Making House Like Ross From Friends - Part 1



In our latest 'Creating the Sounds Of...' article, we explore the tips and techniques needed to create beats like Ross From Friends, Caribou, Fred Again, Ben Bohmer and others in the Melodic House genre. Exploring the demo from our latest pack 'Euphoric Memory', let's dive in....



Big Kick

Through the pack we used the Plugin Boutique instrument 'Big Kick'. Unlike other kick samplers (or using samples from your browser) 'Big Kick' is a synth, generating the tone and shape of the kick synthetically. This is gives us a whole bunch of pitch and enveloping options that won't effect the quality of the sound.


Pitching the kick to the key of your track is useful in creating harmony across your track. But if it sounds great out of key, roll with it!

DS Kit

Available with Ableton Live Suite are a number Max For Live Instrument with DS at the start (DS Clap, DS Snare, DS Clang etc)

Here, we've used the DS Clap in conjunction with an LFO. Mapping the LFO to the 'Sloppy' parameter within DS Clap allows us to vary the looseness of the generated claps over time (in our example, over 1.5 bars). Present in a lot of Melodic House is a feeling of movement, and this simple chain can help support this.



Organise those samples!

We've all reached for the perfect clap sound (or any sound) from a few tracks ago and need to trawl through Ableton's browser to find it. In this session, I use a simpler with an audio file that plays all my favourite claps one after the other. When set to 'Slice' mode, I can use MIDI on a piano roll (where C1 is the first 'slice' of the audio file) to quickly scrub through them and arrange within my beat.


For more on making beats in Ableton Live, check out our 'Programming Realistic Drum Parts' blog!


LFO Tool

Another useful time saver is 'LFO Tool' from Xfer Records. If you have a kick that has too much body or decay to be a suitable side chain signal, 'LFO Tool' lets you set an even 'dip' where your kick would be at any subdivision. The 'Smooth' function also lets you remove any pop or click similar to a sidechain-compressor's 'attack' parameter.



Calming the Top End
Speaking of smoothing audio, 'Soothe 2' from 'Oeksound' is a super popular, super effective dynamic resonance suppressor. It's changed the way we mix drums (or any part of the mix really)
Put plainly, it listens to the input signal (in this case, by percussion and hats) and 'soothes' the harsh resonance out of them in real time. A game changer! 



Managing the Mix
The final step in for us is always managing compression, saturation, brightness and transients. In the video, we us 'UAD API2500' for compression, Soundtoys 'Decapitator' for saturation/distortion, 'Fabfilter Pro Q3' for managing brightness and Native Instruments 'Transient Master' for transients.


For the sounds used in the demo video, here's the full pack: 'Euphoric Memory'