Making Beats with Ableton Live

Making beats with Ableton Live is easy once you get familiar with the basics. In this video we’ll look at how to get started programming drums using Live’s Impulse instrument.

Instead of programming and drawing notes into clips using the cursor, we can use the Session Record Button to play new notes in real-time inside existing MIDI clips.

Each MIDI note in a clip has a velocity assigned to it, which represents the loudness of that note being played. We can adjust a note’s velocity to give drums a more “human” feel. Real-world instruments are not performed at the exact same loudness every time a note or drum is being played, and Live gives us a ton of control to replicate this “human expression” with virtual instruments using velocity.

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Shortcuts to remember:
– Octave up & down on your Computer MIDI Keyboard: Z or X
– Toggle between Device & Clip view: Shift + Tab
– Insert new MIDI Track: CMD + Shift + T
– Insert new Audio Track: CMD + T
– Quantize Settings: CMD + Shift + U
– Adjust note’s velocity: CMD + Click/ drag MIDI note up & down
– Undo: CMD + Z

*For most shortcuts substitute: CMD for Mac, and Cntrl for PC