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Create a Track Idea In 5 Simple Steps with Cioz (Stil vor Talent) | Ableton Live

Today let’s dive into the workflow of a Berlin-based electronic music producer Cioz from the Stil vor Talent label. He made his production process an incredibly fun experience with a few simple techniques. Let’s explore how he creates his tracks!

In his latest PML pack, everything matches with everything for endless creativity! You’ll instantly want to start a track with it. It includes samples, loops, and his signature Drum Rack and Sound Design Tools - You get his Complete Workflow. Check it out here.

1. Using Drum Kits: Drum Pads vs Sequencing

Basically, every time I start the track with the kick drum, because it's the most important element. What I use to start are Ableton drum kits. You can choose your own kits in the drums section.

I prefer starting with a kit, because there are several different sounds, which makes it easier to express yourself and find your grooves. I prepared my own drum kit that I use most of the time.

Cioz usually starts making a track in the Clip View. He builds his drum patterns with the Ableton Push by combining sequencing with playing drum pads.

Quantized elements (like the kick, snare, hi hats) are usually put in through sequencing. Elements which are off-the-grid or swung are usually played on drum pads and recorded - and only after that, they might be nudged manually in the software.

In this way, Cioz gets the best of both sequencing styles.

See Also: Create Unique Sounds In 5 Simple Ways with Cioz

2. Putting the Groove inside a Key

After the initial drums are done, I like to put the groove inside a key. By that I mean finding the right harmony for my rhythm. This can be done with any instrument you like.

Cioz does it by playing the keyboard over the initial beat. The goal is to come up with a background, yet rhythmic and harmonic texture that is going to give a bit of context for adding more harmonic elements later on.

The result is later resampled and the best bits are chosen to play continuously over most of the track. The amount of this background texture is controlled by a lowpass filter with the cutoff frequency automated to bring it in and out.

Ben Böhmer uses this technique to create a constant background rhythmic pattern for his tracks: Ben Böhmer In The Studio: Beyond Beliefs


3. Jamming with Hardware (or Plugins) to Come Up with Parts

Once you arrive at this point you can find your bass, melodies or all the other drums. My favorite machine is the Elektron Analog MKII, but you can also use plugins for this as well. I'm in love with the Elektron because it's really fast to work with.

Cioz has a prepared set of sounds to start from, so he can just record or sequence them directly. The goal is to do a little jam and come up with a few parts on the fly.

See Also: 5 Creative Production Techniques with Cioz

4. Adding Rhythmic Textures with Field Recordings

For additional textures, I like to do some field recording. I have this stereo microphone, but you can use whatever microphone you want - even your mobile phone. Phones have really good microphones these days. You can record the sound of your room - go around and try to record random sounds.

A good starting point for field recording could be handclaps, snaps, sounds of hitting household objects, as well as metallic sounds - keychains, coins, cans and kitchen utensils.

Even if it's not the best quality, you’ll find something to work with. To create rhythms you can warp and quantize the clips. Recordings from a mobile phone work perfectly - the dirtier it is, the better.

Try layering the foley recordings with your drums to create more interesting rhythms and textures - it adds a very warm, organic feel. Experiment with processing as well - you can add dirt - for example with saturation - or clean up the sounds with equalizers.

5. Arranging: from Drums to Harmony

What I like to do with the drums is separating them instead of keeping them all in one track. At the beginning working in one clip is faster, and it allows you to think of it as a single instrument. However, arranging is easier if you split your drum hits onto separate tracks.

Tip: To split a drum rack into separate clips, you don’t need to waste time copying and pasting samples and MIDI. All you need to do is expand your Chains List in the Drum Rack (the button is on the left of the rack). Then just select a chain with a sound you’re using and go to “Extract Chains”. The drum hit and the corresponding MIDI will be automatically moved to a separate track.

Once you have your drum hits split, you can still treat your drum sounds just like a single instrument by grouping all the drum tracks and adding effects to the group.

Cioz starts to arrange by copying the drums from the Clip View over to the Arrangement and extends them to create an introduction. Next, he starts introducing melodic elements one by one. In the next section he sometimes creates a break - removes the drums and leaves some harmonic elements. He creates transition effects by resampling:

To create an effect, don't go to your sound library and look for an effect. Instead, try to create your own sound effect by using the synths. If you have melodic elements, you can put a very long reverb, resample and reverse it to create a riser.

Get Inspired
With the Cioz Pack

Stil vor Talent x PML Artist Pack Vol. 1 - Cioz

“You get my complete workflow!” - Cioz

Professionally recorded and mixed one shots and loops! This pack is all about creating grooves that let people dance.

About This Sample Pack:

If you have ever seen him play his own songs live you have felt his energetic, positive and good hearted spirit.

In his first pack ever he was able to capture that fluffy, groovy feeling in over 210 loops. You will instantly want to start a track. All loops are set to 122BPM and all melodic / harmonic loops are in A Minor: everything matches with everything for endless creativity!

The included “Big Drum Rack” is Cioz finest selection of samples all built into one single tool - with everything perfectly compressed, EQed & side chained plus creative FX for playing live and fast production. You get Cioz's complete workflow!

What You Are Getting:

  • 210+ Percussive & Melodic Loops
  • 100+ One Shots with natural feel
  • Big Drum Rack
  • 7 Ableton Only Sound Design Tools

Click here to learn about the Cioz Sample Pack.

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