Advanced Drum Rack Concepts

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Ableton Live is a unique DAW for many reasons, but one of its greatest strengths is its level of immediacy, particularly with creating custom plugin chains and routings. One of the best ways to create these custom chains of instruments or effects is to use Racks, which are easy to learn and incredibly useful for helping you develop your own, custom, unique sound. You can create Instrument Racks, Effect Racks, and Drum Racks - these are essentially DAW features that make it easy to build complex processors, instruments, stacked synths, and more. Best of all, you can easily save and recall these custom devices enabling you to build a library of custom sonics, helping to further define your sound palette. In these lessons, we focus on advanced Drum Racks concepts. Many of the ideas in these lessons will apply to the other types of Racks as well, so these videos are well worth a careful look.

Lesson topics include:

  • Default Settings for Dropping Samples
  • Overview of Chains
  • Choke Groups
  • Return Chains and Busses
  • Using Instruments on Drum Rack
  • Using MIDI Effects on Chains

Your Instructor

Paul Laski
Paul Laski

Paul Laski (P-LASK) is an Ableton Certified Trainer with over six years of teaching experience at DubSpot New York and Icon Collective Music Production School in Los Angeles. Paul has been involved in the electronic music scene for over a decade as a producer, remixer, sound designer, DJ, and educator.

Blending sounds from house, techno, garage, and beyond, P-LASK's original productions and remixes have been featured on Moody Recordings, Groovebirds Records, Crowd Records, Cherrytree (Interscope) Records, Abe Duque Records, Mean Red Music, Krafted Music, and his own imprint, Electric Dangerous Records. He has done remix work for artists such as Coeur du Pirate, Abe Duque, Divisible, Pointe Claire, Edian (UK), Rainer Hoeglmeier (Germany), and Wei Wei (China).

A small selection of his sound design work can be heard in the factory preset bank of XFER Records’ SERUM software synthesizer. Paul continues to develop presets for software synthesizers, free Ableton Live Racks, and samples, many of which are available through his website ( When he's not busy in the studio, he offers instruction and consultation in Ableton Live and live performance for artists and producers in the LA area.

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