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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.
Most music production applications force you to work in a linear manner. Live Session view is a great scratchpad, which allows you to work without the constraints of a linear workflow. In this video, we'll learn how to work with live clips to form scenes and then put scenes together to form a song. So a scene is a collection of clips arranged in a horizontal row in Live Session view. Usually the clips are intended to play together and form a section of a song, like the verse or chorus. So remember the tracks are vertical columns, and can only play one clip at a time. But launching a scene launches all the clips in that row.
You can do that by clicking on the Scene Launch button here in the Master track. (Music playing.) You can stop the scene from playing by pressing the Spacebar on your computer keyboard, or by clicking on the Stop All Clips button here on the Master track. You may want to rename a scene, and you can do that by right-clicking, and choosing Rename from the Contextual menu, or using the key command Command+R--or on a PC, Ctrl+R. So you might want to call this "Verse 1." That will help with the organization of your song.
So I've got a couple of scenes here. If I fire off the Verse 1 scene and then go to the scene number 4 here, we're going to hear a bit of a pause while Live starts to play the next scene, and that is controlled by the quantization setting here. So if I click on that, I can see the variety of things that I can choose. But if I leave this at 1 Bar, that's just telling me that if I want to trigger another scene, I want to do that one bar before it's going to start to play. So I'll do this, and I'll wait until the middle of the second bar.
Then I'll click scene number 4, and we'll hear that trigger at the beginning of Bar 3. (Music playing.) Okay. For some reason my drum groove didn't play, so I fired that off in the middle of the other scene playing. So other times you're going to want to experiment a little bit, and you're going to want to find clips that are on different scenes, and gather them into a new scene.
So, for example, I want to create an intro for this song, and I want to use this Pad clip that I've got up here as the starting point. Now first, I'm going to stop all clips from playing. Then I'll be able to fire this one off all by itself, and then add other clips to play along with it and decide what may or may not work. (Music playing.) Okay. So I like the simpler Onna Intro drum groove that I prepared, the best for that.
I also know that I'm going to want to add this Intro Bass to that. So let me fire all three of those off. (Music playing.) Okay. So now that they're all selected like this, I can actually capture them and insert them as a new scene. I can either do that by right-clicking over here in the Drop Files area, or over here in the Master Track area. I'll do that and I'll choose this Capture and Insert Scene function.
We see that here now, but also I want that at the beginning of the song. So I'm going to click and drag on the Scene button over here, and drag it up and drop it right before Verse number 1. Again, I can rename that. Call that "Intro." So as I'm starting to put my song together, I notice that I want to have maybe Intro and then Verse 1, and then Scene 4, which is going to be the Chorus, and I'll rename that. After that, I'm going to want to go back to the verse.
So I'm going to Click+Select the verse, and I'm going to go Command+C--that would be Ctrl+C on a PC--and then go down and select scene 5, and then go Command+V to paste it. That would be Ctrl+V on a PC. Now, something else that might happen from time to time is that you may have a clip that's the same on a track and you do not want that clip to stop playing when you get to the next scene. So for instance, just to show you this, I'm going to delete the Onna Groove here on the Chorus 1 and Verse 1 scenes.
Now, I do not want the Stop Scene button to stop the Onna Groove from playing when I trigger the Chorus 1 scene. So I'll simply select that, right- click on it, and choose Remove Stop Button. You can also use Command+E or on a PC, Ctrl+E. I'll do that on both those clips, and I'll click the Stop All Clips button. Let's fire off Verse 1. (Music playing.) So you notice that when the Chorus scene started, we still heard the drum track playing, and that was because there was no Stop button here to stop that from playing.
Now the next thing you might want to do on occasion is have a tempo change that occurs with a scene change. We can simply do that by adding that information into the scene name. So let me go to the Chorus here, and I'm going to call that "100bpm." I'll fire off the Verse 1 scene, and then the Chorus scene, and you'll hear that tempo change. (Music playing.) So we heard that tempo change, but let me alert you to the fact that if you do have tempo changes in your scenes, you need to include that information in every one of your scenes, because what'll happen now if I fire off the Verse 1 clip, it's going to play at the tempo of the Chorus clip, because there is no tempo information in that clip.
Just for example-- (Music playing.) So now we can hear that it's slower. So I can add that information into the Name field. I don't have to leave out the Verse 1. I'll just put a comma and a space in there. Back to 120. Now, when I fire off the Verse, you'll hear it at the faster tempo. (Music playing.) We hear the tempo changes. Now, we can do the same thing with meter changes.
You can include all of that in the name, just simply by adding at least a space or a character in between the scene name, the tempo, and the meter. You can remove scenes by simply selecting a scene, and clicking your Delete key. I'll undo that. You can reorder them by clicking on a scene, and dragging it to a new location. So now that we know how scenes and clips work, you can start creating some songs.
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