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Working with rack macros

From: Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

Video: Working with rack macros

With each effect or instrument device, there's often a few parameters that need repeated adjustment. Finding those parameters can be a pain. So let's take a look at how frequently accessed parameters can be mapped to a live macro for easy access via your controller. So I've got an impulse instrument set up on this first MIDI track, and I'm going to select the Title bar on that and right click and choose Group which puts that inside of a rack. Now, I'm doing that because I want to get access to the macro. So, I'll click the Show/hide button here just below the group activator button and that opens that up.

Working with rack macros

With each effect or instrument device, there's often a few parameters that need repeated adjustment. Finding those parameters can be a pain. So let's take a look at how frequently accessed parameters can be mapped to a live macro for easy access via your controller. So I've got an impulse instrument set up on this first MIDI track, and I'm going to select the Title bar on that and right click and choose Group which puts that inside of a rack. Now, I'm doing that because I want to get access to the macro. So, I'll click the Show/hide button here just below the group activator button and that opens that up.

Now, I can map these macros to any parameter on the device over here. So, let's go ahead and click the Map button. And I'll chose the kick parameter and anything that's green can be mapped. So, I am going to select the volume for that kick. And then I'll click the Map button over here to map that on to that macro. And when I did that you notice that there is a little green square that appeared in the upper left-hand corner of that parameter. And if I go out of Map mode, you'll notice that I can no longer adjust that. I have to go over to the macro to do that.

Now if that's not what you want, you can go ahead and click the Map button and I can select that parameter, and I can click Unmap. And I'm back where I started and I can continue mapping other parameters. But let's go ahead and remap that, I'll select that, click Map. Then I'll click the second slot so I can get at its parameters and I'll choose Volume again and map that one. The next one, I'll map that and the fourth one, I'll do that. And then for number eight I'll go ahead and I'll get the global volume for that and map that down onto the last macro.

Now I'm going to go back out of Map mode, and as I did that, you'll notice that all of those dip down to their minimum setting. So I'm going to go ahead and raise those back up. Now I was doing that by mouse, but I should have gone to my controller. Now if the rack is selected and you're using a device that has instant mapping. Those instantly map onto the eight control knobs. So as I go to knob number one, you can see that I haven't had to do any additional mapping and it's already being controlled by my controller. So I'll go to knob three and pull that up, knob four and get that, and knob number eight, and I've immediately got control of that.

So, that's only using a single device. Now, let's go over to the second track here. And I've got a chain of devices here that includes a MIDI arpeggiator Plug in, and then a virtual instrument. And then, a couple of audio effects. So I'm going to click your Arpeggiator. And then I'm going to Shift click the last device so that I can select all of them. And then I'm going to right-click on the title bar of any of these and choose Group. And now if I look at this over on the left edge, I can see that I've got the rack bracket. And if I pan over to the right, I'll see that I've got a rack bracket on the outside on the last device.

Now I want to start by mapping the frequency and residence knobs here on this device over to the macros. So let's click the Show/hide button again, to show that macro. I'll go into Map mode. I'm going to click the Frequency knob on that oscillator. And then click the Map button and macro one. But I'm also going to map the resonance to the same knob on that macro. Now when I did that, you'll notice that I've got minimum and maximum values that I can set up here for that. So I'm going to go ahead and do that.

I've already messed around with this a little bit, so I know what I want. So let's set that one to around 350, and I'll set the upper range to about 5k. And let's set the resonance on the low end to 20% and on the high end to around 50%. And just so I can check that, I'm going to go out of Map mode. Let me grab that first knob all right, it's assigned and working correctly. And if I look over here on the actual virtual instrument, I can see that it's actually moving both of those. And let's play that clip and just see what it sounds like. (music playing) Okay I can see that I've got the range set that I was looking for. Now lets go back down to the macro and I'm going to double-click that to close that up.

And I want to name that macro so that I know what that's being used for. So I'm going to click that button and then I'll go Cmd+R ,that would be Ctrl+R on a PC. Now, I can name that filter sweep. And let's also, map some more stuff to that. So, let me reopen this synth up, and I'm going to go into Map mode again, and I'm going to map the global volume on that to the macro number two. And then, I'll double-click that to minimize that again. And let me grab the shape on the auto-pan and map that to macro three, and the dry/wet and map that to macro four. Then I'll go back out of Map mode and let me choose the Rack real quick. Gotta do that so I can access these via instant mapping. And let me move the knob number three, you'll see the auto pan shape changing. And when I go to knob number four, you can see that the dry wet parameter is changing as I do that one.

Now, a very important part of this, is selecting the actual rack itself, to be able to use instant mapping. So, if I come over and just select the Auto pan. And start moving knobs, you'll notice that those knobs are reassigned via instant mapping and I'm now changing other parameters. I go over to chorus, I can see that knob number two is now moving the rate there for the modulation. And if I go back to the instrument rack, I move knob number two. You can see that that's set on the volume output on the polysynth.

So, as you move from track to track and device to device. The mapping assignments and instant mapping will automatically remap and allow you to make those adjustments. So, one you get an effect, instrument or drum rack set up and adjusted, assign the most often used parameters to the racks macro. Then when you need to record automation in your live set or use live in performance. Those parameters will automatically be available on your MIDI controller via instant mapping.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 9 Essential Training
Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 12283 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      43s
    3. What you need to know
      47s
  2. 7m 44s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      3m 31s
  3. 11m 8s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      4m 0s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      2m 44s
    3. Optimizing performance
      4m 24s
  4. 38m 55s
    1. Nonlinear sequencing with Session view
      3m 42s
    2. Understanding the Session view window
      5m 8s
    3. Exploring the Live browser
      5m 49s
    4. Loading and playing clips
      4m 35s
    5. Moving and copying clips
      2m 55s
    6. Working with clip properties
      8m 17s
    7. Working with scenes
      8m 29s
  5. 24m 15s
    1. Using the browser
      4m 56s
    2. Searching for and auditioning clips and devices
      4m 19s
    3. Working with Live sets and projects
      4m 16s
    4. Managing files in Live
      3m 12s
    5. Exporting clips and devices
      7m 32s
  6. 33m 0s
    1. What is a software instrument?
      6m 29s
    2. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 0s
    3. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 47s
    4. Using a computer keyboard to enter MIDI
      5m 26s
    5. Utilizing the pencil to enter MIDI notes
      5m 45s
    6. Taking advantage of third-party and multi-output MIDI devices
      5m 33s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Navigating and zooming in the MIDI Editor
      5m 29s
    2. Configuring the MIDI Editor grid
      5m 2s
    3. Selecting and quantizing MIDI
      5m 3s
    4. Quantizing with grooves
      7m 23s
    5. Editing pitch and note duration
      6m 1s
    6. Editing MIDI velocities
      4m 24s
  8. 10m 10s
    1. Preparing to record audio
      5m 43s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 27s
  9. 34m 22s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      4m 10s
    2. Zooming in and out and playing in Arrangement view
      4m 46s
    3. Recording in Arrangement view
      4m 4s
    4. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 22s
    5. Adding and using locators
      3m 32s
    6. Copying, duplicating, and editing clips in Arrangement view
      5m 53s
    7. Reworking clips
      6m 35s
  10. 25m 35s
    1. Understanding the mixer
      7m 36s
    2. Using sends and returns
      6m 52s
    3. Building headphone cues
      4m 58s
    4. Grouping tracks
      6m 9s
  11. 41m 7s
    1. Working with effect devices
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 30s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      6m 26s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      7m 20s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 5s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      5m 47s
  12. 11m 15s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      6m 3s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      5m 12s
  13. 11m 44s
    1. Mapping keys with Keymap mode
      4m 12s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      3m 16s
    3. Using the instant mapping feature
      4m 16s
  14. 31m 51s
    1. Recording real-time automation
      6m 24s
    2. Drawing automation manually
      7m 48s
    3. Automating clips in Session view
      8m 36s
    4. Editing existing automation information
      4m 57s
    5. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 6s
  15. 20m 59s
    1. Understanding the basics of warping
      8m 43s
    2. Creating clips that loop smoothly
      6m 37s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 39s
  16. 10m 12s
    1. Exporting audio from Live
      6m 29s
    2. Freezing tracks
      3m 43s
  17. 42m 22s
    1. Exploring Impulse
      5m 5s
    2. Using Impulse as a multi-output instrument
      9m 15s
    3. Getting the most out of Impulse instrument parameters
      6m 23s
    4. Exploring Simpler
      7m 50s
    5. Smoothing sample start and end points in Simpler
      6m 32s
    6. Tweaking the parameters of Simpler
      7m 17s
  18. 36m 55s
    1. Unlocking the power of FX racks
      10m 48s
    2. Utilizing instrument racks
      10m 13s
    3. Creating drum racks
      9m 50s
    4. Working with rack macros
      6m 4s
  19. 10m 22s
    1. Introducing Max for Live
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mono Sequencer in Max for Live
      5m 30s
  20. 5m 54s
    1. Working with video files
      5m 54s
  21. 24s
    1. Next steps
      24s

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