Suquamish, Washington, USA
Electronic Music discussion: ableton tricks
Written November 30 2010 , Tags: settings, keysrokes, ableton, workflow
ive been making use of the save current set as default command in the preferences to get ableton to start up in a way that works for me. i used to frequently get stuck in session view, looping the same 8 seconds or so and never getting a track made. now ableton starts in arrange view, with the first bar selected and loop selection on, so i can start auditioning some sounds while being totally ready to move that into a full song. this is super simple but has helped me quite a bit.
what other tricks and workflow processes have you found? how do you use (or not use) controllers in your compositional process? lets share some knowledge, and maybe some daw screenshots as i love those as well.
Yeah, that is neat. I really enjoy reading through topics like this since so much knowledge can be shared. Unfortunately my workflow is terrible so I don't have much to contribute.
this might be a no-brainer but playing the clips live with record turned on helps me get a sketch of the structure i want the clips to move in. this is pretty easy with a launchpad or other live controller, but it can get you stuck in that "one more go" mindset if you start messing up.
typically i spend about 1/5 making clips, 1/5 doing the aforementioned record/jam, and 3/5 working on the song from there.
process-wise, i use a few resource session files as clip banks that i can easily and quickly drag into my set. i have a couple videos and write up on the circle of fifths one that you can download and use if you like: link
i have another session that i'm still working on the video and write-up for that has all euclidean rhythms (1-32 n/k) as pulse clips. dragging them into your current set allows you to build up poly-rhythmic madness pretty easily (everything sounds good together). ruin and wesen have a really good explanation of euclidean rhythms, but you can read about it here too. link
I've been trying to learn Ableton, so it's nice to see some workflow tips. Once the semester is over me and a buddy are going to sit down and RTFM over a case of beer.
fakeBlooper - That circle of fifths thing looks sweet! That would be awesome if you let us know when the euclidean thing is up too. I recently went back to that R&W post after blogging about writing beats. Good stuff.
after working with Acid Pro then switching to ableton for a test I absolutely hated teh ableton interface. the midi mapping was cool, but traversing teh track and zooming in and out with the stupid tiny bar @ teh top of teh window was sooo frustrating and not in the least bit intuitive or conducive to rapid workflow that I wanted to slap the live developers...seriously at 1600x1200 that bar is impossible to fucking hit...with acid pro it was as easy as a mouse wheel flick.
it took me years to get used to ableton, coming from fl. there are a few little annoying things about live but the flexibility it gives makes up for these imo. i found a list of tricks and keystrokes, that address some of the zooming issues, like clicking "length" to zoom to loop link
I can't believe it's taken me this long to learn about it, but the "slice to midi" command is fucking gold if you make sample-based music or ever chop drums. It does in a second what I used to spend 15-30 minutes doing every time I'd start a beat.
This video does a pretty good job of explaining it: Video&feature=fvw
Dammit. I forgot about the yootube hating robot that lives here. Let's try that link again:
Yeah, slice to midi is great. Check this one out: link
He uses a sampler preset for his slices. If you have sampler, Ableton has it available on their site.
I use a modified version of Ski's preset for most of my slicing now. But breaks still get sliced to drumracks.
(mechp, take the "www." out, and leave in the rest of the url)
ive just found that double clicking above a sample in the edit window while an area is brackedted zooms to fit the brackets. this also works in arrange view. a time saver for zooming to what your working on.
I got a Launchpad last Christmas, which came with "Live Lite 8 - Launchpad edition" - and I've only fired the thing up a few times to mess around. So far, I've not had the patience to learn Ableton, but I need to get on it.. Having been an FLStudio head since about 2000, it's hard to let go of the workflow I've been accustomed to.. I have a new laptop arriving tomorrow (Toshiba Qosmio x505, Core i7, 1.73Ghz) - and I think "learning Ableton" might be a good thing to associate with my new rig -- Any tips for an Ableton noob on how to get up to speed quickly?
mulletballet said: "I got a Launchpad last Christmas, which came with "Live Lite 8 - Launchpad edition" - and I've only fired the thing up a few times to mess around. So far, I've not had the patience to learn Ableton, but I need to get on it.. Having been an FLStudio head since about 2000, it's hard to let go of the workflow I've been accustomed to.. I have a new laptop arriving tomorrow (Toshiba Qosmio x505, Core i7, 1.73Ghz) - and I think "learning Ableton" might be a good thing to associate with my new rig -- Any tips for an Ableton noob on how to get up to speed quickly?"
i know huh! i was in the same boat but started using live in 2005. took me till about 2008 to really be comfortable with it and not use fl anymore. just give it time and use both for a while
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