Hidden Natures

Hidden Natures

Hidden Natures <- Right click to play or download.

“Hidden Natures” is one of the first tracks I’ve written in awhile using Ableton Live almost exclusively. For whatever reason I was feeling guilty seeing my Push sitting in the studio unused lately, and when I sat down to play with it again… this song happened. That’s one of the things I like the most about Push, sometimes it surprises you how quickly you can get a song sketched out. And quite honestly it led me down a happier vibe than some of my other recent tracks too, not a bad thing either!

The Ableton Project for this song is available for download if you want to check it out, though you will need the latest version of Live 9 Suite to open it (sorry non-Suite owners). You can grab it here:


For this track I really want to use something other than samples to create the main drums, and one of Live’s built in Drum Racks using a bunch of Operators as the sound sources worked great. It gave me a nice synthetic sounding kit, which I then layered with a couple percussion loops I made in Sonic Charges’ MicroTonic drum machine. These are the only thing in the track not created solely in Live 9.

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(Click image for larger view)

The bassline in this song is a bit goofy I know, but for some reason it got stuck in my head and once it gets going grooves with the drums in an interesting way that I really liked. I tried a few different variations, but it always changed the vibe of the song into something that didn’t resonate with me as much, so goofy bassline it is!

The main lead is this ethnic sound I created from a Tension preset, mainly give it a bit more ambience and a floating feel so it sits over the track almost. The other main synth in this track is more of a rhodes or muted piano comp created using Collision. Gives it almost a housey vibe, and adds a bit more action in the lower mids to offset some of the higher synth pads and the main lead.

The Hollow and Smear tracks are there to provide a bit more movement in the song as a whole, to break up some of the loopy aspects of the rest of it. These were just recorded as free form jams on Push, and I liked the weird aspects they added so much I didn’t even cut out some of the flubbed notes I recorded. Adds a bit more human feel having some parts that I’m playing dynamically based on the rest of the song structure.

The rest of the track is a few pad and ambient sounds, they add texture and provide bit more of a tonal bed for the rest of the sounds to work against. I used a few Utility devices to control their stereo spread too, sometimes making them wider, and sometimes making them more mono. Keeps things from clashing, and makes the stereo imaging more interesting too.

The track was mastered in Live as well using a single band on EQ8 to bring out a touch more airiness and space in the mix, and then a simple limiter to get the overall volume up. I used a faster look ahead, set the mode to “L/R”, and I have the release manually to accent to transients on the drums a bit. For the most part though, you can see there’s very little limiting in the mastering phase.

Hope you enjoy the track, and feel free to play around in the Live 9 project file for the track as well!

Peace and beats,

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