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Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
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Advanced MIDI editing


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Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

with Rick Schmunk

Video: Advanced MIDI editing

When editing MIDI, we often focus on quantizing and fixing rhythmic errors, and forget to use the other tools that are available to improve a MIDI performance. In this video, we'll learn how to edit note duration, transpose notes, and edit note velocities. So again, editing MIDI starts with making a selection. So let's open this bass clip up in the MIDI Editor, by clicking on the clip. So in this clip, I've got notes that are at the wrong length and the wrong pitch and the wrong duration. So let's see how we fix that. Now, I can change a note's duration by moving my cursor to the edge of the note and then dragging out the length of the note. And I am going to zoom in before I do that so we can see a little bit more detail.
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  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 8m 43s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      4m 30s
  3. 12m 59s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      3m 54s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      3m 31s
    3. Optimizing performance
      5m 34s
  4. 35m 42s
    1. Understanding Session view
      8m 7s
    2. Working with Live browsers
      5m 3s
    3. Working with Live clips
      7m 57s
    4. Understanding clip properties
      7m 52s
    5. Working with Live scenes
      6m 43s
  5. 28m 16s
    1. Building Live Sets and projects
      4m 25s
    2. Learning Live file management
      4m 2s
    3. Exporting content from Live
      7m 32s
    4. Importing and exporting Live Packs
      3m 17s
    5. Searching for and auditioning clips
      4m 58s
    6. Setting up frequently accessed folders
      4m 2s
  6. 23m 3s
    1. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 51s
    2. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 32s
    3. Working with alternate MIDI entry methods
      6m 49s
    4. Using multi-output virtual instruments
      5m 51s
  7. 24m 26s
    1. The MIDI Editor
      4m 49s
    2. Quantizing MIDI data
      6m 6s
    3. Advanced MIDI editing
      6m 49s
    4. Setting up groove in editing
      6m 42s
  8. 9m 18s
    1. Preparing to record
      5m 0s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 18s
  9. 22m 37s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      3m 41s
    2. Recording in Arrangement view
      3m 51s
    3. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 21s
    4. Reworking clips
      9m 44s
  10. 27m 57s
    1. Understanding Live's mixer
      12m 38s
    2. Using sends and returns
      3m 47s
    3. Building headphone cues
      3m 49s
    4. Grouping tracks
      7m 43s
  11. 43m 14s
    1. Working with effect devices
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 14s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      7m 28s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      8m 18s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 22s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      6m 56s
  12. 15m 37s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      8m 38s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      6m 59s
  13. 25m 24s
    1. Building automation patterns
      8m 44s
    2. Editing existing automation information
      5m 3s
    3. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 10s
    4. Understanding the power of clip envelopes
      7m 27s
  14. 20m 17s
    1. Understanding the basics of looping
      6m 54s
    2. Creating tracks that loop smoothly
      7m 50s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 33s
  15. 17m 47s
    1. Using the computer keyboard to control Live
      6m 39s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      4m 36s
    3. Using Live's instant mapping feature
      6m 32s
  16. 10m 44s
    1. Exporting audio
      5m 37s
    2. Freezing tracks
      5m 7s
  17. 20m 45s
    1. Building with the Impulse virtual instrument
      11m 35s
    2. Working with the Simpler virtual instrument
      9m 10s
  18. 36m 22s
    1. Overview of Live racks
      10m 13s
    2. Combining instruments and effects into a single device
      8m 22s
    3. Adding effects with Drum Rack
      11m 28s
    4. Assigning rack parameters to macros
      6m 19s
  19. 13m 53s
    1. Setting up ReWire with Pro Tools
      7m 3s
    2. Setting up ReWire with Logic
      6m 50s
  20. 33m 43s
    1. Preparing audio clips with the Warp tool
      14m 31s
    2. Triggering clips using follow actions
      8m 9s
    3. Using Live as a sound source
      11m 3s
  21. 7m 21s
    1. Working with video files
      7m 21s
  22. 37s
    1. Further Recommendations
      37s

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Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
7h 20m Beginner Dec 10, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Ableton Live 8 Essential Training with Rick Schmunk offers a comprehensive overview of Ableton's live audio and MIDI sequencing software and the techniques required to compose, record, and edit music, in real time, on stage, or in the studio. The course includes tutorials on compiling live sets from audio and MIDI clips, loops, or samples, applying MIDI effects, warping audio, and recording and producing songs in any number of contemporary styles. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Putting together a DAW system
  • Setting up Ableton preferences
  • Importing and exporting content
  • Recording MIDI
  • Editing and quantizing MIDI data
  • Recording audio
  • Recording in Arrangement view
  • Using sends and returns in the Live Mixer
  • Grouping tracks
  • Signal processing
  • Creating and editing automation envelopes
  • Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
  • Looping and warping audio clips
  • Mapping device controls to a MIDI keyboard
  • Working with virtual instruments
  • Integrating Live with Pro Tools and Logic
Subjects:
Audio + Music DAWs
Software:
Ableton Live
Author:
Rick Schmunk

Advanced MIDI editing

When editing MIDI, we often focus on quantizing and fixing rhythmic errors, and forget to use the other tools that are available to improve a MIDI performance. In this video, we'll learn how to edit note duration, transpose notes, and edit note velocities. So again, editing MIDI starts with making a selection. So let's open this bass clip up in the MIDI Editor, by clicking on the clip. So in this clip, I've got notes that are at the wrong length and the wrong pitch and the wrong duration. So let's see how we fix that. Now, I can change a note's duration by moving my cursor to the edge of the note and then dragging out the length of the note. And I am going to zoom in before I do that so we can see a little bit more detail.

So again, just move my cursor over the edge of the note and click and drag. Now I have got my Follow switch on, so we heard it play. And because the grid is enabled, the note immediately snapped over to this other gridline. So let me undo that. If I want to trim a note out or change its duration without having it snap to the grid, I can do two things. I can turn off the grid by right- clicking and choosing Off. Or because sometimes I may want to go to the grid and other times not, I can override the grid by holding down my Command key, going to the edge of the note, Command+Dragging that note out. And now you'll notice that I can do that without snapping to the grid.

Now, I can do this to multiple notes at a time by simply selecting those notes. Let me get this back where it was. Select multiple notes, and now I can Command or Ctrl on the PC, click those out so that they are all longer. I am going to zoom back out, and I am going to actually do that to this whole selection of notes that starts this clip, because it looks like they're all about the wrong length. (Bass playing.) Notice that all I have to do is barely touch the note when I click and drag that way to include it in the selection.

So let's move to any one of these notes, and go to the edge and then Command+Click and drag, and I can increase the note duration. I am going to listen to this for just a second, and try and find those wrong notes. (Bass playing.) Okay, so in the second group of notes, these two notes that are currently on C# should actually be Cs, and then these D# should be Ds.

So I can transpose a note by simply selecting it, and then hitting the down arrow or the up arrow to move it to the pitch that I desire. I can do that to a group of notes by dragging and closing them, and doing the same thing. And if I want to move the notes a full octave, I can do that by holding down my Shift Key and then either down arrow to go down to octave, or up arrow to go up an octave. So one of the other things that's really overlooked when we edit MIDI is the note velocities. And you can see down here when I point in the Velocity Editor area that the velocities of these notes are really not consistent at all.

And oftentimes, when we record a MIDI performance, we focus on the quantization to fix the rhythmic problem, and oftentimes it's actually not a rhythmic problem, but it's a velocity problem, and these really inconsistent velocities end up having a very jumpy effect. So to edit the velocity of the note, I can select the note by clicking in the middle of it and then grabbing the velocity marker and dragging up or down. I can also do it the opposite way by selecting the velocity marker down here in the Velocity Editing area and then dragging it.

You can drag and close a group of notes, and adjust the velocity to all of them simultaneously. And if you want to reset them all to be the same velocity, all I need to do is drag it down to either at the very lowest velocity or the highest velocity, and then return it to the velocity that I want to be at. I am going to turn off the Preview here for a second, so I don't have to listen to that. Now, watch what happens as I drag down. Okay, now they are all at the same velocity, and when I bring them up, they are all at the same velocity. And that might be a good way to initially set a group of these so that they are more consistent, and then you can go back and edit the individual ones.

So I'll select these and do the same thing. This time I'll go all the way up to the top and then bring them down. And I missed that one in my selection, so I'll have to do it separately. Now if you find editing these note velocities down here in the Velocity Editor awkward, you can also edit note velocities by going up and selecting a note and then holding the Command key down and then dragging either up or down. And you'll see up above that note that I have selected, the velocity actually changing as I drag up or down.

So a couple of things you might think about when you're editing velocities, just has to do with how music works: Notes are typically a little bit more velocity when they're on the beat. So if you have a repeating pattern and you want it to sound, for instance, like a drummer would play a hi-hat pattern, the drummer is going to play a little bit harder on the beat then off the beat. And you can go through and adjust the velocities so you have those accents where they are appropriate. So for instance, with this bass part, I might want to go through and some of these notes that are on the beat, just raise them ever so slightly more than the rest.

Now if you want to draw in a crescendo or what we call a velocity ramp, you can hold down your Command Key or Ctrl on a PC and click and drag across a group of notes. You first have to select them, so let's give that a try. So now I am going to Command+Click across those. Draw in the ramp and then let go, and now I have my crescendo. Now one last thing that you might want to do is to actually crop a MIDI clip. So I am going to over here and select the drum clip for this purpose. So I've got a 4-bar drum clip, and I'm actually going to set the length of that by moving the start marker and the end marker so I have got a 2-bar clip.

And in many cases this is fine. I can leave this alone, and it will only play those two bars. But there might come a point where you actually want to make sure that that's what you have in this clip, and that there is nothing that might happen because the start and end points have changed. So I can crop this to the selection by right-clicking in the MIDI Editor and choosing Crop Clip from the contextual menu. And now you'll notice that I have only got 2-bars in that clip. Now if you need to delete any notes, simply Click+Select those and hit your Delete key, or if you want the notes to stay in the clip for use at another time, you can right-click on them, and you can choose Deactivate Note from the contextual menu.

So now that we've discussed these advanced MIDI Editing techniques, you're ready to fine-tune your MIDI projects.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Ableton Live 8 Essential Training.


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Q: Can I use Ableton Live Lite to work through this course?
A: For the most part, yes. However, there are a few limitations. For example, there are some drum sounds that won’t work with the Lite version. Lite also has a limited track count, which may cause problems with some of the larger Live Sets in the course. If you do not have the full version of Ableton Live, you can download a demo of Ableton Live Suite (http://www.ableton.com/download-suite-trial), which will run for 30 days. This will allow you to do everything in the course, and get a look at what the full version can do at the same time.
 
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