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Using the Session mode

From: Making Music with Ableton Push

Video: Using the Session mode

I'd like to make a distinction between Note mode and Session mode. Note mode has the isomorphic keyboard to play instruments and the drum rack to record and step-sequence drums. The note mode is used to create music, but once you've created some music, you can switch over to session mode Which will give you complete control over Live's session view. Since Push has RGB LEDs on each one of the 64 main pads, you will see an exact visual representation of what's happening in our project.

Using the Session mode

I'd like to make a distinction between Note mode and Session mode. Note mode has the isomorphic keyboard to play instruments and the drum rack to record and step-sequence drums. The note mode is used to create music, but once you've created some music, you can switch over to session mode Which will give you complete control over Live's session view. Since Push has RGB LEDs on each one of the 64 main pads, you will see an exact visual representation of what's happening in our project.

If I change the clip color from Live, it will immediately change on the Push. So, I'm going to go to my kick snare track, right click on the clip, and change it to, let's say, (SOUND) yellow, or, (SOUND) dark blue. To launch a clip, simply press it. (MUSIC) To stop clips, you can hit an empty clip slot on the same track, or change the top state controls to stop. So if I launch it (MUSIC) I can simply hit any one of the empty clip slots.

Or (MUSIC) change the state control to stop. But first, we need to be focused on any one of the display modes. Track, volume, pan and send, or clip. Change the state control to stop, and we can stop the clip. You can hold the Select button while hitting a pad to only focus on it without launching a clip. (SOUND) And if the clip is already launched, the display will show the remaining time until the clip ends, or loops.

(MUSIC) Hold Select, and hit the pad, and we can see the time remaining. Remember that everything that you do with clips in session mode will be quantized according to the global quantization that you set in live. By default its set to 1 bar. We can change that from the global quantization. (SOUND) So if I launch the clip, (MUSIC) one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, it will only stop at the next musical bar.

You can delete clips by holding the delete button while hitting the desired clips to be erased. (SOUND) You can duplicate clips by holding the Duplicate button and hitting the clip. (SOUND) Remember you can always undo using the Undo button or you can redo by holding Shift and hitting the Undo button. To launch an entire scene, which is a row of clips, use the scene or grid buttons.

You can also hold shift, while hitting a scene, to only select it. So if I hit a scene, (MUSIC) we launch the entire row of clips. When a track is armed, it will color all the empty clip slots in red, allowing us to start recording clips from the Session mode. So, I'm going to select the bass track using the selection control, and hit it again to arm it. We can see all the empty clip slots colored with red. Although clips can be created in the note mode, this is very useful for recording audio clips like guitars and vocals.

To stop all clips hold shift and press the stop button. You can also mute and solo select the tracks by switching to the corresponding state controls. Mute. And if we look at live, I can also solo the kick snare. (SOUND) You probably already noticed that in live, there is a colored square surrounding the session view. This indicates the currently eight by eight grid that the Push is focused on. You can use the navigation controls to move around in a live set, allowing us to potentially build an endless set.

To deal with very loud sets, you can hold the the Shift button, which is switch the main pads to Session Overview. In session overview each pad represents an 8 by 8 block of clips aligned you to have control over very loud sets ,in the session overview color coding is so emerald currently selected block of clips ,green there are clips plain in that block of clips but we need to lift the focus Play a clip. (MUSIC) And now we see the green.

(MUSIC) Let's stop the clip, hold shift, hit the Stop button. And now we see the red, which mean no clips are playing in that block of clips, or no colors, which means there are no tracks or scenes in that range. The session mode gives you full control over your live set. You can experiment with different global quantization values, or even change quantization values for individual clips, as well as experimenting with follow actions, for even more control. If you want to further explore using clips in the session view and concepts like global quantization or follow actions check out Ableton Live for live performance on linda.com.

In production in live performance situations you can always quickly switch between Note mode and Session mode to play instruments, make beats and control your live set all in this one instrument.

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Making Music with Ableton Push

25 video lessons · 5068 viewers

Yeuda Ben-Atar
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