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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.
Working in Session view is a unique way to begin building a song. There comes a point in creating a song where you'll probably want to work in a more conventional, linear manner, in Live's Arrangement view. Let's take a look at the main components in Arrangement view, and get familiar with the interface. So switching between Arrangement and Session views is as simple as clicking the View Selector buttons, next to the Help view. This one here is for Arrangement view, and the one underneath that is for Session view. You can also switch by pressing the Tab key, and that toggles between the two views. So there are several elements of the Arrange view window that are similar to the Session view window.
Across the top, we have the control bar. And over on the far left-hand side we have the browsers, and then at the bottom, the Info view. On the far right, we have Help view. Across the bottom, we have Details view. But time moves a little bit differently in Arrangement view. We move from left to right, just like a tape deck, and tracks are stacked horizontally. Right now, the tracks look very, very small, but if I click one of the Track Unfold buttons, we will see a little bit more detail.
Over on the far right-hand side, we have the controls for the track, which include the Track Name; the Track Activator button; the Solo button; the Record enable button; the Volume area, which I can scroll up or down to set volume; and the Pan area, which I can scroll up or down to set the Pan position. Now above the Track area, I have the beat time ruler that provides time reference. And then I have a new ruler at the bottom that does the same thing in minutes and seconds. I can zoom in the Arrangement view, much the same as I do in the Sample Editor area of the Details view, or in the MIDI Note Editor area.
If I go up into the beat time ruler and drag down, I can zoom in. Drag up, zoom out. I can also zoom in by going up in the Overview area and drag down to zoom in and drag up to zoom back out. I can also drag left or right, pan left or right, and do the same thing in the beat time ruler. Now if I go down into the Track area, I can also pan by holding down my Command+Option keys and dragging. If I click in the background, I can use my Plus and Minus keys to zoom in and out.
Plus takes me in. Minus takes me back out. I can start playback by hitting my Spacebar and stop playback by hitting my Spacebar. (Music playing.) Now you notice that I am currently in the middle of this session. If I want my cursor to the beginning and start playback from that point, I can hit the Home key. (Music playing.) If I need to get to the end of the session, I use my End key. I can also loop playback by using the loop brace here. I'll move that towards where I want it to go. And then I can change the stop point by clicking and dragging on the edge, and then enable loop playback by enabling the Loop button up here in the control bar.
(Music playing.) And that will continue to loop until I press the Spacebar. Now I can move the loop point by using my right and left arrows. I can also start playback by clicking in the lower half of the beat time ruler and clicking. (Music playing.) If I want it to loop, I will discontinue to hold while I click. (Music playing.) Now that loop length is determined by the Global Quantization setting, up here in the control bar, which is currently at one bar.
So now that we've taken a first look at Live's Arrangement view, take some time to practice navigating, zooming, and playing back audio in Arrangement view.
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