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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.
Most music production applications force you to work in a linear manner. Live's Session view is a great scratch pad, which allows you work without the constraints of a linear work flow. Let's take a look at how you work with live clips to form scenes, and then put scenes together to form a song. So just to review a bit. These vertical columns represent rows and we have these little boxes where we can put bits of MIDI audio that we refer to as clips, and we can fire off one clip per track. And if we have clips arranged in a row, we can play them by clicking on the Assosiated Play button, over here on the master track.
We've referred to that as a Scene Launch button. So right now, I have three scenes here in the session, and it might be helpful to have a little bit of organization. So I'm just going to name these so I know what I've got. So, I'm going to choose the first scene that I have here and I'm going to right-click on that, and I'm going to choose Rename. You'll notice that we could also us a key command, Cmd+R on a Mac, or Ctrl+R on a PC. I'm going to call this one intro, and I can hit my Return key to enter that. But if I want to the rename the next scene, I can press my Tab key to move that scene. So I'll call this one verse and I'll call the last one break, and then I will hit my Enter key to finish this.
Now I can also color these scenes as well to help a few organization, so if I right-click on the first one down at the bottom of the Contextural menu, I can choose a color. So I can choose light blue for that one and maybe brown for that one, and red for the next one and so on and so forth. Now I've also seen this color function used differently in live performance. I've seen several artists that might have multiple songs in the same set. And what they would do would be to color the scenes for one song the same color, and the scenes for the next song a different color.
So let's go ahead and lets play these scenes that I have now. So remember, I can go ahead and click the Launch button, and I'll see all the clips start on this row. (music playing) So that time I pressed the Space bar to stop playback, and I just want to point out that the clips in that row retained their focus. Meaning that if I press the spacebar again those same clips are going to start playing. Where I also could have stopped this by pressing the Stop All Clips button down here, and those clips would've lost focus.
So, what I want to do now, is I want to start playback on the scene, and then I'm going to launch the next scene. The amount of time that it takes that second scene to start is based upon the global quantize value, which for some odd reason in my set right now is set on an 8th note. And it's much more common to leave this at one bar or two bars, depending upon the tempo. So let me put that back at one bar. So I'll fire off the first scene, and when I click the Launch button on the second scene, it's going to wait till the beginning of the next bar to start playing that scene. (music playing) So I waited until that fourth bar started and then I pressed the Launch button for the next scene, and it started at the beginning of the next bar. You know, while we're here I want to point out something to you. When as I launched the verse scene, I didn't hear any drums because I don't have a clip on the clip slot there.
If I want the same drum pattern to keep playing. What I can do is I can remove this Stop button on that, and when I fire the second scene off, it'll continue to play that particular clip. So right-click and I'll choose Remove Stop button. I've also could have used the key command, Cmd+E on a ac or Ctrl+E on a PC to do the same thing. So now that's gone. So again I'll click the Stop All Clips button to take away the focus of any tracks here. And now again, I'll fire off the intro scene. And then, this time when I start the verse scene, notice that we're still going to see this first clip on the drum track play.
(music playing) As you're working, you may want to experiment with clips on any of these tracks. So let me stop the clips from playing back, and now I'm going to start off by playing this drum pattern. Let's see what I've got there. (music playing) So I've got clips from two different rows playing now, and I'm going to play them from the beginning so I hear how that sounds.
And so I make sure that all the clips are starting at the beginning of their cycle. Let's check that out. (music playing) Okay, if you arrive at a point where you like the clips that you have playing together, you can go ahead and capture those clips as a new scene. And I can do that by going over on the master track and right-clicking on a scene, and choosing the Capture and Insert option. And if I want to give that another name, again I can Cmd+R an rename that. An I'll call this, verse two.
So once you've finished all the scenes that you're going to use in your song, you can reuse them in a variety of ways. First of all, I can select a scene, and I can Cmd+C. I can move down on an empty scene area and Cmd+V to paste that, and that would be Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V on a PC. Once I get it there, I can rename it, like maybe this is going to be my interlude. You could also click a scene and drag it to a new location.
Or you can select a scene, and you can use the key command. Cmd+Up or Aown arrow, that would be Ctrl+Up or Down arrow on a PC, and I can move it that way. Now another thing that we can do with scenes is that we can set tempo changes. So for example, when I go from the intro to the verse, and I'm going to move that back in order so this makes a little more sense to me. And now what I'm going to do is I'm going to set a tempo change that starts when we hit the verse. So I'm going to right-click on that scene name, and I'm going to choose Edit Launch Tempo from the Contextual menu. So, it's added a semicolon, the cursor's blinking and waiting for me to type the new tempo.
So, I'm going to set a drastically slower tempo and I'll type in let's say a 100 bpm, and that will be thirty clicks slower than we have for the song. So I will launch the first intro, and then I will launch the second scene here. Let's here it that sounds like. (music playing) So, obviously that worked. But I want to point out that if you're going to start adding tempo changes to scenes, you're going to need to type the tempo into each and every scene.
Because if I go back now and play the intro, since the last tempo we were at was 100, it's going to keep playing at that same tempo. Let's check it out. (music playing) So, I could fix that by right-clicking on this one, choosing Edit Launch Tempo. I'll type in 131, original tempo and you'll do this again. And now I can fire off the verse one at 100 and go back and play the intro, and you'll hear the tempo increase (music playing). So we can do the same thing and add a time signature change as well. So I right-clicked on the seen and I chose Edit Launch Tempo from the Contextual menu.
And now I could type in, let's say if I wanted this to be in 3/4 I could do that. Now the syntax that they're using when you do that is to add a semi colon between it. But all you really need to have is one character, that could be a space a comma a semi-colon or anything. So now that your familar with how scenes work, you can experiment with the form and even tempo of your songs while you work out your ideas.
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