I use Ableton’s Autopan often. Mostly I use it when recording old analog synths that don’t have MIDI. I use it as a 1/8th or 1/16th note chopper to keep things in line. You can hear it at work on the bassline in my song Sex Machine (above). Of course there’s more the little Autopan can do as the Liveschool video points out. Here’s another tip… Audiodamage’s Panstation plug-in which is based on the Drawmer M500 gives you a different, more classic, wider effect than Autopan.
“Ableton Autopan device – multiple ways you can use it in your music.” – Ableton Liveschool
I am constantly using Midi effects and tricks in my own workflow. I look for plug-ins that output midi data (Audio Damage Axon for example). The video above from The Ableton Cookbook shows you how to record the Arpeggiator’s notes while manipulating the device.
“The traditional signal chain in Ableton goes from the MIDI clip to a MIDI effect and then into an Instrument or Instrument Rack, where the MIDI information is interpreted and output as audio. This means that, if you press record on a MIDI Clip that has an effect on it, you’ll get a recording not of the effected MIDI signal, but of the unaffected MIDI signal. If you want to capture these affected MIDI events, you are going to have to do some MIDI routing. In this video, I show you how this is done!” – theabletoncookbook.com
IRCAMAX SuperVP is a set of 5 plug-ins for Ableton Max4Live. You really have to head to the Ircam website and watch the demo videos. Each of the plug-ins SimpleTransp, Transp, Scrub, Mover and SuperVPSynth allow for some serious audio rearranging, part transposing, formant manipluations, etc… My favorite is Mover. 139 Euro.
“Mover offers a different way to control time position and transposition performed by the SuperVP engine. It displays the sound on a big waveform on witch the user can move using the mouse, its MIDI controllers or a joystick. It can be easily use to improvise on the sound material thanks to its synchronized random motions capabilities.” – ircamax.ircam.fr
AfroDJMac is a songwriter and guitarist/electronic musician from New York. Besides his interesting name he creates free and very inexpensive Ableton Live Racks. Some Racks include “Brostep” inspired by the Jersey Shore, RapMan (Casio VL-1, Teenage Engineering OP-1), Gameboy Glitches and Synth, Ensoniq SQ-80, Glitched Piano, Glitch Machine, Nu Wave Synth (sounds from his oven!) and about 20 more so far. Any Live user should give his website a good look over!
“Futuristic, yet nostalgic. New York’s AfroDJMac is a live electronic musician, drawing influence from the genres of indie garage rock, classic rock, video game music, and modern electronica.” – afrodjmac.com
“We’re pleased to announce the release of Live 8.2.5, the latest Ableton Live 8 version. Live 8.2.5 now officially supports Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – please make sure to check that all of your third-party plug-ins and audio/MIDI hardware are Lion-compatible before upgrading your OS.” – ableton.com
Awesome list. Even I didn’t know some of these. I love Ableton Live. I tell all my friends using other DAWs to get into Live. It’s magic power in your music making hands!
1. Cut copy paste
3. Command A
4. Tab selects session or arrange window
5. command shift i
6. Highlight & effect multiple
7. Cmd f – scroll display to follow playback
8. Sidechain w/ compressor
9. Sidechain w/o compressor
11. Audio to midi
12. Command 4 (no grid)
13. Command 1,2 &3(grid)
14. Cmd b – pencil
15. Hear samples w/ speaker icon
16. Tune drums with EQ
17. Tune drums w/ freq shifter
18. Send returns
19. Step record
20. Assign midi knob/fader
21. Assign midi button
23. Assign midi key
24. Midi key select (no wrong notes)
25. Warp: alt drag
26. Warp: shift drag
27. Warp: Select multiple, alt Drag
28. Warp multiple
29. DJ cue
30. Split DJ track
31. Record multiple tracks
33. Add time
34. cut time
35. dup time
36. Group tracks
37. Group instruments
38. Group effects
39. Chain selector
40. Add random w/ groove
41. Bass/low layer/high layer
42. Reverse reverb
43. Impulse- separate samples
45. Record session to arrange
46. Sustain midi loops
47. Send output to:
48. Receive input from:
49. Envelope automate (draw)
50. Envelope automate (record)
51. Dummy clips
52. Make kick
53. Cut non bass at 120hz
54. Shift & up/down arrow key moves selected midi notes by the octave
55. Shift tab: clip properties to instruments/fx
56. Click arrow to return to zero or center
57. Double click when zoom tool appears to show full arrangement or select area
59. Space bar stop, hit again restarts from cursor point
60. Shift space bar to stop and continue
61. Linked unlinked clip automation
62. Shift click to grab multiple tracks. Effect 1 and they all are effected (like volume)
63. Change cue to a different output to be able to cue each track (headphones icon)
64. Ctrl + shift + m – add midi clip
65. Alt + click – expand/collapse all tracks
66. Click + shift + arrow key – shorten or lengthen selected midi notes.
67. add return track ctrl + alt. + T
68. Cmd + Del – deletes automation but not the clip.
69. Drag section of a clip to a midi track, automatically creates a simpler with the sample
70. Assign knob to 1 clip for looping & pitch correct
71. Highlight all clips change warp settings, save, launch info etc
72. Simpler to sampler
73. Shift + – zoom in. – zoom out
74. Shift ? – shows info
75. Cmd alt B – show/hide browser
76. Cmd alt O – show/hide overview
77.cmd alt I – show/hide I/O
78. Cmd alt S – show/hide sends
79. Cmd alt m – show hide mixer
80. Cmd , – preferences
81. Cmd drag – fine adjustments
82. Cmd R – rename tab, rename next
83. Cmd up/down double or half loop length
84. Cmd up/down on midi part – goes to next midi note
85. Shift left right on midi note – lengthen shorten note
86. Enter – launch selected clip/clips
87. Cmd L – loop selected
88. Shift drag over envelope breakpoints.
89. Cmd t – create audio track
90. Cmd shift t – create midi track
91. Cmd alt t – create return track
92. Cmd M Midi map on off
93. Cmd K key map on off
94. Cmd U quantize
95. Cmd drag (alt drag PC) adjust velocity on selected midi notes
96 Cmd shift U quantize Settings
97. Route multiple tracks to sidechain
98. Utility for automated volume & volume for fine tuning later
Now that I released my latest album Joyless Pleasure one thing that has me excited is that I can now talk about the songs. If you don’t mind I am going to make a post for each song going into as much detail as I can about the inspiration, influences and production. There is a reason for all the pro-audio gear lust that happens on this site. The crazy plastic and metal boxes full of buttons and dials are my secret weapons in song-writing.
I recorded a large amount of music and only picked ten songs to release. Narrowing the selection was easy because my criteria was simple. I only picked songs that were completely inspired by true events in my own life. The first song was Modern.
It’s hard for me to label my success as an musician. I don’t sell millions of albums and there are no paparazzi on my front door. However, I can make a living solely from music and I have fans pretty much in any city I go to. The music I listen to and love isn’t popular so I don’t expect my own releases to be on the billboard 100. I can’t make pop music or trance or even Minimal tracks with a purpose to chart. I can only really make my own songs. I’ve tried to conform but all that happens is I pull my hair out and stress. Music like my own had it’s day in the 80s backed by a very different kind of music industry.
As I entered my late 30s I realized I wanted more. I began to see my friends begin to purchase homes, cars and start families. I knew if I wanted to afford more than rent and drum machines I would need to get a day job. I also knew that even though I was a full time musician I only actually worked on music when I was inspired. I could easily take on more in my life. This was the point I decided to move back to NYC. I loved my time in Berlin but if you’re going after large buckets of cash my home town is where it’s at. I crossed the ocean and started looking. My only requirement is that the pay had to be high. I looked into music jobs such as cataloging sounds for Toys R Us or running a Pro-Tools rig at a small television advertising company. Too boring. I decided I needed some help so I looked for an employment agency. I walked into a place called Tomorrow’s Workplace and immediately saw a sign for a job at an Energy Services company. I knew there was green stuff in energy in both senses of the word. I have no idea why I thought I could land the job. Amazingly I got the job on the spot and quickly learned my tech savyness made be popular. I could also sell quite well. Afterall I’ve been selling music for years. A commodity most people don’t even want to buy! Fast foward to today. I left that company and started my own ESCO called ENVEN with a 78 year old ex-lawyer, mortgage broker named Charlie. In some ways we couldn’t be more different. He’s a religous concervative who thinks in numbers. Yet we have become best friends and I’ve unearthed his not so secret past as a party animal. While parts of my job are unfun I am on my way to the things I want.
As my team modernizes around Manhattan I watch the old become new. Many of the things I love about Berlin are happening here. Glass, steel and cool white futuristic lighting replace what’s left of urban decay. I’ve learned more in the past two years than the ten before it. I’ve modernized myself. That’s the inspiration behind this song.
You can hear many of my music influences in Modern such as Kraftwerk and Joy Division yet I think it has my stamp on it. Now let’s talk tech! This song is very much an analog affair. Every single synth sound and the white noise comes from a Yamaha CS-5. It took me about a week to piece the panned layers into it’s repetitive verse chorus. The drums except the kick are from my favorite piece of equipment the Vermona DRM1 MKIII. I think the DRM is so under rated under noticed. The kick is from my Jomox Mbase which is signed by Jürgen Michaelis himself. The vocals were recorded using my API 512c mic pre and Shure KSM32 microphone. There is panned Altiverb on my voice. I used a Lexicon PCM90 Impulse Response. I recorded some NYC street sounds on my iPhone which you can hear in the background throughout the song. Everything was sequenced in Ableton Live.
“All the modern. All the modern. Super Building. Super Building. Growing into a new day. Growing into a new day.”
Last night I had some time to hook up SoundPrism Pro (iTunes link) to Ableton Live via the Camera Connection Kit and a small M-Audio MIDI interface I had lying around. I am very pleased that it worked easily and the results are wonderful. I was able to record all the pretty chord and bass selections SoundPrism spit out. It took less than a few minutes to create verse and chorus melodies that work together. In this quick demo I used some free Roland TR-808 samples and a software Korg Wavestation through D16′s Devastor distortion. Truly inspirational.
“It’s like getting a futuristic keyboard in the present.” – Lee Kaczor (iTunes review)
Drum kits made from vintage analog synthesizers are a good thing. Here’s one set up for you in an Ableton Live pack created with a Korg MS-10. It’s $10 AUS via Paypal. Audio samples and more info: click here
“All the samples have been programmed on the MS-20 from the ground up and treated with the utmost care to provide you with pristine and unique sounds you wont find anywhere else.This is our most comprehensive pack to date as it includes 6 unique LIVE sets, 6 Drum Racks, 77 samples, 58 midi clips as well as unique FX such as our Geiger and 3F-Sat.The samples and FX have been grouped within the racks and have useful macro controls assigned to them to broaden the pallet of sounds you can produce.” – voltagedisciple.com
Ritchie Hawtin, John Acquaviva and a small group called Liine have created an Ableton specific iPad controller called Griid. It looks interesting. I’m usually sweating and holding a microphone on stage but I am constantly running back behind the laptop to adjust and control things. A small sturdy stand at the very front of the stage with the iPad and Liine or touchAble on could be a solution. Who knows with one of those OtterBox Defender cases maybe I wouldn’t need the stand. I could just carry and leave the iPad various places on stage like I do with my mic sometimes. I’m going to try out Griid this weekend although I’m still a little skeptical. I do think eventually something like this will work but we are not quite there yet. Maybe I’m wrong? Let me know if you tried Griid out.
“Griid is an advanced clip grid interface which allows you to control Ableton Live (running on your desktop or laptop) from your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Using specially developed touch objects and simple gestures, Griid is carefully designed with the performance experience in mind. Finely tuned for rapid navigation, you can enjoy the freedom of playing Live sets of any size with ease. Explicit visual feedback means that you have all the information you need, quite literally at your fingertips. Combined with wireless operation, this means you can perform with Ableton Live without ever needing to look at the computer screen.” – http://liine.net/