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Understanding scenes and preparing for arrangement


From:

Up and Running with Ableton Live 9

with Yeuda Ben-Atar

Video: Understanding scenes and preparing for arrangement

Now that we have our basic musical idea, it's time to arrange our song. We already know how to use MIDI tracks and audio tracks. Let's see how we can use the master track to help with our arrangement. The master track cannot hold any clips, but it can allow us to launch entire rows of clips. Each row in the session view is called a scene, and we have launch button on each scene. So I'm going to stop all the clips, just so we can see the clips being launched by the scene.
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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with Ableton Live 9
2h 11m Beginner Mar 05, 2013

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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

Understanding scenes and preparing for arrangement

Now that we have our basic musical idea, it's time to arrange our song. We already know how to use MIDI tracks and audio tracks. Let's see how we can use the master track to help with our arrangement. The master track cannot hold any clips, but it can allow us to launch entire rows of clips. Each row in the session view is called a scene, and we have launch button on each scene. So I'm going to stop all the clips, just so we can see the clips being launched by the scene.

So stop our clips from the master track. All the clips are now stopped. If we hit the Global Play button nothing will happen because no clip is launched, and if I hit the scene launch on scene number 1-- (music playing) --all the clips in that row are launched. Scenes are useful when moving from the Session to the Arrangement view. It will help us to record in the real time a rough arrangement to our song. In Scene number 1 I'm going to set up an intro, so I'm going to click the scene and hit Command+R to rename.

Scene number 2, let's rename our verse. Scene number 3 is the Chorus. So now it's time to set up the clips, and remember, because we're not launching clips individually-- we're launching them by rows-- it's important to set them accordingly. So the Intro, I want only the guitar to play, so I'm going to move all the clips away from scene number 1. So now if we launch scene number 1-- (music playing) --it's only going to be the guitar, and that's because we have Stop buttons.

And the scene is not only launching clips, but it's launching whatever is inside the clip slot. If we have no clips, it's going to launch the Stop button. So now if we launch scene number 2, it's going to be all the clips except the guitar. (music playing) So for the verse, I'm going to take the bass down. I'm going to duplicate the drumclip because I want to delete all the perc and hats.

Let's delete them. So now we have only kick and snare and the entire drum. I'm going to close the inputs/outputs for now, just so we have more room in the Session view. Let's take at the guitar lead down. Let's take backend lead, and let's take the vocals. I'm going to copy the Bass, holding Option and copying it, and doing the same for the guitar for scene 2 and the scene 3. So now if we launch Intro, we're only going to hear the guitar.

We launch Verse, we are going to hear the Guitar, Bass, and Drums, which is going to be only the Kick and Snare, and we're going to hit Chorus. You are going to hear all the clips playing together. Now to record it to Arrangement view, I will have to hit the Global Record button and record it to the arrangement. To make it easier enough to learn scenes instead of hitting the scene launch button, I'm going to go into key, which will get us into Key Mapping mode. And everything that is highlighted can be mapped to our computer keyboard. So I'm simply clicking the first scene, hitting number 1 on my keyboard, second scene, 2, third scene, 3.

Now if exit to Key Map mode, when I hit 1-- (music playing) --it's going to launch scene 1. When I hit 2-- (music playing) --it's going to launch scene 2 and 3 is going to launch scene 3. Now Key Mapping mode can be mapped to a lot of other things, and I definitely recommend it, because it's a very efficient way to control Live. You might also notice that when I launch the second scene, I did not launch it exactly on time, but the clips did play on time, and that's thanks to the Global Quantization Engine, which is going to quantize everything that we do in the Session view--which is recording, stopping, and playing clips--to the next musical bar, 1 bar.

So let's see how it works. I'm going to launch the first scene and then I'm going to second scene, not on time, but we can see the clips launch buttons are blinking until next musical bar, where they going to start to play. So let's check it out. (music playing) So as you can see, it doesn't really matter when I hit the launch button.

It will always keep us on time. So now I am ready to record my arrangement. I'm going to stop all clips, just to make sure that none of the clips are playing from different scenes. For example, I can play the guitar from here and the drums from here. (music playing) So just to make sure the all the clips are stopped, I'm going to stop all clips. I'm going to hit the Global Record, and I am going to stop recording my scenes. And once again I'm going to launch the scenes using the 1, 2 and 3 number keys on my computer keyboard. So let's record our arrangement.

(music playing) Nice. Let's go to the Arrangement view, and we can see everything that we did in the Session view has been recorded to the Arrangement view.

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