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Preparing to record MIDI

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Preparing to record MIDI

When preparing to record MIDI, it's a good idea to have a routine. In this video, we will go step by step through the process, so that you'll be ready to create music. First, it's always a good idea to make sure that you are receiving MIDI signal from your MIDI keyboard, and we can check that by looking up here at the MIDI In indicator. Now, when I play a key on my keyboard, I should see that little box flash, and it's not doing that. So I am going to go into Preferences, which is Command+Comma on a Mac or Ctrl+Comma on a PC. Now I'm going to check the state of my devices here.

Preparing to record MIDI

When preparing to record MIDI, it's a good idea to have a routine. In this video, we will go step by step through the process, so that you'll be ready to create music. First, it's always a good idea to make sure that you are receiving MIDI signal from your MIDI keyboard, and we can check that by looking up here at the MIDI In indicator. Now, when I play a key on my keyboard, I should see that little box flash, and it's not doing that. So I am going to go into Preferences, which is Command+Comma on a Mac or Ctrl+Comma on a PC. Now I'm going to check the state of my devices here.

So I've got two devices that I am using, and one is the E-MU keyboard, and I have also got the Akai APC40 hooked up here. And they're both recognized, so I am going to come down here into the MIDI Ports area and make sure that everything is turned on like it needs to be. Now, immediately I see that my E-MU keyboard input under the Track column is turned off. That's where you actually turn on the input for that particular device. I'm also noticing, while I am in here, that the APC40 Remote button is off.

Now, that should be enabled for any external device where you're sending MIDI back to the device. So I'll go ahead and click Escape to shut this dialog box. And since this is my first track I am going to record in this session, I am going to go up and set a tempo. I'll click in the Tempo field here. And if you need to type a tempo that actually has something past the decimal, all we need to do is type the numbers, then a decimal and the additional numbers. Next, I'm probably going to want to be able to hear that tempo, so I am going to enable the metronome. And I am going to want a count-in for my first track I am going to record here, so I am going to right-click on the Metronome button and choose one of the available count-ins.

Let's go with 1 Bar for now. If I need more or less, I will come back later and change that. So next, I am going to need to load a MIDI device onto my track. So I am going to go to Live's Device browser, and navigate down here to Impulse, the drum machine, and then into the Electronic folder, and I'm going to load Beat Bugz. So I'll just drag and drop that on the track. Now I should be able to play a key on my keyboard and be able to hear a sound from that drum machine. (Music playing.) Okay. So I've got the kick happening there.

Now, note that the samples and the Impulse device are mapped starting at C3, which is middle C. Now if you are playing below that, you're probably not going to hear anything, and if you're playing an octaves that are way above that, you probably also won't be triggering anything. But that's pretty good. I have got that happening. Now I'm also going to want to just briefly take a look here at my MIDI inputs. So I've got two choosers here: one is for the actual devices, and the other one is for the specific MIDI channel. Most of the time when you're using a virtual instrument, one of Live's devices, you'll leave these set at All Ins and All Channels.

Let's just take a brief look here. So it does list my APC40 and also my computer keyboard and the E-MU keyboard that I have hooked up here and another interface that's on my system. I don't really care which device that Live is receiving input from, because I'm only playing one at a time. But if you are actually recording to multiple MIDI tracks at the same time using different devices, you are going to want to set the specific device that this track should be looking at. In this case, I am going to leave it at All Ins. This other MIDI chooser is for the specific MIDI channel. And as I said, since I'm only using one device, I really don't care what channel I am receiving on, just as long as I'm receiving the MIDI signal.

In other cases, you might want to set a specific MIDI channel. When you create a MIDI track and you add a device to it, it automatically record- enables itself, and that allows us to hear the instrument. After you've recorded a MIDI clip, you may end up disabling the Record button. And when you go to play that track and maybe practice a little bit more in preparation to recording another clip, you press a key, and you don't actually hear the sound. So you can do two things at that point: you can either re-enable the Record button, or you can put the track in input monitoring by clicking this In button.

(Drum playing.) Now, I can hear myself again. But when you get ready with your record, you're going to want to put the track back in Auto Monitoring, and record- enable the track, and now you will be ready to start recording again. And last, in the future there may be a time when you're going to want to use an external device, like a synthesizer or sampler or a drum machine, with Live. To do that, you are going to need to create a track with an external instrument device on it. So let me grab that from the Live Devices browser. And I am going to drag and drop that over here in the Drop Files area and create another track.

Again, you want to address the MIDI inputs, the keyboard, and the channel that you're on, if necessary. And then to send that MIDI signal to the outside world, we'll need to go down here to Device view and click on the MIDI To chooser and set that to a device. Now, in this case, I'll actually choose my E-MU keyboard. It's not actually a sound source, but it does allow us to address this other field as well. So here's my device chooser, and then again, I have a channel chooser. So if I've got a drum machine that is set to play on channel-1, or I have got a bass sound on channel-2, or a keyboard sound on channel-3, I'll choose the appropriate MIDI channel to send to.

So, let's choose 1 here. Now remember that MIDI data is not audio, and I am going to want to capture the audio output from that device, so I'll have to plug a cable from the device to the input of my interface. Once I've done that, I can choose that input from my Audio From chooser here. So if I click on that, I'll see that I have 1 and 2 as a stereo input. And if I have two signals coming from that sound module, that's a good choice. If it's only mono though, I'll want to choose 1 or 2.

Now that we've gone through the process of getting ready to record MIDI, we're ready to troubleshoot the most common MIDI problems and ready to make some music.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

69 video lessons · 16956 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
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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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