Creating A Groovy House Chord Pattern

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This post will demonstrate how adding a few little twists to a simple, manually programmed midi pattern can turn it into a groovy House chord pattern. The sequence of steps is very basic, but it can be applied to any pluck or chord sound in Massive.

 

We’ll go from this:

 

To this:

 

The bass-line pattern and a variation of the chord pattern are also covered, at the end of the post.

 


1) The Main Pattern


 

We’ll use a simple one-bar pattern of voiced Minor 9th chords. Well, this is actually a half-a-bar pattern, but there is a slight difference in the length of the hits across the two half bars. While for this sound the difference is subtle, adjusting note lengths can really make a difference on the overall groove:

1 House Chord Pattern - Ableton Tutorial

It sounds like this:

 


2) Adding Some Swing


 

Now we’ll use one of the built-in swing preset to add a groove that we cant get with a fixed 1/16 grid. So access your Core Library in Live and from the Swing and Groove folder and Logic sub-folder select the Logic 16 Swing 60 preset, or any other swing preset that works for your track. Drop the groove preset onto your midi clip and click Open Groove Pool. Here you can play with the Global Amount. This depends on your track, but a value of 80 seemed to fit well here:

2 House Chord Pattern - Ableton Tutorial

It sounds like this:

 


 3)  Massive’s Synced Delay


 

Now we can make use of Massive’s Synced Delay effect to fit our swing pattern better in the mix. So select the Delay Synced from any of the FX slots and set the rate to 1/16 to both left and right channels. Turn the Damp and Feedback knobs to max and the Dry/Wet to roughly 25%:

3 House Chord Pattern - Ableton Tutorial

It sounds like this:

 


4) Some Side-Chain Compression


 

After adding the groove effect and the 1/16 synced delay in Massive, we can use some side-chain compression. This will lower the volume of the delay effect  that hits on-beat and will add something new to the main groove:

4 House Chord Pattern - Ableton Tutorial

Hear the difference when the side-chain compression comes in:

 


5) The Bassline Pattern


 

The bass-line pattern follows a simple 3-notes pattern and 1-bar progression E – F# – G#:

5 House Chord Pattern - Ableton Tutorial

It sounds like this:

 


6) Chord Pattern Variation


 

Here’s a variation of the chord pattern, now extended to two bars. It also moves some of the minor 9th chords in the upper octave:

6 House Chord Pattern - Ableton Tutorial

It sounds like this:

 

And here’s a different pluck sound as these steps can be applied to any sound in Massive:

 


The End


 

So there you go. Hope you got something out of this. Let me know if you have any suggestions or requests for future episodes in the comments below. Finally, if you found this post useful, don’t forget to share it!

Check our latest course for Live 9: Deep House Explored

 

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