CAPS LOCK drum rack

So I love clicks and non-standard percussion devices like pliers and spoons and chopsticks.

Really clicky tracks, I mean ones with so much high-frequency action that it sounds like metallic insects talking in morse code.

One day I came across a folder of audio files intended for web designers who want their buttons to make a sound when you click on it.   

So I made a drum rack with these clicking sounds.  Here's a demo to show you the sounds.

These are all directly from the CAPS LOCK rack and its modulators with no extra processing.  


rack features

The CAPS LOCK sounds are velocity sensitive to volume and filter with an LFO that makes gradual sweeps, so you can get a lot of different tone out of them.  

Smack them full-level for a crisp hi-hat attack.  Slow down on the pads to hear the filters open and close.

Macro knobs in the instrument rack put your fingers on reverb and delay FX to play with, and at the end of the device chain the Glue compressor and Limiter keep your meters in the green, super clean.

A note on quantizing, swing and groove

I didn’t hyper-trim all the sample start points in this kit, and I purposely left the double-clicks as one sample instead of cutting them apart into single-shot hits.  

This is an old trick from hardware sampler days — leaving a little bit of silence before a drum hit results in a tiny amount of swing on the beat, pushing the hits late.  

This is sort of like applying a groove from the groove pool, or like recording a live drummer, or like recording without quantization.  (or like track delay in Ableton)

PURPOSE: get off that mechanically boring super-grid sound that comes from quantizing everything.  

Your music will feel a lot better when you let your beats push and pull against the metronome, instead of following it like robotic drone soldiers.

fun things to do with CAPS LOCK rack

  • Note-repeat at medium velocity, hear the LFO filter sweep
  • pitch shift or detune the double-click sounds to make them sit right in your beat
  • use the macros to add a 20ms delay to thicken up the sound
  • roll in a long feedback on the delay then modulate the delay time (buzzo wuzzo)
  • Loop the swish samples with long LFO rate (risers and buildups)
  • Note-Repeat the single hits and make the LFO faster for tight rhythm FX
  • fade the reverb in to max and then suddenly mute the rack on a drop
  • Stop reading this sidebar and play some drum pads
  • Become enlightened instantly 

Steve Knots

Thanks for your visit! If you're new here, check out the session lessons. They're the most exciting new way to learn sound design, composition and mixdown techniques for electronic music production in Ableton Live. -Steve