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Have you ever wondered what your favorite producers are thinking when they’re making beats? Dubspot instructor, Ableton Live expert and award winning music educator, Pat Cupo, explains his concept of “Beat Deconstruction”. In this tutorial, Cupo takes a two measure loop of Flying Lotus’ “Camel” from his Los Angles LP (2008) and breaks down the beat into it’s four main components: kick, snare, hi-hat, and percussion, each having it’s own dedicated clip in an audio track. By using Warp Markers as visual place holders to highlight when and where each component occurs in an audio clip, we can begin to understand how the beat was conceptualized. Using the Slice to New MIDI function in Live set to slice the audio at the “Warp Marker”, new MIDI clips are created that contain a series of MIDI notes corresponding to the Warp Markers from their original audio clips. Once this has been done, all of the MIDI information is taken to the Arrangement View to view the clips as a musical score. After a little editing, the music seems to pop out from the screen and we can see the beat in it’s entirety as if we programmed it ourselves.

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Ableton Live Tutorial: Flying Lotus' 'Camel' - Beat Deconstruction