Join Yeuda Ben-Atar for an in-depth discussion in this video Recording audio in Session view, part of Learning Songwriting: Ableton Live.
Although it's really easy to achieve any type of sound just with using software instruments, there is something unique you can get from recording real world instruments. Now let's record some instruments to add some layers to the song. I'm going to start with my guitar. I'm going to stop the electric piano clip from playing by hitting the stop button underneath the clips. This will allow me to better listen to the rhythm and tempo of the song while I'm recording my guitar. First I'll make sure the inputs and outputs are visible by using the view selector next to the master track titled with I and O.
I am also going to hide the return tracks and the send knobs because we don't need them right now and it's going to clear out some log space. Now let's make sure that we are inputting from the right input, which in my case, the microphone is connected to input 1 on my interface. So I'm going to go to audio from, choose external in and from the second drop down menu I'm going to choose number one. Next I'll arm the track to enable it for recording.
And if everything works, you should see a great out signal which is reactant to the mic picking up my voice, but we still can't hear anything. And that's because the monitor state is set to off. Meaning that we won't hear anything while recording. And if you do want to listen to your installment, set the monitor state to auto. Please note, that if you are using a mic that is in close proximity to your speakers, it can create a very loud feedback noise.
So, it is important to use headphones when recording. Using headphones will also prevent the mic from picking up the background music that is coming out from the speakers. So let's see how to setup a headphone monitoring track. I'm going to create a new empty audio track, by hitting Cmd or Ctrl+T. I'm already going to rename it. Let's call it Headphones. I'm going to set the Audio From, the Master. From the second dropdown menu, I'm going to select Pre FX. I'm going to send audio to external out.
And in my case, the headphones are connected to outputs three and four on my audio interface. So, I'm going to set the output to three and four. Next set the monitor to input which will always input whatever is coming to the track. Excellent. And now you have dedicated headphones monitor in track. You can even save it as a template by focusing on your templates folder and just dragging the entire track into the browser.
Let's hit enter, now you can use this track in any future project. Now here's an interesting technique that is a bit unconventional and if you're after a very clean sound you might not want to use it. But I actually do want some of the background music to blend into my newly recorded music. So I'll turn my speakers to a low volume, and I can delete the Headphones track, because I can hear the music coming out from the speakers. With subtle amounts, this can give your music more complexity and texture.
Now, like before, you can map your computer keyboard or MIDI keyboard to start and stop recording of a clip. But because I'm playing an instrument that require two hands, I'll use a sustain pedal that is connected to my MIDI keyboard. First, I'll click on the MIDI mapping mode on the top right corner. I'll click on the track launch button underneath track number five, and I'm going to hit my sustain pedal. Let's exit media mapping mode. You can also hit the keyboard shortcut, just Cmd or Ctrl+M.
Now we're ready to record. So let's record the first guitar layer. Excellent. Now I'm going to setup a new audio track for recording, audio track number 6. And I'm only going to setup all the tracks after that. To do so, highlight all the tracks while holding the shift button, and the changes you make are going to be applied to all the selected tracks. I’m going to arm track number six. So as you can see, everything is armed because everything is still selected. I’m going to disarm it, click on track number six and arm track number six.
Now because I didn’t map track number six to my sustain pedal, I’m just going to use my mouse for this recording. Nice. Lets record one more layer I'll arm audio track number seven. And again, I'll trigger the record button with my mouse. Excellent. So, let's listen to what we got. Excellent. Next we can add more layers and record more installments.
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