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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.
An important part of using any audio or video application is file management. In this video, we'll discuss how to manage projects and sets to ensure that they continue working at a later date, on a different computer, without encountering missing audio or MIDI clips. And we'll do that through using the Collect and Save, or Manage Files, functions. So first of all, if you record audio into a set that hasn't been saved, Live will store the audio files into a temp folder. That folder location can be set in Preferences file folder. I'll go up to the Live menu, choose Preferences--that would be the Options menu on a PC.
And here under Temporary Folder, I can browse and set a folder if I want. Now note that once the Live Set has been saved, the audio files related to the set that are in the temp folder will be moved to the project folder. So next, we want to back up a copy of the set or project, you'll go to the File menu, and you might choose an option like Save Live Set As. What you should note that this is only going to allow you to save this set with a new name, and that might include the updated changes that you've made. But it won't actually include the project and all the subfolders and assets.
Now Save a Copy allows you to save the copy of everything that's in the project folder to a new location. But as we look at what I've got in the project here, we'll see that I've only got the set itself, which is the .ALS file, and this Ableton Project Info folder that includes the metadata about the project. So another option that's under the File menu is Collect All and Save. Now this option will allow us to specify which of the media files that are being used by the project will be copied from their current location into the project folder.
Now this can include files from the Library, or factory files from the Library, or files from other projects, or files from other discs and folders on your computer. So before I do that, let's go right back out, and I'm going to switch over to the Finder. And here's the project. And again, I've got .ALS, or the set itself, and this Ableton Project. I don't have anything else in here--no audio files. So let's go back, and I'll go File > Collect All and Save. They're all checked.
Now I'll click OK, and we can see it's quickly gone through there and copied any of those assets into the session project, and let's take a look at that. So now inside our project, I've got a Samples folder, and I've got this Loopmasters and Bass Loops and Electro, and I've got the WAV file that's in there and also this .ASD file, which is the analysis file, which allows Live to time-stretch that clip if necessary. So another option you might use, if you've moved your project to another computer, or if you're missing some samples or clips, is to use Live's File Manager.
We can do that by going to the File menu and choosing Manage Files. Over in the Help area, the File Management opens up, and it allows us to manage files on three different levels. I can click Manage Project, in which case it's going to go out and analyze what's in the project and see if there's any broken links to the necessary clips or audio files. I can also do that at the Set level or I can do that at the Library level, which would be everything that we see over here in the browser. So let's go ahead and click Manage Project, and it's looking. And now it gives us a detailed readout about what it found or didn't find.
So it's telling us this project contains 2.1 MB of data. There's a Live Set, there's one media file in there, and then most importantly, down in this area, it says there are no missing files. Now if there had been files, Live would have sought those out and attempted to re-link those files. So as you create music using Live, it's likely that you'll want to take your work to a friend's house or a studio to continue working. Managing your sets and assets will help you move Live projects, and not end up with missing files and broken links.
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