Join Yeuda Ben-Atar for an in-depth discussion in this video Converting audio to MIDI, part of Up and Running with Ableton Live 9.
Ableton Live 9 has introduced a very unique feature that allows us to convert any audio material into MIDI. This can be used on drums, harmony, or melody. So first, let's record a guitar lead. I'm going to arm the track using the Arm Session Recording button. I'm also going to set the Monitor on Auto, so I hear what I'm doing. Make sure we have a count-in. And let's record. (music playing) So, I've go my guitar lead.
I hit the spacebar to stop recording. Let's double-click. We'll see the Clip view, and we can see our recording. Let's play it just to hear it. I'm going to take the Arm recording button off because we don't need it anymore. (music playing) Now, we want to fatten up this guitar sound, and we're not going to use effect right now, but we are going to convert it into MIDI.
I'm going to use a MIDI instrument to play the same notes. So, to do that, let's right-click on the audio clip and choose Convert Melody to New MIDI Track. Live will analyze the audio clip and will try to take the notes out of it and place it into a MIDI clip. We're going to have a new MIDI track with a MIDI clip and a MIDI instrument. So we double-click on the clip and see the notes. Let's solo this track using the S on the mixer device, play it, and see if Live got it right. (music playing) Almost. We'll just add one small note here.
(music playing) Let's make this note shorter. So, let's play it with a guitar and see if they're matching. I'm going to hold Command or Ctrl and click on the Solo on the Guitar Lead track and let's play them together. (music playing) They're exactly the same, which is perfect.
But we wanted a different kind of sound on the MIDI because right now if we solo it -- (music playing) It's very similar to the guitar tone, so let's change it. I'm going to go to my browser. Under Instruments, I'm going to go to Operator, expand it, and choose one of the presets inside the Categories here. Let's go to Voices. Let's preview a couple of presets. (music playing) I like this one, so I'm going to drag it on top of the MIDI Instrument.
And it's going to change it, and now if we play it -- (music playing) --we get a completely different tone. So, I will need to back up the guitar lead. So let's play both of them together, again by holding Command or Ctrl and clicking the small S for solo. (music playing) And we can call it--let's rename it. We'll call it Backing Lead. Let's expand it just so we can see the name. Let's color it.
And even let's rename the MIDI clip, again by right-clicking and choosing Rename. Let's unsolo and hear what we've got so far. (music playing) Awesome! So, our song is coming along. We've got drums, we've got bass, we've got guitar, we've got a guitar lead, and we even converted the guitar lead audio to MIDI.
I urge you to experiment and explore the new feature in Ableton Live 9, which is the Convert Audio to MIDI. You can also convert harmony, melody, and drums to MIDI. You can take famous songs and convert them to MIDI to see how they will play, and maybe play along with them, or even make remixes on the fly. So go ahead and convert to MIDI.
- Setting up plugins and projects
- Creating a drumbeat
- Converting audio to MIDI
- Recording vocals
- Warping and editing clips
- Adding effects
- Using time commands
- Working with the mixer
- Using side chain compression
- Adding reverb and delay
- Mixing dynamically with automation
- Mastering a song