Join Rick Schmunk for an in-depth discussion in this video Audio clip editing, part of Ableton Live 10 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Working with Audio Clips is similar to working with MIDI Clips. So let's review copying and pasting clips using Audio and also at how you might end up using functions like clip separation and clip gain a bit more with Audio Clips than you would with MIDI Clips. Let's start by editing this drum clip that we see up here on the first track. Now so that we can see a little bit more detail I'm going to increase the track height. So we can do that three or four different ways. So first you can click the unfold button on the track or you can move your cursor to the bottom edge of the track header and drag down or a third way that you can do this would be to hold down your Option or ALT key and use the scroll on your mouse to increase the track height.
Now with that at a height that is going to work for me I also notice that I've got this automation line showing. Now in Ableton Live 10 automation is hidden by default and I've got this showing just so that I can remind you that you can use the letter a to toggle the display of automation on or off and when you're editing clips often automation just gets in the way. So with that hidden we can get started. Now I'll start by trimming this clip, so if I move my cursor to the edge of the clip and click and drag to the left I can make it shorter.
If you want to trim out the clip and effectively loop trim it you need to make sure that the loop button down in the sample box is enabled. If I trim this out right now notice that it's empty. Let's move that back and I'll do the same thing with the loop button enabled and we can see that it's properly loop trimming out that and filling the rest of that part of the song. Now if I wanted to I also could have copied and pasted that clip.
So this time I'll select the clip and I'll go Command + C, go over to the end of the clip and Command + V to paste it. That would be Control + C and Control + V on a PC. Now let's highlight that and I'll hit my Delete key to get rid of that and this time I'll do the same thing by holding down my Option or ALT key and then clicking the clip and dragging over and placing the copy where I want it and then once I get there I'll release the mouse and then release the Option key.
We can also duplicate clips. So let's do that this first clip in the next section. So I'll click select that and remember that the duplicate command takes your selection, copies it, moves to the end of your selection, and pastes the selection. So the duplicate command on a Mac is Command + D and on a PC Control + D. So and you can see how we can quickly fill in the area here that's necessary in this section of the song.
Okay, let's put that track height back at the minimal size and let's drop down and take a look at the guitar and lead vocal clips. So these clips were give to me and they are supposed to be the entire length of the song. When I look at the guitar clip I can see that it is exactly the length of the song, but the vocal clip isn't. So that just reminds me that often times when you have long clips and you drop them into Ableton Live Ableton tries to automatically determine the tempo and length of that clip and when there are bits of rust contained within the clip Ableton often is not able to do it.
So this clip was actually recorded at the same tempo that our set is currently set at, so all I need to do to get this clip to play back at the right tempo is actually just disable the warp button and when I do that you can see that the clip now is immediately lengthened to the same length as the guitar clip above it. So now I'm pretty confident that that's going to play back at the right tempo, but when I select that and I look at the clip down here in the clip overview area I can see that this clip was not recorded at a loud enough level and that's gotten me a little bit worried, because again if I increase the track height and I look at the volume setting on the track I can see that my fader is already at zero and I'm likely not going to have enough head room to increase the level on this track enough so that the lead vocal will actually balance with the other tracks.
Let's check that out. So I'm going to click over here by the first verse and just hit play. ♪ Gather round you got a story ♪ - [Instructor] So you can see that I can barely hear the lead vocal. So one of the things that's a bit different on Audio Clip is down here in the sample box area we've got these options like transpose and D tune and gain and at this point I'm going to use the gain slider to add gain and I'll look at the wave form displayed to the right as I do that and just kind of guess at what's going to end up being a good level and as I do that I'm guessing that I'm going to need at least something around 15 DB to do that.
So let's go back to verse one and I'll play it again and let's hear what the vocal sounds like now. ♪ Gather round you got a story ♪ - [Instructor] Okay, so now I can hear the vocal loud enough and I think that I've got enough level that I'll be able to mix this against the other tracks. As I look over to the right, though, I'm noticing that while the verse might be at a good level the chorus actually might be a little bit to hot and same thing with the second and third choruses.
So let's click over near the next chorus and let's zoom in by hitting the plus key on our numpad and what I'm looking at here is a place that I can click and get right before the beginning of the chorus so I'll do it here, because this audio is still pretty soft while that looks pretty loud. So with my cursor placed in between those two points I can separate the clip and I can do that by going up to the edit menu and choosing split or Command + E from the menu here, and that would be Control + E on a PC.
Now if I select the clip on the left I can see that that's different than the clip on the right. Let's zoom back in. I'll do that using the minus key and I'll go over to the end of the chorus and I'll click there, zoom in, now that looks like a good spot, there is no audio there. Again, I'll separate that or split it using Command + E or Control + E if you're on a PC, zoom back out, and now if I click select that clip that represents the chorus I can readjust the gain now for that clip specifically by pulling down the gain slider until the gain of that clip is a little bit better in relationship to the clip surrounding it.
Now sometimes on vocal tracks you actually may want to get rid of a part of a clip so we might zoom in here, let's say at the beginning of this clip, and I really don't see the problem here, but if there was a big breath you might actually want to make a selection here and hit your Delete key and get rid of that. So the other way that you can handle this problem is to actually inactive a portion of a clip and we can do that by making a selection and then pressing your zero key.
You'll notice that it says clip deactivated. So what's happened there is that command actually separated out that portion that I had selected and then it deactivated it. If I need to bring it back I can select it and hit my zero key and that portion is back, but let's leave that out for the time being. So I've got a similar issue that I want to deal with on the guitar track. Let me select that clip, and so I can see the entire set I'm going to use the key command Shift + Z so that that zooms all the way back out and I can see what's going on.
So in this particular guitar clip we've actually got all of the different guitar parts recorded on to one clip. So the part that we hear during the chorus is different than the one that we hear at the verse and so on and so forth, and there's nothing wrong with that. The audio looks to be at a good level, but the issue that I had when I was working with this set was that I wanted to pan parts of this differently and I wanted to signal process portions of this clip differently.
So one way of working with this then would be to actually take parts of this clip and put them on other tracks. So I'm going to select the guitar track and I'm going to go Command + T, that would be Control + T on a PC to create another audio track and now I can go to the chorus section and select that very quickly. Go Command + E to split or separate that and then drag that clip and drop it down on the next track and I can do the same thing over here with the bridge section.
Then this way I've got the three chorus sections on one track and I've got the verse section and the bridge section on another track. So I might finish by going over here to the header on the guitar track and pressing Command + R to rename, that would be Control + R on a PC, and I'll call this guitar chorus and perhaps the other one I'll just call guitar. So one last thing that I'll demonstrate quickly that you might end up using, especially if you're going to create some effects, is reversing a clip.
So with this bridge clip on the guitar track selected you can reverse this clip by going over into the sample box and clicking the reverse button, but there is also now a quick key to do that and that's just to press the letter r. You'll see it processes it and it eventually will draw the clip reversed. Now I'm going to undo that just to show you that you can also do that with a selection and remember that if you take your cursor up to the top of a clip you get the grabber, it only allows you to select the entire clip, but if you move down to the bottom half you can click and you can make a selection.
So one of the new things is with that selection made you can press the letter r and it will separate or split the clip and then write a new version of that with the clip reversed. So you can see in many ways working with Audio Clips is similar to working with MIDI Clips. Check out the next video where we'll discuss how to add fades to Audio Clips.
- Choosing the right gear for a home recording studio
- Setting audio and MIDI preferences
- Optimizing performance
- Loading, playing, and moving clips
- Working with Live sets
- Recording and overdubbing MIDI
- Using groove quantization
- Editing pitch, velocity, and duration
- Looping audio
- Working with locators
- Creating beats with Impulse
- Building instrument racks and drum racks
- Recording and editing automation
- Creating sounds with Wavetable
- Using Max for Live devices