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Quantizing with grooves

From: Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

Video: Quantizing with grooves

Quantization is great for fixing rhythmic errors, but it's often time consuming to use to impart a sense of groove to an entire live project. Let's take a look at how you can use Live's Grooves to apply a rhythmic feel to both audio and MIDI clips. So, Groove files are a collection of timing and velocity attributes, derived from a human performance, or from patterns in a legendary drum machine like the Roland TR808. Or even from other programs like Logic audio. So I've already got a drum preset loaded on the drum track here. And I'm just going to add some MIDI by inserting an empty clip and then getting my Pencil tool and just dragging some 16th notes in here.

Quantizing with grooves

Quantization is great for fixing rhythmic errors, but it's often time consuming to use to impart a sense of groove to an entire live project. Let's take a look at how you can use Live's Grooves to apply a rhythmic feel to both audio and MIDI clips. So, Groove files are a collection of timing and velocity attributes, derived from a human performance, or from patterns in a legendary drum machine like the Roland TR808. Or even from other programs like Logic audio. So I've already got a drum preset loaded on the drum track here. And I'm just going to add some MIDI by inserting an empty clip and then getting my Pencil tool and just dragging some 16th notes in here.

And I'm doing this because I want some perfectly straight 16th notes that would represent something you might end up if you're clicking notes into create patterns. Get out the Pencil tool by using the command key, Cmd +B, Ctrl+B on a PC. You can find our Grooves through the browser by using the search function. And you can do that by either typing the word groove, because that word is usually contained in a Groove file. Or by using the file extension for Grooves, which is .AGR and I'm going to do that. I'm already in the all results area. So, as soon as I type that, stuff started to populate the content part of the browser.

I'm going to scroll down a little bit. And we can see that we've got a bunch of different things here. And there are some logic style Grooves. And let me choose this Logic 8 swing groove. (audio playing) Now I click it, and you can hear it play. Let me stop that by pressing the Space bar, and to apply this, I'm going to start by dragging this into the Groove Pool. Now I can open the Groove Pool by clicking on the little button here that's just below the browser on the left. And then I'm going to scroll, find that again and drag that into the Groove Pool. So, from here I can apply this by going down to the clip box and clicking on the Drop Down menu under the word groove and you'll see that any Groove files that we've dragged into the Groove Pool will appear there. And I can go ahead and click that.

Now, before I add that, let me play this just one time, so you hear how straight these 16th notes are. (music playing) All right, nothing going on there, no feel whatsoever. So, I'll go back to the chooser here and click that. And now let's hear what it sounds like. (music playing) So quite a bit different. I actually intended to use a 16th note swing file, on this and it looks like I grabbed an 8th note one.

So I'm going to undo what I just did there. Let me go back in there and grab one of the 16th note files. Yeah, I'll get this one right here, (audio playing) that's a little better. So I'll drag that one in and this time I'll select the 16th note one and this should give me the results that I was looking for. Let's hear this, (audio playing). So, now that you can hear it it's moved over or delayed every other note. Now, notice that it's doing this in real time and the notes that I have on the track they haven't moved at all.

If I want to see what it's actually doing, can go over here and I can click the Commit button. It's underneath the groove and that will actually quantize and show us exactly what it's doing. So, now you can see that every other note's been moved over. And in addition to that, if you look at the velocity markers below each note, you'll note they're not all the same velocity anymore. And it looks like the ones that are on the offbeat have a little bit more volume or velocity and the ones that are more on the bit are a little bit softer. So, you can also grab these Groove files and drag them right onto a clip.

Let's do that. Now when they come in notice that their all mapped to c1, so if I want to actually hear this I'm going to have to move it up to one of the places where I actually have notes loaded and remember in impulse these are maps starting at c3. So I'm going to select this and I can drag this up by just clicking on the first one, (audio playing). But you notice as I was doing that it actually was moving things around, so I'm going to undo that and this time I'm going to move them up using key command.

So I can do that using my arrow key to go up a half step or Shift up arrow to move an octave at times. So let me do that. (audio playing) And now that I'm at where the samples are mapped. I can use my up arrow to just move that, by half step, and I'll get that on the hi-hat. So, I'm showing you this because this is a great way to start creating those little percussion parts that we often see in electronic music. And from here, we can edit this and turn it into something more we want. But the other thing we can do is if, you want to create your own groove file, we can do that as well. So what I'm going to do here is edit this just a little bit, and I'm going to select some of these notes that are every other 16th, and I'm going to Shift click them to do that.

(audio playing) And now, I'm going to move those over so that I'm not constrained by the grid. I'm going to click that first note, and then I'm going to press the command key down to temporarily disable the grid. (audio playing) And as I do this, note that I can move that freely. But I'm going to let that go before I release the, the command key. That would be the Ctrl key on a PC. So that it will actually let me leave it there. Okay, so now I've changed that. And what I'm going to do now is I'm going to go up, and I'm going to drag what I've changed into the Groove Pool.

From there, I can go ahead and I can give that a new name by selecting the title and then Cmd+R. I'll call this my groove, and now what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to drag this and put this over on this audio file that I've already got loaded. Before I do that though, I'm going to play it, so let me stop these clips from playing. This is what this groove sounds like right now. (music playing) 'Kay so very straight. And now I'll take this groove that we extracted, drag and drop that right on top of that audio file.

Let's hear what it sounds like now. (music playing) So it's definitely in part, that sense of swing groove to this audio file. Now if I want to see what that's done I can also commit that as well. So let me go ahead and click that Commit button down here. And notice that it's added these work markers to all of this and again, with that swing field, it's moved over every other note. So before we get out here, let me just tell you a little more about the parameters that we can use to adjust these grooves. So first of all, the bass column shows us the rhythmic value that that groove is applied to.

The quantize percentage we see in this column, if we set a percentage here, we'll actually pre-quantize the clip that you're using this on before it applies the groove to it. The value in the Timing column, allows us to adjust how much this actual groove will effect an eclipse we apply it to. The Randomization column allow us to randomize a little bit, how that Groove file effects the clip. And the Velocity column allows us to control how much any of the velocity parameters effect the clip. And lastly, the Global Amount percentage allows us to set a global amount for any of the grooves that are used on any of the clips in set.

And you can actually over accentuate those grooves by clicking in here and dragging the percentage higher if you want to go all the way up to 130%. Or you can click in there and type a value and reset that back down to 100%. So, using Live Groove files turns groove quantization into a very simple process. And is a very powerful tool that you can use to improve the feel of your projects.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 9 Essential Training
Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 13057 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      43s
    3. What you need to know
      47s
  2. 7m 44s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      3m 31s
  3. 11m 8s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      4m 0s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      2m 44s
    3. Optimizing performance
      4m 24s
  4. 38m 55s
    1. Nonlinear sequencing with Session view
      3m 42s
    2. Understanding the Session view window
      5m 8s
    3. Exploring the Live browser
      5m 49s
    4. Loading and playing clips
      4m 35s
    5. Moving and copying clips
      2m 55s
    6. Working with clip properties
      8m 17s
    7. Working with scenes
      8m 29s
  5. 24m 15s
    1. Using the browser
      4m 56s
    2. Searching for and auditioning clips and devices
      4m 19s
    3. Working with Live sets and projects
      4m 16s
    4. Managing files in Live
      3m 12s
    5. Exporting clips and devices
      7m 32s
  6. 33m 0s
    1. What is a software instrument?
      6m 29s
    2. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 0s
    3. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 47s
    4. Using a computer keyboard to enter MIDI
      5m 26s
    5. Utilizing the pencil to enter MIDI notes
      5m 45s
    6. Taking advantage of third-party and multi-output MIDI devices
      5m 33s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Navigating and zooming in the MIDI Editor
      5m 29s
    2. Configuring the MIDI Editor grid
      5m 2s
    3. Selecting and quantizing MIDI
      5m 3s
    4. Quantizing with grooves
      7m 23s
    5. Editing pitch and note duration
      6m 1s
    6. Editing MIDI velocities
      4m 24s
  8. 10m 10s
    1. Preparing to record audio
      5m 43s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 27s
  9. 34m 22s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      4m 10s
    2. Zooming in and out and playing in Arrangement view
      4m 46s
    3. Recording in Arrangement view
      4m 4s
    4. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 22s
    5. Adding and using locators
      3m 32s
    6. Copying, duplicating, and editing clips in Arrangement view
      5m 53s
    7. Reworking clips
      6m 35s
  10. 25m 35s
    1. Understanding the mixer
      7m 36s
    2. Using sends and returns
      6m 52s
    3. Building headphone cues
      4m 58s
    4. Grouping tracks
      6m 9s
  11. 41m 7s
    1. Working with effect devices
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 30s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      6m 26s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      7m 20s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 5s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      5m 47s
  12. 11m 15s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      6m 3s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      5m 12s
  13. 11m 44s
    1. Mapping keys with Keymap mode
      4m 12s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      3m 16s
    3. Using the instant mapping feature
      4m 16s
  14. 31m 51s
    1. Recording real-time automation
      6m 24s
    2. Drawing automation manually
      7m 48s
    3. Automating clips in Session view
      8m 36s
    4. Editing existing automation information
      4m 57s
    5. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 6s
  15. 20m 59s
    1. Understanding the basics of warping
      8m 43s
    2. Creating clips that loop smoothly
      6m 37s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 39s
  16. 10m 12s
    1. Exporting audio from Live
      6m 29s
    2. Freezing tracks
      3m 43s
  17. 42m 22s
    1. Exploring Impulse
      5m 5s
    2. Using Impulse as a multi-output instrument
      9m 15s
    3. Getting the most out of Impulse instrument parameters
      6m 23s
    4. Exploring Simpler
      7m 50s
    5. Smoothing sample start and end points in Simpler
      6m 32s
    6. Tweaking the parameters of Simpler
      7m 17s
  18. 36m 55s
    1. Unlocking the power of FX racks
      10m 48s
    2. Utilizing instrument racks
      10m 13s
    3. Creating drum racks
      9m 50s
    4. Working with rack macros
      6m 4s
  19. 10m 22s
    1. Introducing Max for Live
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mono Sequencer in Max for Live
      5m 30s
  20. 5m 54s
    1. Working with video files
      5m 54s
  21. 24s
    1. Next steps
      24s

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