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Create music in real time, on stage, or while producing in the studio, with Ableton Live. In this course, music professor Rick Schmunk shows you how to compose, record, remix, improvise, produce, and edit your musical ideas. Along the way, get familiar with the Live interface, work with its views for recording and editing audio and MIDI, and explore its unique real-time recording and mixing capabilities. Plus, learn real-world production skills that can be applied to songwriting, studio production, and DJing. The final chapters offer an inside look at features added in Live 9, such as new Instrument Racks containing over 3,000 production-ready sounds, and Max for Live, a toolkit for building custom devices.
As we've been discussing, clips are an integral part of using Ableton Live. Let's take a deeper look at audio and MIDI clips and see how those differences are reflected in the clip properties. We'll also learn how to adjust the proeprties that effect how a clip plays back. If I select a clip, we'll actually see the area done in details view pop up. And there are two views that we can look at. Right now, we're looking at the Midi editor and clip properties related to that. You can also see the devices that are available by clicking on this other button. For right now, we actually want to see both the clip properties overview and then on an audio track, which if I click the next track, we'll see.
The audio waveform here. So the properties are this area over here on the left-hand side, and there are several buttons here that we can show and hide different elements. So if I click on the L, I'll actually open up the Launch box, and we can see that the Clip and Launch on an audio track are exactly the same as on a MIDI track. So what are the things we can change here? Well first of all, I can change the clip name. Or I can change the color of the clip. By clicking there, choosing a different color, and you'll see that that's reflected here at the top of each one of these boxes and on the clip itself up here on the track.
The next parameter shows me the time signature for the clip. And then in this area at the bottom we can actually apply a groove file which will quantize or change the velocity and impart a sense of groove or feel to the way the clip plays back. In the next area, the Launch Box, we can actually set some randomization for how the clips play back, so instead of launching the clips by clicking their play buttons here. Or clicking Seen Launch buttons, or I can actually set up a scenario where Live chooses which clips to play and in what order.
So right now, if I fire off a clip, it's going to trigger that. And when I release the mouse, it's not going to do anything but let it continue to play. Then down here at the bottom, I can set follow actions, by clicking on the little drop down here and choosing a different action. So, for example, I might choose next in this one, and let's have it go to the last one and this one. And then I'm going to set up a ratio for how that happens. So each time it plays there's a two to one chance that it's going to play the first one or the last one in that row.
So now if I go up and click this one off, it's going to play and then based upon that ratio, it's either going to play the second one or the last one in that row. And it's going to play that and start it based upon whatever the global quantization is. So if I look up here it's currently set at 1 bar. Now I can specifically set this for this group of clips by clicking here and choosing 8 bars or 4 bars or whatever length of time that I want it to wait before it starts the next clip. For right now let's leave that at the global of one bar and I'll play the first clip and then whichever one is going to play next you'll see the launch button on that turn green. (music playing) So that time, it chose to play the next one. Let me stop and try that again.
(music playing) 'Kay, it did the same thing again. I'll try that one more time. (music playing) Okay, hooray! It chose the last one, so you could actually see that it will randomize that. So, this is a neat thing to use if you're playing live or if you are doing some kind of music that really has maybe, only one chord and you have different sounds and parts that you want to flow out in some kind of a random fashion. So, on a Midi clip, in the next area. We have the notes box, which is only for MIDI clips. And some of the things we can do here is we can transpose it, using this value here.
So if I click in that box and type something like plus 12, I can transpose that up an octave. Let me undo that. The other buttons here that we see. I can have it play back twice as fast or twice as slow. I could actually reverse the clip, or invert it. Or if I want to make sure that the notes in the clip playback without any gap between the notes, I can click the Legato button. Over here, on the far right, I can set how the clip plays back, or how it loops. So for example, right now, I can actually click and drag these to set the loop.
Start and end points. Or I can type values in these. Or if you're not quite sure you can actually start play back and you can click the set buttons. To set those values. So on the next track over, this is an audio track. And when I click that we see that this box is different and I get the sample box. So if I click the edit button, it will actually open this clip in another program for editing. Now you can set which program that it chooses by going up into Preferences, which on a Mac is under the Live menu and that would be under the Options menu on a PC.
And choosing your File folder tab, and then going to where is says sample editor and clicking the browse button. Now right now you can see that I've actually gone through this and I've chosen pro tools to be the audio editor. OK, so if I make changes to that in another program and I want to save those, I can click the Save button. And that will actually only save it for this use of this clip in this set and not in other sets. Something else I can do here is I can click the reverse button and it will actually take this clip and reverse it so that the clip's playing backwards and now you'll notice that the release or decay is happening here at the beginning.
Ramping up to the attacks on that. Other important buttons here are the high quality button, which actually uses a different process to play back the clip with much higher resolution. The next button here, the fade button, which is already enabled, actually drops a short fade on the beginning and end of the clip, so if there was problems due to editing, any pops or clicks, that those are avoided. So, the next parameter here the Ramp button, actually we'll put this clip into RAM mode which means that Live will actually load this clip into RAM and play it back from RAM instead of streaming in off the hard drive and that's useful when you have got a large session and you are getting drop out. I am down here at the bottom we can actually transpose the clips, so that it plays at a different pitch level.
And this is a global setting, so if I turn this knob, I can actually transpose this up a total of 48 half-step or down 48 half-steps. That's four octaves. And I would just suggest that, depending on the clip, that's a little bit unrealistic, but something on the order of a minor third up to a perfect fifth you can probably get away with. An I can reset that by just clicking on the little triangle up at the top. I can also change the pitch by fine increment by using the detune setting down here. An this is in steps of a 100 cents up or down one half step. An this is useful when you want to tune a clip, or you might want to do some kind of a chorusing effect by duplicating the clip.
And turning one up a little bit and then detuning the other one down a little bit. I can also adjust the volume playback of the clip by using the volume setting right here. And it's actually displaying over in the clip overview there. And this is useful if you've got a clip that's got a very low level or one that's got too much level for normalizing in a way so that you've got enough head room when it plays back. And lastly, over here in the warp area, these are the controls that Live uses to automatically adjust the playback of this clip to fit the tempo of this session.
So, this shows the original tempo of the clip. Now this was actually recorded as part of this set, so it's already at the tempo of the session which I can see up here in the control bar but if I was using this clip in a set that had a different tempo by enabling the warp button Live would adjust the tempo so that it plays back at the tempo of the set. And its doing that based upon the warp mode setting here and if I click on that you can see that we've got nodes that are optimized for different kinds of music. So beats is good for drums and tones is good for things like bass lines and vocals and so on. So as you can see, the clip properties in Live are extensive and allow you to not only control how the clips play and synchronize, but also contain some very useful editing functions.
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