FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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Website & Member Questions

Tips & Tricks

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you click on either a midi or audio clip, there is a skinny box that appears to the right of the help/info box. This skinny box is the “clip view.” If you click the “L” button in the bottom left of the clip view box, the “Launch mode” box will appear. From there you can select 4 different launch modes. Trigger, Gate, Toggle, and Repeat.

Trigger is the default. A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click is ignored.

Gate:  A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click stops the clip.

Toggle: A mouse click down starts and stops the clip.

Repeat: (Does not Loop) Holding down on the mouse click will repeatedly trigger the clip at its quantization interval.

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can map keys on your computer keyboard to toggle software buttons on and off in Live. When key mapping, it is best to disable the computer piano keyboard to prevent conflicts by clicking its icon in the upper right area of the screen.

Once the computer piano keyboard is disabled, press the key mapping button (also located in the upper right area of the screen). You can then click on almost any parameter in Live to select it for key mapping. Press and release your desired computer key once, then click the key mapping button again to exit key mapping mode. You can now press the mapped computer key to toggle on and off the mapped parameter.

Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
In order to have multiple output zones in Ableton, you need an audio interface that supports more than 2 outputs. A useful scenario for this would be wanting a preview “Cue Out” with a click track in your ear, while having the main output not have click.

Here are a few affordable USB interfaces that support multiple ins and have multiple ¼ inch outs

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

Steinburg UR44

Presonus AudioBox44VSL

However, once you get into multi-tracking more than 4 inputs, USB speeds become limiting and latency becomes a problem. For this reason, thunderbolt interfaces are an emerging market. Thunderbolt used to be a Mac OS only technology, but recently PC manufacturers have adopted thunderbolt standards as well. Thunderbolt is now a cross platform peripheral.

Yes thunderbolt interfaces are more expensive, but totally worth the money.

Focusrite has the Clarett 4 Pre and the Clarett 8 Pre

Universal Audio has the Apollo 8 (with a variety of different on-board processors)

(Universal Audio is different in that it has audio effect plugins that emulate real outboard gear. All processing of these plugins is done on the brain of the interface and does not tax your computer’s CPU)

Category: Tips & Tricks
Although it’s not possible by default to automate Ableton’s tempo to a specific clip using clip envelope automation, there is a Max for Live device called TEMPO that makes it possible. TEMPO allows you to directly change Ableton Live’s master tempo to the desired BPM speed. You can download and drag the TEMPO device onto a track. Choose a clip on that track, and automate TEMPO’s parameters inside that clip using Clip Envelope Automation.

Download the TEMPO Max for Live device at this link:

http://4live.me/post/51193368663/tempo

Yes. If both of those computers are yours. According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

If you want to know how to Sync 2 computers running Ableton, see “Play Together with Ableton Link”

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a parameter automated and you alter that parameter’s value (either with a mouse or with a midi controller) without changing any values in its automation lane, you will have muted that parameter’s automation. When any automation value is muted, the arrow in the top center of the screen (near the play stop record buttons) will light up orange. Click this orange button again to re-enable all automation.

To delete automation for a specific parameter, right click on that parameter and select “delete automation.” You can also delete automation in arrangement view by highlighting the area of drawn automation in the automation lane only and then pressing the delete key.

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can midi map almost any software button or knob in Ableton Live to hardware buttons or knobs.

    • You first need to make sure that your midi preferences are properly setup. (On Mac, Live, Preferences, On PC, Option, Preferences, then click the midi tab.) Then enable the remote button on the input of the desired midi device.
  • Once your midi preferences are set up, click the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen (or hit command + m on mac, control + m on PC), then click the software button or knob that you are wanting to map, then press or move the hardware button or knob that you are wanting to map
  • Once you have mapped a hardware button or knob, you have the ability to scale your mapping by adjusting the min and max values in the area where Ableton Live’s browser is located. Once you exit midi mapping mode by either clicking the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen again (or hitting command + m on mac, control + m on PC), Live’s browser will reappear.
Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a midi or audio clip in arrangement view that you’d like to move to session view, there are 2 ways to do so.

  1. Right click on a clip in arrangement view and copy it, tab to session view, right click on the desired clip slot and click paste.

OR.

  1. If you have multiple clips of a song that you want to move to session view, highlight the area of time you want using any track (say bars 1-9), right click and then click “consolidate time to new scene.” Tab to session view to see a new scene created.

This will make a new scene in session view with all the clips that occurred during the highlighted area of time that you selected in arrangement view.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Tips and Tricks; Recording

If you want to record audio from your computer outside of ableton such as capturing audio from your favorite viral video, there are a few different ways to do it.

On Mac,

Download and install soundflower.

https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/tag/2.0b2

Then change your Mac system preferences audio to route out to soundflower 2ch. In Ableton Live, change your input to soundflower 2ch, but keep your output in ableton still set to your soundcard or interface output. If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from videos and other sources running through Ableton. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

On Windows,

The process is similar but a couple more steps. Download and install VB-Cable.

https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/

You will also need to download and install Asio4All in order to allow for proper routing in Ableton Live

http://www.asio4all.org/

Change your playback device to route out to Cable-Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable). In Ableton Live, change your Driver Type to Asio, your Audio Device to AsioForAll v2, Then go to the hardware setup. For simplicity sake, mute all inputs in the Asio4All panel that are coming from your soundcard or interface, then enable the Device in the panel called VB-Audio Virtual Cable, then underneath the device, enable the IN (NOT THE OUT). Finally, enable your soundcard or interface device in the Asio4All panel, and enable the OUTPUT of that device only.

If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2 so that you have stereo audio in, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from video in your web browser and other sources running through Ableton Live. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

Category: Tips & Tricks
External Instruments in the Instruments folder of the Browser can be inserted on midi tracks and allow you to insert audio from an external instrument like a hardware synthesizer.

You can also route the audio output of a midi track that has an instrument on it to the input of an audio track so that you can bus FX before the audio is sent to the master.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Sidechaining is a way to duck down the volume of an audio track during the initial transient hit of the kick so that the kick sounds more impactful and your song will blend together better.

Let’s say you have a kick on Track 1 in Ableton Live, and you have a bass instrument on track 2. To sidechain the bass to the kick, we will need to first put a compressor on the bass track. There are 2 different types of compressors in the Audio Effects section of Ableton Live’s Browser; the normal Compressor and the Glue Compressor (which has more of an analog look).

Let’s start with just the normal Compresor and drag that to the bass track. Once the Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the compressor next to its enable/disable power button. Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

The process would be mostly the same with the Glue Compressor.  Once the Glue Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the Glue Compressor (next to its enable/disable power button). Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

This principle of ducking an instrument to another sound can be applied to all kinds of sidechaining techniques like other percussive sounds like also ducking an instrument to the snare in an additional compressor.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To disable warping on a specific clip, click the desired clip, you should then see the waveform of the audio clip appear and the left of the waveform is the clip parameters, click the button labeled “Warp” to disable warping for that clip.

By default Ableton Live will want to warp most audio unless it is a short sample with 1 transient peak. You can disable this functionality by going to Live’s Preferences, the Record Warp Launch tab, and turn off “Auto Warp Long Samples.” That way when you drag in a song to Ableton Live, that song will not automatically warp.

Tag: Warping
Category: Tips & Tricks
First make sure both computers are on the same network. WiFi will work, Ethernet is better (no you can’t just plug in a regular ethernet cable between 2 computers). You need to have a router in between them that hands out IP Addresses.

The Live Link button is in the upper left hand corner.

For Windows computers, if they are on the same network, and the Link button isn’t showing up, you may need to setup your audio drivers. In your audio preferences, your driver type will probably say something like MME/DirectX. This driver won’t work with Link.

The reason this won’t work is that you need lower latency in order for 2 computers to sync their clock. If your computer takes too long to generate sound, the other computer can’t calculate the sync time, thus the link button won’t show up.

To fix this, download and install ASIO drivers. If you are using your computer’s internal sound card, download the latest version of ASIO4ALL at www.asio4all.org

If you have an external interface such as a USB Audio interface. Google ASIO drivers for your interface model and download from the manufacturer’s site.

Mac users should be using the native Core Audio driver.

Category: Tips & Tricks

Ableton Live has 6 different warp mode types.

These modes are how Live will play back and stretch audio when it is set to a different tempo than the original recording. How each mode algorithm works to manipulates audio is more evident at slower tempos.

Beats mode is designed for drum loops, where there are short  transients to manipulate, and is the default warp mode.  The “Preserve” below the warp mode lets you to select how to shape the beat transients. You can warp to 16th notes, 8th notes, to the bar, etc. Or you can use Transients to shape at a granular level. It will loop over the audio file transients to recreate the most accurate sound of the original file. Beats mode is perfect for drum tracks, or other kinds of rhythms, but is not ideal for melodic audio clips.

Tones mode is designed for anything with a clear pitch like vocals, lead guitar, bass lines, etc. You want a sound that doesn’t emphasize rhythm. You can adjust the Grain Size to shorter or larger settings. The grain size is how the audio file is broken up into parts to warp.

Texture Mode is perfect for creating experimental, wild sounds. Its similar to the Grain Size warp structure in Tones, but and adds the Flux parameter. Texture warp mode is for sounds that don’t have complex melodic or pitch properties you want to keep, like pads or ambient sounds. Playing with the Flux parameter can help you create some very, very interesting atmospheric and ambient sounds. Love it!

Re-Pitch mode is how turntables work. It speeds up or slows down the audio to match the global tempo in your project. You won’t hear the warp artifact sounds here because the audio itself is repitched to match the speed.  If you want to preserve pitches and notes, this is not the mode for you, but it’s sometimes a good choice for drums though.

Complex mode is designed to warp entire song files or other complex audio. Complex is the most CPU intensive out of all warp modes. It attempts to preserve all of the rhythmic and tonal qualities of the audio file.

Complex Pro is similar to Complex mode, but adds the Format and Envelope parameters, most suitable for vocal track remixes. Formants adjust the extent of compensation to the sample and tries to preserve the natural “throat” sound of the human voice. Envelope adjusts spectral qualities of the file. Ableton recommends the default value of 128 for most audio and trying lower values for samples with higher pitched ranges and vice versa for lower sonic ranges.

Tag: Warping
Ableton Live lets you create a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format. Read this and learn how to make a .alp file

.alp stands for “Ableton Live Pack.”

It’s a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format.

Why use it?

It makes it super easy to archive Ableton Live projects and share them.

How to make an .alp?

1. File –> Collect All and Save.  -This will copy any samples, packs, recorded audio, and Max for Live devices to your project folder.

2. File –> Manage Files…

3. Click Manage Project (Center option on the right pane)

 

4. Click Create Pack (name your .alp)

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you right click on a midi or an audio clip and select “Extract Groove(s), you can extract the rhythm from a track. Once the groove is extracted, it will be available for use in the Groove Pool. You can then apply that extracted rhythm to any other track, by dragging that groove on top of the clip, and get a more cohesive sound.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Resampling is a neat trick in ableton live where you can capture the output of the master track and reinsert it into your project for additional processing. It’s a nice workaround, instead of flattening a track.

To resample, insert a new audio track, then change its audio from section to “resampling,” then arm the track, then record audio on the track. Once recorded, you will have audio on a single clip from all currently playing tracks that passed through the master. You can solo individual tracks to capture specific elements as well.

Category: Tips & Tricks
The Groove Pool is a bank of rhythms that can be applied to both midi and audio clips (as long that audio clip is warped and is not in Re-Pitch warp mode). The Groove Pool can be accessed by clicking the Groove Pool icon (2 line wave squiggle icon) which is located at the bottom left of Live’s Browser, above the help/info view box.

Once opened, the groove pool does not show any grooves or rhythms to apply. The grooves or rhythm clips can be found by right clicking in the empty groove pool, then selecting Browse Groove Library, which will take you to Packs, Core Library, Swing and Groove. From there you can browse through the various categories and click on the .agr files to preview the type of swing you want to apply. If you double click on a .agr file, it will place that groove into the Groove Pool. Then you can drag the groove that is in the groove pool onto the clip to apply it to that clip. The clip view box (the skinny box just to the right of the help/info view box) will show the current groove applied to that clip. Pressing Commit will create new warp markers on an audio clip and will snap midi notes to the actual place on the grid where the groove occurs.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Most likely, if Ableton Live’s clips are not playing in time, your samples are not properly warped. They may have a leading silence at the beginning of the clip. An easy way to get around this issue is to go into Ableton Live’s preferences and disable “Auto-Warp Long Samples,” which is located in the Record, Warp, Launch tab of Live’s Preferences. Retrigger your clips again and see if this fixes the issue.

If your clips are not properly launching in time and you want to keep your clips warped, go to each track and make sure that there isn’t leading silence at the beginning of the clips. If there is, zoom into each clip as much as possible and move the start clip flag right to the very beginning of when the audio sample actually starts, then right-click and select set 1.1.1 here, then right click once more and select “Warp From Here (Straight.)” Then retrigger your clips.

Also, by default all clips will launch according to the global launch quantization setting (located at the top left of the screen to the right of the metronome) Quantization is used to avoid rhythmical error when playing clips. To set specific clips to trigger on a quantized value separate from the global quantization, select a clip (midi or audio) then click the L in the Clip box (the skinny box located in-between the help/info view and the sample or notes box), then select the desired quantization value in the pull down menu (again Global is the default).

Yes, it is convenient to DJ from CDJ’s using RecordBox, or DJ with Traktor or Serato, but Ableton Live offers way more versatility in the Live realm in a way that no other program can.

You can take your live performance to a whole new level. Instead of just playing your Deck A and transitioning back to your Deck B all night…Ableton Live can do that and more. What if you wanted to play instruments along with your backing tracks, and have a platform that can support third party plugins on your backing tracks as well as your live inputs? Ableton can do it all.

Everyone is a DJ nowadays, Ableton will help you stand out for the right reasons.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To allow for ableton to be remotely controlled from a midi controller, you will need to enable remote on the input of your midi device in Live’s Midi Preferences. This allows Live to receive midi input information from your midi controller and interprets this as remote commands

Tag: mapping

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Tips & Tricks

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you click on either a midi or audio clip, there is a skinny box that appears to the right of the help/info box. This skinny box is the “clip view.” If you click the “L” button in the bottom left of the clip view box, the “Launch mode” box will appear. From there you can select 4 different launch modes. Trigger, Gate, Toggle, and Repeat.

Trigger is the default. A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click is ignored.

Gate:  A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click stops the clip.

Toggle: A mouse click down starts and stops the clip.

Repeat: (Does not Loop) Holding down on the mouse click will repeatedly trigger the clip at its quantization interval.

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can map keys on your computer keyboard to toggle software buttons on and off in Live. When key mapping, it is best to disable the computer piano keyboard to prevent conflicts by clicking its icon in the upper right area of the screen.

Once the computer piano keyboard is disabled, press the key mapping button (also located in the upper right area of the screen). You can then click on almost any parameter in Live to select it for key mapping. Press and release your desired computer key once, then click the key mapping button again to exit key mapping mode. You can now press the mapped computer key to toggle on and off the mapped parameter.

Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
In order to have multiple output zones in Ableton, you need an audio interface that supports more than 2 outputs. A useful scenario for this would be wanting a preview “Cue Out” with a click track in your ear, while having the main output not have click.

Here are a few affordable USB interfaces that support multiple ins and have multiple ¼ inch outs

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

Steinburg UR44

Presonus AudioBox44VSL

However, once you get into multi-tracking more than 4 inputs, USB speeds become limiting and latency becomes a problem. For this reason, thunderbolt interfaces are an emerging market. Thunderbolt used to be a Mac OS only technology, but recently PC manufacturers have adopted thunderbolt standards as well. Thunderbolt is now a cross platform peripheral.

Yes thunderbolt interfaces are more expensive, but totally worth the money.

Focusrite has the Clarett 4 Pre and the Clarett 8 Pre

Universal Audio has the Apollo 8 (with a variety of different on-board processors)

(Universal Audio is different in that it has audio effect plugins that emulate real outboard gear. All processing of these plugins is done on the brain of the interface and does not tax your computer’s CPU)

Category: Tips & Tricks
Although it’s not possible by default to automate Ableton’s tempo to a specific clip using clip envelope automation, there is a Max for Live device called TEMPO that makes it possible. TEMPO allows you to directly change Ableton Live’s master tempo to the desired BPM speed. You can download and drag the TEMPO device onto a track. Choose a clip on that track, and automate TEMPO’s parameters inside that clip using Clip Envelope Automation.

Download the TEMPO Max for Live device at this link:

http://4live.me/post/51193368663/tempo

Yes. If both of those computers are yours. According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

If you want to know how to Sync 2 computers running Ableton, see “Play Together with Ableton Link”

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a parameter automated and you alter that parameter’s value (either with a mouse or with a midi controller) without changing any values in its automation lane, you will have muted that parameter’s automation. When any automation value is muted, the arrow in the top center of the screen (near the play stop record buttons) will light up orange. Click this orange button again to re-enable all automation.

To delete automation for a specific parameter, right click on that parameter and select “delete automation.” You can also delete automation in arrangement view by highlighting the area of drawn automation in the automation lane only and then pressing the delete key.

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can midi map almost any software button or knob in Ableton Live to hardware buttons or knobs.

    • You first need to make sure that your midi preferences are properly setup. (On Mac, Live, Preferences, On PC, Option, Preferences, then click the midi tab.) Then enable the remote button on the input of the desired midi device.
  • Once your midi preferences are set up, click the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen (or hit command + m on mac, control + m on PC), then click the software button or knob that you are wanting to map, then press or move the hardware button or knob that you are wanting to map
  • Once you have mapped a hardware button or knob, you have the ability to scale your mapping by adjusting the min and max values in the area where Ableton Live’s browser is located. Once you exit midi mapping mode by either clicking the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen again (or hitting command + m on mac, control + m on PC), Live’s browser will reappear.
Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a midi or audio clip in arrangement view that you’d like to move to session view, there are 2 ways to do so.

  1. Right click on a clip in arrangement view and copy it, tab to session view, right click on the desired clip slot and click paste.

OR.

  1. If you have multiple clips of a song that you want to move to session view, highlight the area of time you want using any track (say bars 1-9), right click and then click “consolidate time to new scene.” Tab to session view to see a new scene created.

This will make a new scene in session view with all the clips that occurred during the highlighted area of time that you selected in arrangement view.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Tips and Tricks; Recording

If you want to record audio from your computer outside of ableton such as capturing audio from your favorite viral video, there are a few different ways to do it.

On Mac,

Download and install soundflower.

https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/tag/2.0b2

Then change your Mac system preferences audio to route out to soundflower 2ch. In Ableton Live, change your input to soundflower 2ch, but keep your output in ableton still set to your soundcard or interface output. If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from videos and other sources running through Ableton. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

On Windows,

The process is similar but a couple more steps. Download and install VB-Cable.

https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/

You will also need to download and install Asio4All in order to allow for proper routing in Ableton Live

http://www.asio4all.org/

Change your playback device to route out to Cable-Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable). In Ableton Live, change your Driver Type to Asio, your Audio Device to AsioForAll v2, Then go to the hardware setup. For simplicity sake, mute all inputs in the Asio4All panel that are coming from your soundcard or interface, then enable the Device in the panel called VB-Audio Virtual Cable, then underneath the device, enable the IN (NOT THE OUT). Finally, enable your soundcard or interface device in the Asio4All panel, and enable the OUTPUT of that device only.

If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2 so that you have stereo audio in, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from video in your web browser and other sources running through Ableton Live. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

Category: Tips & Tricks
External Instruments in the Instruments folder of the Browser can be inserted on midi tracks and allow you to insert audio from an external instrument like a hardware synthesizer.

You can also route the audio output of a midi track that has an instrument on it to the input of an audio track so that you can bus FX before the audio is sent to the master.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Sidechaining is a way to duck down the volume of an audio track during the initial transient hit of the kick so that the kick sounds more impactful and your song will blend together better.

Let’s say you have a kick on Track 1 in Ableton Live, and you have a bass instrument on track 2. To sidechain the bass to the kick, we will need to first put a compressor on the bass track. There are 2 different types of compressors in the Audio Effects section of Ableton Live’s Browser; the normal Compressor and the Glue Compressor (which has more of an analog look).

Let’s start with just the normal Compresor and drag that to the bass track. Once the Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the compressor next to its enable/disable power button. Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

The process would be mostly the same with the Glue Compressor.  Once the Glue Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the Glue Compressor (next to its enable/disable power button). Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

This principle of ducking an instrument to another sound can be applied to all kinds of sidechaining techniques like other percussive sounds like also ducking an instrument to the snare in an additional compressor.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To disable warping on a specific clip, click the desired clip, you should then see the waveform of the audio clip appear and the left of the waveform is the clip parameters, click the button labeled “Warp” to disable warping for that clip.

By default Ableton Live will want to warp most audio unless it is a short sample with 1 transient peak. You can disable this functionality by going to Live’s Preferences, the Record Warp Launch tab, and turn off “Auto Warp Long Samples.” That way when you drag in a song to Ableton Live, that song will not automatically warp.

Tag: Warping
Category: Tips & Tricks
First make sure both computers are on the same network. WiFi will work, Ethernet is better (no you can’t just plug in a regular ethernet cable between 2 computers). You need to have a router in between them that hands out IP Addresses.

The Live Link button is in the upper left hand corner.

For Windows computers, if they are on the same network, and the Link button isn’t showing up, you may need to setup your audio drivers. In your audio preferences, your driver type will probably say something like MME/DirectX. This driver won’t work with Link.

The reason this won’t work is that you need lower latency in order for 2 computers to sync their clock. If your computer takes too long to generate sound, the other computer can’t calculate the sync time, thus the link button won’t show up.

To fix this, download and install ASIO drivers. If you are using your computer’s internal sound card, download the latest version of ASIO4ALL at www.asio4all.org

If you have an external interface such as a USB Audio interface. Google ASIO drivers for your interface model and download from the manufacturer’s site.

Mac users should be using the native Core Audio driver.

Category: Tips & Tricks

Ableton Live has 6 different warp mode types.

These modes are how Live will play back and stretch audio when it is set to a different tempo than the original recording. How each mode algorithm works to manipulates audio is more evident at slower tempos.

Beats mode is designed for drum loops, where there are short  transients to manipulate, and is the default warp mode.  The “Preserve” below the warp mode lets you to select how to shape the beat transients. You can warp to 16th notes, 8th notes, to the bar, etc. Or you can use Transients to shape at a granular level. It will loop over the audio file transients to recreate the most accurate sound of the original file. Beats mode is perfect for drum tracks, or other kinds of rhythms, but is not ideal for melodic audio clips.

Tones mode is designed for anything with a clear pitch like vocals, lead guitar, bass lines, etc. You want a sound that doesn’t emphasize rhythm. You can adjust the Grain Size to shorter or larger settings. The grain size is how the audio file is broken up into parts to warp.

Texture Mode is perfect for creating experimental, wild sounds. Its similar to the Grain Size warp structure in Tones, but and adds the Flux parameter. Texture warp mode is for sounds that don’t have complex melodic or pitch properties you want to keep, like pads or ambient sounds. Playing with the Flux parameter can help you create some very, very interesting atmospheric and ambient sounds. Love it!

Re-Pitch mode is how turntables work. It speeds up or slows down the audio to match the global tempo in your project. You won’t hear the warp artifact sounds here because the audio itself is repitched to match the speed.  If you want to preserve pitches and notes, this is not the mode for you, but it’s sometimes a good choice for drums though.

Complex mode is designed to warp entire song files or other complex audio. Complex is the most CPU intensive out of all warp modes. It attempts to preserve all of the rhythmic and tonal qualities of the audio file.

Complex Pro is similar to Complex mode, but adds the Format and Envelope parameters, most suitable for vocal track remixes. Formants adjust the extent of compensation to the sample and tries to preserve the natural “throat” sound of the human voice. Envelope adjusts spectral qualities of the file. Ableton recommends the default value of 128 for most audio and trying lower values for samples with higher pitched ranges and vice versa for lower sonic ranges.

Tag: Warping
Ableton Live lets you create a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format. Read this and learn how to make a .alp file

.alp stands for “Ableton Live Pack.”

It’s a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format.

Why use it?

It makes it super easy to archive Ableton Live projects and share them.

How to make an .alp?

1. File –> Collect All and Save.  -This will copy any samples, packs, recorded audio, and Max for Live devices to your project folder.

2. File –> Manage Files…

3. Click Manage Project (Center option on the right pane)

 

4. Click Create Pack (name your .alp)

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you right click on a midi or an audio clip and select “Extract Groove(s), you can extract the rhythm from a track. Once the groove is extracted, it will be available for use in the Groove Pool. You can then apply that extracted rhythm to any other track, by dragging that groove on top of the clip, and get a more cohesive sound.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Resampling is a neat trick in ableton live where you can capture the output of the master track and reinsert it into your project for additional processing. It’s a nice workaround, instead of flattening a track.

To resample, insert a new audio track, then change its audio from section to “resampling,” then arm the track, then record audio on the track. Once recorded, you will have audio on a single clip from all currently playing tracks that passed through the master. You can solo individual tracks to capture specific elements as well.

Category: Tips & Tricks
The Groove Pool is a bank of rhythms that can be applied to both midi and audio clips (as long that audio clip is warped and is not in Re-Pitch warp mode). The Groove Pool can be accessed by clicking the Groove Pool icon (2 line wave squiggle icon) which is located at the bottom left of Live’s Browser, above the help/info view box.

Once opened, the groove pool does not show any grooves or rhythms to apply. The grooves or rhythm clips can be found by right clicking in the empty groove pool, then selecting Browse Groove Library, which will take you to Packs, Core Library, Swing and Groove. From there you can browse through the various categories and click on the .agr files to preview the type of swing you want to apply. If you double click on a .agr file, it will place that groove into the Groove Pool. Then you can drag the groove that is in the groove pool onto the clip to apply it to that clip. The clip view box (the skinny box just to the right of the help/info view box) will show the current groove applied to that clip. Pressing Commit will create new warp markers on an audio clip and will snap midi notes to the actual place on the grid where the groove occurs.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Most likely, if Ableton Live’s clips are not playing in time, your samples are not properly warped. They may have a leading silence at the beginning of the clip. An easy way to get around this issue is to go into Ableton Live’s preferences and disable “Auto-Warp Long Samples,” which is located in the Record, Warp, Launch tab of Live’s Preferences. Retrigger your clips again and see if this fixes the issue.

If your clips are not properly launching in time and you want to keep your clips warped, go to each track and make sure that there isn’t leading silence at the beginning of the clips. If there is, zoom into each clip as much as possible and move the start clip flag right to the very beginning of when the audio sample actually starts, then right-click and select set 1.1.1 here, then right click once more and select “Warp From Here (Straight.)” Then retrigger your clips.

Also, by default all clips will launch according to the global launch quantization setting (located at the top left of the screen to the right of the metronome) Quantization is used to avoid rhythmical error when playing clips. To set specific clips to trigger on a quantized value separate from the global quantization, select a clip (midi or audio) then click the L in the Clip box (the skinny box located in-between the help/info view and the sample or notes box), then select the desired quantization value in the pull down menu (again Global is the default).

Yes, it is convenient to DJ from CDJ’s using RecordBox, or DJ with Traktor or Serato, but Ableton Live offers way more versatility in the Live realm in a way that no other program can.

You can take your live performance to a whole new level. Instead of just playing your Deck A and transitioning back to your Deck B all night…Ableton Live can do that and more. What if you wanted to play instruments along with your backing tracks, and have a platform that can support third party plugins on your backing tracks as well as your live inputs? Ableton can do it all.

Everyone is a DJ nowadays, Ableton will help you stand out for the right reasons.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To allow for ableton to be remotely controlled from a midi controller, you will need to enable remote on the input of your midi device in Live’s Midi Preferences. This allows Live to receive midi input information from your midi controller and interprets this as remote commands

Tag: mapping

Load More

Beginner Ableton Questions? We all start somewhere

Tips & Tricks

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you click on either a midi or audio clip, there is a skinny box that appears to the right of the help/info box. This skinny box is the “clip view.” If you click the “L” button in the bottom left of the clip view box, the “Launch mode” box will appear. From there you can select 4 different launch modes. Trigger, Gate, Toggle, and Repeat.

Trigger is the default. A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click is ignored.

Gate:  A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click stops the clip.

Toggle: A mouse click down starts and stops the clip.

Repeat: (Does not Loop) Holding down on the mouse click will repeatedly trigger the clip at its quantization interval.

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can map keys on your computer keyboard to toggle software buttons on and off in Live. When key mapping, it is best to disable the computer piano keyboard to prevent conflicts by clicking its icon in the upper right area of the screen.

Once the computer piano keyboard is disabled, press the key mapping button (also located in the upper right area of the screen). You can then click on almost any parameter in Live to select it for key mapping. Press and release your desired computer key once, then click the key mapping button again to exit key mapping mode. You can now press the mapped computer key to toggle on and off the mapped parameter.

Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
In order to have multiple output zones in Ableton, you need an audio interface that supports more than 2 outputs. A useful scenario for this would be wanting a preview “Cue Out” with a click track in your ear, while having the main output not have click.

Here are a few affordable USB interfaces that support multiple ins and have multiple ¼ inch outs

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

Steinburg UR44

Presonus AudioBox44VSL

However, once you get into multi-tracking more than 4 inputs, USB speeds become limiting and latency becomes a problem. For this reason, thunderbolt interfaces are an emerging market. Thunderbolt used to be a Mac OS only technology, but recently PC manufacturers have adopted thunderbolt standards as well. Thunderbolt is now a cross platform peripheral.

Yes thunderbolt interfaces are more expensive, but totally worth the money.

Focusrite has the Clarett 4 Pre and the Clarett 8 Pre

Universal Audio has the Apollo 8 (with a variety of different on-board processors)

(Universal Audio is different in that it has audio effect plugins that emulate real outboard gear. All processing of these plugins is done on the brain of the interface and does not tax your computer’s CPU)

Category: Tips & Tricks
Although it’s not possible by default to automate Ableton’s tempo to a specific clip using clip envelope automation, there is a Max for Live device called TEMPO that makes it possible. TEMPO allows you to directly change Ableton Live’s master tempo to the desired BPM speed. You can download and drag the TEMPO device onto a track. Choose a clip on that track, and automate TEMPO’s parameters inside that clip using Clip Envelope Automation.

Download the TEMPO Max for Live device at this link:

http://4live.me/post/51193368663/tempo

Yes. If both of those computers are yours. According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

If you want to know how to Sync 2 computers running Ableton, see “Play Together with Ableton Link”

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a parameter automated and you alter that parameter’s value (either with a mouse or with a midi controller) without changing any values in its automation lane, you will have muted that parameter’s automation. When any automation value is muted, the arrow in the top center of the screen (near the play stop record buttons) will light up orange. Click this orange button again to re-enable all automation.

To delete automation for a specific parameter, right click on that parameter and select “delete automation.” You can also delete automation in arrangement view by highlighting the area of drawn automation in the automation lane only and then pressing the delete key.

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can midi map almost any software button or knob in Ableton Live to hardware buttons or knobs.

    • You first need to make sure that your midi preferences are properly setup. (On Mac, Live, Preferences, On PC, Option, Preferences, then click the midi tab.) Then enable the remote button on the input of the desired midi device.
  • Once your midi preferences are set up, click the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen (or hit command + m on mac, control + m on PC), then click the software button or knob that you are wanting to map, then press or move the hardware button or knob that you are wanting to map
  • Once you have mapped a hardware button or knob, you have the ability to scale your mapping by adjusting the min and max values in the area where Ableton Live’s browser is located. Once you exit midi mapping mode by either clicking the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen again (or hitting command + m on mac, control + m on PC), Live’s browser will reappear.
Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a midi or audio clip in arrangement view that you’d like to move to session view, there are 2 ways to do so.

  1. Right click on a clip in arrangement view and copy it, tab to session view, right click on the desired clip slot and click paste.

OR.

  1. If you have multiple clips of a song that you want to move to session view, highlight the area of time you want using any track (say bars 1-9), right click and then click “consolidate time to new scene.” Tab to session view to see a new scene created.

This will make a new scene in session view with all the clips that occurred during the highlighted area of time that you selected in arrangement view.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Tips and Tricks; Recording

If you want to record audio from your computer outside of ableton such as capturing audio from your favorite viral video, there are a few different ways to do it.

On Mac,

Download and install soundflower.

https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/tag/2.0b2

Then change your Mac system preferences audio to route out to soundflower 2ch. In Ableton Live, change your input to soundflower 2ch, but keep your output in ableton still set to your soundcard or interface output. If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from videos and other sources running through Ableton. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

On Windows,

The process is similar but a couple more steps. Download and install VB-Cable.

https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/

You will also need to download and install Asio4All in order to allow for proper routing in Ableton Live

http://www.asio4all.org/

Change your playback device to route out to Cable-Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable). In Ableton Live, change your Driver Type to Asio, your Audio Device to AsioForAll v2, Then go to the hardware setup. For simplicity sake, mute all inputs in the Asio4All panel that are coming from your soundcard or interface, then enable the Device in the panel called VB-Audio Virtual Cable, then underneath the device, enable the IN (NOT THE OUT). Finally, enable your soundcard or interface device in the Asio4All panel, and enable the OUTPUT of that device only.

If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2 so that you have stereo audio in, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from video in your web browser and other sources running through Ableton Live. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

Category: Tips & Tricks
External Instruments in the Instruments folder of the Browser can be inserted on midi tracks and allow you to insert audio from an external instrument like a hardware synthesizer.

You can also route the audio output of a midi track that has an instrument on it to the input of an audio track so that you can bus FX before the audio is sent to the master.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Sidechaining is a way to duck down the volume of an audio track during the initial transient hit of the kick so that the kick sounds more impactful and your song will blend together better.

Let’s say you have a kick on Track 1 in Ableton Live, and you have a bass instrument on track 2. To sidechain the bass to the kick, we will need to first put a compressor on the bass track. There are 2 different types of compressors in the Audio Effects section of Ableton Live’s Browser; the normal Compressor and the Glue Compressor (which has more of an analog look).

Let’s start with just the normal Compresor and drag that to the bass track. Once the Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the compressor next to its enable/disable power button. Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

The process would be mostly the same with the Glue Compressor.  Once the Glue Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the Glue Compressor (next to its enable/disable power button). Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

This principle of ducking an instrument to another sound can be applied to all kinds of sidechaining techniques like other percussive sounds like also ducking an instrument to the snare in an additional compressor.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To disable warping on a specific clip, click the desired clip, you should then see the waveform of the audio clip appear and the left of the waveform is the clip parameters, click the button labeled “Warp” to disable warping for that clip.

By default Ableton Live will want to warp most audio unless it is a short sample with 1 transient peak. You can disable this functionality by going to Live’s Preferences, the Record Warp Launch tab, and turn off “Auto Warp Long Samples.” That way when you drag in a song to Ableton Live, that song will not automatically warp.

Tag: Warping
Category: Tips & Tricks
First make sure both computers are on the same network. WiFi will work, Ethernet is better (no you can’t just plug in a regular ethernet cable between 2 computers). You need to have a router in between them that hands out IP Addresses.

The Live Link button is in the upper left hand corner.

For Windows computers, if they are on the same network, and the Link button isn’t showing up, you may need to setup your audio drivers. In your audio preferences, your driver type will probably say something like MME/DirectX. This driver won’t work with Link.

The reason this won’t work is that you need lower latency in order for 2 computers to sync their clock. If your computer takes too long to generate sound, the other computer can’t calculate the sync time, thus the link button won’t show up.

To fix this, download and install ASIO drivers. If you are using your computer’s internal sound card, download the latest version of ASIO4ALL at www.asio4all.org

If you have an external interface such as a USB Audio interface. Google ASIO drivers for your interface model and download from the manufacturer’s site.

Mac users should be using the native Core Audio driver.

Category: Tips & Tricks

Ableton Live has 6 different warp mode types.

These modes are how Live will play back and stretch audio when it is set to a different tempo than the original recording. How each mode algorithm works to manipulates audio is more evident at slower tempos.

Beats mode is designed for drum loops, where there are short  transients to manipulate, and is the default warp mode.  The “Preserve” below the warp mode lets you to select how to shape the beat transients. You can warp to 16th notes, 8th notes, to the bar, etc. Or you can use Transients to shape at a granular level. It will loop over the audio file transients to recreate the most accurate sound of the original file. Beats mode is perfect for drum tracks, or other kinds of rhythms, but is not ideal for melodic audio clips.

Tones mode is designed for anything with a clear pitch like vocals, lead guitar, bass lines, etc. You want a sound that doesn’t emphasize rhythm. You can adjust the Grain Size to shorter or larger settings. The grain size is how the audio file is broken up into parts to warp.

Texture Mode is perfect for creating experimental, wild sounds. Its similar to the Grain Size warp structure in Tones, but and adds the Flux parameter. Texture warp mode is for sounds that don’t have complex melodic or pitch properties you want to keep, like pads or ambient sounds. Playing with the Flux parameter can help you create some very, very interesting atmospheric and ambient sounds. Love it!

Re-Pitch mode is how turntables work. It speeds up or slows down the audio to match the global tempo in your project. You won’t hear the warp artifact sounds here because the audio itself is repitched to match the speed.  If you want to preserve pitches and notes, this is not the mode for you, but it’s sometimes a good choice for drums though.

Complex mode is designed to warp entire song files or other complex audio. Complex is the most CPU intensive out of all warp modes. It attempts to preserve all of the rhythmic and tonal qualities of the audio file.

Complex Pro is similar to Complex mode, but adds the Format and Envelope parameters, most suitable for vocal track remixes. Formants adjust the extent of compensation to the sample and tries to preserve the natural “throat” sound of the human voice. Envelope adjusts spectral qualities of the file. Ableton recommends the default value of 128 for most audio and trying lower values for samples with higher pitched ranges and vice versa for lower sonic ranges.

Tag: Warping
Ableton Live lets you create a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format. Read this and learn how to make a .alp file

.alp stands for “Ableton Live Pack.”

It’s a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format.

Why use it?

It makes it super easy to archive Ableton Live projects and share them.

How to make an .alp?

1. File –> Collect All and Save.  -This will copy any samples, packs, recorded audio, and Max for Live devices to your project folder.

2. File –> Manage Files…

3. Click Manage Project (Center option on the right pane)

 

4. Click Create Pack (name your .alp)

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you right click on a midi or an audio clip and select “Extract Groove(s), you can extract the rhythm from a track. Once the groove is extracted, it will be available for use in the Groove Pool. You can then apply that extracted rhythm to any other track, by dragging that groove on top of the clip, and get a more cohesive sound.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Resampling is a neat trick in ableton live where you can capture the output of the master track and reinsert it into your project for additional processing. It’s a nice workaround, instead of flattening a track.

To resample, insert a new audio track, then change its audio from section to “resampling,” then arm the track, then record audio on the track. Once recorded, you will have audio on a single clip from all currently playing tracks that passed through the master. You can solo individual tracks to capture specific elements as well.

Category: Tips & Tricks
The Groove Pool is a bank of rhythms that can be applied to both midi and audio clips (as long that audio clip is warped and is not in Re-Pitch warp mode). The Groove Pool can be accessed by clicking the Groove Pool icon (2 line wave squiggle icon) which is located at the bottom left of Live’s Browser, above the help/info view box.

Once opened, the groove pool does not show any grooves or rhythms to apply. The grooves or rhythm clips can be found by right clicking in the empty groove pool, then selecting Browse Groove Library, which will take you to Packs, Core Library, Swing and Groove. From there you can browse through the various categories and click on the .agr files to preview the type of swing you want to apply. If you double click on a .agr file, it will place that groove into the Groove Pool. Then you can drag the groove that is in the groove pool onto the clip to apply it to that clip. The clip view box (the skinny box just to the right of the help/info view box) will show the current groove applied to that clip. Pressing Commit will create new warp markers on an audio clip and will snap midi notes to the actual place on the grid where the groove occurs.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Most likely, if Ableton Live’s clips are not playing in time, your samples are not properly warped. They may have a leading silence at the beginning of the clip. An easy way to get around this issue is to go into Ableton Live’s preferences and disable “Auto-Warp Long Samples,” which is located in the Record, Warp, Launch tab of Live’s Preferences. Retrigger your clips again and see if this fixes the issue.

If your clips are not properly launching in time and you want to keep your clips warped, go to each track and make sure that there isn’t leading silence at the beginning of the clips. If there is, zoom into each clip as much as possible and move the start clip flag right to the very beginning of when the audio sample actually starts, then right-click and select set 1.1.1 here, then right click once more and select “Warp From Here (Straight.)” Then retrigger your clips.

Also, by default all clips will launch according to the global launch quantization setting (located at the top left of the screen to the right of the metronome) Quantization is used to avoid rhythmical error when playing clips. To set specific clips to trigger on a quantized value separate from the global quantization, select a clip (midi or audio) then click the L in the Clip box (the skinny box located in-between the help/info view and the sample or notes box), then select the desired quantization value in the pull down menu (again Global is the default).

Yes, it is convenient to DJ from CDJ’s using RecordBox, or DJ with Traktor or Serato, but Ableton Live offers way more versatility in the Live realm in a way that no other program can.

You can take your live performance to a whole new level. Instead of just playing your Deck A and transitioning back to your Deck B all night…Ableton Live can do that and more. What if you wanted to play instruments along with your backing tracks, and have a platform that can support third party plugins on your backing tracks as well as your live inputs? Ableton can do it all.

Everyone is a DJ nowadays, Ableton will help you stand out for the right reasons.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To allow for ableton to be remotely controlled from a midi controller, you will need to enable remote on the input of your midi device in Live’s Midi Preferences. This allows Live to receive midi input information from your midi controller and interprets this as remote commands

Tag: mapping

Load More

Ableton and your computer?

Tips & Tricks

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you click on either a midi or audio clip, there is a skinny box that appears to the right of the help/info box. This skinny box is the “clip view.” If you click the “L” button in the bottom left of the clip view box, the “Launch mode” box will appear. From there you can select 4 different launch modes. Trigger, Gate, Toggle, and Repeat.

Trigger is the default. A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click is ignored.

Gate:  A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click stops the clip.

Toggle: A mouse click down starts and stops the clip.

Repeat: (Does not Loop) Holding down on the mouse click will repeatedly trigger the clip at its quantization interval.

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can map keys on your computer keyboard to toggle software buttons on and off in Live. When key mapping, it is best to disable the computer piano keyboard to prevent conflicts by clicking its icon in the upper right area of the screen.

Once the computer piano keyboard is disabled, press the key mapping button (also located in the upper right area of the screen). You can then click on almost any parameter in Live to select it for key mapping. Press and release your desired computer key once, then click the key mapping button again to exit key mapping mode. You can now press the mapped computer key to toggle on and off the mapped parameter.

Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
In order to have multiple output zones in Ableton, you need an audio interface that supports more than 2 outputs. A useful scenario for this would be wanting a preview “Cue Out” with a click track in your ear, while having the main output not have click.

Here are a few affordable USB interfaces that support multiple ins and have multiple ¼ inch outs

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

Steinburg UR44

Presonus AudioBox44VSL

However, once you get into multi-tracking more than 4 inputs, USB speeds become limiting and latency becomes a problem. For this reason, thunderbolt interfaces are an emerging market. Thunderbolt used to be a Mac OS only technology, but recently PC manufacturers have adopted thunderbolt standards as well. Thunderbolt is now a cross platform peripheral.

Yes thunderbolt interfaces are more expensive, but totally worth the money.

Focusrite has the Clarett 4 Pre and the Clarett 8 Pre

Universal Audio has the Apollo 8 (with a variety of different on-board processors)

(Universal Audio is different in that it has audio effect plugins that emulate real outboard gear. All processing of these plugins is done on the brain of the interface and does not tax your computer’s CPU)

Category: Tips & Tricks
Although it’s not possible by default to automate Ableton’s tempo to a specific clip using clip envelope automation, there is a Max for Live device called TEMPO that makes it possible. TEMPO allows you to directly change Ableton Live’s master tempo to the desired BPM speed. You can download and drag the TEMPO device onto a track. Choose a clip on that track, and automate TEMPO’s parameters inside that clip using Clip Envelope Automation.

Download the TEMPO Max for Live device at this link:

http://4live.me/post/51193368663/tempo

Yes. If both of those computers are yours. According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

If you want to know how to Sync 2 computers running Ableton, see “Play Together with Ableton Link”

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a parameter automated and you alter that parameter’s value (either with a mouse or with a midi controller) without changing any values in its automation lane, you will have muted that parameter’s automation. When any automation value is muted, the arrow in the top center of the screen (near the play stop record buttons) will light up orange. Click this orange button again to re-enable all automation.

To delete automation for a specific parameter, right click on that parameter and select “delete automation.” You can also delete automation in arrangement view by highlighting the area of drawn automation in the automation lane only and then pressing the delete key.

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can midi map almost any software button or knob in Ableton Live to hardware buttons or knobs.

    • You first need to make sure that your midi preferences are properly setup. (On Mac, Live, Preferences, On PC, Option, Preferences, then click the midi tab.) Then enable the remote button on the input of the desired midi device.
  • Once your midi preferences are set up, click the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen (or hit command + m on mac, control + m on PC), then click the software button or knob that you are wanting to map, then press or move the hardware button or knob that you are wanting to map
  • Once you have mapped a hardware button or knob, you have the ability to scale your mapping by adjusting the min and max values in the area where Ableton Live’s browser is located. Once you exit midi mapping mode by either clicking the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen again (or hitting command + m on mac, control + m on PC), Live’s browser will reappear.
Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a midi or audio clip in arrangement view that you’d like to move to session view, there are 2 ways to do so.

  1. Right click on a clip in arrangement view and copy it, tab to session view, right click on the desired clip slot and click paste.

OR.

  1. If you have multiple clips of a song that you want to move to session view, highlight the area of time you want using any track (say bars 1-9), right click and then click “consolidate time to new scene.” Tab to session view to see a new scene created.

This will make a new scene in session view with all the clips that occurred during the highlighted area of time that you selected in arrangement view.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Tips and Tricks; Recording

If you want to record audio from your computer outside of ableton such as capturing audio from your favorite viral video, there are a few different ways to do it.

On Mac,

Download and install soundflower.

https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/tag/2.0b2

Then change your Mac system preferences audio to route out to soundflower 2ch. In Ableton Live, change your input to soundflower 2ch, but keep your output in ableton still set to your soundcard or interface output. If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from videos and other sources running through Ableton. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

On Windows,

The process is similar but a couple more steps. Download and install VB-Cable.

https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/

You will also need to download and install Asio4All in order to allow for proper routing in Ableton Live

http://www.asio4all.org/

Change your playback device to route out to Cable-Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable). In Ableton Live, change your Driver Type to Asio, your Audio Device to AsioForAll v2, Then go to the hardware setup. For simplicity sake, mute all inputs in the Asio4All panel that are coming from your soundcard or interface, then enable the Device in the panel called VB-Audio Virtual Cable, then underneath the device, enable the IN (NOT THE OUT). Finally, enable your soundcard or interface device in the Asio4All panel, and enable the OUTPUT of that device only.

If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2 so that you have stereo audio in, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from video in your web browser and other sources running through Ableton Live. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

Category: Tips & Tricks
External Instruments in the Instruments folder of the Browser can be inserted on midi tracks and allow you to insert audio from an external instrument like a hardware synthesizer.

You can also route the audio output of a midi track that has an instrument on it to the input of an audio track so that you can bus FX before the audio is sent to the master.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Sidechaining is a way to duck down the volume of an audio track during the initial transient hit of the kick so that the kick sounds more impactful and your song will blend together better.

Let’s say you have a kick on Track 1 in Ableton Live, and you have a bass instrument on track 2. To sidechain the bass to the kick, we will need to first put a compressor on the bass track. There are 2 different types of compressors in the Audio Effects section of Ableton Live’s Browser; the normal Compressor and the Glue Compressor (which has more of an analog look).

Let’s start with just the normal Compresor and drag that to the bass track. Once the Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the compressor next to its enable/disable power button. Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

The process would be mostly the same with the Glue Compressor.  Once the Glue Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the Glue Compressor (next to its enable/disable power button). Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

This principle of ducking an instrument to another sound can be applied to all kinds of sidechaining techniques like other percussive sounds like also ducking an instrument to the snare in an additional compressor.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To disable warping on a specific clip, click the desired clip, you should then see the waveform of the audio clip appear and the left of the waveform is the clip parameters, click the button labeled “Warp” to disable warping for that clip.

By default Ableton Live will want to warp most audio unless it is a short sample with 1 transient peak. You can disable this functionality by going to Live’s Preferences, the Record Warp Launch tab, and turn off “Auto Warp Long Samples.” That way when you drag in a song to Ableton Live, that song will not automatically warp.

Tag: Warping
Category: Tips & Tricks
First make sure both computers are on the same network. WiFi will work, Ethernet is better (no you can’t just plug in a regular ethernet cable between 2 computers). You need to have a router in between them that hands out IP Addresses.

The Live Link button is in the upper left hand corner.

For Windows computers, if they are on the same network, and the Link button isn’t showing up, you may need to setup your audio drivers. In your audio preferences, your driver type will probably say something like MME/DirectX. This driver won’t work with Link.

The reason this won’t work is that you need lower latency in order for 2 computers to sync their clock. If your computer takes too long to generate sound, the other computer can’t calculate the sync time, thus the link button won’t show up.

To fix this, download and install ASIO drivers. If you are using your computer’s internal sound card, download the latest version of ASIO4ALL at www.asio4all.org

If you have an external interface such as a USB Audio interface. Google ASIO drivers for your interface model and download from the manufacturer’s site.

Mac users should be using the native Core Audio driver.

Category: Tips & Tricks

Ableton Live has 6 different warp mode types.

These modes are how Live will play back and stretch audio when it is set to a different tempo than the original recording. How each mode algorithm works to manipulates audio is more evident at slower tempos.

Beats mode is designed for drum loops, where there are short  transients to manipulate, and is the default warp mode.  The “Preserve” below the warp mode lets you to select how to shape the beat transients. You can warp to 16th notes, 8th notes, to the bar, etc. Or you can use Transients to shape at a granular level. It will loop over the audio file transients to recreate the most accurate sound of the original file. Beats mode is perfect for drum tracks, or other kinds of rhythms, but is not ideal for melodic audio clips.

Tones mode is designed for anything with a clear pitch like vocals, lead guitar, bass lines, etc. You want a sound that doesn’t emphasize rhythm. You can adjust the Grain Size to shorter or larger settings. The grain size is how the audio file is broken up into parts to warp.

Texture Mode is perfect for creating experimental, wild sounds. Its similar to the Grain Size warp structure in Tones, but and adds the Flux parameter. Texture warp mode is for sounds that don’t have complex melodic or pitch properties you want to keep, like pads or ambient sounds. Playing with the Flux parameter can help you create some very, very interesting atmospheric and ambient sounds. Love it!

Re-Pitch mode is how turntables work. It speeds up or slows down the audio to match the global tempo in your project. You won’t hear the warp artifact sounds here because the audio itself is repitched to match the speed.  If you want to preserve pitches and notes, this is not the mode for you, but it’s sometimes a good choice for drums though.

Complex mode is designed to warp entire song files or other complex audio. Complex is the most CPU intensive out of all warp modes. It attempts to preserve all of the rhythmic and tonal qualities of the audio file.

Complex Pro is similar to Complex mode, but adds the Format and Envelope parameters, most suitable for vocal track remixes. Formants adjust the extent of compensation to the sample and tries to preserve the natural “throat” sound of the human voice. Envelope adjusts spectral qualities of the file. Ableton recommends the default value of 128 for most audio and trying lower values for samples with higher pitched ranges and vice versa for lower sonic ranges.

Tag: Warping
Ableton Live lets you create a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format. Read this and learn how to make a .alp file

.alp stands for “Ableton Live Pack.”

It’s a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format.

Why use it?

It makes it super easy to archive Ableton Live projects and share them.

How to make an .alp?

1. File –> Collect All and Save.  -This will copy any samples, packs, recorded audio, and Max for Live devices to your project folder.

2. File –> Manage Files…

3. Click Manage Project (Center option on the right pane)

 

4. Click Create Pack (name your .alp)

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you right click on a midi or an audio clip and select “Extract Groove(s), you can extract the rhythm from a track. Once the groove is extracted, it will be available for use in the Groove Pool. You can then apply that extracted rhythm to any other track, by dragging that groove on top of the clip, and get a more cohesive sound.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Resampling is a neat trick in ableton live where you can capture the output of the master track and reinsert it into your project for additional processing. It’s a nice workaround, instead of flattening a track.

To resample, insert a new audio track, then change its audio from section to “resampling,” then arm the track, then record audio on the track. Once recorded, you will have audio on a single clip from all currently playing tracks that passed through the master. You can solo individual tracks to capture specific elements as well.

Category: Tips & Tricks
The Groove Pool is a bank of rhythms that can be applied to both midi and audio clips (as long that audio clip is warped and is not in Re-Pitch warp mode). The Groove Pool can be accessed by clicking the Groove Pool icon (2 line wave squiggle icon) which is located at the bottom left of Live’s Browser, above the help/info view box.

Once opened, the groove pool does not show any grooves or rhythms to apply. The grooves or rhythm clips can be found by right clicking in the empty groove pool, then selecting Browse Groove Library, which will take you to Packs, Core Library, Swing and Groove. From there you can browse through the various categories and click on the .agr files to preview the type of swing you want to apply. If you double click on a .agr file, it will place that groove into the Groove Pool. Then you can drag the groove that is in the groove pool onto the clip to apply it to that clip. The clip view box (the skinny box just to the right of the help/info view box) will show the current groove applied to that clip. Pressing Commit will create new warp markers on an audio clip and will snap midi notes to the actual place on the grid where the groove occurs.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Most likely, if Ableton Live’s clips are not playing in time, your samples are not properly warped. They may have a leading silence at the beginning of the clip. An easy way to get around this issue is to go into Ableton Live’s preferences and disable “Auto-Warp Long Samples,” which is located in the Record, Warp, Launch tab of Live’s Preferences. Retrigger your clips again and see if this fixes the issue.

If your clips are not properly launching in time and you want to keep your clips warped, go to each track and make sure that there isn’t leading silence at the beginning of the clips. If there is, zoom into each clip as much as possible and move the start clip flag right to the very beginning of when the audio sample actually starts, then right-click and select set 1.1.1 here, then right click once more and select “Warp From Here (Straight.)” Then retrigger your clips.

Also, by default all clips will launch according to the global launch quantization setting (located at the top left of the screen to the right of the metronome) Quantization is used to avoid rhythmical error when playing clips. To set specific clips to trigger on a quantized value separate from the global quantization, select a clip (midi or audio) then click the L in the Clip box (the skinny box located in-between the help/info view and the sample or notes box), then select the desired quantization value in the pull down menu (again Global is the default).

Yes, it is convenient to DJ from CDJ’s using RecordBox, or DJ with Traktor or Serato, but Ableton Live offers way more versatility in the Live realm in a way that no other program can.

You can take your live performance to a whole new level. Instead of just playing your Deck A and transitioning back to your Deck B all night…Ableton Live can do that and more. What if you wanted to play instruments along with your backing tracks, and have a platform that can support third party plugins on your backing tracks as well as your live inputs? Ableton can do it all.

Everyone is a DJ nowadays, Ableton will help you stand out for the right reasons.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To allow for ableton to be remotely controlled from a midi controller, you will need to enable remote on the input of your midi device in Live’s Midi Preferences. This allows Live to receive midi input information from your midi controller and interprets this as remote commands

Tag: mapping

Load More

Organizing your Ableton Projects?

Tips & Tricks

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you click on either a midi or audio clip, there is a skinny box that appears to the right of the help/info box. This skinny box is the “clip view.” If you click the “L” button in the bottom left of the clip view box, the “Launch mode” box will appear. From there you can select 4 different launch modes. Trigger, Gate, Toggle, and Repeat.

Trigger is the default. A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click is ignored.

Gate:  A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click stops the clip.

Toggle: A mouse click down starts and stops the clip.

Repeat: (Does not Loop) Holding down on the mouse click will repeatedly trigger the clip at its quantization interval.

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can map keys on your computer keyboard to toggle software buttons on and off in Live. When key mapping, it is best to disable the computer piano keyboard to prevent conflicts by clicking its icon in the upper right area of the screen.

Once the computer piano keyboard is disabled, press the key mapping button (also located in the upper right area of the screen). You can then click on almost any parameter in Live to select it for key mapping. Press and release your desired computer key once, then click the key mapping button again to exit key mapping mode. You can now press the mapped computer key to toggle on and off the mapped parameter.

Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
In order to have multiple output zones in Ableton, you need an audio interface that supports more than 2 outputs. A useful scenario for this would be wanting a preview “Cue Out” with a click track in your ear, while having the main output not have click.

Here are a few affordable USB interfaces that support multiple ins and have multiple ¼ inch outs

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

Steinburg UR44

Presonus AudioBox44VSL

However, once you get into multi-tracking more than 4 inputs, USB speeds become limiting and latency becomes a problem. For this reason, thunderbolt interfaces are an emerging market. Thunderbolt used to be a Mac OS only technology, but recently PC manufacturers have adopted thunderbolt standards as well. Thunderbolt is now a cross platform peripheral.

Yes thunderbolt interfaces are more expensive, but totally worth the money.

Focusrite has the Clarett 4 Pre and the Clarett 8 Pre

Universal Audio has the Apollo 8 (with a variety of different on-board processors)

(Universal Audio is different in that it has audio effect plugins that emulate real outboard gear. All processing of these plugins is done on the brain of the interface and does not tax your computer’s CPU)

Category: Tips & Tricks
Although it’s not possible by default to automate Ableton’s tempo to a specific clip using clip envelope automation, there is a Max for Live device called TEMPO that makes it possible. TEMPO allows you to directly change Ableton Live’s master tempo to the desired BPM speed. You can download and drag the TEMPO device onto a track. Choose a clip on that track, and automate TEMPO’s parameters inside that clip using Clip Envelope Automation.

Download the TEMPO Max for Live device at this link:

http://4live.me/post/51193368663/tempo

Yes. If both of those computers are yours. According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

If you want to know how to Sync 2 computers running Ableton, see “Play Together with Ableton Link”

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a parameter automated and you alter that parameter’s value (either with a mouse or with a midi controller) without changing any values in its automation lane, you will have muted that parameter’s automation. When any automation value is muted, the arrow in the top center of the screen (near the play stop record buttons) will light up orange. Click this orange button again to re-enable all automation.

To delete automation for a specific parameter, right click on that parameter and select “delete automation.” You can also delete automation in arrangement view by highlighting the area of drawn automation in the automation lane only and then pressing the delete key.

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can midi map almost any software button or knob in Ableton Live to hardware buttons or knobs.

    • You first need to make sure that your midi preferences are properly setup. (On Mac, Live, Preferences, On PC, Option, Preferences, then click the midi tab.) Then enable the remote button on the input of the desired midi device.
  • Once your midi preferences are set up, click the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen (or hit command + m on mac, control + m on PC), then click the software button or knob that you are wanting to map, then press or move the hardware button or knob that you are wanting to map
  • Once you have mapped a hardware button or knob, you have the ability to scale your mapping by adjusting the min and max values in the area where Ableton Live’s browser is located. Once you exit midi mapping mode by either clicking the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen again (or hitting command + m on mac, control + m on PC), Live’s browser will reappear.
Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a midi or audio clip in arrangement view that you’d like to move to session view, there are 2 ways to do so.

  1. Right click on a clip in arrangement view and copy it, tab to session view, right click on the desired clip slot and click paste.

OR.

  1. If you have multiple clips of a song that you want to move to session view, highlight the area of time you want using any track (say bars 1-9), right click and then click “consolidate time to new scene.” Tab to session view to see a new scene created.

This will make a new scene in session view with all the clips that occurred during the highlighted area of time that you selected in arrangement view.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Tips and Tricks; Recording

If you want to record audio from your computer outside of ableton such as capturing audio from your favorite viral video, there are a few different ways to do it.

On Mac,

Download and install soundflower.

https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/tag/2.0b2

Then change your Mac system preferences audio to route out to soundflower 2ch. In Ableton Live, change your input to soundflower 2ch, but keep your output in ableton still set to your soundcard or interface output. If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from videos and other sources running through Ableton. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

On Windows,

The process is similar but a couple more steps. Download and install VB-Cable.

https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/

You will also need to download and install Asio4All in order to allow for proper routing in Ableton Live

http://www.asio4all.org/

Change your playback device to route out to Cable-Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable). In Ableton Live, change your Driver Type to Asio, your Audio Device to AsioForAll v2, Then go to the hardware setup. For simplicity sake, mute all inputs in the Asio4All panel that are coming from your soundcard or interface, then enable the Device in the panel called VB-Audio Virtual Cable, then underneath the device, enable the IN (NOT THE OUT). Finally, enable your soundcard or interface device in the Asio4All panel, and enable the OUTPUT of that device only.

If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2 so that you have stereo audio in, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from video in your web browser and other sources running through Ableton Live. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

Category: Tips & Tricks
External Instruments in the Instruments folder of the Browser can be inserted on midi tracks and allow you to insert audio from an external instrument like a hardware synthesizer.

You can also route the audio output of a midi track that has an instrument on it to the input of an audio track so that you can bus FX before the audio is sent to the master.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Sidechaining is a way to duck down the volume of an audio track during the initial transient hit of the kick so that the kick sounds more impactful and your song will blend together better.

Let’s say you have a kick on Track 1 in Ableton Live, and you have a bass instrument on track 2. To sidechain the bass to the kick, we will need to first put a compressor on the bass track. There are 2 different types of compressors in the Audio Effects section of Ableton Live’s Browser; the normal Compressor and the Glue Compressor (which has more of an analog look).

Let’s start with just the normal Compresor and drag that to the bass track. Once the Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the compressor next to its enable/disable power button. Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

The process would be mostly the same with the Glue Compressor.  Once the Glue Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the Glue Compressor (next to its enable/disable power button). Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

This principle of ducking an instrument to another sound can be applied to all kinds of sidechaining techniques like other percussive sounds like also ducking an instrument to the snare in an additional compressor.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To disable warping on a specific clip, click the desired clip, you should then see the waveform of the audio clip appear and the left of the waveform is the clip parameters, click the button labeled “Warp” to disable warping for that clip.

By default Ableton Live will want to warp most audio unless it is a short sample with 1 transient peak. You can disable this functionality by going to Live’s Preferences, the Record Warp Launch tab, and turn off “Auto Warp Long Samples.” That way when you drag in a song to Ableton Live, that song will not automatically warp.

Tag: Warping
Category: Tips & Tricks
First make sure both computers are on the same network. WiFi will work, Ethernet is better (no you can’t just plug in a regular ethernet cable between 2 computers). You need to have a router in between them that hands out IP Addresses.

The Live Link button is in the upper left hand corner.

For Windows computers, if they are on the same network, and the Link button isn’t showing up, you may need to setup your audio drivers. In your audio preferences, your driver type will probably say something like MME/DirectX. This driver won’t work with Link.

The reason this won’t work is that you need lower latency in order for 2 computers to sync their clock. If your computer takes too long to generate sound, the other computer can’t calculate the sync time, thus the link button won’t show up.

To fix this, download and install ASIO drivers. If you are using your computer’s internal sound card, download the latest version of ASIO4ALL at www.asio4all.org

If you have an external interface such as a USB Audio interface. Google ASIO drivers for your interface model and download from the manufacturer’s site.

Mac users should be using the native Core Audio driver.

Category: Tips & Tricks

Ableton Live has 6 different warp mode types.

These modes are how Live will play back and stretch audio when it is set to a different tempo than the original recording. How each mode algorithm works to manipulates audio is more evident at slower tempos.

Beats mode is designed for drum loops, where there are short  transients to manipulate, and is the default warp mode.  The “Preserve” below the warp mode lets you to select how to shape the beat transients. You can warp to 16th notes, 8th notes, to the bar, etc. Or you can use Transients to shape at a granular level. It will loop over the audio file transients to recreate the most accurate sound of the original file. Beats mode is perfect for drum tracks, or other kinds of rhythms, but is not ideal for melodic audio clips.

Tones mode is designed for anything with a clear pitch like vocals, lead guitar, bass lines, etc. You want a sound that doesn’t emphasize rhythm. You can adjust the Grain Size to shorter or larger settings. The grain size is how the audio file is broken up into parts to warp.

Texture Mode is perfect for creating experimental, wild sounds. Its similar to the Grain Size warp structure in Tones, but and adds the Flux parameter. Texture warp mode is for sounds that don’t have complex melodic or pitch properties you want to keep, like pads or ambient sounds. Playing with the Flux parameter can help you create some very, very interesting atmospheric and ambient sounds. Love it!

Re-Pitch mode is how turntables work. It speeds up or slows down the audio to match the global tempo in your project. You won’t hear the warp artifact sounds here because the audio itself is repitched to match the speed.  If you want to preserve pitches and notes, this is not the mode for you, but it’s sometimes a good choice for drums though.

Complex mode is designed to warp entire song files or other complex audio. Complex is the most CPU intensive out of all warp modes. It attempts to preserve all of the rhythmic and tonal qualities of the audio file.

Complex Pro is similar to Complex mode, but adds the Format and Envelope parameters, most suitable for vocal track remixes. Formants adjust the extent of compensation to the sample and tries to preserve the natural “throat” sound of the human voice. Envelope adjusts spectral qualities of the file. Ableton recommends the default value of 128 for most audio and trying lower values for samples with higher pitched ranges and vice versa for lower sonic ranges.

Tag: Warping
Ableton Live lets you create a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format. Read this and learn how to make a .alp file

.alp stands for “Ableton Live Pack.”

It’s a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format.

Why use it?

It makes it super easy to archive Ableton Live projects and share them.

How to make an .alp?

1. File –> Collect All and Save.  -This will copy any samples, packs, recorded audio, and Max for Live devices to your project folder.

2. File –> Manage Files…

3. Click Manage Project (Center option on the right pane)

 

4. Click Create Pack (name your .alp)

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you right click on a midi or an audio clip and select “Extract Groove(s), you can extract the rhythm from a track. Once the groove is extracted, it will be available for use in the Groove Pool. You can then apply that extracted rhythm to any other track, by dragging that groove on top of the clip, and get a more cohesive sound.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Resampling is a neat trick in ableton live where you can capture the output of the master track and reinsert it into your project for additional processing. It’s a nice workaround, instead of flattening a track.

To resample, insert a new audio track, then change its audio from section to “resampling,” then arm the track, then record audio on the track. Once recorded, you will have audio on a single clip from all currently playing tracks that passed through the master. You can solo individual tracks to capture specific elements as well.

Category: Tips & Tricks
The Groove Pool is a bank of rhythms that can be applied to both midi and audio clips (as long that audio clip is warped and is not in Re-Pitch warp mode). The Groove Pool can be accessed by clicking the Groove Pool icon (2 line wave squiggle icon) which is located at the bottom left of Live’s Browser, above the help/info view box.

Once opened, the groove pool does not show any grooves or rhythms to apply. The grooves or rhythm clips can be found by right clicking in the empty groove pool, then selecting Browse Groove Library, which will take you to Packs, Core Library, Swing and Groove. From there you can browse through the various categories and click on the .agr files to preview the type of swing you want to apply. If you double click on a .agr file, it will place that groove into the Groove Pool. Then you can drag the groove that is in the groove pool onto the clip to apply it to that clip. The clip view box (the skinny box just to the right of the help/info view box) will show the current groove applied to that clip. Pressing Commit will create new warp markers on an audio clip and will snap midi notes to the actual place on the grid where the groove occurs.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Most likely, if Ableton Live’s clips are not playing in time, your samples are not properly warped. They may have a leading silence at the beginning of the clip. An easy way to get around this issue is to go into Ableton Live’s preferences and disable “Auto-Warp Long Samples,” which is located in the Record, Warp, Launch tab of Live’s Preferences. Retrigger your clips again and see if this fixes the issue.

If your clips are not properly launching in time and you want to keep your clips warped, go to each track and make sure that there isn’t leading silence at the beginning of the clips. If there is, zoom into each clip as much as possible and move the start clip flag right to the very beginning of when the audio sample actually starts, then right-click and select set 1.1.1 here, then right click once more and select “Warp From Here (Straight.)” Then retrigger your clips.

Also, by default all clips will launch according to the global launch quantization setting (located at the top left of the screen to the right of the metronome) Quantization is used to avoid rhythmical error when playing clips. To set specific clips to trigger on a quantized value separate from the global quantization, select a clip (midi or audio) then click the L in the Clip box (the skinny box located in-between the help/info view and the sample or notes box), then select the desired quantization value in the pull down menu (again Global is the default).

Yes, it is convenient to DJ from CDJ’s using RecordBox, or DJ with Traktor or Serato, but Ableton Live offers way more versatility in the Live realm in a way that no other program can.

You can take your live performance to a whole new level. Instead of just playing your Deck A and transitioning back to your Deck B all night…Ableton Live can do that and more. What if you wanted to play instruments along with your backing tracks, and have a platform that can support third party plugins on your backing tracks as well as your live inputs? Ableton can do it all.

Everyone is a DJ nowadays, Ableton will help you stand out for the right reasons.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To allow for ableton to be remotely controlled from a midi controller, you will need to enable remote on the input of your midi device in Live’s Midi Preferences. This allows Live to receive midi input information from your midi controller and interprets this as remote commands

Tag: mapping

Load More

Ableton and Midi Controllers?

Tips & Tricks

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you click on either a midi or audio clip, there is a skinny box that appears to the right of the help/info box. This skinny box is the “clip view.” If you click the “L” button in the bottom left of the clip view box, the “Launch mode” box will appear. From there you can select 4 different launch modes. Trigger, Gate, Toggle, and Repeat.

Trigger is the default. A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click is ignored.

Gate:  A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click stops the clip.

Toggle: A mouse click down starts and stops the clip.

Repeat: (Does not Loop) Holding down on the mouse click will repeatedly trigger the clip at its quantization interval.

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can map keys on your computer keyboard to toggle software buttons on and off in Live. When key mapping, it is best to disable the computer piano keyboard to prevent conflicts by clicking its icon in the upper right area of the screen.

Once the computer piano keyboard is disabled, press the key mapping button (also located in the upper right area of the screen). You can then click on almost any parameter in Live to select it for key mapping. Press and release your desired computer key once, then click the key mapping button again to exit key mapping mode. You can now press the mapped computer key to toggle on and off the mapped parameter.

Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
In order to have multiple output zones in Ableton, you need an audio interface that supports more than 2 outputs. A useful scenario for this would be wanting a preview “Cue Out” with a click track in your ear, while having the main output not have click.

Here are a few affordable USB interfaces that support multiple ins and have multiple ¼ inch outs

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

Steinburg UR44

Presonus AudioBox44VSL

However, once you get into multi-tracking more than 4 inputs, USB speeds become limiting and latency becomes a problem. For this reason, thunderbolt interfaces are an emerging market. Thunderbolt used to be a Mac OS only technology, but recently PC manufacturers have adopted thunderbolt standards as well. Thunderbolt is now a cross platform peripheral.

Yes thunderbolt interfaces are more expensive, but totally worth the money.

Focusrite has the Clarett 4 Pre and the Clarett 8 Pre

Universal Audio has the Apollo 8 (with a variety of different on-board processors)

(Universal Audio is different in that it has audio effect plugins that emulate real outboard gear. All processing of these plugins is done on the brain of the interface and does not tax your computer’s CPU)

Category: Tips & Tricks
Although it’s not possible by default to automate Ableton’s tempo to a specific clip using clip envelope automation, there is a Max for Live device called TEMPO that makes it possible. TEMPO allows you to directly change Ableton Live’s master tempo to the desired BPM speed. You can download and drag the TEMPO device onto a track. Choose a clip on that track, and automate TEMPO’s parameters inside that clip using Clip Envelope Automation.

Download the TEMPO Max for Live device at this link:

http://4live.me/post/51193368663/tempo

Yes. If both of those computers are yours. According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

If you want to know how to Sync 2 computers running Ableton, see “Play Together with Ableton Link”

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a parameter automated and you alter that parameter’s value (either with a mouse or with a midi controller) without changing any values in its automation lane, you will have muted that parameter’s automation. When any automation value is muted, the arrow in the top center of the screen (near the play stop record buttons) will light up orange. Click this orange button again to re-enable all automation.

To delete automation for a specific parameter, right click on that parameter and select “delete automation.” You can also delete automation in arrangement view by highlighting the area of drawn automation in the automation lane only and then pressing the delete key.

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can midi map almost any software button or knob in Ableton Live to hardware buttons or knobs.

    • You first need to make sure that your midi preferences are properly setup. (On Mac, Live, Preferences, On PC, Option, Preferences, then click the midi tab.) Then enable the remote button on the input of the desired midi device.
  • Once your midi preferences are set up, click the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen (or hit command + m on mac, control + m on PC), then click the software button or knob that you are wanting to map, then press or move the hardware button or knob that you are wanting to map
  • Once you have mapped a hardware button or knob, you have the ability to scale your mapping by adjusting the min and max values in the area where Ableton Live’s browser is located. Once you exit midi mapping mode by either clicking the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen again (or hitting command + m on mac, control + m on PC), Live’s browser will reappear.
Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a midi or audio clip in arrangement view that you’d like to move to session view, there are 2 ways to do so.

  1. Right click on a clip in arrangement view and copy it, tab to session view, right click on the desired clip slot and click paste.

OR.

  1. If you have multiple clips of a song that you want to move to session view, highlight the area of time you want using any track (say bars 1-9), right click and then click “consolidate time to new scene.” Tab to session view to see a new scene created.

This will make a new scene in session view with all the clips that occurred during the highlighted area of time that you selected in arrangement view.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Tips and Tricks; Recording

If you want to record audio from your computer outside of ableton such as capturing audio from your favorite viral video, there are a few different ways to do it.

On Mac,

Download and install soundflower.

https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/tag/2.0b2

Then change your Mac system preferences audio to route out to soundflower 2ch. In Ableton Live, change your input to soundflower 2ch, but keep your output in ableton still set to your soundcard or interface output. If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from videos and other sources running through Ableton. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

On Windows,

The process is similar but a couple more steps. Download and install VB-Cable.

https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/

You will also need to download and install Asio4All in order to allow for proper routing in Ableton Live

http://www.asio4all.org/

Change your playback device to route out to Cable-Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable). In Ableton Live, change your Driver Type to Asio, your Audio Device to AsioForAll v2, Then go to the hardware setup. For simplicity sake, mute all inputs in the Asio4All panel that are coming from your soundcard or interface, then enable the Device in the panel called VB-Audio Virtual Cable, then underneath the device, enable the IN (NOT THE OUT). Finally, enable your soundcard or interface device in the Asio4All panel, and enable the OUTPUT of that device only.

If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2 so that you have stereo audio in, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from video in your web browser and other sources running through Ableton Live. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

Category: Tips & Tricks
External Instruments in the Instruments folder of the Browser can be inserted on midi tracks and allow you to insert audio from an external instrument like a hardware synthesizer.

You can also route the audio output of a midi track that has an instrument on it to the input of an audio track so that you can bus FX before the audio is sent to the master.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Sidechaining is a way to duck down the volume of an audio track during the initial transient hit of the kick so that the kick sounds more impactful and your song will blend together better.

Let’s say you have a kick on Track 1 in Ableton Live, and you have a bass instrument on track 2. To sidechain the bass to the kick, we will need to first put a compressor on the bass track. There are 2 different types of compressors in the Audio Effects section of Ableton Live’s Browser; the normal Compressor and the Glue Compressor (which has more of an analog look).

Let’s start with just the normal Compresor and drag that to the bass track. Once the Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the compressor next to its enable/disable power button. Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

The process would be mostly the same with the Glue Compressor.  Once the Glue Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the Glue Compressor (next to its enable/disable power button). Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

This principle of ducking an instrument to another sound can be applied to all kinds of sidechaining techniques like other percussive sounds like also ducking an instrument to the snare in an additional compressor.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To disable warping on a specific clip, click the desired clip, you should then see the waveform of the audio clip appear and the left of the waveform is the clip parameters, click the button labeled “Warp” to disable warping for that clip.

By default Ableton Live will want to warp most audio unless it is a short sample with 1 transient peak. You can disable this functionality by going to Live’s Preferences, the Record Warp Launch tab, and turn off “Auto Warp Long Samples.” That way when you drag in a song to Ableton Live, that song will not automatically warp.

Tag: Warping
Category: Tips & Tricks
First make sure both computers are on the same network. WiFi will work, Ethernet is better (no you can’t just plug in a regular ethernet cable between 2 computers). You need to have a router in between them that hands out IP Addresses.

The Live Link button is in the upper left hand corner.

For Windows computers, if they are on the same network, and the Link button isn’t showing up, you may need to setup your audio drivers. In your audio preferences, your driver type will probably say something like MME/DirectX. This driver won’t work with Link.

The reason this won’t work is that you need lower latency in order for 2 computers to sync their clock. If your computer takes too long to generate sound, the other computer can’t calculate the sync time, thus the link button won’t show up.

To fix this, download and install ASIO drivers. If you are using your computer’s internal sound card, download the latest version of ASIO4ALL at www.asio4all.org

If you have an external interface such as a USB Audio interface. Google ASIO drivers for your interface model and download from the manufacturer’s site.

Mac users should be using the native Core Audio driver.

Category: Tips & Tricks

Ableton Live has 6 different warp mode types.

These modes are how Live will play back and stretch audio when it is set to a different tempo than the original recording. How each mode algorithm works to manipulates audio is more evident at slower tempos.

Beats mode is designed for drum loops, where there are short  transients to manipulate, and is the default warp mode.  The “Preserve” below the warp mode lets you to select how to shape the beat transients. You can warp to 16th notes, 8th notes, to the bar, etc. Or you can use Transients to shape at a granular level. It will loop over the audio file transients to recreate the most accurate sound of the original file. Beats mode is perfect for drum tracks, or other kinds of rhythms, but is not ideal for melodic audio clips.

Tones mode is designed for anything with a clear pitch like vocals, lead guitar, bass lines, etc. You want a sound that doesn’t emphasize rhythm. You can adjust the Grain Size to shorter or larger settings. The grain size is how the audio file is broken up into parts to warp.

Texture Mode is perfect for creating experimental, wild sounds. Its similar to the Grain Size warp structure in Tones, but and adds the Flux parameter. Texture warp mode is for sounds that don’t have complex melodic or pitch properties you want to keep, like pads or ambient sounds. Playing with the Flux parameter can help you create some very, very interesting atmospheric and ambient sounds. Love it!

Re-Pitch mode is how turntables work. It speeds up or slows down the audio to match the global tempo in your project. You won’t hear the warp artifact sounds here because the audio itself is repitched to match the speed.  If you want to preserve pitches and notes, this is not the mode for you, but it’s sometimes a good choice for drums though.

Complex mode is designed to warp entire song files or other complex audio. Complex is the most CPU intensive out of all warp modes. It attempts to preserve all of the rhythmic and tonal qualities of the audio file.

Complex Pro is similar to Complex mode, but adds the Format and Envelope parameters, most suitable for vocal track remixes. Formants adjust the extent of compensation to the sample and tries to preserve the natural “throat” sound of the human voice. Envelope adjusts spectral qualities of the file. Ableton recommends the default value of 128 for most audio and trying lower values for samples with higher pitched ranges and vice versa for lower sonic ranges.

Tag: Warping
Ableton Live lets you create a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format. Read this and learn how to make a .alp file

.alp stands for “Ableton Live Pack.”

It’s a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format.

Why use it?

It makes it super easy to archive Ableton Live projects and share them.

How to make an .alp?

1. File –> Collect All and Save.  -This will copy any samples, packs, recorded audio, and Max for Live devices to your project folder.

2. File –> Manage Files…

3. Click Manage Project (Center option on the right pane)

 

4. Click Create Pack (name your .alp)

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you right click on a midi or an audio clip and select “Extract Groove(s), you can extract the rhythm from a track. Once the groove is extracted, it will be available for use in the Groove Pool. You can then apply that extracted rhythm to any other track, by dragging that groove on top of the clip, and get a more cohesive sound.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Resampling is a neat trick in ableton live where you can capture the output of the master track and reinsert it into your project for additional processing. It’s a nice workaround, instead of flattening a track.

To resample, insert a new audio track, then change its audio from section to “resampling,” then arm the track, then record audio on the track. Once recorded, you will have audio on a single clip from all currently playing tracks that passed through the master. You can solo individual tracks to capture specific elements as well.

Category: Tips & Tricks
The Groove Pool is a bank of rhythms that can be applied to both midi and audio clips (as long that audio clip is warped and is not in Re-Pitch warp mode). The Groove Pool can be accessed by clicking the Groove Pool icon (2 line wave squiggle icon) which is located at the bottom left of Live’s Browser, above the help/info view box.

Once opened, the groove pool does not show any grooves or rhythms to apply. The grooves or rhythm clips can be found by right clicking in the empty groove pool, then selecting Browse Groove Library, which will take you to Packs, Core Library, Swing and Groove. From there you can browse through the various categories and click on the .agr files to preview the type of swing you want to apply. If you double click on a .agr file, it will place that groove into the Groove Pool. Then you can drag the groove that is in the groove pool onto the clip to apply it to that clip. The clip view box (the skinny box just to the right of the help/info view box) will show the current groove applied to that clip. Pressing Commit will create new warp markers on an audio clip and will snap midi notes to the actual place on the grid where the groove occurs.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Most likely, if Ableton Live’s clips are not playing in time, your samples are not properly warped. They may have a leading silence at the beginning of the clip. An easy way to get around this issue is to go into Ableton Live’s preferences and disable “Auto-Warp Long Samples,” which is located in the Record, Warp, Launch tab of Live’s Preferences. Retrigger your clips again and see if this fixes the issue.

If your clips are not properly launching in time and you want to keep your clips warped, go to each track and make sure that there isn’t leading silence at the beginning of the clips. If there is, zoom into each clip as much as possible and move the start clip flag right to the very beginning of when the audio sample actually starts, then right-click and select set 1.1.1 here, then right click once more and select “Warp From Here (Straight.)” Then retrigger your clips.

Also, by default all clips will launch according to the global launch quantization setting (located at the top left of the screen to the right of the metronome) Quantization is used to avoid rhythmical error when playing clips. To set specific clips to trigger on a quantized value separate from the global quantization, select a clip (midi or audio) then click the L in the Clip box (the skinny box located in-between the help/info view and the sample or notes box), then select the desired quantization value in the pull down menu (again Global is the default).

Yes, it is convenient to DJ from CDJ’s using RecordBox, or DJ with Traktor or Serato, but Ableton Live offers way more versatility in the Live realm in a way that no other program can.

You can take your live performance to a whole new level. Instead of just playing your Deck A and transitioning back to your Deck B all night…Ableton Live can do that and more. What if you wanted to play instruments along with your backing tracks, and have a platform that can support third party plugins on your backing tracks as well as your live inputs? Ableton can do it all.

Everyone is a DJ nowadays, Ableton will help you stand out for the right reasons.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To allow for ableton to be remotely controlled from a midi controller, you will need to enable remote on the input of your midi device in Live’s Midi Preferences. This allows Live to receive midi input information from your midi controller and interprets this as remote commands

Tag: mapping

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Tips & Tricks

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you click on either a midi or audio clip, there is a skinny box that appears to the right of the help/info box. This skinny box is the “clip view.” If you click the “L” button in the bottom left of the clip view box, the “Launch mode” box will appear. From there you can select 4 different launch modes. Trigger, Gate, Toggle, and Repeat.

Trigger is the default. A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click is ignored.

Gate:  A mouse click down will start the clip, a release of the mouse click stops the clip.

Toggle: A mouse click down starts and stops the clip.

Repeat: (Does not Loop) Holding down on the mouse click will repeatedly trigger the clip at its quantization interval.

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can map keys on your computer keyboard to toggle software buttons on and off in Live. When key mapping, it is best to disable the computer piano keyboard to prevent conflicts by clicking its icon in the upper right area of the screen.

Once the computer piano keyboard is disabled, press the key mapping button (also located in the upper right area of the screen). You can then click on almost any parameter in Live to select it for key mapping. Press and release your desired computer key once, then click the key mapping button again to exit key mapping mode. You can now press the mapped computer key to toggle on and off the mapped parameter.

Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
In order to have multiple output zones in Ableton, you need an audio interface that supports more than 2 outputs. A useful scenario for this would be wanting a preview “Cue Out” with a click track in your ear, while having the main output not have click.

Here are a few affordable USB interfaces that support multiple ins and have multiple ¼ inch outs

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

Steinburg UR44

Presonus AudioBox44VSL

However, once you get into multi-tracking more than 4 inputs, USB speeds become limiting and latency becomes a problem. For this reason, thunderbolt interfaces are an emerging market. Thunderbolt used to be a Mac OS only technology, but recently PC manufacturers have adopted thunderbolt standards as well. Thunderbolt is now a cross platform peripheral.

Yes thunderbolt interfaces are more expensive, but totally worth the money.

Focusrite has the Clarett 4 Pre and the Clarett 8 Pre

Universal Audio has the Apollo 8 (with a variety of different on-board processors)

(Universal Audio is different in that it has audio effect plugins that emulate real outboard gear. All processing of these plugins is done on the brain of the interface and does not tax your computer’s CPU)

Category: Tips & Tricks
Although it’s not possible by default to automate Ableton’s tempo to a specific clip using clip envelope automation, there is a Max for Live device called TEMPO that makes it possible. TEMPO allows you to directly change Ableton Live’s master tempo to the desired BPM speed. You can download and drag the TEMPO device onto a track. Choose a clip on that track, and automate TEMPO’s parameters inside that clip using Clip Envelope Automation.

Download the TEMPO Max for Live device at this link:

http://4live.me/post/51193368663/tempo

Yes. If both of those computers are yours. According to Ableton’s site,

“A regular Live license is intended for a single user and cannot be shared.

Each license covers the use of the software on two active computers owned by the registered user.

A new authorization may become necessary in the event of replacing essential hardware components (motherboard, hard drive, graphic card, etc.) or after an operating system reinstallation. In such cases, you will be informed by an automated email to your registered address and additional authorizations can be requested from your user account.”

If you want to know how to Sync 2 computers running Ableton, see “Play Together with Ableton Link”

 

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a parameter automated and you alter that parameter’s value (either with a mouse or with a midi controller) without changing any values in its automation lane, you will have muted that parameter’s automation. When any automation value is muted, the arrow in the top center of the screen (near the play stop record buttons) will light up orange. Click this orange button again to re-enable all automation.

To delete automation for a specific parameter, right click on that parameter and select “delete automation.” You can also delete automation in arrangement view by highlighting the area of drawn automation in the automation lane only and then pressing the delete key.

Category: Tips & Tricks
You can midi map almost any software button or knob in Ableton Live to hardware buttons or knobs.

    • You first need to make sure that your midi preferences are properly setup. (On Mac, Live, Preferences, On PC, Option, Preferences, then click the midi tab.) Then enable the remote button on the input of the desired midi device.
  • Once your midi preferences are set up, click the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen (or hit command + m on mac, control + m on PC), then click the software button or knob that you are wanting to map, then press or move the hardware button or knob that you are wanting to map
  • Once you have mapped a hardware button or knob, you have the ability to scale your mapping by adjusting the min and max values in the area where Ableton Live’s browser is located. Once you exit midi mapping mode by either clicking the midi map button in the upper left corner of the screen again (or hitting command + m on mac, control + m on PC), Live’s browser will reappear.
Tag: mapping
Category: Tips & Tricks
If you have a midi or audio clip in arrangement view that you’d like to move to session view, there are 2 ways to do so.

  1. Right click on a clip in arrangement view and copy it, tab to session view, right click on the desired clip slot and click paste.

OR.

  1. If you have multiple clips of a song that you want to move to session view, highlight the area of time you want using any track (say bars 1-9), right click and then click “consolidate time to new scene.” Tab to session view to see a new scene created.

This will make a new scene in session view with all the clips that occurred during the highlighted area of time that you selected in arrangement view.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Tips and Tricks; Recording

If you want to record audio from your computer outside of ableton such as capturing audio from your favorite viral video, there are a few different ways to do it.

On Mac,

Download and install soundflower.

https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/tag/2.0b2

Then change your Mac system preferences audio to route out to soundflower 2ch. In Ableton Live, change your input to soundflower 2ch, but keep your output in ableton still set to your soundcard or interface output. If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from videos and other sources running through Ableton. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

On Windows,

The process is similar but a couple more steps. Download and install VB-Cable.

https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/

You will also need to download and install Asio4All in order to allow for proper routing in Ableton Live

http://www.asio4all.org/

Change your playback device to route out to Cable-Input (VB-Audio Virtual Cable). In Ableton Live, change your Driver Type to Asio, your Audio Device to AsioForAll v2, Then go to the hardware setup. For simplicity sake, mute all inputs in the Asio4All panel that are coming from your soundcard or interface, then enable the Device in the panel called VB-Audio Virtual Cable, then underneath the device, enable the IN (NOT THE OUT). Finally, enable your soundcard or interface device in the Asio4All panel, and enable the OUTPUT of that device only.

If you arm an audio track with the audio from on Ext In and change the input to 1/2 so that you have stereo audio in, you should now be able to hear and record your computer’s audio from video in your web browser and other sources running through Ableton Live. Make sure to set the track Monitor to “Auto.”

Category: Tips & Tricks
External Instruments in the Instruments folder of the Browser can be inserted on midi tracks and allow you to insert audio from an external instrument like a hardware synthesizer.

You can also route the audio output of a midi track that has an instrument on it to the input of an audio track so that you can bus FX before the audio is sent to the master.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Sidechaining is a way to duck down the volume of an audio track during the initial transient hit of the kick so that the kick sounds more impactful and your song will blend together better.

Let’s say you have a kick on Track 1 in Ableton Live, and you have a bass instrument on track 2. To sidechain the bass to the kick, we will need to first put a compressor on the bass track. There are 2 different types of compressors in the Audio Effects section of Ableton Live’s Browser; the normal Compressor and the Glue Compressor (which has more of an analog look).

Let’s start with just the normal Compresor and drag that to the bass track. Once the Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the compressor next to its enable/disable power button. Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

The process would be mostly the same with the Glue Compressor.  Once the Glue Compressor is on the desired track, click the arrow button on the Glue Compressor (next to its enable/disable power button). Now you should see a sidechain option appear on the compressor. Click the sidechain option and pick the track which you wish to sidechain to, in this case, the kick (usually leave it at Post FX sidechain). Pull down the threshold to see the gain reduction sidechaining occur. The lower threshold, the higher the sidechain effect.

This principle of ducking an instrument to another sound can be applied to all kinds of sidechaining techniques like other percussive sounds like also ducking an instrument to the snare in an additional compressor.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To disable warping on a specific clip, click the desired clip, you should then see the waveform of the audio clip appear and the left of the waveform is the clip parameters, click the button labeled “Warp” to disable warping for that clip.

By default Ableton Live will want to warp most audio unless it is a short sample with 1 transient peak. You can disable this functionality by going to Live’s Preferences, the Record Warp Launch tab, and turn off “Auto Warp Long Samples.” That way when you drag in a song to Ableton Live, that song will not automatically warp.

Tag: Warping
Category: Tips & Tricks
First make sure both computers are on the same network. WiFi will work, Ethernet is better (no you can’t just plug in a regular ethernet cable between 2 computers). You need to have a router in between them that hands out IP Addresses.

The Live Link button is in the upper left hand corner.

For Windows computers, if they are on the same network, and the Link button isn’t showing up, you may need to setup your audio drivers. In your audio preferences, your driver type will probably say something like MME/DirectX. This driver won’t work with Link.

The reason this won’t work is that you need lower latency in order for 2 computers to sync their clock. If your computer takes too long to generate sound, the other computer can’t calculate the sync time, thus the link button won’t show up.

To fix this, download and install ASIO drivers. If you are using your computer’s internal sound card, download the latest version of ASIO4ALL at www.asio4all.org

If you have an external interface such as a USB Audio interface. Google ASIO drivers for your interface model and download from the manufacturer’s site.

Mac users should be using the native Core Audio driver.

Category: Tips & Tricks

Ableton Live has 6 different warp mode types.

These modes are how Live will play back and stretch audio when it is set to a different tempo than the original recording. How each mode algorithm works to manipulates audio is more evident at slower tempos.

Beats mode is designed for drum loops, where there are short  transients to manipulate, and is the default warp mode.  The “Preserve” below the warp mode lets you to select how to shape the beat transients. You can warp to 16th notes, 8th notes, to the bar, etc. Or you can use Transients to shape at a granular level. It will loop over the audio file transients to recreate the most accurate sound of the original file. Beats mode is perfect for drum tracks, or other kinds of rhythms, but is not ideal for melodic audio clips.

Tones mode is designed for anything with a clear pitch like vocals, lead guitar, bass lines, etc. You want a sound that doesn’t emphasize rhythm. You can adjust the Grain Size to shorter or larger settings. The grain size is how the audio file is broken up into parts to warp.

Texture Mode is perfect for creating experimental, wild sounds. Its similar to the Grain Size warp structure in Tones, but and adds the Flux parameter. Texture warp mode is for sounds that don’t have complex melodic or pitch properties you want to keep, like pads or ambient sounds. Playing with the Flux parameter can help you create some very, very interesting atmospheric and ambient sounds. Love it!

Re-Pitch mode is how turntables work. It speeds up or slows down the audio to match the global tempo in your project. You won’t hear the warp artifact sounds here because the audio itself is repitched to match the speed.  If you want to preserve pitches and notes, this is not the mode for you, but it’s sometimes a good choice for drums though.

Complex mode is designed to warp entire song files or other complex audio. Complex is the most CPU intensive out of all warp modes. It attempts to preserve all of the rhythmic and tonal qualities of the audio file.

Complex Pro is similar to Complex mode, but adds the Format and Envelope parameters, most suitable for vocal track remixes. Formants adjust the extent of compensation to the sample and tries to preserve the natural “throat” sound of the human voice. Envelope adjusts spectral qualities of the file. Ableton recommends the default value of 128 for most audio and trying lower values for samples with higher pitched ranges and vice versa for lower sonic ranges.

Tag: Warping
Ableton Live lets you create a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format. Read this and learn how to make a .alp file

.alp stands for “Ableton Live Pack.”

It’s a zip file of your project and the samples used, but in a smaller, condensed format.

Why use it?

It makes it super easy to archive Ableton Live projects and share them.

How to make an .alp?

1. File –> Collect All and Save.  -This will copy any samples, packs, recorded audio, and Max for Live devices to your project folder.

2. File –> Manage Files…

3. Click Manage Project (Center option on the right pane)

 

4. Click Create Pack (name your .alp)

Category: Tips & Tricks
If you right click on a midi or an audio clip and select “Extract Groove(s), you can extract the rhythm from a track. Once the groove is extracted, it will be available for use in the Groove Pool. You can then apply that extracted rhythm to any other track, by dragging that groove on top of the clip, and get a more cohesive sound.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Resampling is a neat trick in ableton live where you can capture the output of the master track and reinsert it into your project for additional processing. It’s a nice workaround, instead of flattening a track.

To resample, insert a new audio track, then change its audio from section to “resampling,” then arm the track, then record audio on the track. Once recorded, you will have audio on a single clip from all currently playing tracks that passed through the master. You can solo individual tracks to capture specific elements as well.

Category: Tips & Tricks
The Groove Pool is a bank of rhythms that can be applied to both midi and audio clips (as long that audio clip is warped and is not in Re-Pitch warp mode). The Groove Pool can be accessed by clicking the Groove Pool icon (2 line wave squiggle icon) which is located at the bottom left of Live’s Browser, above the help/info view box.

Once opened, the groove pool does not show any grooves or rhythms to apply. The grooves or rhythm clips can be found by right clicking in the empty groove pool, then selecting Browse Groove Library, which will take you to Packs, Core Library, Swing and Groove. From there you can browse through the various categories and click on the .agr files to preview the type of swing you want to apply. If you double click on a .agr file, it will place that groove into the Groove Pool. Then you can drag the groove that is in the groove pool onto the clip to apply it to that clip. The clip view box (the skinny box just to the right of the help/info view box) will show the current groove applied to that clip. Pressing Commit will create new warp markers on an audio clip and will snap midi notes to the actual place on the grid where the groove occurs.

Category: Tips & Tricks
Most likely, if Ableton Live’s clips are not playing in time, your samples are not properly warped. They may have a leading silence at the beginning of the clip. An easy way to get around this issue is to go into Ableton Live’s preferences and disable “Auto-Warp Long Samples,” which is located in the Record, Warp, Launch tab of Live’s Preferences. Retrigger your clips again and see if this fixes the issue.

If your clips are not properly launching in time and you want to keep your clips warped, go to each track and make sure that there isn’t leading silence at the beginning of the clips. If there is, zoom into each clip as much as possible and move the start clip flag right to the very beginning of when the audio sample actually starts, then right-click and select set 1.1.1 here, then right click once more and select “Warp From Here (Straight.)” Then retrigger your clips.

Also, by default all clips will launch according to the global launch quantization setting (located at the top left of the screen to the right of the metronome) Quantization is used to avoid rhythmical error when playing clips. To set specific clips to trigger on a quantized value separate from the global quantization, select a clip (midi or audio) then click the L in the Clip box (the skinny box located in-between the help/info view and the sample or notes box), then select the desired quantization value in the pull down menu (again Global is the default).

Yes, it is convenient to DJ from CDJ’s using RecordBox, or DJ with Traktor or Serato, but Ableton Live offers way more versatility in the Live realm in a way that no other program can.

You can take your live performance to a whole new level. Instead of just playing your Deck A and transitioning back to your Deck B all night…Ableton Live can do that and more. What if you wanted to play instruments along with your backing tracks, and have a platform that can support third party plugins on your backing tracks as well as your live inputs? Ableton can do it all.

Everyone is a DJ nowadays, Ableton will help you stand out for the right reasons.

Category: Tips & Tricks
To allow for ableton to be remotely controlled from a midi controller, you will need to enable remote on the input of your midi device in Live’s Midi Preferences. This allows Live to receive midi input information from your midi controller and interprets this as remote commands

Tag: mapping

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