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/
It’s interesting to peak into someone’s left brain meets right brain work flow. You can pick up a few Ableton tips and tricks in this video and see how pushing pixels turns into sound.
“So in this tutorial i have used Ableton’s Simpler, Arpeggiator and utility to create some complex beats out of simple ones. The idea here is you don’t have to program everything by hand if your more into the idea of chance music or your just lazy or want to control things in a different way!” – Bill Day
I never knew that dragging a audio selection onto a MIDI track would automatically create a Simpler with the audio set up. Did you learn anything new?
Take Ableton’s Session View and mirror it inside Serato’s digital turntable interface and you have what the two companies call “The Bridge”. Every month or so I power up Traktor and make a mix for the car/gym. Considering my Ableton Live addiction I think I’m going to have to give this a shot.
“Huston from Ableton and Nick from Serato go through The Bridge – a new technology allowing communication between Ableton Live 8 and Serato Scratch Live” – SeratoHQ
My all time top tip for getting a nice sound from Ableton Live (or any DAW) is to keep your channel faders low and the Master at 0db. I explain my reasoning in an older post from January 2008. You can read it and the great comments by: clicking here. A safety net or let’s say helper in keeping your Master at 0db is a Limiter. Luckily (finally!) they added a native Limiter to Ableton Live 8. I recommend saving your startup Template with the Limiter in place. How much headroom below 0db you should leave is questionable but mostly I just leave it at it’s default setting of -0.30 dB. I’m guessing Ableton set it there for a reason. Of course you can use Limiters to shape and pump your sound and for something like that I turn to other plug-ins like Wavearts FinalPlug ($199) or a hardware unit such as a Universal Audio 1176.
“The Limiter effect is a mastering-quality dynamic range processor that ensures that the output does not exceed a specied level. Limiter is ideal for use in the Master track, to prevent clipping. A limiter is essentially a compressor with an innite ratio. To ensure that your nal output will never clip, place Limiter as the last device in the Master track’s device chain and keep your Master fader below 0 dB.” – Ableton Live 8 User Manual
I’ve been watching Max for Live waiting for the patch that will make me buy and Schwarzonator made me do just that. Grid pattern making patches and hardware hacks don’t get me going as much as software that helps me create melodies. Schwarzonator was created by Berliner Henrik Schwarz and I am finding it very useful. I really love the random function! Check out the video above for what it can do.
“The Schwarzonator is a note twister. It’s all about helping musicians (or non-musicians) find the right notes and chords in real time. It turns one finger playing into chords that fit together well. Choose from a list of Chord Sets in a drop down menu. Then all notes you play on your keyboard will fit into the selected Chord Set.” – Henrik Schwarz (from Ableton’s website)
Dubspot is school in New York City that trains DJ’s and electronic musicians. I’ve been to the facility for a few Ableton meetings and it was always interesting. Mike Hatsis gives us a run through on using Ableton reverbs and such in a Minimal track. I like how he says, “I like to think of it as the sound’s shadow.”.
“Dubspot Instructor, Michael Hatsis, shows how to add Space and Dimension to Minimal Techno style drums. Topics covered include using Drum Rack’s Send and Return tracks, as well as Creating and using a Plate and a Room style reverb in Ableton Live.” – dubspot.com
I’ve been working on an original song to be on a compilation being put together by Andy DeDecker. Andy is one of the members of the Belgian EBM group Ionic Vision. The compilation is original unreleased material and each song has to be sex related. In my normal workflow or “workslow” as I call it I create hundreds of different fills with different effects on each fill. This keeps what can be a monotonous electronic track amazingly dynamic and interesting. However, sometimes I want to work quickly and have a consistent sounding fill throughout the entire song. I create a chain of effects on a Return Channel and then increase/decrease it’s volume along the timeline of the song in Arrangement View. As you can see in the case above where ever the Red Arrows peak Ableton shoots Reverb, Delay and Distortion over the Drums Channel. The fill/effect won’t sound the exactly the same each time it fires because you are drawing little peaks in slightly different places.
If you use a delay plug-in the difference where your peak is placed makes a dramatic difference in the timing delays you will hear. If at anytime you want to add a new peak of effects (our “fill”) and the Breakpoint Envelope for your Return Channel is not showing simply click the small Send Box (top right Blue Arrow) to make it pop up. Easy, instant, changing Ableton Live Send FX Fills.
Some days when I get home from working in Manhattan I am completely exhausted. I love keeping up with the world using Google Reader. Sometimes I don’t even have the energy to sit upright and hit the keyboard shortcut “J” in Reader to go to the next story. I started thinking that if there was an iPhone app that let me have a remote Mac keyboard I could increase the font size on my screen, sit back and remotely hit “J”. To my delight I found such an application and it’s called Keymote (iTunes link). I set it up and now can half sleep half browse from a far in a comfy chair. You can see my set up for Google Reader in the screenshot above left.
I woke up this morning and the very first thought out of my head was: Whoa I can control anything with Keymote. Ableton Live! Yes it works just fine. Keymote doesn’t have nifty things like sliders but it’s certainly useful. There are Ableton specific iPhone controllers too. Check out TouchOSC: click here
“Tired of keyboard shortcuts? Is Command+Shift+Option+J really more efficient than tapping a single button? With Keymote, you’ll never have to remember another shortcut again! Keymote creates single buttons out of complicated shortcuts and groups them by application, speeding up your productivity and boosting your workflow. Keymote acts as a universal remote for your Mac. Easily control Front Row from across the room, refresh your Twitter stream wirelessly, or play a song from iTunes without even touching your computer, the possibilities are endless.” – icedcocoa.com
Ireland based Sonic Academy has posted a few new Ableton tips on their site including the one above which quickly shows you how to extract a groove from and audio file and apply it to a different Midi or audio clip. At 3:36 he shows you the power of the Warp Marker by fixing a glitch. Good job. Time to extract some grooves off some OLD records…
“In this weeks tech tip we should you how to extract a groove from an audio file and apply it to a MIDI clip and a drum loop, all in Ableton Live 8” – www.sonicacademy.com
For more info visit the Groove Engine page at Ableton: click here