Sometimes its good watch someone else work because you can pick up interesting habits they use. About a year ago I was watching Miro Pajic produce a track on his laptop. He was new to Ableton Live but was doing something I never thought of and it’s a killer tip. Here it is:
While in Arrangement view clicking on Mixer or Ableton Device controls brings up their associated automation envelopes.
So what does that mean? Here’s an example: If you working on a song and want to edit the volume envelope of say the third audio track normally you would go to that track, select the The Automation Device chooser drop down menu and pick “Mixer”, then select the The Automation Control chooser and choose “Volume”. Then the pink Automation lane representing the Volume for that song would pop up.
Here’s the easy way: Click on the small orange rectangle with the Volume level number in it one time. Bam! Instantly the automation envelope for volume pops up.
Big deal? Now go and click on anything in any of the Ableton devices. Sample start in Simpler… 1 click on it and you have the automation lane in front of you! No need to dig through menus to find the parameter your looking for. Click the on/off button on an Ableton Reverb. Bam! (eek I sound like Emril) The automation envelope pops up allowing you to control the on/off of the Reverb in the time line.
Often, when working with Live’s mixer and devices, you will want the controls’ movements to become part of the music. The movement of a control across the song timeline is called automation; a control whose value changes in the course of this timeline is automated. Practically all mixer and device controls in Live can be automated, including the song tempo. – Ableton Live User Manual
Unfortunately this only works for Ableton’s stuff. Third party plug-in parameters still need to be hunted down. I really hope Ableton figures out a way to make this feature system wide as it’s a huge time saver. Using the one click method I can work really fast making tons of minor adjustments on timeline automation envelopes.