Ableton CV Cross-modulated Kick by Galen

ableton kick fm

This is based on the Moog DFAM Cross Modulated Kick Drum as described here:

Use Ableton CV Tools and a CV Instrument instance. You can calibrate it first in order to pitch your kick drum - or just use a Tuner device. Setup your DC-coupled outputs:

(Ableton) CV Gate -> (DFAM) TRIGGER
(Ableton) CV Pitch -> (DFAM) VCO 1 CV
(Ableton) Velocity (Expression tab) -> (DFAM) VELOCITY

With just those patches, you should have a (tuned) kick drum - create a MIDI clip with some notes an octave (or two) above/below your Kick.

Use the CV Clock Out device to send pulses (e.g. 1/8 or 1/16). If desired, manually advance on the DFAM to the 8th step, then press RUN *before* starting the transport in Ableton.

But the fun really starts if you have more outputs available. You can use non-DC-coupled outputs for triggers/gates also.

Try modulating the FM Amount:

(Ableton) CV Shaper -> (DFAM) 1->2 FM AMT

I like Shaper with the Heartbeat pattern, ~50% (macro!) amplitude, and 4-bar length.

Also try modulating the VCO 2 Frequency (in addition to the DFAM sequencer):

(Ableton) CV LFO device -> (DFAM) VCO 2 CV

I like the LFO on Random with 2% jitter and 10% smoothing and a 50% depth (amplitude). I use 3/4-bar length but that is to taste (and Instrument Rack macro control!).

Then have fun tweaking NOISE/VCF MOD, CUTOFF, and VCF DECAY on the DFAM - and occasionally try switching oscillators from triangle to square, or flipping into HP filtering.