Fisher – Losing it Deconstructed and How to make in Ableton

Posted by Esteban Miranda on

When you´re producing music it´s always a big help to know the kind of sounds you could use for the kick or the snare, for example. Or also have a reference on what structure you could use by listening to the most played hit songs of the genre you like.

To help you all with that, today with Top Music Arts we´re bringing you our Remake of the song Losing it by Fisher. Made specially for learning purposes, using Ableton Live 10 and its built-in plugins, and the help of the great Vst Plugin Lennar Digital´s Sylenth1 v3, for some of the sounds.  



Losing it, the Tech House song that´s been the most played throughout all the six days of the 14th edition of the world's known festival Tomorrowland of this current year by artists like: Alison Wonderland, Fatboy Slim, JAUZ, Kungs, Lost Frequencies, Throttle, Otto Knows, Ingrosso, Cedric Gervais, BROHUG, Zonderling, D.O.D, The Magician, Kryder, Jonas Blue, WILL K y Dave Winnel in different parts of their respective shows.


This song was released on the 13th of July of 2018, and has been played all around the world getting to more than 21 million plays on Spotify, over 2.8 million on Soundcloud and many millions of views in every channel that features it on YouTube!

So if you are used to taking a Reference track to start your music production process, we´ll show you a way to do the same, but having an in-depth view of each element!

With our high-detailed song Remakes, you can check every track of the song separately or making your own groups if you like. And today we´re going to show you all a deconstructed view to help you recognize the elements used in this composition, which is a very innovative and original example to learn many music production techniques of the style.
We hope it impacts positively your way of making music and the way you see it.


Let´s start from the base…


This song has a 125 bpm Tempo, pretty common for a house type of song, and is in the Tonality of G Major. Its full-time length is 6:40.

Here is the original song:

  

The main elements of losing it are without a doubt the Rhythm and Percussive sections, let’s talk about the percussive tracks:

 

 

The Kicks

The kicks, one of the main ingredients of this song, are playing a really simple “4 to the floor” pattern. Made with a 2 beats bar, and hitting on the downbeats. Extended with the Loop option through the different parts of the song.

 


The pattern changes after the second Buildup. In the second half of the second Build up, Drop, and 3rd Breakdown, then following with an alternated pattern until the end of the song.

Here is half of the second Build-up, you can see that half of it plays the same pattern, but in the second half it plays 8th notes.

 

 

And here is the alternated pattern that is played when the kicks start to change. It´s a similar idea, but just adding some 8th and at the end, every two bars and 16th notes at the end of the phrase.


 

The kick Sample sound chosen is very deep and clear, we added a simple Eq Eight for cutting some of the low we don´t need. Also with some Reverb in the buildups, added in the master channel to all the instruments.
The chain is very simple but there´s still more to it than this…

 

There is no need to have different kick sounds summing up, or many tracks where sometimes you can cause a mess in the whole project. In this case, with a great sounding Sample, a simple Low-cut, and some well-placed Automations, you can see what great results you can get.

Here you can take a look at the kick track´s different automations and hear the filter working:

 



The Hats

Not exactly talking about the ones you wear... 


The Hi-hats of this track are another main ingredient of Fisher song´s groove. They are playing a very simple, but also a very important role in this song. They´re playing a 4 bar idea, hitting with an 8th note in the second half of every beat (upbeat) as you can see here, check it out:


 

 

Also extended with the Loop option, for easier use of the pattern throughout the song.
The hi-hats remain constant and solid right through the song´s different parts but are cut out during all the buildups.
The Sample is a good, solid, and classic EDM Hihat, with an Eq Eight making a deep low-cut and a high-end (above 6kHz) frequency boost of almost 5 dB.


Here you can check out the hi-hat´s device chain, it´s very simple:



The Claps

The Claps of this song, are playing again a plain 2 bar pattern. Hitting on the second beat of every bar (downbeat). They are played throughout the whole song, except for the buildups, and some pre buildup parts (similar to the hi-hats) and extended with the Loop option trough the project.

You can do this duplication of patterns in many different ways, that´s up to you and the way you want to organize your project better.

We recommend you all to keep your patterns and structures as simple and solid as you can, at least until you practice enough to play with them freely.    


The chain is as simple as a good EDM Clap sample through a Simpler and using its own built-in low pass filter for a little cleanup of unwanted frequencies.

Here you can check it:

 

 


The Hi-Hats and the Claps, of this song, are good examples of the known phrase "less is more", a common saying that is no lie when you are producing music.


You don´t need a lot of plugins, or many samples to make a great song, you just need to use your ear and make each element add something positive to your beat.  

Losing it has a lot of that going on with only this three main percussive elements we mentioned so far, and some automations here and there.

To show you how they work, hear the Kicks, Hats, and Claps together:

 

 


The Rimshots

Following with the percussive elements, we have to show you the Rims or rimshots. They play a decorative sort of function in this song´s beat. They are only played in the Drops, during the second half of them with some variations on the third drop. 

The rims are playing a 4 bar pattern, playing a complementary phrase in 16th notes. The pattern played by them works great in conjunction with the rest of the elements. By its own, you may not hear or notice that.


Let me show you...

Check it out here:
 

 

 

 
This kind of "topping" elements on your beat needs to be held back and well blended in your mix. Their function is to add color, and groove to the beat in some parts of the song, and not meant to be a "main ingredient".
So we don´t need to hear it in the front and center of our mix. 

For those starting with music production, we also have a How to make Future Bass tutorial in our previous articles, you can check it out here and much more content in our blog section! 

For this track, we have a nice percussive type of Rim Sample, similar to a stick kind of sound. With a low-pass filter inside the Simpler, an Eq eight with a low-cut (below 167Hz), and a high-end (over 5kHz) frequency boost (similar to our hi-hat track). 
 


And a simple Compressor side-chained to the Kick´s signal, to keep it distant from the rest of the elements. But at the same time, make it cut through the rest of the sounds. With a low-cut in the Sidechain eq.

 

 


The Rides

For the Ride Cymbal sounds, there is a 2 bar loop extended with the Loop option. With the notes hitting in the two downbeats, forming the typical "4 to the floor" pattern. The Ride element is only added in the fourth Drop.


The sample is another nice sounding EDM Classic Ride, but with a little more work on the device chain. First with a little low-pass filter from Simpler´s, then a not so bright setting of Ableton´s Reverb, with a Hi-cut in it.
 
 
Followed by an Eq Eight, making a low-cut  (above 600Hz), a minimal hi-cut and a little ducking of 5 dB in the hi frequencies (around 9kHz). And a Compressor, Sidechained to the Kick´s signal, and equalized, as you can see, similar to the Rim´s compressor settings. Because they are meant to have the same function.


These last two track´s device chains may be more complex than the others, but don´t forget, they are the kind of elements you need to add with a different mix plan.

Here you can listen to all the percussive elements we have mentioned so far, notice the way they all work together:



The Snare Roll

 Another cool element we shouldn´t leave unnoticed is the Snare Roll track. The Rolls are only played on the Buildup parts, in the second Breakdown, and in some sections of the Drops, adding some closure to the loops. 

Playing 16th notes and in different loop durations depending on the part. What is most important to show you here is that the snare rolls are only present when the Hats, Claps, Rims, and Rides are not playing, so the section is not too crowded. They are also present through the track by playing one bar loops during the Drop sections. With the first drop as an exception, that one remains simple. 

Here you can check out how the Snare rolls work with the Beat and the Risers, in a Drop section of the song:  

 



The Bass

What would it be of this song without the Bassline! There are 4 different Patterns, but all based on the main one featuring simple variations but adding a lot to the vibe of each one of the drops.

The main Bassline is a 4 bar loop, playing around the G and G# notes making a basic phrase that forms a key element of this song. On the drops, there is also a Sub (Bass) channel, playing the same notes, but summing those sub-bass frequencies that helps to get a deeper sound.


 

 

 

If a bassline is good, you´ll notice it when is not there in the song. In this one, you´ll see that the notes or phrases that are played by the bass may not be so complex, but have in mind that it is a huge supplement to the main lead. And there are parts that were intentionally cleared of the Bass elements to help build up the tension and release it when the Bass comes back on.

That´s a common and really useful technique to use when producing the Basslines of your song!

For the Bass and most of the Synths of this Remake, the Sylenth1 v3 VST Plugin was used, among many of Ableton´s stock plugins, and many with their own automations. 


Here is what the Bass and the Beat sounds like together:
 
 



The Main Lead

The Lead sound is always a crucial element in every song, it´s the one that takes more time for you to pick the sound, to pick the effects to use, and to mix it properly with the rest; but it´s one of the things that can make a song memorable, similar to what happens with Vocals. It´s important that it complements with each other of the elements.

To show you a good example of this, here is the Main Lead with the Bassline. Notice how these elements, that are both rhythmic and melodic, work together:
 
 

In Losing it, the Lead is making the same pattern, with many variations in the fx and automations and little in the notes played. With a 4 Bar pattern, repeating throughout the song.

 

 



The Structure

We always need to have in mind the structure of the songs we like to have as a reference. The way the artists blend different instruments, pulling some back, bringing some others to the front, changing sounds and filters, also noticing the automations they might add to this said parts. 

In Losing it, we can see that it starts with 8 bars of the main beat, with filtered kicks, and then adding the rest of the rhythmic and melodic instruments. As an Introduction (Intro)

The Breakdown, Buildup, Drop, formula repeats 3 times, but inside of this repetitions many instruments are added and many change trough automations. Keeping the song from turning to bore and making you bounce to it as it builds up and drops.

Then there is a final Buildup different from the rest, followed as naturally, with a final Drop and an Outro.


 

 




We strongly recommend you all to add Markers to your projects. Labeling each important section of your songs. You´ll notice right away how helpful and convenient it can be, when you have the left and right cursors mapped to your Keyboard or MIDI controller, and you are swiping through your different song´s parts, like in Session view mode!

 

 

 

 

You can hear our Remake version of the full song and compare it with the original if you like.
Here check it out:

 

 If you want to know more about how Losing it by Fisher is made, or how to make a Techno House track, go ahead and let us know in the comments. Also, you can purchase this Ableton Remake version available in our Store here.

 

 



Paul Fisher
(Fisher) is a 32 years old, Australian house and techno music producer, who is also a former WQS surfer, vlogger, that has been nominated for the Best Dance Release for the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) music awards and made the top 50 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Dance/Mix Show Airplay, and Dance Club Songs. With a promising career and by what has been his recent success in 2018 we hope to keep hearing more and more of his innovative and original tracks. 


He was one half of the DJ duo Cut Snake. The group was formed with two fellow surfers: Leigh "Sedz" Sedley and Harry “Tarzan” Nazer. The trio started DJing together while traveling on the pro-surfing circuit, shortly followed by Nazer leaving to follow a solo career.

Later, he went solo and started releasing House Music tracks under the stage name we all know him by. 

His debut release was Ya Kidding, and it was a total dancefloor bomb!

Another great Fisher´s song is Stop it, a Dance track, released in 2017, also with millions of streams as well. We have available for sale our Remake version of that song if you want to dig deeper into it here. Mixed and produced using Sylenth1 version 3 and Ableton live´s stock fx instruments only. With the presets included (as well as in losing it). 

His last single (Losing it) reached #1 on the ARIA Club Tracks chart and made the top 50 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Dance/Mix Show Airplay, and Dance Club Songs. Giving Fisher a very successful 2018 and as we hope a very prosperous 2019.

 

 

 

 


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  • Very nice tutorial. Very understandable for anybody. But maybe a tutorial up to the bus mixing would be great! But nice works!!!

    Dieter De Decker on

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