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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.
Getting ready to record MIDI is the hard part. Now that we have a routine established to take us through that process, let's make a MIDI recording and learn how to use Live's MIDI Overdub function. So I'm set up to record here, but let's just double check every thing. So I've got a MIDI track here with a MIDI device loaded on it. The track is record-enabled. I'll hit a key, and I should hear sound. (Sounds playing.) Okay. I've got a tempo established at 100.5 BPM. I've got the click, or the metronome, turned on. And if I right-click on that, I can see I do have a one-bar count-off set, so I'm ready to go.
Now when a track in Live Session view is record-enabled, the clip slot's Launch buttons turn into Record buttons, and I'll just tick that out of record enable, so you can see that it go back to a Stop button, and then re-enable it. Okay, so start record, all I need to do is click the Record button. I'll hear a count off, and then I can start playing. (Music playing.) So I recorded the kick and the snare part.
I wants you to notice that when you record in Session view, Live doesn't truncate the clips that we're creating to an exact bar. We actually have to that manually. So I'm going to go down in here to the MIDI Editor, and I'm going to grab the loop end, and I'm going to drag that over to the beginning of bar three. So a two-bar clip should end at bar three, beat one, or a four-bar clip, for example, should end at bar five, beat one. So if I want to add some other parts above that, I can turn on Live's Overdub MIDI switch here. And notice that the clip doesn't have a Record button on it anymore.
But if I go into play, and I hit any keys on the keyboard while that clip is playing, and the track is record-enabled, those notes will get added or merged with the existing MIDI data. If the Overdub button is off, and the track is record-enabled, I'll hear the things that I'm playing, but they won't actually layer, or record, onto that clip, so I'm going to add some HiHat parts. (Music playing.) So I've got a little clip going here. And at this point you'll notice that not everything in my clip actually lines up with the beats.
There's another way to do this same process and actually have Live fix it on the fly. So at this point, I'm going to create another track. Let's go up to Create menu and insert another MIDI track, and I'm going to drag Beat Bugz out here again and drop it on the track. Now that one is record-enabled. Now on this pass, I'm actually going to Overdub mode while I play the part in. And I'll do each part consecutively as it loops. So to do that one of things I'm going to need to do first is I'm going to actually have to insert a clip on that track in which I'm going to record into, because I can't actually go into Overdub mode until there's actually something to overdub into.
So I'm going to choose the clip slot that I want to record into. I'll right-click on that and choose Insert MIDI Clip. And before I go into record here, I'm going to turn on Record Quantization. Now quantization for MIDI is rhythm error correction. We're actually going to go in-depth on this in a later video. So I'm going to go down here, I'm going to choose Sixteenth-Note Quantization, leave the track in record, and for right now I'm going to stop that other clip from playing, so that we don't hear that. And I'm going to set the loop length here, before I get started as well.
So right now, it's only a one bar long. Let's actually drag this out, and let's make this a two-bar loop. And again, that should end at bar three, beat one. So we can see the whole thing. I'll size that. Okay, click the Play button, I should hear a count off, and I'll start playing. (Music playing.) So we can see that I've recorded my drum part for this, and it's all looking like as perfectly lined up and ready to go.
So we've finally reached the point where you're ready to use Live to record some clips and begin putting together your own songs. Have some fun.
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