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Along the way, Yeuda reveals many live performance tricks using control surfaces and custom MIDI controllers that he's built, plus tips for playing and syncing up with other musicians and recording your live performance.
- Using Ableton Live or third-party controllers
- Choosing songs for a DJ set
- Building your decks
- Using EQ and gain to emulate mixer hardware
- Knowing when to use headphones
- Mapping the crossfader, EQ, and gain to MIDI controllers
- Looping with Beat Repeat
- Setting up multiple instruments on one track
- Creating a bus track for master effects
- Preparing your original productions for the stage
- Using commercial and custom MIDI controllers
- Live looping and live sample cutting
- Recording your live performance
Skill Level Intermediate
In an earlier video, we talked about Audio Effect Tracks. I like to show you how to use another kind of rack, an Instrument rack which will allow you to group multiple instruments on a single MIDI track. This can conserve both CPU power and screen space. By using Instrument racks, you'll have more control over your Live set and minimize the actual numbers of tracks you need to interact with on stage. In Live, I've created four MIDI tracks with instruments on them. I've also created an another track, but they are just to communicate my Dreamcast with Ableton Live using Max for Live device.
So, I can narrow it down, because I don't need it. The four tracks I'm going to categorize into the two categories. One, the instruments that I play with my keyboard, second, the instruments that I play with my Dreamcast. The Samples and the Vinyl Kit I'm going to play with my Dreamcast. And the Lead and the Funky Bass, I'm going to play with my MIDI keyboard. To put them on the same track, first let's go to the Samples. I'm going to choose the Drum Rack, right-click on the title, and choose Group, or Command+G or Ctrl+G.
This will create an Instrument rack, which is exactly like the Drum Rack and the Audio Effect Rack we saw earlier, but in this case, we can also add instruments and not only effects. Let's open up the Chain List using the second view selector. Here, we can add more instruments using more chains. Let's go back to the Vinyl Kit. I'm going to click on the Instrument, right-click, and choose Cut, go back to our Sample track, and paste it to the Drop Zone right here. Now, we have both instruments on one track. Let's arm the track so we can play it.
Let's get the MIDI from the Dreamcast, and now when I want play it... (music playing) ...we can hear both instruments play at the same time. That's because, we'd still split them into different zones. We have three types of zones we can split them to: Key, if you think of a keyboard, we can do a split keyboard, which one side will play the Drums and one side will play the Samples. We'll see it with Instruments. Velocity, which will split the keyboard by velocity, which means if I play the keys softer it will play one instrument, and if I play them harder, it will play the second instruments.
And Chain, which will basically split the instruments into different zones, and we're going to use that right now. So, I'm just going to drag the Zone Selector to number 1. The first one is on number 0. So now they won't play at same time. The Samples, and if I drag the Chain Selector, this orange line right here... (music playing) ...we get the Drums, which is excellent. Now, we only need to control this Chain Selector using our MIDI keyboard. So, let's map it to our Macro Control. Let's open up the Macro Control using this View Selector, right-clicking on the Chain Selector, and choosing Map to Macro1.
Now, we can scroll all the way to 127, just like the MIDI protocol which goes from 0 to 127. But we don't need that because we only have 0 and 1. So, let's go into Map, Macro mapping and adjust the Maximum to 1. Now, we can play the Samples. (music playing) And with the twist of the knob, we can play the drum kit. We can also map this to my MIDI keyboard. Let's do it now.
Let's delete the unnecessary MIDI track, and let's do the same with the Lead Instruments and the Funky Bass. Once again, I'm going to click on the track title, right-click, and choose Group, or Command+G or Ctrl+G. Open up the Chain list, going to the Funky Bass, right-clicking on the device, Cut, go into Lead, and in the Drop Zone, pasting. In this case, because it's Instrument, and I'm going to play from my keyboard, let's use the Key Editor to split the keys.
So, I'm going to put the Lead in the upper octaves and the Bass in the lower octaves. Let's arm the track, so we can play it. It's important to note that if you don't arm the track, it won't receive MIDI. So just make sure the arm is tracked and then you can play it. (music playing) So, we've got Lead. (music playing) And we've got Bass. If you want to keep them like that, but you want to change what notes they're playing, you can use the Pitch MIDI Effect.
Under Live browser, go to MIDI Effects, and drag the Pitch right before the Instrument. So, for example, right now we have the Bass. (music playing) And we can play the same note on our keyboard, but output a different note in Ableton Live. Let's take it down -12, which is an octave below. (music playing) So, same note. But we're outputting a different pitch in Ableton Live. Pitch MIDI Effect is very useful for this kind of purposes. Let's delete the Funky Bass, because we don't need it anymore.
And we can see in the Mixer device, that is different and they are just to indicate that this MIDI track has no instrument on it. Let's give them colors just to keep everything organized. As you already know, I love to keep everything organized. In the next video, we'll talk about playing Keys in a live performance. If you don't have music theory knowledge, you can use the Scale MIDI Effect to always play in Key. So, even if you are not a keyboard player, you can still work the Keys in Ableton Live.