How I Took a Car Horn and Made It Into An Instrument (using Ableton Live Simpler) 🚙 → 🎹

Aug 16, 2019

What's going on guys!

Today I want to show you how to make an instrument with a sample.

And this is a monophonic sample. I'll get into what that means, but today I did it with a car horn and it's pretty cool. It's a lot of fun.

I'm working at an office right now downtown in Phoenix and my ac went out on my car and had to take it to the shop. It's a 110 outside and Phoenix, so I used my godfather's car. He's got this beautiful old Buick.

When I went to arm the car and locked the door with this key fob it made this amazing sound throughout the parking garage. I'm like, "this is cool. I want to record this". So I grabbed my phone and recorded a couple of samples of it, brought it into my laptop and started clicking away.

Let me show you what I did.

Okay, so I want to make an instrument out of this car horn. What do I do? Well, right off the bat, we're going to open a mini track and I'm using Ableton live.

- Open simpler. Simpler as a built in instrument in Ableton that's purposely for monophonic instruments. So instruments that you're just going to hit one note at a time, like a bass or synth lead, something like that. But not like a pad. If you wanted a pad or piano or something you'd need "sampler."

- Put in the file that contains your sample sound.

- Go in and “dial it down” to put in beginning and end points to select the specific parts of the sound you recorded and want to use.

- Indicate the “C” note - C is just where it starts,

- In this example, I’m going to use the one shot mode.

- Adjust the length and the pitch envelope.

- Simpler automatically transposes notes across the keyboard.

- A car horn has a lot of frequency in it and it's actually like a cord. You're actually hearing multiple notes that are playing at once.

- Add some pads and some, some drums and other items to the mix. My example is just a looped chord progression for 16 bars.

- The original sound I used is the wrong key. If that happens, transpose to the right key.

- Adjust the synths up or down, and add other effects.

- I added some portamento glide to it.

- I also used some Neutron, a mixing tool by isotope and I've added an equalizer, cutting out a lot of the low end.

- I’ve also added some transient shaper to it and I lowered the attack on this so that it gives the appearance that it is a little further away.

- Adjust the various settings as you prefer for the sound you’re working with. This example also includes some compression.

- Next I added some reverb.

- Lastly I dropped on an auto filter. I used Ableton's auto filter.

- Adjust the filter as needed to get the sound you prefer.

- Boom, bob's your uncle! To hear it, hit play in the video above.


All right guys, that's it for this week. We will see you on the next video. If you'd like to learn more about how to produce your own music, please consider joining the Producer Course here:

xxx - Zion

All music is copyrighted by Zion Brock. For licensing information please contact [email protected]


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