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Setting up groove in editing

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Setting up groove in editing

Quantization is great for fixing rhythmic errors, but it's time consuming to use to impart a sense of groove to an entire Live project. In this video, we will learn how to use Live's grooves to apply a rhythmic feel to both audio and MIDI clips. So groove quantization, or groove templates, both refer to the process of applying a collection of timing and velocity attributes derived from a human performance or from a legendary drum machine like the Roland TR 808, Akai MPC players, or the E-MU SP-12. So how does it work? Well I have a clip up here on my track that's just 16th notes. Now, notice over here that I have opened the groove pool.

Setting up groove in editing

Quantization is great for fixing rhythmic errors, but it's time consuming to use to impart a sense of groove to an entire Live project. In this video, we will learn how to use Live's grooves to apply a rhythmic feel to both audio and MIDI clips. So groove quantization, or groove templates, both refer to the process of applying a collection of timing and velocity attributes derived from a human performance or from a legendary drum machine like the Roland TR 808, Akai MPC players, or the E-MU SP-12. So how does it work? Well I have a clip up here on my track that's just 16th notes. Now, notice over here that I have opened the groove pool.

That's this button that's on the bottom of the browsers. What I am going to do is I am going to right-click in this area, I can choose Browse Groove Library, or I can go up into my Library itself using one of my Library buttons, and navigate down to the Grooves folder. Now you notice that I've got grooves by style, some that are even indicating programs, like Logic, and some of the groove templates that they have in that particular application, and then some that are referencing some of those famous drum machines that I mentioned like the MPC folder and the SP 12 down here and so on and so forth.

So I am going to go into the Logic folder, and I am going to browse down here, and down towards the bottom, I think I like this Logic Swing 1658.agr-- by the way, that indicates a groove file. I am going to drag and drop that down into the groove pool. Once you've done that, you can actually go down on the clip box of the selected clip, and down in the Groove area, you can click the chooser here, and you will notice the groove that's available in that groove pool is populating the chooser dropdown menu. And I'll choose Logic Swing 58.

And now what should sound like straight 16th notes actually should sound quite different now. (Music playing.) So let me undo that, so that we don't have the groove applied. I'll play it again, so now you can hear it straight. (Music playing.) Very straight, right? I will go back to that and listen one more time. (Music playing.) Now I am going to click to Commit button, so we can actually see what it's doing.

And you will notice that it moved over every other note, and now it's imparting that swing feel. So how is it doing that? As I said earlier, there are timing attributes that are part of this groove file. Now if I look over here in the groove pool, I can actually manipulate some of those attributes. So the Base column here shows a 16th note, and what this does is set the rhythmic value at which groove quantization begins. For example, if you choose a 16th note, the groove file will affect rhythmic values 1/16th note and smaller.

Rhythmic values with an 8th note and larger will not be quantized. And in this case, it's not affecting every 16th note; it's affecting every other one. Now the Quantize column here, if we use that, will actually quantize the selected clip before it applies the groove file. The next column is the Timing column, and this shows to what percentage the groove file is actually being applied to the selected clip. And then in the last column, we have Random, and that allows us to apply small or large amounts of randomness to how the groove file is being applied.

And if you're using something that's emulating a drum machine, it's really a great idea to add just a small amount of randomness to add in that human inconsistency that we all like in music. So I might click and drag in that and add maybe 3 to 5%. The Amount field that's at the top is global and affects any of the groove files that are being used in this session, and that sets the intensity of which groove files are applied. At 100%, the groove parameters are applied as set in the groove pool. You can go up 130% to overaccentuate the parameters of a specific groove file.

Now we can also edit these groove files by dragging them and dropping them on a MIDI track. So if I take this Swing 60 and drag it on a empty clip slot here, we can actually see, in the MIDI Note Editor area and the Velocity area, what this groove file looks like. So I can see the velocities are changing quite a bit: every other one is quite a bit softer. And if I come over here, and scroll down in the piano, I will actually, when I get down to C1, I will see the notes that are available. And again, this is kind of a swing type feel, and so it's moving every other note off the grid slightly to give it that kind of hip-hop swing feel.

So if I take any of these and move them around at all-- so I will select in here, and I am going to select one of those and use my Command+click and drag to just make some small changes-- I can now go up and right-click on this and choose Extract Groove. And now we will see that the changed groove file is over here in the groove pool. And if I want, I can go ahead and update that and change the name.

Now as I was saying earlier, these groove files can be applied to both MIDI and to audio clips. So let me hit my Stop Clips button here, so that these guys won't play, and I'll fire off this scene that I have got set up here. (Music playing.) Okay. So, I've got one of these clips. It's an audio file--you see that there --and the other one is a MIDI file. I'm going to take this Swing 58. Another way to apply that is not to go through the chooser down here on the clip's box but actually to drag that and drop it straight on the clip.

So I will do that, and now let's give that a listen. (Music playing.) So we can see that that's actually changed both of those entirely. Now, if I go back and I select the audio file here so that we see that, and I click Commit, let's see what it does. Now we can see that it's, again, moved everyone of those over again, and I see my work markers up here. That's something that we will talk about in a later video.

Let's see what it does to the MIDI clip that we applied that to. And again, if I zoom in deeply enough, you will see that it's moved over every other one of these hi-hat hits that were on the 16th notes, but it's left those that are on the quarters alone. So using Live Groove files turns groove quantization into a very simple process that creates a powerful tool that you can use to improve the feel of your projects.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

69 video lessons · 17101 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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