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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.
With each instrument or effect device, there are often a few parameters that need repeated adjustment. Finding those parameters can be a pain, so let's take a look at how frequently accessed parameters can be mapped to a live macro. So I am going to take this Impulse instrument preset on this first track and I am going to add that to a rack by right-clicking on it and choosing Group from the contextual menu. Now one of the things we gain by grouping this device is a macro, which is part of the rack. I can show that by clicking on the Show/Hide button over here on the left-hand side of the rack.
Now if I click the Map mode button, all of the parameters that are available for mapping show up green. In this case, I am going to click the Volume there. Now I have already selected the Kick here, so this volume is in reference to that particular part of the Impulse Drum preset, and now notice that this Map button is available for mapping. So if I click that, I've now mapped to the Kick volume to the number 1 slot on this Macro. And now if I choose the Snare and then click Volume again, I can map that to Macro 2, and quickly I can go through this whole drum set and map those knobs that I want over here to the macro.
So I'll go over to the HiHat here on the end. Let me map that one to number 7, and the last one 8. I'll do the same thing: map the Volume to Macro 8. Once I've done that, I can name these so I know what they are by simply selecting one of the macros and then pressing Command+R or that would be Ctrl+R on a PC to rename, and I'll call that "Kick Volume," and I'll quickly go over to the Snare and do the same thing, and let me grab these HiHats to finish out.
Okay, and when I leave Map mode by clicking the Map mode button, I now have control over those. Now if you have a device like the APC-40 or another controller that offers instant mapping, if I select this rack, those macros that I just assigned instantly map to that device. So you can see that I've already got control over those. Let me turn those down just a little bit. I'll bring the HiHats up. So it makes a really quick way to be able to control those parameters.
And the great thing is if I go over here and select the compressor, instant mapping is still available for the devices over there, and doesn't affect anything that I just set. It only affects those parameters that I have mapped to the rack, and I only can adjust those when the rack itself is selected. Let's take a look at another example. So if I go to the second track here where I have the Motion Pad preset, I can map again by setting these into a group and going to my Group function by right-clicking on the Title bar, and now I've actually grouped all three of these devices inside the rack.
So at this point, I'm going to bring up the macro again, and I'm going to click the Map mode button to enable that. And in this case, I am going to grab the frequency knob, and I'll map that to Macro 1. And I'm also going to click the Resonance feature, and I am going to map that to the same button. So I have got two of those set to the same thing. Now I want to set the minimum and maximum value, so this will actually work; otherwise I might get some results that are less than desirable. So for the frequency setting, I am going to set that at about 650 Hz, somewhere in there, and I'll set the upper end around 7K. And on the Resonance I'll set that around 40%, and the top end around 60%.
And then I'll disable Map mode by clicking the Map mode button. And now I can click that and rename that, Command+R again, or Ctrl+ R in the PC. And I am going to call that "Filter Sweep," and now when I move that number 1 knob on my controller, we'll see that I have got control of that, but it's constrained to those minimum-maximum values. Now because these other devices are part of this rack, I can also choose a parameter from there that I might find useful.
So some other things that you might do here is the overall volume of this pad might be useful. So let me go back into Map mode. I'll select Volume. I am going to click Macro 2. Set that there. I'm going to go out of Map mode, so I can move over here, and I'm going to minimize this pad by double-clicking on the title bar. That way I can see a little bit more detail here. And I am going to go back into Map mode, and let's set the total Amount here, and I'll map that to Macro 3.
And then on to Warm Tube setting, I'll set the Dry/Wet Amount to Macro 4, and I'll leave Map mode. Then I'll rename those, so I know what they are. It already says Dry/Wet. That makes sense to me. But now if I go up to my controller, I can move too. I get the Volume of that particular preset, and the Slow Amount is controlling how wide that panning is going on, and Dry/Wet controlling this Warm Tube.
So I am actually controlling three different devices from the same macro. Let's check that out, and I'll do that while this is playing, so we can hear what it sounds like. (Music playing.) Once you get an instrument drum or effect rack set up and adjusted, assign the most frequently used parameters to a macro.
Then when you need to record automation in your Live projects, or use Live in performance, those parameters will be immediately available to your MIDI controllers through instant mapping.
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