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Part 4: Cymbals

Finally, you will use the fourth sequencer part, P4, to generate some cymbal accents on every four bars.

Part Overview

For the P4 sequencer part, we are going to configure a state machine according to the following diagram:

Accents pattern

This state machine will generate accent notes on every four bars, and will alternate between them with higher probability, or repeat them with lower probability.


Configure P4 mixer like following:

  • Part Activator: On;
  • Timing: 4 — this will make the state machine transition on every four bars;
  • Level: 70%.

Your P4 mixer section should look like this:

P4 Mixer
P4 Mixer


Next, open the floating plug-in window and select P4 in the Part Selector.


For this sequencer part, we only need two states: one for a crash cymbal and one for a ride cymbal. Configure P4 state machine as follows:

  • States Number: 2;
  • State 1: D2 (crash cymbal);
  • State 2: D#2 (ride cymbal).

Just like the previous part, you can keep the default velocity values, or slightly expand the velocity ranges to add some variation to the note output levels.

Then, configure the State Transition Matrix according to the state machine diagram above:

  • State 1 is followed by the State 2 with higher chance, or is repeated with lower chance;
  • Similarly, State 2 is followed by the State 1 with higher chance, or is repeated with lower chance.

Your P4 state machine configuration should look like this:

State 1 configuration
State 1 configuration

Initial State

By default, the state machine starts playing from the first state. For the previous sequencer parts, we kept this default behavior as we wanted the kick and snare part to always start from the kick note, and the hi-hats part to always start from the loud hi-hat note.

For this sequencer part, we can add some extra variation by letting the state machine start from a random state each time: either a crash or a ride cymbal. To do this, click the Initial State dropdown menu and choose Random State instead of State 1.

Initial state dropdown
Initial state dropdown


Hit Play in Ableton Live to hear all four sequencer parts playing together.

Kick and snare pattern with hi-hats, ghost notes and accents

Try restarting the playback several times. Notice how the beat sometimes begins with the crash cymbal and other times with the ride cymbal.