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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.
Using ReWire, Ableton Live can be used in conjunction with other audio applications. Let's take a look at how you can use Live with Apple's Logic Pro. So first, you need to make sure that you open Logic first. Whenever we use Ableton Live as a ReWire slave, you've got to open the host program first. So now that Logic is open, and I've created a session here, I am going to open up Ableton Live. Now, as Ableton Live boots, notice that in the information here it's saying, "Running as a ReWire Slave." That's good! So now that I'm in Ableton, I am going to go ahead and I'm going to load a clip onto a track, and I am going to do that in Arrangement view.
So let's go down here. I am going to pick a drum clip here real quick. I am going to drag and drop that on this MIDI Track here. It takes a second. Now it's loaded. Then I flip over to Session view, and I am going to go on that track, and I'm going to set the output of that to ReWire, and then the sub-channel will go to the specific ReWire Outputs. I'll leave that at Left and Right. Now, I'm going back over to Logic, and I am going to go up to the Track menu, and I am going to choose New Track.
I need to choose and set up an external MIDI track. Go ahead and click Create. In this case, it's already found it. Oftentimes, you will have to come over here, and you will have to choose Ableton over in the Library and then actually choose the particular track that you're looking for. So it looks like we're good to go there. Then next thing I'll need to do is drop down and open up the mixer. I need to create a track where I can capture the audio there. So I am going to go up to Options and choose Create New Auxiliary Channel Strip. I want that to be stereo, and I want the input to be from Ableton Live, and I want it to be the ReWire: Mix L/R Inputs.
Go ahead and click Create. I'll close the mixer and put my cursor back over here at the beginning. Let's click Play and hear what we get. (Drums playing.) So we can hear that I've got signal coming back from Ableton into Logic. Now if I make a tempo change here in Logic, I should be able to reflect that in what we hear coming back from Ableton Live. Let's give that a shot. (Drums playing.) So we can see that Logic is commanding what's going on in Live.
Now, another thing I can do here is I can actually put the MIDI on the Logic side and have it just sent back over to Ableton and trigger the instrument device that's sitting on that track. I am going to go back over to Live, flip over to the Arrangement View window, and I'm going to choose that MIDI Clip there. And I am going to go up to the File menu, and I am going to say Export MIDI Clip. For right now, I am going to go ahead and I am just going to put that on the desktop where I can find it really easily, and click Save.
With that done, I'm going to actually select the clip on the track in Ableton, and I'm going to hit my Delete key. Get rid of that. Now you will notice that the instrument device is still down here. I just got rid of the clip. So now I can go back over to Logic, and I'm going to bring the Finder window up on top of Logic, and I'll move that a little bit out of the way. Now, I'm going to grab that .mid file that I exported from Ableton and drag and drop that on the track. So now I have got the MIDI that was originally in Ableton sitting in Logic, and if I bring playback here to the beginning and hit Play, we should hear the MIDI go through ReWire, trigger the instrument that's over in Live, and then send audio back into Logic.
(Music playing.) If I want to speed that up, I can do that again. (Music playing.) So that's working pretty cool. Now I can also put audio on a track in Ableton and stream that through ReWire back into Live as well. So in this case, I am going to go over to Live, and I'm going to look a little bit further down in this folder of clips. Here we go. I am going to go in down into the samples, and then into the Loopmasters folder and then into my Bass Loops, and I am just going to grab one of these Hip-Hop loops, and I am going to drag and drop that on this audio track that we've got already here.
And just so I have got enough, I am going to duplicate that a couple of times. That's Command+D. Then I'll use my Tab key to move back over to the Session View window. Again, I am going to set my outputs to ReWire. This time, I am going to set the outputs to a second pair: 3 and 4 this time. I'll go back over to Logic, and then I am going to go back to the mixer and create yet another auxiliary channel strip. I will make that Stereo, and I will make the Input come from Ableton Live, but this time I'll choose buses 03 and 04, and click Create.
Now, when I hit Play, I should get both the drums playing, and this new bass audio coming back. Let me make sure that my cursor is here at the beginning. (Music playing.) Okay, that's working. Now, if I change the tempo here in Logic, that should force the audio file that's on that bass track in Ableton to warp and play at a different tempo. Okay. Let me play that, and let's see if we've got both that bass track and the drums playing, and I will change the tempo.
(Music playing.) Before you wind this up, one of the things you want to make sure that you do is we have got to save the Ableton Live set as part of our Logic setup here. So what I am going to do is I am going to go back to Ableton, and I am going to click File > Save Live Set As, and then I am going to go into the Exercise Files area, down to number 18.
Here's my Logic, ReWire session. I am going to go ahead, and I am going to save this as AL, Ableton Live, for Logic. Now, the reason I'm doing that is because the virtual instruments and audio that I'm using in Ableton Live are in no way part of the Logic session. So when I reboot the Logic session at a later date, I'm going to need to have the Ableton Live set that I can reopen, so that I can relink all of that. So back to Logic, and I will save what we've done here so far. Now, we are done.
So the ReWire routing can seem a bit confusing at first, but now that you see how it works, you can use your Ableton Live clips, virtual instruments, and effects as part of your Logic sessions. Give it a shot.
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