Making Music with Ableton Push
Illustration by John Hersey

Using Key mode to learn new songs


From:

Making Music with Ableton Push

with Yeuda Ben-Atar

Video: Using Key mode to learn new songs

The Push can help you compose songs and perform them live, but it can also be a great learning tool. Remember, the Push is an instrument that you will need to practice in order to master, just like you would on a cello, or guitar. When working with software instruments, the notes that are used to trigger the sounds are called MIDI. MIDI files can be played from your browser or from most medley players. They will usually played with a simple generic sound but once you put them in your music software you could choose to play them with any sound you like.

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Watch the Online Video Course Making Music with Ableton Push
1h 46m Appropriate for all Aug 01, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Imagine making digital music without having to touch or even look at your computer. The future is here with the Ableton Push, which allows you to compose melodies and basslines, make beats, arrange music, mix and master your tracks, and perform live—all from an intuitive, touch-sensitive interface. Join author and DJ Yeuda Ben-Atar, aka Side Brain, for an introduction to creating and performing music with Push.

First, Yeuda demystifies the many trigger pads, knobs, and buttons on the Push and shows how to map the device to Ableton Live. Next, learn to browse and load sounds and create drumbeats with the step sequencer. Humanize the sound of these beats by changing individual note velocity, length, and position and adding in quantization and swing. Then, learn to play Push like a pitched instrument, and use it to remotely control a Live set and Live devices. Along the way, Yeuda offers valuable lessons about basic music theory—concepts like notes, chords, scales, and time signature—that will make your experience with Push more rewarding.

Topics include:
  • What is Ableton Push?
  • Browsing and loading sounds
  • Programming beats
  • Recording drums in real time
  • Adding quantization and swing
  • Controlling the mixer
  • Controlling Live devices
  • Adding custom LED feedback
  • Step sequencing melodies
  • Browsing and loading third-party plugins
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
Ableton Live
Author:
Yeuda Ben-Atar

Using Key mode to learn new songs

The Push can help you compose songs and perform them live, but it can also be a great learning tool. Remember, the Push is an instrument that you will need to practice in order to master, just like you would on a cello, or guitar. When working with software instruments, the notes that are used to trigger the sounds are called MIDI. MIDI files can be played from your browser or from most medley players. They will usually played with a simple generic sound but once you put them in your music software you could choose to play them with any sound you like.

You can find MIDI files online for almost any song you can think of. You can try and search the song title followed by the word MIDI. I've downloaded the classical piece titled Bach Cello Suite No 1, and let's drop it into Live. I'm going to go to my finder. I'm just going to drag it from the finder, or explorer, if you're on Windows, to an empty clip slot in Live. First, we need to select the sound to be triggered by the MIDI clip. I've chosen a cello sound, just to be close to the original, but you can select any sound you like.

I'm going to make sure I'm in Key mode. Hit the note, and see in the isomorphic keyboard with the white and blue pads (SOUND) you got the cello sound. In key mode I'm going to switch to chromatic mode, so I'm going to hit the Scales button. And hit the in key and switch it to chromatic, so we can see all the notes in the scale. But push will still light up the notes from within the scale, which is right now set to C major. Let's first listen to the piece and try to determine if it sounds more happy, cheerful, and lively, or sad, dramatic, and dark. Let's launch the clip, going to go into session (MUSIC). So I think this piece is more happy, so I'm going to stick with a major scale. We can see that not all the notes fall in the C major scale when we play the song. So I'm going to try and switch between keys to come up with the right key of the song.

(MUSIC) So it's not C. (MUSIC) It's not f. (MUSIC) It's not B flat. (MUSIC) Looks like the G major. This is a classical piece, so all the keys and scale information is available online, but I wanted to show you this technique so you can apply it to any song you are trying to learn. Next, I'm going to turn off chromatic mode.

So I'll only see the scale. Now, I'm ready to learn the song by playing it, and trying to hit the right pads at the right time, almost like a game. (MUSIC). Remember you can always use the tempo nob to slow down the song so it will be much easier to play along.

So let's turn it down to about 30 bpm. so push is not only good for making melodies harmonies base lines arranging your music and performing it live it can also be great tool for learning how to play music

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