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Working with scenes

From: Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

Video: Working with scenes

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.

Working with scenes

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

80 video lessons · 11481 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
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  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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