Up and Running with Ableton Live 9
Illustration by John Hersey

Recording line instruments


From:

Up and Running with Ableton Live 9

with Yeuda Ben-Atar

Video: Recording line instruments

In this video we'll record a guitar into Ableton Live. To record any amplified instrument we need an audio interface. I am using the Duet by Apogee. I plugged in a quarter-inch cable to input number one. So let's set it up in Ableton Live. I am going to go to Live > Preferences and again, if you are on Windows, it's going to be under Options. Let's go to the Audio tab and under on the Audio Input Device, I am going to select from the List my audio interface, which is the Duet USB. Let's also go to Input Config and make sure all of the inputs are turned on.

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with Ableton Live 9
2h 11m Beginner Mar 05, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover how to get started creating and recording music with Ableton Live 9 in just two hours. Author and musician Yeuda Ben-Atar starts this course by showing how to set up all audio, MIDI, and external plugins and prep an initial project for recording. Then he jumps into high gear: making beats with the Ableton drum kits, recording with the built-in virtual instruments, and capturing live performance like vocals and guitar. After your tracks are recorded, learn how to arrange song clips, layer in effects, create and record automation, and quickly mix the tracks with groups, busses, EQ, compression, and other techniques. The final chapter in the course shows you how to save, export, and master your finished song.

Topics include:
  • Setting up plugins and projects
  • Creating a drumbeat
  • Converting audio to MIDI
  • Recording vocals
  • Warping and editing clips
  • Adding effects
  • Using time commands
  • Working with the mixer
  • Using side chain compression
  • Adding reverb and delay
  • Mixing dynamically with automation
  • Mastering a song
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
Ableton Live
Author:
Yeuda Ben-Atar

Recording line instruments

In this video we'll record a guitar into Ableton Live. To record any amplified instrument we need an audio interface. I am using the Duet by Apogee. I plugged in a quarter-inch cable to input number one. So let's set it up in Ableton Live. I am going to go to Live > Preferences and again, if you are on Windows, it's going to be under Options. Let's go to the Audio tab and under on the Audio Input Device, I am going to select from the List my audio interface, which is the Duet USB. Let's also go to Input Config and make sure all of the inputs are turned on.

You might have more if you have a different on interface with more inputs. Hit OK and let's close this window. Now let's open up the Input Output section using the view selector to the right marked with a small i and o. We can the Audio From and Audio To. Audio To goes to the master, which is exactly what we want, and Audio From we would set to Ext. In and input number 1, because that's where I plug my guitar to. Now if I play my guitar, we can see the level meter is changing.

To hear the guitar we'll first have to arm the track to put it there to record. Now we can also a signal comes into the fader, but it's grayed out, because the Monitor is set on Off. If you want to hear the guitar, let's set it to Auto. (music playing) Now, there is an audible latency from where I strum my guitar and where I hear the sound. To decrease this latency let's go back to our Preferences, and under Latency, we can see the Buffer Size.

We can it down. And right now Overall Latency is on 29 milliseconds, so it takes 29 milliseconds from the moment I hit my key to the sound to actually play. Let's apply a smaller Buffer Size, and we can see the Overall Latency went down from 29 to 12. Now when I strum my guitar I can hear the sound much quicker. Let's close this window, play the guitar. I can't hear it, so let's change Monitor to Auto.

It's very important to note that if you do not use headphones, but you do use speakers and you do not want to put the Monitor on Auto, because you might get feedback noise, which will be a very loud and distorted noise. So once we have our track armed and ready to record, we have our Monitor set to Auto, because I am using headphones and I want to audition what I am recording, we are going to go ahead and hit one of the clip record buttons, and we will record in this case an audio clip, not a MIDI media clip. So I am going to make sure I have a count-in, going into the Metronome dropdown menu, Count-In, 1 Bar, which is great.

Let me strum some chords. (music playing) I am ready to record, so I am going to hit the Record button and record. (music playing) So let's do another take because I wasn't exactly on time there.

Another take is very easy. We are just going to hit one of other record buttons on the clip. So let's do it now. (music playing) Again, you can stop recording by hitting the spacebar or hitting the Launch Clip Again. (music playing) So this is the clip view for the audio clip. If you remember, if we go to MIDI clip, we'll see the MIDI editor and in an audio clip, we'll see the sample editor.

So recording audio is very easy and very simple; just remember to set up your inputs and outputs, arm the track, set the Monitor and Stage to whatever you want-- Off or Auto--and you're good to go.

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