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Performing with Ableton Live: On Stage with St. Vincent

with Daniel Mintseris

Video: Welcome

Daniel Mintseris, keyboard player and programmer for St. Vincent, shares his onstage setup, his tips for working with Ableton Live, and insights from his long musical career.
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  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
    2. What you should know before watching this course
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 9s
  2. 10m 15s
    1. Keyboard and MIDI station
      4m 43s
    2. Software overview
      1m 39s
    3. Ableton Live set layout
      3m 53s
  3. 17m 30s
    1. Preparing to use a click
      4m 1s
    2. Creating click tracks
      7m 9s
    3. Count-off and starting pitch
      4m 30s
    4. In-ear monitors
      1m 50s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Creating a song preset in an Instrument Rack
      4m 24s
    2. Switching sounds within the song preset
      5m 36s
    3. Using clip automation to switch sounds
      5m 26s
    4. Adding songs in nested Racks
      3m 11s
    5. Using a macro to conserve CPU and select song presets
      5m 58s
    6. Automating presets at song start
      6m 40s
  5. 9m 8s
    1. Drums and electronics
      2m 36s
    2. Ableton drum presets
      6m 32s
  6. 13m 21s
    1. Guitar stations and Moog bass
      2m 21s
    2. Changing external instrument presets
      6m 0s
    3. Program change automation with Max for Live
      5m 0s
  7. 11m 58s
    1. When playback is necessary: Preparing audio stems
      5m 21s
    2. Importing playback audio
      6m 37s
  8. 13m 39s
    1. Audio routing
      8m 13s
    2. Set navigation
      5m 26s
  9. 4m 33s
    1. Line-check file
      2m 19s
    2. Backup system
      2m 14s
  10. 9m 13s
    1. From humble beginnings to St. Vincent's technical brain
      2m 22s
    2. Bringing ideas to life with Ableton Live
      3m 4s
    3. Technology as an extension of musicianship
      3m 47s
  11. 41s
    1. Next steps

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Performing with Ableton Live: On Stage with St. Vincent
Video Duration: 0s 2h 4m Appropriate for all


View Course Description

Daniel Mintseris has been touring with critically acclaimed musician St. Vincent for over three years. With Ableton Live, he's able to direct the entire show from his keyboard and laptop. In these exclusive videos, he explains what it takes to run your own world-class production with Ableton.

First, Daniel provides a tour of his setup, starting from his keyboard riser—the hub of communication on stage. With Ableton and a series of MIDI controllers, he's closely connected to all the other instrumentalists. Then he demonstrates the process of building a show file and creating sound presets for every song. Daniel also explains how to use the Drum Kit as a MIDI controller for drum sounds, and how to make program changes on the downstage Moog and guitar stations. Finally, in our interview with Daniel, he closes down the course with insights on what it's like to be a musical director, and how he balances technology and musicianship to bring ideas to life.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the keyboard and Ableton Live
  • Creating and using click tracks
  • Creating song presets
  • Switching sounds within songs
  • Automating presets
  • Working with Ableton drum racks
  • Sending program changes
  • Preparing audio stems for playback
  • Audio routing
  • Keeping things in check with line-check files and backups
  • Insights on music and technology
Audio + Music
Ableton Live


Hi. I'm Daniel Mintseris, keyboard player programmer with St. Vincent. I've been working with St. Vincent for about three years. And in that time, we've toured the world and collaborated with David Byrne on a tour called Love This Giant. In this course called Performing with Ableton live on stage with St. Vincent, we'll start with my keyboard riser, the hub of all communication on stage and see how the MIDI controllers work with the Ableton Live system. We'll dive into the software and the details of how to build a file to run your Live show.

We'll see how the drum kit can be used as a MIDI controller to generate drum sounds from Ableton. I will also look at how program changes are used to change patches on the downstage moog and guitar stations. Join me as I lift the curtain on putting a show like this together. And share with you some of the good practices and creative techniques that I've learned along the way.

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