Ableton Live 10 ~ Drum Buss

Ableton Live 10 ~ Drum Buss

Ableton Live 10’s Drum Buss is an analog-style drum processor that will compress or limit the dynamic range of an audio signal. This effect is very useful for gluing together multiple drum sounds. And that’s what we are going to do today in this tutorial.

Drum Buss gives us the ability to crunch our sound (AKA squash the dynamic range), while at the same time preserving the ever so important transients. It can also add a bit of body and character to the grouped sound, helping it sound like one cohesive sound rather than a bunch of individual samples.

For this tutorial, I have an example beat which contains some basic synth patches for the harmony & melody, a nice sub bass to make it go boom & a handful of On Cloud Sine samples which we will be compressing with the drum buss effect.

Also, be sure to check the comments below for a free 15 sample download if you want to preview some of the sounds from this sound pack.


Drive = Adjust the amount of drive applied to the input signal, controlling the amount of distortion

Soft = Apply waveshaping distortion to the signal

Medium = Apply limiting distortion to the signal

Hard = Apply clipping distortion with a bass boost to the signal

// Tip = This can make your kicks sound extra dirty if you crank this up

Trim = Reduce the input signal level before any processing is applied to the signal

Comp = Apply a fixed compressor before any distortion takes place

// Tip = This compressor will further aid in the balancing or glueing of our multiple samples

Mid-High Frequency Shaping

This section of knobs can be useful to add clarity and presence to individual drum tracks such as snares and hi-hats.

Crunch = Adjust the amount of sine-shaped distortion added to the mid-high frequencies 

Damp = This is a low-pass filter, that allows us to remove any unwanted high frequencies that can occur after adding distortion (AKA this will “dampen" the signal)

Transients = Emphasize or de-emphasize the transients of frequencies above 100 Hz

// Positive  = Add more attack and increase sustain, resulting in a fuller, “punchier” sound

// Negative = Add more attack, but decrease sustain, resulting in a quicker or sharper sound

// Tip = This is a great knob to tweak and use on longer decay drum sounds, giving you complete control on how those sounds sit in your mix

Low-End Enhancement

This section of knobs will assist us in further shaping the low end of our drum sounds, allowing us to boost or cut the low end with a resonant filter while also shaping the sustain of these adjustments.

Boom = Adjust the amount of low-end enhancement that the resonant filter produces

Bass Meter = Visualize this low frequency enhancement in real time, to monitor the subtlety of the boom knob

Boom Frequency = Adjust the frequency of the low-end enhancer

// Tip = Depending on the low frequency content of your mix, this is a knob you might want to consider tweaking

Boom Decay = Adjust the decay rate of the low frequencies (AKA the sustain of the boom)

// Tip = A higher value will add more sustain to the low end

// Boom at 0% = Only affect the incoming, post-drive and distortion signal

// Boom Above 0% = Affect both the incoming and processed signals

Force To Note = Further adjust the Boom Frequency, snapping it to the nearest MIDI note

// Tip = This might be crucial for the low end, depending on the key of your song

Output Gain = Adjust the amount of gain applied to the processed signal

Dry/Wet = Adjust the mix between the original unprocessed signal and the processed signal


Okay, lets plop down a fresh Drum Buss and tweak our drum buss channel to our liking!

Drive = Select hard & set the drive to 20% to add some overall distortion to our grouped drums

Comp = Turned On to further glue all of the samples together

Crunch = 13% to add a bit more distortion to the mid-high frequencies

Damp = 9.07 kHz to shave off some top end after all of the distortion

Transients = -.10 to make our transients a hair more prominent, getting rid of some sustain

Boom = 20% to emphasize the low end a bit more

Boom Frequency = 61.7 Hz which results in a B0 note, since this beat is in B Major

Decay = 55% to add a bit of sustain to the low end (mainly our kick) 

Now let’s play this back with our full mix and A-B the drum buss effect back and forth. You can hear how louder, cleaner & more powerful our drum group sounds. Obviously, you’ll want to mix the group back in with the other elements of your beat.


00:34 = Overview
01:48 = Distortion
03:09 = Mid-High Frequencies
05:18 = Low End Enhancement
08:14 = Example Beat

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