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Editing existing automation information

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Editing existing automation information

As you work on finishing a Live project, you'll often find that you want to make changes to existing automation data. In this video, we'll learn how to edit automation in Live. So we are looking at a track in Arrangement view, and I've got automation break points written on this envelope. And those could have been written in any one of the three ways: either with your mouse, double-clicking or using the Draw tool, or in real time. It's all the same once it is actually written to the track. So I can move an automation break point by clicking on it and dragging it to a new location. I can get rid of it by double-clicking on it.

Editing existing automation information

As you work on finishing a Live project, you'll often find that you want to make changes to existing automation data. In this video, we'll learn how to edit automation in Live. So we are looking at a track in Arrangement view, and I've got automation break points written on this envelope. And those could have been written in any one of the three ways: either with your mouse, double-clicking or using the Draw tool, or in real time. It's all the same once it is actually written to the track. So I can move an automation break point by clicking on it and dragging it to a new location. I can get rid of it by double-clicking on it.

Let me undo that: Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on a PC. I can also make a change to an automation break point using a fine adjustment, and this works on your movements that are up and down related. So for instance, if I wanted to change the location of this particular break point, if I Command+Click on it and drag up or down, you'll see that I'm actually moving in very small increments as I move. If I let go of that and drag, you'll see that I move in much bigger increments. So that's Command+Click+Drag or Ctrl+Click+Drag on a PC.

That also constrains the movement to a vertical movement, and not right and left. Now I can also move a range, and that requires making a selection first. Then I can do one of the two things. I can click on the line at any point, and that allows me to move it up or down. In some programs that's called trimming automation data, and essentially what that allows you to do is change the automation without changing the contour. So if you like the ups and downs, in this case of your volume, then all you need to do, to make it a just a little bit louder or a little bit softer overall is to trim it up or down by just clicking on the line and dragging up or down on a selection.

Now can't move automation side to side in that manner without holding my Shift down and then clicking on one of the break points. At that point, I can actually move that selection side to side or up and down at the same time. One other thing that you might want to do from time to time, especially if you take a look at this area here, even though it's stepped it looks like I want to go from this break point up to that break point. One thing you might think about doing is deleting the break points in between. You can do that by holding down your Shift key and grabbing a break point and then dragging. And that will wipe out any break points in the direction that you move the break points. So I am going to Shift+Click+Drag, and as I move up to this other one, you notice that it was wiping out the other break points.

That's a really slick command: Shift+Click+Drag. At other times, you may want to override the existing automation and experiment with other settings. So as I'm on the track volume here, if I go over and click in the volume field and make a change, you'll see a couple of things occur. First of all, the little red box in the corner of that particular field turns gray to tell me that you've currently temporarily suspended the automation. And I also see that the pinkish-red line that represents the automation envelope has turn to brown.

So at this point the setting here in the Volume field is overriding any volume automation on the track. And that's great, as I said, for experimenting with different settings until you're ready to commit. If you want to go back to the previously written automation, all we need to do is click this Back to Arrangement button up here in the control bar, and we'll see that the automation turns back to that pinkish-red color, and the little box is back in the Volume field in this case. So other things you might want to do with automation is copy and paste to other locations.

Let me put this one on None again for a second. And I'm going to zoom back out so I can see more of the session. And now, I'm going to make a selection here on my volume automation graph there. And I am going to Command+C on a Mac-- that would be Ctrl+C on a PC--and now I can move that to another location and paste it. Once I have that at a different location, I can also duplicate that. And what duplicating automation does is at the end of your current selection it will add that same automation.

So I'll go Command+D, and that will be Ctrl+D on a PC, and you can see that I have just duplicated that right at the end of the current selection. And again and again. I'll go Command+Z to undo some that. It would be Ctrl+Z on a PC. And last but not the least, there's times when you may want to move a clip. Now, two things may happen with the related automation. So if I select a clip and move it, we'll see that the automation stayed with it. So by default that's what happens, but if I actually want the automation to stay where it currently is and still be able to move that clip, I'm going to go up here, and I am going to click on the Lock Envelopes button. That's a global setting, by the way, and I am going to, again, want to move that clip. But this time, you'll see, when I move it, the automation stays in its same place.

As you can see, editing automation in Live is a simple process, and allows you to continue to fine-tune shape a mix as you work towards finishing a project.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

69 video lessons · 16961 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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