with
the hold and release so you can hear the

effect I’m going for there now let’s add
some nice hall reverb on there on the

auxilary channel

make sure we’ve cut out low-end a
channel and I’m gonna do a bit of

tweaking on the vocal EQ quickly just
with the EQ eight and this is to take

out some of the low end and boost some
of the high end there might be some just

to make it a bit more breathy I’ve gone
really extreme on this EQ I wouldn’t

usually do it this extreme it’s really
breathing so this is what we’ve got so


we’ve got some clipping here so I’m just
gonna turn the volume down of everything

this trigger we can kind of minimize
because we don’t need it anymore

cool okay next thing to do as I said our
vocals are now in the key of a it could

be a minor or a major but I’m gonna
choose a minor and I’m just going to jam

out some chords and a minor as I said on
the keyboard a minor starts on a and

then it’s just all the white notes up to
the next a so you’re far less likely to

hit any wrong notes quick sip time let
me know if you’re enjoying this so far

give me a hell yeah in the comments
below or an arm em brother whichever you

choose right let’s continue so as I was
saying let’s get these cause jammed out

jam that F out instruments now it sounds
i’ve just really installed Ableton on my

new computer so I haven’t set up all the
collections and stuff yet

or indeed I haven’t installed any
plugins I’ve installed one plug-in sofa

and that’s why I’m doing all in Ableton
plugins so I’m just going to use one of

the sounds that comes with an Ableton
pack here we go so we’ve got a bit of a

grand piano going on

so they are all the notes within the key
of a-minor so let’s just play some

chords over this track very simple so
next is 2 we will be using these chords

very soon I’m just gonna show them show
you what they are in the piano roll

editor and again you can use my template
technique if you want to do this so you

can draw in all the white notes starting
on a and then when you press fold Bosch

these are only the notes within the key
of a minor natural so you’re not going


to hit any wrong notes and then you can
use that as a template just grab them

all press left so it’s before the clip
so you can’t hear it and then you can

just use you can just draw notes in here
and you’ll never hit a wrong note but

anyway I’m just gonna draw these in for
you so this was the first note

and the way that you can actually draw
court in or build them on that is by

checking out the other video that I’ve
got there or there and also I’ll just

show you quickly a quick way of doing it
so now I’ve got two octaves here of the

key of a-minor natural i press fold and
all i need to do is skip one note each

time skip a note skip a note as Veggie
chord again and continue this and what

I’m going to do for the baseline is just
copy the first note all the root note of

each of those chords and I’m going to
copy them into a bass sound let’s

minimize trigger and for the bass sound
I’m going to use have really simple sine

waves to give it lots of low-end power
and I’m gonna do that using a an

operator which is like Ableton’s most
basic synth so I’m just going to create

a MIDI clip and then paste those notes
in but you can hear it I’m high so I’m

just gonna go in there hold shift press
down twice

go grab them all and extend them
slightly so there’s the basics or and

the basis of our track so on to the next
thing what’s on my magic list today all

right that’s what I will do I’ll do a
little bit of sidechain compression on

the bass to help the kick the pop
through more and I’ve got this SC

channel I mentioned earlier and this is
where I’ve got a silent sound that is

being triggered from a sampler and I’ve
got it set so that you can’t hear it

I’ve got it set to sends only instead of
master and that will be used as a

sidechain trigger but I want it to be
going in time with my kicks and you can

see here that my kick pattern is
different from the 4/4 sidechain trigger

pattern so what I’m gonna do is I’m just
gonna go in there grab my kick drums

copy them go into my sidechain thing
grab all that delete it and then paste

my kick pattern you can see here and
then that’s going to be triggering from

my bass and the reason I’m not using the
kick to trigger the sidechain

compression is because the kick is quite
a big long loud sample whereas my

sidechain trigger is a very short sharp
sample which means that I can do all of

the timing control on the compressor
controls so I’m just going to and if

that sounds a bit confusing I’ll show
you now so let’s put the compressor on

open up this little thing choose
sidechain choose SC because that’s what

I called it so the signals coming from
SC into this compressor which is going

to be compressing our bass line
so that’s just

choose these sounds and we can hear
what’s happening so you can hear the

kick and now let’s bring this threshold
down on the compressor

so you can hear the sidechain compressor
is kicking in when the kick sitting and

ducking the baseline let’s just try the
bass on its own so you can hear the


and that just allows a kick to breathe
through more with more power cool so

we’re getting there right on to the next
thing I’m going to add some ethereal

kind of chords like pads and then we’ll
go into the mixing stage and then we’ve

got some kind of little arpeggio riff
I’ll show you how to do as well

and another vocal yeah in fact I’ll do
that now I’m gonna choose another vocal

it’s going to be something that gives a
bit more interest it gives it more of

that Ray V sound so I’m going to call it
rave again I’m going to open up splice

and I’m gonna put in rave and that’s and
then I’m gonna put in did it do to do a

few more tags vocal alright come on
female that’d be it so I’m gonna listen

to these as I’m playing it to find
something that gels for the vibe of the


Oh almost there in fact I mean you could
choose one in the correct key that would

help but it’s more the violin going I am
gonna choose that one because it’s the

right key and then I don’t have to do
any work on that I’m just using one

credit and then I’m gonna drag it into
my track I’m working on just a loop

obviously at the moment before we’re
taking it into a full track so this

vocal loop would own this this vocal hit
would only be used like rarely as a

special moment like this for instance
and again I’m going to choose complex

Pro turn it down a bit and I put lots of
reverb on

so it’s just like an epic moment that
might happen in a break there’s lots of

high-end in that though which I don’t
like so I’m gonna check my reverb and

then I’m gonna put an EQ on that too

just to tone it down a bit

and with this stutter vocal something
else I’m going to do is put a compressor

on there just to squash it all and make
it a bit more consistent it’s just to

bring up the quiet bits a bit more cool
okay on to the next thing

magic this magic list tell me what to do
make some big beats well that’s what it

says to you I don’t know what’s happened
I think I’m hungover right okay I’m

gonna make these beats sound faster by
doing a bit of mixing this is what I’m

gonna do I’m gonna tweak this break beat
I’m gonna add some compression to just

bring it all together and make it a bit
more punchy still sounded pretty good

it’s just kind of crushing it a little
bit to bring out some of the quiet

shaker sounds and then what I’m gonna do
is I’m going to add a little bit of

reverb room reverb which is on my first
auxilary channel which is a short reverb

and I’ll dial it in on the main snare
that we added

I’m putting too much on just so I can
get the length of the reverb right there

we go and we can actually add some of
that to the breakbeat as well

so that’s with no reverb on and that’s
with room reverb on I’ve got someone the

the main snare as well and then what I’m
gonna do is group all of the the kick

the drums and the break beat together
because I want them to be gels together

and sound like they’re coming from one
place so I’m going to call this drums I

call this kick and drum and it’s a bus
which means all of these are going to be

going through this channel which we are
going to be adding some processing to

and what I’m gonna do is to the
breakbeat this is the one plug-in I’m

using that doesn’t come with Ableton but
it’s free you can download it from

isotope it is the what’s it called
imager the free version so I’m just

gonna add some wits to that breakbeat
stereo with I’m gonna check it works in

mono with my mono switch on the master
channel which is just a utility so I can

switch it from mono and back see listen
to all that width that we’re adding so

if we turn off the ozone have a break
beat sound and with it now we’ll tweak

this base and sorry this bus and we’re
gonna use the drum buss effect in

Ableton which I haven’t actually used
much but I want to give it a go

so it just brings everything together
that’s some compression so some

saturation and you can dial in you know
the dry/wet amount

I’ll go 100% wet and then now we are on
to those ethereal chords that I was

talking about so let’s turn everything
on and get these chords done we already

drew them in so I’m just gonna call this
pad and then we’re going to change the

instrument to be a nice kind of synth in
fact what I’m gonna do is on this

stutter vocal I’m gonna add one of those
images as well and make it even really

whatever I’m feeling renegade that’s how
I’m rolling today all right next we are

going to do those ethereal things at
last the ethereal pads gonna color this

my synth color assign tracks to clips
sound assign color

it’s eclipse then instruments I shall go
over sounds what kind of pad sounds do

you have let’s see synth pad that’s
quite nice and ethereal that’s my

favorite word today ethereal don’t wear
it out well

it’s nice but it’s a bit low so what I’m
gonna do is I’m gonna go I just

consolidate that double-click on my pad
grab it all and then press shift and up

so it goes up an octave like so
and I don’t want there to be any gap

between them so you can select them all
and press legato and then it brings them

all to touch the one after it

just make sure there’s no low-end I
don’t once in there

where would that be he had definitely
definitely hungover and that’s so I’m

just making sure that they’re in there’s
no low end that’s going to clash with

the base

we’re really close now I might need to
tweak the levels because I’m doing this

just in one go so you know maybe the
drums are a bit loud but you can

download this anyway for free below this
video so do that and I will have tweaked

the levels a little bit made it sound a
bit better so you can pick apart my

methods so don’t forget to grab that now
let’s do this arpeggio riff riff that we

want let’s just reorganize that stuff
yeah so the arpeggio riff and this is

this is where it gets pretty cool so I’m
going to create this from scratch and we

want some blippi blippi weird way riff
that’s technical and we’re going to do

it with an arpeggio and using the MIDI
arpeggio effect in Ableton Live so let’s

get our instrument first I’m going to
choose the analog it’s a nice nice

little since
first I want this in mono because it’s

gonna be an arpeggio then I’m gonna
determine some glide so it sweeps from

one note to another like so and now this
is where the fun stuff happens if we go

to MIDI effects first we can choose a
scale and if you choose let’s see C

minor we’re but we’re in a minor so what
I’m gonna do is just change that bass up

to a and now I only hit the notes in a
minor that is what that is doing now I’m

gonna put on an arpeggiator after that
and now whenever I hold any of these

notes it’s gonna play an arpeggio but
I’m gonna double the rate to sixteenths

like so I’m gonna change the sounds like
you don’t spit in line pretty cool let’s

take off the velocity controls I don’t
really like the volume changing so I’m

just gonna choose zero there and I’m
gonna add some room reverb like as we

did with the snare

I’m just gonna make sure that there’s no
low ends that we don’t want with an EQ

but first I’m going to put on a lovely
saturator just to give it a bit of

warmth thicken it up a little bit cool
so now I’m just going to jam as the

tunes playing and you can change which
style you want the arpeggiator to work

on that’s pretty cool so let’s play and
yeah let’s play along

you can play with some of these and
effects on the Aunt Peggy

is also a sign you know like the
frequency to one of your control one of

the knobs on your controller or you
could just automate it you know like so

and then in terms of arrangement I mean
that they are the main elements the rest

is is pretty simple you’re not having to
change chord progressions you’re not

having to create loads of different
things because as I said before what

captures the essence of the bicep sound
is that almost strip back old-school

ravy we’re how sound that they’ve just
brought up to date and they’ve done

something new with it
for modern day but it does mean that the

compositions aren’t super complex
they’re just really nicely done so you

can have you know you could have parts
like this where you just take out the

bass and the pad

and then you can go into a break

and then bring everything

so that is how you make music like bicep
that was really quick as I said I did

this all in one go from scratch so you
can download this below hopefully you’ve

found some techniques that you can use
in your own music thanks for watching

stay safe and until next time Cheers and
happy producing oh don’t forget



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