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Can you make a beat using only a sine wave?

(Image credit: Future)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a three-part beat using only a single raw waveform. Let’s go…

(Image credit: Future)

Step 1: The sine wave is the raw building block of sound, of which all other sounds are made – so why not try making an entire beat using one? We’re starting with a single sine wave sample recorded from a synth, loaded into a sampler.

(Image credit: Future)

Step 2: Designing a kick drum from a sine wave is relatively straightforward - simply apply a fast downwards pitch envelope to the start of the sine wave. To beef up the kick a bit, we load up an Overdrive plugin and push up the drive. Easy.

(Image credit: Future)

Step 3: A snare drum is also fairly simple to create. We duplicate the kick channel, pitch this new sine up by two octaves and tweak pitch envelope settings. More extreme Overdrive settings create a ‘smashed’ snare tone.

(Image credit: Future)

Step 4: Next, we duplicate the snare track and draw in 16th-notes. Tightening this sampler’s ADSR envelope creates a short click sound. After that, we call up Ableton Live’s Vocoder, which applies white noise over the signal, giving us a convincing hi-hat. Job done - now it's your turn!