Performing with Ableton Live: On Stage with St. Vincent

with Daniel Mintseris
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Performing with Ableton Live: On Stage with St. Vincent
Video duration: 0s 2h 4m Appropriate for all


Daniel Mintseris has been touring with critically acclaimed musician St. Vincent for over three years. With Ableton Live, he's able to direct the entire show from his keyboard and laptop. In these exclusive videos, he explains what it takes to run your own world-class production with Ableton.

First, Daniel provides a tour of his setup, starting from his keyboard riser—the hub of communication on stage. With Ableton and a series of MIDI controllers, he's closely connected to all the other instrumentalists. Then he demonstrates the process of building a show file and creating sound presets for every song. Daniel also explains how to use the Drum Kit as a MIDI controller for drum sounds, and how to make program changes on the downstage Moog and guitar stations. Finally, in our interview with Daniel, he closes down the course with insights on what it's like to be a musical director, and how he balances technology and musicianship to bring ideas to life.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the keyboard and Ableton Live
  • Creating and using click tracks
  • Creating song presets
  • Switching sounds within songs
  • Automating presets
  • Working with Ableton drum racks
  • Sending program changes
  • Preparing audio stems for playback
  • Audio routing
  • Keeping things in check with line-check files and backups
  • Insights on music and technology
Audio + Music
Ableton Live


(upbeat marimba notes over low bass hum) - Hi, I'm Daniel Mintseris, keyboard player and programmer with St. Vincent. I've been working with St. Vincent for about three years. And in that time, we've toured the world and collaborated with David Byrne on a tour called Love This Giant. In this course, called Performing with Ableton Live: On Stage with St. Vincent, we'll start with my keyboard riser, the hub of all communication onstage, and see how the MIDI controllers work with the Ableton Live system. We'll dive into the software and the details of how to build a file to run your live show.

We'll see how the drum kit can be used as a MIDI controller to generate drum sounds from Ableton. And, we'll also look at how program changes are used to change patches on the downstage Moog and guitar stations. Join me as I lift the curtain on putting a show like this together and share with you some of the good practices and creative techniques that I have learned along the way.

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