How to use the Choke feature in Ableton’s Drum Rack

There are many things you can do to give a sequenced drum groove more of a realistic feel.  Among them, is the ability to ‘choke’ your hi-hat samples so they emulate how a real drummer switches between an open hat and a closed hat.

Choking is the use of triggering one sample to cutoff another and/or vice versa.  In the example of our hi-hat samples, we particularly want our closed hi-hat to choke our open hi-hat.

Here’s what that sounds like:

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Without choke group active:

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If you’re the type that likes to create your own drum kits from one-shot samples, then you’ll probably want to choke your open hi-hat hits.

Getting Started…

Pull up the drum rack of your choice or create a new one and drop in your hi-hat samples.  To access the choke feature in Ableton you’ll need to expand your Chain List and Mixer (within your drum rack).

You can expand your Chain List by clicking on the circle icon with 3 bars running through it.

Now, scroll down and click on the I-O icon so you can access your Mixer.

In your Mixer you will find the Choke feature with a drop-down menu for each sample.

Set all of your hi-hat samples to the same Choke group.  In our case, we set them all to group 1.

Once they’re all grouped, you’re good to go!

Wrap Up…

You can use this feature for more than just hi-hats.  It’s particularly useful when you have a set of audio samples that you want to trigger in a quick percussive manner.  Sometimes a sample’s length is longer than the interval at which you’re triggering it.  This can cause bleeding, overlapping, etc..

How do you prevent bleeding?  By choking!

We hope you found this tutorial helpful.  If you’re in need of some hot loops and samples then stop by PlatinumLoops – they’ve got you covered!

As always, be sure to check back regularly for more great articles from Samplepacks.ca!

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One Response to “How to use the Choke feature in Ableton’s Drum Rack”

  1. Matt Says:

    Thank you for this. I was about to jump off a bridge and then I read this article. Seriously made my day to figure this out. 🙂

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