I suppose this video has a bit more to do with theory than Ableton, but someone emailed me recently about how I achieved a certain sound on one of my jams. It involved using what would be perceived as a polyrhythm effect on one of the synth melodies I was playing. So I thought it might be fun to talk about audio effects and multiple rhythms.

A polyrhythm is, simply put, two different rhythms played simultaneously. If I perform a melody at a 4/4 tempo, but put an effect on the melody that changes the modulation of the effect into, say dotted quarter or dotted eight notes, it can give the perception of multiple parts being played at individual rhythms. A modulating effect has its own life and movement, so using an off tempo rate for your effect can give a percussive sound to a tempo all its own.

Check out the video above as I walk through how I would go about creating a polyrhythm modulation using some of my favorite Ableton effects.