I love metal...I really do...those heavy guitar riffs with syncopated beats meshuggah style, fuck yeah! why not recreate them? better yet, why not let them be created out of thin air! well, that is, with a bit of help from Ableton Live.
So here's how it's done... Start by making one channel that holds a steady 4/4 drum loop, pretty much any one will do. Then add a MIDI channel will contain 3 chains, one for an open hat, one for bass and one for a distorted guitar. Make this channel play a low pitched 1/16 notes (either using a clip or max 4 live's mono sequencer). For now you should have a pretty annoying continuous 1/16 notes playing hats, bass and guitars. Don't worry - hold tight!
Now for the fun part. Instead of annoying 1/16 notes we want to get cool syncopated short notes. To do so, we'll need two MIDI velocity effects one after the other. The first is used to randomize the velocity of the incoming MIDI notes, and the second as a gate to "throw out" unwanted notes. This way, only some of the 1/16 notes will be able to pass the gate!
It might be a bit tricky to get the parameters right, so I'll write down the ones I used. The first velocity effect should be on Clip mode, Out Low set to 28, Out Hi set to 127 and random set to 64. The second velocity effect should be on Gate mode, Out Low set to 0 and Out Hi set to 127. Try playing around with the Lowest value (somewhere in the of the second velocity effect, this will make the notes more/less frequent.
One final thing. Make sure than your bass and your guitar are tuned to the same root note so they will be harmonic. A nice way to add some color here is to use a MIDI random effect set to alter some of the pitches away from the root note, for example to the minor 3rd. The parameters I used for this effect are Chance = 27%, Choices = 1, Scale = 3, Sign = Add, Mode = Rnd.