Ableton Live 8.0 Reference Manual

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Ableton Live 8.0 Reference Manual | Manualzz

Ableton Reference Manual

Version 8

Live Version 8.2 for Windows and Mac OS

Created by Bernd Roggendorf, Gerhard Behles, Robert Henke, Awi, Reiner Rudolph, Stefan Haller, Stefan Franke,

Frank Hoffmann, Andreas Zapf, Ralf Suckow, Gregor Klinke, Matthias Mayrock, Friedemann Schautz, Ingo Koehne,

Jakob Rang, Pablo Sara, Nicholas Allen, Henrik Lafrenz, Jan Buchholz, Kevin Haywood, Dominik Wilms, Christian

Kleine, Amaury Groc, Daniel Büttner, Alex Koch, Henrik Hahn, Simon Frontzek, Torsten Wendland, Torsten Slama,

Eduard Müller, Jeremy Bernstein, Bernard Chavonnet, Carl Seleborg, Claes Johanson, Bernhard Bockelbrink, Nico

Starke, Jörg Kluÿmann, Stefan Brunner, Tobias Hahn, Stefan von der Mark, Carsten Henÿinger, Stephan Diehl,

David Talbot, Robert Feldbinder, Diez Roggisch, Justine Lera, Dennis DeSantis, Ian Gallagher, Philipp Gries, Marie

Hoffmann, Marian Kalus, Stephan Krohn, Michael Dühr, Dennis Fischer.

Reference Manual by Dennis DeSantis, Ian Gallagher, Kevin Haywood, Rose Knudsen, Gerhard Behles, Jakob Rang,

Robert Henke, Torsten Slama.

Content provided by:

SONiVOX www.sonivoxrocks.com

Chocolate Audio www.chocolateaudio.com

Puremagnetik www.puremagnetik.com

Cycling '74 www.cycling74.com

SonArte www.sonarte.ca

e-instruments www.e-instruments.com

Zero-G www.zero-g.co.uk

Physical Modeling technology provided by:

Applied Acoustics Systems www.applied-acoustics.com

Copyright 2010 Ableton AG. All rights reserved. Made in Germany.

This manual, as well as the software described in it, is furnished under license and may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of such license. The content of this manual is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change without notice, and should not be construed as a commitment by Ableton. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this manual is accurate. Ableton assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in this book.

Except as permitted by such license, no part of this publication may be reproduced, edited, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of

Ableton.

Ableton, the Ableton Logo, the Live logo are trademarks of Ableton AG. Apple, GarageBand, Mac, Macintosh, Mac OS and

QuickTime are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the U.S. and other countries. Finder is a trademark of Apple Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel

Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. SONiVOX is the brand name trademark of Sonic Network,

Inc. VST and ASIO are trademarks and software of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH. ReWire, Recycle and REX2 are trademarks of Propellerhead Software AB. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Chapter 1

Welcome to Live

1.1

The Ableton Team Says: Thank You

Live is the result of musicians wanting a better way to create, produce and perform music using a computer. A great deal of effort has been put into making Live easy and fun to use, yet at the same time capable of helping you create music with unlimited depth and sophistication. This effort continues even as you read these lines... in fact, a new, improved

Live version might already be available for download! Please check on our website now

1

, or choose the Check for Updates command from the Help menu.

We hope you enjoy using Live and that it enhances your creative process. Should you have suggestions about how we can improve Live, please let us know

2

.

Your Ableton Team.

1 http://www.ableton.com/downloads

2 [email protected]

1

CHAPTER 1. WELCOME TO LIVE

1.2

What's New in Live 8?

2

1.2.1

New Warping Engine

ˆ

Live's

warping engine

has been dramatically overhauled, with more accurate transient detection and a redesigned interface that allows you to drag the waveform along a xed timeline.

ˆ

New transient loop and envelope controls in

Beats Mode

allow for higher quality warping, especially at slower tempos.

ˆ

New

Complex Pro Mode

for even higher quality warping.

ˆ

You can now

quantize audio clips

using the Edit menu's Quantize command.

1.2.2

New Groove Functionality

Groove patterns

can now modify the timing and volume of audio and MIDI clips in real-time.

A large library of grooves is provided, and grooves can be extracted from clips and then reapplied to other clips.

1.2.3

Work ow Enhancements

ˆ

Crossfades

are now available for adjacent clips in Arrangement View.

ˆ

The

MIDI Editor

has been reworked, and editing MIDI is now similar to editing in the Arrangement. An insert marker sets the precise location for clipboard operations, allowing notes or time to be copied, pasted, inserted and deleted anywhere in the clip. Enhanced keyboard commands also improve the editing work ow.

ˆ

As a result of the new navigation possibilities in the MIDI Editor, it is now possible to

step record

MIDI notes.

ˆ

Audio and MIDI tracks can be grouped into a summing

Group Track . Group Tracks can

be folded or unfolded to help organize your work ow in both Session and Arrangement

View.

CHAPTER 1. WELCOME TO LIVE

3

ˆ

Live's interface can be magni ed to maximize visibility via the

Zoom Display

slider.

ˆ

A

Preview Tab

in the Browser provides a visual overview of the previewed le's contents, and allows you to scrub in the waveform or MIDI display.

ˆ

When multiple tracks are selected, adjusting one of their mixer or routing parameters will adjust the same parameter in the other selected tracks.

1.2.4

Ableton Effects and Instruments

ˆ

Amp

optional add-on effect

ˆ

Cabinet

optional add-on effect

ˆ

Operator

has been dramatically overhauled with a variety of new lter types, an expanded set of modulation routings and additive wavetable synthesis with drawable partials.

ˆ

Collision

optional add-on instrument

ˆ

Corpus

optional add-on effect

ˆ

Latin Percussion

optional add-on sample library

ˆ

Looper

provides classic tape-loop style overdubbing, with drag-and-drop export to clips, MIDI-mappable controls optimized for use with foot pedals and more.

ˆ

Vocoder

combines the best of classic analog vocoders with powerful new features.

ˆ

Limiter

provides a true brickwall limiter, ideal for mastering applications.

ˆ

The

Multiband Dynamics

device allows for upward or downward compression or expansion of up to three separate frequency bands.

ˆ

Overdrive

is a powerful addition to Live's arsenal of distortion tools.

ˆ

Frequency Shifter

combines frequency shifting and ring modulation effects in a single device.

CHAPTER 1. WELCOME TO LIVE

4

1.2.5

New Library

ˆ

Live's

Library

is now stocked with a large collection of new creative tools including numerous device presets, loops and samples, construction kits and template Sets.

1.2.6

Controllers

ˆ

Support for the

APC40 ,

APC20

and

Novation Launchpad , which are dedicated con-

trollers for Ableton Live.

1.2.7

More Improvements

ˆ

Macro Controls

now automatically show the name and units of their mapped parameter whenever possible.

ˆ a High-Quality mode has been added to the

Flanger

effect.

ˆ

Third-party plug-in support

has been improved to allow access to an arbitrary number of parameters.

ˆ it is now possible to

slice

based on the transients of the audio le.

ˆ the

Ping Pong Delay

and

Simple Delay

effects now have three user-selectable delay transition modes.

ˆ

Sampler's

waveshaper now offers a fourth curve type: 4bit.

ˆ

Multiple Live Packs can be uninstalled simultaneously, and the Browser can now sort content by the Live Pack that installed it.

Chapter 2

First Steps

When you install Live and run it for the rst time, you will be presented with an authorization dialog. Please see the chapter on

authorizing Live

should you have questions or concerns during the authorization process.

If you do not (yet) own Live, you can still try out all of Live's features, but you will not be able to save or export your work.

2.1

Learn About Live

Live comes with a set of interactive

lessons

to take you step by step through the key features of the program. The lessons are organized in a table of contents, which can be opened directly in the program via the Help menu. We highly recommend following the lessons.

Many users have told us that the lessons helped them become familiar with the program very quickly.

We also recommend that you read the

Live Concepts chapter , which encapsulates every-

thing that Live is and can do, and is therefore a worthwhile read for both beginners and experienced users. The remaining chapters of this manual serve as in-depth reference for the material introduced in Live Concepts.

5

CHAPTER 2. FIRST STEPS

6

2.1.1

Using the Info View and Index

Live's Info View tells you the name and function of whatever you place the mouse over. For certain items, you can create your own text and it will appear in this window.

If you require more information on a speci c user interface element or topic, please consult this reference manual. The index, found at the end of the manual, contains the names of all user interface elements and will lead you to the relevant section.

The Info View and its

Show/Hide Button.

2.2

Setting up Preferences

Live's Preferences window is where you can nd various settings that determine how Live looks, behaves and interfaces with the outside world. This window is accessed from the

Preferences command, which in Windows is available in the Options menu and in OS X is available in the Live menu. Preferences can also be accessed with the

Ctrl ,

(PC) /

,

(Mac) shortcut.

Live's Preferences are distributed over several tabs:

ˆ

In the Look/Feel tab, you can modify various settings, including the language used for

CHAPTER 2. FIRST STEPS

7 text display and the color scheme, or skin, for the Live user interface. This is also where you can adjust the size of objects displayed on the screen: the Zoom Display slider allows you to zoom Live's screen to any percentage between 50% and 200% of the standard interface size.

ˆ

The Audio Preferences are used to set up Live's audio connections with the outside world via an audio interface. Please take the time to follow the program's built-in

Setting up Audio I/O lesson, which will walk you through all the steps required to set up and optimize the settings for any given system. To access the lesson, use the

Help View command from the Help menu.

ˆ

The MIDI/Sync Preferences are used to help Live recognize MIDI devices for three separate and distinct purposes:

Playing MIDI notes.

To learn how to route an external device into Live for MIDI input, or how to send MIDI to an external device, please see the

Routing and I/O chapter .

Controlling parts of the interface remotely.

This subject is covered in detail in the

MIDI and Key Remote Control chapter .

Syncing the program

with an external sequencer or drum machine, either as a master or a slave. Please see the

Synchronizing via MIDI chapter

for details.

ˆ

The File/Folder Preferences pertain to Live's

le management

and the location of

plug-in devices .

ˆ

The Record/Warp/Launch Preferences allow customizing the default state for

new Live

Sets

and

their components , as well as selecting options for

new recordings .

ˆ

The CPU Preferences include options for managing the

processing load , including

multicore/multiprocessor support.

ˆ

The User Account/Licenses Preferences are used to manage licensing and installation of

the Live platform , and add-on components like

the Operator instrument .

ˆ

The Library Preferences allow you to specify the location of Live's

Library ,

repair the

Library

and manage currently installed Live Packs.

CHAPTER 2. FIRST STEPS

2.3

The Main Live Screen

8

Most of your work in Live happens in the main Live screen. This screen consists of a number of views, and each view manages a speci c aspect of your

Live Set

, which is the type of document that you create and work on in Live. Since screen space is usually limited, the

Live views can't all be displayed at the same time.

Each one of the

selector buttons

at the screen borders calls up a speci c view; clicking this one, for instance, opens Live's

Device Browser

:

To hide one of Live's views and free up screen space, click on the triangle-shaped button next to it. To restore the view, click the button again.

The Device Browser

Selector.

You can run Live in Full Screen Mode by selecting the Full Screen command from the View menu. To leave Full Screen Mode, click the button that appears in the lower right corner of the screen. Full Screen Mode can also be toggled by pressing

F11

. (

Note:

On Mac OS

X, this key is assigned by default to Exposé, and will not toggle Full Screen Mode unless

Exposé has been deactivated or assigned to a different key in OS X's System Preferences.)

If one of the browser views is open, you can adjust the main window's horizontal split by dragging.

A View Show/Hide

Button.

CHAPTER 2. FIRST STEPS

9

Adjusting the Main

Window Split.

10

Chapter 3

Authorizing Live

Live is protected against illegal use by a copy protection scheme. This scheme has been designed to meet the highest security standards while avoiding hassles for our customers. If you nd this procedure to be an inconvenience, please understand that the copy protection secures your investment: It allows Ableton to provide you with support and to continue developing Live.

Please be aware that the standard Live license grants you the right to use Live on

only one computer at a time

. You can, however, authorize Live more than once under the legal and technical conditions described

later .

The rst time you run Live, you will be prompted to complete the authorization process.

The software will walk you through the steps.

If the computer that you wish to authorize is connected to the internet, you can authorize immediately by pressing the appropriate button in the dialog box. If you do not have an internet connection, press the No internet on this computer button and follow the instructions.

CHAPTER 3. AUTHORIZING LIVE

3.1

Copy Protection FAQs

11

3.1.1

Can I Use Live or Other Ableton Products Without a Serial

Number?

If you do not (yet) own Live or its add-on products, you can still try them out, but saving and exporting will be disabled.

If trying Live or another product raises your interest in purchasing it, please visit the Ableton webshop

1

. This site contains information about Ableton's distributor and dealer network. It also offers you the opportunity to buy Ableton products online.

3.1.2

What if I Change My Computer's Components?

If you change your computer components for some reason, Live may indeed ask you to authorize the software

another time . Live does not need to be reauthorized when computer

peripherals are replaced (audio or MIDI hardware, printers, modems). But you may need to authorize again if the motherboard, processor or network card is replaced. On some computers, reformatting a hard drive will require a new authorization.

3.1.3

Can I Authorize Live More than Once?

The standard Live license allows you to use Live on

only one computer at a time

. However, the Ableton server will provide you with two authorizations in good faith that you will use

Live on only one machine at a time.

You can therefore run Live on both a studio desktop computer and a tour laptop, but not at the same time.

Should the Ableton server reject your demand for another authorization, please contact

Ableton's technical support

2

.

1 http://www.ableton.com/shop

2 http://www.ableton.com/support

CHAPTER 3. AUTHORIZING LIVE

12

To use Live on more than one computer at a time, you may require a

secondary license

or a

site license

. Ableton offers these licenses at special rates.

3.1.4

Can I Play my Set from a Computer That Is Not Authorized?

Even if Live is not authorized, you can still load and perform a Live Set with no time limitation.

You cannot, however, save or export your work. When you go on tour, consider taking along your Live program CD and a CD with the last state of your Live Set(s). In case of an emergency, you can install and run Live on any computer available and play your backup

Live Set(s).

3.1.5

What Do I Do About Problems or Questions Regarding Copy

Protection?

Please visit Ableton's technical support page

3

.

3 http://www.ableton.com/support

13

Chapter 4

Live Concepts

This chapter introduces the essential concepts of Live. We advise you to read this chapter early in your Live career, as a solid understanding of the program's basic principles will help you fully exploit Live's potential for your music-making.

4.1

Live Sets

The type of document that you create and work on in Live is called a

Live Set

. Live Sets

reside in a Live Project a folder that collects related materials and can be opened either through the File menu's Open command or via the built-in

File Browsers

.

A Live Set in the File

Browser.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

14

Selecting the Library bookmark in Live's File Browser will take you to the Live Library of creative tools. Depending on what content you have installed, there may be a number of demo Sets here, and double-clicking a Live Set's name in the Browser will open that Live

Set.

4.2

Arrangement and Session

The basic musical building blocks of Live are called

clips

. A clip is a piece of musical material: a melody, a drum pattern, a bassline or a complete song. Live allows you to record and alter clips, and to create larger musical structures from them: songs, scores, remixes, DJ sets or stage shows.

A Live Set consists of two environments that can hold clips: The

Arrangement

is a layout of clips along a musical timeline; the

Session

is a real-time-oriented launching base for clips.

Every Session clip has its own play button that allows launching the clip at any time and in any order. Each clip's behavior upon launch can be

precisely speci ed through a number of settings .

Clips in the Session View

(Left) and in the

Arrangement View

(Right).

The Arrangement is accessed via the

Arrangement View

and the Session via the

Session

View

; you can toggle between the two views using the computer's Tab key or their respective

selectors. Because the two views have distinct applications, they each hold individual collections of clips. However, it is important to understand that ipping the views simply changes the appearance of the Live Set and does not switch modes, alter what you hear or change what is stored.

The Arrangement and

Session View Selectors.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

15

The Arrangement View and the Session View interact in useful ways. One can, for instance, improvise with Session clips and

record a log of the improvisation

into the Arrangement for further re nement. This works because Arrangement and Session are connected via

tracks

.

4.3

Tracks

Tracks host clips and also manage the ow of signals, as well as the creation of new clips through recording, sound synthesis, effects processing and mixing.

The Session and Arrangement share the same set of tracks. In the Session View, the tracks are laid out vertically from left to right, while in the Arrangement View they are horizontal from top to bottom. A simple rule governs the cohabitation of clips in a track:

A track can only play one clip at a time.

Therefore, one usually puts clips that should play alternatively in the same Session View column, and spreads out clips that should play together across tracks in rows, or what we call

scenes

.

A Track in the

Arrangement View.

A Scene in the Session

View.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

16

The exclusivity of clips in a track also implies that, at any one time, a track will either play a Session clip or an Arrangement clip, but never both. So, who wins? When a Session clip is launched, the respective track stops whatever it is doing to play that clip. In particular, if the track was playing an Arrangement clip, it will stop it in favor of the Session clip even as the other tracks continue to play what is in the Arrangement. The track will not resume

Arrangement playback until explicitly told to do so.

The Back to

Arrangement Button.

This is what the

Back to Arrangement

button, found in the

Control Bar

at the top of the

Live screen, is for. This button lights up to indicate that one or more tracks are currently

not

playing the Arrangement, but are playing a clip from the Session instead.

We can click this button to make all tracks go back to the Arrangement. Or, if we like what we hear, we can capture the current state into the Arrangement by activating the

Record

button. Disengaging Record Mode or stopping Live using the

Stop

button leaves us with an altered Arrangement.

4.4

Audio and MIDI

Clips represent recorded signals. Live deals with two types of signals: audio and MIDI. In the digital world, an audio signal is a series of numbers that approximates a continuous signal as generated by a microphone or delivered to a loudspeaker. A MIDI signal is a sequence of commands, such as now play a C4 at mezzo piano. MIDI is a symbolic representation of musical material, one that is closer to a written score than to an audio recording. MIDI signals are generated by input devices such as MIDI or USB keyboards

1

.

It takes an

instrument

to convert MIDI signals into audio signals that can actually be heard.

Some instruments, such as Live's

Simpler

, are for chromatic playing of one sound via the keyboard. Other instruments, such as Live's

Impulse

, have a different percussion sound assigned to each keyboard key.

Audio signals are recorded and played back using

audio tracks

, and MIDI signals are

1

For an introduction to digital audio and MIDI, please see http://img.uoregon.edu/emi/emi.php and http://www.midi.org/

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

17 recorded and played back using

MIDI tracks

. The two track types have their own corresponding clip types. Audio clips cannot live on MIDI tracks and vice versa.

Information about inserting, reordering and deleting audio and MIDI tracks is found

here .

4.5

Audio Clips and Samples

An audio clip contains a reference to a

sample

(also known as a sound le or audio le ) or a

compressed sample

(such as an MP3 le). The clip tells Live where on the computer's drives to nd the sample, what part of the sample to play and

how

to play it.

When a sample is dragged in from one of Live's built-in

File Browsers

, Live automatically

creates a clip to play that sample. Prior to dragging in a sample, one can audition or

preview

it directly in the Browser; the switch in the Browser with the headphone icon activates previewing.

Live offers many options for playing samples in exciting new ways, allowing you to create an abundance of new sounds without actually changing the original sample all the changes are computed in real time, while the sample is played. The respective settings are made in the

Clip View

, which appears on screen when a clip is double-clicked.

Samples Are Dragged in from Live's File Browsers.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

18

An Audio Clip's

Properties as Displayed in the Clip View.

Many powerful manipulations arise from Live's

warping

capabilities. Warping means changing the speed of sample playback independently from the pitch so as to match the song tempo. The tempo can be adjusted on the y in the Control Bar's Tempo eld.

The most elementary use of this technique, and one that usually requires no manual setup, is synchronizing sample loops to the chosen tempo. Live's Auto-Warp algorithm actually makes it easy to line up

any

sample with the song tempo, such as a recording of a drunken jazz band's performance. It is also possible to radically change the sonic signature of a sound using extreme warp settings.

The Control Bar's Tempo

Field.

4.6

MIDI Clips and MIDI Files

A MIDI clip contains musical material in the form of MIDI notes and controller envelopes.

When MIDI is imported from a

MIDI le

, the data gets incorporated into the Live Set, and

the original le is not referenced thereafter. In the Live File Browsers, a MIDI le appears as a folder that can be opened to reveal its individual component tracks, which can be selectively dragged into the Live Set.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

19

As you'd expect, a MIDI clip's contents can be

accessed and edited

via the

Clip View

, for instance to change a melody or paint a drum pattern.

MIDI Files Are Dragged in from Live's File

Browsers.

4.7

Devices and the Mixer

A track can have not only clips but also a chain of

devices

for processing signals. Doubleclicking a track's title bar brings up the

Track View

, which shows the track's device chain.

A MIDI Clip's Properties as Displayed in the Clip

View.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

20

Live's built-in

audio effects ,

MIDI effects

and

instruments

are available from the

Device

Browser

and can be added to tracks by dragging them from there into the Track View, or into a Session or Arrangement track.

The Track View

Displaying a MIDI Track's

Device Chain.

You can also use

plug-in devices

in Live. VST and Audio Units (Mac OS X only) Plug-ins are

Live's Built-in Devices

Are Available from the

Device Browser.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS available from the Plug-In Device Browser.

21

Consider an audio clip playing in an audio track. The audio signal from the clip reaches the leftmost device in the chain. This device processes (changes) the signal and feeds the result into the next device, and so on. The number of devices per track is theoretically unlimited.

In practice, the computer's processor speed does impose a limit on the number of devices you can use at the same time, a topic that deserves

separate discussion . Note that the

signal connections between audio devices are always stereo, but the software's inputs and outputs can be con gured to be mono in the Audio Preferences.

When the signal has passed through the device chain, it ends up in Live's

mixer

. As the

Session and Arrangement share the same set of tracks, they also share the mixer. The mixer can be shown in both views for convenience. To optimize the screen layout, the individual mixer sections can be shown or hidden using the View menu's entries.

Plug-In Devices Are

Available from the

Plug-In Device Browser.

The Live Mixer in the

Arrangement View (Left) and Session View (Right).

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

22

The mixer has controls for volume, pan position and

sends

, which adjust the contribution each track makes to the input of any

return tracks.

Return tracks only host effects, and not clips. Via their sends, all tracks can feed a part of their signal into a return track and share its effects.

The mixer also includes a

crossfader , which can create smooth transitions between clips

playing on different tracks. Live's crossfader works like a typical DJ mixer crossfader, except that it allows crossfading not only two but any number of tracks including the returns.

Devices that receive and deliver audio signals are called

audio effects

. Audio effects are the only type of device that t in an audio track or a return track. However, two more types of devices are available for use in MIDI tracks:

MIDI effects

and

instruments

.

Consider a MIDI track playing a clip. The MIDI signal from the clip is fed into the track's device chain. There, it is rst processed by any number of MIDI effects. A MIDI effect receives and delivers MIDI signals. One example is the Scale effect, which maps the incoming notes onto a user-de ned musical scale. The last MIDI effect in the chain is followed by an instrument. Instruments, for instance Live's

Simpler

and

Impulse

, receive MIDI and deliver audio. Following the instrument, there can be any number of audio effects as in an audio track.

Live's Crossfader.

If a MIDI track has no instrument (and no audio effects), then the track's output is a plain

MIDI signal, which has to be sent somewhere else to be converted into audio. In this case, the track's mix and Send controls disappear from the mixer.

A MIDI Effect, an

Instrument and an Audio

Effect in a MIDI Track.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

23

4.8

Presets and Racks

Every Live device can store and retrieve particular sets of parameter values as

presets

. As

presets are stored independently from Live Sets, new presets become part of a library that any project can draw from.

Live's

Instrument, Drum and Effect Racks

allow saving combinations of devices and their settings as a single preset. This feature allows for the creation of powerful multi-device creations and effectively adds all the capabilities of Live's MIDI and audio effects to the built-in instruments.

4.9

Routing

As we have seen, all tracks deliver signals, either audio or MIDI. Where do these signals go? This is set up in the mixer's

In/Out section

, which offers, for every track, choosers to select a signal source and destination. The In/Out section, accessible through the View menu's In/Out option, is Live's patchbay. Its

routing options

enable valuable creative and technical methods such as resampling, submixing, layering of synths, complex effects setups and more.

The Mixer for a MIDI

Track without an

Instrument.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

24

Signals from the tracks can be sent to the outside world via the computer's audio and MIDI interfaces, to other programs that are connected to Live via

ReWire

or to other tracks or devices within Live. Tracks can also be combined into a

Group Track

which serves as a submixer for the selected tracks.

Likewise, a track can be set up to receive an input signal to be played through the track's devices. Again, tracks can receive their input from the outside, from a ReWire program or from another track or device in Live. The

Monitor

controls regulate the conditions under which the input signal is heard through the track.

It is also possible to route signals to external hardware devices from within a track's device chain, by using the

External Audio Effect

and

External Instrument

devices.

Track Routing Is Set up

Using the In/Out Section in the Arrangement (Left) or Session View (Right).

4.10

Recording New Clips

Audio tracks and MIDI tracks can record their input signal and thereby

create new clips .

Recording is enabled on a track by pressing its

Arm button.

With multiple tracks selected, pressing any of their Arm buttons will arm all of them. You can also hold down the

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) modi er when clicking the Arm buttons to arm several tracks at once. If the Exclusive Arm option is enabled in the Record Preferences, inserting an instrument into a new or empty MIDI track will automatically arm the track. When the Control Bar's Record button is on, every armed track records its input signal into the Arrangement. Every take yields a new clip per track.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

25

Track Arm Buttons, as

They Appear in the

Session View.

It is also possible to

record into Session View slots on the y . This technique is very

useful for the jamming musician, as Session recording does not require stopping the music.

When a track is armed, its Session slots exhibit Clip Record buttons, and clicking one of these commences recording. Clicking the Clip Record button again de nes the end of the recording and launches the new clip. As these actions are subject to real-time

launch quantization

, the resulting clips can be automatically cut to the beat.

Session recording in conjunction with the

Overdub

option and

Record Quantization

is the method of choice for creating drum patterns, which are built up by successively adding notes to the pattern while it plays in a loop. It only takes a MIDI keyboard (or the computer keyboard) and a MIDI track with Live's Impulse percussion instrument

to do this .

The Control Bar's

Quantization Chooser.

4.11

Automation Envelopes

Often, when working with Live's mixer and effects, you will want the controls' movements to become part of the Arrangement. The movement of a control across the Arrangement timeline is called

automation

; a control whose value changes in the course of this timeline is

automated

. Automation is represented in the Arrangement View by

breakpoint envelopes

, which can be edited and drawn.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

26

Practically all mixer and effect controls in Live can be automated, even the song tempo.

Creating automation is straightforward: All changes of a control that occur while the Control

Bar's Record switch is on become automation.

Changing an automated control's value while

not

in Record Mode is similar to launching a

Session clip while the Arrangement is playing: It deactivates the control's automation (in favor of the new control setting). The control will stop tracking its automation and rest with the new value until the Back to Arrangement button is pressed, which will resume

Arrangement playback.

The Automated Pan

Control and its

Envelope.

4.12

Clip Envelopes

Envelopes are found not only in tracks but also in clips.

Clip envelopes

are used to

modulate

device and mixer controls. Audio clips have, in addition, clip envelopes to in uence the clip's pitch, volume and more; these can be used to change the melody and rhythm of recorded audio. MIDI clips have additional clip envelopes to represent MIDI controller data. Clip envelopes can be

unlinked

from the clip to give them independent loop settings, so that larger movements (like fade-outs) or smaller gestures (like an arpeggio) can be superimposed onto the clip's material.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

27

An Envelope for Clip

Transposition.

4.13

MIDI and Key Remote

To liberate the musician from the mouse, most of Live's controls can be remote-controlled via an external MIDI controller. Remote mappings are established in

MIDI Map Mode

, which

is engaged by pressing the MIDI switch in the Control Bar.

In this mode, you can click on any mixer or effect control, and then assign it to a controller simply by sending the desired MIDI message (for example, by turning a knob on your MIDI control box). Your assignments take effect immediately after you leave MIDI Map Mode.

Session clips can be mapped to a MIDI key or even a keyboard range for chromatic playing.

MIDI keys and controllers that have been mapped to Live's controls are not available for recording via MIDI tracks. These messages are ltered out before the incoming MIDI is passed on to the MIDI tracks.

Session clips, switches, buttons and radio buttons can be mapped to computer keyboard keys as well. This happens in

Key Map Mode

, which works just like MIDI Map Mode.

Live offers, in addition to this general purpose mapping technique, dedicated support for the

Akai APC40 ,

Akai APC20

and

Novation Launchpad , which allows for mouse-free operation

of the program.

The Key/MIDI Map

Controls.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

4.14

Saving and Exporting

28

Saving a Live Set saves everything it contains, including all clips, their positions and settings, and settings for devices and controls. An audio clip can, however, lose the reference to its corresponding sample if it is moved or deleted from disk. The links between samples and their clips can be preserved with a special command,

Collect and Save , which makes a copy

of each sample and stores it in a project folder along with the Live Set.

A separate Save button in the Clip View

saves a set of default clip settings

along with the sample, so that each time the sample is dragged into the program, it will automatically appear with these settings. This is especially useful if you have made warp settings for a clip and want to use it in multiple Live Sets.

Exporting audio from Live can be done from both the Session and Arrangement Views.

Live will export the audio coming through on the Master output as an audio le of your speci cations via

Export Audio/Video .

Live can also

export individual MIDI clips as MIDI les .

Exporting and saving material for later use in Live can be done very conveniently with the

Live Clip format. Session View clips can be dragged back out of a Live Set to the File

Browsers, and thereby

exported to disk as Live Clips .

Live Clips are a very powerful way of storing ideas, as they save not only the clip's Clip View settings, but also the corresponding track's instruments and effects chain. Live Clips in the

Browser can be previewed and added to any open Live Set just like sample les. In the Live

Set, they restore the original clip's creative options.

Using Live Clips, you can build your own personalized library of:

A Live Clip in the File

Browser.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

29

ˆ

MIDI sequences with matching instruments and effects, e.g., a MIDI drum pattern with the associated Impulse and effects settings;

ˆ

Different

regions or loops

referencing the same source le;

ˆ

Variations of a sample loop created by applying

Warp Markers ,

clip envelopes

and

effects ;

ˆ

Ideas that may not t your current project but could be useful in the future.

4.15

The Library

The

Live Library

acts as a repository of sounds that are available to all projects. In Live's

File Browsers, the Library is accessible through a

bookmark . Bookmarks can be selected by

clicking the Browser's title bar to open the Bookmark menu:

The rst time you run Live, it will automatically install its Library to your standard user folder.

You can, of course,

move it to a new location.

After installation the Library will already contain a few sound ideas, courtesy of Ableton. We encourage you to experiment with this material to get a sense of what the program can do, but we do not recommend removing or changing the contents of the factory Library. (If you do, however, you can always

repair your Library ).

Ableton provides additional Library content in the form of

Live Packs

which are available from installation CDs, DVDs or the Ableton website

2

. Owners of a boxed version of Live can

2 http://www.ableton.com/downloads

Choosing the Library

Bookmark.

CHAPTER 4. LIVE CONCEPTS

30 enjoy the

Essential Instrument Collection 2 , a multi-gigabyte library of meticulously sampled

and selected instruments.

31

Chapter 5

Managing Files and Sets

Various types of les are used in making music with Live, from those containing

MIDI

and

audio , to more program-speci c les such as

Live Clips

and

Live Sets . This chapter will

explain everything you need to know about working with each of these le types in Live.

However, we should rst take a look at Live's File Browsers, through which most les arrive in the program.

5.1

Working with the File Browsers

Live offers three File Browsers which can be accessed via their selector buttons.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

32

Each Browser can point to a different disk location, which Live will remember across sessions.

The Browser display is divided into columns corresponding to Name , Date, Live Pack, etc., which you can show and hide using the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu options.

The File Browser

Selector Buttons.

Columns can be reordered by drag and drop. To resize the columns, drag their divider lines horizontally.

Showing/Hiding Browser

Columns.

Resizing Browser

Columns.

5.1.1

Browsing the Folder Hierarchy

Each of the three File Browsers has its own

root

directory, shown at the top of the Browser, the contents of which are available for browsing below.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

33

The Browser root can easily be changed: The topmost Browser item, called Parent Folder, will move the Browser root up one step up in the disk hierarchy when double-clicked.

Library Is this

Browser's Root.

You can also set the Browser root to any folder in the Browser via the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu, by double-clicking the folder, or by selecting it and pressing

Return

.

The File Browser's

Parent Folder Item.

Moving through the les in Live's Browser can be done with either the mouse or the computer keyboard:

ˆ

Scroll up and down in the Browser with and dragging while holding the

Ctrl Alt

ˆ

Close and open folders with and .

and

(PC) /

, the mousewheel, or by clicking

Alt

(Mac) modi er.

ˆ

Jump to the parent folder of any closed folder using . (

Hint:

If executed on a top-level folder, this is an alternative to selecting the Parent Folder item, and will move the Browser root up one level.)

To clean up the Browser, use (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) to access the context menu, and then select the Close All Folders option to show only top-level folders. Double-clicking a

A Folder in the Browser.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

File Browser's selector button will do the same.

34

5.1.2

Browser Bookmarks

Using bookmarks, you can quickly save and recall frequently used folder locations in the

Browser. Clicking in the Browser's title bar will open the Bookmark menu.

The Bookmark menu lists a number of preset bookmarks such as

Desktop

and

Library

.

Selecting the latter will bring you to the

Live Library . To bookmark the current Browser root,

choose the Bookmark menu's topmost item, the Bookmark Current Folder command. Note that if the current Browser root is

already

bookmarked, the topmost option in the Bookmark menu will remove the bookmark. All File Browsers share the same set of bookmarks; a bookmark stored in one Browser can be accessed from another.

The Bookmark Menu.

5.1.3

Searching for Files

Live's File Browsers are equipped with a search function for nding les. Clicking the

Search button in the upper right corner of the Browser or using the

Ctrl F

(PC) /

F

(Mac) shortcut will open the Browser's Search Mode.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

35

After entering your search terms, begin the search by clicking the Go button or pressing

Return on your computer keyboard.

Activating Browser

Search Mode.

Live will search the entire Browser root for your search terms. The results will include les that match

all

search terms, as opposed to

any

. For example, if you search for acoustic bass, the search will yield all acoustic bass sounds not all acoustic sounds and all bass sounds.

The search function matches the entered criteria not only to any part of a le's name and suf x (e.g., .wav ) but also to any part of its le path. This means that a search for bass, for example, will yield not only les with names containing the word bass but also those located in folders with names containing the word bass. Compressed sample metadata tags are also included in the search, making it possible to search for songs from a speci c album or artist, for example. The names of MIDI tracks within multitrack MIDI les are also included in searches.

Live maintains an index of the hard disk so that it can deliver search results instantly. The index is kept up to date as you create, install, delete, rename and move les within Live it has no way of knowing, however, what you are doing outside of Live. If you have subsequently moved les using programs other than Live, the initial results of a search might be incomplete. The Go button's label will change to Rescan. If you can't nd a le in the search results, or need to be sure that the results are comprehensive, click the Rescan button (or

Return once more), and Live will rebuild its index for the current Browser root.

The Search Field and Go

Button.

The Rescan Button.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

36

Automatic rescanning for new searches can be activated and deactivated in the File/Folder

Preferences.

While a search/rescan is going on, the adjacent search button is labeled Stop. Rescanning happens in the background, and you can keep making music while Live does its work, but you can also abort the search with this button if the disk traf c is bothering you.

You can go back to the Browser's folder view at any time by closing the search eld.

If you select a le from the search results and then close the search eld, Live makes sure that le remains selected in the folder view, opening folders as required:

Closing the Search

Field...

If a search is in progress, closing the eld immediately stops the search, although navigating to other Browsers does not. In fact, while you're waiting for a search to nish in one Browser, you can initiate separate searches in the others. A Browser that is in an active search will indicate this via a small rotating ring on the Browser button.

... Locates the File Last

Selected Among the

Search Results.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

37

For mouse-free searching, we suggest the following sequence of shortcuts:

1)

Ctrl

F

(PC) /

F

(Mac) to open the search eld;

2) Type your search terms;

3)

Return to Go ;

4)

5) to jump to the search results; and to scroll the search results;

6)

Ctrl

F

(PC) / back to the folder view.

F

(Mac) to close the search eld and go

5.1.4

Previewing Files

Live allows you to preview samples and clips in the File Browser before they are imported into the program. To enable previewing, activate the Preview switch next to the Preview Tab at the bottom of the Browser.

The Rotating Ring

Means That a Search is in Progress.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

38

Hint:

You can preview les even when the Preview switch is not activated by pressing

Return or .

Click on a sample le (or use and ) to select it. Click in the Tab's scrub area to make playback jump to that point. (Note that it is not possible to scrub clips that have been saved with Warp turned off.)

You can also select

Live Clips

in the Browser to load them into the Preview Tab, but they will not play automatically. You can click on the tab or press to preview them.

With the Raw button enabled, les will preview at their original tempo and will not loop.

With Raw disabled, Live will try to preview les in sync with the current Set, so that you can better judge which samples will work for you. Please note that scrubbing is not possible when Raw is enabled.

The previewing volume can be adjusted using the mixer's Preview Volume knob.

The Preview Switch.

If your audio hardware offers multiple audio outs, you can privately audition, or

cue,

les via headphones connected to a separate pair of outs while the music continues to play.

The Preview Volume

Knob.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

39

To learn how to set up Live for cueing, please refer to the

relevant section

of the Mixing chapter.

5.1.5

Adding Clips from the Browser

There are several ways to add clips to a Live Set:

ˆ

Files can be dragged and dropped from the File Browsers into tracks in the Session or

Arrangement View. Dragging and dropping material from the Browser into the space to the right of Session View tracks or below Arrangement View tracks will create a new track and place the new clip(s) there.

ˆ

In the Session View, double-clicking or pressing

Return on a le in the Browser will automatically create a new track to the right of the other tracks and load it with the clip.

ˆ

Files can be dropped directly into Live from the Explorer (Windows)/Finder (Mac).

Dropping a Clip to

Create a New Track.

5.1.6

File Maintenance in the Browser

You can use Live's File Browsers for all of the le maintenance activities that you are familiar with on your operating system.

ˆ

Move les and folders by dragging and dropping, or by copying/cutting and pasting.

Copying, cutting and pasting can be done with either Edit menu commands or

keyboard shortcuts . A le can be moved from one File Browser to another by dragging it

over the target Browser's button.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

40

ˆ

Rename les and folders using the Edit menu's Rename command or the

Ctrl R

(PC) /

R

(Mac) shortcut. Cancel renaming with the

Esc key.

ˆ

Create folders by opening the context menu with selecting the Create Folder command.

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac), and then

ˆ

Delete les and folders using the Edit menu's Delete command or your computer's or

Delete key. Deleting items within Live moves them to the system trash; if necessary, you can recover items from the system trash via your computer's operating system.

5.1.7

Hot-Swap Mode

In addition to the drag-and-drop method of loading les from the Browser, Live offers a

Hot-Swap Mode

to save you mouse travel. Hot-Swap Mode establishes a temporary link between the Browser and, for example, a virtual instrument. While in Hot-Swap Mode, you can step through samples or presets to audition them in place, that is, within the instrument. Hot-swapping for presets is covered in the

Live Device Presets section . Let's go

through an example of hot-swapping samples:

Live's built-in

Impulse

instrument features eight sample-player slots that can be lled by dropping samples into them. Alternatively, we can click the Hot-Swap button that appears as we move the mouse over a slot.

Clicking the Hot-Swap button engages Hot-Swap Mode: Live's

Hot-Swap Browser

opens, and the Hot-Swap icon appears next to one of the les shown.

The Hot-Swap Button in an Impulse Slot.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

41

While in Hot-Swap Mode, pressing the

Return key loads that le into the Impulse slot

(presumably while Impulse is playing incoming MIDI notes); pressing , then

Return loads the next sample, and so on. Instead of using the keys, we can also click on the le's Hot-

Swap icon to load it. The link between the Browser and the instrument will be broken if a different view is selected, or if the Hot-Swap button is pressed again. Hot-swapping can also be cancelled with a press of the

Esc key or by pressing the close button in the

Hot-Swap bar at the top of the Browser.

When Hot-Swap Mode is re-entered, the Hot-Swap Browser will try to reconstruct what you saw when you loaded the current le into the Impulse slot. If, for instance, the current le was found by searching for gretsch kick, the Hot-Swap Browser will come up with that search string in the search eld. In our example, we were hot-swapping for an empty

Impulse slot, so Live came up with something appropriate: a search for Drum Kick in

Library/Samples/Waveforms.

The Hot-Swap Browser.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

5.2

Sample Files

42

A

sample

is a le that contains audio data. Live can play both uncompressed le formats

(WAV, AIF, REX and Sound Designer II for Mac) and compressed le formats (MP3, AAC,

Ogg Vorbis, Ogg FLAC and FLAC).

A note on using Variable Bit Rate (VBR) les:

Please install QuickTime for decoding purposes if you do not already have it on your system. It can be downloaded from the Apple website

1

.

As Live plays the samples directly from disk, you can work with a large number of (large) samples without running into RAM memory limitations. Please note, however, that you may run into disk throughput problems if your disk is nearly full, and/or (on Windows systems) highly fragmented. Hard drive rotation speed can also affect disk performance. Refer to the section on

managing the disk load

for more information.

Live can combine uncompressed mono or stereo samples of any length, sample rate or bit depth without prior conversion. To play a compressed sample, Live

decodes

the sample and writes the result to a temporary, uncompressed sample le. This usually happens quickly enough that you will be able to play the sample right away, without waiting for the decoding process to nish.

Note:

When adding a long sample to a project, Live might tell you that it cannot play the sample before it has been analyzed. Please see the section on

analysis

for an explanation.

5.2.1

The Decoding and Web Cache

To save computational resources, Live keeps the decoded sample les of compressed samples in the

cache

. Maintenance of the cache is normally not required, as Live automatically deletes older les to make room for those that are new. You can, however, impose limits on the cache size using the File/Folder Preferences' Decoding & Web Cache section. The cache will not grow larger than the Maximum Cache Size setting, and it will always leave the

Minimum Free Space on the hard disk. Pressing the nearby Cleanup button will delete all les not being used by the current Live Set.

1 http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

43

5.2.2

Analysis Files (.asd)

An

analysis le

is a little le that Live creates when a sample le is brought into the program for the rst time. The analysis le contains data gathered by Live to help optimize the stretching quality, speed up the waveform display and

automatically detect the tempo of long samples .

When adding a long sample to a project, Live might tell you that it cannot play the sample before it has been analyzed. This will

not

happen if the sample has already been analyzed

(i.e., Live nds an analysis le for this sample), or if the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences'

Auto-Warp Long Samples preference

has been deactivated. To prevent waiting for analysis of longer samples, you can

pre-analyze them

via the Browser, as we will see in a moment.

An analysis le can also store

default clip settings

for the sample:

Clicking the Clip View's

Save

button

will store the current clip's settings with the sample's analysis le. The next time the sample is dragged into Live, it will appear with all its clip settings intact. This is particularly useful for retaining

Warp Marker settings

with the sample.

Storing default clip settings with the analysis le is different from

saving the clip as a Live

Clip .

While analysis les are a handy way to store default information about a particular sample's settings, keep in mind that you can use different settings for each clip within a Live Set even if those clips refer to the same sample on disk. But if you drag a

new

version of the sample into a Live Set, Live will use the settings stored in the analysis le for the newly created clip.

Preferences for the

Decoding and Web

Cache.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

44

The analysis le's name is the same as that of the associated sample, with an added .asd

extension. Live puts this analysis le in the same folder as the sample.

Samples that have an .asd le are displayed like this in the Browser.

Samples without an .asd le look like this.

The analysis les themselves do not appear in Live's Browsers.

Note that you can suppress the creation of .asd les by turning off the Create Analysis Files option in the File/Folder Preferences. All data (except for the default clip settings) can be recreated by Live if the .asd le is missing, however this will take some time for longer samples.

5.2.3

File Pre-Analysis

To avoid waiting for longer samples to be analyzed the rst time they are imported into Live, you may want to pre-analyze them.

To pre-analyze all the les contained in any folder in the Browser, use the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu's Analyze Audio command. This process can also be cancelled via the context menu.

5.2.4

Exporting Audio and Video

The File menu's

Export Audio/Video

command allows you to export Live's audio output as new samples. The resulting les can be used to burn an audio CD for listening purposes or a data CD, which could serve as a backup of your work or be used with other digital audio applications. If your set includes video, you can also use the Export Audio/Video command to export this to a new video le, which will be created in the same directory as the rendered audio les.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

Which Signal Will Be Rendered?

45

The Export dialog's Rendered Track chooser offers several options for which audio signal to render:

ˆ

Master

the post-fader signal at Live's Master output. If you are monitoring the Master output, you can be sure that the rendered le will contain exactly what you hear.

ˆ

All tracks

the post-fader signal at the output of each individual track, including return tracks and MIDI tracks with instruments. Live will create a separate sample for each track. All samples will have the same length, making it easy to align them in other multitrack programs.

ˆ

Individual tracks

the post-fader signal at the output of the selected track.

When Export Audio/Video is invoked while the Arrangement View is up, Live will render the selected time range.

If you would like to render the current Arrangement loop, choose the Select Loop command from the Edit menu prior to choosing Export Audio/Video. If you choose Export Audio/

Video while the Session View is up, Live will ask you to specify the length of the sample to be rendered. The Export Audio/Video dialog will come up with a bars-beats-sixteenths eld where you can type in the desired length. Live will capture audio starting at the current play start position for whichever duration you have speci ed. Thus, the rendered audio is what you would hear if you pressed the space bar.

Remember a rendered audio le contains only what you heard prior to rendering. So, for example, if you're playing back some combination of Session View clips and Arrangement material, then that is what will be captured in your rendered le regardless of which view is active when you render.

The Rendered Track

Chooser.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

Audio Rendering Options

46

The Export dialog offers several audio rendering options:

ˆ

Normalize

If this is activated, the sample resulting from the render process will be normalized (i.e., the le will be ampli ed so that the highest peak attains the maximum available headroom).

ˆ

Render as Loop

If this is activated, Live will create a sample that can be used as a loop. For example, suppose your Live Set uses a delay effect. If Render as Loop is on,

Live will go through the rendering process twice: The rst pass will not actually write samples to disk, but add the speci ed delay effect. As the second pass starts writing audio to disk, it will include the delay tail resulting from the rst pass.

ˆ

File Type, Bit Depth, Sample Rate

These options specify the type of sample to be

Audio Rendering

Options.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

47 created.

ˆ

Convert to Mono

If this is activated, Live will create a mono le instead of a stereo le.

ˆ

Dither Options

If you are rendering at a bit depth lower than 32-bit, choose one of the dither modes. Dithering adds a small amount of noise to rendered audio, but minimizes artifacts when reducing the bit depth. By default, Triangular is selected, which is the safest mode to use if there is any possibility of doing additional processing on your le. Rectangular mode introduces an even smaller amount of dither noise, but at the expense of additional quantization error. The three Pow-r modes offer successively higher amounts of dithering, but with the noise pushed above the audible range. Note that dithering is a procedure that should only be applied

once

to any given audio le. If you plan to do further processing on your rendered le, it's best to render to 32-bit to avoid the need for dithering at this stage. In particular, the

Pow-r modes should

never

be used for any material that will be sent on to a further mastering stage these are for nal output only.

ˆ

Create Analysis File

If this is activated, Live will create an .asd le that contains analysis information about the rendered sample. If you intend to use the new sample in Live, check this option.

Real-Time Rendering

Normally, rendering happens as an of ine process. But if your set contains an

External

Audio Effect

or

External Instrument

that routes to a hardware effects device or synthesizer, the rendering process is a bit different. In this case, rendering the master output happens in real time. If you render individual tracks, all tracks that don't route to an external device anywhere in their signal paths will be rendered of ine. Then, any tracks that do access these devices will be rendered in real time. Live will automatically trace each track's signal ow and detect if real-time rendering is necessary. You'll then be presented with several options when you start to render:

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

48

ˆ

Skip

By default, Live will wait for ten seconds before starting a real-time render. This should allow any sound from external devices to fade out, but if you need more time

(for example, if you're waiting for a long reverb tail), you can increase the wait time by typing a new number in the number box. On the other hand, if you're sure that your external devices aren't making any sound, you can speed the process along by pressing Skip, which will start the render immediately.

After the render has begun, the dialog changes to show a recording progress bar:

Waiting for External

Devices to Become

Silent.

ˆ

Auto-Restart on drop-outs

Rendering in real-time requires somewhat more CPU power than non-real-time rendering, and in some cases drop-outs (small gaps or glitches in the audio) can occur. Live detects when drop-outs happen, and rendering will start again from the beginning if the Auto-Restart option is enabled.

ˆ

Restart

manually restarts the rendering process.

ˆ

Cancel

stops the rendering process and deletes the partially rendered le.

The number of rendering attempts (if there has been more than one) will also be listed in the dialog box. If you nd that dropouts and restarts keep happening, you should close other running applications to allow more processing power for rendering. Please see the chapter on

computer audio resources

for more tips on improving performance.

Real-Time Rendering in

Progress.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

Rendering Video

49

In addition to settings for audio rendering, the Export dialog provides additional options for rendering video:

ˆ

Create Video File

If this is activated, a video le will be created in the same directory as your rendered audio. Note that this option is only enabled if you have video clips in the Arrangement View. Also, it is not possible to only render a video le enabling video rendering will always produce a video in addition to rendered audio.

ˆ

Video Encoder

This chooser allows you to select the encoder to use for the video rendering. The choices you have here depend on the encoders you have installed.

ˆ

Edit Video Encoder Settings

This button opens the settings window for the selected encoder. Note that the settings options will vary depending on the encoder you have chosen. Certain encoders have no user-con gurable options. In this case, the Edit button will be disabled.

Once you've made your selections and clicked OK to begin the rendering process, audio rendering will begin. After the audio rendering is complete, the video will be rendered.

Note that, depending on the encoder used, video rendering may occur in more than one pass. Live will display a progress bar that will indicate the status of the process.

Unless you've speci ed a special window size or aspect ratio in the encoder settings, the rendered video le will play back exactly as it appeared during real time playback in Live.

The video le will also contain the rendered audio.

Video Rendering

Options.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

For more information about working with video in Live, see the

chapter on video.

50

5.3

MIDI Files

A

MIDI le

contains commands that prompt MIDI compatible synthesizers or instruments, such as Live's

Simpler , to create speci c musical output. MIDI les are exported by hardware

and software MIDI sequencers. Importing MIDI les into Live works differently than with samples: MIDI le data is incorporated into the Live Set, and the resulting MIDI clips lose all reference to the original le. MIDI les appear as folders in the File Browser; opening the folders gives you access to the le's individual tracks (also called voices or instruments ).

Note that while you can rename or delete entire

MIDI les

via the Browser, this is not possible with the individual MIDI tracks contained within them. This is also the case with the individual components of

Live Sets .

A MIDI File and its

Tracks in the Browser.

5.3.1

Exporting MIDI Files

Live MIDI clips can be exported as Standard MIDI les. To export a MIDI clip, use the File menu's Export Selected MIDI Clip command. This command will open a le-save dialog, allowing you to choose the location for your new MIDI le.

Exporting a MIDI le is different from

saving the clip as a Live Clip .

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

5.4

Live Clips

51

Individual clips can be exported to disk in the Live Clip format for easy retrieval and reuse in any project. Because they only contain references to samples on disk (rather than the audio data itself), Live Clips are very small, which makes it easy to develop and maintain your own collection.

To save a clip from the open Live Set to disk, simply drag it to the File Browser and drop it into any folder. Live will manage the copying of the clip's sample into this new location based on the selection in the

Collect Files on Export

chooser. You can then type in a new name for the clip or con rm the one suggested by Live with

Return

.

Live Clips are a great way of storing your ideas for later use or development, as they save not only the original clip, including all its clip and envelope settings, but also the original track's devices. In order to recreate a Live Clip's device chain, either

import it

into a track containing no clips or devices, or drag it into the space in the Session or Arrangement View containing no tracks. Note that Live Clips that are imported into tracks already containing devices or clips will appear with their clip settings but not their devices. You could, for instance, drop a bassline Live Clip on an existing track that drives a bass instrument, rather than creating a new track.

Clips belonging to any Live Sets already on disk are also Live Clips. Please see the section on

merging Sets

for more on this topic.

Note that

storing default clip settings with a sample's analysis le

is different from saving a

Live Clip. The default clip in the .asd le annotates the sample with sensible default values

(warp, gain and pitch settings) so that it will play in a de ned way when it is added to a Set.

Live Clips, on the other hand, are stored on disk as separate musical ideas. For example, you

A Live Clip in the

Browser.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

52 could create a number of variations from the same audio clip by using different warp, pitch, envelope and effect settings, and store them all as separate Live Clips. In the Browser, you could then independently sort and preview these clips, even though they are all referring to the same source sample.

5.5

Live Sets

The type of document that you create and work on in Live is called a

Live Set

. Think of this as a single song. Sets must be saved inside projects, so that Live can keep track of and manage all of the various components of the Live Set: Live Clips, device presets, any samples used, etc.

5.5.1

Creating, Opening and Saving Sets

Use the File menu's New Live Set command to create new Live Sets, and the Open or Open

Recent command to open existing ones. In the File Browser, you can double-click or press

Return on a Live Set to open it.

The File menu's Save command saves the current Live Set exactly as it is, including all clips and settings.

You can use the Save As command to save the current Live Set under a different name and/or in a different directory location, or the Save a Copy command to create a copy of the current Live Set with a new name and/or new directory location.

5.5.2

Merging Sets

Live makes it easy to merge Sets, which can come in handy when combining work from different versions or pieces. To add all tracks (except the return tracks) from one Live Set into another, drag the Set from the File Browser into the current Set, and drop it onto any track title bar or into the drop area next to or below the tracks. The tracks from the dropped

Set will be completely reconstructed, including their clips in the Session and Arrangement

View, their devices, and their automation.

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53

Session View Drop Area for Importing Live Sets.

If you prefer to import individual tracks from a Set, you can unfold the Live Set in the File

Browser just as if it were a folder.

Arrangement View Drop

Area for Importing Live

Sets.

You can now drag the individual tracks and drop them as described at the beginning of this section. Any

grooves

that were saved with your Set are also available as a folder within the unfolded Set.

Of the three tracks contained in the Set shown in the following gure, two contain Session

View clips. These can be accessed by unfolding the tracks:

Unfolding a Set to

Reveal its Contents.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

54

You can browse, preview and import Session View clips from the Set as if they had been stored as individual

Live Clips . This, basically, means that any Live Set can serve as a pool

of sounds for any other, suggesting creative reuse and crossover.

Revealing the Session

View Clips Contained in a Set.

5.5.3

Exporting Session Clips as New Sets

You can export a selection of Session View clips as a new Live Set by dragging them to the

File Browser. To export a Set, rst click and drag, or use the or

Ctrl

(PC) /

(Mac) modi ers, to select more than one Session View clip. Then, simply drag the clips to a folder in the File Browser, where you can either con rm Live's suggested name or type in one of your own.

5.5.4

Template Sets

Use the File/Folder Preferences' Save Current Set as Default button to save the current Live

Set as the default template. Live will use these settings as the initialized, default state for new Live Sets. You can use this to pre-con gure:

ˆ

Your multichannel input/output setup.

ˆ

Preset devices, like EQs and Compressors, in every track.

ˆ

Computer key mappings .

ˆ

MIDI mappings .

The template Live Set, Template.als, is located in Live's Preferences folder and can be copied or deleted from there. The easiest way to locate this folder is to search your disk for

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

55

Template.als.

In addition to the template Set that loads by default, the Live Library contains a folder called Templates.

This is a collection of Sets with pre-con gured tracks and

routing con gurations

for a variety of common recording scenarios.

5.5.5

Viewing and Changing a Live Set's File References

To view a list of the les referenced by the current Live Set, choose the Manage Files command from the File menu, click the Manage Set button, and then click the View Files button. Live will display one line for each le used by the Live Set. To list all clips or instruments in the Live Set where the le is actually used, click the triangle to expand the line. Here is what you can do:

ˆ

Replace a le Dragging a le from the File Browser and dropping it on an entry in the list makes the Live Set reference the new le instead of the old one. For samples used in audio clips, Live retains the clip properties; the

Warp Markers

are kept if the new sample has the same or a greater length as the old sample and discarded otherwise.

Please note that replacing a sample will change

all

clips in your set that reference this sample.

ˆ

Hot-swap les

Using the Hot-Swap button at the left-hand side of each entry, you can quickly browse through alternatives for the le that is currently being referenced.

This is like dragging les here, only quicker.

Every Entry in the File

Reference List is a Drop

Target for Files.

The File Reference List's

Hot-Swap Button.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

56

ˆ

Edit a referenced sample using an external application (which can be chosen in the

Preferences' File/Folder tab). Clicking the Edit button will open the referenced sample in the external application. The sample will remain of ine as long as the Edit switch is engaged. For samples used in audio clips, the current set of Warp Markers is retained only if the sample length remains the same as before. Note that the Edit button is only available for samples, not for other types of les such as

Max

devices.

ˆ

View a le's location The Location column states if a le is

missing , or if it resides in

the

Live Library , a

Project

or somewhere else ( external ). When unfolded, the entry shows the speci c places in the Set where the le is used.

The File Reference List's

Edit Switch.

The File Reference List's

Location Column.

5.6

Live Projects

A

Live Project

is a folder containing Live-related les that belong together. Consider, for example, work on a piece of music: You start out with an empty Live Set; you record audio and thereby create new sample les; you drag in samples from collections; you save different versions of the Live Set along the way so that you can go back and compare. Perhaps you also save Live Clips or device presets that belong to this particular musical piece. The project folder for this Live Project will maintain all the les related to this piece of music and Live's

File Manager

will provide the tools you need to

manage them .

5.6.1

Projects and Live Sets

You can manually create a Project by clicking (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) in the Browser and selecting Create Project from the context menu. Usually, Live takes care of this automatically.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

57

When you save a Live Set under a new name or in a new folder location, Live will create a new project folder and store the Live Set there unless you are saving the Live Set into an existing Live Project. Let's look at an example to illustrate this process:

We have recorded some audio into a new Live Set. We now save the Live Set under the name Tango on the Desktop. Here is the result as displayed by the Live Browser:

The project folder ( Tango Project ) contains the Live Set ( Tango.als ) and a Samples folder, which in turn contains a Recorded folder with two samples in it. Note that the current Project is also indicated in the title bar of Live's application window.

Next, we record another track into our Project. We save the modi ed version of the Live

Set under a new name so that we do not lose the previous version. Accepting the Save As command's default suggestion, we store the new version of the song in the Tango Project folder.

A Live Set and its

Recordings in a Live

Project Folder.

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58

The Tango Project now contains two Live Sets, and its Samples/Recorded folder contains the samples used by both of them.

And now for something completely different: We choose the File menu's New command and record a samba tune. As this has nothing to do with our tango dabblings, we decide to save it outside the Tango Project folder, say on the Desktop. Live creates a new project folder named Samba Project next to Tango Project.

A Second Version of the

Live Set Has Been

Added to the Project.

So far we have seen how to create Live Projects and save versions of Live Sets into them.

How do we open a Project? Simply by opening any of its contained Live Sets. Doubleclicking Tango with Piano.als opens that Set and the associated Project as displayed in

Live's title bar.

Let's suppose that, in the course of our work on Tango with Piano.als, we get sidetracked:

A New Project Was

Added Next to Tango

Project.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

59

The piece evolves towards something entirely different, and we feel that it should live in a

Project of its own. So, we Save As... under a new name and in some location outside the current Project, say the Desktop:

Note that the new project folder has no Samples folder (yet).

Electro with Piano.als is still referencing the piano sample from the original Tango Project. There is nothing wrong with this except for when the Tango Project is moved away or deleted; then Tango with

Piano.als will be missing samples. You can prevent this by

collecting external les . Even

after the fact, Live's

tools for searching missing les

can help solve this problem.

There is actually no need to keep a Project's Live Set exactly one level below the Project itself. Within a project folder, you can create any number of sub-folders and move les around to organize them as desired, although you many need to use the

File Manager

to teach the Project about the changes you've made.

In general, Live will do what it can to prevent situations such as orphaned (Project-less) Live

Sets (and Live Clips and presets), which have the potential of confusing both the user and

Live's le management tools. It cannot, however, control situations in which Sets or les are moved out of order and become disorganized via the Explorer (Windows)/Finder (Mac).

A note for users of older Live versions:

Live 8 does not allow overwriting Live Sets that were created by older versions to prevent compatibility problems. Instead, you will be requested to Save As... . Doing this will insure that the newly saved Live Sets reside in project folders.

A New Project Was

Added by Saving a Live

Set Outside its Original

Project.

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60

5.6.2

Projects and Presets

By default, new instrument and effect presets are stored in the

Live Library , making them

available to any project. At times however, it may make more sense to save a preset with the current Project. You might, for example, want to keep a number of alternative master

EQ settings for a given piece. These EQ presets are speci c to the piece and of little use to other Projects. For this reason, every device in the Device Browser has a Current Project sub-folder. You can drag a preset to this folder after

saving

it, or simply drag the title bar of the device and drop it there directly.

When saving presets that contain samples to a new location, Live may copy the samples depending on the settings in the

Collect Files on Export

chooser in the File/Folder Preferences. You can then type in a new name for the device or con rm the one suggested by

Live with

Return

.

Project-Speci c Presets

Appear Under Current

Project in the Device

Browser.

5.6.3

Managing Files in a Project

Live's File Manager offers several convenient tools for managing Projects. Once you've opened a Live Set that is part of the Project you wish to manage, choose the Manage Files command from the File menu, and then click the Manage Project button. The File Manager will present you with an overview of the Project's contents and tools for:

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

ˆ

locating les that the Project is missing ;

ˆ

collecting external les into the Project ;

ˆ

listing unused les in the Project ;

ˆ

packing a Project in Live Pack format ;

ˆ

exporting the Project's contents to the Library .

61

5.7

The Live Library

The Live Library acts as a repository of commonly used les, such as samples, clips and

Live

Device Presets , that are available to all Live Projects. In Live's File Browsers, the Library is

accessible through a bookmark:

Clips can be conveniently saved in

Live Clip format

for later reuse by dragging them from the open Live Set into the desired folder in the Library. Device presets are saved in the

Library by default (but you can also

save them with a Project ).

Ableton delivers Library content that can serve as a starting point for creative exploration.

Content is shipped in the form of

Factory Live Packs

. Factory Live Packs are available from installation CDs, DVDs or the Ableton website

2

. To install a Factory Live Pack in the Library, double-click the Live Pack le (.alp), drag it into the Live main window, or locate it via the

File menu's Install Live Pack command.

2 http://www.ableton.com/downloads

Choosing the Library

Bookmark.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

62

A list of the currently installed Factory Live Packs is available from the Preferences' Library tab. Here you can select Live Packs from the list and click the Uninstall button to remove them. Multiple Live Packs can be selected and uninstalled at once.

By default, the Live 8 Library contains the following sub-folders:

ˆ

Ableton Project Info

contains les that Live uses to identify the Library and keep track of what Live Packs have been installed. You should

not

use or modify this folder or its contents.

ˆ

Clips

contains Live Clips, example Sets, construction kits (Session View-based song ideas), loops and other related items. The actual contents of this folder will vary, depending on what products and Live Packs you have installed. You can use this material in your own musical productions, or to get hints about ways to use Live. The construction kits, in particular, can be used in a variety of ways. Loading an entire construction kit loads a new Live Set. You can also

unfold the Set in the Browser

and import individual tracks or clips into a Set that's already in progress.

ˆ

Defaults

presets placed into the default device folders will load in place of Live's generic device settings. Additionally, the Defaults folder contains several special folders corresponding to user actions such as slicing and sample dropping. Presets placed in these folders de ne what Live will do when you perform the action.

ˆ

Grooves

all of Live's factory

groove les .

ˆ

Lessons

all of Live's built-in lessons, as well as any additional images and Live Sets that the lessons refer to. You should not change anything in this sub-folder.

ˆ

Presets

contains all of the factory presets for Live's devices.

ˆ

Samples

contains all of the samples that are used by Live's presets.

ˆ

Templates

contains a collection of template Sets with pre-con gured tracks and

routing con gurations

for a variety of common recording scenarios.

After you've been using Live for a while, you'll probably nd that there are additional folders in your Library. This is normal. Installing Live Packs, recording your own samples, or performing other common procedures will change the folder structure over time.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

63

5.7.1

Changing the Library Location, Upgrading an Old Library

The Library can reside in the hard drive location of your choice. In the Preferences' Library tab, you will nd the Change Location button.

Clicking the Change Location button will allow you to create a new Library by pointing to an empty folder or creating a new one. Once you've selected a Library path, one of several possibilities will occur, depending on the new location:

ˆ

If the target location is an empty folder on a

different

hard drive, you will be given the option to

copy

your current Library to this new location. Live will then offer to open a

Explorer (Windows)/Finder (Mac) window so that you can delete the Library from the old location.

ˆ

If the target location is an empty folder on the

same

hard drive, you will be given the option to

move

your current Library to this new location.

ˆ

If the target location is not empty but does not contain a Library, Live will create a subfolder called Library at this location, and then offer to copy/move the old Library contents.

In all three of these cases, you may also choose to create a new Library, without copying or moving any content from the previous location. Live will then offer to install any default packages to the new location.

ˆ

If the target location is a Library that was made with an older version of Live, you will be warned about possible compatibility issues. It is generally not a good idea to try to share a single Library between two different versions of Live.

Note: Live will not allow you to create a Library inside an existing Project.

The Change Location button.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

64

To the right of the Change Location button is the Repair Library button. If you have modi ed your Library outside of Live, within another version of Live or on a different computer, or if you are missing some of the Ableton content, you can use this function to update the factory content and refresh the Library's metadata. Note that this may take some time.

5.7.2

Importing Projects into the Library

You can merge the contents of a Live Project into the Library to make them available to any

Project. To do this, (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on a Project folder in the File Browser and select the Manage Project command.

5.8

Locating Missing Files

If you load a Live Set, Live Clip or preset that references les which are missing from their referenced locations, Live's Status Bar (located at the bottom of the main screen) will display a warning message. Clips and instrument sample slots that reference missing samples will appear marked Of ine, and Live will play silence instead of the missing samples.

Live's File Manager offers tools for repairing these missing links. Click on the Status Bar message to access these. (This is actually a shortcut for choosing the Manage Files command from the File menu, clicking the Manage Set button, and then clicking the Locate button found in the Missing Files section.) The File Manager will present you with a list of the missing les and associated controls.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

65

5.8.1

Manual Repair

To manually x a broken le reference, locate the missing le in the File Browser, drag it over to the File Manager and drop it on the respective line in the list of missing les. Note that Live will not care if the le you offer is really the le that was missing.

5.8.2

Automatic Repair

Live offers a convenient automatic search function for repairing le references. To send Live on a search, click the Automatic Search section's Go button. To reveal detailed options for guiding the automatic search function, click the neighboring triangular-shaped button.

The File Manager's List of Missing Files.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

66

ˆ

Search Folder

includes a user-de ned folder, as well as any sub-folders, in the search.

To select the folder, click the associated Set Folder button.

ˆ

Search Project

includes this Set's

project folder

in the search.

ˆ

Search Library

includes the

Live Library

in the search.

For each missing le, the automatic search function may nd any number of

candidates.

Let's consider the following cases:

ˆ

No candidate found

you can choose another folder and try again, or locate the sample manually.

ˆ

One candidate found

Live accepts the candidate and considers the problem solved.

ˆ

Several candidates found

Live requires your assistance: Click the Hot-Swap button

(i.e., the leftmost item in every line of the list of missing les) to have the File Browser present the candidates in

Hot-Swap Mode . You can now double-click the candidates

in the File Browser to load them, as the music plays if you like.

Automatic Repair

Options in the File

Manager.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

5.9

Collecting External Files

67

To prevent a Live Set from containing

broken le references , Live provides the option of

collecting

(i.e., copying) them into the Set's

project folder . This is accomplished via the File

Manager:

ˆ

Choose the Manage Files command from the File menu

ˆ

Click the Manage Set button

ˆ

Unfold the triangular-shaped fold button in the External Files section.

Separated by location (the Library, installed by factory Live Packs, other Projects and elsewhere sample collections from external drives, for example), the File Manager provides:

Options for Collecting

External Files.

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

68

ˆ

A le count and the associated disk space used;

ˆ

A Show button that will list the les in the File Browser;

ˆ

A Yes/No toggle for engaging or disengaging collection.

Note: Make sure to con rm your choices by clicking the File Manager's Collect and Save button!

The File menu's Collect All and Save command is a shortcut that collects and saves all external les referenced by the current Set, including those from the Library. Note that this can cause a lot of copying, especially if your Live Set uses large multisample collections!

The File Manager's

Collect and Save Button.

5.9.1

Collect Files on Export

When you save Live Clips, device presets or tracks by dragging them into the Browser, Live manages the copying of associated les based on the selection made in the Collect Files on

Export chooser in the File/Folder Preferences. This chooser provides the following options:

ˆ

Always

, the default setting, will copy les into the same folder as the clip, preset, or track without noti cation.

ˆ

When

Ask

is selected, Live provides a dialog box with options for copying les.

ˆ

Never

means that les will not be copied when saving.

5.10

Aggregated Locating and Collecting

Instead of having to deal with problems while you are in a creative mode, you might prefer putting aside some dedicated housekeeping time to solve all the problems in one go.

Using Live's File Manager, you can

nd missing les

and

collect external les

not only for the current Live Set but also for:

CHAPTER 5. MANAGING FILES AND SETS

69

ˆ

The Library

choose the Manage Files command from the File menu; then click the

Manage Library button.

ˆ

The

current Live Project

choose the Manage Files command from the File menu; then click the Manage Project button.

ˆ

Any Live Project

(PC) /

Ctrl choose the Manage Project option.

(Mac) on a Project in the Live Browser, and

ˆ

All Projects found in a speci c folder (and its sub-folders)

(PC) /

Ctrl on a folder in the File Browser, and choose the Manage Projects command.

(Mac)

ˆ

Any selection of Live Sets, Live Clips, Live Presets

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on the respective items in the File Browser, and choose the Manage Files command.

Remember to click the Collect and Save button at the bottom of the File Manager when you are nished. Otherwise your changes will be discarded.

5.11

Finding Unused Files

Live's File Manager can nd the unused les in a Project for you. You can then review them and decide to delete them individually or collectively. When searching for unused les,

Live will inspect each le in a Project folder, checking if it is referenced by any of the Live

Sets, Live Clips or device presets in the Project. If not, the le is regarded as unused

even if other Projects or programs still use it.

To nd the unused les for the currently open Project, choose the Manage Files command from the File menu, click the Manage Project button, and then click on the triangular-shaped fold button next to Unused Files to access a summary and the Show button. Clicking the

Show button makes the File Browser list the unused les; there, you can

preview samples

and delete them if you like.

Note you can also nd the unused les from the Library: choose the Manage Files command from the File menu, then click the Manage Library button, and then see the Unused Files section.

Last but not least, you can nd the unused les for all Projects found in a speci c folder (and its sub-folders): (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on a folder in the File Browser and choose the

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70

Manage Projects command, then see the Unused Files section. Live inspects each Project individually and labels a le unused even if another Projects in the same folder does use that le.

To prevent losses, you may want to rst collect the les into their respective Projects and then purge the Projects of unused les.

5.12

Packing Projects into Live Packs

Live's File Manager provides the option of packing a

Live Project

in Live Pack format for convenient archiving and transfer. To do this, choose the Manage Files command from the

File menu, click the Manage Project button, and then click on the triangular-shaped fold button next to Packing. Click the Create Live Pack button to bring up a le-select dialog where you can specify the name and location of a new Live Pack le. Creating a new Live

Pack from a Project does not affect the Project. If you want the Project deleted, you can delete it using the File Browser.

Live employs lossless compression techniques to minimize the le size of Live Packs. Depending on the audio materials in a Project, this saves up to 50 percent in le size.

To unpack a Live Pack (i.e., to restore the original Live Project), double-click the Live Pack le (.alp), drag it into the Live main window, or locate it via the File menu's Install Live Pack command. Live will then request that you choose a location for the new Project. Note:

Factory Live Packs (those provided by Ableton) will automatically be installed in the

Live

Library .

5.13

File Management FAQs

5.13.1

How Do I Create a Project?

A Project is automatically created whenever you save a Live Set,

except

when you save it into the Library or a preexisting Project. You can also manually create a Project by clicking

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) in the Browser and selecting Create Project from the context menu.

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71

5.13.2

How Can I Save Presets Into My Current Project?

As long as you're working in a Project (meaning that you've saved your current Live Set), every device in the Device Browser will show a Current Project sub-folder. You can copy presets from other Browser locations to the current project by

Ctrl

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac)dragging them. You can also save presets directly to the current project by dragging from the device's title bar and dropping into the Current Project. You can then use the File

Management tools, collect any referenced samples, etc.

5.13.3

Can I Work On Multiple Versions of a Set?

If you'd like to work on different versions of the same Live Set, save them into the same

Project. This will usually be the Project that was created when you saved the rst version of the Live Set. If a Project contains multiple Live Sets it will only collect one copy of any samples used by the various versions, which can save disk space and help with organization.

5.13.4

Where Should I Save My Live Sets?

You can save Live Sets anywhere you want, but saving to the Library or pre-existing Project folders can cause problems, and should be reserved for special cases. You should only save

Live Sets in the Library if you intend to use them as templates for other Live Sets. Likewise, you should only save a Live Set to an existing Project if it is somehow related to the Project for example, an alternate version of a song that's already in the Project.

5.13.5

Where Should I Save My Live Clips?

If you'd like to have your Live Clips available in all of your Projects, create a Library sub-folder and save your clips there. You can also save clips anywhere else on your computer.

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72

5.13.6

Can I Use My Own Folder Structure Within a Project Folder?

You can organize your les any way you want within a Project, but you'll need to use the File

Manager to relink the les that you've moved around:

1) In Live's Browser or via your operating system, reorganize the les and folders within your Project folder.

2) Navigate to the Project folder in the Browser and choose Manage Project via the

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

3) If you've changed the original location of any samples used in the Project, the

Missing Samples section of the File Manager will indicate this. Click the Locate button to search for the samples.

4) Since you know that your samples are all in the Project folder, unfold Automatic

Search. Then enable the Search Project and Fully Rescan Folders options. Finally, click Go to initiate the search.

5) When searching is complete, click Collect and Save at the bottom of the File

Manager to update the Project.

5.13.7

How Do I Export A Project to the Library and Maintain My Own

Folder Structure?

If you export a Project to the Library, Live will look in the Library to see if the folder names there match those in your Project, and will create any missing folders as necessary. For example, if your Project folder contains samples in Samples/My Samples, Live will look in the Library for a Samples folder (which it will nd, because it's part of the standard Library) and then for a My Samples sub-folder (which it will not nd, but will then create).

73

Chapter 6

Arrangement View

The

Arrangement View

displays the

Arrangement

, which contains music laid out along a song timeline, like a multitrack tape.

The Arrangement View is a powerful editing tool that easily lets you combine and arrange

MIDI, loops, sound effects, video and complete pieces of music.

A Piece of Music in the

Arrangement View.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

6.1

Navigation

Live offers several fast methods for zooming and scrolling the Arrangement display:

6 1 2 3 4 5

74

1. To smoothly change the zoom level, click and drag vertically in the beat-time ruler at the top of the Arrangement View (you can also drag horizontally to scroll the display).

2. To zoom in and out around the current selection, use the computer keyboard's + and - keys. To pan the display, click and drag while holding the

Ctrl Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er. Double-clicking in the beat-time ruler also zooms to the current selection. If nothing is selected, double-clicking the beattime ruler zooms out to show the entire Arrangement.

3. The Arrangement Overview is like a bird's-eye view of your music. It always shows the complete piece, from start to end. The black rectangular outline represents the part of the Arrangement that is currently displayed in the Arrangement display below. To scroll the display, click within the outline and drag left or right; to zoom out and in, drag up and down.

4. To change the displayed part of the Arrangement, drag the outline's left and right edges.

5. To see a speci c part of the Arrangement in more detail, click on it in the Overview

Navigating the

Arrangement View.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW and drag downwards to zoom in around that part. Note that you can also drag horizontally to scroll the display. Using this method, you can zoom and scroll to focus around any part of the Arrangement with just one mouse motion.

6. To have the Arrangement display follow the song position and scroll automatically, turn on the Follow switch, or use the Follow command from the Options menu.

75

6.2

Transport

There are a number of ways to control Live's transport with the computer keyboard and mouse:

1. You can start Arrangement playback by clicking the Control Bar's Play button, and stop playback by clicking the Stop button. Arrangement playback can also be toggled on and off by pressing the keyboard's space bar.

The Play and Stop

Buttons in the Control

Bar.

2. You can set the Arrangement playback position by clicking anywhere along the

Arrangement to place the ashing insert marker. Double-clicking the Stop button will return the Arrangement play position to 1.1.1.

To continue playback from the position where it last stopped, rather than from the insert marker, hold down the modi er while pressing the space bar.

3. When Permanent Scrub Areas is enabled in Live's Look/Feel Preferences, clicking in the scrub area above the tracks will make playback jump to that point. The size of these jumps is quantized according to the Control Bar's Quantization

Arrangement Playback

Begins from the Insert

Marker.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW menu setting. While the mouse is held down over the scrub area, a portion of the Arrangement the size of the chosen quantization setting will be repeatedly played. With small quantization settings, or a setting of None, this allows you to scrub through the music.

When the Permanent Scrub Areas preference is off, you can still scrub by clicking anywhere in the scrub area or in the beat time ruler.

-

76

Scrubbing Arrangement

Playback.

4. The song position can be adjusted numerically using the Control Bar's Arrangement Position elds.

The Arrangement Position elds show the song position in bars-beats-sixteenths.

To change the values:

ˆ

Click and drag up or down in any of these elds.

ˆ

Click and type a number, then hit

Return

.

ˆ

Click and decrement or increment the value with and .

5. Arrangement playback can be started at a particular point in one of your clips using the scrub area in the

Clip View .

6. Several Arrangement playback positions can be set using launchable

locators .

Note that any computer keyboard key or MIDI message can be mapped to the transport controls, as described in

the respective chapter .

Setting the Play Position in the Arrangement

Position Fields.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

6.3

Launching the Arrangement with Locators

77

Locators can be set at any point in the Arrangement. This can be done in real time during playback or recording with the Set Locator button, and will be quantized according to the global quantization value set in the Control Bar. Clicking the Set Locator button when the

Arrangement is not playing will create a locator at the insert marker or selection start. You can also create a locator using the context menu in the scrub area above the tracks or via the Create menu. Note that the position of a new locator is quantized according to the

Control Bar's Quantization menu setting.

Using Locators to

Launch Play in the

Arrangement.

You can recall (jump to) locators by clicking on them, or with the Previous and Next Locator buttons on either side of the Set button. Locators can also be recalled using

MIDI/key mapping . Note that locator recall is subject to quantization. Double-clicking a locator will

select it and start Arrangement playback from that point.

After jumping to the rst or last locator in the Arrangement, the Previous and Next Locator buttons will jump to the Arrangement start or end, respectively.

Locators can be moved by clicking and dragging, or with the arrow keys on your computer keyboard.

To name a locator, select it by clicking its triangular marker, and choose the Rename Edit

The Locator Controls.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

78 menu command (or use the

Ctrl R

(PC) /

R

(Mac) shortcut). You can also enter your own

info text

for a locator via the Edit Info Text command in the Edit menu or in the locator's computer's

(PC) / or

Ctrl

Delete

(Mac) context menu. Locators can be removed with your key, the Create menu, or the Delete Locator button.

Note that the locator (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu offers a quick way of

looping playback

between two locators with its Loop To Next Locator command.

The locator (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu's Set Song Start Time Here command can be used to overrule the default play starts at selection rule: when this command is checked, play starts at the locator.

6.4

Time Signature Changes

Live's time signature can be changed at any point in the Arrangement by using time signature markers. These can be added at the insert marker position via the Create menu, or anywhere below the beat-time ruler using the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu. Time signature markers appear just below the beat time ruler, but this marker area is hidden if a set contains no meter changes, freeing up additional space at the top of the Arrangement.

In many ways, time signature markers look and function like locators; they can be moved with the mouse or with your computer keyboard's arrow keys, and their value can be changed using the Edit menu's Edit Value command (or with the

Ctrl

R

(PC) / shortcut). They can be also be deleted using the or

Delete

R

(Mac) key, or via delete commands in the Edit and Create menus.

The time signature marker (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu offers a number of features, including a Delete All Time Signature Changes command and options to

loop

or select the area up to the next time signature marker.

Time Signature

Changes.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

79

Any time signature with a one- or two-digit numerator and a denominator of 1, 2, 4, 8 or

16 can be used as a time signature marker value. The numbers must be separated by a delimiter such as a slash, comma, period, or any number of spaces. These marker values can also be set by adjusting the time signature elds in the Control Bar, either by typing in values or dragging the numerator and denominator sliders. This will change the time signature marker value at the current play location, and works either with the transport stopped or during playback. When the Arrangement contains time signature changes, the time signature editor displays an automation LED in the upper left corner.

Time signature markers are not quantized; they may be placed anywhere in the timeline, and their positioning is only constrained by the

editing grid . This means that it is possible

to place meter changes in impossible places - such as before the end of the previous measure. This creates a

fragmentary bar

, which is represented in the scrub area by a crosshatched region. Live is happy to leave these incomplete measures as they are, but if you'd like your Set to conform to the rules of music theory, you can use the two

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu options to correct incomplete bars.

(PC) /

The Time Signature

Editor Can Change Time

Signature Marker Values, and Shows an

Automation LED.

ˆ

Delete Fragmentary Bar Time

deletes the duration of the fragmentary bar from the

Arrangement, thereby moving any audio or MIDI on either side of the deleted area closer together in the timeline. The next time signature marker will now fall on a legal barline.

ˆ

Complete Fragmentary Bar

inserts time at the beginning of the fragmentary bar, so that it becomes complete. The next time signature marker will now fall on a legal barline.

Please note that these resolution options affect

all

tracks - deleting and inserting time

A Fragmentary Bar and its Resolution Options.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

80 changes the length of the entire Arrangement.

If you import a

MIDI le

into the Arrangement, you'll be given an option to import any time signature information that was saved with the le. If you choose to do this, Live will automatically create time signature markers in the correct places. This makes it very easy to work with complex music created in other sequencer or notation software.

6.5

The Arrangement Loop

The Control Bar's Loop

Switch.

For Live to repeatedly play a section of the Arrangement, activate the

Arrangement loop

by clicking on the Control Bar's Loop switch.

The Loop Start Fields

(Left) and the Loop

Length Fields (Right).

You can set loop length numerically using the Control Bar elds: The left-hand set of elds determines the loop start position, while the right-hand set determines loop length.

The Edit menu's Loop Selection command accomplishes all of the above at once: It turns the Arrangement loop on and sets the Arrangement loop brace to whatever timespan is selected in the Arrangement.

The loop brace can be selected with the mouse and manipulated with commands from the computer keyboard:

ˆ and nudge the loop brace to the left/right by the current

grid setting .

The Arrangement's Loop

Brace.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

81

ˆ and shift the loop brace left/right in steps the size of its length.

ˆ

The

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) modi er used with the arrow left and right keys shortens or lengthens the loop by the current

grid setting .

ˆ

The

Ctrl

(PC) / halves the loop length.

(Mac) modi er with the arrow up and down keys doubles or

You can also drag the Arrangement's loop brace: Dragging the left and right ends sets the loop start and end points; dragging between the ends moves the loop without changing its length.

The loop's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu's Set Song Start Time Here command can be used to overrule the default play starts at selection rule: when this command is checked, play starts at the loop start.

6.6

Moving and Resizing Clips

A piece of audio or MIDI is represented in the Arrangement View by a clip sitting at some song position in one of Live's

tracks .

Moving a Clip.

Dragging a clip moves it to another song position or track.

Dragging a clip's left or right edge changes the clip's length.

Clips snap to the

editing grid , as well as various objects in the Arrangement including the

edges of other clips, locators and time signature changes.

Changing a Clip's

Length.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

6.7

Audio Clip Fades and Crossfades

82

The beginning and end of audio clips in the Arrangement View have adjustable volume fades. Additionally, adjacent clips on the same audio track can be

crossfaded.

To access the fades for an audio track's clips:

1. Unfold the track by clicking the button next to the track name.

2. Select Fades in the Fades/Device chooser.

3. Click and drag the fade handle to change the length of the fade.

4. Click and drag the slope handle to change the shape of the fade's curve.

3

1 2

4

You can also set the length of a fade by

selecting a range of time within the clip

that includes the clip's beginning or end and executing the Create Fade command in the clip's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

Adjacent audio clips can be crossfaded. Creating and editing crossfades is similar to creating and editing start and end fades:

ˆ click and drag a fade handle over the opposite clip's edge to create a crossfade

ˆ click and drag the slope handle to adjust the shape of the crossfade's curve

ˆ select a range of time that includes the boundary between the adjacent clips and execute the Create Crossfade command from the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context

Fades in the

Arrangement View.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW menu.

83

Selecting a fade handle and pressing the

Delete key deletes the fade, unless the Create

Fades on Clip Edges option is enabled in the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences. In this case, pressing

Delete returns the fade handle to a default length of 4 ms. With this option enabled, new clips in the Arrangement View will have these short declicking fades by default.

Crossfaded Clips.

Another result of enabling the Create Fades on Clip Edges option is that adjacent audio clips will get automatic 4 ms crossfades. These can then be edited just like manually-created crossfades.

There are some limits to the length of fades and crossfades:

ˆ

Fades cannot cross a clip's loop boundaries.

ˆ

A clip's start and end fades cannot overlap each other.

When a fade handle is selected, a dotted red line will appear on the relevant clip to indicate the limit for that fade handle. This is especially helpful when editing crossfades, because one clip's loop boundary may be hidden under the other clip.

Note that fades are a property of clips rather than the tracks that contain them, and are independent of

automation envelopes .

Automatically Create

Short Fades At Clip

Edges.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

6.8

Selecting Clips and Time

84

With the exception of moving and resizing clips, Arrangement editing in Live is selectionbased: You select something using the mouse, then execute a menu command (e.g., Cut,

Copy, Paste, Duplicate) on the selection. This editing method lends itself to an ef cient division of labor between the two hands: One hand operates the mouse or trackpad, while the other hand issues the keyboard shortcuts for the menu commands. The menu eventually is only used as a reference for looking up the keyboard shortcuts.

Here is how selection works:

ˆ

Clicking a clip selects the clip.

ˆ

Clicking into the Arrangement background selects a point in time, represented by a ashing insert marker. The insert marker can then be moved in time with the and keys, or between tracks via pressing the and and . Holding

Ctrl

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) while keys snaps the insert marker to locators and the edges of clips in the selected track or tracks.

ˆ

Clicking and dragging selects a timespan.

ˆ

To access the time

within

a clip for editing, unfold its track by clicking the next to the track name.

button

Clicking and dragging in the waveform display below the clip's horizontal strip allows you to select time within the clip. Notice that you can adjust the height of the unfolded track by dragging the split line below the Unfold Track button. Note that you can actually unfold all of your tracks at once by holding down the

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er when clicking the button.

ˆ

Clicking on the loop brace is a shortcut for executing the Edit menu's Select Loop command, which selects all material included within the loop.

Adjusting an Unfolded

Track's Height.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

85

ˆ

Holding while clicking extends an existing selection in the same track or across tracks. You can also hold and use the arrow keys to manipulate the selection.

6.9

Using the Editing Grid

To ease editing, the cursor will snap to grid lines that represent the meter subdivisions of the song tempo. The grid can be set to be either zoom-adaptive or xed.

You can set the width of both zoom-adaptive and xed grid lines using the

Ctrl

(PC) /

(Mac) context menu available in either the Arrangement View track area or the

Clip View display.

The following shortcuts to Options menu commands allow quickly working with the grid:

ˆ

Use

Ctrl

1

(PC) /

1

(Mac) to

narrow

the grid, doubling the density of the grid lines (e.g., from eighth notes to sixteenth notes).

ˆ

Use

Ctrl 2

(PC) /

2

(Mac) to

widen

the grid, halving the density of the grid lines (e.g., from eighth notes to quarter notes).

ˆ

Use

Ctrl 3

(PC) /

3

(Mac) to toggle

triplets

mode; this would, for instance, change the grid from eighth notes to eighth note triplets.

ˆ

Use

Ctrl

4

(PC) /

4

(Mac) to turn grid snapping on or off. When the grid is off, the cursor does not snap to meter subdivisions.

ˆ

Use

Ctrl

5

(PC) /

5

(Mac) to toggle xed and adaptive grid modes.

Clicking the Loop Brace to Select the Loop for

Editing.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

86

The current spacing between adjacent grid lines is displayed in the lower right corner of the

Arrangement View or Clip View.

You can hold down the

Alt

(PC) / (Mac) modi er while performing an action to bypass grid snapping. If the grid is already disabled, this modi er will temporarily enable it.

6.10

Using the ...Time Commands

Whereas the standard commands like Cut, Copy and Paste only affect the current selection, their ... Time counterparts act upon all tracks by inserting and deleting time. Any time signature markers within the selected region will also be affected.

ˆ

Cut Time

cuts a selection of time from the Arrangement, thereby moving any audio or MIDI on either side of the cut area closer together in the timeline. This command reduces the length of your Arrangement by whatever amount of time you have cut.

Note that the Cut Time command affects all tracks, not only the selected ones.

ˆ

Paste Time

places copied time into the Arrangement, thereby increasing its overall duration by the length of time you have copied.

ˆ

Duplicate Time

places a copy of the selected timespan into the Arrangement, thereby increasing its overall duration by the length of the selection.

ˆ

Delete Time

deletes a selection of time from the Arrangement, thereby moving any audio or MIDI on either side of the deleted area closer together in the timeline. This command reduces the length of your Arrangement by the amount of time you have deleted. Note that the Delete Time command affects all tracks, not only the selected ones.

A Gap Between Clips

Has Been Cut by First

Selecting It, Then

Executing the Cut Time

Command.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

87

ˆ

Insert Silence

inserts as much empty time as is currently selected into the Arrangement, before the selection.

6.11

Splitting Clips

The Split command can divide a clip or isolate part of it.

To split a clip in two halves, do the following:

1. Unfold the track;

2. In the waveform or MIDI display, click at the position where you want the clip to be split;

3. Execute the Split command.

To isolate a part of a clip, do the following:

1. Unfold the track;

2. In the waveform or MIDI display, drag a selection over the part of the clip you want to isolate;

3. Execute the Split command to divide the original clip into three pieces.

6.12

Consolidating Clips

The Consolidate command replaces the material in the Arrangement View selection with one new clip per track. This is very useful for creating structure.

The Result of Splitting a

Clip.

CHAPTER 6. ARRANGEMENT VIEW

88

Suppose you have, by editing or improvising, come up with a layout of clips that sound good in

Arrangement Loop mode . Selecting that part of the Arrangement, for instance by

using the Edit menu's Select Loop command, and then executing the Consolidate command creates a new clip that can be treated as a loop. You can now, for instance, drag the clip edges to create more repetitions. You might also want to drag the new loop via the Session

View selector into a Session View slot for real-time arrangement purposes.

When operating on audio clips, Consolidate actually creates a new sample for every track in the selection. The new samples are essentially recordings of the time-warping engine's audio output, prior to processing in the track's effects chain and mixer. Hence, the new sample incorporates the effects of in-clip attenuation, time-warping and pitch shifting, and of the respective

clip envelopes ; however, it does not incorporate the effects. To create a

new sample from the post-effects signal, please use the

Export Audio/Video command .

The new samples can be found in the current Set's

Project folder , under Samples/Processed/

Consolidate. Until the Set is saved, they remain at the location speci ed by the

Temporary

Folder .

Consolidating Several

Clips Into a New Clip.

89

Chapter 7

Session View

In Live's

Arrangement View , as in all traditional sequencing programs, everything happens

along a xed song timeline. For a number of applications, this is a limiting paradigm:

ˆ

When playing live, or when DJing, the order of pieces, the length of each piece and the order of parts within each piece is generally not known in advance.

ˆ

In the theatre, sound has to react to what happens on stage.

ˆ

When working along with a piece of music or a lm score, it can be more ef cient and inspirational to start with an improvisation, which is later re ned into the nal product.

This is exactly what Live's unique

Session View

is for.

CHAPTER 7. SESSION VIEW

7.1

Session View Clips

90

1. Each clip in the Session View has a triangular button at the left edge. Click the button with the mouse to launch clip playback at any time, or pre-select a clip by clicking on its name, and launch it using the computer's

Return key. You can then move on to the neighboring clips using the arrow keys. Please refer the manual section on

clip launch settings

for details on how to customize this behavior.

2. Click on a square Clip Stop button to stop a running clip, either in one of the track's slots, or in the

Track Status eld

below the Session grid.

Clips can be

controlled remotely

with the computer keyboard or a MIDI controller. They can even be mapped to MIDI note ranges so that they play chromatically.

Clips can be played at any time and in any order. The layout of clips does not predetermine their temporal succession; the Session grid offers random access to the clips it contains.

Notice that, even if you stop playback for a Session View clip, the Play button in the Control

Bar will remain highlighted, and the Arrangement Position elds will continue running.

These elds keep a continuous ow of musical time going, so that you can always know your position in song time during a live performance or while

recording into the Arrangement ,

regardless of what your individual Session clips are doing.

You can always return the Arrangement Position elds to 1.1.1 and stop playback for the entire Live Set by pressing the Control Bar's Stop button twice.

The Controls for a

Session View Clip.

CHAPTER 7. SESSION VIEW

91

Slots in

Group Tracks

show a shaded area to indicate that at least one of the contained tracks contains a clip at that location. The color of the shading is the color of the left-most clip in the group. These group slots also contain launch buttons which will launch all of the respective clips. Group slots which have no corresponding clips contain stop buttons.

Clicking in any group slot selects all of the clips it refers to.

The Arrangement

Position Fields and the

Stop Button.

7.2

Tracks and Scenes

Each vertical column, or

track , can play only one clip at a time. It therefore makes sense to

put a set of clips that are supposed to be played alternatively in the same columns: parts of a song, variations of a drum loop, etc.

Group Slots and Group

Launch Buttons.

For convenient access to more clips at once, you can resize Session View tracks by clicking and dragging at the edges of their title bars. Tracks can be narrowed this way so that only

Clip Launch buttons and essential track controls are visibile.

Resized Session View

Tracks.

CHAPTER 7. SESSION VIEW

92

The horizontal rows are called

scenes

. The

Scene Launch buttons

are located in the rightmost column, which represents the

Master track . To launch every clip in a row simultaneously,

click on the associated Scene Launch button. This can be very useful in organizing the live performance of a song with multiple parts.

The scene below a launched scene will automatically be selected as the next to be launched unless the Select Next Scene on Launch option in the Launch Preferences is set to Off.

This allows you to trigger scenes from top to bottom without having to select them rst.

Computer keys or a MIDI controller can be used to

launch scenes and scroll between them .

A Scene in the Session

View.

Scenes can be renamed using the Rename command in the Edit menu or the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu. One can quickly rename several scenes by executing the

Rename command and using the computer's Tab key to move from one scene to the next.

You can also enter your own

info text

for a scene via the Edit Info Text command in the Edit menu or in the scene's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu. The context menu also contains a color palette where you can choose a custom scene color.

Scenes can be reordered by drag-and-drop. Multiple adjacent or nonadjacent scenes can be selected at once by -clicking or

Ctrl

-clicking, respectively. If you drag a selection of nonadjacent scenes, they will be collapsed together when dropped. To move nonadjacent scenes without collapsing, use

Ctrl

+ / instead of the mouse.

Scene names can be both descriptive and functional; if Live detects a viable tempo and/ or time signature as part of a scene name, the project will automatically adjust to these parameters when the scene is launched. To assign a tempo to a scene, select the scene and rename it with a viable tempo (e.g., 96 BPM ). Any tempo can be used, as long as it is within the range allowed by Live's Tempo control (20 999 BPM). To assign a time signature to a scene, rename the scene with a meter in the form of x/y (e.g., 4/4 ). Any time signature can be used, provided it has a numerator between 1 and 99 and a denominator with a beat value of 1, 2, 4, 8 or 16.

CHAPTER 7. SESSION VIEW

93

Tempo and time signature changes can coexist within a single scene name, and can appear in any position as long as they are separated from each other by at least one character. For example, 2/4+108 BPM , 72 BPM;7/8 and 60 BPM Chorus 3/4 are all scene names that will cause simultaneous meter and tempo changes.

Scenes with tempo and/or time signature changes in their names will have a colored Scene

Launch button.

These Scenes Will

Change the Tempo and

Time Signature.

7.3

The Track Status Fields

You can tell a track's status by looking at the Track Status eld just above the active track's mixer controls:

The pie-chart icon in a clip track represents a

looping Session clip . The number to the right

of the circle is the loop length in beats, and the number at the left represents how many times the loop has been played since its launch. A pie-chart without numbers appears in the Track Status eld for a

Group Track

if at least one clip in a contained track is currently playing.

A Track Playing a

Looping Session Clip...

The progress-bar icon represents a one-shot (non-looping) Session clip. The value displays the remaining play time in minutes:seconds.

... A One-shot Session

Clip...

CHAPTER 7. SESSION VIEW

94

A microphone icon appears in an audio track that is set to

monitor its input . A keyboard

icon appears in a MIDI track under these same circumstances.

... Monitoring the

Input...

If the track is playing clips from the Arrangement, a miniature display representing the

Arrangement clips being played appears.

... Playing the

Arrangement.

7.4

Setting Up the Session View Grid

Clips arrive in the Session View by being

imported from the File Browsers

or through

recording .

If you are dragging multiple clips into the Session View, Live defaults to arrange them vertically, in one track. Hold down

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) prior to dropping them so as to lay the clips out in one scene.

Clips can be moved around the Session grid by drag-and-drop. To move several clips at once, select them by using the - or

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac)-modi er before dragging. You can also click into an empty slot and rubber-band select from there.

Dropping Multiple Clips

Into the Session View.

CHAPTER 7. SESSION VIEW

95

7.4.1

Select on Launch

By default, clicking a Session View clip's Launch button also selects the clip, since you will typically want the Clip View to show the newly launched clip. However, some power-users don't want the current focus (e.g., a return track's devices) to disappear just because a clip has been launched, especially when starting a clip in order to try it with the return track device settings. Turn off the Select on Launch option from the Launch Preferences if you prefer the view to remain as is when you launch clips or scenes.

7.4.2

Removing Clip Stop Buttons

You can add and remove Clip Stop buttons from the grid using the Edit menu's Add/Remove

Stop Button command. This is useful for pre-con guring the scene launch behavior: If, for instance, you don't want scene 3 to affect track 4, remove the scene 3/track 4 Stop button.

Slots Without Clip Stop

Buttons.

7.4.3

Editing Scenes

In addition to the standard Edit menu commands such as cut, copy, paste and duplicate, there are two useful commands in the Create menu that apply speci cally to scenes:

ˆ

Insert Scene

inserts an empty scene below the current selection.

ˆ

Capture and Insert Scene

inserts a new scene below the current selection, places copies of the clips that are currently running in the new scene and launches the new scene immediately with no audible interruption. This command is very helpful when developing materials in the Session View. You can capture an interesting moment as a new scene and move on, changing clip properties and trying clip combinations.

CHAPTER 7. SESSION VIEW

7.5

Recording Sessions into the Arrangement

96

Your Session View playing can be recorded into the Arrangement, allowing for an improvisational approach to composing songs and scores.

When the Record button is on, Live logs all of your actions into the Arrangement:

ˆ the clips launched;

ˆ changes of those

clips' properties ;

ˆ changes of the mixer and the devices' controls, also known as

automation

;

ˆ tempos and time signature changes, if they are included in the names of launched scenes.

To nish recording, press the Record button again, or stop playback.

The Control Bar's Record

Button.

The Arrangement

Selector.

To view the results of your recording, bring up the Arrangement View. As you can see, Live has copied the clips you launched during recording into the Arrangement, in the appropriate tracks and the correct song positions. Notice that your recording has not created new audio data, only clips.

The Session clips and the Arrangement clips in one track are mutually exclusive: Only one can play at a time. When a Session clip is launched, Live stops playing back the Arrangement in favor of the Session clip. Clicking a Clip Stop button causes the Arrangement playback to stop, which produces silence.

The Back to

Arrangement Button.

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97

Arrangement playback does not resume until you explicitly tell Live to resume by clicking the Back to Arrangement button, which lights up to remind you that what you hear differs from the Arrangement.

To disable all Arrangement clips simultaneously, click on the Stop All Clips button in the

Master Track Status eld. The clips in the Arrangement and in the Session View exist independently from one another, which makes it easy to improvise into the Arrangement over and over again until it's right.

Furthermore, you can move clips not only within the Session grid, but also from the Session

View to the Arrangement and vice versa by using Copy and Paste, or by dragging clips over the or selectors.

When pasting material from the Arrangement into the Session View, Live attempts to preserve the temporal structure of the clips by laying them out in a matching top-to-bottom order. Moving through the scenes from the top down, you can reconstruct the original arrangement. This is useful for taking a composed piece of music back to the improvisational stage.

The Stop All Clips

Button.

98

Chapter 8

Clip View

The

Clip View

is where clip properties can be set and adjusted.

The Clip View is opened by clicking on the Clip Overview or double-clicking a clip in the

Session or Arrangement View.

The Clip View.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

99

Clicking the Clip

Overview Opens the

Clip View.

In the Session View, clicking on a Track Status Field opens the Clip View for editing the clip that is currently running in the track.

The properties of more than one clip can be edited collectively in the Clip View as a multiselection. To create a multi-selection, click and drag from an empty clip slot to highlight the clips, or select one clip and use the

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) or modi ers to add to your selection. The properties available in the Clip View for a multi-selection depend on the contents of the clips; generally only properties which the clips have in common are shown.

Clicking a Session View

Track Status Field Opens the Clip View.

Controls such as sliders and knobs behave slightly differently when they are part of a multiselection. If the clips in a multi-selection have differing values for any particular knob or slider parameter (clip transposition, for example), the

range

of these values will be displayed and can be adjusted with the control. Dragging the knob or slider to its absolute maximum or minimum value will make the clips' settings thereafter identical, adjustable as a single value.

MIDI clips and audio clips in Live have different sets of properties and, consequently, do not share the same set of Clip View controls. The two types of clips do have the following

Creating a Clip

Multi-Selection.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

100 in common:

ˆ

The

Clip box

contains basic clip settings.

ˆ

The

Envelopes box

and the

Envelope Editor

manage the clip's envelopes, which are used to modulate the effects, mixer, and clip or MIDI controls. Clip envelopes and their associated Clip View components are covered in detail in a

separate manual chapter .

ˆ

The

Launch box

controls clip launch behavior and, as such, only appears for Session

View clips. Setting Session View clip launch properties is covered in detail in a

separate manual chapter .

Audio clips have these additional Clip View controls:

ˆ

The

Sample Display

toggles with the Envelope Editor on the right-hand side of the

Clip View, and controls Live's

sample-warping capabilities

and

clip playback settings .

ˆ

The

Sample box

contains settings pertaining to how the clip plays its sample and displays it in the Sample Display.

MIDI clips have these additional Clip View controls:

ˆ

The

MIDI Editor

toggles with the Envelope Editor on the right-hand side of the Clip

View, and allows

editing and creating MIDI notes and velocities .

ˆ

The

Notes box

contains settings pertaining to how Live plays a MIDI clip and what it displays in the MIDI Editor.

The Clip View for an

Audio Clip.

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101

To make best use of the screen real estate, you can show or hide the Launch, Envelopes, and Sample or MIDI boxes using the Clip View Box selector in the Clips box. You can also toggle between the Sample Display/MIDI Editor and the Envelope Editor by clicking in the title bars of the Sample/Notes box and the Envelopes box, respectively.

The Clip View for a MIDI

Clip.

The Clip View Box

Selector Shows and

Hides Various Clip View

Components.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

8.1

The Clip Box

102

8.1.1

Clip Activator Switch

Using this switch, you can deactivate a clip so that it does not play when launched in the

Session View or during Arrangement playback. Clips can also be activated/deactivated directly from the Session or Arrangement View with their menus.

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context

8.1.2

Clip Name and Color

The Clip Name eld allows naming the clip. By default, a clip's name matches the name of the le it references but, in general, the clip name is independent from the le name.

You can also rename a clip by selecting it in the Session grid or Arrangement View and using the Rename command in the Edit menu or the clip's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu. This method also allows you to create your own

info text

for the clip via the Edit Info

Text command.

Renaming an audio clip does not rename the referenced sample le. To rename a le, select it in Live's File Browsers, and then choose the Edit menu's Rename command.

The Clip Color chooser allows choosing a clip color.

The Clip Box.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

103

8.1.3

Clip Signature

Using the Clip Signature elds, you can specify the time signature of a MIDI or audio clip. This setting is relevant only for display; it does not affect playback. Please note that

Clip Signature is completely separate from the project's time signature, and can be set independently for each clip. This makes it easy to create complex polymetric textures by simultaneously triggering clips with different meters and/or loop lengths.

8.1.4

Clip Groove Chooser

The Clip Groove chooser selects the groove used for the clip from the grooves available in the

Groove Pool .

The Open Groove Pool entry in this chooser can be used to open the Groove Pool if it is closed. If you want to quickly try out a variety of grooves, you can enable the

Hot-Swap

button above the chooser and then step through the grooves in the Browser while the clip plays.

The Commit button under the chooser writes the current groove settings to the clip and disables the assigned groove. If the groove uses the Velocity parameter, committing on an audio clip will create a volume

Clip Envelope

in order to convert the groove's velocity information into audio volume changes. Note that this will overwrite any volume Clip

Envelope that was already in the clip.

The Clip Groove

Chooser.

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104

8.1.5

Clip Offset and Nudging

To jump within a playing clip in increments the size of the global quantization period, you can use the Nudge buttons in the Clip box.

These buttons can also be

mapped to keys or MIDI controllers . In MIDI Map Mode, a scrub

control will appear between the Nudge buttons and can be assigned to a rotary encoder wheel for continuous scrubbing.

Using the Nudge

Buttons to Jump

Through a Clip.

With quantization set to values less than one bar, it is easy to offset clip playback from Live's master clock by launching clips, using the Nudge buttons or

scrubbing within the clip .

The Scrub Control in

MIDI Map Mode.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

8.2

The Sample Box

8.2.1

Warp Controls

105

When the Warp switch is off, Live plays the sample at its original, normal tempo, irrespective of the current Live Set tempo. This is useful for samples that have no inherent rhythmic structure: percussion hits, atmospheres, sound effects, spoken word and the like. Turn the Warp switch on to play rhythmically structured samples (such as sample loops, music recordings, complete music pieces, etc.) in sync with the current song tempo.

The Sample Box Warp

Controls.

The Control Bar's Tempo

Field.

To verify this, note that a warped sample's speed follows the tempo as you change the

Control Bar's Tempo control.

Live offers a number of controls to adjust the time-warping engine for

optimal stretching quality . For accurate warping, Live needs to know the sample's metrical structure. For

properly prepared loops, tempo and duration are calculated automatically; most of the time this is accurate enough that the sample is immediately ready for use in Live. For other samples, you may have to

provide some hints . We will examine these topics thoroughly in

the

Tempo Control and Warping

chapter.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

8.2.2

Sample Loop/Region and Display

Zooming and Scrolling

106

Zooming and scrolling in the Sample Display work much like they do in the

Arrangement

View . When Warp is disabled, zooming and scrolling can be done anywhere in the Sample

Display. When Warp is enabled, however, scrolling only happens in the beat-time ruler and the bottom half of the waveform.

Click and drag vertically in these areas to smoothly change the zoom level, and horizontally to scroll the display.

The Clip Zoom/Scroll

Area.

The Clip Overview provides additional zoom/scrolling functionality. It always shows the complete clip, from start to end. The black rectangular outline represents the part of the clip that is currently displayed. You can click within the outline and drag horizontally or vertically to scroll or zoom.

The Clip Overview.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

107

To have the Sample Display follow the play position and scroll automatically, turn on the

Follow switch, or use the Follow command from the Options menu.

The Follow Switch.

Playing and Scrubbing Clips

The section of the sample that plays when a clip is launched is set with the clip's region and

loop controls . An unlooped clip will play from its start marker to its end marker or until it is

stopped.

These markers can be clicked and dragged to new positions in the Sample Display, or they can be moved with the and keys. To move the entire clip region (i.e., both the start and end markers), select the start marker, hold down , and use the arrow keys.

The Clip Start and End

Markers.

Using Clip Start and End

Controls to Change Clip

Length.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

108

You can also adjust the clip start and end numerically using the respective value elds to the left of the Sample Display. For warped clips, these elds display values as bars-beatssixteenths; for unwarped clips, the display is in minutes-seconds-milliseconds. Notice that you can use the Set buttons here to place the markers during playback. Setting markers this way is quantized according to global quantization.

When Permanent Scrub Areas is enabled in Live's Look/Feel Preferences, clicking in the lower half of the waveform or in the beat-time ruler will make clip playback jump to that point.

The size of this jump is quantized by the global quantization setting, which can be quickly changed using the

Ctrl

6

(PC) /

6

(Mac),

7

,

8

,

9 and

0 shortcuts. While the mouse is held down over the scrub area, a portion of the clip the size of the chosen quantization setting will be repeatedly played. With small quantization settings, or a setting of None, this allows you to scrub through the music.

When the Permanent Scrub Areas preference is off, you can still scrub by anywhere in the scrub area or in the beat time ruler.

-clicking

The Clip Scrub Area.

Looping Clips

To have the clip play as a (potentially in nite) loop, turn on the

Loop

switch. Note that the Warp switch must be activated before the Loop switch is accessible, as unwarped clips

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

109 cannot be looped.

You can click and drag to change the position and length of the

loop brace

in the Sample

Display, or you can type exact values into the Loop Length and Position elds to the left of the display.

The loop brace can be selected with the mouse and its position changed with commands from the computer keyboard:

ˆ

ˆ and nudge the loop brace to the left/right by the current

grid setting .

and shift the loop brace left/right in steps the size of its length.

ˆ

Ctrl

(PC) / current

grid setting .

ˆ

Ctrl

(PC) /

(Mac) shortens or lengthens the loop brace by the

(Mac) doubles or halves the loop length.

Regardless of the position of the loop brace, clip play will begin at the position marked by the start marker, which means you can set up the clip to run into a loop.

The Clip Loop Controls.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

110

The Loop Length and Position elds are equipped with Set buttons, which can be used to create loops spontaneously during playback:

ˆ

Playing the clip and then clicking the Set Loop Position button moves the beginning of loop to the current playback position (rounded to the global quantization setting) and engages the loop. Then, clicking the Set Loop Length button moves the end of the loop to the current playback position. This lets you capture the music in a loop on the y.

ˆ

While the loop is still off, you can click the Set Loop Length button to set the loop to end at the current playback position without changing its preset length. This simultaneously activates looping.

The Set buttons, the Loop switch, the loop brace and the start/end markers can all be

mapped to MIDI controls . You could, for example, use a rotary encoder to move the loop

through a sample in increments the size of the chosen quantization interval.

Setting the Clip to Run

Into a Loop.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

8.2.3

Clip Pitch and Gain

111

The Clip Pitch and Gain

Controls.

The Transpose control shifts the clip pitch in semitones.

The Detune eld ne-tunes the clip in cents (100 cents = one semitone).

The Clip Gain slider, calibrated in dB, changes the clip gain.

8.2.4

Destructive Sample Editing

The Edit button opens the sample in an external sample editing application, which you can specify in the File/Folder Preferences. To process a sample in an external program, you have to stop Live's playback. When you return to Live, the edited version of the sample will be played back. The current set of Warp Markers is retained only if the sample length remains the same as it did prior to editing. Remember that changes made to one sample may affect other clips that play the same sample.

The Launch Sample

Editor Button.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

8.2.5

Saving Default Clip Settings with the Sample

112

The Save Default Clip button saves the current clip's settings with the sample. With multiple clips selected, this button will save them all simultaneously. Once saved, Live will restore the current clip settings whenever you drop the sample into a Live Set. This is especially useful with regards to the Warp Markers, which have to be set correctly for Live to play long les in sync. Note that you can use the Save button without affecting any existing clips;

Save just saves default settings for future clips using this sample.

The clip data becomes part of the

analysis le

that accompanies the sample.

Note that storing default clip settings with the sample is different from saving the clip as a

Live Clip , which also saves devices and device settings.

The Save Default Clip

Button.

8.2.6

High Quality Interpolation

If the High Quality switch is on, Live uses an advanced sample-rate conversion algorithm that provides better sound quality at the expense of a higher

CPU load . Samples processed

with the Hi-Q algorithm generate less distortion, particularly at high frequencies, when transposing a sample and/or matching an imported sample's sampling rate to the system's sampling rate. With this mode enabled, samples can be transposed roughly 19 semitones in either direction before aliasing is likely to be audible.

Note: As of Live 7, the Hi-Q mode uses an algorithm that produces even smaller audible artifacts than in previous versions. Although we think this has greatly improved sound quality, any Sets made in older versions that used Hi-Q mode may now sound different. For

The High Quality Switch.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

113 this reason, we have provided a Legacy Hi-Q Mode option, which is enabled by default in the Options menu whenever you load an old Set that has Hi-Q enabled for any clips. Simply disable this option if you wish to use the new mode.

8.2.7

Clip Start and End Fades

The Clip Fade switch, when enabled, applies a short fade to the clip start and end to avoid clicks at the clip edges. The length of the fade is signal-dependent and ranges from 0-4 milliseconds.

This switch is only available for clips in Session View. In Arrangement View, clip fades are adjusted via

envelopes .

The Clip Fade switch is on by default for all new clips when the Create Fades on Clip Edges option is enabled in the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences.

The Clip Fade Switch.

Automatically Create

Short Fades At Clip

Edges.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

8.2.8

Clip RAM Mode

114

If the RAM Mode switch is on, Live is loading the audio referenced by the clip into the computer's memory rather than reading it from disk in real time. RAM Mode can help with these problems:

ˆ

Your computer's hard disk is too slow to deliver audio for as many tracks as desired in real time. For more information on disk-related problems, please refer to

Managing the Disk Load

.

ˆ

You are experiencing audio dropouts when playing clips in

Legato Mode .

Use RAM Mode with care, as RAM is usually a scarce resource. Your computer is using the hard disk for swapping out RAM contents that have not been used in a while. The more clips you are running in RAM Mode, the higher the likelihood for them to be swapped out. Live can handle disk overloads more gracefully than swapped-out audio arriving late:

Disk overloads result in unwanted mutes, whereas RAM overload results in both mutes and rhythmical hiccups.

The RAM Mode Switch.

8.2.9

Reversing Samples

This function creates a new sample by reversing the sample referenced by the current clip.

It then reapplies the old clip's settings (according to some rules that we will explain in a moment), and replaces the original sample with the reversal in the Clip View. The new sample can be found, after saving the Live Set, in the Set's

Project folder , under Samples/

The Reverse Button.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

115

Processed/Reverse. Until the Set is saved, new samples remain at the location speci ed by the

Temporary Folder .

There are a few rules for the reversing process. First, any

Warp Markers

will remain xed to their positions

in the sample

. This means that a Warp Marker on the downbeat of the second bar of a clip will end up on the downbeat of the second-to-last bar after reversal.

Clip loop/region settings are similarly ipped. Second,

clip envelopes

remain xed to their position

in time

. Therefore, a mixer volume envelope that lowers the volume of the rst half of a clip will continue to do exactly that after reversal.

The reversal process is quite fast (about as fast as copying), but for very long samples it might take a little time. When this is the case, the Status Bar in the lower portion of the Live screen will give you a progress display, and further actions in the program will be temporarily locked

(though running clips will continue to play). You can play the reversed clip and perform other actions in the program as soon as Live begins to draw the new waveform into the Sample

Display. Once a sample is reversed, a link to the reversed sample will be maintained until you quit the program, and reversing the same clip again (or a copy) will be instantaneous.

It is not recommended that you reverse clips in a live performance situation, as a slight glitch can sometimes occur while Live reapplies the warp and loop settings.

8.2.10

Cropping Audio Clips

The Sample Display's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu includes the Crop Sample command. This function creates, similarly to the

Reverse function , a new sample by copying

the one currently in use - but only the excerpt that is actually used plus a 50 millisecond safety margin on both ends. The new sample can be found, after saving the Live Set, in the

Set's

Project folder , under Samples/Processed/Crop. Until the Set is saved, the new sample

remains at the location speci ed by the

Temporary Folder .

8.2.11

Replacing and Editing the Sample

To replace the sample referenced by the clip with a different one, drop the new sample directly from the File Browser into the Clip View. Clip settings like pitch and volume will

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

116 be retained. The Warp Markers will be retained only if the new sample has the exact same length as the old sample.

The Sample Display's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu includes the Manage Sample

File command. This opens the File Manager for the current Set with the sample referenced by the clip selected. From there, you can

replace and destructively edit the sample , in such

a way that all clips and instruments referencing the sample will be affected. You can also use the Show in Browser command in the the le in the Browser.

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu to reveal

8.3

The Notes Box

8.3.1

Tempo Controls

The Orig. BPM eld displays Live's interpretation of the tempo at which the clip's MIDI was recorded. When dragging up or down in the Original BPM eld, or clicking the :2 and

*2 buttons, you will see that the notes in the MIDI Editor are correspondingly stretched or compressed. This is useful for aligning notes that you have recorded without a tempo reference, like Live's

metronome .

The Notes Box.

CHAPTER 8. CLIP VIEW

117

8.3.2

Bank and Program Change

Live can send MIDI bank/program change messages to external devices and plug-ins that support MIDI program change messages. According to the settings in these controls, launching a clip also sends its bank/program change message. If you are using Live to send

MIDI to your synth, this means that each MIDI clip in your Live Set can play a different sound on your synth. Live offers messages for 128 banks with 128 sub-banks, each of which has

128 programs. Please see the documentation that came with your synthesizer to determine how many of these messages it can use. If you do not want your clip to send program or bank change messages, simply set the bank/program choosers to None.

8.3.3

MIDI Loop/Region

These controls manage how the contents of a MIDI clip are played and shown in the MIDI

Editor. They work the same way as those for

audio clips .

In the MIDI Editor, the zoom/scroll area is located above the beat-time ruler, the scrub area just below.

8.4

Clip Defaults and Update Rate

You can change the rate at which Live applies your Clip View settings to a running clip. Clip

View changes will be quantized by the rate selected from the Clip Update Rate chooser in the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences. Certain clip settings, such as Launch Mode and Warp

Mode, can be set up as defaults for all new clips. This is also done in the Record/Warp/

Launch Preferences.

118

Chapter 9

Tempo Control and Warping

Unlike music stored on tape or in a traditional digital audio workstation, the music in Live remains elastic at all times. Live is capable of

time-warping

samples while streaming them from disk so as to synchronize them to the current Live Set's tempo. This happens without affecting the pitch, which can be changed independently. Mixing and matching audio from different origins is therefore extremely easy.

9.1

Tempo

9.1.1

Setting the Tempo

The Control Bar's Tempo eld allows you to change the playback tempo of your Live Set at any time, in real time. You can even

automate

the tempo

to create smooth or sudden tempo changes along the song timeline. For maximum tempo control during performance, you can

MIDI map

separate controllers to the Tempo eld on both sides of the decimal point. Setting one knob to control coarse tempo in BPM and another to control ne tempo

The Control Bar's Tempo

Field.

CHAPTER 9. TEMPO CONTROL AND WARPING

119 in hundredths of a BPM allows for enough precision to adjust to live performers or other unsynchronized sources.

You can have an external sequencer (or drum machine) play along with Live or have Live play along with the sequencer. The respective settings are made in the MIDI/Sync Preferences, and the EXT switch next to the tempo control is activated to have Live follow an external

MIDI clock source. Please refer to the section on

synchronization

for details.

9.1.2

Tapping the Tempo

You can use Live's Tap Tempo function to set the tempo at any time. As you click the Control

Bar's Tap Tempo button once every beat, the tempo of the Live Set will follow your tapping.

The Tap Button.

It is better to assign the Tap button to a computer key than using the mouse. Click on the

Control Bar's KEY switch to enter Key Map Mode; then select the Tap button; press the key you would like to use for tapping; click the KEY switch again to leave Key Map Mode. The assignment will take effect immediately. The Tap button can also be assigned to a MIDI note or controller, like a foot switch, in a

similar fashion . Although Live responds to your

tapping immediately, it does apply some degree of inertia to prevent sluggish behavior in the software. The more taps Live receives in a row, the more precisely it will be able to conclude the desired tempo.

You can also use tapping to count in: If you are working in a 4:4 signature, it takes four taps to start song playback at the tapped tempo.

The Key Map Mode

Switch.

9.1.3

Nudging the Tempo

The Nudge Buttons.

CHAPTER 9. TEMPO CONTROL AND WARPING

120

Although Live can be easily

synchronized to external MIDI devices , you may nd yourself in

situations in which you need to adjust to sources that aren't locked to one tempo, such as live musicians or turntables. As long as your Set's tempo is basically the same as that of the unsynchronized material, you can use the Nudge buttons to temporarily speed up or slow down Live's playback to match what you hear. As with the Tap button, these buttons are much easier to use when

mapped to MIDI controllers .

9.2

Time-Warping Samples

Live's ability to play any sample in sync with a chosen tempo is a unique and important feature. In addition, you can warp the rhythmic ow of a piece, changing its feel, or even move notes to other meter positions.

A clip's warping properties are set in the

Sample box , which is a sub-section of the Clip View.

The most signi cant control here is the

Warp

switch, which toggles a clip's warping on or off. The Warp section of Live's Preferences will determine the default warp settings for new clips, but they can always be overridden here on a per-clip basis.

When the Warp switch is off, Live plays the sample at its original, normal tempo, irrespective of the current Live Set's tempo. This is useful for samples that have no inherent rhythmic structure: percussion hits, atmospheres, sound effects, spoken word and the like.

Turn the Warp switch on to play rhythmically structured samples (such as sample loops, music recordings, complete music pieces, etc.) in sync with the current song tempo.

To direct Live's assumptions about new samples, use the Record/Warp/Launch tab of Live's

The Sample Box's

Warping Controls.

CHAPTER 9. TEMPO CONTROL AND WARPING

121

Preferences. If the Auto-Warp Long Samples preference is on, Live assumes that long samples contain music that should be played in sync with the Live Set's tempo. If you would rather have Live default to playing long samples as they are, disengage this preference.

9.2.1

Tempo Master/Slave

All warped clips in the Arrangement View have one further option: They can be de ned as

tempo masters

by toggling their Master/Slave switches. Any number of clips can be set as tempo masters, but only one clip at a time can actually

be

the tempo master. This distinction is always granted to the bottom-most, currently playing clip in the Arrangement View.

The clip that is the current tempo master will play as if warping was

off,

but with one important difference the rest of the Live Set will be warped so that it plays in sync with the current tempo master.

This is achieved by adding tempo automation to the Master track for the duration of the tempo master clip. You will notice that the Tempo eld in Live's Control Bar becomes disabled in this state; this is because all tempo control is handed over to the tempo master clip.

When toggling a clip's Master/Slave switch, or when deleting a clip that was set as tempo master, the Master track tempo automation is removed again, restoring the proper tempo to the region. If you wish instead to

keep

the generated tempo automation to continue working with it, then (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on the Control Bar's Tempo eld, and choose the Unslave Tempo Automation command. All clips will then be set to Slave, but the tempo automation will remain in place.

Note that when Live's

EXT

switch is enabled , the Master/Slave switch has no effect and

appears disabled.

9.2.2

Warp Markers

Think of a sample as a rubber-band that you want to pin to a (musical time) ruler. In Live, the pins are called

Warp Markers

. A Warp Marker locks a speci c point in the sample to a speci c place in the measure. You can use any number of Warp Markers to create an arbitrary mapping of the piece's inherent rhythm to a musical meter.

CHAPTER 9. TEMPO CONTROL AND WARPING

122

Warp Markers are set in the Clip View's Sample Display by double-clicking within the sample. They can then be dragged or moved with the arrow keys to different points in time.

Warp Markers can also be deleted by double-clicking them, or by pressing the computer keyboard's or

Delete key after selecting them.

Double-Clicking In the

Sample Creates a Warp

Marker.

When working with your sample, you can have Live scroll the Sample Display to follow playback. Use the Control Bar's Follow switch to activate this feature. It also might be helpful to vertically resize the Sample Display by dragging on the split line between the Clip

View and the Session View track area.

The Follow Switch in the

Control Bar.

Transients and Pseudo Warp Markers

When you rst load a sample into Live, Live automatically analyzes the audio and nds its

transients

. These are the points in the audio where notes or events begin, and are usually good places to put Warp Markers. Transients appear as small markers at the top of the sample display after zooming in.

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As you mouse over transients, temporary pseudo Warp Markers appear. These have the same shape as regular Warp Markers, but they're grey. Double-clicking or dragging a pseudo Warp Marker creates an actual Warp Marker or, if there are no Warp Markers later in the clip, changes the tempo for the clip segment. Holding the

Ctrl

(PC) /

(Mac) modi er while creating a Warp Marker on a transient also creates Warp Markers at the adjacent transients. Holding the modi er while clicking on a pseudo Warp

Marker allows you to drag the transient to a new position. Once a Warp Marker has been created, holding while dragging the Warp Marker will move the waveform beneath the marker, rather than the marker itself.

You can also select a range of time and create Warp Markers at all of the transients within the range via the Create menu's Insert Warp Markers command. If there are no transients within your time selection, a Warp Marker will be created at the end of the selection.

Although Live usually does a good job of placing transients in the right places, you can delete and create transients as well, via the corresponding commands in the Create menu.

Transient Markers.

Saving Warp Markers

Your Warp Markers will automatically be saved with the Live Set, but you may also want to save them with the sample le itself, so that they are reconstructed anytime you drag the le into Live. To do this, click the Clip View's

Save button .

Note that if a sample has a

saved set of Warp Markers , Auto-Warp will have no effect. When

this is the case, you can use any of the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu commands described in this section to initiate auto-warping.

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9.2.3

Using Warp Markers

In the following sections, we will look at a couple of applications for time-warping samples.

Warping is, of course, an optional property of clips.

Syncing Straight Loops

When you import a sample that represents a well-cut musical loop of 1,2,4 or 8 bars in length, Live usually makes the correct assumptions to play the loop in sync with the chosen tempo. It creates two Warp Markers, one at the sample's beginning and one at the end.

The Seg. BPM eld displays Live's guess of the loop's tempo; if you happen to know the tempo of the loop, you can type it in here. Sometimes Live's guess of the original tempo is wrong by half or double. If so, correct this by clicking on the buttons labeled *2 and

:2, respectively. The sample plays at double speed when you press :2 because you are changing Live's interpretation of the sample's tempo, which serves as a point of reference for determining the required time-stretch factor.

A Two-Bar Loop as It

Appears in the Clip

View, by Default.

Syncing Uncut Loops

When importing a loop that has not been edited into a well-cut loop, Live will play it out of sync. Suppose there is a portion of silence at the sample beginning, prior to the rst beat. You can easily correct this by placing a Warp Marker at the beginning of the audio and dragging it so that it lines up with the beginning of bar one in the timeline. Likewise,

CHAPTER 9. TEMPO CONTROL AND WARPING

125 you can eliminate silence after the actual loop end by placing a Warp Marker at the sample's right edge.

Syncing Odd-Length Loops

If you import a sample that contains a seven-bar loop, Live initially assumes the loop is eight bars long (or four, depending on its length) and plays it out of sync. For correct playback, the marker at the end of the sample needs to be at the beginning of bar eight, not bar nine.

To x this, simply drag the ending marker to the correct position.

If Live's initial guess had been a four-bar loop, the eighth bar may not initially be visible. In that case, you can drag the Warp Marker at the end toward the right until the eight becomes visible.

Manipulating Grooves

You can now create any number of Warp Markers by double-clicking within the sample or on transient locations. Drag in a straight looped sample, set a few Warp Markers, and move them around to see what happens. Warp Markers really serve two purposes:

1. to provide a correct interpretation of the ow of musical time in the sample;

2. to mess up the ow of time in the sample.

Setting the Warp

Markers for a Poorly Cut

Loop.

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126

If a single event in a percussion loop comes late, just pin a Warp Marker to it and drag the marker to the correct beat position. You may want to pin the adjacent events as well, to avoid affecting neighboring regions in the sample.

Removing a sample's natural groove by applying Warp Markers is an interesting creative method, particularly in conjunction with Live's

ability to impose an arti cial groove onto clips in real-time .

Using Warp Markers to

Manipulate the Groove.

Syncing Longer Pieces

Live's

Auto-Warp

algorithm makes longer samples and entire songs readily available for integration into your project. You can use the

Browser

to import long samples or MP3, AAC,

Ogg Vorbis, Ogg FLAC and FLAC les.

When you drag a le into Live that is too long to justify the assumption that it is a loop or a one-shot, Live will auto-warp the clip by default (though this can be changed in the

Record/Warp/Launch Preferences ).

Note that, for the auto-warp mechanism to work, les which are being imported into the program for the rst time will need to undergo a rst-time

analysis process

and will not be immediately available for playing or editing. As explained in the section in this manual on analysis les, analysis can be batch-processed with the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu's Analyze Audio command. Once analysis is nished, you can view the results of

Auto-Warp's assumptions about the le.

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127

Auto-Warp's Results in the Clip View.

As long as Auto-Warp made the correct set of informed guesses, the clip will be ready to play in perfect sync with the Live Set's tempo. However, if Auto-Warp does not quite do what you want, you can control its results. The remainder of this section will focus on various ways of guiding Live's auto-warping. Remember that the metronome in the Control Bar will probably come in handy as you warp longer pieces.

It might happen that Auto-Warp guesses the tempo correctly but gets the downbeat wrong.

To remedy this, you can do one of the following:

ˆ

Hold the key while dragging the rst Warp Marker. This will allow you to adjust the position of the waveform under the Warp Marker.

ˆ

Zoom in and create a Warp Marker on the downbeat. Then drag it to the beginning of bar 1 in the timeline;

ˆ

Use the start marker's

Here

command.

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu to select the

Set 1.1.1

The Metronome Switch.

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128

Directing Auto-Warp is also relatively simple when you have imported a perfectly cut loop.

You can tell Auto-Warp to work accordingly using the

Warp As ...-Bar Loop

command. Live will propose a loop length that makes the most sense given the current Live Set's tempo.

Decreasing the Live Set's tempo can, for instance, lead Live to assume the loop is 8 bars at

90 BPM instead of 16 bars at 180 BPM.

Sometimes more accurate control of Auto-Warp is necessary. The best way to go about warping a clip that requires more detailed attention is in sections, working gradually from left to right. You can set a Warp Marker by double-clicking in the sample to the right of each correctly warped section, pinning it into place. The shortcuts for working with the

clip loop brace and start/end markers

can speed up this process considerably.

You might also nd it helpful to select multiple Warp Markers for moving by selecting them with the or

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) modi ers held down.

Using the Context Menu to Direct Auto-Warp.

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129

The four Warp From Here commands provide various ways of resetting Warp Markers to the right of the selected grid marker or Warp Marker, leaving Warp Markers to the left untouched. These commands are also available from the start marker.

ˆ

Warp From Here

runs the Auto-Warp algorithm on the material to the right of the selected marker.

ˆ

Warp From Here (Start At ...)

directs Auto-Warp to use the current Live Set's tempo as a starting point for tempo tracking. The strategy here is as follows:

1. Deactivate the Warp switch for the clip so that it plays unwarped;

2. Use the Control Bar's Tap Tempo button to tap along, thereby setting the

Live Set's tempo to match that of the clip;

3. Turn warping on again and use the Warp From Here (Start At ...) command to tell Auto-Warp to use your tapped tempo as a reference.

ˆ

Warp From Here (Straight)

tells Auto-Warp that this is a clip with no tempo variations

(common in electronically produced works). Auto-Warp will then set a single Warp

Marker derived from its guess of the le's original tempo.

ˆ

Warp ... BPM From Here

will also set a single Warp Marker, but in this case, Auto-Warp is forced to interpret the clip as exactly matching the Live Set's tempo. This is useful in cases when you happen to know the exact BPM value of an electronically-produced work and can type it into the Control Bar before warping.

Multi-Clip Warping

When clips of equal length are multi-selected, adding or changing Warp Markers for one clip will apply identical Warp Markers to all. This is convenient in any situation where several tracks have the same rhythm, and you wish to alter the timing of each recording in the same way. A common scenario would be when multi-tracking a band's performance, where the musicians all play in time with each other, yet the timing itself is in some way awed.

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130

9.2.4

Quantizing Audio

In the previous section, you learned how to adjust the timing of events in audio les by manually dragging Warp Markers along the timeline. But it is also possible to automatically snap the entire sample to the grid at once by using the Quantize command. To do this, click in the background of the sample editor and choose the Quantize command from the Edit menu, or use the

Ctrl

U

(PC) /

U

(Mac) hotkey. This will quantize using default settings, or the settings that you previously applied.

To adjust your quantization parameters, open the Quantization Settings dialog from the Edit menu.

Using the options presented here, you can select either the current grid size or a speci c meter value for quantization. You can also quantize without that quantized feel by adjusting the Amount control, which will move Warp Markers by a percentage of the set quantization value.

Quantizing Audio

Samples.

9.3

Adjusting for Good Stretching Quality

Live offers a number of time-stretching modes to accommodate all sorts of audio material.

Each clip's time-stretching mode and associated parameters are set in the Clip View's

Sample

Box.

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131

The warp modes are different varieties of granular resynthesis techniques. Granular resynthesis achieves time compression and expansion by repeating and skipping over parts of the sample (the grains ). The warp modes differ in the selection of grains, as well as in the details of overlapping and crossfading between grains.

Let's investigate which warp modes work best for different types of signals and how to adjust the warping controls for clean stretching. It's also fun to misuse these controls to achieve interesting artifacts instead of accurate stretching.

9.3.1

Beats Mode

Beats Mode works best for material where rhythm is dominant (e.g., drum loops as well as most pieces of electronic dance music). The granulation process is optimized to preserve transients in the audio material.

Use the

Preserve

control to preserve divisions in the sample as boundaries when warping.

For the most accurate results, particularly with percussive material, choose Transients. This setting uses the positions of the analyzed (or user-created) transients to determine warping behavior. To preserve speci c beat divisions regardless of the sample's contents, choose one of the xed note values. For some interesting rhythmic artifacts, choose large note values in conjunction with pitch transposition.

The Transient Loop Mode chooser sets the looping properties for the clip's transients:

Loop Off

Each segment of audio between transients plays to its end and then stops.

Any remaining time between the end of a segment and the next transient will be silent.

Loop Forward

Each segment of audio between transients plays to its end. Playback then jumps back to a zero-crossing near the middle of the segment and continues looping until the time when the next transient occurs.

Loop Back-and-Forth

Each segment of audio between transients plays to its end.

Playback then reverses until it reaches a zero-crossing near the middle of the segment, and then proceeds again towards the end of the segment. This pattern continues until the time when the next transient occurs. This mode, in conjunction with the Preserve Transients selection, can often result in very good quality at slower tempos.

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The Transient Envelope slider applies a volume fade to each segment of audio. At 100, there is no fade. At 0, each segment decays very quickly. Long envelope times can help to smooth clicks at the end of segments, while short times can be used to apply rhythmic gating effects.

9.3.2

Tones Mode

Tones Mode serves well for stretching material with a more or less clear pitch structure, such as vocals, monophonic instruments and basslines.

Grain Size

provides rough control over the average grain size used. The actual grain size is determined in a signal-dependent manner. For signals with a clear sense of pitch contour, a small grain size works best. Larger grain sizes help avoid artifacts that can occur when the pitch contour is unclear, but the tradeoff can be audible repetitions.

9.3.3

Texture Mode

Texture Mode works well for sound textures with an ambiguous pitch contour (e.g., polyphonic orchestral music, noise, atmospheric pads, etc.). It also offers rich potential for manipulating all kinds of sounds in a creative way.

The

Grain Size

control determines the grain size used, but unlike in Tones Mode, this is a setting that Live will use unaltered, without considering the signal's characteristics.

Fluctuation

introduces randomness into the process. Larger values give more randomness.

9.3.4

Re-Pitch Mode

In Re-Pitch Mode, Live doesn't really time-stretch or compress the music; instead, it adjusts the playback rate to create the desired amount of stretching. In other words, to speed up playback by a factor of 2, it's transposed up an octave. This is like the DJ stretching method of using variable-speed turntables to sync two records, or what happens to samples in samplers when they're transposed.

The Transpose and Detune controls have no effect in Re-Pitch Mode.

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133

9.3.5

Complex Mode

Complex Mode is a warping method speci cally designed to accommodate composite signals that combine the characteristics covered by other Warp Modes; it works well for warping entire songs, which usually contain beats, tones and textures.

Complex Mode is a rather CPU-intensive function, using approximately ten times the CPU resources required by the other Warp Modes. As such, you may want to

freeze tracks

where

Complex Mode is used or

record

the results as a new clip to use as a substitute.

9.3.6

Complex Pro Mode

Complex Pro Mode uses a variation of the algorithm found in Complex mode, and may offer even better results (although with an increase in CPU usage.) Like Complex Mode, Complex

Pro works especially well with polyphonic textures or whole songs.

The

Formants

slider adjusts the extent to which the formants of the sample are compensated when transposing. At 100%, the original formants will be preserved, which allows for large changes in transposition while maintaining the sample's original tonal quality. Note that this slider has no effect if the sample is played back untransposed.

The

Envelope

slider also in uences the spectral characteristics of the material. The default setting of 128 should work well for most audio. For very high-pitched samples, you may have better results with lower Envelope values. Likewise, low-pitched material may sound better with higher values.

9.3.7

REX Mode

REX Mode differs from the other Warp modes in several ways. Most notably, it is not available as an option in the Clip View's Sample Box, but is instead enabled automatically when loading a le in REX format. REX les, associated with the program

ReCycle

by

Propellerhead

Software

, contain embedded tempo and timing information and will synchronize to your Set's tempo just like any other audio le.

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134

Although REX les are audio les, they can quickly be transformed into playable instruments via the

Slice to New MIDI Track

command, which is available in the Create Menu or the

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu for the Clip.

Warp Markers/parameters,

Clip Envelopes

that affect warping properties, and the

Clip

Nudge

controls are not available for REX les.

135

Chapter 10

Editing MIDI Notes and Velocities

A MIDI clip in Live contains notes and controller data for playing a MIDI instrument. This instrument can be a virtual instrument in a MIDI track's

device chain

or an external synth fed via the track's

output routing . The

MIDI clip

provides the device with a musical score to play, specifying note pitch, length, position and dynamics (referred to as

velocity

in the

MIDI lexicon). MIDI is composed and edited in Live's MIDI Editor.

10.1

Creating an Empty MIDI Clip

MIDI clips are created

ˆ by means of

recording ;

ˆ or by double-clicking an empty Session slot in a MIDI track;

ˆ or by selecting an empty Session slot in a MIDI track and choosing the Create menu's

Insert MIDI Clip command;

ˆ or, in the Arrangement View, by selecting a timespan in a MIDI track and choosing the

Create menu's Insert MIDI Clip command.

CHAPTER 10. EDITING MIDI NOTES AND VELOCITIES

10.2

The MIDI Editor

136

To bring up the MIDI Editor, double-click a MIDI clip to open the Clip View. You can use the

Clip View Box selector to make sure the

Notes box

is showing, then click in the title bar of the Notes box to bring up the MIDI Editor on the right-hand side of the screen.

The MIDI Editor is divided into two editing windows: the upper Note Editor and the lower

Velocity Editor. You can resize the Velocity Editor by dragging on the split line that runs between it and the Note Editor. You can also show and hide the Velocity Editor using the triangular button on the left-hand side of the split line.

The MIDI Editor.

The Control Bar's Draw

Mode Switch.

Switch to Draw Mode by activating the Control Bar's Draw Mode switch. You can now draw

MIDI notes into the Note Editor with the mouse. Deactivating Draw Mode allows notes to be selected and moved around via clipboard operations or by clicking and dragging, either vertically to change their transposition, or horizontally to change their position in time. MIDI notes can also be added and deleted by double-clicking when Draw Mode is inactive.

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137

Provided your MIDI track's device chain contains an

instrument , activating the Preview switch

in the MIDI Editor allows you to hear notes as you select and move them. If the MIDI track is armed, activating Preview also allows you to

step record

new notes into the clip.

Note velocity is adjusted in the Velocity Editor, by clicking and dragging on the associated markers. You can also use Draw Mode in the Velocity Editor: It will draw identical velocities for all notes within a grid tile.

After drawing a few notes and moving them around, you will probably want to know how to get around in the Note Editor. So, before we get into detailed editing information, we will rst explain MIDI Editor navigation.

Previewing MIDI Notes.

10.3

MIDI Editor Navigation and Transport

Note Scale Position Is

Shown Vertically and

Beat-Time Horizontally.

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138

The MIDI Editor has both vertical and horizontal navigation. Along the horizontal axis lies a time ruler, which shows note position along a musical timeline. The vertical axis contains the note ruler, displaying octaves C0 C10, and a representation of a piano keyboard (the piano roll). Note that if the Preview switch at the top of the piano roll is activated, you can listen to the results of your piano roll playing.

2 1

3 5 6

1. To smoothly change the time-zoom level, click and drag vertically in the time ruler. Drag horizontally in the time ruler to scroll from left to right.

2. Click and drag vertically in the note ruler to change which octaves are shown, or drag horizontally to change the vertical zoom size of MIDI notes and the keyboard.

3. Click and drag over one or more notes to select them, or over a portion of the editor's background to select a range of time. Then, double-click on the note ruler or time ruler to automatically zoom in on your selection. If nothing is selected, double-clicking the note ruler will zoom in on the area from the lowest to the highest note in the clip, while double-clicking the time ruler will zoom out to show the time between the rst and last note.

4. To zoom in and out around the current selection, use the computer keyboard's

+ and - keys.

5. The Clip Overview just beneath the MIDI Editor can also be used for navigation.

MIDI Editor Navigation.

CHAPTER 10. EDITING MIDI NOTES AND VELOCITIES

It always shows the complete contents of the selected MIDI clip. The black rectangular outline represents the part of the clip that is currently displayed in the Editor above. To scroll, click within the outline and drag left or right; to zoom in and out, drag up and down.

6. Change the length of what is shown in the Editor by dragging the left or right edges of the outline in the Clip Overview.

7. To quickly change what is shown in the Editor, click on a section that you want to examine in the Clip Overview, then drag downwards to zoom in, or scroll by dragging left and right.

139

The area displayed in the Note Editor can be set to scroll with playback using the Follow switch from the Control Bar.

When Permanent Scrub Areas is enabled in Live's Look/Feel Preferences, clicking in the scrub area below the beat-time ruler starts playback from that point, rounded by the global quantization setting. When the Permanent Scrub Areas preference is off, you can still scrub by -clicking anywhere in the scrub area or in the beat-time ruler. Learning about the

loop/region controls

and associated shortcuts can also be helpful in getting around in the

MIDI Editor and playing selections quickly and easily.

As you work with MIDI, you may nd yourself needing extra screen space. You can click and drag vertically on the window split between the Session or Arrangement View and the Clip

View to enlarge the MIDI Editor.

The Control Bar's Follow

Switch.

Enlarge the MIDI Editor by Dragging the

Window Split Between

Session and Clip Views.

CHAPTER 10. EDITING MIDI NOTES AND VELOCITIES

10.4

Editing MIDI

140

10.4.1

Non-Destructive Editing

You can always return your MIDI clip to its previous state by using the Edit menu's Undo command. Furthermore, if the MIDI clip being edited originated in a MIDI le on your hard drive, none of your editing will alter the original MIDI le, as Live incorporates its contents into your Live Set when importing.

10.4.2

Folding and Looping

An important feature of the MIDI Editor is the Fold button, located in the upper left corner.

Activating this button will immediately hide all rows, or

key tracks

, that do not contain MIDI notes in any clips in the track. This is very useful when working with percussion kits, for example, which are oftentimes mapped out along a keyboard in sections corresponding to percussion type (e.g., snares grouped together two octaves down from hi-hat cymbals, etc.). When working with a MIDI le created by such a mapping, sometimes only one or two of each type of percussion sound is used, and it becomes unnecessary to view the entire keyboard range.

When editing MIDI, you might nd that you want to change which part of the clip you are listening to, or loop the clip in order to listen to it repeatedly. You can use the

loop/region markers

for this.

The Fold Button Extracts

Key Tracks Containing

Notes.

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141

10.4.3

Grid Snapping

Most functions in the MIDI Editor are subject to

grid snapping . You can hold down the

Alt

(PC) / (Mac) modi er while performing an action to bypass grid snapping.

Note movements will also snap to an offset, which is based on the original placement of the note relative to the grid. This is useful for preserving a groove or loose playing style that you do not necessarily want to set straight.

10.4.4

Editing Notes

Editing in the MIDI Editor is similar to

editing in the Arrangement . In both cases, your

actions are selection-based: you select something using the mouse, then execute a menu command (e.g., Cut, Copy, Paste, Duplicate) on the selection.

Here is how selection works:

ˆ

Clicking a note selects the note. Multiple notes can be selected in unison: rubberband select more than one note with one mouse motion by clicking in empty space, then dragging to enclose the notes in the dotted line that appears.

Esc deselects all selected notes.

ˆ

Clicking into the background of the MIDI Editor selects a point in time, represented by a ashing insert marker.

Use the Loop/Region

Markers to Select a

Speci c Region of the

Clip to Play.

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142

ˆ

Clicking and dragging in the background selects a timespan. To select all of the notes that begin during the timespan, press

Return

.

After placing the insert marker, you can manipulate it using your computer keyboard.

ˆ

Press or to move the insert marker to the left or right, according to the grid settings.

Ctrl

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) or moves the insert marker to the next note boundary.

ˆ

Hold down while pressing the arrow keys to extend or retract the selected timespan by moving the insert marker.

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac)+ while pressing the arrow keys extends or retracts from the opposite side of the selection.

ˆ

The insert marker can be moved to the beginning or end of a MIDI clip by pressing the Home or End key, respectively.

As we have seen, notes in the MIDI Editor can be moved both horizontally (changing their position in time) and vertically (changing their transposition). They can be moved either by clicking and dragging, or with the arrow keys on your computer keyboard; in either case, they are subject to grid and offset snapping. If you are playing the clip while you edit notes, you can listen to them play in their new assignments as you change them.

Several key modi ers also apply to note editing:

ˆ

To transpose selected notes by octave, hold down

ˆ or grid settings.

while pressing or .

extends or retracts the duration of selected notes, according to the

ˆ

To change the selection to the next note in the same key track, hold

Ctrl

Alt

(Mac) while pressing or .

Ctrl

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) or the selection to the next note in time.

ˆ

To nudge notes without snapping to the grid, hold

Alt press or .

(PC) /

(PC) / moves

(Mac) and

ˆ

You can use the modi er to click and add individual notes or additional rubberband selections to your current selection. You can also remove a single note from your selection by holding down and clicking on it. Holding and clicking on the piano roll adds all notes in a single key track to the current selection, or removes them if they were already selected.

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143

Selecting a note (or notes) makes it subject to commands from the Edit menu, such as Copy and Paste. Notes in the clipboard will be pasted starting at the location of the insert marker.

You can also use the

Ctrl

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er to click and drag copies of notes to a new location. If you click and drag to move notes but then decide that you would like to copy them instead, you can press the starting the drag.

Ctrl

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er even after

When editing or drawing, you may sometimes place a new note on top of one that already exists. If the new note overlaps with the beginning of the original note, the original note will vanish. If the new note overlaps with the tail of the original, the original note's length will change so that it lasts just until the new note's beginning.

10.4.5

Changing Note Length

Clicking and dragging on a note's left or right edges changes its length. Note length can only be changed when Draw Mode is inactive, and will be quantized unless the

Alt

(PC)

/ (Mac) modi er is held down while dragging.

Tip:

To set a group of notes to the same length, select them all, grab the end of the longest one, drag them all down to zero length and then extend them.

Changing Note Length.

10.4.6

The ...Time Commands in the MIDI Editor

The standard clipboard commands like Cut, Copy and Paste only affect the currently selected notes (or the notes within a time selection). But,

as in Arrangement editing , there are ...

Time commands that act upon the entire MIDI clip by inserting and deleting time.

Note that these operations do

not

change the clip start/end position or the loop brace settings.

CHAPTER 10. EDITING MIDI NOTES AND VELOCITIES

144

ˆ

Cut Time

cuts a selection of time from the MIDI clip, thereby moving any notes on either side of the cut area closer together in the timeline.

ˆ

Paste Time

places copied time into the MIDI clip, along with any notes that were in the copied time.

ˆ

Duplicate Time

places a copy of the selected timespan into the clip, along with any contained notes.

ˆ

Delete Time

deletes a selection of time from the MIDI clip, thereby moving any notes on either side of the deleted area closer together in the timeline.

ˆ

Insert Silence

inserts as much empty time as is currently selected into the clip, before the selection.

A Gap Between MIDI

Notes Has Been Cut by

First Selecting It, Then

Executing the Cut Time

Command.

10.4.7

Quantizing Notes

There are three options for quantizing MIDI notes in Live. First, you can

quantize MIDI notes as you record them . Secondly, as

previously mentioned , you can move notes so that

they snap to the visible grid lines. Finally, you can select a note or notes and choose the

Quantize command from the Edit menu, or use the

Ctrl U

(PC) /

U

(Mac) hotkey.

The rst time you do this, you will see a dialog box with several quantization options. This will quantize using default settings, or the settings that you previously applied.

To adjust your quantization parameters, open the Quantization Settings dialog from the Edit menu.

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145

Using the options presented here, you can select either the current grid size or a speci c meter value for quantization and set either the note start or end (or both) to be quantized.

Quantizing the note end will stretch the note so that it ends at the chosen meter subdivision.

You can also quantize notes without giving them that quantized feel using the Amount control, which will move notes only by a percentage of the set quantization value.

Quantizing MIDI Notes.

10.4.8

Editing Velocities

To change velocity for a MIDI note, click and drag on the associated marker in the Velocity

Editor. (To help you locate the velocity marker belonging to a MIDI note that may be stacked vertically with others, Live highlights the velocity marker for whichever note your mouse is hovering over.) Velocity changes will be shown numerically in a small display in the time ruler.

Changing Note Velocity.

CHAPTER 10. EDITING MIDI NOTES AND VELOCITIES

146

As in the Note Editor, you can select multiple velocity markers to change by clicking with the modi er held down.

Tip:

To set a group of notes so that they all have the same velocity, select their markers in the Velocity Editor, drag them up or down to either maximum or minimum velocity, and then adjust velocity to the desired value.

As we saw earlier, Draw Mode allows drawing identical velocities for all notes within a grid tile. While in Draw Mode, velocity drawing is limited to only those notes that are currently selected. To draw markers individually (as you would want to with a crescendo, for instance) deactivate grid snapping with the

Ctrl

4

(PC) /

4

(Mac) shortcut, or simply hold down the

Alt

(PC) / (Mac) modi er.

Tip:

To draw a velocity ramp with notes that are all in the same key track, press and click on the piano roll to select all notes within the desired key track, make sure Draw Mode is activated and draw the ramp into the Velocity Editor while holding the so that you affect only the selected notes.

modi er,

Tip #2:

To draw a

linear

velocity ramp across a selection of notes, rst select the notes that should be affected (using the modi er to select non-adjacent notes if necessary).

Make sure Draw Mode is

not

activated and draw the line into the Velocity Editor while holding the

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) modi er.

Notes in the Note Editor display their velocity in their coloring light notes play softly, and vice versa. To change the velocity of notes without the Velocity Editor open, click any selected note and drag vertically while pressing the

Alt

(PC) / (Mac) modi er.

Vertical movements in Draw Mode correspond to velocity changes. This means that, with one horizontal motion and one vertical motion, you can draw multiple notes and their velocities without releasing the mouse button. If you change velocity with this vertical

Drawing Identical

Velocities (Left) and a

Crescendo (Right).

CHAPTER 10. EDITING MIDI NOTES AND VELOCITIES

147 movement, Live will remember the change and use your new velocity on any notes that you draw afterward.

Note-Off Velocity

By default, the Velocity Editor allows you to adjust note-on velocities. But you can toggle the editor to show

note-off

velocities via options in the editor's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

Please note that note-off (or release ) velocity is a somewhat esoteric parameter, and is only supported by certain devices. Ableton's

Sampler

instrument, for example, provides note-off velocity as a controller for a variety of parameters.

The Velocity Editor

Showing Note-Off

Velocities.

10.4.9

MIDI Note Stretch

Three Variations Created with the Stretch Notes

Command.

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148

When multiple notes are selected in the Note Editor, the Stretch Notes command becomes available from the context menu, if you invoke it with (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac).

Note Stretch markers

will then appear in the Note Editor, allowing notes to be scaled proportionally in time. The markers are a pair of downward-pointing indicators that snap to the beginning of the rst and last notes in the selection.

By clicking and dragging one of the markers horizontally, the selected notes will move and stretch so that they continue to occupy the same proportion of time that they did when they were initially selected. The Note Stretch markers will always snap to the Note Editor's grid lines unless the grid is not shown, or the dragging.

Alt

(PC) / (Mac) modi er is held while

If one marker is dragged beyond the boundary of the other, then the order of the stretched notes will be re ected in relation to their initial sequence; this is sometimes referred to as retrograde behavior.

Any changes occurring to the notes included in the Note Stretch before the mouse button is released will cancel the stretch operation. This can occur, for example, if the MIDI clip is simultaneously being overdubbed with new notes.

10.4.10

Cropping MIDI Clips

Unused MIDI data can be deleted by means of the Crop Clip command. Simply

Ctrl

(PC) /

(Mac) on a MIDI clip in the Session or Arrangement View and select this option.

Unlike

cropping audio clips , cropping a MIDI clip does not create a new le on disk.

10.4.11

Deactivating Notes

To deactivate, or mute, a note (or notes) in the MIDI Editor, select it and (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) to access the context menu. The Deactivate Note(s) command will mute the note, making it appear gray in the display. To reactivate notes, use the context menu's Activate

Note(s) command. You can de- or reactivate all of the notes in a single key track at once by

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on a key in the piano roll.

149

Chapter 11

Using Grooves

The timing and feel of each clip in your Set can be modi ed through the use of

grooves

.

Live's Library includes a large selection of grooves, which appear as .agr les in the Browser.

The easiest way to work with Library grooves is to drag and drop them from the Browser directly onto clips in your Set. This immediately applies the timing characteristics of the groove le to the clip. If you want to quickly try out a variety of grooves, you can enable the

Hot-Swap

button above a clip's

Clip Groove chooser

and then step through the grooves in

Groove Files in the

Browser.

CHAPTER 11. USING GROOVES the Browser while the clip plays.

150

Grooves can be applied to both audio and MIDI clips. In audio clips, grooves work by adjusting the clip's

warping behavior , and thus only works on clips with Warp enabled.

The Hot-Swap Groove

Button.

11.1

Groove Pool

Once you've applied a groove le, you can modify its behavior by adjusting its parameters in the

Groove Pool

, which can be opened or closed via its selector button at the bottom of

Browser.

You can also double-click grooves in the Browser to load them directly to the Groove Pool before applying them to a clip. The Groove Pool contains all grooves that have been loaded in this way or that are being used in clips. Inactive grooves (those that are not being used by a clip) appear with their parameters greyed out.

The Groove Pool

Selector Button.

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151

11.1.1

Adjusting Groove Parameters

Grooves in the Groove Pool appear in a list, and offer a variety of parameters that can be modi ed in real time to adjust the behavior of any clips that are using them. You can also save and hot-swap grooves via the buttons next to the Groove's name.

The Groove Pool's controls work as follows:

ˆ

Base

The Base chooser determines the timing resolution against which the notes in the groove will be measured. A 1/4 Base, for example, means that the positions of the notes in the groove le are compared to the nearest quarter note, and all notes in any clips that are assigned to that groove will be moved proportionally towards the positions of the groove notes. At a base of 1/8th, the groove's notes are measured from their nearest eighth note. Notes in the groove that fall exactly on the grid aren't moved at all, so the corresponding notes in your clips will also not be moved.

ˆ

Quantize

adjusts the amount of straight quantization that is applied before the groove is applied. At 100%, the notes in your clips will be snapped to the nearest note values, as selected in the Base chooser. At 0%, the notes in clips will not be moved from their original positions before the groove is applied.

ˆ

Timing

adjusts how much the groove pattern will affect any clips which are using it.

ˆ

Random

adjusts how much random timing uctuation will be applied to clips using the selected groove. At low levels, this can be useful for adding subtle humanization to highly quantized, electronic loops. Note that Random applies differing randomization

The Groove Pool.

CHAPTER 11. USING GROOVES

152 to every voice in your clip, so notes that originally occurred together will now be randomly offset both from the grid and from each other.

ˆ

Velocity

adjusts how much the velocity of the notes in clips will be affected by the velocity information stored in the groove le. Note that this slider goes from -100 to

+100. At negative values, the effect of the groove's velocity will be reversed; loud notes will play quietly and vice versa.

ˆ

Amount

this is a global parameter, and scales the overall intensity of Timing, Random and Velocity for all of the available groove les. At 100%, the parameters will be applied at their assigned values. Note that the Amount slider goes up to 130%, which allows for even more exaggerated groove effects.

11.1.2

Committing Grooves

Pressing the Commit button below the

Clip Groove chooser

writes your groove parameters to the clip. For MIDI clips, this moves the notes accordingly. For audio clips, this creates

Warp Markers at the appropriate positions in the clip.

After pressing Commit, the clip's Groove chooser selection is automatically set to None.

The Commit Groove

Button.

11.2

Editing Grooves

The effect that groove les have on your clips is a combination of two factors: the parameter settings made in the Groove Pool and the positions of the notes in the groove les themselves. To edit the contents of groove les directly, drag and drop them from the Browser

CHAPTER 11. USING GROOVES

153 or Groove Pool into a MIDI track. This will create a new MIDI clip, which you can then

edit ,

as you would with any other MIDI clip. You can then convert the edited clip back into a groove, via the process below.

11.2.1

Extracting Grooves

The timing and volume information from any audio or MIDI clip can be extracted to create a new groove. You can do this by dragging the clip to the Groove Pool or via the Extract

Groove command in the clip's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

Grooves created by extracting will only consider the material in the playing portion of the clip.

Extract Grooves From

Audio or MIDI Clips.

11.3

Groove Tips

This section presents some tips for getting the most out of grooves.

11.3.1

Grooving a Single Voice

Drummers will often use variations in the timing of particular instruments in order to create a convincing beat. For example, playing hi-hats in time but placing snare hits slightly behind the beat is a good way of creating a laid-back feel. But because groove les apply to an entire clip at once, this kind of subtlety can be dif cult to achieve with a single clip. Provided your clip uses a Drum or Instrument Rack, one solution can be to

extract the chain

containing

CHAPTER 11. USING GROOVES

154 the voice that you want to independently groove. In this example, we'd extract the snare chain, creating a new clip and track that contained only the snare notes. Then we could apply a different groove to this new clip.

11.3.2

Non-Destructive Quantization

Grooves can be used to apply real-time, non-destructive quantization to clips. To do this, simply set the groove's Timing, Random and Velocity amounts to 0% and adjust its Quantize and Base parameters to taste. With only Quantize applied, the actual content of the groove is ignored, so this technique works the same regardless of which Groove le you use.

11.3.3

Creating Texture With Randomization

You can use a groove's Random parameter to create realistic doublings. This can be particularly useful when creating string textures from single voices. To do this, rst duplicate the track containing the clip that you want to thicken. Then apply a groove to one of the clips and turn up its Random parameter. When you play the two clips together, each note will be slightly (and randomly) out of sync with its counterpart on the other track.

155

Chapter 12

Launching Clips

The Live Session View is set apart by the fact that it gives you, the musician, a spontaneous environment that encourages performance and improvisation. An important part of how you take advantage of the Session View lies within how you con gure your various Session

View clips. This chapter explains the group of settings used to de ne how each Session

View clip behaves when triggered, or launched.

12.1

The Launch Box

Remember that clips in the Session View are launched by their

Clip Launch buttons

or

remote control . Clip launch settings are made in the

Launch box

. The Launch box only applies to

Session View clips, as Arrangement View clips are not launched but played according to their positions in the Arrangement.

To view the Launch box, open the

Clip View

of a Session View clip by double-clicking the clip, then activating the leftmost Clip View Box selector panel.

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156

Note that you can edit the launch settings of more than one clip at the same time by rst selecting the clips and then opening the Clip View.

Use the Clip View Box

Selector to Bring up the

Launch Box.

12.2

Launch Modes

The Launch Mode chooser offers a number of options for how clips behave with respect to mouse clicks,

computer keyboard actions or MIDI notes :

ˆ

Trigger:

down

starts the clip;

up

is ignored.

ˆ

Gate:

down

starts the clip;

up

stops the clip.

ˆ

Toggle:

down

starts the clip;

up

is ignored. The clip will stop on the next down.

ˆ

Repeat: As long as the mouse switch/key is held, the clip is triggered repeatedly at the clip quantization rate.

The Clip Launch Mode

Chooser.

CHAPTER 12. LAUNCHING CLIPS

12.3

Clip Launch Quantization

157

The Clip Quantization chooser lets you adjust an onset timing correction for clip triggering.

To disable clip quantization, choose None.

To use the Control Bar's Global Quantization setting, choose Global. Global quantization can be quickly changed using the

Ctrl 6

(PC) /

6

(Mac),

7

,

8

,

9 and

0 shortcuts.

Note that any setting other than None will quantize the clip's launch when it is triggered by

Follow Actions .

The Clip Quantization

Chooser.

12.4

Velocity

The Velocity Amount

Field.

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158

The Velocity Amount control allows you to adjust the effect of MIDI note velocity on the clip's volume: If set to zero, there is no in uence; at 100 percent, the softest notes play the clip silently. For more on playing clips via MIDI, see the

respective section .

12.5

Legato Mode

Suppose you have gathered, in one track, a number of looping clips, and you now want to toggle among them without losing the sync. For this you could use a large quantization setting (one bar or greater), however, this might limit your musical expression.

Another option, which works even with quantization turned off, is to engage

Legato Mode

for the respective clips. When a clip in Legato Mode is launched, it takes over the play position from whatever clip was played in that track before. Hence, you can toggle clips at any moment and rate without ever losing the sync.

Legato Mode is very useful for creating breaks, as you can momentarily play alternative loops and jump back to what was playing in the track before.

Unless all the clips involved play the same sample (differing by clip settings only), you might hear dropouts when launching clips in Legato Mode. This happens because you are unexpectedly jumping to a point in the sample that Live has had no chance to pre-load from disk in advance. You can remedy this situation by engaging

Clip RAM Mode

for the clips in question.

The Legato Mode

Switch.

12.6

Follow Actions

Follow Actions allow creating chains of clips that can trigger each other in an orderly or random way (or both). A clip's

Follow Action

de nes what happens to other clips in the

CHAPTER 12. LAUNCHING CLIPS

159 same group after the clip plays. A group is de ned by clips arranged in successive slots of the same track. Tracks can have an unlimited number of groups, separated by empty slots.

1

2

3

1. The Follow Action Time control de nes when the Follow Action takes place in bars-beats-sixteenths from the point in the clip where play starts. The default for this setting is one bar.

2. The Follow Action choosers allow selecting two different Follow Actions, A and

B.

3. The Chance A and Chance B controls set the likelihood of each of the two

Follow Actions occurring. If a clip has Chance A set to 1 and Chance B set to

0, Follow Action A will occur every time the clip is launched. As we can see from this example, a Chance setting of 0 means that an action will never happen.

Changing Chance B to 10 in this scenario makes Follow Action A occur much less often approximately once out of every ten clip launches.

There are eight Follow Actions available:

Stop simply stops the clip after it has played for the chosen Follow Action Time. Note that this overrides clip loop/region settings.

Play Clip Again restarts the clip.

Play Previous Clip triggers the previous clip (the one above the current one).

Play Next Clip triggers the next clip down in the group. If a clip with this setting is last in a group, this Follow Action triggers the rst clip.

The Follow Action

Controls.

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160

Play First Clip launches the rst (top) clip in a group.

Play Last Clip launches the last (bottom) clip in a group.

Play Any Clip plays any clip in the group.

Play Other Clip is similar to Play Any Clip, but as long as the current clip is not alone in the group, no clip will play consecutively.

There is also the possibility to have no Follow Action by selecting No Action, or leaving the chooser blank.

Note that a Follow Action happens exactly after the duration that is speci ed by the Follow

Action Time controls

unless

clip quantization is set to a value other than None or Global.

Follow Actions circumvent global quantization

but not

clip quantization.

So why do you need these things? Music is repetition and change. Music based on loops or short melodic fragments has a tendency to sound static. Follow Actions allow you to create structures that will repeat but can also be surprising. Remember that you can always

record

the results of your experiments, so this can provide a good source for new material.

In the following sections we will look at some practical examples and ideas for Follow

Actions.

12.6.1

Looping Parts of a Clip

Let's say that you want to play a longer clip, but then you want only the last eight bars to loop. You can set this up using Follow Actions:

1. Drag the clip into the Arrangement View and make sure that the Clip View's

Loop switch is not activated. Use the Edit menu's

Split command

to split the clip between the non-looping and looping parts.

2. Click and drag the resulting two clips into the Session View by letting the mouse cursor hover over the Session View selector. Drop the two clips into a track. They now form a Follow Action group.

CHAPTER 12. LAUNCHING CLIPS

2

161

3

3. Set up Follow Actions for the rst clip. You will want to make Follow Action Time equal to the clip's length. Set the Follow Action A chooser to Play Next Clip, with a Chance setting of 1, leaving Follow Action B alone. Now this clip is set up to advance to the looping clip after it plays.

4. Activate the Loop switch for the second clip.

The rst clip will now proceed to the second after it has played in its entirety; the second clip will simply play in a loop until it is stopped.

Creating a Group With the Two Clips.

12.6.2

Creating Cycles

One of the most obvious possibilities that Follow Actions open up is using a group of samples to form a musical cycle. If we organize several clips as a group and use the Play

Next Clip Follow Action with each clip, they will play one after the other ad in nitum, or until we tell them to stop.

Cycles can be peppered with occasional rearrangements through the addition of other

Follow Actions, such as Play Any Clip, with smaller relative Chance settings.

12.6.3

Temporarily Looping Clips

There are some interesting applications of Follow Actions when it comes to creating temporary musical loops.

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162

The default setting for Follow Action is actually a 1:0 chance that Nothing happens after the Follow Action Time, which means that there is effectively no Follow Action. But now, imagine a group consisting of one single clip. Follow Action A is set to Play Clip Again, with a Chance of 8. Follow Action B is set to None, with a Chance of 1. The clip uses a long sample, and Follow Time is set to one bar. Clicking on the clip will play the rst bar, after which it will be very likely that it will play the rst bar again. However, after a few repetitions, it will eventually come to Action B Nothing and continue playing the rest of the sample.

Or, a clip can be played from its start to a speci c point, when its Follow Action tells it to

Play Next Clip. The same le can be used in the next clip in the group, but this one can be set to loop. This second clip can have any manner of Follow Action settings, so that it might then play forever, for a speci ed time or until random chance leads to the next clip in the group.

12.6.4

Adding Variations in Sync

Paired with

clip envelopes

and

warping , Follow Actions can be used to create all sorts of

interesting variations within a group of similar clips. You could, for example, use Follow

Actions to randomly trigger clips with different MIDI controller clip envelopes, so that ne variations in pitch bend or modulation of an instrument or synth could occur as the clips in a group interacted. Audio clips could morph between different effect or clip transposition settings.

Using Follow Actions and Legato Mode together provides a powerful way of gradually changing a melody or beat. Imagine that you have several identical clips of a melody that form a group, and they are set up to play in

Legato Mode . Whenever their Follow Actions

tell them to move on to another clip in the group, the melody will not change, as Legato

Mode will sync the new play position with the old one in beat-time. The settings and clip envelopes of each clip (or even the actual notes contained in a MIDI clip) can then be slowly adjusted, so that the melody goes through a gradual metamorphosis.

CHAPTER 12. LAUNCHING CLIPS

163

12.6.5

Mixing up Melodies and Beats

You can let Follow Actions perform unpredictable remixes and solos for you: Use a clip containing a beat or melody, and copy it so that there are several instances of it forming a group. Alternatively, you can use several different beats or melodies that you want to mix together. The

start and end

for each clip can be set differently, as can

clip envelopes

and other clip settings. As long as Follow Action Time in each clip is equal to the length of the clip that you want to play, you can set up two Follow Actions with different Chance values in each clip, launch a clip, and surprise yourself.

12.6.6

Creating Nonrepetitive Structures

Follow Actions are great when it comes to sound installations, as they allow you to create structures that play for weeks or months and never exactly repeat. You can set the Follow

Action Time controls in a series of clips to odd intervals, and the clips will interact with each other so that they never quite play in the same order or musical position. Remember that each clip can have two different Follow Actions with corresponding Chance settings... have fun!

164

Chapter 13

Routing and I/O

In the context of Live, routing is the setup of the tracks' signal sources and destinations

(i.e., their inputs and outputs). Most routing happens in the mixer's

track In/Out section

, which offers, for every track, choosers to select a signal source and destination. The mixer's

In/Out section is Live's patchbay.

The In/Out section can be independently shown or hidden from the Session and Arrangement Views. Toggle its visibility using the I/O Mixer Section selector, or via the View menu's

In/Out option.

The Mixer's In/Out

Section and Mixer

Section Selectors.

CHAPTER 13. ROUTING AND I/O

165

For every track that can play clips, the In/Out section has the same layout:

ˆ

The upper chooser pair ( Audio/MIDI From ) selects the track's input. Audio tracks have an audio input, and MIDI tracks have a MIDI input. Return tracks receive their input from the respective

sends .

ˆ

The Monitor radio button selects the monitor mode: the conditions under which the track's input is heard through the track.

ˆ

The lower chooser pair ( Audio/MIDI To ) selects the track's output. All tracks have audio outputs, except for MIDI tracks without instruments. Remember that

instruments convert MIDI to audio .

Within a chooser pair, the upper chooser selects the signal category ( Ext., for instance, for external connections via an audio or MIDI interface), and is called the Input/Output Type chooser. If this signal type offers sub-selections or channels, they are available from the lower chooser, or the Input/Output Channel chooser. In our Ext. example, these would be the individual audio/MIDI inputs and outputs.

13.1

Monitoring

Monitoring, in the context of Live, means passing a track's input signal on to the track's output. Suppose you have set up an audio track to receive its input signal from a guitar.

Monitoring then means that the signal from your live guitar playing actually reaches the track's output, via the track's device chain. If the track's output is set to Master, you can hear the guitar signal, processed by whatever effects are used (and delayed by whatever latency the audio hardware interface incurs), over your speakers.

The In/Out section offers, for every audio track and MIDI track, a

Monitor

radio button with the following three options:

ˆ

The default

Auto

-monitoring setting does the right thing for most straightforward recording applications: Monitoring is on when the track is

armed (record-enabled) ,

but monitoring is inhibited as long as the track is playing clips.

CHAPTER 13. ROUTING AND I/O

166

ˆ

To permanently monitor the track's input, regardless of whether the track is armed or clips are playing, choose

In

. This setting effectively turns the track into what is called an Aux on some systems: the track is not used for recording but for bringing in a signal from elsewhere (for instance, a ReWire slave program). With this setting, output from the clips is suppressed. An In monitoring setting can be easily recognized even when the In/Out section is hidden by the orange color of the track's Activator switch.

ˆ

Monitoring can be turned off altogether by choosing the

Off

option. This is useful when recording acoustic instruments which are monitored through the air, when using an external mixing console for monitoring or when using an audio hardware interface with a direct monitoring option that bypasses the computer so as to avoid latency. Generally, it is preferable to work with an audio interface that allows for negligible latencies (a few milliseconds). If you are recording into Live with monitoring set to Off, you may want to make the Audio Preferences' Overall Latency adjustment, which is described in the built-in program tutorial on setting up the Audio Preferences.

If multiple tracks are selected, pressing one of the Monitor buttons applies this selection to all of the selected tracks.

Audio and MIDI Track

Arm Buttons.

13.2

External Audio In/Out

An audio interface's inputs are selected by choosing Ext. In from the Input Type chooser of an audio track. The Input Channel chooser then offers the individual input channels. Entries in this chooser each have meters next to their names to help you identify signal presence and overload (when the meter ashes red). Setting up the audio interface's outputs works the same way via the output chooser pair. If multiple tracks are selected, any changes you make to these choosers will be applied to all selected tracks.

The list of available inputs and outputs depends on the Audio Preferences, which can be

CHAPTER 13. ROUTING AND I/O

167 reached via the Input and Output Channel choosers' Con gure...

option. Note that the Audio Preferences also provide access to the Channel Con guration dialogs, which determine which inputs and outputs are used, and whether they are available to Live as mono or stereo pairs. Essentially, the Channel Con guration dialog tells Live what it needs to know about how the computer is connected to the other audio components in your studio.

13.2.1

Mono/Stereo Conversions

When a mono signal is chosen as an audio track's input, the track will record mono samples; otherwise it will record stereo samples. Signals in the track's device chain are always stereo, even when the track's input is mono or when the track plays mono samples.

Mono is turned into stereo simply by using the identical signal for left and right channels.

When a track is routed into a mono output, the left and right signals are added together and attenuated by 6 dB to avoid clipping.

13.3

External MIDI In/Out

MIDI from the outside world is routed into Live just like audio. From the Input Type chooser of a MIDI track, you can either select a speci c MIDI input port or All Ins, which is the merged input of all external MIDI ports. The Input Channel chooser offers the individual input channels of the selected MIDI port and the merged signal of all channels, All. As is the case with audio inputs, the Input Channel chooser also has meters next to every entry to represent activity on the respective input channel. If multiple MIDI tracks are selected, any changes you make to these choosers will be applied to all selected tracks.

13.3.1

The MIDI Ports List in the Preferences

The MIDI Ports List in the Preferences.

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168

You can con gure which MIDI ports are made available to Live using the

MIDI Ports

section of the MIDI/Sync Preferences. All available input and output ports are listed here. For Live's tracks to receive/send MIDI from/to a speci c MIDI port, the corresponding switch in the

Track column must be set to

On

. You can use any number of MIDI ports for track input and output; the mixer's In/Out choosers allow them to be addressed individually.

13.3.2

Playing MIDI With the Computer Keyboard

The computer keyboard can be used for generating MIDI notes from computer keyboard strokes. To turn the computer MIDI keyboard on, use the Control Bar's Computer MIDI Keyboard button, or the menu entry.

Ctrl

K

(PC) /

K

(Mac) shortcut to the Options

Activating the Computer

MIDI Keyboard.

The center row of letter keys on the keyboard will play notes corresponding to the white keys on a piano, beginning on the left with the note C3. The black keys on a piano correspond to the upper row of computer keys. The ve leftmost letters on the lower row of the keyboard

(Z,X,C,V, and B on a U.S.-English keyboard) are used to transpose the note range and to set velocity, as follows:

ˆ

The leftmost keys (Z and X) adjust the keyboard's octave range.

ˆ

The next two keys (C and V) adjust incoming note velocity by intervals of twenty (20,

40, 60, and so on).

ˆ

The fth key from the bottom left (B) places an accent on incoming MIDI notes. This key boosts note velocity by 20 as long as it is held down. Once it is released, however, velocity will drop back to its original value. If your keyboard is already set to input notes at 120, holding this key will raise note velocity to 127.

As it happens, when the computer keyboard is set to send notes between C3 and C4, the keys are mapped to MIDI notes such that the center row of the keyboard (ASDF...) addresses the

Impulse percussion sampler's sample slots . This means that you can play and record

drum patterns right off the computer keyboard.

Note that when the computer MIDI keyboard is activated, it will steal keys that may have

CHAPTER 13. ROUTING AND I/O

169 otherwise been assigned to

remote-control

elements of the Live interface. To prevent this, you can turn the computer MIDI keyboard off when it is not needed.

13.3.3

Connecting External Synthesizers

Routing MIDI to an external synthesizer is straightforward: The Output Type chooser is set to whatever MIDI port the synthesizer is connected to; the Output Channel chooser is used to select which MIDI channel to send on.

In addition to routing via a track's In/Out section, it is also possible to route from within a track's device chain by using the

External Instrument

device. In this case, you can send MIDI out to the external synthesizer and return its audio - all within a single track.

Important

: If you are using a keyboard synthesizer both as a master keyboard to play into

Live and as a sound generator, then please make sure to check the synthesizer's Local

Off function. Every synthesizer has this function, which effectively separates the keyboard from the sound generator, allowing you to treat both components as if they were separate devices. This allows you to use Live as the hub of your MIDI studio, which receives MIDI from the keyboard and dispatches the incoming MIDI, as well as the MIDI from the clips, as appropriate.

13.3.4

MIDI In/Out Indicators

Live's Control Bar contains three pairs of indicator LEDs that tell you about incoming and outgoing MIDI. These indicators tell you not only about the presence of signals, but also about their

use

. In every pair, the upper indicator ashes when a MIDI message is received, and the lower indicator ashes when a MIDI message is sent.

The Control Bar's MIDI

Indicators.

The three indicator pairs represent, from left to right:

1. MIDI Clock and Timecode signals that are used for

synchronizing Live with other sequencers . Note that this set of indicators is only visible when an external sync

source has been enabled in the MIDI Ports List in the Preferences;

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170

2. MIDI messages that are used for

remote-controlling Live's user-interface elements ;

3. MIDI messages coming from and going to Live's MIDI tracks.

MIDI messages that are mapped to remote-control Live's user-interface elements are eaten up by the remote control assignment and will not be passed on to the MIDI tracks. This is a common cause of confusion that can be easily resolved by looking at the indicators.

13.4

ReWire Slave Routing

Live can operate as a ReWire master or slave in cooperation with another ReWire application.

As a ReWire master, Live can send MIDI to, and receive audio from, any ReWire slave application installed on the same computer.

The following example shows how to send MIDI from one of Live's MIDI tracks into an instrument within

Propellerhead's Reason

, and then route the audio result back into an audio track:

1.

First

, start Live.

2.

Then

, start Reason and set up the Reason rack as desired.

3. Select Reason from the MIDI track's Output Type chooser.

An Audio Track

Receiving Audio From and a MIDI Track

Sending MIDI to

Reason

.

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171

4. The Output Channel chooser presents you with a list of the instruments that you currently have in your Reason rack; select the instrument you want to address.

5. Select Reason from the audio track's Input Type chooser.

6. From the audio track's Input Channel chooser, select the audio channel that corresponds to the instrument to which you are sending MIDI.

7. Set the audio track's Monitor radio button to In.

8. Select All Ins from the MIDI track's Input Type chooser.

9. Arm the MIDI track.

Now, any MIDI that you are playing into Live will arrive in Reason, which will generate the corresponding audio back into the audio track, ready for further processing in Live's mixer and effects. If you want to continue work on the project without reopening Reason, simply record Reason's audio by arming the audio track and engaging Record Mode.

A similar procedure is possible with the

External Instrument

device. The following example shows how to send MIDI from within a track's device chain and return the audio to the same track:

1.

First

, start Live.

2.

Then

, start Reason and set up the Reason rack as desired.

3. Insert an External Instrument device into a MIDI track.

4. Select Reason from the External Instrument's rst MIDI To chooser.

5. The second chooser presents you with a list of the instruments that you currently have in your Reason rack; select the instrument you want to address.

6. From the External Instrument's Audio From chooser, select the audio channel that corresponds to the instrument to which you are sending MIDI.

7. Arm the MIDI track.

8. Adjust the External Instrument's Gain knob as necessary.

CHAPTER 13. ROUTING AND I/O

13.5

Resampling

172

Live's Master output can be routed into an individual audio track and recorded, or

resampled

.

Resampling can be a fun and useful tool, as it lets you create samples from what is currently happening in a Live Set that can then be immediately integrated. It can be used to record tracks that include processor-intensive devices, so as to delete the devices, or for quickly previewing before

rendering to disk .

The Resampling option in any audio track's Input Type chooser will route the Master output to that track. You can then decide on what exactly you will be resampling and mute, solo or otherwise adjust the tracks that are feeding the Master output. You will probably want to use the Master Volume meter to make sure that your level is as high as possible without clipping (indicated by red in the meter). Then you can arm the track and

record into any of its empty clip slots . Note that the recording track's own output will be suppressed

while resampling is taking place, and will not be included in the recording.

Samples created by resampling will be stored in with the current Set's

Project folder , under

Samples/Recorded. Until the Set is saved, they remain at the location speci ed by the

Temporary Folder .

13.6

Internal Routings

Live's mixer and external routing devices allow for inter-track routings. These routings, albeit potentially confusing, enable many valuable creative and technical options. Via the mixer, inter-track routing can work two ways:

1. Track A is set up to send its output signal to Track B. This is possible because every track that can receive an output signal of the appropriate type from Track

A shows up in its Output Type chooser.

2. Track B is set up to receive its input signal from Track A. This works because every track that delivers a signal of the appropriate type appears in Track B's Input Type chooser.

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173

Both approaches result in Track A's output being fed into Track B. Approach 1 leaves Track

B's in/out settings alone, and we can, at any time, add more tracks that feed their output into Track B. This is the method of choice for many-to-one routings such as submixes or several MIDI tracks playing the same instrument. In this scenario, soloing Track B will still allow you to hear the output of the tracks that are feeding it. Also, you can still solo Track A and hear its output signal. In this case, all other tracks are muted, including those that might also feed into Track B. Technically, what you hear is the output of Track B, with everything except Track A's signal removed.

Approach 2, on the other hand, leaves Track A unaffected except for Track B tapping its output. We can easily add more tracks like Track B that all tap Track A's output. Instrument layering is a good example of such a one-to-many routing setup.

Two Ways to Route Track

A into Track B.

13.6.1

Internal Routing Points

Signals travel from Live's tracks into their respective device chains and then into the track mixer, where they might become panned or have their levels altered by the tracks' faders.

Whenever a track's Audio From input chooser is set to another track (as described in the previous section's Approach 2), the signal received can be tapped from one of three different points chosen from the Input Channel chooser:

Pre FX, Post FX

or

Post Mixer.

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174

ˆ

Pre FX

taps the signal that is coming directly from a track, before it has been passed on to the track's device chains (FX) or mixer. Therefore, changes that are made to the tapped track's devices or mixer have no effect on the tapped signal. Soloing a track that taps another track Pre FX will allow you to hear the tapped track.

ˆ

Post FX

taps the signal at the output of a track's device chains (FX), but before it has been passed back to the track mixer. Changes to the tapped track's devices will therefore alter the tapped signal, but changes to its mixer settings will not. Soloing a track that taps another track Post FX will allow you to hear the tapped track.

ˆ

Post Mixer

taps the nal output of a track, after it has passed through its device chains and mixer. Soloing a track that taps another track Post Mixer will

not

allow you to hear the tapped track.

Tap Points for Track

Routing.

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Routing Points in Racks

175

If a track has one or more

Instrument or Effect Racks

in its device chain, internal routing points (Pre FX, Post FX and Post Mixer) will also be available for every chain within the Rack.

If a track contains one or more

Drum Racks , internal routing points will be available for any

of the Rack's return chains. Each Rack will also be listed in the Input Channel chooser:

ˆ

(Rack Name)

|

(Chain Name)

| Pre FX The signal will be tapped from the point that it enters the Rack, before it reaches the chain's devices.

ˆ

(Rack Name)

|

(Chain Name)

| Post FX The signal will be tapped from the end of the chain, but before it passes to the chain's mixer.

ˆ

(Rack Name)

|

(Chain Name)

| Post Mixer The signal will be tapped from the output of the chain's mixer, just before the point where all of the chains in the Rack are summed together to create the Rack's output.

Soloing a track that taps a Chain at any of these points will still allow you to hear the output at that point.

Tap Points for Every

Chain in a Track.

CHAPTER 13. ROUTING AND I/O

13.6.2

Making Use of Internal Routing

This section presents several internal routing examples in more detail.

176

Post-Effects Recording

Let's say that you are feeding a guitar into Live, building up a song track by track, overlaying take onto take. It is certainly powerful to have a separate effects chain per track for applying different effects to different takes after the fact. You might, however, want to run the guitar signal through effects (a noise gate or an amp model, for instance)

before

the recording stage, and record the post-effects signal.

This is easily accomplished by devoting a special audio track for processing and monitoring the incoming guitar signal. We call this track Guitar and drag the desired effects into its device chain. We do not record directly into the Guitar track; instead we create a couple more tracks to use for recording. Those tracks are all set up to receive their input Post FX from the Guitar track. Note that we could also tap the Guitar track Post Mixer if we wished to record any level or panning from it.

As for monitoring, we set the Guitar track's Monitor radio button to In, because we always want to listen to our guitar through this track, no matter what else is going on in Live. The other tracks' Monitor radio buttons are set to Off.

An Example Setup for

Post-Effects Recording.

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177

Recording MIDI as Audio

When working with MIDI and complex software instruments, it is sometimes more useful to record the resulting audio than the incoming MIDI. A single MIDI note can prompt, for example, Native Instruments'

Absynth

to produce something that sounds more like a piece of music than a single tone. This output lends itself more to representation as an audio waveform than a single note in a MIDI clip, particularly when comparing the editing options.

A setup similar to the one described

above

accomplishes the task. We have one MIDI track hosting the virtual instrument, and we use additional audio tracks to record the audio result of playing the instrument.

Recording the Output of a Complex Instrument in

Audio Tracks.

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Creating Submixes

178

Suppose we have the individual drums of a drum kit coming in on separate tracks for multitrack recording. In the mix, we can easily change the volumes of the individual drums, but adjusting the volume of the entire drum kit against the rest of the music is less convenient.

Therefore, we add a new audio track to submix the drums. The individual drum tracks are all set to output to the submix track, which outputs to the Master. The submix track gives us a handy volume control for the entire drum kit.

Alternatively, you could combine the separate drum tracks into a

Group Track

for even more exibility. This automatically creates the necessary output routings and also allows you to hide or show the component tracks.

Submixing the Individual

Drums of a Drum Kit.

A third possibility is to use Live's

return tracks

for submixing. This is done by selecting the

Sends Only option in a track's Output Type, then turning up a Send control as desired. The corresponding return track will then act as a submixer channel.

Submixing by setting a track's Output Type to

Sends Only

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179

Several MIDI Tracks Playing the Same Instrument

Consider a MIDI track containing a virtual instrument a

Simpler

playing a pad sound, for example. We have already recorded MIDI clips into this track when we realize that we would like to add an independent, parallel take for the same instrument. So we add another MIDI track. We could now drag another Simpler into the new track, but we would really like to reuse the Simpler from the pad track, so that changing the pad's sound affects the notes from both tracks.

This is accomplished by setting the new MIDI track's Output Type chooser to Pad. Note that the Output Channel chooser now offers a selection of destinations: We can either feed the new track's output into the input of the pad track, or we can directly address the Simpler.

The Track In option in the Output Channel represents the pad track's input signal (the signal to be recorded), which is not what we want. We instead select Simpler Ch. 1 to send the new track's MIDI directly to the Simpler, bypassing the recording and monitoring stage. With this setup, we can choose to record new takes on either track and they will all play the same pad sound.

Feeding an Additional

MIDI Track Into an

Existing MIDI Track to

Reuse its Instrument.

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180

We might be bothered by the fact that muting the pad track (by turning off its Activator switch) also mutes the other MIDI track. To be precise, the other track keeps playing, but its

MIDI is played by an instrument that is out of the mix. This can be easily remedied by cutting the clips from the pad track and pasting them into a third track that can be independently muted (and that can hold its own MIDI effects). The original pad track now acts as a mere instrument container. As we are not recording new clips into this track, we can set its Input

Type chooser to No Input, which makes its Arm button disappear and helps to avoid confusion when the mixer's In/Out section is hidden.

The Instrument Has

Been Isolated in a

Dedicated Track.

Tapping Individual Outs From an Instrument

Some software instruments, like Live's

Impulse percussion sampler , offer multiple audio

outputs for the signals they produce. By default, Impulse mixes the output of its eight sample slots internally and delivers the mix at the instrument's audio out. Any audio effects following Impulse in the same track process the composite signal. Sometimes it is desirable to take an individual drum sound out of the mix for individual effects processing and mixing.

This is possible because Impulse offers its sample slots as audio sources to other tracks.

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181

We simply create an audio track and select from its Input Type chooser the track with the

Impulse. The Input Channel chooser now offers, in addition to

Pre FX, Post FX

and

Post

Mixer,

Impulse's eight individual outputs, labeled according to the sample used in each slot.

Notice that routing an individual output from Impulse into another track automatically takes this signal out of Impulse's own internal mix. This convenience is not standard behavior of most plug-in instruments, however. Soloing a track that taps one of Impulse's sample slots will still allow you to hear the output of that slot.

Using Impulse's

Individual Outs to

Separately Process

Sample Slots.

Using Multi-Timbral Plug-In Instruments

Many plug-in instruments support multi-timbral operation. A multi-timbral instrument is like several instruments in one, with each component part (or whatever term the manufacturer uses) receiving MIDI on a separate MIDI channel. Usually, the multi-timbral instrument offers individual outputs so that the parts can be separately routed into the mixer. Or, the instrument might offer a submixer of its own.

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182

Sending MIDI from the mixer to a multi-timbral instrument is a variation of a case described

above . One MIDI track hosts the multi-timbral instrument, and additional MIDI tracks are

used to feed its individual parts. Each additional MIDI track has its Output Type chooser pointed to the track that contains the instrument, and its Output Channel chooser referencing the target MIDI channel. Additional audio tracks can then be used to tap the instrument's individual outputs, as described

earlier .

It is also possible to use the External Instrument device to route MIDI to (and audio from) the secondary outputs on multi-timbral plug-ins. This scenario eliminates the need to create an additional audio track for each tapped output:

1. Insert the multi-timbral instrument on a MIDI track.

2. Insert an External Instrument device on another MIDI track.

3. Select the track that contains the instrument in the rst MIDI To chooser on the

External Instrument device.

4. Select the MIDI channel to route to in the second chooser on the External

Instrument device.

5. From the External Instrument's Audio From chooser, select a secondary output on the instrument to which you are sending MIDI.

Repeat steps 2-5 to feed and tap additional components of your multi-timbral instrument.

You could also put the entire system of External Instrument devices into a single track, by

Tracks Feeding MIDI to and Tapping Audio

From the Parts of a

Multi-Timbral

Instrument.

CHAPTER 13. ROUTING AND I/O

183 placing each one in a Rack's device chain.

Note that the main outputs of the multi-timbral instrument will still output to the track that contains the instrument - only auxiliary outputs are available to the External Instrument device.

Feeding Sidechain Inputs

Some effects have so-called sidechain inputs. A vocoder, for instance, imposes spectral characteristics taken from one signal (say, spoken word) onto another signal, for instance a string pad. The vocoder is inserted as an audio effect into the string track. It has a sidechain input for the speech signal, which has to be delivered from another track. So, we create an additional audio track named Speech and set its Output Type chooser to the Strings track. From the Output Channel chooser, we select the vocoder's sidechain input.

Some vocoder plug-ins include a built-in synthesizer to generate the carrier signal. In this case, the only difference from the above procedure is that the vocoder instrument is dragged into a MIDI track. Feeding the side-chain audio input works as described above.

Please note that Ableton's

Auto Filter ,

Compressor ,

Gate

and

Vocoder

devices have their own sidechain controls with integrated routing choosers that match those found in tracks.

Thus when using these devices, it is not necessary to follow the above procedure - you can simply select the sidechain source from within the device itself.

Routing a Speech Signal

Into a Vocoder's

Sidechain Input.

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184

Layering Instruments

Suppose that we have a MIDI track containing an instrument playing a string sound, which we would like to augment by adding a brass sound playing the same notes. This can be easily done by adding a MIDI track that contains an instrument playing the brass sound and setting its Input Type chooser to tap the string track's Post FX signal.

Perhaps you wonder why this works, given that the string track's output is audio and not

MIDI. When routing MIDI in from another track, we are tapping the MIDI at the latest possible stage, which is after any MIDI Effects, and just before the instrument.

Using an Auxiliary MIDI

Track to Layer

Instruments.

185

Chapter 14

Mixing

14.1

The Live Mixer

Live includes a mixer section that is accessible from two views:

In the Arrangement View, the mixer appears as a horizontal strip to the right of the track area. To display all mixer controls for a track, unfold the track using the button next to its name, and adjust its height accordingly.

The Arrangement View

Mixer.

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186

The Session View is a standard vertical mixer layout. You'll likely nd the Session View mixer more intuitive than the Arrangement mixer, which comes in handy when you work with

automation . Note that the Tab key toggles between the Arrangement and Session Views.

The Session View Mixer.

The View menu options listed below show or hide mixer components. You can use different mixer view setups in the Session View and in the Arrangement View:

ˆ

In/Out

ˆ

Sends

ˆ

Returns

ˆ

Mixer

ˆ

Track Delays

ˆ

Crossfader

The Mixer Section selectors on the right-hand side of the screen duplicate the View Menu commands, making it possible to quickly show or hide different mixer components.

The Mixer Section

Selectors.

CHAPTER 14. MIXING

Let's look at the mixer controls:

5 6

3

4

5

6

2

1

4

1

2 3

1. The Meter shows the track's RMS (average) and peak output level. While monitoring, however, it shows the input level.

2. The Volume control adjusts the track's output level. With multiple tracks selected, adjusting the volume of one of them will adjust the others as well.

3. The Pan control positions the track's output in the stereo eld. To reset the Pan control to center, click on its associated triangle. With multiple tracks selected, adjusting the pan knob for one of them will adjust the others as well.

4. To mute the track's output, turn off the Track Activator switch. With multiple tracks selected, toggling one of their Track Activators will toggle the others as well.

5. The Solo switch solos the track by muting all other tracks, but can also be used for

cueing . With multiple tracks selected, pressing any of their Solo switches

will solo all of them. Otherwise, tracks can only be soloed one at a time unless the the

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) modi er is held down or the Exclusive Solo option in the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences is deactivated.

6. If the Arm Recording button is on, the track is

record-enabled . With multiple

tracks selected, pressing any of their Arm switches will arm all of them. Otherwise, tracks can only be armed one at a time unless the the

Ctrl

(PC) /

(Mac) modi er is held down or the Exclusive Arm option in the Record/Warp/

Launch Preferences is deactivated. With Exclusive Arm enabled, inserting an instrument into a new or empty MIDI track will automatically arm the track.

187

The Mixer Controls.

CHAPTER 14. MIXING

14.1.1

Session Mixer Features

188

The

Mixer

section of the Session Mixer has several additional features that are not visible by default. The mixer is resizable, and dragging upwards on the top of the mixer will extend the height of the track meters, adding tick marks, a numeric volume eld and resettable peak level indicators. Increasing a track's width in this state will add a decibel scale alongside the meter's tick marks.

These enhancements are tailored for use in traditional mixing settings, but are available anytime the Mixer section is displayed.

Because of the enormous headroom of Live's 32-bit oating point audio engine, Live's meters can be driven far into the red without causing the signals to clip. The only time that signals over 0 dB will be problematic is when routing to or from

physical inputs and outputs,

like those of your sound card, or when saving audio to a le.

Nevertheless, Live provides this optional visual feedback for signals that travel beyond 0 dB in any track.

The Session Mixer's

Possibilities.

CHAPTER 14. MIXING

14.2

Audio and MIDI Tracks

189

Audio and MIDI tracks in Live are for hosting and playing clips, as explained

earlier .

You can add new audio and MIDI tracks to your Live Set's mixer at any time using the appropriate Create menu commands.

Tracks can also be created by double-clicking or pressing

Return on les in the Browser to load them, or by dragging objects from the Browser into the space to the right of Session

View tracks or below Arrangement View tracks. Devices or les loaded into Live in this manner will create tracks of the appropriate type (e.g., a MIDI track will be created if a MIDI le or effect is dragged in).

A track is represented by its

track title bar

. You can click on a track title bar to select the track and then execute an Edit menu command on the track. One such command is

Rename. One can quickly rename a series of tracks by executing this command (or the

Rename shortcut

Ctrl

R

(PC) /

R

(Mac)) and then using the Tab key to move from title bar to title bar. When a # symbol precedes a name, the track will get a number that updates automatically when the track is moved. Adding additional # symbols will prepend the track number with additional zeros. You can also enter your own

info text

for a track via the Edit Info Text command in the Edit menu or in the tracks's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

You can drag tracks by their title bars to rearrange them, or click and drag on their edges to change their width (in the Session View) or height (in the Arrangement View).

Multiple adjacent or nonadjacent tracks can be selected at once by

Ctrl

-clicking or

Ctrl

-clicking, respectively. If you drag a selection of nonadjacent tracks, they will be collapsed together when dropped. To move nonadjacent tracks without collapsing, use

+ arrow keys instead of the mouse.

When multiple tracks are selected, adjusting one of their mixer controls will adjust the same control for the other tracks. If the tracks in the multi-selection have differing values for any

Tracks are Represented by Track Title Bars.

CHAPTER 14. MIXING

190 particular knob or slider parameter (volume, for example), this difference will be maintained as you adjust the parameter.

If you drag a track's title bar to the Browser it will be saved as a new Set. If a track contains audio clips, Live will manage the copying of the referenced sampled into this new location based on the selection in the

Collect Files on Export

chooser. You can then type in a name for the newly created Set or con rm the one suggested by Live with

Return

.

Tracks are deleted using the Edit menu's Delete command.

14.3

Group Tracks

You can combine any number of normal audio or MIDI tracks into a special kind of summing container called a Group Track. To create a Group Track, select the tracks to include and execute the Edit menu's Group Tracks command.

Group Tracks cannot contain clips, but they are similar to audio tracks in that they have mixer controls and can

host audio effects . Group Tracks provide a quick way to create

submixes ,

and also offer the ability to fold and unfold their contained clip tracks via the button in the title bar. This can help you to organize large Sets by hiding away tracks that you don't need to see.

When tracks are placed into a group, their Audio To

routing choosers

are automatically assigned to Group unless they already had a custom routing (i.e. to a destination other

An Unfolded Group

Track Visualized in

Session View...

CHAPTER 14. MIXING

191 than Master. ) You can also use a Group Track purely as a folder track by rerouting the outputs of the contained tracks to some other destination.

Once a Group Track has been created, tracks can be dragged into or out of the group.

Deleting a Group Track deletes all of its contents, but a group can be dissolved back into individual tracks by executing the Edit Menu's Ungroup Tracks command.

Group Tracks in Arrangement View show an overview of the clips in the contained tracks.

In Session View, slots in Group Tracks have launch and stop buttons whenever at least one clip is available in a given scene. Launching or stopping this button has the same effect as launching or stopping all contained clips. Likewise, selecting a Group Slot serves as a shortcut for selecting all of the contained clips.

...and in Arrangement

View.

14.4

Return Tracks and the Master Track

In addition to Group Tracks and tracks that play clips, a Live Set has a

Master track

and up to twelve

return tracks

; these cannot play clips, but allow for more exible signal processing and routing.

The return tracks and the Master track occupy the right-hand side of the Session mixer view and the bottom end of the Arrangement View.

Note that you can hide and show the return tracks using the

Returns

command in the View menu.

Like the normal clip tracks, the returns and the Master can

host any number of effects .

However, whereas a clip track's effect processes only the audio within that track, return tracks can process audio sent to them from numerous tracks.

For example, suppose you want to create rhythmic echoes with a delay effect. If you drag the effect into a clip track, only clips playing in this track will be echoed. Placing this effect

CHAPTER 14. MIXING

192 in a return track lets it receive audio from any number of tracks and add echoes to them.

A clip or group track's Send control regulates how much of the track's output feeds the associated return track's input. What's more, even the return track's own output can be routed to its input, allowing you to create

feedback

. Because runaway feedback can boost the level dramatically and unexpectedly, the Send controls in Return tracks are disabled by default. To enable them, (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on a Return track's Send knob and select

Enable Send or Enable All Sends.

Every return track has a Pre/Post toggle that determines if the signal a clip track sends to it is tapped before or after the mixer stage (i.e., the pan, volume and track-active controls).

The Pre setting allows you to create an auxiliary mix that is processed in the return track, independently of the main mix. As the return track can be

routed to a separate output , this

can be used to set up a separate monitor mix for an individual musician in a band.

The Master track is the default destination for the signals from all other tracks. Drag effects here to process the mixed signal before it goes to the master output. Effects in the Master track usually provide

mastering

-related functions, such as compression and/or EQ.

You can create multiple return tracks using the Create menu's Insert Return Track command, but by de nition, there is only one Master track.

The Send Controls and

Pre/Post Toggle.

14.5

Using Live's Crossfader

Live includes a crossfader that can create smooth transitions between clips playing on different tracks. Live's crossfader works like a typical DJ-mixer crossfader, except that it allows crossfading not only two, but any number of tracks including the returns.

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193

The crossfader is accessed via the Session View's mixer selectors. It features seven different crossfade curves so that you can choose the one that ts your style the best. To change the curve, menu.

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on the crossfader, then select an entry from the context

The Crossfader and

Selector.

The chart below details the power level and response of each crossfader curve.

Choose from Seven

Crossfader Curves.

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A+B Power Level Crossfader Response

194

Transition

Dipped

Intermediate

Constant

Power

Slow Fade

Slow Cut

Fast Cut

The crossfader can be

mapped to any continuous MIDI controller (absolute or incremental) .

In addition to the crossfader's central slider, its absolute left and right positions are separately available for MIDI or keyboard mapping. There are two special scenarios for remote control with respect to the crossfader:

ˆ

A key mapped to any one of the three assignable crossfader positions (left, center or right) will toggle the crossfader's absolute left and right positions.

ˆ

Mapping to two of the three elds allows for a snapping back behavior when one of the assigned keys is held down and the other is pressed and released.

Crossfader Curve

Properties.

Crossfade Assign

Buttons.

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195

Each track has two Crossfade Assign buttons, A and B. The track can have three states with respect to the crossfader:

ˆ

If neither Assign button is on, the crossfader does not affect the track at all.

ˆ

If A is on, the track will be played unattenuated as long as the crossfader is in the left half of its value range. As the crossfader moves toward the right across the center position, the track fades out. At the crossfader's rightmost position, the track is muted.

ˆ

Likewise, if B is on, the track's volume will be affected only as the crossfader moves left across its center position.

It is important to understand that the Crossfade Assign buttons do not affect the signal routing: The crossfader merely in uences the signal volume at each track's gain stage. The track can be routed to an individual output bus regardless of its crossfade assignment. In studio parlance, you can think of the crossfader as an on-the- y VCA group.

As with almost everything in Live, your crossfading maneuvers can be

recorded into the

Arrangement

for later in-depth editing. To edit each track's crossfade assignment, please choose Mixer from the Envelope Device chooser and X-Fade Assign from the Control chooser. The crossfader's automation curve is accessible when Mixer is chosen from the

Master track's Device chooser and Crossfade is selected from its Control chooser.

14.6

Soloing and Cueing

By default, soloing a track simply mutes all other tracks (except in some cases where tracks are

feeding other tracks ). The signal from the soloed tracks is heard through their respective

outputs, with the pan setting of each track preserved. Soloing a clip track leaves any return tracks audible, provided that the

Solo in Place

option is enabled in the Solo button's context menu ( (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac)). Solo in Place can also be set as the default behavior by selecting the entry in the Options menu.

Soloing a return track mutes the main output of all other tracks, but still allows you to hear any signals that arrive at the return via track sends.

Live allows you to replace the standard soloing operation with a

cueing

operation that lets you preview tracks as though you were cueing a record on a DJ mixer. This allows choosing clips and adjusting effects without the audience hearing, before bringing tracks into the mix.

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196

In order to set Live up for cueing, you must be using an audio interface with at least four dedicated outputs (or two dedicated stereo outputs). The respective settings are accessible in the Session View mixer. Make sure you have the Mixer and In/Out options checked in the

View menu.

4

5

3

2

1

1. The

Master Out

chooser selects the output on your interface to be used as the main output.

2. The

Cue Out

chooser selects the output on your hardware interface to be used for cueing. This has to be set to an output other than that selected for the Master.

If the desired outputs don't show up in these choosers, please check the Audio

Preferences.

3. Activate cueing by setting the

Solo/Cue Mode

switch to Cue.

4. The tracks' Solo switches are now replaced by Cue switches with headphone icons. When a track's Cue switch is pressed, that track's output signal will be heard through the output selected in the Cue Out chooser. Note that the Track

Activator switch on the same track still controls whether or not the track is heard at the Master output.

5. The

Cue Volume

control adjusts the volume of the cueing output.

Note that when cueing is set up and activated, the output of audio les that you are previewing in the Browser is also heard through the Cue Out.

The Cueing-Related

Session Mixer Controls.

CHAPTER 14. MIXING

14.7

Track Delays

197

A Track Delay control is available for every track in Live. The control allows delaying or predelaying the output of tracks in milliseconds in order to compensate for human, acoustic, hardware and other real-world delays.

This section of the interface can be shown or hidden using its respective Mixer Section selector.

We do not recommend changing track delays on stage, as it could result in undesirable clicks or pops in the audio signal. Micro-offsets in Session View clips can be achieved using the

nudge buttons in the Clip View , however track delays can be used in the Arrangement

View for such offsets.

Note that

delay compensation for plug-ins and Live devices

is a separate feature, and is automatic by default. Unusually high Track Delay settings or reported latencies from plugins may cause noticeable sluggishness in the software. If you are having latency-related dif culties while recording and playing back instruments, you may want to try turning off device delay compensation, however this is not normally recommended. You may also nd that adjusting the individual track delays is useful in these cases. Note that the Track Delay controls are unavailable when device delay compensation is deactivated.

The Track Delay Control and Selector.

198

Chapter 15

Recording New Clips

This chapter is about recording new clips from audio and MIDI input signals. Note that this is a different kind of recording than the

capturing of Session clips into the Arrangement .

For successful audio recording, please make sure the audio preferences are set up properly.

For more on this, please see the built-in program lesson on setting up Audio Preferences.

Also, keep in mind that devices such as microphones, guitars and turntables do not operate at line level, meaning that they will need to have their levels boosted before they can be recorded. For these devices, you must therefore use either an audio interface with a preamp, or an external preamp.

15.1

Choosing an Input

A track will record whatever input source is shown in its In/Out section, which appears when the View menu's In/Out option is checked. (In the Arrangement View, unfold and resize the track in order to completely see the In/Out section.)

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Audio tracks default to recording a stereo signal from the external input pair 1/2.

MIDI tracks default to recording all MIDI that is coming in through the

active external input devices . The computer keyboard is, by default, activated as a

pseudo-MIDI input device ,

allowing you to record MIDI even if no MIDI controller hardware is currently available.

For every track, you can choose an input source other than the default: any mono or stereo external input, a speci c MIDI channel from a speci c MIDI-in device, audio from ReWire slave programs or a signal coming from another track. The

Routing chapter

describes these options in detail.

The Track In/Out Section in the Arrangement

(Left) and Session View

(Right).

15.2

Arming (Record-Enabling) Tracks

To select a track for recording, click on its Arm button. It doesn't matter if you click a track's

Arm button in the Session View or in the Arrangement View, since the two

share the same set of tracks .

By default, armed tracks are monitored, meaning that their input is passed through their device chain and to the output, so that you can listen to what is being recorded. This behavior is called auto-monitoring and you can

change it to t your needs .

Track Arm Buttons in the

Arrangement (Left) and

Session (Right) Mixers.

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If you are using a natively supported control surface, arming a MIDI track will automatically

lock this control surface

to the instrument in the track.

Clicking one track's Arm button unarms all other tracks unless the

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) modi er is held. If multiple tracks are selected, clicking one of their Arm buttons will arm the other tracks as well. Arming a track selects the track so you can readily access its

devices in the Track View .

15.3

Recording

Recording can be done in both the Session and the Arrangement Views. If you want to record onto more than one track simultaneously and/or prefer viewing the recording linearly and in-progress, the Arrangement View may be the better choice. If you want to break your recording seamlessly into multiple clips or record while you are also launching clips in Live, use the Session View.

15.3.1

Recording Into the Arrangement

1

3

4

6

5

2

Recording Into the

Arrangement.

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201

1. Recording commences when the Control Bar's Record button is activated and the Play button is pressed.

2. Recording creates new clips in all tracks that have their Arm button on.

3. When the Overdub switch is on, the new clips contain a mix of the signal already in the track and the new input signal. The Overdub option only applies to MIDI tracks.

4. To prevent recording prior to a punch-in point, activate the Punch-In switch. This is useful for protecting the parts of a track that you do not want to record over and allows you to set up a pre-roll or warm-up time. The punch-in point is identical to the Arrangement Loop's start position.

5. Likewise, to prevent recording after the punch-out point, activate the Punch-Out switch. The punch-out point is identical to the Arrangement Loop's end position.

6. When you are recording into the

Arrangement Loop , Live retains the audio

recorded during each pass.

You can later unroll a loop recording, either by repeatedly using the Edit menu's Undo command or graphically in the Clip View: After loop recording, double-click on the new clip.

In the Clip View's Sample Display, you can see a long sample containing all audio recorded during the loop-recording process. The Clip View's

loop brace

de nes the audio taken in the last pass; moving the markers left lets you audition the audio from previous passes.

15.3.2

Recording Into Session Slots

You can record new clips, on the y, into any Session slots.

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4 3 2 1

202

1. Set the Global Quantization chooser to any value other than None to obtain correctly cut clips.

2. Activate the Arm button for the tracks onto which you want to record. Clip

Record buttons will appear in the empty slots of the armed tracks.

3. Click on any of the Clip Record buttons to commence recording. A new clip will appear in the slot with a red Clip Launch button that shows it is currently recording. To go from recording immediately into loop playback, press the clip's

Launch button.

4. Alternatively, you can click a Clip Stop button or the Stop button in the Control

Bar to stop recording, leaving the new clip silent.

Note that, by default, launching a

Session View scene

will not activate recording in empty record-enabled slots belonging to that scene. However, you can use the Start Recording on Scene Launch option from the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences to tell Live that you

do

want empty scene slots to record under these circumstances.

Recording a New Clip

Into the Session View.

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203

15.3.3

Overdub Recording MIDI Patterns

Live makes pattern-oriented recording of drums and the like quite easy. Using Live's

Impulse

instrument and the following technique, you can successively build up drum patterns while listening to the result. Or, using an instrument such as

Simpler , which allows for chromatic

playing, you can build up melodies or harmonies, note by note.

1. Set the Global Quantization chooser to one bar.

2. To automatically quantize the notes you are about to record, choose an appropriate value for

Record Quantization .

3. Double-click any of the Session View slots in the desired MIDI track (the one containing the Impulse or other instrument). A new, empty clip will appear in the slot. The new clip will default to a loop length of one bar, but you can change that by double-clicking the clip and changing its

loop properties .

4. Arm the track.

5. Launch the clip.

6. The notes you play are added into the looping clip, and you can observe your recording in the Clip View.

7. By default, the Control Bar's Overdub switch is activated, so that you can build your pattern layer by layer. However, if you would like to pause recording for a moment to rehearse, you can deactivate the Overdub switch. The contents of the clip will continue to play, but you can play along without being recorded.

When you are ready to record again, simply turn on the Overdub switch.

8. Stop recording by pressing a Clip Stop button or the Stop button in the Control

Bar.

Note that holding

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) while double-clicking the empty slot to create a new clip will implicitly arm the track and launch the clip.

At any time while overdub recording is going on, you can use the Undo command to remove the last take, or even draw, move or delete notes in the Clip View's Note Editor.

Note that you can also add notes to existing Session clips while the Overdub switch is on.

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15.3.4

MIDI Step Recording

The MIDI Editor allows you to record notes with the transport stopped by holding down keys on your controller or

computer MIDI keyboard

and advancing the insert marker according to the grid settings. This process, known as step recording, allows you to enter notes at your own pace, without needing to listen to a metronome or guide track.

2

1

3

1. Arm the MIDI track that contains the clip into which you want to record.

2. Enable the Preview switch in the clip's MIDI Editor.

3. Click in the MIDI Editor to place the insert marker at the position where you want to begin recording.

Pressing on your computer keyboard will move the insert marker to the right, according to the grid settings. Any notes that are held down as you press will be added to the clip. If you continue holding notes as you press again, you will extend their duration. To delete notes that you've just recorded, keep them depressed and press .

The step recording navigators can also be

MIDI mapped .

Step Recording in the

MIDI Editor.

CHAPTER 15. RECORDING NEW CLIPS

15.4

Recording in Sync

205

Live keeps the audio and MIDI you have recorded in sync, even when you later decide on a different song tempo. In fact, Live allows you to change the tempo at any time before, after and even during recording. You could, for instance, cheat a bit by turning down the tempo to record a technically dif cult part, and pull it up again afterwards.

It is important to

record in sync

to make sure everything will later

play in sync

.

The easiest way to record in sync is to play along with or to use the built-in metronome, which is activated via its Control Bar switch and will begin ticking when the Play button is pressed or a clip is launched.

The Metronome Switch.

To adjust the metronome volume, use the mixer's Preview Volume knob.

Notice that Live's metrical interpretation of the audio being played can be edited, at any time, using the

Warp Markers

. Warp Markers can be used to x timing errors and to change

the groove or feel of your recordings. Using Warp Markers, you can x things in your recordings that would otherwise require complicated editing or could not be done at all.

Likewise, the metrical interpretation of recorded MIDI can be changed after recording, using the MIDI clip's

Original BPM controls .

The Preview Volume

Knob.

CHAPTER 15. RECORDING NEW CLIPS

15.5

Recording Quantized MIDI Notes

206

If you will be recording MIDI, you have the option of automatically quantizing MIDI notes while recording. The Record Quantization chooser in the Edit menu allows selecting the meter subdivisions with which your recorded notes will align. When recording

into Session slots

or

into the Arrangement , record quantization is an independent step in Live's Undo

history. This means that if, for example, you recorded with Record Quantization set to

Eighth Note Triplet Quantization and then changed your mind, using the Edit menu's

Undo command would undo only the quantization and leave your recording otherwise intact.

For Session and Arrangement recording, the Record Quantization setting cannot be changed mid-recording.

When

overdub recording

with the Clip View Loop activated, changes to the Record Quantization take effect immediately, and they cannot be separately undone with the Edit menu command.

Recorded MIDI notes can also be quantized post-recording with the Edit menu's Quantize command, as described in the chapter on

editing MIDI .

15.6

Recording with Count-in

A count-in for recording can be set in Live's Record/Warp/Launch Preferences. When the

Count-In preference is set to any value other than None, Live will not begin recording until the count-in is complete. The Arrangement Position elds in the Control Bar display the count-in in orange as bars-beats-sixteenths.

The Count-In is

Displayed in the Control

Bar.

The count-in runs from negative bars-beats-sixteenths (beginning at -2.1.1., for example, with a Count-In setting of 2 bars) up to 1.1.1., at which point recording commences.

Note that count-in recording does not apply when Live is

synced to external MIDI devices or being used as a ReWire slave .

CHAPTER 15. RECORDING NEW CLIPS

15.7

Setting up File Types

207

The following Preferences from the Record/Warp/Launch tab are relevant to the sample les that are created by recording:

ˆ

The sample le type you would like Live to create can be chosen from the File Type chooser in the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences.

ˆ

The bit depth of the sample le you will create by recording can be chosen from the

Bit Depth chooser in the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences.

You can save time by setting up reasonable defaults for the clips you are recording in the

Record/Warp/Launch Preferences tab. In particular, it is smart to indicate the rough category of sound to be recorded by choosing the appropriate default

Warp Mode

. If you decide later on a different song tempo, the program will automatically maintain

good sound quality ,

usually without further adjustment.

15.8

Where are the Recorded Samples?

Recorded samples are stored with the current Set's

Project folder , under Samples/Recorded.

Until the Set is saved, it remains at the location speci ed by the Temporary Folder preference which is found in the Preferences' File/Folder tab. To make sure Live will not run out of disk space while recording into a new Set, please make sure the Temporary Folder is on a drive/ partition with suf cient free space.

15.9

Using Remote Control for Recording

Using

Key Map Mode and MIDI Map Mode , you can operate Live's recording functions

without using the mouse.

You can map the Control Bar's Record and transport controls as well as the track Arm buttons.

For recording into the Session slots, you can map the individual slots as well as the relative navigation controls to initiate recording remotely; for instance:

CHAPTER 15. RECORDING NEW CLIPS

208

The Scene Up/Down

Buttons.

One key is used to jump to the next scene...

A Track Launch Button.

... and another key to start and end recording in the respective track.

You can also map the

step recording

navigators.

This allows you to, for example, use MIDI foot pedals to move the clip's insert marker, thereby keeping both hands free for playing a keyboard.

The Step Recording

Arrows.

209

Chapter 16

Working with Instruments and

Effects

Every track in Live can host a number of devices. These devices can be of three different sorts:

ˆ

MIDI effects

act upon MIDI signals and can only be placed in MIDI tracks.

ˆ

Audio effects

act upon audio signals and can be placed in audio tracks. They can also be placed in MIDI tracks as long as they are downstream from an instrument.

ˆ

Instruments

are devices that reside in MIDI tracks, receive MIDI and output audio.

The Track View is where you insert, view and adjust the devices for the selected track. To select a track and open the Track View to access its devices, double-click the track's name.

The Track View appears in the bottom area of the Live screen.

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210

To save space in the Track View, a device can be collapsed by double-clicking on its title bar or by choosing Fold from its (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

Devices in the Track

View.

To learn about a particular device and how to operate it, consult the

Live Audio Effect

Reference ,

Live MIDI Effect Reference

or the

Live Instrument Reference .

To learn about creating and using custom groupings of instruments and effects, check out the

Instrument, Drum and Effect Racks

chapter.

Get hands-on with devices by assigning their parameters to

MIDI or key remote control .

Devices Can Be Folded.

CHAPTER 16. WORKING WITH INSTRUMENTS AND EFFECTS

16.1

Using the Live Devices

211

Click on the Device Browser selector to access the palette of Live's built-in devices. You will notice that MIDI effects, audio effects and instruments each have their own folders in the

Browser.

The easiest way to place a device in a track is to double-click on it in the Browser, which creates a new track to hold the device. Alternatively, select a destination track by clicking within it, then select a device or preset in the Browser and press

Return to add it to the selected track.

You can also drag devices into tracks or drop areas in the Session and Arrangement Views, or into the Track View. Dragging a sample to the Track View of a MIDI track creates a

Simpler

instrument with this sample loaded.

Note:

If you are using an external input signal to feed your Live track using the default settings, the track's

Arm

button in the mixer must be activated in order to hear the input through the devices in your track's device chain. On MIDI tracks, this is normally activated automatically when inserting an instrument.

The Live Device Browser.

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212

This is how you would play live instruments through effects on a track, for example, or use a MIDI keyboard's input to play a track's instrument. Note that you can easily move from this setup into

recording new clips

for further use in Live. If you have alternative monitoring preferences, please see the

Monitoring section

to learn how to make these settings.

To add another device to the track, simply drag it there or double-click its name to append it to the device chain. Signals in a device chain always travel from left to right.

You can drop audio effects in at any point in an audio track's device chain, keeping in mind that the order of effects determines the resulting sound. The same is true for a MIDI track's device chain.

If you drop an

instrument

into a MIDI track's device chain, be aware that signals following

(to the right of) the instrument are

audio

signals, available only to audio effects. Signals preceding (to the left of) the instrument are

MIDI

signals, available only to MIDI effects. This means that it's possible for a MIDI track's device chain to hold all three types of devices: rst

MIDI effects, then an instrument, and nally audio effects.

MIDI and Audio Track

Arm Buttons

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213

To remove a device from the chain, click on its title bar and press your computer's or

Delete key, or select Delete from the Edit menu. To change the order of devices, drag a device by its title bar and drop it next to any of the other devices in the Track View. Devices can be moved to other tracks entirely by dragging them from the Track View into the Session or Arrangement Views.

Edit menu commands such as cut, copy, paste and duplicate can be used on devices.

Pasted devices are inserted in front of the selected device. You can paste at the end of a device chain by clicking in the space after the last device, or by using the key to move the selection there. Generally, devices can be placed, reordered and deleted without interrupting the audio stream.

A MIDI Track's Device

Chain Can Contain All

Three Device Types.

Devices are turned on and off using their Activator switches. Turning a device off is like temporarily deleting it: The signal remains unprocessed, and the device does not consume

CPU cycles. Live devices generally do not load down the CPU unless they are active.

For more information, please refer to the

CPU load section . The Freeze Track command

discussed there is especially helpful when working with CPU-intensive devices.

Device Activator

Switches.

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214

Devices in Live's tracks have input and output level meters. These meters are helpful in nding problematic devices in the device chain: Low or absent signals will be revealed by the level meters, and relevant device settings can then be adjusted, or the device can be turned off or removed.

Note that no clipping can occur between devices because there is practically unlimited headroom. Clipping can occur when an overly strong signal is sent to a

physical output

or written to a sample le.

Further information about track types in Live can be found in the

Routing and I/O chapter , in-

cluding information on using

return tracks

to distribute the effect of a single device amongst several tracks. After reading about using devices in Live, it might also be interesting to look into

clip envelopes , which can modulate individual device parameters on a per-clip basis.

The Level Meters

Between Devices in a

Chain.

16.1.1

Live Device Presets

Every Live device can store and retrieve their parameter settings as

presets

. Presets for Live instruments and effects are managed through the Device Browser. Each device appears there as a folder that can be opened to reveal its presets.

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215

Presets in the Device

Browser.

You can browse and load presets quickly with the computer keyboard:

ˆ

Scroll up and down using the and keys.

ˆ

Close and open device folders using the

ˆ

Press

Return to load a device or preset.

and keys.

Clicking a device's

Hot-Swap Presets

button will temporarily link the Browser to a device, calling up its presets in the Device Browser. With the device and Browser linked in this manner, you can quickly browse, load and audition different presets. You can even replace the current device with a new one by simply selecting another device's preset. To load a device's default factory settings, select the parent folder of its presets (i.e., the one with the device's name) from the Device Browser.

The link between the Device Browser and the device will be broken if a different view is selected, or if the Hot-Swap button is pressed again. Preset hot-swapping can also be cancelled with a press of the

Esc key or by pressing the close button in the Hot-Swap bar at the top of the Browser.

Note that although importing via the Browser is the recommended method, presets can also be dropped directly into Live from the Explorer (Windows)/Finder (Mac).

The Hot-Swap Presets

Button.

CHAPTER 16. WORKING WITH INSTRUMENTS AND EFFECTS

Saving Presets

You can create and save any number of your own presets in the Device Browser.

216

Click the Save Preset button to save a device's current settings (including any custom

info text ) as a new preset. You will be redirected to the Browser, where you can press

Return to use Live's suggested name, or you can type one of your own. You can also save presets to speci c folders in the Browser (such as your Current Project folder) by dragging from the title bar of the device and dropping into the Browser location of your choice.

For detailed information on what can be done with the Browser, please see the

Managing Files and Sets chapter . For more on how to store project-speci c presets, see the

appropriate section .

The Save Preset Button.

Default Presets

Presets saved to the

Defaults

folders in Live's Library will load in place of Live's generic device settings. There are also Defaults folders that allow you to customize how Live responds to various user actions, such as sample dropping and

slicing .

To save the current settings of a device as a default preset, open the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu on the device's header and select Save as Default Preset. This works

The Default Presets folders in Live's Library.

CHAPTER 16. WORKING WITH INSTRUMENTS AND EFFECTS

217 for all of Live's instruments, MIDI effects and audio effects (including the various types of

Racks ). If you have already saved a default preset for a particular device, Live will ask you

before overwriting it.

To specify how Live behaves when dragging a sample to a Drum Rack or the Track View of a MIDI track:

ˆ

Create an empty Simpler or Sampler

ˆ

Adjust the parameters as you like

ˆ

Drag the edited device to the On Drum Rack or On Track View folder, which can be found at Library/Defaults/Dropping Samples

To adjust how Live behaves when slicing an audio le:

ˆ

Create an empty Drum Rack

ˆ

Add an empty Simpler or Sampler to the Drum Rack to create a single chain

ˆ

Add any additional MIDI or Audio Effects to this chain

ˆ

Adjust parameters in any of the devices

ˆ

Assign

Macro Controls

to any of the controls in the chain's devices

ˆ

Drag the entire Drum Rack to the Library/Defaults/Slicing folder

You can create multiple slicing presets and choose between them in the Slicing Preset chooser in the slicing dialog.

16.2

Using Plug-Ins

The collection of devices that you can use in Live can be extended with

plug-ins

. Live supports Steinberg Media's VST Plug-ins format, as well as the Audio Units (AU) Plug-ins format (Mac OS X only).

Working with VST and Audio Units Plug-ins is very much like working with Live devices. VST and AU instruments can only be placed in Live MIDI tracks and, like Live instruments, they will receive MIDI and output audio signals. Plug-in audio effects can only be placed in audio

CHAPTER 16. WORKING WITH INSTRUMENTS AND EFFECTS

218 tracks or following instruments. Please see the previous section,

Using the Live Devices , for

details.

Audio Units and VST Plug-ins are browsed and imported using the Plug-In Device Browser, which is accessed via its selector. Plug-in instruments can be differentiated from plug-in effects in the Browser, as they appear with a keyboard icon.

The Browser's search functionality is only available for Audio Units Plug-ins, as is loading presets directly from Track View devices via the Hot-Swap button. In some instances, factory presets for Audio Units will only appear in the Browser once the device has been placed in a track and its Hot-Swap button activated.

Note:

The rst time you start Live, no plug-ins will appear in the Plug-In Device Browser, as you must rst activate your plug-in sources. Activating your plug-in sources tells Live which plug-ins you want to use and where they are located on your computer. Information on activating (and deactivating) plug-in sources can be found later in this chapter, in the sections on the

VST Plug-in folder

and

Audio Units Plug-ins .

Note for Intel

®

Mac users:

Intel

®

Mac computers cannot natively run VST or AU plugins that have been written for the PowerPC platform. Only plug-ins of type (Universal) or

(Intel

®

) can be used in Live.

If you install/de-install a plug-in while the program is running, Live will not detect your changes or implement them in the Plug-In Device Browser until the next time you start the program. Use the

Rescan

button in the File/Folder Preferences to rescan your plug-ins while

The Plug-In Device

Browser.

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219

Live is running, so that newly installed devices become immediately available in the Plug-In

Device Browser.

You can also rescan if you believe that your plug-in database has somehow become corrupted. Holding down the

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er while pressing Rescan will delete your plug-in database altogether and run a clean scan of your plug-ins.

16.2.1

Plug-Ins in the Track View

Once a plug-in is dragged from the Browser into a track, it will show up in the Track View.

For plug-ins with fewer than 32 modi able parameters, a Live panel will represent all of the parameters as horizontal sliders. Plug-ins that contain more than 32 parameters will open with an empty panel, which you can then con gure to show the parameters you want to access. The plug-in's original interface can be opened in a

separate window .

A VST Plug-In in the

Track View.

You can view or hide the plug-in's parameters by toggling the title bar.

button in the plug-in's

The Plug-In Unfold

Button.

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220

The X-Y control eld can be used to control two plug-in parameters at once and is therefore especially well-suited for live control. To assign any two plug-in parameters to the Live panel

X-Y eld, use the drop-down menus directly beneath it.

Showing Plug-In Panels in Separate Windows

The Plug-In Edit button opens a oating window that shows the original VST or Audio Units

Plug-in panel. Changing parameters on the oating window has the same effect as changing them in the Live panel, and vice versa.

There are a few important Plug-In Preference settings for working with plug-in edit windows:

ˆ

If activated, the

Auto-Open Plug-In Custom Editor

Preference assures that plug-in custom editor windows open automatically when plug-ins are loaded into tracks from the Browser.

ˆ

If the

Multiple Plug-In Windows

option in the Plug-In Preferences is activated, you can open any number of plug-in windows at once. Even with this option off, you can hold down the

Ctrl

(PC) / (Mac) modi er when opening a new plug-in window to keep the previous window(s) from closing.

ˆ

Using the

Auto-Hide Plug-In Windows

preference, you can choose to have Live display only those plug-in windows belonging to the track that is currently selected.

You can use the View menu's Show/Hide Plug-In Windows command or the

Ctrl Alt

(PC) /

Alt

P

P

(Mac) shortcut to hide and show your open plug-in windows. Notice that the name of the track to which the plug-in belongs is displayed in the title bar of the plug-in editor window.

The Plug-In Edit Button.

CHAPTER 16. WORKING WITH INSTRUMENTS AND EFFECTS

Plug-In Con gure Mode

221

Con gure Mode allows you to customize Live's panel to show only the plug-in parameters that you need to access. To do this:

ˆ

Enter Con gure Mode by pressing the Con gure button in the device's header.

ˆ

Click on a parameter in the plug-in edit window to add it to Live's panel. (For some plug-ins, it may be necessary to actually change the parameter's value. Additionally, certain plug-ins do not publish all of their parameters to Live. These parameters cannot be added to Live's panel.)

While in Con gure Mode, parameters in Live's panel can be reordered or moved by dragging and dropping them to new locations. Parameters can be deleted by pressing the

Delete key. If you try to delete a parameter that has existing

automation data ,

clip envelopes , or

MIDI, key

or

Macro

mappings, Live will warn you before proceeding.

The parameters that you assign are unique for each instance of a given plug-in in your Set, and are saved with the Set. If you would like to save a setup using a particular collection of parameters, you can

create a Rack

containing the con gured plug-in. Racks can then be saved to your Library and loaded into other Sets.

Certain plug-ins do not have their own windows, and instead only show their parameters in

Live's panel. For these plug-ins, it is not possible to delete parameters when in Con gure

Mode (although they can still be moved and reordered).

There are several ways to add plug-in parameters to Live's panel without entering Con gure

Mode:

The Con gure Button.

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222

ˆ

Adjusting a parameter in the plug-in's oating window creates temporary entries for that parameter in the clip envelope and automation choosers, as well as the choosers in the panel's X-Y eld. These entries are removed when you adjust another parameter. To make the entry permanent (thus adding it to Live's panel), either edit the parameter's automation or clip envelope, select another parameter in the automation or clip envelope choosers or select the temporary parameter in one of the X-Y eld's choosers.

ˆ

When a parameter is changed on a plug-in's edit window during recording, automation data is recorded automatically. When recording is stopped, the automated parameters are automatically added to Live's panels for any plug-ins that were adjusted.

ˆ

When in MIDI, key or Macro mapping mode, adjusting any parameter in the plug-in's window will create it in Live's panel. The new panel entry will be automatically selected, allowing you to map it immediately.

Once a plug-in is placed in a track and you have (optionally) con gured its parameters in

Live's panel, you can use it just like a Live device:

ˆ

You can map MIDI controller messages to all of the parameters in Live's panel.

ˆ

You can drag or copy the device to different locations in the device chain or to other tracks, according to the rules of audio effects and instruments.

ˆ

You can modulate its continuous parameters with clip envelopes.

ˆ

You can use the multiple I/O features of some plug-ins by assigning them as sources or targets in the routing setup of tracks. See the

Routing and I/O chapter

for details.

ˆ

You can create custom

info text

for the plug-in.

Macintosh only:

The oating editor windows of some VST Plug-ins do not receive computer key strokes. This is generally an implementation error in the plug-in itself. If it is necessary to type into a plug-in window, for instance for entering a serial number or unlock code, hold down while clicking the Plug-In Edit button. The editor window will then appear as a normal application window, rather than as a oating window, and receive your typing.

Note that this functionality is intended only as a workaround for the limitations of such plugins. We recommend closing the window after you have nished typing, then reopening it normally before working with the plug-in parameters.

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16.2.2

Plug-In Performance Options

The CPU Preferences contain a Plug-In Buffer Size setting for balancing plug-in latency and performance. Here you can set the number of samples processed at any one time by the plug-in. Higher settings may result in a noticeable performance increase but will also result in higher latencies.

With the As Audio Buffer setting selected, the plug-in will calculate the exact number of samples per millisecond as the computer's sound card. This setting usually means that very few dropouts or performance problems will occur, especially with DSP cards.

The size of the computer's sound card buffer (i.e., the number of samples it calculates per millisecond) can be set using the Buffer Size setting in the Audio Preferences.

16.3

VST Plug-Ins

16.3.1

The VST Plug-In Folder

When you start Live for the rst time, you will need to activate your VST Plug-in sources before working with VST Plug-ins. Depending on your computer platform, you may also have to tell Live about the location of the VST Plug-in folder containing the devices you want to use. In order to set up your VST sources, press the Activate button in the Plug-In

Device Browser, or open the File/Folder Preferences by pressing

Ctrl

,

(PC) /

,

(Mac). There you will nd the Plug-In Sources section.

For Windows, proceed as follows:

1. Use the VST Plug-In Custom Folder entry to tell Live about the location of your

VST Plug-ins: Click the

Browse

button to open a folder-search dialog for locating and selecting the appropriate folder.

Setting up VST Plug-In

Sources for Windows.

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2. Once you have selected a VST Custom Folder and Live has scanned it, the path will be displayed. Note that, on Windows, Live may have found a path in the registry without the need for browsing.

3. Make sure that the Use VST Plug-In Custom Folder option is set to On, so that your selected folder is an active source for VST Plug-ins in Live. Note that you can choose not to use your VST Plug-ins in Live by turning off the Use VST

Plug-In Custom Folder option.

224

Set up your VST Plug-ins under Mac OS X by doing the following:

1. Your VST Plug-ins will normally be installed in the following folder in your home and local directories: /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST. You can turn Live's use of these plug-ins on or off with the Use VST Plug-ins in System Folders option.

2. You may have an alternative folder in which you store your VST Plug-ins (perhaps those that you use only with Live). You can use VST Plug-ins in this folder in addition to, or instead of, those in the System folders. To tell Live about the location of this folder, click the

Browse

button next to the VST Plug-In Custom Folder entry to open a folder-search dialog for locating and selecting the appropriate folder.

3. Note that you can turn off your VST Plug-ins in this folder using the Use VST

Plug-In Custom folder option.

Once you have con gured your Plug-In Preferences, the Plug-In Device Browser will display all plug-ins it nds in the selected VST Plug-in folder(s) as well as any sub-folders.

It is also possible to use VST Plug-ins stored in different folders on your computer. To do this, create a Mac OS or Windows

alias

of the folder where additional VST Plug-ins are stored, and then place the alias in the VST Plug-In Custom folder (or in the VST Plug-In

Setting up VST Plug-In

Sources for Mac OS X.

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225

System folder on Mac OS X) selected in Live's File/Folder Preferences. The alias can point to a different partition or hard drive on your computer. Live will scan the set VST Plug-in folder as well as any alias folders contained therein.

Some VST Plug-ins contain errors or are incompatible with Live. During the scanning process, these may cause the program to crash. When you re-launching Live, a dialog will appear to inform you about which plug-in caused the problem. Depending on what Live detects about the plug-in, you may be given the choice between performing another scan or making the problematic plug-in unavailable. If you choose to rescan and they crash the program a second time, Live will automatically make them unavailable, meaning that they will not appear in the Plug-In Device Browser and will not be rescanned again until they are reinstalled.

16.3.2

VST Programs and Banks

Every VST Plug-in instance owns a

bank

of

programs

. A program is meant to contain one complete set of values for the plug-in's controls.

To select a program from the plug-in's bank, use the chooser below the title bar. The number of programs per bank is xed. You are always working in the currently selected program, that is, all changes to the plug-in's controls become part of the selected program.

Note that VST programs are different from

Live device presets : Whereas the presets for a

Live device are shared among all instances and Live Sets, the VST programs belong to this speci c instance of the VST Plug-in.

The VST Plug-In

Program Chooser.

To rename the current program, select the VST's Device Title Bar and execute the Edit menu's Rename Plug-In Program command. Then type in a new program name and con rm by pressing

Return

.

Renaming a VST Plug-In

Program.

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226

VST programs and banks can be imported from les. Clicking a VST's Load Program or Bank button brings up a standard le-open dialog for locating the desired le.

Windows only

: Please select from the File Type menu whether you want to locate VST

Device Program les or VST Device Bank les.

To save the currently selected program as a le, click the VST Save Program or Bank button to bring up a standard le-save dialog; select VST Program from the Format menu (Macintosh)/from the File Type menu (Windows); select a folder and name. For saving the entire bank as a le, proceed likewise but choose VST Bank as a le type/format.

The VST Load Program or Bank Button (Left) and

Save Program or Bank

Button (Right).

16.4

Audio Units Plug-Ins

Audio Units Plug-ins are only available in Mac OS X. In most respects, they operate just like

VST Plug-ins .

The rst time you open Live, Audio Units Plug-ins will not appear in the Plug-In Device

Browser. In order to activate your Audio Units as a plug-in source, please press the Activate button in the Plug-In Device Browser, or go to the File/Folder Preferences by pressing

Ctrl

,

(PC) /

,

(Mac). There you will nd the Plug-In Sources section. Turning

An Audio Units Plug-In.

CHAPTER 16. WORKING WITH INSTRUMENTS AND EFFECTS

227 on the Use Audio Units option activates Audio Units Plug-ins so that they appear in Live's

Plug-In Device Browser.

Note that you can always turn this option off later if you decide not to use Audio Units.

Audio Units Plug-ins sometimes have a feature that allows choosing between different modes for the device. You might be able to choose, for example, between different levels of quality in the rendering of a reverb. Choosers for these device modes can only be accessed through the original plug-in panel, which is opened using the Plug-In Edit button.

Activating Audio Units

Plug-Ins.

Audio Units have presets that function just like those for the

Live effects . However, some

AU presets cannot be dragged to different locations in the Browser, as they are read-only.

Audio Units presets have an

.aupreset

extension and are stored in the following directory according to their manufacturer's name:

[Home]/Library/Audio/Presets/[Manufacturer Name]/[Plug-in Name]

Opening an Audio Units

Plug-In Window.

16.5

Device Delay Compensation

Live automatically compensates for delays caused by Live and plug-in instruments and effects, including those on the return tracks. These delays can arise from the time taken by devices to process an input signal and output a result. The compensation algorithm keeps all of Live's tracks in sync, regardless of what their devices are doing, while minimizing delay between the player's actions and the audible result.

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228

Device delay compensation is on by default and does not normally have to be adjusted in any way. However, Live Sets that were created with Live 4 or earlier will open without device delay compensation. To manually turn latency compensation on (or off), use the

Delay Compensation option in the Options menu.

Unusually high

individual track delays

or reported latencies from plug-ins may cause noticeable sluggishness in the software. If you are having latency-related dif culties while recording and playing back instruments, you may want to try turning off device delay compensation, however this is not normally recommended. You may also nd that adjusting the individual track delays is useful in these cases, but please note that the Track Delay controls are unavailable when device delay compensation is deactivated.

Note that device delay compensation can, depending on the number of tracks and devices in use, increase the CPU load.

229

Chapter 17

Instrument, Drum and Effect Racks

A Rack is a exible tool for working with effects, plug-ins and instruments in a track's device chain. Racks can be used to build complex signal processors, dynamic performance instruments, stacked synthesizers and more. Yet they also streamline your device chain by bringing together your most essential controls. While Racks excel at handling multiple devices, they can extend the abilities of even a single device by de ning new control relationships between its parameters.

Racks greatly expand upon the concept of device groups introduced in Live 5. The device groups of any Live Sets imported from Live 5 are automatically converted to Racks by Live

8.

Note that these Live Sets, once saved, can no longer be opened in older versions of Live.

An Audio Effect Rack.

CHAPTER 17. INSTRUMENT, DRUM AND EFFECT RACKS

17.1

An Overview of Racks

230

17.1.1

Signal Flow and Parallel Device Chains

In any of Live's tracks, devices are connected serially in a

device chain,

passing their signals from one device to the next, left to right. By default, the Track View displays only a single chain, but there is actually no limit to the number of chains contained within a track.

Racks allow (among other things) additional device chains to be added to any track. When a track has multiple chains, they operate in

parallel:

In Instrument and Effect Racks, each chain receives the same input signal at the same time, but then processes its signal

serially

through its own devices. The output of each of the parallel chains is mixed together, producing the

Rack's output.

Drum Racks also allow multiple parallel chains to be used simultaneously, but their chains process input somewhat differently: Rather than receiving the same input signals, each

Drum Rack chain receives input from only a single assigned MIDI note.

The entire contents of any Rack can be thought of as a single device.

This means that adding a new Rack at any point in a device chain is no different than adding any other device, and

Racks can contain any number of other Racks. If more devices are placed after a Rack in a track's device chain, the Rack's output is passed on to them, as usual.

17.1.2

Macro Controls

The Macro Controls.

One unique property of Racks are their

Macro Controls.

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231

The Macro Controls are a bank of eight knobs, each capable of addressing any number of parameters from any devices in a Rack. How you use them is up to you whether it be for convenience, by making an important device parameter more accessible; for de ning exotic, multi-parameter morphs of rhythm and timbre; or for constructing a mega-synth, and hiding it away behind a single customized interface. See

Using the Macro Controls

for a detailed explanation of how to do this.

For the greatest degree of expression, try

MIDI-mapping

the Macro Controls to an external control surface.

17.2

Creating Racks

Four Rack variants cover the range of Live's devices: Instrument Racks, Drum Racks, Audio

Effect Racks and MIDI Effect Racks. Just as with track types, each kind of Rack has rules regarding the devices it contains:

ˆ

MIDI Effect Racks

contain only MIDI effects, and can only be placed in MIDI tracks.

ˆ

Audio Effect Racks

contain only audio effects, and can be placed in audio tracks.

They can also be placed in MIDI tracks, as long as they are downstream from an instrument.

ˆ

Instrument Racks

contain instruments, but can additionally contain both MIDI and audio effects. In this case, all MIDI effects have to be at the beginning of the Instrument

Rack's device chain, followed by an instrument, and then any audio effects.

ˆ

Drum Racks

are similar to Instrument Racks; they can contain instruments as well as

MIDI and audio effects and their devices must be ordered according to the same signal ow rules. Drum Racks can also contain up to six

return chains

of audio effects, with independent send levels for each chain in the main Rack.

There are different ways to create Racks. A new, empty Rack can be created by dragging a generic Rack preset (

Audio Effect Rack,

for example) from the Device Browser into a track.

Devices can then be dropped directly into the Rack's Chain List or Devices view, which are introduced in the

next section .

If a track already has one or more devices that you would like to group into a Rack, then simply select the title bars of those devices in the Track View, and (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac)

CHAPTER 17. INSTRUMENT, DRUM AND EFFECT RACKS

232 on one of the title bars to reveal the

Group

and

Group to Drum Rack

commands in the context menu. Note that if you repeat one of these commands again on the same device, you will create a Rack within a Rack. You can also group multiple

chains

within a Rack using the same procedure. Doing this also creates a Rack within a Rack. In the Track View, the contents of Racks are always contained between end brackets: Just as with punctuation or in mathematics, a Rack within a Rack will have a pair of brackets within a pair of brackets.

To ungroup devices, dismantling their Racks, select the

Rack's

title bar, and then use the

Edit menu or the context menu to access the

Ungroup

command.

17.3

Looking at Racks

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 6 3 4 5

Components of an

Effect Rack.

1. Racks have distinct views that can be shown or hidden as needed. Therefore, every Rack has a

view column

on its far left side that holds the corresponding view selectors. The actual view selectors available differ depending on whether

Components of a Drum

Rack.

CHAPTER 17. INSTRUMENT, DRUM AND EFFECT RACKS

233 an Instrument, Drum or Effect Rack is being used.

2.

Macro Controls

3.

Chain List.

In Drum Racks, this view can include both drum chains and return chains.

4.

Devices

5. Racks are also identi able by their round corners, which bracket and enclose their content. When the Devices view is shown, the

end bracket

visually detaches itself to keep the Rack hierarchy clear.

6.

Pad View.

This is unique to Drum Racks.

To move, copy or delete an entire Rack at once, simply select it by its title bar (as opposed to the title bars of any devices that it contains). When selected, a Rack can also be renamed by using the Edit menu's

Rename

command. You can also enter your own

info text

for a

Rack via the Edit Info Text command in the Edit menu or in the Racks's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

When all of a Rack's views are hidden, its title bar will fold into the view column, making the entire Rack as slim as possible. This has the same effect as choosing Fold from the (PC)

/

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu or double-clicking on the Rack's title bar.

If you would like to locate a particular device in a Rack without searching manually through its entire contents, you will appreciate this navigation shortcut: (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on the Track View selector, and a hierarchical list of all devices in the track's device chain will appear. Simply select an entry from the list, and Live will select that device and move it into view for you.

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234

Navigate Racks Quickly

Via a Context Menu.

17.4

Chain List

As signals enter a Rack, they are rst greeted by the Chain List. We will therefore also choose this point for our own introduction.

The Chain List represents the branching point for incoming signals: Each parallel device chain starts here, as an entry in the list. Below the list is a drop area, where new chains can be added by dragging and dropping presets, devices, or even pre-existing chains.

Note: Racks, chains and devices can be freely dragged into and out of other Racks, and even between tracks. Selecting a chain, then dragging and hovering over another Session

The Chain List in an

Audio Effect Rack.

CHAPTER 17. INSTRUMENT, DRUM AND EFFECT RACKS

235 or Arrangement View track will give that track focus; its Track View will open, allowing you to drop your chain into place.

Since the Track View can show only one device chain at a time, the Chain List also serves as a navigational aid: The list selection determines what will be shown in the adjacent Devices view (when enabled). Try using your computer keyboard's and keys to change the selection in the Chain List, and you'll nd that you can quickly ip through the contents of a

Rack.

The Chain List also supports multi-selection of chains, for convenient copying, organizing and regrouping. In this case, the Devices view will indicate how many chains are currently selected.

Each chain has its own Chain Activator, as well as Solo and

Hot-Swap

buttons. Chains in

Instrument, Drum and Audio Effect Racks also have their own volume and pan sliders, and

Drum Rack chains have additional send level and MIDI assignment controls. Like Live Clips, entire chains can be saved and recalled as presets in the Device Browser. You can give a chain a descriptive name by selecting it, then choosing the Edit menu's Rename command.

You can also enter your own

info text

for a chain via the Edit Info Text command in the Edit menu or in the chain's (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu. The context menu also contains a color palette where you can choose a custom chain color.

17.4.1

Auto Select

Auto Select in an Audio

Effect Rack.

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236

When the Auto Select switch is activated, every chain that is currently processing signals becomes selected in the Chain List. In Drum Racks, this feature will select a chain if it receives its assigned MIDI input note. In Instrument and Effect Racks, Auto Select works in conjunction with zones, which are discussed next, and is quite helpful when troubleshooting complex con gurations.

Auto Select in a Drum

Rack.

17.5

Zones

Zones are sets of data lters that reside at the input of every chain in an Instrument or Effect

Rack. Together, they determine the range of values that can pass through to the device chain. By default, zones behave transparently, never requiring your attention. They can be recon gured, however, to form sophisticated control setups. The three types of zones, whose editors are toggled with the buttons above the Chain List, are

Key, Velocity,

and

Chain Select.

The adjacent

Hide

button whisks them out of sight.

Note: Audio Effect Racks do not have key or velocity zones, since these two zone types lter MIDI data only. Likewise, Drum Racks have no zones at all; they lter MIDI notes based on choosers in their chain lists.

Zones contain a lower, main section, used for resizing and moving the zone itself, and a narrow upper section that de nes fade ranges. Resizing of either section is done by clicking and dragging on its right or left edges, while moving is accomplished by clicking and dragging a zone from anywhere except its edges.

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237

17.5.1

Signal Flow through Zones

To understand how zones work, let's examine the signal ow in a MIDI Effect Rack. Our

MIDI Effect Rack resides in the device chain of a MIDI track, and therefore processes MIDI signals. We will assume that it contains four parallel device chains, each containing one

MIDI effect.

1. All MIDI data in the track is passed to its device chain, and therefore into the input of the MIDI Effect Rack.

2. Our MIDI Effect Rack has four device chains, all of which receive the same MIDI data at the same time.

3. Before any MIDI data can enter a device chain, it must be able to pass through

every

zone in that chain. Every chain in a MIDI Effect Rack has three zones: a key zone, a velocity zone and a chain select zone.

4. An incoming MIDI note gets compared to a chain's key zone. If the MIDI note lies within the key zone, it is passed to the next zone for comparison; if it does not, then we already know that the note will not be passed to that chain's devices.

5. The same comparisons are made for the chain's velocity and chain select zones.

If a note also lies within both of these zones, then it is passed to the input of the rst device in that chain.

6. The output of all parallel chains is mixed together to produce the MIDI Effect

Rack's nal output. If there happened to be another device following after the Rack in the track's device chain, it would now receive the Rack's output for processing.

CHAPTER 17. INSTRUMENT, DRUM AND EFFECT RACKS

17.5.2

Key Zones

238

When the Key button is selected, the Key Zone Editor appears to the right of the Chain List, illustrating how each chain maps to the full MIDI note range (nearly 11 octaves). Chains will only respond to MIDI notes that lie within their key zone. The zones of individual chains may occupy any number of keys, allowing for exible keyboard split setups.

Key zone fade ranges attenuate the

velocities

of notes entering a chain.

The Key Zone Editor.

17.5.3

Velocity Zones

Each chain in an Instrument Rack or MIDI Effect Rack also has a velocity zone, specifying the range of MIDI Note On velocities that it will respond to.

The Velocity Zone Editor, when displayed, replaces the Key Zone Editor to the right of the

Chain List. MIDI Note On velocity is measured on a scale of 1-127, and this value range

The Velocity Zone Editor.

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239 spans the top of the editor. Otherwise, the functionality here is identical to that of the Key

Zone Editor.

Velocity zone fade ranges attenuate the velocities of notes entering a chain.

17.5.4

Chain Select Zones

Activating the Chain button in an Instrument or Effect Rack displays the Chain Select Editor.

These Racks have chain select zones, which allow you to lter chains spontaneously via a single parameter. The editor has a scale of 0-127, similar to the Velocity Zone Editor. Above the value scale, however, you will nd a draggable indicator known as the Chain selector.

The chain select zone is a data lter just like the other zones; although all chains in a Rack receive input signals, only those with chain select zones that overlap the current value of the

Chain selector can be addressed and thereby produce output.

By default, the chain select zones of Instrument and MIDI Effect Racks lter only notes, ignoring all other incoming MIDI events (such as MIDI CCs). To lter all MIDI events, enable the Chain Selector Filters MIDI Ctrl option, available in the context menu

(Mac) of a Rack's Chain Select Ruler.

(PC) /

Ctrl

In MIDI Effect Racks, fade ranges attenuate the velocities of notes entering a chain. In

Instrument Racks and Audio Effect Racks, which both output audio signals, fade ranges attenuate the volume level at each chain's output. So what happens, then, if the Chain selector is moved outside of the chain select zone where a sound is currently playing? If the zone ends in a fade range, the chain's output volume is attenuated to zero while the

Chain selector is outside of the zone. If the zone had no fade range, the output volume

The Chain Select Editor.

CHAPTER 17. INSTRUMENT, DRUM AND EFFECT RACKS

240 is

not

attenuated, allowing the chain's effects (like long reverb tails or delays) to fade out according to their own settings.

Let's consider how we can make use of chain select zones in a performance situation:

Making Preset Banks Using Chain Select

Unlike the other zone types, the default length of a chain select zone is 1, and the default value is 0. From this setup, we can quickly create preset banks using the Chain Select

Editor.

Again, we will use a Rack with four chains as our starting point. Each of the four chains contain different effects that we would like to be able to switch between. To make this a hands-on experience, we have MIDI-mapped the Chain selector to an encoder on an external control surface.

Let's move the chain select zones of the second and third chains so that each of our zones is occupying its own adjacent value: The rst chain's zone has a value of 0, the second chain's zone has a value of 1, the third has a value of 2, and the fourth has a value of 3.

Since each of our chain select zones has a unique value, with no two zones overlapping, we now have a situation where only one chain at a time can ever be equal to the Chain selector value (shown at the top of the editor). Therefore, by moving the Chain selector, we determine which chain can process signals. With our MIDI encoder at hand, we can now ip effortlessly between instrument or effect setups.

Using Chain Select

Zones to Create Effects

Presets.

CHAPTER 17. INSTRUMENT, DRUM AND EFFECT RACKS

Crossfading Preset Banks Using Fade Ranges

241

Taking the previous example one step further, we can tweak our chain select zones to produce a smooth transition between our presets. To accomplish this, we will make use of our zones'

fade ranges.

To create some room for fading, let's extend the length of our zones a bit. Setting the zones as shown maintains four exclusive values for our presets, so that each still has one point where neither of the others are heard. We crossfade between the presets over eight steps.

If this is too rough a transition for your material, simply reposition the zones to maximize the fade ranges.

Crossfading Between

Effects Presets Using

Chain Select Zones.

17.6

Drum Racks

We've already talked a bit about Drum Racks, and most of their features are the same as those found in Instrument and Effect Racks. But Drum Racks have a slightly different layout, some unique controls and special behavior that is optimized for creating drum kits.

CHAPTER 17. INSTRUMENT, DRUM AND EFFECT RACKS

2

242

3

1

1. In addition to the standard selectors found on all Racks, Drum Racks have four additional controls in the view column. From top to bottom, these are the Auto

Select button and toggles for the Input/Output, Send, and Return sections.

2.

Input/Output Section.

The Receive chooser sets the incoming MIDI note to which the drum chain will respond. The list shows note names, MIDI note numbers and standard GM drum equivalents. The Play slider sets the outgoing MIDI note that will be sent to the devices in the chain. The Choke chooser allows you to set a chain to one of sixteen

choke groups.

Any chains that are in the same choke group will silence the others when triggered. This is useful for choking open hihats by triggering closed ones, for example. If All Notes is selected in the

Receive chooser, the Play and Choke choosers are disabled in this case, the chain simply passes the note that it receives to its devices. The small Preview button to the left of these choosers res a note into the chain, making it easy to check your mappings away from a MIDI controller.

3.

Mixer Section.

In addition to the mixer and Hot-Swap controls found in other

Rack types, Drum Racks also have

send sliders.

These sliders allow you to set the amount of post-fader signal sent from each drum chain to any of the available return chains. Note that send controls are not available until return chains have been created.

4.

Return Chains.

A Drum Rack's return chains appear in a separate section at the bottom of the chain list. Up to six chains of audio effects can be added here, which are fed by send sliders in each of the drum chains above.

The Audio To chooser in the mixer for return chains allows you to route a return chain's output to either the main output of the Rack or directly to the return tracks of the Set. In

4

The Chain List in a Drum

Rack.

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Drum Racks that are nested within other Drum Racks, both drum chains and return chains can route upwards to the returns of any of the Drum Racks that contain them.

17.6.1

Pad View

The Pad View is unique to Drum Racks and offers an easy way to map and manipulate samples and devices. Each pad represents one of the 128 available MIDI notes. The pad overview to the right shifts the set of visible pads up or down in octave increments, either by dragging the view selector to a new area or by using your computer keyboard's and keys. Use the

Alt

(PC) / (Mac) modi er to shift the view by single rows instead.

Almost any object from Live's Browser samples, effects, instruments and presets can be dragged onto a pad, mapping automatically to the pad's note and creating or recon guring internal chains and devices as necessary. Dropping a sample onto an empty pad, for example, creates a new chain containing a

Simpler , with the dropped sample ready to

play from the pad's note. If you then drag an audio effect to the same pad, it is placed downstream from the Simpler in the same chain. To replace the Simpler, simply drop another sample onto the same pad any downstream audio effects or upstream MIDI effects will be left intact and only the Simpler and sample will be replaced.

If a multi-selection of samples is dropped onto a pad, new Simplers and chains will be mapped upwards chromatically from this pad, replacing any other samples that may have already been assigned to the pads in question (but, as before, leaving any effects devices alone).

Alt

(PC) / (Mac)-dragging a multi-selection layers all of the samples to

Pad View.

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single

pad, by creating a nested Drum Rack with all of its chains set to receive that pad's note.

Dragging a pad to another pad swaps the note mapping between the pads. This means that any MIDI clips triggering the affected notes will now play the wrong sounds although this might be exactly what you want.

Alt

(PC) / (Mac)-dragging one pad to another will layer any chains from both pads in a nested Drum Rack.

You can always change your mappings from within the chain list as well, by adjusting the

Receive choosers. The Pad View will update automatically to re ect your changes. If you set the same Receive note for multiple chains, that note's pad will trigger them all.

If you're working with lots of nested Racks, the inner structure can quickly become complicated. Pad View can make it much easier to work by letting you focus on only the top level: the notes and sounds. It's important to remember that a pad represents a note, rather than a chain. More speci cally, it represents

all

chains, no matter how deep in the Rack, that are able to receive that pad's note. What you can control with each pad is related to how many chains it represents:

ˆ

An empty pad shows only the note it will trigger. When you mouse over it, the Status

Bar will display this note, as well as the suggested GM instrument.

ˆ

A pad that triggers only one chain shows the name of the chain. In this case, the pad serves as a handy front-end for many controls that are normally accessed in the chain list, such as mute, solo, preview and Hot-Swap. You can also rename and delete the chain via the pad.

ˆ

A pad that triggers multiple chains shows Multi as its name, and its mute, solo and preview buttons will affect all of its chains. If you mute and solo chains individually within the chain list, the pad's icons re ect this mixed state. Hot-Swap and renaming are disabled for a Multi pad, but you can delete all of its chains at once.

Although Pad View is designed for easy editing and sound design, it also excels as a

performance

interface, particularly when triggered by a hardware control surface with pads.

If your pad controller is one of Ableton's

natively supported control surfaces , simply select

it as a control surface in the MIDI/Sync tab of Live's Preferences. From then on, as long as you have a Drum Rack on a track that's receiving MIDI, your pad controller will trigger the pads that are visible on your screen. If you scroll the pad overview to show a different set of pads, your controller will update automatically.

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17.6.2

Slicing

Although Live automatically warps audio les to match your Set's tempo, you can get even more exibility out of your loops via a process called

slicing.

Slicing involves dividing the audio into small chunks and assigning each chunk to a single MIDI note, leaving your original audio le unaffected. The Drum Rack provides an ideal environment for working with sliced les, and most of the setup happens automatically.

To get started, select an audio clip from within your Set or the Browser, click

Ctrl

(PC) /

(Mac) to open the clip's context menu, and select the Slice to New MIDI Track command:

The Slicing dialog offers a list of slicing divisions, as well as a chooser to select the Slicing

Preset. The top chooser allows you to slice at a variety of beat resolutions or according to the clip's transients or Warp Markers. Since a Rack can contain a maximum of 128 chains,

Live won't let you proceed if your choice would result in more than 128 slices. You can x this by either setting a lower slice resolution or by selecting a smaller region of the clip to slice. If your audio le is in

REX format , the slicing will be based on the le's internal timing

information and you won't see this chooser.

The Slicing Preset chooser contains a few Ableton-supplied slicing templates, as well as any of your own that you may have placed in your Library's

default presets folder .

Once you've made your slicing choices and clicked OK, a number of things will happen:

1. A new MIDI track will be created, containing a MIDI clip. The clip will contain one note for each slice, arranged in a chromatic sequence.

2. A Drum Rack will be added to the newly created track, containing one chain per slice. Each chain will be triggered by one of the notes from the clip, and will contain a Simpler with the corresponding audio slice loaded.

The Slicing Dialog.

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3. The Drum Rack's Macro Controls will be pre-assigned to useful parameters for the Simplers, as determined by the settings in the selected slicing preset. In the factory Slicing presets, these include basic envelope controls and parameters to adjust the loop and crossfade properties of each slice. Adjusting one of these

Macros will adjust the mapped parameter in each Simpler simultaneously.

Note: Live will take a few moments to process all of this information.

Playing the MIDI clip will trigger each chain in the Drum Rack in order, according to the timing information that you speci ed or that was embedded in the audio. This opens up many new editing possibilities, including:

Resequencing Slices

By default, your sliced MIDI data will form a chromatically-ascending staircase pattern in order to trigger the correct chains in their original order. But you can create new patterns by simply

editing the MIDI notes . You can achieve a similar effect by dragging the Drum

Rack's pads onto each other to swap their note mappings.

Rearranging the Sliced

MIDI Data.

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Using Effects on Slices

Because each slice lives in its own chain in the Drum Rack, you can easily process individual slices with their own audio effects. To process several slices with the same set of effects, multi-select their chains in the Drum Rack's chain list and press

Ctrl

-G to group them to their own nested Rack. Then insert the effects after this new sub-Rack.

For even more creative possibilities, try inserting

MIDI effects

before the Drum Rack. The

Arpeggiator and Random devices can yield particularly interesting results.

Slicing is most commonly applied to drum loops, but there's no reason to stop there.

Experiment with slicing audio from different sources, such as voices and ambient textures.

The same sorts of resequencing and reprocessing operations can be applied to anything you slice sometimes with unexpected results.

17.7

Using the Macro Controls

With the potential for developing complex device chains, Macro Controls keep things manageable by taking over the most essential parameters of a Rack (as determined by you, of course). Once you have set up your ideal mapping, the rest of the Rack can be hidden away.

The Macro Control view's dedicated

Map Mode

button opens the door to this behavior.

Enabling Macro Map Mode causes three things to happen:

ˆ

All mappable parameters from a Rack's devices will appear with a colored overlay;

Making Macro Control

Assignments in Map

Mode.

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248

ˆ

Map buttons will appear beneath each Macro Control dial;

ˆ

The

Mapping Browser

will open.

The following steps will get you started mapping:

1. Enable Macro Map Mode by clicking the Map Mode button;

2. Select a device parameter for mapping by clicking it once;

3. Map the parameter by clicking on any Macro Control's Map button. The details will be added to the Mapping Browser. By default the Macro will take its name and units from the device parameter it is controlling.

4. Re ne the value range if desired using the Min/Max sliders in the Mapping

Browser. Inverted mappings can be created by setting the Min slider's value greater than the Max slider's value. The current values can also be inverted by pressing (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on the entry in the Mapping Browser.

5. Select another device parameter if you'd like to create more mappings, or click on the Map Mode button once more to exit Macro Map Mode.

Note that once assigned to a Macro Control, a device parameter will appear disabled, since it hands over all control to the Macro Control (although it can still be modulated externally, via

Clip Envelopes ).

You can edit or delete your assignments at any time using the Mapping Browser (which only appears when Map Mode is enabled).

If more than one parameter is assigned to a single Macro, the Macro's name will revert to its generic name (e.g., Macro 3). The Macro's units will also change to a 0 to 127 scale, except when all parameters possess both the same unit type and the same unit range.

Macro controls can be given custom names, colors and

info text

entries via the corresponding commands in the Edit menu or the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

17.8

Mixing With Racks

Any Instrument or Drum Rack that contains more than one chain can be viewed and mixed alongside the tracks in the Session View's mixer. A track that contains these Racks will have

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249 a button in its title bar, which will fold the Rack's mixer in or out. Likewise, any nested chains within the Rack will also have this button. This makes it easy to get an overview of your Rack's hierarchy or hide it when you just want to work on your mix.

Chains in the Session View mixer look similar to tracks, but they have no clip slots. Their mixing and routing controls mirror those found in the Rack's chain list, so any changes made to these controls in either area will be re ected in the other immediately. Likewise, many chain operations such as reordering, renaming and regrouping can be performed from either the mixer or the chain list. Clicking in a chain's mixer title bar shows only that chain's devices in the Track View.

As with tracks, when chains are multiselected in the Session View mixer, adjusting a mixer parameter for one of the chains will adjust the same parameter in the other selected chains.

Note that this behavior only applies to parameters adjusted via the Session mixer and not when adjusting the same parameters in the Rack's chain list.

Mixing Rack Chains in the Session View.

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17.8.1

Extracting Chains

All chains can be dragged from their parent Racks and placed into other tracks or Racks, either from the chain list or from the Session View mixer. A Drum Rack's return chains can also be extracted, and will create new return tracks if dragged to the mixer. Drum chains have an additional feature: when dragged from the mixer to a new track, they take their

MIDI notes with them. For example, if you are working on a MIDI drum loop within a single track and decide that you would like to move just the snare onto its own track, simply select the snare chain's title bar in the mixer and drag it to the mixer's drop area. This creates a new track with the full contents of the snare chain: both its devices and its MIDI data. If you would like to extract only the devices, drag from the chain list instead of from the mixer.

Extracting Drum Chains in the Mixer Extracts

MIDI Data.

251

Chapter 18

Automation and Editing Envelopes

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.

18.1

Recording Automation

Creating automation is straightforward: All changes of a control that occur while the Control

Bar's Record switch is on become automation. Try recording automation for a control, for instance a mixer volume slider. After recording, play back what you have just recorded to see and hear the effect of the control movement. You will notice that a little LED has appeared in the slider thumb to indicate that the control is now automated. Try recording automation for track panning and the Track Activator switch as well; their automation LEDs appear in their upper left corners.

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252

Volume, Pan and the

Track Activator Switch

Have Been Automated.

18.2

Deleting Automation

To delete automation data, (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on an automated control to open its context menu and select Delete Automation. The automation LED disappears, and the control's value stays constant across the entire song. You can also delete automation by editing

breakpoint envelopes .

18.3

Overriding Automation

In practice, you will often want to try out new control moves without overwriting existing automation data. Well, nothing is forever in the world of in nite

Undo , but it's easy to

disable a control's automation temporarily to avoid overwriting existing data: If you change an automated control's value while

not

in Record mode, the automation LED goes off to indicate the control's automation is inactive. Any automation is therefore

overridden

by the current manual setting.

The Back to

Arrangement Button.

When one or more of the automated controls in your Live Set are not active, the Control

Bar's Back to Arrangement button lights up. This button serves two purposes:

1. It reminds you that the current state of the controls differs from the state captured in the Arrangement.

CHAPTER 18. AUTOMATION AND EDITING ENVELOPES

2. You can click on it to reactivate all automation and thereby return to the automation state as it is written on tape.

253

18.4

Drawing and Editing Automation

In the Arrangement View, automation curves can be viewed and edited as breakpoint envelopes.

3 5 1 4 2

8 6 7

1. To show a track's envelopes, unfold the track by clicking the button next to the track name. (Note that, for

Group Tracks , you may need to expand the

track's height in order to see its envelopes.)

2. Clicking on one of the track's mixer or device controls will display this control's envelope on the clip track.

3. Envelopes appear on top of the audio waveform or MIDI display. An envelope's vertical axis represents the control value and the horizontal axis represents time. For switches and radio buttons, the value axis is discontinuous.

4. The Fades/Device chooser either selects

audio clip fades , the track mixer, one

Automation Envelopes in the Arrangement

View.

CHAPTER 18. AUTOMATION AND EDITING ENVELOPES

254 of the track's devices or None to hide the envelope. It also provides you with an overview of which devices actually have automation by showing an LED next to their labels. You can make things clearer still by selecting Show Automated

Parameters Only from the bottom of the chooser.

5. The Automation Control chooser selects a control from the device chosen in the

Fades/Device chooser. The labels of automated controls have an LED.

Once an envelope has been selected on the track, several new buttons appear:

6. The button moves the envelope into its own

automation lane

below the clip.

You can then select another automation parameter from the choosers to view it simultaneously. If the Fades/Device chooser is set to None , this button will be hidden.

7. The button hides its respective automation lane. Note that hiding a lane from view does not deactivate its envelope.

8. If any automation lanes have been created for a given track, you can hide or show them all by clicking the additional button that appears at the bottom of the track's title bar.

Clicking (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on a track name or automation lane header opens a context menu with additional options for viewing envelopes. This context menu also contains commands to quickly clear all automation envelopes for the track or any of its devices.

18.4.1

Drawing Envelopes

With Draw Mode enabled, you can click and drag to draw an envelope curve.

To toggle Draw Mode, select the Draw Mode option from the Options menu, click on the

Control Bar's Draw Mode switch, or press

Ctrl

B

(PC) /

B

(Mac).

The Draw Mode Switch.

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255

Drawing creates steps as wide as the visible grid, which you can modify using

a number of handy shortcuts . For freehand drawing, you can hide the grid using the Snap to Grid

Options menu entry or the

Ctrl

4

(PC) /

4

(Mac) shortcut. To temporarily enable freehand drawing while the grid is shown, hold down drawing.

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) while

Drawing an Envelope.

18.4.2

Editing Breakpoints

With Draw Mode off, the envelope display looks and works differently. The line segments and the breakpoints connecting them become draggable objects. Clicking and dragging in the envelope's background de nes a selection. Here is what you can do:

ˆ

Double-click at a position on a line segment to create a new breakpoint there.

ˆ

Double-click on a breakpoint to delete it.

ˆ

Click and drag a breakpoint to move it to the desired location. If the breakpoint you are dragging is in the current selection, all other breakpoints in the selection will follow the movement.

Your movement is constrained by the neighboring breakpoints unless you hold down the modi er while dragging, which will eliminate breakpoints as you wipe over

To Move all Breakpoints

Within the Selection,

Drag Any One of Them.

CHAPTER 18. AUTOMATION AND EDITING ENVELOPES

256 them. Holding down the

Ctrl

(PC) / to a ner resolution.

(Mac) modi er while dragging switches

ˆ

Click and drag a line segment between two breakpoints to move it vertically, without affecting the breakpoint's horizontal position. If the line segment is in the current selection, the envelope is moved vertically across the selected timespan. Live inserts breakpoints at the selection's edges to make sure the move only affects the selected part of the envelope.

18.4.3

Locking Envelopes

When moving clips, Live normally moves all automation with the clip. Sometimes, you might want to lock the envelopes to the song position rather than to the clips, and the

Arrangement View's Lock Envelopes switch does just that.

You can also choose to lock envelopes from the Options menu.

Dragging an Envelope

Line Segment Moves the

Segment Vertically.

18.4.4

Edit Menu Commands

When working with automation data, the Edit menu commands behave differently depending on whether or not your selection is within the clip track or its automation lanes.

The Lock Envelopes

Switch.

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257

To copy, cut, delete or duplicate automation from a track, independent of the associated clip, make sure the parameter you want to work with is in its own lane. Any edit commands applied to an envelope selection within a single lane will only apply to this envelope. The clip itself will be unaffected. You can also work with envelopes in multiple lanes simultaneously.

If you want your edits to apply to both the clip

and

all of its associated envelopes, apply edit commands to a selection in the clip track.

Note that Live allows you to copy and paste envelope movements not only from one point in time to another, but also from one parameter to another. Since the parameters may be completely unrelated, this can have unexpected (but possibly interesting) results.

18.4.5

Editing the Tempo Automation

The ability to dynamically stretch and compress audio to track any tempo or tempo variation is one of Live's specialties. In Live, the song tempo is just another automated control.

To edit the song tempo envelope, unfold the Master track, choose Mixer from the top envelope chooser and Song Tempo from the bottom one.

When adjusting the tempo envelope, you might want to scale the value axis display, which is the function of the two value boxes below the envelope choosers: The left box sets the minimum, and the right box sets the maximum tempo displayed, in BPM.

Note that these two controls also determine the value range of a

MIDI controller

assigned to the tempo.

The Tempo Envelope.

258

Chapter 19

Clip Envelopes

Every clip in Live can have its own

clip envelopes

. The aspects of a clip that are in uenced by clip envelopes change depending upon clip type and setup; clip envelopes can do anything from representing MIDI controller data to modulating device parameters. In this chapter, we will rst look at how all clip envelopes are drawn and edited, and then get into the details of their various applications.

19.1

The Clip Envelope Editor

Use the Clip View Box

Selector to bring up the

Envelopes Box.

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259

To work with clip envelopes, bring up the Clip View's Envelopes box by activating the rightmost Clip View Box selector panel. The Envelopes box contains two choosers for selecting an envelope to view and edit.

The top menu is the Device chooser, which selects a general category of controls with which to work. Device chooser entries are different for different kinds of clips:

ˆ

Audio clips have entries for Clip (the clip's sample controls), every effect in the track's device chain and the mixer.

ˆ

MIDI clips have entries for MIDI Ctrl (MIDI controller data) and every device in the track's device chain.

The bottom menu, the Clip Envelope Control chooser, selects among the controls of the item chosen in the top menu. In both choosers, parameters with altered clip envelopes appear with LEDs next to their names. You can simplify the appearance of these choosers by selecting Show Modulated Parameters Only from either of them.

The quick-chooser buttons below the menus select commonly edited controls.

Clicking the menus or the quick-chooser buttons brings up the Envelope Editor showing the selected envelope, instead of the Sample Display or MIDI Editor. You can toggle the display by clicking on the title bars of the Sample/Notes and Envelopes boxes.

The techniques for drawing and editing clip envelopes are the same as those for automation envelopes in the

Arrangement View .

If you create a nice section of envelope that you want to have repeat several times, try the following:

The Clip View's

Envelopes Box.

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260

1. Enclose the desired selection in the loop brace, and click the brace so that it is selected. This will execute the Edit menu's Select Loop command, which selects all material in the loop.

2. Copy the envelope with

Ctrl C

(PC) /

C

(Mac).

3. Shift the loop brace to the right by one loop length with .

4. Paste the envelope with

Ctrl

V

(PC) /

V

(Mac).

Note that you can use the arrow keys to quickly

manipulate the loop brace and start/end markers

in other useful ways to expedite clip envelope editing tasks.

To delete a clip envelope (i.e., to set it back to its default value), rst go to Edit/Select All, then to Edit/Delete.

Let us now look at some uses of clip envelopes.

19.2

Audio Clip Envelopes

Clip envelopes extend Live's elastic approach to audio and, in conjunction with Live's audio effects, turn Live into a mighty sound-design tool. Using clip envelopes with audio clips, you can create an abundance of interesting variations from the same clip in real time anything from subtle corrections to entirely new and unrelated sounds.

19.2.1

Clip Envelopes are Non-Destructive

Using clip envelopes, you can create new sounds from a sample without actually affecting the sample on disk. Because Live calculates the envelope modulations in real time, you can have hundreds of clips in a Live Set that all sound different, but use the same sample.

You can, of course, export a newly created sound by

rendering , or by

resampling . In the

Arrangement View, you can use the

Consolidate command

to create new samples.

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261

19.2.2

Changing Pitch and Tuning per Note

Drop a sample loop from the Browser into Live and play it. Click on the Transpose quickchooser button. You can now alter the pitch transposition of individual notes in the sample as you listen to it.

The fast way to do this is by enabling

Draw Mode

and drawing steps along the grid.

Deactivate Draw Mode to edit breakpoints and line segments. This is useful for smoothing the coarse steps by horizontally displacing breakpoints.

Note that the warp settings determine how accurately Live's time-warping engine tracks the envelope shape. To obtain a more immediate response, reduce the Grain Size value in

Tones or Texture Mode, or choose a smaller value for the Granulation Resolution in Beats

Mode.

To correct the tuning of individual notes in the sample, hold down the

Ctrl

(PC) /

The Transposition

Envelope with Steps

(Top) and Ramps

(Bottom).

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262

(Mac) modi er while drawing or moving breakpoints to obtain a ner resolution.

To scroll the display, hold down the dragging.

Ctrl Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er while

Pitch is modulated in an

additive

way. The output of the transposition envelope is simply added to the Transpose control's value. The result of the modulation is clipped to stay in the available range (-48..48 semitones in this case).

19.2.3

Muting or Attenuating Notes in a Sample

Click on the Volume quick-chooser to access an audio clip's volume envelope. By drawing steps in Draw Mode or creating shapes with breakpoints, you can impose an arbitrary volume shape onto the sample.

The volume envelope's output is interpreted as a relative percentage of the clip volume slider's current value. The result of the clip envelope's modulation can therefore never exceed the absolute volume setting, but the clip envelope can drag the audible volume down to silence.

Imposing a Volume

Envelope on a Sample.

19.2.4

Scrambling Beats

One very creative use of clip envelopes is to modulate the sample offset. Sample offset modulation makes the most sense for rhythmical samples, and is only available for clips that are set up to run in the Beats Warp Mode.

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263

Try sample offset modulation with a one-bar drum loop: Make sure Beats Mode is chosen; in the Envelopes box, choose Clip from the Device chooser and Sample Offset from the

Clip Envelope Control chooser. The Envelope Editor appears with a vertical grid overlay.

In

envelope Draw Mode , set steps to non-zero values to hear the loop scrambled. What is

going on?

Imagine the audio is read out by a tape head, the position of which is modulated by the envelope. The higher a value the envelope delivers, the farther away the tape head is from its center position. Positive envelope values move the head towards the future, negative values move it towards the past. Fortunately, Live performs the modulation in beats rather than centimeters: A vertical grid line is worth a sixteenth note of offset and the modulation can reach from plus eight sixteenths to minus eight sixteenths.

Sample offset modulation is the tool of choice for quickly creating interesting variations of beat loops. We discourage using this technique for analytical cut-and-splice tasks; they are much easier to perform using Live's Arrangement View, and the results can easily be

consolidated into new clips .

Some sample offset envelope gestures have a characteristic effect: a downward escalator shape, for instance, effectively repeats the step at the envelope's beginning. Similarly, a smooth ramp with a downwards slope is slowing time and can create nice slurring effects when the slope is not quite exactly 45 degrees; try this with a 1/32 Granulation Resolution.

Repeating Steps and

Slowing Time with the

Sample Offset Envelope.

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264

19.2.5

Using Clips as Templates

As you are making creative use of clip envelopes, the clips containing them develop a life of their own, independent of the original sample. You might wonder at a point: What does this clip sound like with a different sample? This is easy to nd out by selecting the clip so that it is displayed in the Clip View and dragging the desired sample from one of the

File Browsers, or the Session or Arrangement View, onto the Clip View. All clip settings, including the envelopes, will remain unaltered; only the sample will be replaced.

19.3

Mixer and Device Clip Envelopes

Clip envelopes can be used to

modulate

mixer and device controls. Since mixer and device controls can also be controlled by the Arrangement's

automation envelopes , this is

a potential source of confusion. However, clip envelopes differ from automation envelopes in one important way: Whereas automation envelopes

de ne

the value of a control at any given point in time, clip envelopes can only

in uence

this de ned value. This difference allows the two types of envelopes to work together in harmony when controlling the same parameter.

Imagine that you have recorded volume automation for an audio clip so that it gradually fades out over four bars. What happens to your fade-out when you create a clip envelope that gradually increases the mixer volume over four bars? At rst, your fade-out will become a crescendo, as the clip envelope gradually increases the volume within the range allowed by the automation envelope. But, once the decreasing automated value meets with the increasing clip envelope value, the fade-out will begin, as automation forces the absolute control value (and the operable range of the clip envelope) down.

19.3.1

Modulating Mixer Volumes and Sends

Notice that there are actually two volume modulations: Clip Volume and Mixer Volume.

The latter is a modulation for the mixer's gain stage and therefore affects the post-effect signal. To prevent confusion, a small dot below the mixer's volume slider thumb indicates the actual, modulated volume setting.

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265

Modulating the Mixer

Volume. The Little Dot

Below the Volume Slider

Thumb Represents the

Modulated Volume

Setting.

As you raise and lower the Volume slider, you can observe the dot following your movement in a relative fashion.

Modulating the track's Send controls is just as easy. Again, the modulation is a relative percentage: The clip envelope cannot open the send further than the Send knob, but it can reduce the actual send value to minus in nite dB.

Modulating a Send. The

Send Knob's Position

Ring Indicates the

Modulated Value.

19.3.2

Modulating Pan

The Pan envelope affects the mixer pan stage in a relative way: The pan knob's position determines the intensity of the modulation. With the pan knob set to the center position, modulation by the clip envelope can reach from hard left to hard right; the modulation amount is automatically reduced as you move the pan knob towards the left or right. When the pan knob is turned all the way to the left, for instance, the pan clip envelope has no effect at all.

19.3.3

Modulating Device Controls

All devices in a clip's track are listed in the upper clip envelope Device chooser. Modulating the devices' controls works just as you would expect. When modulating device controls, it is important to keep the interaction of clip envelopes and device settings in mind: Unlike a

device preset , the clip envelope cannot de ne the values for the devices' controls, it can

only

change

them relative to their current setting.

CHAPTER 19. CLIP ENVELOPES

19.4

MIDI Controller Clip Envelopes

266

Whether you are working with a new MIDI clip that was

recorded

directly into Live, or one from your les, Live allows you to edit and create MIDI controller data for the clip in the form of clip envelopes.

Choose MIDI Ctrl from a MIDI clip's Device chooser and use the Clip Envelope Control chooser below it to select a speci c MIDI controller. You can create new clip envelopes for any of the listed controllers by drawing steps or using breakpoints. You can also edit clip envelope representations of controller data that is imported as part of your MIDI les or is created while recording new clips: Names of controllers that already have clip envelopes appear with an adjacent LED in the Clip Envelope Control chooser.

Live supports most MIDI controller numbers up to 119, accessible via the scroll bar on the right side of the menu. Note that devices to which you send your MIDI controller messages may not follow the conventions of MIDI control channel assignments, so that Pitch Bend or Pan, for example, will not always achieve the results that their names imply.

Many of the techniques described in the following section on

unlinking a clip envelope

from its associated clip can be adapted for use with MIDI controller clip envelopes.

A MIDI Controller Clip

Envelope.

19.5

Unlinking Clip Envelopes From Clips

A clip envelope can have its own local loop/region settings. The ability to unlink the envelope from its clip creates an abundance of exciting creative options, some of which we

CHAPTER 19. CLIP ENVELOPES will present in the rest of this chapter.

267

19.5.1

Programming a Fade-Out for a Live Set

Let us start with a straightforward example. Suppose you are setting up a Live Set and wish to program a fade-out over eight bars to occur when a speci c clip is launched but all you have is a one-bar loop.

2 4

1 3

1. Choose the Clip Volume envelope, and

unlink

it from the sample.

The clip envelope's loop braces now appear colored to indicate this envelope now has its own local loop/region settings. The loop/region controls in the

Envelopes box come to life.

2. Make sure the clip envelope's Loop switch is off. Notice the Sample box's Loop switch is not affected. The sample will keep looping although the envelope is now playing as a one-shot.

3. Type 8 into the leftmost envelope loop-length value box.

4. Zoom the envelope display out all the way by clicking on the Envelope's time ruler and dragging upwards.

5. Insert a breakpoint at the region end and drag it to the bottom (zero percent).

Using a Clip Envelope to

Create a Fade-Out Over

Several Repetitions of a

Loop.

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268

Now, as you play the clip, you can hear the one-bar loop fading out over eight bars.

Please note: toggling Linked Mode changes the envelope data. Toggling back and forth effectively deletes the envelope data. To return to the previous state, please use the Edit menu's Undo command.

19.5.2

Creating Long Loops from Short Loops

Let us take this a step further. For a different part of your set, you would like to use the same one-bar loop because it sounds great but its repetition bores you. You would like to somehow turn it into a longer loop.

We depart from the clip we just set up to fade out over eight bars. Activate the clip volume envelope's Loop switch. Now, as you play the clip, you can hear the eight-bar fade-out repeating. You can draw or edit any envelope to superimpose onto the sample loop. This, of course, not only works for volume but for any other control as well; how about a lter sweep every four bars?

Note that you can create as much time as needed in the Envelope Editor, either by dragging the loop braces beyond the view limit, or by entering values into the numeric region/loop controls.

You can choose an arbitrary loop length for each envelope, including odd lengths like 3.2.1.

It is not hard to imagine great complexity (and confusion!) arising from several odd-length envelopes in one clip.

The Sample (Left) and

Envelope (Right) Start

Marker.

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269

To keep this complexity under control, it is important to have a common point of reference.

The start marker identi es the point where sample or envelope playback depart from when the clip starts.

Note that the start/end markers and loop brace are subject to

quantization by the zoomadaptive grid , as is

envelope drawing .

19.5.3

Imposing Rhythm Patterns onto Samples

So far, we have been talking about imposing long envelopes onto small loops. You can also think of interesting applications that work the other way around. Consider a sample of a song that is several minutes long. This sample could be played by a clip with a onebar volume envelope loop. The volume envelope loop now works as a pattern that is repeatedly punching holes into the music so as to, perhaps, remove every third beat. You can certainly think of other parameters that such a pattern could modulate in interesting ways.

19.5.4

Clip Envelopes as LFOs

If you are into sound synthesis, you may want to think of a clip envelope with a local loop as an LFO. This LFO is running in sync with the project tempo, but it is also possible to set up a loop period odd enough to render the envelope unsynchronized. By

hiding the grid , you

can adjust the clip envelope loop start and end points completely independent of meter grid.

270

Chapter 20

Working with Video

Live's exible architecture makes it the perfect choice for scoring to video. You can trim video clips to select parts of them and use

Warp Markers

to visually align music in the

Arrangement View with the video. You can then

render

your edited video le along with your audio.

Before diving in, you will want to be familiar with the concepts presented in the

Tempo

Control and Warping

chapter.

If you are interested in syncing Live with external video equipment, you'll also want to read the chapter on

synchronization .

20.1

Importing Video

Live can import movies in Apple QuickTime format (.mov) to be used as video clips. Movie les appear in Live's File Browser alongside audio les and Live Sets, and can be imported in the same way, by simply dragging them into the Live Set.

Note that Live will only display video for video clips residing in the Arrangement View.

Movie les that are loaded into the Session View are treated as audio clips.

CHAPTER 20. WORKING WITH VIDEO

20.2

The Appearance of Video in Live

271

20.2.1

Video Clips in the Arrangement View

A video clip in the Arrangement View looks just like an audio clip, except for the sprocket holes in its title bar.

Live also displays a movie le's QuickTime markers, if present, in the Arrangement View and

Clip View. QuickTime markers are created by external video authoring applications, and although they cannot be selected or edited in any way by Live, they do provide visual cues that can be helpful when scoring. Note that these markers are always read from the original movie le, and are not stored in the Live Set or video clip.

For the most part, video clips in the Arrangement View are treated just like audio clips. They can be trimmed, for example, by dragging their right or left edges.

However,

there are some editing commands that, when applied to a video clip, will cause it to be replaced by an audio clip (which by de nition has no video component). This replacement only occurs internally your original movie les are never altered. The commands which will cause this are:

Consolidate, Reverse

and

Crop.

A Video Clip with a

QuickTime Marker.

CHAPTER 20. WORKING WITH VIDEO

20.2.2

The Video Window

272

The Video Window is a separate, oating window that always remains above Live's main window. It can be dragged to any location you like, and it will never get covered up by

Live. You can toggle its visibility with a command in the View menu. The Video Window can be resized by dragging its bottom right-hand corner. The size and location of this window are not speci c to the Set, and will be restored when you open a video again. The video can be shown in full screen (and optionally on a second monitor) by double-clicking in the

Video Window.

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) double-click in the Video Window to restore it to original size of the video.

Movies with Partial Tracks

In the QuickTime le format, the audio and video components do not have to span the entire length of a movie; gaps in playback are allowed. During gaps in video, Live's Video

Window will display a black screen; gaps in audio will play silence.

CHAPTER 20. WORKING WITH VIDEO

273

20.2.3

Clip View

Soundtrack composers will want to note the Tempo Master option in Live's Clip View. When scoring to video, video clips are usually set as tempo masters, while audio clips are left as tempo slaves. These are, therefore, the default warp properties of clips in the Arrangement

View. In this scenario, adding Warp Markers to a video clip de nes hit points that the music will sync to.

Note that a video clip's Warp switch needs to be activated in order for the clip to be set as the tempo master.

Remember from the

Tempo Control and Warping

chapter that, although any number of warped Arrangement clips can have the Tempo Master option activated, only the bottommost, currently playing clip is the actual tempo master.

This also means that it is possible for video clips that are not the current tempo master to become warped, resulting in warped video output in the Video Window.

Setting a Video Clip as

Tempo Master.

Warp Markers

While dragging a Warp Marker belonging to a video clip, you will notice that the Video

Window updates to show the corresponding video frame, so that any point in the music can be easily aligned with any point in the video clip.

Since Live displays a movie le's embedded QuickTime markers, they can be used as convenient visual cues when setting Warp Markers.

CHAPTER 20. WORKING WITH VIDEO

20.3

Matching Sound to Video

274

In Live, it takes just a few steps to get started with video. Let's look at a common scenario matching a piece of music to edits or hit points in a video:

1. Make sure that Live's Arrangement View is visible. Your computer keyboard's key will toggle between the Session View and Arrangement View.

2. Drag a QuickTime movie from Live's File Browser and drop it into an audio track in the Arrangement View. The Video Window will appear to display the video component of the movie le. (Remember that you can move this window to any convenient location on the screen.)

3. Now that the video clip is loaded, drag an audio clip into the Arrangement View's drop area. A new track will automatically be created for it. Unfold both tracks so you can see their contents by clicking the buttons to the left of their names.

4. Double-click on the video clip's title bar to view it in the Clip View. In the

Sample box, make sure that the Warp button is enabled. Warped clips in the

Arrangement View can be set as tempo master or slave. We want the Master/

Slave switch set to

Master,

which will force the rest of the clips in the Live Set to adapt to the video clip's tempo (i.e., its normal playback rate).

5. Now add

Warp Markers

to the video clip, and adjust them to your liking. The locations of the Warp Markers de ne the synchronizing points between our music and our video. Notice how the video clip's waveform in the Arrangement View updates to re ect your changes as you make them.

6. If desired, enable the

Arrangement Loop

to focus on a speci c section of the composition.

7. When you have nished, choose the Export Audio/Video command from Live's

File menu. All of your audio will be mixed down and saved as a single audio le.

You can also export your video le using this command.

CHAPTER 20. WORKING WITH VIDEO

20.4

Video Trimming Tricks

275

Commonly, composers receive movie les with a few seconds of blank space before the real beginning of the action. This pre-roll ( two-beep ) serves as a sync reference for the mixing engineer, who expects that the composer's audio les will also include the same pre-roll. While working on music, however, the pre-roll is in the composer's way: It would be more natural for the movie action to start at song time 1.1.1 and SMPTE time 00:00:00:00.

This can be accommodated by trimming video clips, as follows.

First, we drop a movie le at the start of the Arrangement (1.1.1).

Next, we double-click on the video clip's title bar to display its contents in the Clip View.

There, we drag the Start Marker to the right so the video clip starts at the beginning of the action.

A Video Clip at the Start of the Arrangement.

Now, both the action and the music to be composed start at 1.1.1 / 00.00.00.00. Once the music is done and ready to be

rendered to disk , we need to bring back the pre-roll:

Dragging the Start

Marker behind the

Pre-Roll.

CHAPTER 20. WORKING WITH VIDEO

276

In the Arrangement View, we select all materials (Edit menu/Select All), then drag the entire composition a few seconds to the right:

Now, we click on the video clip's title bar (to deselect everything else), then drag the video clip's left edge to the left as far as possible to reveal the pre-roll again.

The Video Clip and the

Final Clip of Music.

The Export Audio/Video command, by default, creates sample les as long as the Arrangement selection; as the video clip is still selected, the exported sample le will have the exact same duration as the original movie le, including the pre-roll.

The Video Clip with

Pre-Roll Restored.

277

Chapter 21

Live Audio Effect Reference

Live comes with a selection of custom-designed, built-in audio effects. The

Working with

Instruments and Effects chapter

explains the basics of using effects in Live.

21.1

Amp

Amp is an effect that emulates the sound and character of seven classic guitar ampli ers.

Developed in collaboration with Softube, Amp uses physical modelling technology to pro-

The Amp Effect.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

278 vide a range of authentic and usable ampli er tones, with a simple and consistent set of controls.

The full version of Amp is not included with the standard version of Live, but is bundled with the

Cabinet

effect as a special feature available for purchase separately.

There are seven amp models to choose from:

ˆ

Clean

is based on the Brilliant channel of a classic amp from the '60s. This amp was widely used by guitarists of the British Invasion.

ˆ

Boost

is based on the Tremolo channel of the same amp, and is great for edgy rock riffs.

ˆ

Blues

is based on a '70s-era guitar amp with a bright character. This classic amp is popular with country, rock and blues guitarists.

ˆ

Rock

is modeled after a classic 45 watt amp from the '60s. This is perhaps the best known rock amp of all time.

ˆ

Lead

is based on the Modern channel of a high-gain amp popular with metal guitarists.

ˆ

Heavy

is based on the Vintage channel of the same amp and is also ideal for metal and grunge sounds.

ˆ

Bass

is modeled after a rare PA from the '70s which has become popular with bass players due to its strong low end and fuzz at high volumes.

Although the real-world versions of these ampli ers all have unique parameters, Live's Amp effect uses the same set of controls for each model. This makes it very easy to quickly change the overall character of your sound without having to make numerous adjustments.

Gain adjusts the level of input to the preampli er, while Volume adjust the output stage of the power ampli er. Although Gain and Volume work together to determine Amp's overall level, Gain is the primary control for the distortion amount. Higher Gain settings result in a more distorted sound. When using the Blues, Heavy and Bass models, high Volume levels can also add considerable distortion.

The Bass, Middle and Treble knobs are EQ controls that adjust the timbre of the sound.

As on a real-world ampli er, Amp's EQ parameters interact with each other - and with the

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

279 rest of Amp's parameters - in non-linear and sometimes unpredictable ways. For example, increasing EQ levels can, in some cases, also increase the amount of distortion.

Presence is an additional tone control for mid/high frequencies in the power amp stage. Its in uence on the sound varies considerably depending on the amp model used but can add

(or subtract) edge or crispness.

The Output switch toggles between mono and stereo (Dual) processing. Note that in Dual mode, Amp uses twice as much CPU.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals.

21.1.1

Amp Tips

Because Amp is modeled on real-world analog devices, its behavior can sometimes be dif cult to predict. Here are some tips on getting the most out of Amp:

Amps and Cabinets

Guitar amps are designed to be used with accompanying speaker cabinets. For this reason,

Amp comes with a companion effect called

Cabinet

which is designed to be used

after

Amp in a device chain. If you're looking for authenticity, we recommend this signal ow. But you can also achieve interesting and exotic sounds by using Amp and Cabinet independently.

Electricity

The various circuits in guitar amps work with a continuous and xed amount of electricity.

For this reason, turning up a particular parameter may inadvertently decrease the amount of available energy somewhere else in the amp. This is particularly noticeable in the EQ controls. For example, turning up Treble can reduce the level of bass and midrange frequencies. You may nd that you need to carefully adjust a number of seemingly unrelated parameters to get the results you want.

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280

More than guitars

While Amp and Cabinet sound great with guitars, you can get very interesting results by feeding them with drums, synthesizers or other sound sources. For example, try using Amp with

Operator

or

Analog

to add analog grit to your digital sounds.

21.2

Auto Filter

The Auto Filter effect provides classic analog lter emulation. It can be modulated by an envelope follower and/or an LFO to create moving lter effects. The envelope follower can track either the ltered signal or an external sidechain source.

There are four different lter types: lowpass, highpass, bandpass and notch. For each type, the X-Y controller adjusts frequency (to adjust, click and drag on the X-axis) and Q (also called resonance; to adjust, click and drag on the Y-axis). You can also click on the Freq and

Q numeric displays and type in exact values.

Low Q values create a broad lter curve, while higher values introduce a narrow, resonant peak to the sound. With bandpass ltering, Q sets the bandwidth of the passed signal.

The Quantize Beat control applies quantized modulation to the lter frequency. With Quantize Beat off, frequency modulation follows the control source. Turning this feature on updates the lter modulation rhythmically with stepped changes that track the master tempo. The numbered buttons represent 16th notes, so, for example, selecting 4 as a beat value produces a modulation change once per beat.

The Auto Filter Effect.

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281

The Envelope section controls how the envelope modulation affects the lter frequency.

The Amount control de nes the extent to which the envelope affects the lter frequency, while the Attack control sets how the envelope responds to rising input signals. Low Attack values cause a fast response to input levels; high values integrate any changes gradually, creating a looser, slower response. Think of it as adding inertia to the response.

Lower Release values cause the envelope to respond more quickly to falling input signals.

Higher values extend the envelope's decay.

Normally, the signal being ltered and the input source that triggers the envelope follower are the same signal. But by using

sidechaining

, it is possible to lter a signal based on the envelope of another signal. To access the Sidechain parameters, unfold the Auto Filter window by toggling the button in its title bar.

Enabling this section with the Sidechain button allows you to select another track from the choosers below. This causes the selected track's signal to trigger the lter's envelope follower, instead of the signal that is actually being ltered.

The Gain knob adjusts the level of the external sidechain's input, while the Dry/Wet knob allows you to use a combination of sidechain and original signal as the envelope follower's trigger. With Dry/Wet at 100%, the envelope follower tracks the sidechain source exclusively.

At 0%, the sidechain is effectively bypassed. Note that increasing the gain does

not

increase the volume of the source signal in the mix. The sidechain audio is only a trigger for the envelope follower and is never actually heard.

The Auto Filter also contains a Low Frequency Oscillator to modulate lter frequency in a periodic fashion. The respective Amount control sets how much the LFO affects the lter.

This can be used in conjunction with or instead of the envelope follower.

The Rate control speci es the LFO speed. It can be set in terms of hertz, or synced to the song tempo, allowing for controlled rhythmic ltering.

Available LFO waveform shapes are sine (creates smooth modulations with rounded peaks and valleys), square, triangle, sawtooth up, sawtooth down, and sample and hold (generates random positive and negative modulation values) in mono and stereo.

There are two LFOs, one for each stereo channel. The Phase and Offset controls de ne the relationship between these two LFOs.

Phase keeps both LFOs at the same frequency, but can set the two LFO waveforms out of

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

282 phase with each other, creating stereo movement. Set to 180 , the LFO outputs are 180 degrees apart, so that when one LFO reaches its peak, the other is at its minimum.

Spin detunes the two LFO speeds relative to each other. Each stereo channel is modulated at a different frequency, as determined by the Spin amount.

For sample and hold, the Phase and Spin controls are not relevant and do not affect the sound. Instead, the Auto Filter offers two kinds of sample and hold: The upper sample and hold type available in the chooser provides independent random modulation generators for the left and right channels (stereo), while the lower one modulates both channels with the same signal (mono).

21.3

Auto Pan

Auto Pan offers LFO-driven manipulation of amplitude and panning for creating automatic panning, tremolo and amplitude modulation, and beat-synchronized chopping effects.

Auto Pan's LFOs modulate the amplitude of the left and right stereo channels with sine, triangle, sawtooth down or random waveforms.

The Shape control pushes the waveform to its upper and lower limits, hardening its shape.

The waveform can be set to Normal or Invert (use Invert to, for example, create the saw up waveform from the saw down waveform).

LFO speed is controlled with the Rate control, which can be set in terms of hertz. Rate can also be synced to the song tempo.

The Auto Pan Effect.

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283

Though both LFOs run at the same frequency, the Phase control lends the sound stereo movement by offsetting their waveforms relative to each other. Set this to 180 , and the

LFOs will be perfectly out of phase (180 degrees apart), so that when one reaches its peak, the other is at its minimum. Phase is particularly effective for creating vibrato effects.

The Offset control shifts the start point of each LFO along its waveform.

The device's in uence on incoming signals is set with the Amount control.

21.4

Beat Repeat

Beat Repeat allows for the creation of controlled or randomized repetitions of an incoming signal.

The Interval control de nes how often Beat Repeat captures new material and begins repeating it. Interval is synced to and set in terms of the song tempo, with values ranging from 1/32 to 4 Bars. The Offset control shifts the point de ned by Interval forward in time. If Interval is set to 1 Bar, for example, and Offset to 8/16 , material will be captured for repetition once per bar on the third beat (i.e., halfway, or eight-sixteenths of the way, through the bar).

You can add randomness to the process using the Chance control, which de nes the likelihood of repetitions actually taking place when Interval and Offset ask for them. If Chance is set to 100 percent, repetitions will always take place at the given Interval/Offset time; if set to zero, there will be no repetitions.

The Beat Repeat Effect.

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284

Gate de nes the total length of all repetitions in sixteenth notes. If Gate is set to 4/16 , the repetitions will occur over the period of one beat, starting at the position de ned by

Interval and Offset.

Activating the Repeat button bypasses all of the above controls, immediately capturing material and repeating it until deactivated.

The Grid control de nes the grid size the size of each repeated slice. If set to 1/16 , a slice the size of one sixteenth note will be captured and repeated for the given Gate length

(or until Repeat is deactivated). Large grid values create rhythmic loops, while small values create sonic artifacts. The No Triplets button sets grid division as binary.

Grid size can be changed randomly using the Variation control. If Variation is set to 0 , grid size is xed. But when Variation is set to higher values, the grid uctuates considerably around the set Grid value. Variation has several different modes, available in the chooser below: Trigger creates variations of the grid when repetitions are triggered; 1/4, 1/8 and

1/16 trigger variations in regular intervals; and Auto forces Beat Repeat to apply a new random variation after each repetition the most complex form of grid variation in Beat

Repeat (especially if triplets are also allowed).

Beat Repeat's repetitions can be pitched down for special sonic effects. Pitch is adjusted through resampling in Beat Repeat, lengthening segments to pitch them down without again compressing them to adjust for the length change. This means that the rhythmical structure can become quite ambiguous with higher Pitch values. The Pitch Decay control tapers the pitch curve, making each repeated slice play lower than the previous one.

Warning:

This is the most obscure parameter of Beat Repeat.

Beat Repeat includes a combined lowpass and highpass lter for de ning the passed frequency range of the device. You can turn the lter on and off, and set the center frequency and width of the passed frequency band, using the respective controls.

The original signal (which was received at Beat Repeat's input) is mixed with Beat Repeat's repetitions according to one of three mix modes: Mix allows the original signal to pass through the device and have repetitions added to it; Insert mutes the original signal when repetitions are playing but passes it otherwise; and Gate passes only the repetitions, never passing the original signal. Gate mode is especially useful when the effect is housed in a return track.

You can set the output level of the device using the Volume control, and apply Decay to

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE create gradually fading repetitions.

21.5

Cabinet

285

Cabinet is an effect that emulates the sound of ve classic guitar cabinets. Developed in collaboration with Softube, Cabinet uses physical modelling technology to provide a range of authentic sounds, with optimized mics and mic positioning.

The full version of Cabinet is not included with the standard version of Live, but is bundled with the

Amp

effect as a special feature available for purchase separately.

The Speaker chooser allows you to select from a variety of speaker sizes and combinations.

The chooser's entries indicate the number of speakers and the speaker size in inches. For example, 4x12 means four 12-inch speakers. In the real world, more and larger speakers generally means higher volumes.

The Microphone chooser changes the position of the virtual microphone in relation to the speaker cabinet. Near On-Axis micing results in a bright, focused sound, while Near Off-Axis is more resonant and a bit less bright. Choose the Far position for a balanced sound that also has some characteristics of the virtual room.

The Cabinet Effect.

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286

Near Off-Axis Near On-Axis

Far

The switch below the Microphone chooser toggles between a Dynamic and Condenser mic. Dynamic mics are a bit grittier and commonly used when close-micing guitar cabinets because they are capable of handling much higher volumes. Condenser mics are more accurate, and are commonly used for micing from a distance. Of course, Cabinet's virtual condenser mic won't be damaged by high volume levels, so feel free to experiment.

The Output switch toggles between mono and stereo (Dual) processing. Note that in Dual mode, Cabinet uses twice as much CPU.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals.

Cabinet Mic Positions.

21.5.1

Cabinet Tips

Here are some tips for using Cabinet:

Amps and Cabinets

Guitar cabinets are normally fed by guitar amps. For this reason, Cabinet is paired with

Amp , and the two are normally used together. But you can also achieve interesting and

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE exotic sounds by using Amp and Cabinet separately.

287

Multiple mics

A common studio technique is to use multiple mics on a single cabinet, and then adjust the balance during mixing. This is easy to do by using Live's

Audio Effect Racks . Try this:

ˆ con gure one instance of Cabinet as you like

ˆ put the Cabinet into an Audio Effect Rack

ˆ duplicate the Rack chain that contains the original Cabinet as many times as you like

ˆ in the additional chains, choose a different Microphone setting and/or mic type

ˆ adjust the relative volumes of the Rack's chains in the Rack's mixer

21.6

Chorus

The Chorus effect uses two parallel time-modulated delays to create chorus (thickening) and anging effects.

Each delay has its own delay time control, calibrated in milliseconds. Delay 1 has a highpass lter that can remove low frequencies from the delayed signal. Greater highpass values let only very high frequencies pass through to Delay 1.

The Chorus Effect.

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288

Delay 2 can switch among three different modes. When off, only Delay 1 is audible. In Fix

Mode, only Delay 1's delay time will be modulated. When Mod is activated, Delay 2 will receive the same modulation as Delay 1.

To set both delay lines to Delay 1's delay time, turn on the link button ( = ). This is especially useful if you want to change both delays with a single gesture.

The Modulation X-Y controller can impart motion to the sounds. To change the modulation rate for the delay times, click and drag along the horizontal axis. To change the amount of modulation, click and drag along the vertical axis.

You can also make changes by entering parameter values in the Amount and Rate elds below the X-Y controller. The Amount value is in milliseconds, while the modulation frequency rate is in Hertz.

Clicking the *20 switch multiplies the modulation frequency by 20 to achieve more extreme sounds.

The Feedback control determines how much of the output signal feeds back into the input, while the Polarity switch sets (surprise!) the polarity. Polarity changes have the most effect with high amounts of feedback and short delay times.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. Set it to

100 percent when using Chorus in a return track.

Enabling the Crisp option via the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu can improve the sound quality, particularly at higher frequencies. This is enabled by default, except when loading Sets that use Chorus and were made in earlier versions of Live.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

21.7

Compressor

289

A compressor reduces gain for signals above a user-settable threshold. Compression reduces the levels of peaks, opening up more headroom and allowing the overall signal level to be turned up. This gives the signal a higher average level, resulting in a sound that is subjectively louder and punchier than an uncompressed signal.

The latest incarnation of the Compressor effect merges the functionality of the former

Compressor I and Compressor II devices into a single unit, and adds additional functionality such as external sidechaining, adjustable knee, more EQ options, an improved peak mode, and a new feedback model, which is lovingly based on some classic hardware compressors.

The new Compressor is fully backward-compatible with Compressor I and Compressor II presets.

A compressor's two most important parameters are the Threshold and the compression

Ratio:

The Threshold slider sets where compression begins. Signals above the threshold are attenuated by an amount speci ed by the Ratio parameter, which sets the ratio between the input and output signal. For example, with a compression ratio of 3, if a signal above the threshold increases by 3 dB, the compressor output will increase by only 1 dB. If a signal above the threshold increases by 6 dB, then the output will increase by only 2 dB. A ratio of

1 means no compression, regardless of the threshold.

The Knee control adjusts how gradually or abruptly compression occurs as the threshold is approached. With a setting of 0 dB, no compression is applied to signals below the threshold, and full compression is applied to any signal at or above the threshold. With very

The Compressor Effect.

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290 high ratios, this so-called hard knee behavior can sound harsh. With higher (or soft ) knee values, the compressor begins compressing gradually as the threshold is approached.

For example, with a 10 dB knee and a -20 dB threshold, subtle compression will begin at

-30 dB and increase so that signals at -10 dB will be fully compressed.

The easiest way to visualize Compressor's behavior is by observing how the graph changes when you adjust the threshold, ratio, and knee values. Input level is measured on the horizontal axis, while output level is represented vertically. Next to the graph is the Gain

Reduction meter, which shows how much the gain is being reduced at any given moment.

The more reduction, the more audible the effect; a gain reduction above 6 dB or so might produce the desired loudness, but signi cantly alters the sound and is easily capable of destroying its dynamic structure. This is something that cannot be undone in later production steps. Keep this in mind especially when using a compressor, limiter or sound loudnessmaximizing tool in the master channel. Less is often more here.

Because compression reduces the volume of loud signals and opens up headroom, you can use the Output slider so that the peaks once again hit the maximum available headroom.

The Output meter shows the output signal's level. Enabling the Makeup button below the

Output slider automatically compensates the output level if the threshold and ratio settings change.

The Attack and Release controls are essential parameters for controlling the response time of Compressor by de ning how fast it reacts to input-level changes.

Attack de nes how long it takes to reach maximum compression once a signal exceeds the threshold, while Release sets how long it takes for the compressor to return to normal operation after the signal falls below the threshold.

A slight amount of attack time (10 50 ms) allows peaks to come through unprocessed, which helps preserve dynamics by accentuating the initial portion of the signal. If these peaks cause overloads, you can try shortening the attack time, but extremely short times take the life out of the signal, and may lead to a slight buzziness caused by distortion.

Short release times can cause pumping as the compressor tries to gure out whether to compress or not; while generally considered an undesirable effect, some engineers use it on full drum kits to give unusual sucking effects. Careful adjustment of attack and release times is essential when it comes to compression of rhythmical sources. If you are not used to working with compressors, play a drum loop and spend some time adjusting Attack,

Release, Threshold and Gain. It can be very exciting!

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A compressor can only react to an input signal once it occurs. Since it also needs to apply an attack/release envelope, the compression is always a bit too late. A digital compressor can solve this problem by simply delaying the input signal a little bit. Compressor offers three different Lookahead times: zero ms, one ms and ten ms. The results may sound pretty different depending on this setting.

Compressor can be used in three different EF (envelope follower) modes. With Peak selected, Compressor reacts to short peaks within a signal. RMS mode causes Compressor to be less sensitive to very short peaks and compress only when the incoming level has exceeded the threshold for a slightly longer time. Opto mode results in a non-linear release curve. Speci cally, the release behavior is faster initially, and slows down as the gain reduction approaches zero. So which type should you use? There's no right answer, of course, but there are some common uses for each mode. Peak mode is more aggressive and precise, and so works well for limiting tasks where you need to ensure that there are absolutely no signals over the set threshold. RMS is closer to how people actually perceive loudness and is usually considered more musical.

Opto mode, because of its non-linear release time is often considered smooth and natural sounding. Opto compressors are commonly used on vocals, bass and electric guitar. But as always, when it comes to compression, trust your ears and not the meters!

In addition to the EF modes, Compressor offers three Model types that offer further options for how the device measures and responds to signal levels. FF1 and FF2 are both feedforward models, which analyze the loudness of the incoming signal. These are the models used in the former Compressor I and Compressor II devices, respectively. FB is a feedback model, which analyzes the output of the device and then self-adjusts its compression behavior. Because feedback compressors analyze signals that have already been compressed, their Attack and Release parameters are a bit less precise, and act more like suggestions to the compressor. But feedback compression generally results in a much smoother sound, with less overall gain reduction but also less potential for distortion artifacts. The classic analog compressor models that are so highly sought after in hardware-based studios are generally all feedback models. Note that, for reasons of quantum physics, Lookahead and external sidechaining are disabled when using the FB model; Ableton's engineers are hard at work developing code that will allow our software to predict the future, but we don't anticipate having this available until at least the next major release.

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21.7.1

Sidechain Parameters

292

Normally, the signal being compressed and the input source that triggers the compressor are the same signal. But by using

sidechaining

, it is possible to compress a signal based on the level of another signal or a speci c frequency component. To access the Sidechain parameters, unfold the Compressor window by toggling the button in its title bar.

The sidechain parameters are divided into two sections. On the left are the external controls.

Enabling this section with the Sidechain button allows you to select any of Live's

internal routing points

from the choosers below. This causes the selected source to act as the compressor's trigger, instead of the signal that is actually being compressed.

The Gain knob adjusts the level of the external sidechain's input, while the Dry/Wet knob allows you to use a combination of sidechain and original signal as the compressor's trigger.

With Dry/Wet at 100%, the compressor is triggered entirely by the sidechain source. At

0%, the sidechain is effectively bypassed. Note that increasing the gain does

not

increase the volume of the source signal in the mix. The sidechain audio is only a trigger for the compressor and is never actually heard.

Note that FB mode and automatic Makeup are not available when using external sidechain.

On the right of the external section are the controls for the sidechain EQ. Enabling this section causes the compressor to be triggered by a speci c band of frequencies, instead of a complete signal. These can either be frequencies in the compressed signal or, by using the EQ in conjunction with an external sidechain, frequencies in another track's audio.

The headphones button between the external and EQ sections allows you to listen to only the sidechain input, bypassing the compressor's output. Since the sidechain audio isn't

The Compressor Device

With Sidechain Section.

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293 fed to the output, and is only a trigger for the compressor, this temporary listening option can make it much easier to set sidechain parameters and hear what's actually making the compressor work.

21.7.2

Compression Tips

This section presents some tips for using Compressor effectively, particularly with the sidechain options.

Mixing a Voiceover

Sidechaining is commonly used for so-called ducking effects. For example, imagine that you have one track containing a voiceover and another track containing background music.

Since you want the voiceover to always be the loudest source in the mix, the background music must get out of the way every time the narrator is speaking. To do this automatically, insert a Compressor on the music track, but select the narration track's output as the external sidechain source.

Sidechaining in Dance Music

Sidechaining/ducking is a dance music producer's secret weapon because it can help to ensure that basslines (or even whole mixes) always make room for the kick drum. By inserting a compressor on the bass (or master) track and using the kick drum's track as the sidechain input, you can help to control problematic low frequencies that might interfere with the kick drum's attack.

Using the sidechain EQ in conjunction with this technique can create ducking effects even if you only have a mixed drum track to work with (as opposed to an isolated kick drum). In this case, insert the Compressor on the track you want to duck. Then choose the drum track as the external sidechain source. Then enable the sidechain EQ and select the lowpass lter.

By carefully adjusting the Frequency and Q settings, you should be able to isolate the kick drum from the rest of the drum mix. Using the sidechain listen mode can help you tune the

EQ until you nd settings you're happy with.

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Note that mastery of these techniques may result in a noticeable increase in drink tickets, remix offers and dates.

21.8

Corpus

Corpus is an effect that simulates the acoustic characteristics of seven types of resonant objects. Developed in collaboration with Applied Acoustics Systems, Corpus uses physical modelling technology to provide a wide range of parameters and modulation options.

The full version of Corpus is not included with the standard version of Live, but is bundled with the

Collision

instrument as a special feature available for purchase separately.

The frequency and/or decay rate of the resonance can be MIDI modulated, by enabling the

Frequency and/or Off Decay switches in the Sidechain section. Toggle the button in

Corpus's title bar to access Sidechain parameters. The MIDI From choosers allow you to select the MIDI track and tapping point from which to receive MIDI note information.

With Frequency enabled, the tuning of the resonance is determined by the incoming MIDI note. If multiple notes are held simultaneously, the Last/Low switch determines whether the last or the lowest note will have priority. The Transpose and Fine knobs allow for coarse and ne offset of the MIDI-modulated tuning. PB Range sets the range in semitones of pitch bend modulation.

With Frequency disabled, the Tune control adjusts the base frequency of the resonance in

Hertz. The corresponding MIDI note number and ne tuning offset in cents is displayed below.

The Corpus Effect.

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Enabling Off Decay causes MIDI note off messages to mute the resonance. The slider below the switch determines the extent to which MIDI note off messages mute the resonance. At

0%, note offs are ignored, and the decay time is based only on the value of the Decay parameter, which is located under the Resonance Type selector. This is similar to how real-world mallet instruments such as a marimbas and glockenspiels behave. At 100%, the resonance is muted immediately at note off, regardless of the Decay time.

You can hide or show the Sidechain parameters by toggling the bar. This button will light up if the sidechain is active.

button in Corpus's title

Corpus contains a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) to modulate the resonant frequency. The

Amount control sets how much the LFO affects the frequency.

The Rate control speci es the LFO speed. It can be set in terms of Hertz, or synced to the song tempo, allowing for controlled rhythmic modulation.

Available LFO waveform shapes are sine (creates smooth modulations with rounded peaks and valleys), square, triangle, sawtooth up, sawtooth down and two types of noise (stepped and smooth).

Although only one set of LFO controls is visible, there are actually two LFOs, one for each stereo channel. The Phase and Spin controls de ne the relationship between these two

LFOs.

Phase (available only when the LFOs are synced to song tempo) keeps both LFOs at the same frequency, but can set the two LFO waveforms out of phase with each other, creating stereo movement. Set to 180 , the LFO outputs are 180 degrees apart, so that when one

LFO reaches its peak, the other is at its minimum. With Phase set to 360 or 0 the two

LFOs run in sync.

Spin (only available when the LFOs are in Hertz mode) detunes the two LFO speeds relative to each other. Each stereo channel is modulated at a different frequency, as determined by the Spin amount.

For the noise waveforms, the Phase and Spin controls are not relevant and do not affect the sound.

Spread detunes the two resonators in relation to each other. Positive values raise the pitch of the left resonator while lowering the pitch of the right one, while negative values do the opposite. At 0%, the resonators are tuned the same.

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The resonance type chooser allows you to select from seven types of physically modeled resonant objects:

ˆ

Beam

simulates the resonance properties of beams of different materials and sizes.

ˆ

Marimba,

a specialized variant of the Beam model, reproduces the characteristic tuning of marimba bar overtones which are produced as a result of the deep arch-cut of the bars.

ˆ

String

simulates the sound produced by strings of different materials and sizes.

ˆ

Membrane

is a model of a rectangular membrane (such as a drum head) with a variable size and construction.

ˆ

Plate

simulates sound production by a rectangular plate (a at surface) of different materials and sizes.

ˆ

Pipe

simulates a cylindrical tube that is fully open at one end and has a variable opening at the other (adjusted with the Opening parameter.)

ˆ

Tube

simulates a cylindrical tube that is fully open at both ends.

The resonator quality chooser controls the tradeoff between the sound quality of the resonators and performance by reducing the number of overtones that are calculated. Basic uses minimal CPU resources, while Full creates more sophisticated resonances. This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

The Decay knob adjusts the amount of internal damping in the resonator, and thus the decay time.

The Material knob adjusts the variation of the damping at different frequencies. At lower values, low frequency components decay slower than high frequency components (which simulates objects made of wood, nylon or rubber). At higher values, high frequency components decay slower (which simulates objects made of glass or metal). This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

The Radius parameter is only available for the Pipe and Tube resonators. Radius adjusts the radius of the pipe or tube. As the radius increases, the decay time and high frequency sustain both increase. At very large sizes, the fundamental pitch of the resonator also changes.

The Decay and Material/Radius parameters can also be controlled with the X-Y controller.

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Ratio is only available for the Membrane and Plate resonators, and adjusts the ratio of the object's size along its x and y axes.

The Brightness control adjusts the amplitude of various frequency components. At higher values, higher frequencies are louder. This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

Inharm. (Inharmonics) adjusts the pitch of the resonator's harmonics. At negative values, frequencies are compressed, increasing the amount of lower partials. At positive values, frequencies are stretched, increasing the amount of upper partials. This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

Opening, which is only available for the Pipe resonator, scales between an open and closed pipe. At 0%, the pipe is fully closed on one side, while at 100% the pipe is open at both ends.

The Listening L and R controls adjust the location on the left and right resonator where the vibrations are measured. At 0%, the resonance is monitored at the object's center. Higher values move the listening point closer to the edge. These parameters are not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators, which are always measured in the middle of their permanently open end.

The Hit knob adjusts the location on the resonator at which the object is struck or otherwise activated. At 0%, the object is hit at its center. Higher values move the activation point closer to the edge. This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

The processed signal is fed through a lowpass and highpass lter that can be controlled with an X-Y controller. To de ne the lter bandwidth, click and drag on the vertical axis. To set the position of the frequency band, click and drag on the horizontal axis. The lter can be toggled on or off with the Filter switch.

Width adjusts the stereo mix between the left and right resonators. At 0%, both resonators are fed equally to each side, resulting in mono output. At 100%, each resonator is sent exclusively to one channel.

Bleed mixes a portion of the unprocessed signal with the resonated signal. At higher values, more of the original signal is applied. This is useful for restoring high frequencies, which can often be damped when the tuning or quality are set to low values. This parameter is unavailable with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

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Gain boosts or attenuates the level of the processed signal, while the Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the dry input signal and the signal sent to Corpus's processing.

Turning Dry/Wet down will not cut resonances that are currently sounding, but rather stop new input signals from being processed.

Corpus contains a built-in limiter that automatically activates when the audio level is too high. This is indicated by the LED in the upper-right corner of Corpus's display.

21.9

Dynamic Tube

The Dynamic Tube effect infuses sounds with the peculiarities of tube saturation. An integrated envelope follower generates dynamic tonal variations related to the level of the input signal.

Three tube models, A, B and C, provide a range of distortion characteristics known from real ampli er tubes. Tube A does not produce distortions if Bias is set low, but will kick in whenever the input signal exceeds a certain threshold, creating bright harmonics. Tube C is a very poor tube amp that produces distortions all the time. The qualities of Tube B lie somewhere between these two extremes.

The Tone control sets the spectral distribution of the distortions, directing them into the higher registers, or through the midrange and deeper.

The Drive control determines how much signal reaches the tube; greater Drive yields a dirtier output. The intensity of the tube is controlled by the Bias dial, which pushes the

The Dynamic Tube

Effect.

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299 signal into the celebrated realms of nonlinear distortion. With very high amounts of Bias, the signal will really start to break apart.

The Bias parameter can be positively or negatively modulated by an envelope follower, which is controlled with the Envelope knob. The more deeply the envelope is applied, the more the Bias point will be in uenced by the level of the input signal. Negative Envelope values create expansion effects by reducing distortion on loud signals, while positive values will make loud sounds dirtier.

Attack and Release are envelope characteristics that de ne how quickly the envelope reacts to volume changes in the input signal. Together, they shape the dynamic nature of the distortions. Note that if Envelope is set to zero, they will have no effect.

Cut or boost the device's nal signal level with the Output dial.

Aliasing can be reduced by enabling Hi-Quality mode, which can be accessed via the

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu. This improves the sound quality, particularly with high frequency signals, but there is a slight increase in CPU usage.

21.10

EQ Eight

The EQ Eight effect is an equalizer featuring up to eight parametric lters per input channel, useful for changing a sound's timbre. It extends the functionality of the former EQ Four device, and is fully backward-compatible with EQ Four presets.

The input signal can be processed using one of three modes: Stereo, L/R and M/S. Stereo

The EQ Eight Effect.

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300 mode uses a single curve to lter both channels of a stereo input equally. L/R mode provides an independently adjustable lter curve for the left and right channels of a stereo input; M/S mode (Mid/Side) provides the same functionality for signals that have been recorded using

M/S encoding.

When using the L/R and M/S modes, both curves are displayed simultaneously for reference, although only the active channel is editable. The Edit switch indicates the active channel, and is used to toggle between the two curves.

The lters can switch between six responses. From left to right in the display, these are:

ˆ

Low cut (cuts frequencies below the speci ed frequency);

ˆ

Low shelf (boosts or cuts frequencies lower than the speci ed frequency);

ˆ

Bell curve (boosts or cuts over a range of frequencies);

ˆ

Notch (sharply cuts frequencies within a narrow range);

ˆ

High shelf (boosts or cuts frequencies higher than the speci ed frequency);

ˆ

High cut (cuts frequencies above the speci ed frequency).

Each lter band can be turned on or off independently. Turn off bands that are not in use to save CPU power.

To edit the lter curve, click and drag on the lter dots in the display. Horizontal movement changes the lter frequency, while vertical movement adjusts the lter band's gain. To adjust the lter Q (also called resonance or bandwidth), hold down the

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er while dragging the mouse. Note that the gain cannot be adjusted for the low cut, notch and high cut lters. In these modes, vertical dragging adjusts the lter Q.

You can also use the numbered lter selector buttons to select a band for editing, and then edit parameter values with the Freq, Gain and Q dials (and/or type values into the number elds below each dial).

To achieve really drastic ltering effects, assign the same parameters to two or more lters.

As boosting will increase levels and cutting will decrease levels, use the global Gain eld to optimize the output level for maximum level consistent with minimum distortion.

The Scale eld will attenuate the gain of all lters that support gain (all except low cut, notch and high cut).

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Enabling Hi-Quality mode via the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu can improve the sound quality, particularly with low frequency signals or when working at high sample rates.

There is a slight increase in CPU usage in Hi-Quality mode.

21.11

EQ Three

If you have ever used a good DJ mixer you will know what this is: An EQ that allows you to adjust the level of low, mid and high frequencies independently.

Each band can be adjusted from -in nite dB to +6 dB using the gain controls. This means that you can completely remove, for example, the bass drum or bassline of a track, while leaving the other frequencies untouched.

You can also turn on or off each band using the On/Off buttons located under the gain controls. These buttons are especially handy if assigned to computer keys.

EQ Three gives you visual con rmation of the presence of a signal in each frequency band using three LEDs. Even if a band is turned off, you can tell if there is something going on in it. The internal threshold for the LEDs is set to -24 dB.

The frequency range of each band is de ned via two crossover controls: FreqLo and FreqHi.

If FreqLo is set to 500 Hz and FreqHi to 2000 Hz, then the low band goes from 0 Hz to 500

Hz, the mid band from 500 Hz to 2000 Hz and the high band from 2000 Hz up to whatever your soundcard or sample rate supports.

A very important control is the 24 dB/48 dB switch. It de nes how sharp the lters are cutting the signal at the crossover frequency. The higher setting results in more drastic

The EQ Three Effect.

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302 ltering, but needs more CPU.

Note: The lters in this device are optimized to sound more like a good, powerful analog lter cascade than a clean digital lter. The 48 dB Mode especially does not provide a perfect linear transfer quality, resulting in a slight coloration of the input signal even if all controls are set to 0.00 dB. This is typical behavior for this kind of lter, and is part of EQ

Three's unique sound. If you need a more linear behavior choose 24 dB Mode or use the

EQ Eight.

21.12

Erosion

The Erosion effect degrades the input signal by modulating a short delay with ltered noise or a sine wave. This adds noisy artifacts or aliasing/downsampling-like distortions that sound very digital.

To change the sine wave frequency or noise band center frequency, click and drag along the X-axis in the X-Y eld. The Y-axis controls the modulation amount. If you hold down the

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er key while clicking in the X-Y eld, the Y-axis controls the bandwidth. Note that bandwidth is not adjustable when Sine is selected.

The Frequency control determines the color, or quality, of the distortion. If the Mode control is set to Noise, this works in conjunction with the Width control, which de nes the noise bandwidth. Lower values lead to more selective distortion frequencies, while higher values affect the entire input signal. Width has no effect in Sine Mode.

The Erosion Effect.

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Noise and Sine use a single modulation generator. However, Wide Noise has independent noise generators for the left and right channels, which creates a subtle stereo enhancement.

21.13

External Audio Effect

The External Audio Effect is a bit different than Live's other effects devices. Instead of processing audio itself, it allows you to use

external

(hardware) effects processors within a track's device chain.

The Audio To chooser selects the outputs on your computer's audio hardware that will go to your external device, while the Audio From chooser selects the inputs that will bring the processed signal back into Live. As with the

track inputs and outputs , the list of

available inputs and outputs depends on the Audio Preferences, which can be reached via the Con gure... option at the bottom of each chooser.

Below each chooser is a Peak level indicator that shows the highest audio level attained.

Click on the indicators to reset them.

The Gain knobs next to the choosers adjust the levels going out of and back into Live. These levels should be set carefully to avoid clipping, both in your external hardware and when returning the audio to your computer.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. Set it to

100 percent if using the External Audio Effect in a return track.

The Invert button inverts the phase of the processed signal coming back into Live.

The External Audio

Effect.

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Since hardware effects introduce latency that Live cannot automatically detect, you can manually compensate for any delays by adjusting the Hardware Latency slider. The button next to this slider allows you to set your latency compensation amount in either milliseconds or samples. If your external device connects to Live via a digital connection, you will want to adjust your latency settings in samples, which ensures that the number of samples you specify will be retained even when changing the sample rate. If your external device connects to Live via an analog connection, you will want to adjust your latency settings in milliseconds, which ensures that the amount of time you specify will be retained when changing the sample rate. Note that adjusting in samples gives you ner control, so even in cases when you're working with analog devices, you may want to ne tune your latency in samples in order to achieve the lowest possible latency. In this case, be sure to switch back to milliseconds before changing your sample rate.

Note: If the

Delay Compensation

option is unchecked in the Options menu, the Hardware

Latency slider is disabled.

For instructions on how to accurately set up latency compensation for your hardware, please see the Driver Error Compensation lesson.

21.14

Filter Delay

The Filter Delay provides three independent delay lines, each preceded by linked lowpass and highpass lters. This allows applying delay to only certain input signal frequencies, as determined by the lter settings. The feedback from each of the three delays is also routed back through the lters.

The Filter Delay Effect.

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Each of the three delays can be switched on and off independently. The Filter Delay device assigns delay 1 to the input signal's left channel, delay 2 to the left and right channels and delay 3 to the right channel. The Pan controls at the right can override the delay channels' outputs; otherwise each delay outputs on the channel from which it derives its input.

Each delay channel's lter has an associated On switch, located to the left of each X-Y controller. The X-Y controllers adjust the lowpass and highpass lters simultaneously for each delay. To edit lter bandwidth, click and drag on the vertical axis; click and drag on the horizontal axis to set the lter band's frequency.

To refer delay time to the song tempo, activate the Sync switch, which allows using the Delay

Time beat division chooser. The numbered switches represent time delay in 16th notes. For example, selecting 4 delays the signal by four 16th notes, which equals one beat (a quarter note) of delay. With Sync Mode active, changing the Delay Time eld percentage value shortens and extends delay times by fractional amounts, thus producing the swing type of timing effect found in drum machines.

If the Sync switch is off, the delay time reverts to milliseconds. In this case, to edit the delay time, click and drag up or down in the Delay Time eld, or click in the eld and type in a value.

The Feedback parameter sets how much of the output signal returns to the delay line input.

Very high values can lead to runaway feedback and produce a loud oscillation watch your ears and speakers if you decide to check out extreme feedback settings!

Each delay channel has its own volume control, which can be turned up to +12 dB to compensate for drastic ltering at the input.

The Dry control adjusts the unprocessed signal level. Set it to minimum if using Delay in a return track.

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21.15

Flanger

306

Flanger uses two parallel time-modulated delays to create anging effects.

Flanger's delays can be adjusted with the Delay Time control. The Feedback control sends part of the output signal back through the device input, while the Polarity switch ( + or

- ) sets the polarity. Delay Time and Feedback can be changed simultaneously using the effect's X-Y controller.

Periodic control of delay time is possible using the envelope section. You can increase or decrease the envelope amount (or invert its shape with negative values), and then use the

Attack and Release controls to de ne envelope shape.

Flanger contains two LFOs to modulate delay time for the left and right stereo channels.

The LFOs have six possible waveform shapes: sine, square, triangle, sawtooth up, sawtooth down and random. The extent of LFO in uence on the delays is set with the Amount control.

LFO speed is controlled with the Rate control, which can be set in terms of hertz. Rate can also be synced to the song tempo and set in meter subdivisions (e.g., sixteenth notes).

The Phase control lends the sound stereo movement by setting the LFOs to run at the same frequency, but offsetting their waveforms relative to each other. Set this to 180 , and the

LFOs will be perfectly out of phase (180 degrees apart), so that when one reaches its peak, the other is at its minimum.

Spin detunes the two LFO speeds relative to each other. Each delay is modulated at a different frequency, as determined by the Spin amount.

The Flanger Effect.

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Adjusting the HiPass control will cut low frequencies from the delayed signal.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. Set it to

100 percent if using Flanger in a return track.

Hi-Quality mode can be toggled on or off via a (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu entry. Enabling Hi-Quality results in a brighter sound, but there is a very slight increase in

CPU usage.

21.16

Frequency Shifter

The Frequency Shifter moves the frequencies of incoming audio up or down by a userspeci ed amount in Hertz. Small amounts of shift can result in subtle tremolo or phasing effects, while large shifts can create dissonant, metallic sounds.

The Coarse and Fine knobs set the amount of shift that will be applied to the input. For example, if the input is a sine wave at 440 Hz and the frequency is set to 100 Hz, the output will be a sine wave at 540 Hz.

By changing the Mode from Shift to Ring, Frequency Shifter switches from classical frequency shifting to

ring modulation.

In Ring mode, the selected frequency amount is added to

and

subtracted from the input. For example, if the incoming audio signal (A) is a sine wave at

440 Hz and the Frequency is set to 100 Hz (B), the output will contain partials at 340 Hz (A-B) and 540 Hz (A+B).

The Frequency Shifter

Effect.

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The Drive button enables a distortion effect, while the slider below it controls the level of the distortion. Drive is only available in Ring mode.

Enabling the Wide button creates a stereo effect by inverting the polarity of the Spread value for the right channel. This means that increasing the Spread value will shift the frequency down in the right channel while shifting it up in the left. Note that Wide has no effect if the

Spread value is set to 0.

Frequency Shifter contains two LFOs to modulate the frequency for the left and right stereo channels. The LFOs have six possible waveform shapes: sine, square, triangle, sawtooth up, sawtooth down and random. The extent of LFO in uence on the frequency is set with the Amount control.

LFO speed is controlled with the Rate control, which can be set in terms of Hertz. Rate can also be synced to the song tempo and set in meter subdivisions (e.g., sixteenth notes).

The Phase control lends the sound stereo movement by setting the LFOs to run at the same frequency, but offsetting their waveforms relative to each other. Set this to 180 , and the

LFOs will be perfectly out of phase (180 degrees apart), so that when one reaches its peak, the other is at its minimum.

Spin detunes the two LFO speeds relative to each other. Each stereo channel is modulated at a different frequency, as determined by the Spin amount.

When using the random waveform, the Phase and Spin controls are not relevant and do not affect the sound.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. This knob is called Mix when Drive is enabled. Note that the Drive effect is post-Mix, which means that you can use Frequency Shifter as a pure distortion effect by enabling Drive and setting

Mix to 0%.

Frequency shifting is accomplished by simply adding or subtracting a value in Hertz to the incoming audio. This is distinct from

pitch shifting

, in which the ratios of the incoming frequencies (and thus their harmonic relationships) are preserved. For example, imagine you have an incoming audio signal consisting of sine waves an octave apart at 440 Hz and

880 Hz. To pitch shift this up an octave, we multiply these frequencies by two, resulting in new frequencies at 880 Hz and 1760 Hz.

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21.16.1

Frequency Shifter Tips

Frequency shifting and ring modulation can produce some very interesting sounds. Here are some tips for using the Frequency Shifter device.

Drum tuning

Tuning sampled acoustic drums can be tricky. Using a sampler's transposition controls often changes the character of the sounds in unrealistic ways, resulting in pinched or tubby samples. Frequency shifting can be a useful alternative.

Try using the device in Shift mode with the Dry/Wet amount at 100%. Then adjust the Fine frequency no more than about 100 Hz up or down. This should change the apparent size and tuning of the drum while retaining the quality of the original sample.

Phasing

To create lush phasing effects, try using extremely small amounts of shift (no more than about 2 Hz). Note that the phasing is caused by the interaction of the processed and dry signals, so you won't hear an effect until you adjust the Dry/Wet balance so that both are audible; the strongest phasing will be heard when Dry/Wet is at 50%.

Tremolo

In Ring mode, frequencies below the audible range (about 20 Hz) create a tremolo effect.

You can also impart a sense of stereo motion to the tremolo by turning on Wide and using small Spread values.

Learning more...

Try putting a

Spectrum

device after the Frequency Shifter to watch how the signal changes as you change parameters. To get a good overview of what's happening, try using a simple, continuous sine wave as your input.

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21.17

Gate

310

The Gate effect passes only signals whose level exceeds a user-speci ed threshold. A gate can eliminate low-level noise that occurs between sounds (e.g., hiss or hum), or shape a sound by turning up the threshold to where it cuts off reverb or delay tails or truncates an instrument's natural decay.

The Threshold slider sets the gate's sensitivity. If the gate is open and passing signal (i.e., the signal exceeds the gate threshold), the green LED lights.

The Attenuation slider, located beneath the Threshold fader, can attenuate signals below the threshold rather than just cutting them off. If set to -inf dB, a closed gate will mute the input signal. A setting of 0.00 dB means that even if the gate is closed, there is no effect on the signal. Settings in between these two extremes attenuate the input to a greater or lesser degree when the gate is closed.

With the Flip button enabled, the gate works in reverse; the signal will only pass if its level is

below

the threshold.

The Attack time determines how long it takes for the gate to switch from closed to open when a signal goes from below to above the threshold. Very short attack times can produce sharp clicking sounds, while long times soften the sound's attack.

When the signal goes from above to below the threshold, the Hold time kicks in. (Note to tech heads: the gate has hysteresis, so the release occurs about 3 dB lower than the threshold.) After the hold time expires, the gate closes over a period of time set by the

Release parameter.

The Gate Effect.

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311

Normally, the signal being gated and the input source that triggers the gate are the same signal. But by using

sidechaining

, it is possible to gate a signal based on the level of another signal. To access the Sidechain parameters, unfold the Gate window by toggling the button in its title bar.

Enabling this section with the Sidechain button allows you to select another track from the choosers below. This causes the selected track's signal to act as the gate's trigger, instead of the signal that is actually being gated.

The Gain knob adjusts the level of the external sidechain's input, while the Dry/Wet knob allows you to use a combination of sidechain and original signal as the gate's trigger. With

Dry/Wet at 100%, the gate is triggered entirely by the sidechain source. At 0%, the sidechain is effectively bypassed. Note that increasing the gain does

not

increase the volume of the source signal in the mix. The sidechain audio is only a trigger for the gate and is never actually heard.

Sidechain gating can be used to superimpose rhythmic patterns from one source onto another. For example, a held pad sound can be triggered with the rhythm of a drum loop by inserting a Gate on the pad's track and choosing the drum loop's track as the sidechain input.

21.18

Grain Delay

The Grain Delay effect slices the input signal into tiny particles (called grains ) that are then individually delayed and can also have different pitches compared to the original signal

The Grain Delay Effect.

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312 source. Randomizing pitch and delay time can create complex masses of sound and rhythm that seem to bear little relationship to the source. This can be very useful in creating new sounds and textures, as well as getting rid of unwelcome house guests, or terrifying small pets (just kidding!).

To refer delay time to the song tempo, activate the Sync switch, which allows using the Delay

Time beat division chooser. The numbered switches represent time delay in 16th notes. For example, selecting 4 delays the signal by four 16th notes, which equals one beat (a quarter note) of delay. With Sync Mode active, changing the Delay Time eld percentage value shortens and extends delay times by fractional amounts, thus producing the swing type of timing effect found in drum machines.

If the Sync switch is off, the delay time reverts to milliseconds. In this case, to edit the delay time, click and drag up or down in the Delay Time eld, or click in the eld and type in a value.

You can route each parameter to the X-Y controller's horizontal or vertical axis. To assign a parameter to the X-axis, choose it from the parameter row below the controller. To assign a parameter to the Y-axis, use the parameter row on the left side.

The Feedback parameter sets how much of the output signal returns to the delay line input.

Very high values can lead to runaway feedback and produce a loud oscillation watch your ears and speakers if you decide to check out extreme feedback settings!

You can transpose the grain pitch with the Pitch parameter, which acts much like a crude pitch shifter.

The Spray control adds random delay time changes. Low values smear the signal across time, which adds noisiness to the sound. High Spray values completely break down the structure of the source signal, introducing varying degrees of rhythmic chaos. This is the recommended setting for anarchists.

The Random Pitch control adds random variations to each grain's pitch. Low values create a sort of mutant chorusing effect, while high values can make the original source pitch completely unintelligible. This parameter can interact with the main Pitch control, thus allowing degrees of stability and instability in a sound's pitch structure.

The size and duration of each grain is a function of the Frequency parameter. The sound of

Pitch and Spray depends very much on this parameter.

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Grain Delay now also has a dry/wet control; it can be routed to the vertical axis of the X-Y controller.

21.19

Limiter

The Limiter effect is a mastering-quality dynamic range processor that ensures that the output does not exceed a speci ed level. Limiter is ideal for use in the Master track, to prevent clipping. A limiter is essentially a compressor with an in nite ratio. (For more information about compression theory, see the manual entry for the

Compressor device .)

The Gain knob allows you to boost or attenuate the incoming level before applying limiting.

Ceiling sets the absolute maximum level that the Limiter will output. If your incoming signal level has no peaks that are higher than the ceiling, Limiter will have no effect.

The Stereo / L/R switch determines how Limiter treats peaks that occur on only one side of the stereo signal. In L/R mode, Limiter functions as two separate limiters, with independent limiting for each channel. Stereo mode applies limiting to both channels whenever either of them has a peak that requires compression. L/R mode allows Limiter to apply more compression, but with some distortion of the stereo image.

The Lookahead chooser affects how quickly Limiter will respond to peaks that require compression. Shorter Lookahead times allow for more compression, but with an increase in distortion - particularly in the bass.

The Release knob adjusts how long it takes for Limiter to return to normal operation after the signal falls below the ceiling. With Auto enabled, Limiter analyzes the incoming signal

The Limiter Effect.

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314 and sets an appropriate release time automatically.

The meter gives a visual indication of how much gain reduction is being applied to the signal.

Note that any devices or channel faders that appear after Limiter may add gain. 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.

21.20

Looper

Looper is an audio effect based on classic real-time looping devices. It allows you to record and loop audio, creating endless overdubs that are synced to your Set. If the Set is not playing, Looper can analyze incoming audio and set Live's tempo to match it. You can also prede ne a loop length before recording and Live's tempo will adjust so that your loop ts into the speci ed number of bars. Furthermore, audio can be imported to Looper to create a background for newly overdubbed material, or exported from Looper as a new clip.

The top half of Looper's interface is a large display area optimized for easy readability during performance. During recording, the entire display area turns red. After recording, the display shows the current position in the loop and the total loop length in bars and beats.

Looper's transport buttons work in a similar way to other transport controls in Live. The

Record button records incoming audio until another button is pressed. This overwrites any audio currently stored in Looper. Overdub continues to add additional layers of incoming

The Looper Effect.

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315 audio that are the length of the originally recorded material. The Play button plays back the current state of Looper's buffer without recording any new material. The Stop button stops playback.

The behavior of the transport controls changes depending on whether or not Live's playback is running. With the transport running, Looper behaves like a clip, and is subject to

launch quantization

as determined by the Quantization chooser. When Live's playback is stopped,

Looper's transport engages immediately, regardless of the Quantization setting.

The Clear button erases Looper's buffer. If you press Clear in Overdub mode while the transport is running, the contents of the buffer are cleared but the tempo and length are maintained. Pressing Clear in any other mode resets the tempo and length.

The Undo button erases everything that you've overdubbed since the last time Overdub was enabled. Your original recording, and anything that was overdubbed in a previous pass, is preserved. After pressing Undo, the button changes to Redo, which replaces the material removed by the last undo.

The large button below the transport controls is the Multi-Purpose Transport Button. As with the normal transport buttons, this button's behavior changes depending on Looper's current playback state, and whether or not material has already been recorded. If the buffer is empty, a single click starts recording. If Looper is recording, overdubbing or stopped, a single click switches to play mode. During playback, a click switches to overdub mode, allowing you to toggle back and forth between overdub and playback via additional single clicks.

Quickly pressing the button twice stops Looper, from either play or overdub mode. Clicking and holding the button for two seconds while in play mode activates Undo or Redo. Pressing and holding for two seconds while stopped clears Looper's buffer.

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Stopped

Clear

316

Empty

Record Play

Overdub

Undo/Redo

Click

Doubleclick

Hold

Looper's Multi-Purpose Transport Button is optimized for use with a MIDI footswitch. To assign a footswitch, enter

MIDI Map Mode , click the button and then press your attached

footswitch. Then exit MIDI Map Mode.

The Tempo Control chooser affects how Looper determines the tempo of recorded material:

ˆ

None:

Looper's internal tempo is independent of Live's global tempo.

ˆ

Follow song tempo:

The speed of Looper's playback will be adjusted so that the recorded material plays back at Live's global tempo.

ˆ

Set & Follow song tempo:

Live's global tempo will be adjusted to match the tempo of material recorded into Looper. Any subsequent changes to Live's global tempo will adjust the speed of Looper's playback so that the recorded material plays back at the new global tempo.

The Record Length chooser is used to set the length of recorded material. Its behavior changes depending on whether or not Live's global transport is running and, depending on the setting of the Tempo Control chooser, can set Live's global tempo:

ˆ

Song running:

If Looper's Record Length chooser is set to the default x bars, Looper will record until you press another transport button. If you specify a xed number of bars to record by selecting another option in the chooser, Looper will record for the

Diagram of Looper's

Multi-Purpose Transport

Button Behavior

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317 speci ed time and then switch to Play or Overdub, as determined by the button next to this chooser.

ˆ

Song not running:

If Looper's Record Length chooser is set to the default x bars,

Looper will make a guess about the tempo of the material you've recorded as soon as you press Overdub, Play or Stop. But this might result in a tempo that's twice or half as fast as you'd like. If you rst specify a xed number of bars, Looper's tempo will adjust so that your recording ts into this time.

The Song Control chooser determines how Looper's transport controls will affect Live's global transport:

ˆ

None

means that Looper's transport controls have no effect on Live's global transport.

ˆ

Start Song

will start Live's global transport whenever Looper enters Play or Overdub mode. Looper's Stop button has no effect on the global transport.

ˆ

Start & Stop Song

locks Live's global transport to Looper's transport controls. Entering

Play or Overdub mode will start Live's transport, while pressing Looper's Stop button will stop Live's transport.

The *2 button doubles the length of Looper's recording buffer. Any material that you've already recorded will simply be duplicated. This allows you to, for example, record a series of one-bar ideas, and then overlay a series of two-bar ideas. The length and tempo of

Looper's buffer is shown in the display area.

Similarly, the :2 button cuts the length of the current buffer in half. The material in the currently playing half is kept, while the other half is discarded.

The Drag me! area in the display allows you to export Looper's buffer as a new audio le.

You can drag and drop to the Browser or directly to a track, creating a new clip. The newly created clip's Warp mode will be set to

Re-Pitch

by default. You can also drag audio les to the Drag me! area, which will replace the contents of Looper's buffer. You can then use this material as a bed for further overdubs, for example.

The Speed knob adjusts Looper's playback speed (and thus pitch). The up and down arrow buttons to the left are shortcuts to raise or lower the pitch by octaves (thus doubling or halving the playback speed). These buttons are subject to the Quantization chooser setting.

Enabling the Reverse button plays the previously recorded material backwards. Any material that you overdub after enabling Reverse will be played forward. Note that disabling Reverse

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318 will then swap this behavior; the original material will play forward again, while the material that was overdubbed while Reverse was enabled will play backwards. Engaging the Reverse button is subject to the Quantization chooser setting.

Feedback sets the amount of previously recorded signal that is fed back into Looper when overdubbing. When set to 100%, the previously recorded material will never decrease in volume. When set to 50%, it will be half as loud with each repetition. Any changes to the

Feedback amount won't take effect until the next repetition. Note that Feedback has no effect in Play mode; each repetition will be at the same volume.

The Input -> Output chooser provides four options for monitoring Looper's input:

ˆ

Always

allows the input signal to be heard regardless of Looper's playing or recording state. You'll typically want to choose Always when using Looper as an effect in a single track.

ˆ

Never

means that the input signal will never be heard. You'll typically want to choose

Never when using Looper as an effect in a return track, where it may be fed by send levels from a variety of other tracks.

ˆ

Rec/OVR

means that the input is only audible when recording or overdubbing, but not when Looper is in Play mode or stopped. This is useful for situations in which you are feeding audio to multiple tracks, each containing its own Looper. If each of these Loopers is controlled with its own foot pedal, you can switch the recording and playback state while playing an instrument, without having to worry about monitor settings.

ˆ

Rec/OVR/Stop

allows the input signal to be heard except when Looper is in play mode.

This is similar to

Beat Repeat's

Insert mode, and can be used to record material that can suddenly interrupt your live playing.

21.20.1

Feedback Routing

Looper can be used as both a source and a target for

internal routing

to other tracks. This allows you to, for example, create Looper overdubs that continually feed back through another track's devices. To set this up:

1. Insert Looper on a track.

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319

2. Record at least one pass of material into Looper.

3. Create another audio track.

4. In the new track's top Audio From and Audio To choosers, select the track containing the Looper.

5. In the new track's bottom Audio From and Audio To choosers, select

Insert-Looper.

6. Switch this track's Monitoring to In.

7. Add additional effects devices to the device chain of the new track.

8. Put Looper into Overdub mode.

Looper's output will now be routed through the other track's device chain and then back into itself, creating increasingly processed overdub layers with each pass.

21.21

Multiband Dynamics

The Multiband Dynamics device is a exible tool for modifying the dynamic range of audio material. Designed primarily as a mastering processor, Multiband Dynamics allows for upward and downward compression and expansion of up to three independent frequency bands, with adjustable crossover points and envelope controls for each band. Each frequency range has both an upper and lower threshold, allowing for two types of dynamics processing to be used simultaneously per band.

The Multiband Dynamics

Effect.

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320

21.21.1

Dynamics Processing Theory

To understand how to use the Multiband Dynamics device, it helps to understand the four different methods of manipulating dynamics.

When we use the term compression, we're typically talking about lowering the level of signals that exceed a threshold. This is how Live's

Compressor

works, and is more accurately called

downward compression

because it pushes loud signals down, thus reducing the dynamic range. But it is also possible to reduce a signal's dynamic range by

raising

the levels of signals that are

below

a threshold. This much-less-common form of compression is called

upward compression.

As you can see from this diagram, employing either type of compression results in a signal with a smaller dynamic range than the original.

downward compression

(common) original dynamic range smaller dynamic range original dynamic range smaller dynamic range upward compression

(uncommon)

Downward and Upward

Compression.

The opposite of compression is expansion. A typical expander lowers the levels of signals that are below a threshold. This is how Live's

Gate

works, and is more accurately called

downward expansion

because it pushes quiet signals down, thus increasing the dynamic range. It is also possible to increase a signal's dynamic range by

raising

the levels of signals that are

above

a threshold. Like upward compression, this technique is known as

upward expansion

and is much less common. This diagram shows that either type of expansion results in a signal with a larger dynamic range.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE upward expansion

(uncommon) original dynamic range larger dynamic range original dynamic range larger dynamic range

321 downward expansion

(common)

To summarize:

ˆ

Downward compression (common): make loud signals quieter

ˆ

Upward compression (uncommon): make quiet signals louder

ˆ

Downward expansion (common): make quiet signals quieter

ˆ

Upward expansion (uncommon): make loud signals louder

The Multiband Dynamics device allows for all of these types of processing. In fact, because the device allows for incoming audio to be divided into three frequency bands, and each band has both an upper and lower threshold, a single instance of Multiband Dynamics can provide six types of dynamics processing simultaneously.

Downward and Upward

Expansion.

21.21.2

Interface and Controls

The High and Low buttons toggle the high and low bands on or off. With both bands off, the device functions as a single-band effect. In this case, only the Mid controls affect the incoming signal. The frequency sliders below the High and Low buttons adjust the crossovers that de ne the frequency ranges for each band. If the low frequency is set to

500 Hz and the high frequency is set to 2000 Hz, then the low band goes from 0 Hz to 500

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322

Hz, the mid band from 500 Hz to 2000 Hz and the high band from 2000 Hz up to whatever your soundcard or sample rate supports.

Each band has activator and solo buttons. With the activator button disabled for a given band, its compression/expansion and gain controls are bypassed. Soloing a band mutes the others. The Input knobs boost or attenuate the level of each band before it undergoes dynamics processing, while the Output knobs to the right of the display adjust the levels of the bands after processing.

The display area provides a way of both visualizing your dynamics processing and adjusting the relevant compression and expansion behavior. For each band, the output level is represented by large bars, while the input level before processing is represented by small bars. With no processing applied, the input meters will be aligned with the top of the output meters. The scaling along the bottom of the display shows dB. As you adjust the gain or dynamics processing for a band, you can see how its output changes in comparison to its input.

As you move your mouse over the display, the cursor will change to a bracket as it passes over the edges of the blocks on the left or right side. These blocks represent the signal levels under the Below and over the Above thresholds, respectively. Dragging left or right on the edges of these blocks adjusts the threshold level. Holding down while dragging a threshold will adjust the same threshold for all bands. Hold down

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) to simultaneously adjust the Above and Below thresholds for a single band.

As you mouse over the middle of the block, the cursor will change to an up-down arrow.

Click and drag up or down to make the signal within the selected volume range louder or quieter. Holding down while dragging up or down will adjust the volume of the same block for all bands. Hold down

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) to simultaneously adjust the Above and Below volumes for a single band. Double-clicking within the region resets the volume to its default.

In technical terms, lowering the volume in the block above the Above threshold applies downward compression, while raising it applies upward expansion. Likewise, lowering the volume in the block below the Below threshold applies downward expansion, while raising it applies upward compression. In all cases, you are adjusting the

ratio

of the compressor or expander.

The thresholds and ratios of all bands can also be adjusted via the column to the right of the display. The T, B and A buttons at the bottom right of the display area toggle

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323 between displaying the Time (attack and release), Below (threshold and ratio) and Above

(threshold and ratio) for each band.

For the Above thresholds, Attack de nes how long it takes to reach maximum compression or expansion once a signal exceeds the threshold, while Release sets how long it takes for the device to return to normal operation after the signal falls below the threshold.

For the Below thresholds, Attack de nes how long it takes to reach maximum compression or expansion once a signal drops below the threshold, while Release sets how long it takes for the device to return to normal operation after the signal goes above the threshold.

With Soft Knee enabled, compression or expansion begins gradually as the threshold is approached.

The RMS/Peak switch also affects how quickly Multiband Dynamics responds to level changes. With Peak selected, the device reacts to short peaks within a signal. RMS mode causes it to be less sensitive to very short peaks and to begin processing only when the incoming level has crossed the threshold for a slightly longer time.

The global Output knob adjusts the overall output gain of the device.

The Time control scales the durations of all of the Attack and Release controls. This allows you to maintain the same relative envelope times, but make them all faster or slower by the same amount.

The Amount knob adjusts the intensity of the compression or expansion applied to all bands.

At 0%, each compressor/expander has an effective ratio of 1, meaning that it has no effect on the signal.

21.21.3

Multiband Dynamics Tips

Multiband Dynamics is a feature-rich and powerful device, capable of up to six independent types of simultaneous processing. Because of this, getting started can be a bit intimidating.

Here are some real-world applications to give you some ideas.

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324

Basic Multiband Compression

By using only the upper thresholds, Multiband Dynamics can be used as a traditional downward compressor. Adjust the crossover points to suit your audio material, then apply downward compression (by dragging down in the upper blocks in the display or by setting the numerical ratios to values greater than 1.)

De-essing

To remove harshness caused by overly loud high frequency content, try enabling only the upper band and setting its crossover frequency to around 5 kHz. Then gradually adjust the threshold and ratio to apply subtle downward compression. It may help to solo the band to more easily hear the results of your adjustments. Generally, de-essing works best with fairly fast attack and release times.

Uncompression

Mastering engineers are often asked to perform miracles, like adding punch and energy to a mix that has already been heavily compressed, and thus has almost no remaining transients.

Most of the time, these mixes have also been heavily maximized, meaning that they also have no remaining headroom. Luckily, upward expansion can sometimes help add life back to such overly squashed material. To do this:

ˆ

Turn down the Input knob to provide some additional headroom.

ˆ

Adjust the Above thresholds for the bands so that they're below the highest peaks.

ˆ

Add a small amount of upward expansion to each band. Be careful - excessive upward expansion can make transients

very

loud.

ˆ

Carefully adjust the attack and release times for each band. Note that, unlike in typical downward compression, very fast attack times will

increase

the impact of transients, while slower times result in a more muf ed sound.

Note:

Adding a maximizer or limiter to boost gain after you've returned some peaks to your material may simply destroy them again.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

21.22

Overdrive

325

Overdrive is a distortion effect that pays homage to some classic pedal devices commonly used by guitarists. Unlike many distortion units, it can be driven extremely hard without sacri cing dynamic range.

The distortion stage is preceded by a bandpass lter that can be controlled with an X-Y controller. To de ne the lter bandwidth, click and drag on the vertical axis. To set the position of the frequency band, click and drag on the horizontal axis. These parameters can also be set via the slider boxes below the X-Y display.

The Drive control sets the amount of distortion. Note that 0% does

not

mean zero distortion!

Tone acts as a post-distortion EQ control. At higher values, the signal has more highfrequency content.

The Dynamics slider allows you to adjust how much compression is applied as the distortion is increased. At low settings, higher distortion amounts result in an increase in internal compression and make-up gain. At higher settings, less compression is applied.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. Set it to

100 percent if using Overdrive in a return track.

The Overdrive Effect.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

21.23

Phaser

326

Phaser uses a series of all-pass lters to create a phase shift in the frequency spectrum of a sound.

The Poles control creates notches in the frequency spectrum. The Feedback control can then be used to invert the waveform and convert these notches into peaks (or poles). Filter cutoff frequency is changed with the Frequency control, which can be adjusted in tandem with Feedback using the effect's X-Y controller.

The device has two modes, Space and Earth, for changing the spacing of notches along the spectrum, and hence the color of the sound. This effect can be further adjusted with the

Color control.

Periodic control of the lter frequency is possible using the envelope section. You can increase or decrease the envelope amount (or invert its shape with negative values), and then use the Attack and Release controls to de ne envelope shape.

Phaser contains two LFOs to modulate lter frequency for the left and right stereo channels.

The LFOs have six possible waveform shapes: sine, square, triangle, sawtooth up, sawtooth down and random. The extent of LFO in uence on the lter frequency is set with the

Amount control.

LFO speed is controlled with the Rate control, which can be set in terms of hertz. Rate can also be synced to the song tempo and set in meter subdivisions (e.g., sixteenth notes).

The Phase control lends the sound stereo movement by setting the LFOs to run at the same frequency, but offsetting their waveforms relative to each other. Set this to 180 , and the

The Phaser Effect.

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327

LFOs will be perfectly out of phase (180 degrees apart), so that when one reaches its peak, the other is at its minimum.

Spin detunes the two LFO speeds relative to each other. Each lter frequency is then modulated using a different LFO frequency, as determined by the Spin amount.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. Set it to

100 percent if using Phaser in a return track.

21.24

Ping Pong Delay

The Ping Pong Delay effect uses a single tapped delay line to create a delay that jumps from the left to the right output.

The delay is preceded by a lowpass and highpass lter that can be controlled with an X-Y controller. To de ne the lter bandwidth, click and drag on the vertical axis. To set the position of the frequency band, click and drag on the horizontal axis.

To refer delay time to the song tempo, activate the Sync switch, which allows using the

Delay Time beat division chooser. The numbered switches represent time delay in 16th notes. For example, selecting 4 delays the signal by four 16th notes, which equals one beat (a quarter note) of delay. This delay time represents the time it takes for the input signal to appear at the left channel. The delay time between the input and the right channel is twice as long.

If the Sync switch is off, the delay time reverts to milliseconds. In this case, to edit the delay

The Ping Pong Delay

Effect.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

328 time, click and drag up or down in the Delay Time eld, or click in the eld and type in a value.

The Feedback parameter controls how much of the right channel output signal returns to the delay line input. The feedback loop also includes a lter that can color the feedback sound, thus producing different timbres with successive echoes.

The Freeze button, labeled F , will cause the delay to endlessly cycle the audio which is in its buffer at the moment that the button is pressed, ignoring any new input until Freeze is disabled.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. Set it to

100 percent if using Ping Pong Delay in a return track.

Changing the delay time while Ping Pong Delay is processing audio can cause abrupt changes in the sound of the delayed signal. You can choose between three delay transition modes via the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu of the device's title bar:

ˆ

Repitch

causes a pitch variation when changing the delay time, similar to the behavior of old hardware delay units.

ˆ

Fade

creates a crossfade between the old and new delay times. This sounds similar to time stretching if the delay time is gradually changed. Fade mode is the default option.

ˆ

Jump

immediately jumps to the new delay time. Note that this will cause an audible click if the delay time is changed while delays are sounding. Jump mode corresponds to the default behavior prior to Live 8. When loading Sets that were made in earlier versions, Jump will be selected automatically.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

21.25

Redux

329

Nostalgic for the famed low-resolution sound quality of the Ensoniq Mirage, Fairlight CMI or Commodore-64 computer? Redux returns us to the Dark Ages of digital by reducing a signal's sample rate and bit resolution.

The Downsample section has two parameters: Downsample and a downsample Mode switch.

If the downsample dial is set to 1 , every input sample passes to the output and the signal does not change. If set to 2 , only every second sample will be processed, so the result sounds a bit more digital.

The higher the number, the lower the resulting sample rate, and the more deconstructed the sound. Downsampling is like applying a mosaic effect to an image: There's a loss of information and sharp edges occur between the blocks.

The Downsample Mode switch de nes if the downsampling either interpolates over a smaller range ( soft, down to 20.0 samples) or does not interpolate over a larger range ( hard, down to 200 samples).

Bit Reduction is similar, but while downsampling superimposes a grid in time, bit reduction does the same for amplitude.

If the Bit Reduction amplitude dial is set to 8, amplitude levels are quantized to 256 steps

(8 bit resolution). If set to 1, the result is pretty brutal: Each sample contains either a full positive or full negative signal, with nothing in between.

Bit Reduction de nes an input signal of 0dB as 16 bit. Signals above 0dB are clipped, and the red overload LED will light up.

The Redux Effect.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

Turning off Bit Reduction results in modest CPU savings.

21.26

Resonators

330

This device consists of ve parallel resonators that superimpose a tonal character on the input source. It can produce sounds resembling anything from plucked strings to vocoderlike effects. The resonators are tuned in semitones, providing a musical way of adjusting them. The rst resonator de nes the root pitch and the four others are tuned relative to this pitch in musical intervals.

The input signal passes rst through a lter, and then into the resonators. There are four input lter types to select from: lowpass, bandpass, highpass and notch. The input lter frequency can be adjusted with the Frequency parameter.

The rst resonator is fed with both the left and right input channels, while the second and fourth resonators are dedicated to the left channel, and the third and fth to the right channel.

The Note parameter de nes the root pitch of all the resonators ranging from C-1 to C5.

It can also be detuned in cents using the Fine parameter. The Decay parameter lets you adjust the amount of time it takes for the resonators to be silent after getting an input signal.

The longer the decay time, the more tonal the result will be, similar to the behavior of an undamped piano string. As with a real string, the decay time depends on the pitch, so low notes will last longer than higher ones. The Const switch holds the decay time constant regardless of the actual pitch.

The Resonators Effect.

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331

Resonators provides two different resonation modes. Mode A provides a more realistic sounding resonation, while Mode B offers an effect that is especially interesting when

Resonator I's Note parameter is set to lower pitches.

The brightness of the resulting sound can be adjusted using the Color control.

All of the resonators have an On/Off switch and a Gain control. A resonator that is turned off does not need CPU. Turning off the rst resonator does not affect the other ones.

Resonators II through V follow the Note parameter de ned in Resonator I, but they can each be individually transposed +/- 24 semitones using the Pitch controls and detuned in cents using the Detune controls.

The output section features the obligatory Dry/Wet control and a Width parameter that affects only the wet signal and blends the left and right outputs of Resonators II-V into a mono signal if set to zero.

21.27

Reverb

21.27.1

Input Processing

The input signal passes rst through high and low cut lters, whose X-Y controller allows changing the band's center frequency (X-axis) and bandwidth (Y-axis). Either lter may be switched off when not needed to save CPU power.

The Reverb Effect.

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332

Predelay controls the delay time, in milliseconds, before the onset of the rst early re ection.

This delays the reverberation relative to the input signal. One's impression of the size of a real room depends partly on this delay. Typical values for natural sounds range from 1ms to 25ms.

21.27.2

Early Re ections

These are the earliest echoes that you hear after they bounce off a room's walls, before the onset of the diffused reverberation tail.

Their amplitude and distribution give an impression of the room's character.

The Shape control sculpts the prominence of the early re ections, as well as their overlap with the diffused sound. With small values, the re ections decay more gradually and the diffused sound occurs sooner, leading to a larger overlap between these components. With large values, the re ections decay more rapidly and the diffused onset occurs later. A higher value can sometimes improve the source's intelligibility, while a lower value may give a smoother decay.

Spin applies modulation to the early re ections. The X-Y control accesses the depth and frequency of these modulations. A larger depth tends to provide a less-colored (more spectrally neutral) late diffusion response. If the modulation frequency is too high, doppler frequency shifting of the source sound will occur, along with surreal panning effects. Spin may be turned off, using the associated switch, for modest CPU savings.

21.27.3

Global Settings

The Quality chooser controls the tradeoff between reverb quality and performance. Eco uses minimal CPU resources, while High delivers the richest reverberation.

The Size parameter controls the room's volume. At one extreme, a very large size will lend a shifting, diffused delay effect to the reverb. The other extreme a very small value will give it a highly colored, metallic feel.

The Stereo Image control determines the width of the output's stereo image. At the highest setting of 120 degrees, each ear receives a reverberant channel that is independent of the

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

333 other (this is also a property of the diffusion in real rooms). The lowest setting mixes the output signal to mono.

21.27.4

Diffusion Network

The Diffusion network creates the reverberant tail that follows the early re ections. The decay time control adjusts the time required for this tail to drop to 1/1000th (-60 dB) of its initial amplitude.

High and low shelving lters provide frequency-dependent reverberation decay. The highfrequency decay models the absorption of sound energy due to air, walls and other materials in the room (people, carpeting and so forth). The low shelf provides a thinner decay. Each lter may be turned off to save CPU consumption.

The Freeze control freezes the diffuse response of the input sound. When on, the reverberation will sustain almost endlessly. Cut modi es Freeze by preventing the input signal from adding to the frozen reverberation; when off, the input signal will contribute to the diffused amplitude. Flat bypasses the high and low shelf lters when freeze is on. If Flat is off, the frozen reverberation will lose energy in the attenuated frequency bands, depending on the state of the high and low shelving lters.

The Echo Density and Scale parameters provide additional control over the diffusion's density and coarseness, and, when the room size is extremely small, have a large impact on the coloration contributed by the diffusion.

The Chorus section adds a little modulation and motion to the diffusion. Like the Spin section, you can control the modulation frequency and amplitude, or turn it off.

21.27.5

Output

At the reverb output, you can adjust the effect's overall Dry/Wet mix, and vary the amplitude of re ections and diffusion with the Re ect Level and Diffuse Level controls.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

21.28

Saturator

334

Saturator is a waveshaping effect that can add that missing dirt, punch or warmth to your sound. It can coat input signals with a soft saturation or drive them into many different avors of distortion.

An X-Y grid helps to visualize Saturator's shaping curve. The shaper's input and output values are mapped to the X and Y axes, respectively. The curve de nes the transfer function, which is the extent to which output values uctuate in relation to input values. Because this is usually a nonlinear process, the incoming signal is reshaped to a greater or lesser degree depending upon its level at each moment in time.

Incoming signals are rst clipped to the dB level set by the Drive control. The meter on the right side of the display shows how much Saturator is in uencing the signal.

Signal shaping has six xed modes: Analog Clip, Soft Sine, Medium Curve, Hard Curve,

Sinoid Fold and Digital Clip. There is also the exible Waveshaper mode, featuring six adjustable waveshaping parameters.

In the Analog Clip and Digital Clip modes, the signal is clipped completely and immediately.

Soft Sine, Medium Curve and Hard Curve modes soften signal clipping to varying degrees.

Sinoid Fold mode can be good for special effects.

The most dramatic effects can be created by selecting the

Waveshaper

curve, which has its own dedicated set of controls. To access these six parameter elds, unfold the Saturator window by toggling the button in its title bar.

The Waveshaper mode's six additional parameters are: Drive, Lin, Curve, Damp, Depth and

The Saturator Effect.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

335

Period.

ˆ

Drive

determines how much the input signal will be in uenced by the Waveshaper parameters. Setting Drive to zero will negate the effect entirely.

ˆ

Lin

works together with the Curve and Depth parameters to alter the linear portion of the shaping curve.

ˆ

Curve

adds mostly third-order harmonics to the input signal.

ˆ

Damp

attens any signal near the grid's origin. It behaves like an ultra-fast noise gate.

ˆ

Depth

controls the amplitude of a sine wave that is superimposed onto the distortion curve.

ˆ

Period

determines the density of ripples in the superimposed sine wave.

The DC button activates a DC lter at Saturator's input stage. This is mainly useful for removing DC offsets from audio material that contains them.

Activating the Color button enables two lters. The rst of these, controlled with the Base control, dictates how much the effect will be reduced or increased for very low frequencies.

The second lter, essentially an equalizer, is used for controlling higher frequencies. It is shaped with the Freq (cutoff frequency), Width and Depth controls.

The Output control attenuates the level at the device output. When the Soft Clip switch is activated, Saturator will also apply an instance of its Analog Clip curve to the output.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. Set it to

100 percent when using Saturator in a return track.

Aliasing can be reduced by enabling Hi-Quality mode, which can be accessed via the

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu. This improves the sound quality, particularly with high frequency signals, but there is a slight increase in CPU usage.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

21.29

Simple Delay

336

The Simple Delay provides two independent delay lines, one for each channel (left and right).

With Link engaged, the right channel's delay setting is disabled, thus applying the left channel's settings to both sides.

To refer delay time to the song tempo, activate the Sync switch, which allows using the

Delay Time beat division chooser. The numbered switches represent time delay in 16th notes. For example, selecting 4 delays the signal by four 16th notes, which equals one beat (a quarter note) of delay.

If the Sync switch is off, the delay time reverts to milliseconds. In this case, to edit the delay time, click and drag up or down in the Delay Time eld, or click in the eld and type in a value.

The Feedback parameter de nes how much of each channel's output signal feeds back into the delay lines' inputs. Internally, they are two independent feedback loops, so a signal on the left channel does not feed back into the right channel and vice versa.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals. Set it to

100 percent when using Simple Delay in a return track.

Changing the delay time while Simple Delay is processing audio can cause abrupt changes in the sound of the delayed signal. You can choose between three delay transition modes via the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu of the device's title bar:

The Simple Delay Effect.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

337

ˆ

Repitch

causes a pitch variation when changing the delay time, similar to the behavior of old hardware delay units.

ˆ

Fade

creates a crossfade between the old and new delay times. This sounds similar to time stretching if the delay time is gradually changed. Fade mode is the default option.

ˆ

Jump

immediately jumps to the new delay time. Note that this will cause an audible click if the delay time is changed while delays are sounding. Jump mode corresponds to the default behavior prior to Live 8. When loading Sets that were made in earlier versions, Jump will be selected automatically.

21.30

Spectrum

Spectrum performs realtime frequency analysis of incoming audio signals. The results are represented in a graph, with dB along the vertical axis and frequency/pitch along the horizontal. The peak levels are retained on the graph until the song is restarted. Note that Spectrum is not an audio effect, but rather a measurement tool - it does not alter the incoming signal in any way.

The Block chooser selects the number of samples that will be analyzed in each measurement.

Higher values result in better accuracy, but at the expense of increased CPU load.

Channel determines which channel is analyzed - left, right or both.

The Refresh slider determines how often Spectrum should perform an analysis. As with the

The Spectrum Device.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

338

Block parameter, this allows for a tradeoff between accuracy and CPU load. A fast response time is more accurate, but also more CPU intensive.

The Avg slider allows you to specify how many blocks of samples will be averaged for each update of the display. With a setting of one, each block is shown. This results in much more activity in the display, which can be useful for nding the spectrum of short peaks. As you increase the Avg value, the display updates more smoothly, providing an average of the spectrum over time. This is more consistent with the way we actually hear.

The Graph button switches between displaying the spectrum as a single interpolated line and discrete frequency bins.

The Scale X buttons allow you to toggle the scaling of the frequency display between linear, logarithmic, and semitone. Note that logarithmic and semitone are actually the same scaling, but switch the legending at the top of the display between Hertz and note names.

Linear scaling is particularly useful for detailed analysis of high frequencies.

As you move your mouse over Spectrum's display, a box appears that shows the amplitude, frequency and note name at the pointer's position. The Range/Auto button at the bottom left of Spectrum's interface toggles between manually and automatically adjusting the display's dynamic range. With Range selected, you can zoom and scroll the amplitude by moving your mouse over the amplitude legending on the display's left side. Drag vertically to scroll and horizontally to zoom. You can also use the Range sliders to set the minimum and maximum amplitude values shown. With Auto selected, the display automatically scales itself based on the incoming audio level. Note that in Auto mode, the Range sliders and zooming are disabled.

To get an even better view, you can toggle the location of the display between the device chain and Live's main window by clicking the button in Spectrum's title bar.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

21.31

Utility

339

Utility can perform some very useful tasks, especially in combination with other devices.

The Mute button simply silences the incoming signal when enabled.

Note:

The active/mute controls of a track are always placed at the very end of the signal chain. However, since you can place Utility anywhere in a signal chain, you can use its mute function to cut the input of a delay line or reverb without turning off the output of these devices.

The DC switch lters out DC offsets and extremely low frequencies that are far below the audible range. It will only have a sonic effect if a signal contains these frequencies and is processed after Utility with nonlinear effects such as compressors or waveshapers.

The Gain control adjusts the level of the input signal +/- 35 dB.

The Channel Mode chooser allows selective processing of the left and right channels of a sample. If, for example, Left is selected, the right channel is ignored and the left channel appears on both outputs. This is especially useful if you have a stereo le that contains different information on both channels and you want to use only one.

The Panorama chooser pans the signal anywhere in the stereo eld.

The Width control acts as a continuous mono to stereo controller when set from 0 to 100 percent. However, beyond 100 percent the output starts to fold in on itself. At 200 percent the output contains only the difference between the left and right channels. If either Left or Right have been chosen in the Channel Mode chooser, the Width control has no function and is therefore disabled.

The Utility Effect.

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340

At the bottom of the device you will nd two Phase controls, one for each channel. As their names imply, they invert the phase of each channel.

21.32

Vinyl Distortion

The Vinyl Distortion effect emulates some of the typical distortions that occur on vinyl records during playback. These distortions are caused by the geometric relationships between the needle and the recorded groove. The effect also features a crackle generator for adding noisy artifacts.

The Tracing Model section adds even harmonic distortion to the input signal. Adjust the amount of distortion with the Drive knob, or click and drag vertically in the Tracing Model

X-Y display. To adjust the distortion's frequency or color, drag horizontally in the X-Y display or double-click on the Freq eld and type in a value. Holding the

Alt

(PC) /

Alt

(Mac) modi er while dragging vertically in the X-Y display changes the frequency band's Q (bandwidth).

The Pinch Effect section adds odd harmonics to the input signal. These distortions typically occur 180 degrees out of phase, creating a richer stereo image. The Pinch Effect has the same controls as the Tracing Model, but generates a rather different sound.

The Drive control increases or decreases the overall distortion amount created by both the

Tracing Model and Pinch.

There are two distortion modes: Soft and Hard. The Soft Mode simulates the sound of a dub plate, while Hard Mode is more like that of a standard vinyl record.

The Vinyl Distortion

Effect.

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341

The stereo/mono switch determines whether the Pinch distortion occurs in stereo or mono.

Set it to stereo for realistic simulation of vinyl distortions.

The Crackle section adds noise to the signal, with noise density set by the Density control.

The Volume control adjusts the amount of gain applied to the noise.

21.33

Vocoder

A vocoder is an effect that combines the frequency information of one audio signal (called the

carrier

) with the amplitude contour of another audio signal (called the

modulator

). The modulator source is generally something with a clear rhythmic character such as speech or drums, while the carrier is typically a harmonically-rich synthesizer sound such as a string or pad. The most familiar application of a vocoder is to create talking synthesizer or robotic voice effects.

Vocoders work by running both the carrier and modulator signals through banks of bandpass lters. The output level of each of the modulator's lters is then analyzed and used to control the volume of the corresponding lter for the carrier signal.

Live's Vocoder should be inserted on the track that contains the audio material you plan to use as your modulator. The Carrier chooser then provides a variety of options for the carrier signal:

ˆ

Noise

uses Vocoder's internal noise generator as the carrier source. With this selected, an X-Y display is shown which allows you to adjust the character of the noise. The horizontal axis adjusts downsampling. Click and drag to the left to decrease the

The Vocoder Effect.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

342 sample rate of the carrier's output. The vertical axis adjusts the density of the noise.

Click and drag downward to decrease the density.

ˆ

External

allows you to select any available

internal routing points

from the choosers below. This is the option you'll want for classic robot voice applications.

ˆ

Modulator

uses the modulator itself as the carrier. This essentially outputs a resynthesized version of the modulator signal, but allows you to use Vocoder's sound-shaping controls to adjust the sound.

ˆ

Pitch Tracking

enables a monophonic oscillator, which tunes itself to the pitch of the modulator. The High and Low sliders allow you to limit the frequency range that the oscillator will attempt to track. Choose from sawtooth or one of three pulse waveforms and adjust the coarse tuning of the oscillator via the Pitch slider. Pitch tracking is particularly effective with monophonic modulator sources such as melodic instruments or voices. Note that the oscillator only updates its frequency when it detects a clear pitch. It then maintains this pitch until it detects a new one. This means that changing the oscillator's parameters or causing it to reset (when

grouping

Vocoder's track, for example) can cause unexpected changes in the sound. With polyphonic material or drums, pitch tracking is generally unpredictable (but can be very interesting.)

Particularly when using external carrier sources, a vocoder's output can sometimes lose a lot of high end. Enabling the Enhance button results in a brighter sound by normalizing the spectrum and dynamics of the carrier.

The Unvoiced knob adjusts the volume of an additional noise generator, which is used to resynthesize portions of the modulator signal that are pitchless, such as f and s sounds.

Sens. sets the sensitivity of the unvoiced detection algorithm. At 100%, the unvoiced noise generator is always on. At 0%, only the main carrier source is used. The Fast/Slow switch adjusts how quickly Vocoder switches between unvoiced and voiced detection.

Vocoder's large central area shows the levels of the individual bandpass lters. Clicking within this display allows you to attenuate these levels.

The Bands chooser sets the number of lters that will be used. Using more bands results in a more accurate analysis of the modulator's frequency content, but requires more CPU.

The Range sliders adjust the frequency range over which the bandpass lters will operate.

For most sources, a fairly large range works well, but you may want to adjust the outer limits

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

343 if the sound becomes too piercing or bassy. The BW control sets the bandwidth of the lters. At low percentages, each lter approaches a single frequency. As you increase the bandwidth, you increase the overlap of the lter bands. A bandwidth of 100% is the most accurate, but higher or lower settings can create interesting effects.

The Precise/Retro switch toggles between two types of lter behavior. In Precise mode, all lters have the same gain and bandwidth. In Retro mode, bands become narrower and louder at higher frequencies.

Gate sets a threshold for the lterbank. Any bands whose levels are below the threshold will be silent.

The Level slider boosts or cuts Vocoder's output.

Depth sets how much of the modulator's amplitude envelope is applied to the carrier's signal. At 0%, the modulator's envelope is discarded. At 200%, only high amplitude peaks will be used. 100% results in classic vocoding.

The Attack and Release controls set how quickly Vocoder responds to amplitude changes in the modulator signal. Very fast times preserve the transients of the modulator, but can cause distortion artifacts.

The Mono/Stereo switches determine how many channels are used for the carrier and modulator. In Mono mode, both the carrier and modulator are treated as mono sources.

Stereo uses a mono modulator but processes the carrier in stereo. L/R processes both the carrier and modulator signals in stereo.

The frequencies of the carrier's lterbank can be shifted up or down via the Formant knob.

With voice as the modulator, small Formant changes can alter the apparent gender of the source.

The Dry/Wet control adjusts the balance between the processed and dry signals.

21.33.1

Vocoder Tips

This section explains how to set up the most common Vocoder applications.

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344

Singing Synthesizer

The classic vocoder application is the singing synthesizer. To set this up in Live:

1. Insert Vocoder in the track that contains your vocal material. You can either use a clip that contains a prerecorded voice clip or, to process a live vocal signal, connect a microphone to a channel on your audio hardware and choose this as the

input source

for the track.

2. Insert a synthesizer such as

Analog

in another track. Again, you can either create a MIDI clip to drive this synthesizer or

play it live .

3. Set the vocoder's Carrier chooser to External.

4. Select the synthesizer track in the vocoder's Audio From choosers. (For best results, choose Post FX in the bottom chooser.)

5. If you're creating your synthesizer and vocal material in real time, make sure the

Arm

button is enabled on both tracks.

6. Play the synthesizer as you speak into the microphone. You'll hear the rhythm of your speech, but with the timbral character and frequencies of the synthesizer.

To hear the vocoded signal alone, solo the voice track so that the normal synthesizer track is muted.

Note: you'll generally get the best results if your synthesizer sound is bright and rich in harmonics. Try sawtooth-based patches to improve the intelligibility of the voice. For even more brightness and clarity, try adjusting the Unvoiced control and/or enabling Enhance.

Formant Shifter

If the Vocoder is set to use the modulator as its own carrier, it can be used as a powerful formant shifter. To do this:

1. Set the Carrier chooser to Modulator.

2. Set the Depth to 100%.

3. Enable Enhance.

CHAPTER 21. LIVE AUDIO EFFECT REFERENCE

345

Now experiment with different settings of the Formant knob to alter the character of the source. For even more sound-sculpting possibilities, try adjusting the various lterbank parameters as well.

346

Chapter 22

Live MIDI Effect Reference

Live comes with a selection of custom-designed, built-in MIDI effects. The

Working with

Instruments and Effects chapter

explains the basics of using effects in Live.

22.1

Arpeggiator

Live's Arpeggiator effect takes the individual MIDI notes from a held chord (or single note), and plays them as a rhythmical pattern. The sequence and speed of the pattern can be

The Arpeggiator Effect.

CHAPTER 22. LIVE MIDI EFFECT REFERENCE

347 controlled by the device, which also provides a full complement of both classic and original arpeggiator features.

Arpeggiators are a classic element in Eighties synth music. The name originates with the musical concept of the arpeggio, in which the notes comprising a chord are played as a series rather than in unison.

Arpeggio is derived from the Italian word arpeggiare, which refers to playing notes on a harp.

22.1.1

Style and Rate Sections

Arpeggiator's Style chooser determines the sequence of notes in the rhythmical pattern.

Up and Down .

UpDown and

DownUp .

Down & Up and Up

& Down .

Converge and

Diverge .

Con & Diverge .

CHAPTER 22. LIVE MIDI EFFECT REFERENCE

348

Pinky Up and Pinky

UpDown .

Play Order places notes in the pattern according to the order in which they are played. This is therefore only recognizable when more than one chord or note has been played.

In addition to the Arpeggiator styles above, there is a Chord Trigger mode which repeats the incoming notes as a block chord, as well as three settings for creating random arpeggios:

ˆ

Choosing

Random

will produce a continuously randomized sequence of the incoming

MIDI notes.

ˆ

Random Other

creates random patterns from incoming MIDI notes, but will not repeat a given note until all other incoming notes have been used.

ˆ

Random Once

creates one random pattern from incoming MIDI notes and repeats that pattern until the incoming MIDI changes, at which point a new pattern is created.

Arpeggiator will play the pattern of notes at the speed set by the Rate control, which can be calibrated in either milliseconds or beat-time using the neighboring Sync/Free button.

With Sync chosen, Arpeggiator will be synced to the song tempo.

A Gate control to the right of Rate determines the length of notes played by Arpeggiator as a percentage of the current Rate setting. Any setting larger than 100% will therefore play notes that overlap (i.e., are legato).

The rhythmic pattern generated by Arpeggiator does not necessarily have to be straight; a selection of groove patterns can be applied with the respective control just beneath the

Mode chooser. Grooves in Arpeggiator behave similarly to

grooves in clips , and the intensity

of the groove is determined by the Amount slider in the

Groove Pool .

With the Hold parameter active, Arpeggiator will continue to play the pattern even after the keyboard keys have been released. The pattern will be repeated until any other key is pressed. When Hold is active and any of the original keys also remain physically held, notes

Thumb Up and

Thumb UpDown .

CHAPTER 22. LIVE MIDI EFFECT REFERENCE

349 can be added to the pattern simply by playing them. Notes can also be removed from the pattern in this scenario by playing them a second time, allowing the gradual buildup and rearrangement of the pattern over time.

Tip:

If you want the pattern to stop playing, momentarily deactivate Hold.

The Offset parameter shifts the sequence of notes in the pattern by the number of places selected with the control. This is best illustrated with an example: A setting of 1 makes the second note in the pattern play rst, and the rst note last. If you imagine the pattern as a circle of notes that is played in a clockwise direction from a set start point, the Offset parameter effectively rotates this circle counter-clockwise one note at a time, changing where in the pattern play begins.

With the Repeats parameter, the pattern can be set to repeat a speci ed number of times until it is retriggered. A setting of inf will repeat the pattern inde nitely.

Hint:

This feature provides an excellent way of emulating the strum of a guitar or playing a chord as an arpeggio once or twice. Another interesting effect can be achieved by combining this feature with the Retrigger parameter, which we will explain in a moment. This can be used to create rhythmically generated arpeggios separated by pauses.

The Retrigger parameter resets the pattern so that it starts again from the beginning.

Retriggering can be deactivated (Off), set to occur when new notes are pressed (Note) or set to occur at a speci ed song position or beat-time (Beat). Beat retriggering can be speci ed in terms of notes or bars and is aligned with song position. An LED in the upper right corner of the section indicates when the pattern has been retriggered.

22.1.2

Transposition and Velocity Sections

The pattern generated by Arpeggiator can be transposed; the device's transposition controls allow forcing this transposition into a speci c major or minor key or (using the Transpose chooser's Shift option) doing it in semitones. The distance between transposition steps is set in scale intervals (for Major and Minor transposition) or semitones (for Shift transposition) with the Distance control. Using the Steps parameter, you can choose the number of times the sequence is transposed. When Distance is set to a positive value, a setting of 8 Steps will transpose the sequence a total of eight times, playing it in higher notes each time. (When

Distance is set to a negative value, the sequence will transpose lower each time.)

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The dynamics of Arpeggiator are controlled using the velocity section. With Velocity set to On and Target set to 0, for example, the sequence will gradually fade out, eventually reaching 0 velocity. The Decay control sets the amount of time Arpeggiator takes to reach the Target velocity. With Retrigger activated, retriggering of the sequence will also retrigger the velocity slope.

Tip:

The velocity section's Retrigger option can be used in conjunction with Beat retriggering to add rhythm to the dynamic slope.

22.2

Chord

This effect assembles a chord, as the name implies, from each incoming note and up to six others of user-de ned pitch. The Shift 1-6 knobs allow selecting the pitch of the notes that contribute to the chord from a range of +/- 36 semitones relative to the original. Setting

Shift 1 to +4 semitones and Shift 2 to +7 semitones, for example, yields a major chord in which the incoming note is the root.

The Velocity control beneath each Shift knob makes further harmonic sculpting possible, given that the instrument allows for changes in volume or timbre as function of velocity. It is a relative control, with a range of 1 to 200 percent (100 percent de ned as playing at a velocity equal to that of the incoming MIDI note). Use the Velocity controls to do anything from adding slight overtones to washing out most of the other chord elements.

The order in which pitches are added to the chord is inconsequential: The effect of a

+12 semitone shift added with the Shift 1 control, for example, is equal in effect to a +12 semitone shift added with the Shift 6 control.

The Chord Effect.

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Note that no two notes of the same pitch can contribute to the chord, and that selecting the same shift value twice (e.g., +8 semitones on both Shift 2 and Shift 3) will result in the latter control appearing disabled, indicating that it is a duplicate and therefore not in use.

Actually, there is no such thing as two notes with the same pitch playing at the same time within the entire Live universe.

22.3

Note Length

Note Length alters the length of incoming MIDI notes. It can also be used to trigger notes from MIDI Note Off messages, instead of the usual Note On messages.

When the device is set to trigger from a Note On message, only the timing controls are available. The length of held notes can be adjusted in milliseconds or synced in relation to the song tempo. Gate de nes the percentage of the Length value that notes should be held for. At 200 percent, the Gate parameter will double a note's length.

When the device is set to trigger from a Note Off event (the moment at which a played note is released), the timing of an incoming note will be delayed by its length (because it will be

starting

at the point at which it would have been

stopping

). Note Length's other settings will then determine the duration of the newly triggered note.

Three other parameters are available when the device is triggering from Note Off messages:

On/Off Balance

This determines the velocity of the output note. It is a balance between the incoming note's Note On and Note Off velocities. If your MIDI keyboard does not support MIDI Note Off velocity, you can just set this to zero.

The Note Length Effect.

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Decay Time

This is the time needed for an incoming note's velocity to decay to zero. The decay begins immediately from the moment the device receives a MIDI Note On message.

The value at the time of Note Off will become the velocity of the output MIDI note.

Key Scale

The pitch of incoming notes can be used to alter the length of the output notes.

With positive values, notes below C3 will be made progressively longer, and notes above

C3 will be made shorter. Negative values will invert this relationship.

22.4

Pitch

Pitch is a transposition tool that changes incoming note pitch by +/- 128 semitones.

The Range and Lowest controls act together to de ne a pitch range through which notes are allowed to pass. Notes outside of the de ned pitch range will be blocked, and the effect's

LED light will ash when this happens.

Notes outside of the pitch range are limited based on their untransposed pitch, prior to the transposition stage of the effect.

The Pitch Effect.

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22.5

Random

353

Random adds an element of the unknown to the otherwise commonplace pitch parameter.

The Chance control de nes the likelihood that an incoming note's pitch will be changed by a random value. You can think of it as being something like a dry/wet control for randomness.

The random value that determines the pitch change is created by two variables: The Choices control de nes the number of different random notes possible, from a range of 1 to 24; the

Scale control value is multiplied by the Choices control value, and the result dictates the pitches that random notes are allowed to have relative to that of the incoming note.

For example, if you play the note C3 with Chance set to 50 percent, Choices set to 1 and

Scale set to 12, half of the resulting notes will play at C3 and half will play at C4. But with

Chance set to 50 percent, Choices set to 12 and Scale set to 1, half of the resulting notes will play at C3 and half will play at one of any semitone that is between C#3 and C4.

These examples assume that the Sign buttons are set to Add and the Mode button is set to Rnd. The Sign controls decide whether the random alteration adds to the original note's pitch, subtracts from it, or does a little of both. The LEDs above the Sign controls give you a visual idea of how output pitch compares with that of the original.

The Mode button determines whether the alteration will be random or, when set to Alt, will cycle between the allowed output notes in a xed order (sometimes known as cycle round-robin ). The Chance control behaves a bit differently in Alt mode - at 100 percent, the next output note will always be the next note in the series. At 0 percent, the next output note will always be the incoming note.

For example, with Chance set to 100 percent, Choices set to 12 and Scale set to 1, playing

The Random Effect.

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C3 once will trigger C3, and each successive C3 will trigger the next semitone higher until the device reaches C4, at which point it will start over at C3. But with Chance set to 100 percent, Choices set to 2 and Scale set to 2, incoming C3s will alternate between C3 and

D3. This setting is perfect for simulating upbow and downbow alternation with stringed instruments, or alternating right- and left-hand drum samples.

Hint: Try using the

Scale

effect after Random to constrain the output values to a speci c harmonic range. Using Random's Alt mode with the Scale device allows you to create a simple step-sequencer.

22.6

Scale

Scale alters incoming note pitch based on a scale mapping. Each incoming note is given an outgoing equivalent on the X-Y scale map of the effect: All incoming Cs, for example, might be converted to outgoing Ds.

The X-Y scale map is 12 squares in length and width, corresponding to the 12 notes in a full octave. Darker squares represent the black keys on a keyboard. The base of the diagonal scale (the lower left square) shown on the map can be changed using the Base control. The

X-axis of the map shows incoming note values, and the Y-axis their outgoing equivalents.

Use mouse-clicks to move or delete the orange squares, which de ne where an incoming note will be sent on the scale. (Deleting a note on the scale map means that it will no longer play.)

The Transpose slider can raise or lower the pitch of incoming MIDI notes by +/- 36 semitones.

The Scale Effect.

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You could, for example, shift a melody written in C major to G major by setting Transpose to +7 st.

Fold makes it more convenient to create scales by automatically folding back notes if their offset to the original note is greater than six semitones. For example, if Scale normally maps an incoming C3 to A3, enabling Fold will map C3 to A2 instead.

The Range and Lowest controls work together to de ne the note range within which scale mapping will take effect. Outside of the range de ned by these controls, the Scale effect will be inapplicable, and the LED light will ash to indicate that some notes are not being processed by the effect, but are playing at their unaltered pitch.

22.7

Velocity

Velocity can alter incoming MIDI note velocity values (1-127) in either a controlled or random manner. It can function on MIDI Note On (Velocity) or Note Off (Rel. Vel.) messages, or both, depending on the setting of the Operation chooser.

The Out Low and Out Hi knobs control the outgoing velocity (from 1 to 127), which is represented by the Y-axis of the X-Y display. Incoming velocities that are shown in the display are within the range chosen by the Range and Lowest controls, and are represented on the X-axis. The resulting curve shows how velocity is being altered by the effect.

If

Lowest

and

Out Low

are both set to zero, and

Range

and

Out Hi

are set to 127, the display will show a straight diagonal line that indicates the equivalent of an effect bypass: Softly played notes are being output quietly, and vice versa. If instead,

Out Hi

is set to zero and

The Velocity Effect.

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356

Out Low

to 127, the slope of the line will be reversed, and softly played notes will actually produce the loudest output.

What happens to incoming notes that are outside of the range set with the Range and

Lowest controls? This depends on which Mode is selected.

ˆ

Clip Mode does just what it says: It clips incoming note velocities so that they stay within the range.

ˆ

Gate Mode removes incoming notes altogether if their velocities are outside of the range. You will see the little LED below the X-Y display ash when a note is blocked by gating.

ˆ

In Fixed Mode, the Out Hi velocity de nes all outgoing note velocities, regardless of incoming note velocity.

The Random function adds or subtracts a random value to the all velocities, and is represented by a gray area on the display curve.

The Drive and Compand controls can be combined to create more complex curves. Compand is a simultaneous expanding and compressing tool. When set to values greater than zero, it forces incoming notes to the outer boundaries of the curve, making them play either loudly or softly. Compand values of less than zero, on the other hand, force outgoing velocity toward the mid-range. Drive pushes all values in the curve to the outer extremes.

Use these two controls together to sculpt or even rede ne the dynamic structure of a piece.

357

Chapter 23

Live Instrument Reference

Live comes with a selection of custom-designed, built-in instruments. The

Working with

Instruments and Effects chapter

explains the basics of using instruments in Live.

The boxed version of Live 8 ships with the

Essential Instrument Collection 2,

a multi-gigabyte library of meticulously sampled and selected instruments ready for use in either Simpler or

Sampler. Learn how to access the EIC sounds at the

end of this chapter .

23.1

Analog

The Analog Instrument.

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358

Analog is a virtual analog synthesizer, created in collaboration with Applied Acoustics Systems. With this instrument, we have not attempted to emulate a speci c vintage analog synthesizer but rather to combine different features of legendary vintage synthesizers into a modern instrument. Analog generates sound by simulating the different components of the synthesizer through physical modeling. This technology uses the laws of physics to reproduce how an object or system produces sound. In the case of Analog, mathematical equations describing how analog circuits function are solved in real time. Analog uses no sampling or wavetables; the sound is simply calculated in real time by the CPU according to the values of each parameter. This sound synthesis method ensures unmatched sound quality, realism, warmth and playing dynamics.

The full version of Analog is not included with the standard version of Live, but is a special feature available for purchase separately.

23.1.1

Architecture and Interface

Analog's signal ow is shown in the gure below:

Oscillator 1 Filter 1

LFO 1

LFO 1 Filter Env 1

Amp 1

Amp Env 1

L

R

L

R

Oscillator 2 Amp 2

L

R

LFO 2

Filter 2

LFO 2

Filter Env 2 Amp Env 2

Noise

The primary sound sources of the synthesizer are two oscillators and a noise generator.

Diagram of Analog's

Signal Flow.

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359

These sources can be independently routed to two different multi-mode lters, which are each connected to an ampli er. Furthermore, the signal ow can be run through the lters in series or in parallel.

Analog also features two low-frequency oscillators (LFOs) which can modulate the oscillators, lters and ampli ers. Additionally, each lter and ampli er has its own envelope generator.

The Analog interface consists of two parts: the

display

surrounded on all sides by the

shell

.

The shell contains the most important controls for a given section while the display updates to show parameter visualizations and additional controls for the selected section. In addition to the synthesis modules, there is a Global section that contains general performance parameters such as instrument volume, vibrato and polyphony.

23.1.2

Oscillators

Analog's two oscillators use physical modelling to capture the character of vintage hardware oscillators. Because they use modelling instead of wavetables, they avoid aliasing.

Each oscillator can be turned on or off independently via the switch labelled Osc 1 or Osc

2 in the shell, and the oscillator's output level is adjusted by the slider to the right of this activator.

The F1/F2 slider controls the balance of the oscillator's output to each of the two lters.

When the slider is at the center position, equal amounts of signal will be sent to both lters.

When set all the way to the top or bottom, signal will only be sent to Filter 1 or Filter 2 respectively.

Display and Shell

Parameters for the two

Oscillators.

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The Shape chooser selects the oscillator's waveform. The choices are sine, sawtooth, rectangular and white noise. When rectangular is selected, the Pulse Width parameter is enabled in the display, which allows you to change the pulse width of the waveform. Low Width values result in a very narrow waveform, which tends to sound tinny or pinched. At 100%, the waveform is a perfect square, resulting in only odd harmonics. The pulse width can also be modulated by an LFO, via the slider next to Width. Note that this parameter is only enabled when the corresponding LFO is enabled.

The Octave, Semi and Detune knobs in the shell function as coarse and ne tuners. Octave transposes the oscillator by octaves, while Semi transposes up or down in semitone increments. The Detune knob adjusts in increments of one cent (up to a maximum of three semitones (300 cents) up or down).

Oscillator pitch can be modulated according to the settings of the Pitch Mod and Pitch Env parameters in the display. The LFO slider sets the amount that the LFO modulates pitch.

Again, this parameter is only enabled if the LFO is on. The Key slider controls how much the oscillator tuning is adjusted by changes in MIDI note pitch. The default value of 100% means that the oscillator will conform to a conventional equal tempered scale. Higher or lower values change the amount of space between the notes on the keyboard. At 0%, the oscillator is not modulated by note pitch at all. To get a sense of how this works, try leaving one of the oscillators at 100% and setting the other's Key scaling to something just slightly different. Then play scales near middle C. Since C3 will always trigger the same frequency regardless of the Key value, the oscillators will get farther out of tune with each other the farther away from C3 you play.

The Pitch Env settings apply a ramp that modulates the oscillator's pitch over time. Initial sets the starting pitch of the oscillator while Time adjusts how long it will take for the pitch to glide to its nal value. You can adjust both parameters via the sliders or by adjusting the breakpoints in the envelope display.

The Sub/Sync parameters in the display allow you to apply either a sub-oscillator or a hard synchronization mode. When the Mode chooser is set to Sub, the Level slider sets the output level of an additional oscillator, tuned an octave below the main oscillator. The sub-oscillator produces a square wave when the main oscillator's Shape control is set to rectangle or sawtooth and a sine wave when the main oscillator is set to sine. Note that the sub-oscillator is disabled when the main oscillator's Shape is set to white noise.

When the Mode chooser is set to Sync, the oscillator's waveform is restarted by an internal

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361 oscillator whose frequency is set by the Ratio slider. At 0%, the frequency of the internal oscillator and the audible oscillator match, so sync has no effect. As you increase the Ratio, the internal oscillator's rate increases, which changes the harmonic content of the audible oscillator. For maximum analog nastiness, try mapping a modulation wheel or other MIDI controller to the Sync ratio.

23.1.3

Noise Generator

The Noise generator produces white noise and includes its own -6db/octave low-pass lter.

The generator can be turned on or off via the Noise switch in the shell. Its output level is adjusted by the slider to the right of this activator.

The F1/F2 slider controls the balance of the noise generator's output to each of the two lters. When the slider is at the center position, equal amounts of signal will be sent to both lters. When set all the way to the top or bottom, signal will only be sent to Filter 1 or Filter

2 respectively.

The Color knob sets the frequency of the internal low-pass lter. Higher values result in more high-frequency content.

Note that Noise has only shell parameters, so adjusting them does not change what is shown in the display.

Analog's Noise

Generator.

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23.1.4

Filters

362

Analog's two multi-mode lters come equipped with a exible routing architecture, multiple saturation options and a variety of modulation possibilities. As with the oscillators, all parameters can be set independently for each lter.

The Fil 1 and Fil 2 switches in the shell toggle the respective lter on and off. The chooser next to the lter activator selects the lter type from a selection of 2nd and 4th order low-pass, band-pass, notch, high-pass and formant lters.

The resonance frequency of the lter is adjusted with the Freq knob in the shell, while the amount of resonance is adjusted with the Reso control. When a formant lter is chosen in the chooser, the Reso control cycles between vowel sounds.

Below each mode chooser is an additional control which differs between the two lters. In

Filter 1, the To F2 slider allows you to adjust the amount of Filter 1's output that will be sent to Filter 2. The Slave switch below Filter 2's mode chooser causes this lter's cutoff frequency to follow the cutoff of Filter 1. If this is enabled, Filter 2's cutoff knob controls the amount of offset between the two cutoff amounts. If any of Analog's modulation sources are controlling Filter 1's cutoff, Filter 2 will also be affected by them when Slave is enabled.

In addition to the

envelope

controls, the displays for the lters contain various modulation parameters and the Drive chooser. Cutoff frequency and resonance can be independently modulated by LFO, note pitch and lter envelope via the sliders in the Freq Mod and Res

Mod sections respectively. Positive modulation values will increase the cutoff or resonance amounts, while negative values will lower them.

The Drive chooser in the display selects the type of saturation applied to the lter output.

Display and Shell

Parameters for the two

Filters.

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The three Sym options apply symmetrical distortion, which means that the saturation behavior is the same for positive and negative values. The Asym modes result in asymmetrical saturation. For both mode types, higher numbers result in more distortion. Drive can be switched off entirely by selecting Off in the chooser. Experiment with the various options to get a sense of how they affect incoming signals.

23.1.5

Ampli ers

After the lters, the signal is routed to an ampli er which further shapes the sound with an amplitude envelope and panning. All parameters can be set independently for each ampli er.

The Amp 1 and Amp 2 switches in the shell toggle the respective ampli er on and off, while the output level is controlled by the Level knob. The Pan knob sets the position of the ampli er's output in the stereo eld.

In addition to the

envelope

controls, the displays for the ampli ers contain various modulation parameters. The Pan and Level amounts can be independently modulated by LFO, note pitch and amp envelope via the sliders in the Pan Mod and Level Mod sections respectively.

Note that, when using note pitch as the modulation source for Level, middle C will always sound the same regardless of the modulation amount. Positive values will cause the level to increase for higher notes.

Display and Shell

Parameters for the two

Ampli ers.

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23.1.6

Envelopes

364

In addition to the pitch envelopes in the oscillator sections, Analog is equipped with independent envelopes for each lter and ampli er. All four of these envelopes have identical controls, which are housed entirely within the display. Each envelope is a standard ADSR

(attack, decay, sustain, release) design and features velocity modulation and looping capabilities.

The attack time is set with the Attack slider. This time can also be modulated by velocity via the Att<Vel slider. As you increase the Att<Vel value, the attack time will become increasingly shorter at higher velocities.

The time it takes for the envelope to reach the sustain level after the attack phase is set by the Decay slider.

The Sustain slider sets the level at which the envelope will remain from the end of the decay phase to the release of the key. When this knob is turned all the way to the left, there is no sustain phase. With it turned all the way to the right, there is no decay phase.

The overall envelope level can be additionally modulated by velocity via the Env<Vel slider.

The S.Time slider can cause the Sustain level to decrease even if a key remains depressed.

Lower values cause the Sustain level to decrease more quickly.

Finally, the release time is set with the Release knob. This is the time it takes for the envelope to reach zero after the key is released.

The Slope switches toggle the shape of the envelope segments between linear and exponential. This change is also represented in the envelope visualization.

Analog's Envelope

Parameters.

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365

Normally, each new note triggers its own envelope from the beginning of the attack phase.

With Legato enabled, a new note that is played while another note is already depressed will use the rst note's envelope, at its current position.

Enabling the Free switch causes the envelope to bypass its sustain phase and move directly from the decay phase to the release phase. This behavior is sometimes called trigger mode because it produces notes of equal duration, regardless of how long the key is depressed. Free mode is ideal for percussive sounds.

The Loop chooser offers several options for repeating certain segments of the envelope while a key is depressed. When Off is selected, the envelope plays once through all of its segments without looping.

With AD-R selected, the envelope begins with the attack and decay phases as usual, but rather than maintaining the sustain level, the attack and decay phases will repeat until the note is released, at which point the release phase occurs. ADR-R mode is similar, but also includes the release phase in the loop for as long as the key is held.

Note that in both AD-R and ADR-R modes, enabling Free will cause notes to behave as if they're permanently depressed.

ADS-R mode plays the envelope without looping, but plays the attack and release phases once more when the key is released. With short attack and release times, this mode can simulate instruments with audible dampers.

23.1.7

LFOs

Display and Shell

Parameters for the two

LFOs.

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366

Analog's two LFOs can be used as modulation sources for the oscillators, lters and ampliers. As with the other sections, each LFO has independent parameters.

The LFO 1 and LFO 2 switches in the shell toggle the respective LFO on and off, while the

Rate knob sets the LFO's speed. The switch next to this knob toggles the Rate between frequency in Hertz and tempo-synced beat divisions.

The Wave chooser in the display selects the waveform for the LFO. The choices are sine, triangle, rectangle and two types of noise. The rst noise type steps between random values while the second uses smooth ramps. With Tri or Rect selected, the Width slider allows you to adjust the pulse width of the waveform. With Tri selected, low Width values shift the waveform towards an upwards sawtooth, while higher values result in a downward saw. At

50%, the waveform is a perfect triangle. The behavior is similar with the Rect setting. At

50%, the waveform is a perfect square wave, while lower and higher values result in negative or positive pulses, respectively. Note that Width is disabled when the LFO's waveform is set to sine or the noise modes.

The Delay slider sets how long it will take for the LFO to start after the note begins, while

Rate sets how long it takes the LFO to reach its full amplitude.

With Retrig enabled, the LFO restarts at the same position in its phase each time a note is triggered. The Offset slider adjusts the phase of the LFO's waveform.

23.1.8

Global Parameters

The Global shell and display parameters adjust how Analog responds to MIDI data, as well as controls for performance parameters such as vibrato and glide.

Display and Shell

Parameters for the

Global Options.

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The Volume control in the shell adjusts the overall output of the instrument. This is the instrument's master level, and can boost or attenuate the output of the ampli er sections.

The Vib switch turns the vibrato effect on or off, while the percentage slider next to it adjusts the amplitude of the vibrato. Analog's vibrato effect is essentially an additional LFO, but is hardwired to the pitch of both oscillators. The Rate slider sets the speed of the vibrato.

Turning on the vibrato effect enables the four additional Vibrato parameters in the display.

The Delay slider sets how long it will take for the vibrato to start after the note begins, while

Attack sets how long it takes for the vibrato to reach full intensity.

The Error slider adds a certain amount of random deviation to the Rate, Amount, Delay and

Attack parameters for the vibrato applied to each polyphonic voice.

The Amt<MW slider adjusts how much the modulation wheel will affect the vibrato intensity.

This control is relative to the value set by the Amount percentage slider in the shell.

The Uni switch in the shell turns on the unison effect, which stacks multiple voices for each note played. The Detune slider next to this switch adjusts the amount of tuning variation applied to each stacked voice.

Turning on the unison effect enables the two additional Unison parameters in the display.

The Voices chooser selects between two or four stacked voices, while the Delay slider increases the lag time before each stacked voice is activated.

The Gli switch turns the glide effect on or off. This is used to make the pitch slide between notes rather than changing immediately. With Legato enabled, the sliding will only occur if the second note is played before the rst note is released. The Time slider sets the overall speed of the slide.

Turning on the glide effect enables an additional Glide Mode chooser in the display. Selecting Const causes the glide time to be constant regardless of interval. Choosing Prop

(proportional) causes the glide time to be proportional to the interval between the notes.

Large intervals will glide slower than small intervals.

The Keyboard section in the display contains all of Analog's polyphony and tuning parameters. The Voices chooser sets the available polyphony, while Priority determines which notes will be cut off when the maximum polyphony is exceeded. When Priority is set to High, new notes that are higher than currently sustained notes will have priority, and notes will be cut off starting from the lowest pitch. Low is the opposite. A Priority setting of Last gives

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368 priority to the most recently played notes, cutting off the oldest notes as necessary.

The Octave, Semi and Tuning controls function as coarse and ne tuners. Octave transposes the entire instrument by octaves, while Semi transposes up or down in semitone increments.

The Tuning slider adjusts in increments of one cent (up to a maximum of 50 cents up or down).

PB Range sets the range in semitones of pitch bend modulation.

Stretch simulates a technique known as stretch tuning, which is a common tuning modi cation made to electric and acoustic pianos. At 0%, Analog will play in equal temperament, which means that two notes are an octave apart when the upper note's fundamental pitch is exactly twice the lower note's. Increasing the Stretch amount raises the pitch of upper notes while lowering the pitch of lower ones. The result is a more brilliant sound. Negative values simulate negative stretch tuning; upper notes become atter while lower notes become sharper.

The Error slider increases the amount of random tuning error applied to each note.

The four Quick Routing buttons in the left side of the display provide an easy way to quickly set up common parameter routings. The upper left option con gures a parallel routing structure, with each oscillator feeding its own lter and ampli er exclusively. The upper right button is similar, but the oscillators each split their output evenly between the two lters. The bottom left option feeds both oscillators into Filter 1 and Amp 1, disabling Filter

2 and Amp 2 entirely. Finally, the bottom right option con gures a serial routing structure, with both oscillators feeding Filter 1, which is then fed exclusively to Filter 2 and Amp 2.

Note that the Quick Routing options do not affect any changes you may have made to the oscillator level, tuning or waveform parameters they only adjust the routing of the oscillators to the lters and subsequent ampli ers.

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE

23.2

Collision

369

Collision is a synthesizer that simulates the characteristics of mallet percussion instruments.

Created in collaboration with Applied Acoustics Systems, Collision uses physical modeling technology to model the various sound generating and resonant components of real (or imagined) objects.

The full version of Collision is not included with the standard version of Live, but is bundled with the

Corpus

effect as a special feature available for purchase separately.

The Collision Instrument.

23.2.1

Architecture and Interface

Collision's sound is produced by a pair of oscillators called

Mallet

and

Noise

, which feed a pair of independent (or linked) stereo

resonators.

While the oscillators produce the initial component of the sound, it is the resonator parameters that have the greatest impact on the sound's character.

Collision's interface is divided into tabs, which are further divided into sections. The

Excitator

tab contains the controls for the Mallet and Noise oscillators. The

Resonator

tabs contain the parameters for the independent resonator sections, while the

Link

tab allows you to adjust both resonators simultaneously.

The

LFO

tab contains two independent low-frequency oscillators (LFOs), which can each modulate multiple parameters. Similarly, the

MIDI

tab allows for MIDI pitch bend, modulation wheel and aftertouch messages to be routed to multiple destinations.

To the right of the resonators is a section of

global

parameters, including overall output volume, polyphony and resonator routing options.

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370

In addition to serving as organizational aids, Collision's tabs contain LEDs that light up to indicate that their contained sections are active. Disabling unused sections can save CPU.

23.2.2

Excitator Tab

The Excitator tab contains parameters for the Mallet and Noise sections. These model the behavior of a mallet striking a surface, and provide Collision's fundamental sound. These section's parameters only control the initial impulse, which is a much smaller component of

Collision's overall sound than the resonators.

Note that if both the Mallet and Noise sections are turned off, Collision will not make sound.

The Mallet Section

The Mallet section simulates the impact of a mallet against a surface. The parameters adjust the physical properties of the mallet itself.

Volume controls the overall output level of the mallet section, while the Noise knob sets the amount of impact noise that is included in each mallet strike. This is useful for simulating the chiff sound of a felt-wrapped mallet head. The Volume and Noise parameters can be modulated by pitch and velocity by adjusting the K (Key) and V (Velocity) sliders, respectively.

The Stiffness knob adjusts the hardness of the mallet. At low levels, the mallet is soft, which results in fewer high frequencies and a longer, less distinct impact. As you increase the stiffness, the impact time decreases and high frequencies increase. This parameter can also be modulated by pitch and velocity via the Key and Vel sliders.

Collision's Mallet

Section.

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371

The Color knob sets the frequency of the noise component. At higher values, there are less low frequencies in the noise. This parameter has no effect if Noise is set to 0.

The Mallet section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name.

The Noise Section

The Noise section can be used instead of, or in addition to, the Mallet section. Like the

Mallet, the Noise section produces Collision's initial impulse sound. But Noise also produces a white noise component, which is then fed into a multimode lter and a dedicated envelope generator.

Volume controls the overall output level of the Noise section, and can be modulated by pitch and velocity by adjusting the K (Key) and V (Velocity) sliders below the knob, respectively.

To the right are the lter controls. The type chooser allows you to choose between low-pass, high-pass, and two types of band-pass lters. Filter cutoff and resonance can be adjusted by the sliders above the lter display, or by dragging within the display itself. In BP mode, the second slider adjusts resonance, while in LP+HP mode, it adjusts bandwidth. The lter frequency can also be modulated by note pitch, velocity or the envelope generator, via the

K, V and E sliders below the display.

The envelope generator is a standard ADSR (attack, decay, sustain, release).

The attack time how quickly Noise reaches full volume is set with the A (Attack) slider, while the time it takes for the envelope to reach the sustain level after the attack phase is set by the D (Decay) slider.

The S (Sustain) slider sets the level at which the envelope will remain from the end of the

Collision's Noise

Section.

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372 decay phase to the release of the key. When this slider is set to 0, there is no sustain phase.

With it set to 100, there is no decay phase.

Finally, the release time is set with the R (Release) slider. This is the time it takes for the envelope to reach zero after the key is released.

The Noise section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name.

23.2.3

Resonator Tabs

The majority of Collision's character is determined by the parameters in the two Resonator tabs. Each stereo resonator can be toggled on or off via the switch in its tab. Keep in mind that if both resonators are turned off, no sound will be produced.

Each resonator section is further divided into three subsections. On the left are controls related to tuning. In the center are the controls that determine the physical properties of the resonant object. To the right are mixer controls. Each resonator's center subsection contains a Copy to button. Pressing this button copies this subsection's parameter settings from the currently selected resonator to the other resonator.

The link tab between the Resonator tabs allows you to adjust parameters for both resonators simultaneously. The behavior here is similar to what happens when you

edit the properties for a multi-selection of clips : parameters that have differing values will display the

value

range

(either on the control for knobs or in the status bar for sliders and choosers) and can be adjusted with the linked control. Dragging the parameter to its absolute maximum or minimum value will make the settings thereafter identical, adjustable as a single value.

Collision's Resonators.

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Tuning Section

373

The Tune and Fine knobs function as coarse and ne tuning controls. Tune moves up or down in semitone increments, while Fine adjusts in increments of one cent (up to a maximum of one quarter tone (50 cents) up or down).

The Key slider below the Tune knob controls how much the resonator's tuning is adjusted by changes in MIDI note pitch. The default value of 100% means that the resonator will conform to a conventional equal tempered scale. At 200%, each half step on the keyboard will result in a whole step change in tuning. At negative values, the resonator will drop in pitch as you play higher on the keyboard.

The Pitch Envelope parameters apply a ramp that modulates the resonator's pitch over time.

Pitch sets the starting pitch while Time adjusts how long it will take the pitch to glide to its nal value. The starting pitch can be modulated by velocity via the Vel slider.

Resonator Tuning

Parameters.

Physical Properties Section

Physical Properties of the Resonator.

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374

The type chooser allows you to select from seven types of physically modeled resonant objects:

ˆ

Beam

simulates the resonance properties of beams of different materials and sizes.

ˆ

Marimba,

a specialized variant of the Beam model, reproduces the characteristic tuning of marimba bar overtones which are produced as a result of the deep arch-cut of the bars.

ˆ

String

simulates the sound produced by strings of different materials and sizes.

ˆ

Membrane

is a model of a rectangular membrane (such as a drum head) with a variable size and construction.

ˆ

Plate

simulates sound production by a rectangular plate (a at surface) of different materials and sizes.

ˆ

Pipe

simulates a cylindrical tube that is fully open at one end and has a variable opening at the other (adjusted with the Opening parameter.)

ˆ

Tube

simulates a cylindrical tube that is closed at both ends.

The quality chooser controls the tradeoff between the sound quality of the resonators and performance by reducing the number of overtones that are calculated. Basic uses minimal

CPU resources, while Full creates more sophisticated resonances. This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

The Decay slider adjusts the internal damping of the resonator, which determines its decay time. Off Decay determines the extent to which MIDI note off messages mute the resonance.

At 0%, note offs are ignored, and the decay time is based only on the value of the Decay parameter. This is similar to how real-world mallet instruments such as a marimbas and glockenspiels behave. At 100%, the resonance is muted immediately at note off, regardless of the Decay time.

The Material slider adjusts the variation of the damping at different frequencies. At lower values, low frequency components decay slower than high frequency components (which simulates objects made of wood, nylon or rubber). At higher values, high frequency components decay slower (which simulates objects made of glass or metal). This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

The Radius parameter is only available for the Pipe and Tube resonators. This slider adjusts

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375 the radius of the pipe or tube. As the radius increases, the decay time and high frequency sustain both increase. At very large sizes, the fundamental pitch of the resonator also changes.

The Decay and Material/Radius parameters can also be controlled with the X-Y controller, and modulated by note pitch and velocity via the sliders below the X-Y panel.

Ratio is only available for the Membrane and Plate resonators, and adjusts the ratio of the object's size along its x and y axes.

The Brightness control adjusts the amplitude of various frequency components. At higher values, higher frequencies are louder. This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators.

The Inharmonics knob adjusts the pitch of the resonator's harmonics. At negative values, frequencies are compressed, increasing the amount of lower partials. At positive values, frequencies are stretched, increasing the amount of upper partials. This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators. Inharmonics can also be modulated by velocity via the slider below the knob.

Opening, which is only available for the Pipe resonator, scales between an open and closed pipe. At 0%, the pipe is fully closed on one side, while at 100% the pipe is open at both ends. This parameter can also be modulated by velocity via the slider below the knob.

The Listening L and R controls adjust the location on the left and right resonator where the vibrations are measured. At 0%, the resonance is monitored at the object's center. Higher values move the listening point closer to the edge. These parameters are not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators, which are always measured in the middle of their permanently open end.

The Hit knob adjusts the location on the resonator at which the object is struck or otherwise activated. At 0%, the object is hit at its center. Higher values move the activation point closer to the edge. This parameter is not used with the Pipe or Tube resonators. The Hit position can also be randomized by increasing the value of the Rd. (Random) slider below the knob.

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Mixer Section

376

Each resonator has its own Volume and Pan controls. Pan can also be modulated by note pitch via the K (Key) slider below the knob.

The Bleed control mixes a portion of the original oscillator signal with the resonated signal.

At higher values, more of the original signal is applied. This is useful for restoring high frequencies, which can often be damped when the tuning or quality are set to low values.

Resonator Mixer.

23.2.4

LFO Tab

Collision's two independent LFOs can be used as modulation sources for a variety of excitator and resonator parameters, which are selectable in the Destination choosers. Additionally, they can modulate each other.

The LFO 1 and LFO 2 switches toggle the respective LFO on and off, while the waveform chooser determines the wave shape. The choices are sine, square, triangle, sawtooth up,

Collision's LFOs.

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377 sawtooth down and two types of noise. The rst noise type steps between random values while the second uses smooth ramps.

The switch next to the waveform chooser toggles the LFO's rate between frequency in Hertz and tempo-synced beat divisions.

Depth sets the overall intensity of the LFO, while Rate adjusts its speed. The sliders below these parameters allow for additional modulations; Depth can be modulated by velocity while Rate can be modulated by note pitch.

With Retrig. enabled, triggering a note restarts the LFO with the waveform phase set by the Offset parameter. The Offset slider adjusts the phase.

Each LFO can modulate two targets, which are set via the Destination choosers. The intensity of the modulations is adjusted with the Amount sliders. Note that these modulation amounts are relative to the LFO's Depth value.

23.2.5

MIDI Tab

The MIDI tab allows for a wide variety of internal MIDI mappings. The MIDI controllers

Pitch Bend

,

Modulation Wheel

, and

Aftertouch

can be mapped to two destinations each, with independent modulation intensities set via the Amount sliders. Note that pitch bend is hardwired to pitch modulation, but can still be routed to an additional target.

Collision's MIDI Tab.

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The Global Section

378

Collision's Global

Section.

The global section contains the parameters that relate to the overall behavior and performance of Collision.

The Volume knob acts as Collision's master output control.

Collision contains a built-in limiter that automatically activates when the audio level is too high. This is indicated by the LED above Collision's global Volume control.

The Structure buttons determine whether Collision's resonators are arranged in

series

(1 >

2) or in

parallel

(1 + 2).

When in series, Mallet and Noise output to Resonator 1. This resonator's output is then mixed down to mono and routed to Resonator 2, as well as to its own mixer (in stereo.)

Note that Resonator 1 must be turned on when using serial mode:

Mallet

Resonator 1

Noise

Resonator 2

In parallel mode, the output of Mallet and Noise is mixed and then sent directly to both resonators, which then output to their own mixers.

Resonators in 1 > 2

(Serial) Con guration.

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Mallet

Resonator 1

379

Noise

Resonator 2

The Voices chooser sets the available polyphony. Since each voice that's used requires additional CPU, you may need to experiment with this chooser to nd a good balance between playability and performance, particularly on older machines.

With Retrig. enabled, notes which are already sounding will be immediately stopped when retriggered, rather than generating an additional voice. This can be useful for keeping CPU down when working with long decay times.

Resonators in 1 + 2

(Parallel) Con guration.

23.2.6

Sound Design Tips

Although Collision has been designed to model the behavior of objects that exist in the physical world, it is important to remember that these models allow for much more exibility than their physical counterparts. While Collision can produce extremely realistic simulations of conventional mallet instruments such as marimbas, vibraphones and glockenspiels, it is also very easy to misuse the instrument's parameters to produce sounds which could never be made by an acoustic instrument.

To program realistic instrument simulations, it helps to think about the chain of events that produces a sound on a mallet instrument (a marimba, for example), and then visualize those events as sections within Collision:

ˆ a beater (Mallet) strikes a tuned bar (Resonator 1).

ˆ the tuned bar's resonance is ampli ed by means of a resonating tube (Resonator 2).

Thus the conventional model consists of the Mallet excitator and the two resonators in a serial (1 > 2) con guration.

Of course, to program

unrealistic

sounds, anything goes:

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380

ˆ try using the Noise excitator, particularly with long envelope times, to create washy, quasi-granular textures. These parameters can also be used to simulate special acoustic effects such as bowed vibraphones or crystal glasses.

ˆ experiment with the resonators in parallel (1 + 2) con guration.

ˆ use the LFOs and MIDI controllers to modulate Collision's parameters.

A word of caution

: in many ways, Collision's models are idealized versions of real-world objects. Consequently, it is very easy to program resonances that are much more sensitive to input than any physical resonator could be. Certain combinations of parameters can cause dramatic changes in volume. Make sure to keep output levels low when experimenting with new sounds.

23.3

Drum Machines

Drum Machines is a multisampled collection of classic drum computers, recorded and programmed by Puremagnetik. The samples are arranged into

Drum Rack

presets, for easy editing and performance possibilities.

The full version of Drum Machines is not included with the standard version of Live, but is a special feature available for purchase separately.

23.3.1

Drum Machines Installation

Drum Machines is installed separately from the main Live installation. To install, drag the

Drum Machines Live Pack into the Live application window, either from your operating system or from Live's Browser.

After you have installed the Drum Machines Live Pack, you will need to authorize it. Further details can be found at the Ableton website

1

.

1 http://www.ableton.com/authorize

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23.3.2

Accessing the Drum Machines

After installation, the Drum Machines presets are accessed through Live's Device Browser, in exactly the same way as Live's other built-in instruments. You will nd them as categorized presets within the

Drum Rack

folder. Drum Machines presets are therefore loaded just like any other device, by dragging a preset from the Browser into an empty MIDI track.

All of the Drum Machines presets are conveniently mapped to

Macro Controls

for greater expression.

Additionally, Drum Machines includes a comprehensive collection of

Live Clips , which are

installed to your Library. Loading a Live Clip to an empty MIDI track loads a combination of

MIDI notes, an instrument and custom effects that you can use as a starting point for your own creative work.

23.4

Electric

Electric is a software electric piano based on the classic instruments of the seventies, and developed in collaboration with Applied Acoustics Systems. Each component of these instruments has been modeled using cutting edge physical modeling technology to provide realistic and lively sounds. Physical modeling uses the laws of physics to reproduce the behavior of an object. In other words, Electric solves, in real time, mathematical equations describing how its different components function. No sampling or wavetables are used in Electric; the sound is simply calculated in real time by the CPU according to the values of each parameter. Electric is more than a simple recreation of vintage instruments; its

The Electric Instrument.

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382 parameters can be tweaked to values not possible with the real instruments to get some truly amazing new sounds that still retain a warm acoustic quality.

The full version of Electric is not included with the standard version of Live, but is a special feature available for purchase separately.

23.4.1

Architecture and Interface

The mechanism of the electric piano is actually quite simple. A note played on the keyboard activates a

mallet

that hits a

fork

. The sound of that fork is then ampli ed by a magnetic coil

pickup

and sent to the output, very much like an electric guitar. The fork is made of two parts, called the

tine bar

and

tone bar

. The tine bar is where the mallet hits the fork while the tone bar is a tuned metal resonator, sized appropriately to produce the correct pitch. Once the fork is activated, it will continue to resonate on its own for a long time. But releasing the key applies a

damper

to the fork, which mutes it more quickly.

The Electric interface is divided into ve main sections, some of which are further divided into related subsections. The rst four main sections (

Mallet

,

Fork

,

Damper

and

Pickup

) correspond to the sound producing components mentioned above. The

Global

section contains parameters that affect overall behavior and performance, such as pitch bend and polyphony.

23.4.2

Mallet Section

The Mallet section contains the parameters related to the physical properties of the mallet itself, as well as how it's affected by your playing.

The Stiffness control adjusts the hardness of the mallet's striking area. Higher values simulate a harder surface, which results in a brighter sound. Lower values mean a softer surface and a more mellow sound. The Force knob adjusts the intensity of the mallet's impact on the fork. Low values simulate a soft impact while high values mean a hard impact.

The stiffness and force can also be modi ed by velocity and note pitch, via the Vel and Key sliders found below the knobs.

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383

The Noise subsection simulates the impact noise caused by the mallet striking the fork. The

Decay knob adjusts how long it takes for this noise to fade to silence, while the Pitch control sets the center frequency. Level adjusts the overall volume of the noise component. An additional Key scaling control adjusts how much the noise volume is determined by note pitch.

23.4.3

Fork Section

The Fork section is further divided into Tine and Tone subsections. This area is the heart of

Electric's sound generating mechanism.

The Tine subsection controls the portion of the fork that is directly struck by the mallet.

The Decay knob adjusts how long it takes the tine's sound to fade out while a note is held. The Color knob controls the relative amplitude of high and low partials in the tine's spectrum. Low values increase the amount of low harmonics, while higher values result in higher harmonics. The amplitude of the tine is adjusted with the Level knob. This level can be further modulated by note pitch via the Key scaling control.

The Tone subsection controls the secondary resonance of the fork. Decay and Level parameters here work in the same way as their Tine counterparts.

The Release knob applies to both the Tine and Tone areas and controls the decay time of the fork's sound after a key is released.

23.4.4

Damper Section

The metal forks in an electric piano are designed to sustain for a long time when a key is held. The mechanism that regulates this sustain is called the damper. When a key is pressed, that note's damper is moved away from its fork. When the key is released, the damper is applied to the fork again to stop it from vibrating. But the dampers themselves make a small amount of sound, both when they are applied and when they are released.

This characteristic noise is modelled in Electric's Damper section.

The Tone knob adjusts the stiffness of the dampers. Turning this control to the left simulates soft dampers, which produces a mellower sound. Turning it to the right increases the

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384 hardness of the dampers, producing a brighter sound. The overall amount of damper noise is adjusted with the Level control.

The Att/Rel knob adjusts whether or not damper noise is present when the dampers are applied to the fork or when they are released. When turned to the left, damper noise is only present during the attack phase of the note. When turned to the right, the noise is present only during the release phase. In the center, an equal amount of noise will be added during both the attack and release.

23.4.5

Pickup Section

The Pickup section simulates the behavior of the magnetic coil pickup that ampli es the sound of the resonating fork.

The R-W buttons switch between two different types of pickups. In the R position, Electric simulates electro-dynamic pickups, while W is based on an electro-static model.

The Input knob is used to adjust the amount of the fork's signal that is fed to the pickup, which in turn affects the amount of distortion applied to the overall signal. The Output knob controls the amount of signal output by the pickup section. Different combinations of these two knobs can yield very different results. For example, a low amount of input with a high amount of output will produce a cleaner sound than a high input with a low output. The output level can be further modulated by note pitch via the Key scaling control.

The Symmetry and Distance knobs adjust the physical location of the pickup in relation to the tine. Symmetry simulates the vertical position of the pickup. In the center position, the pickup is directly in front of the tine, which results in a brighter sound. Turning the knob to the left or right moves the pickup below or above the tine, respectively. Distance controls how far the pickup is from the tine. Turning the knob to the right increases the distance, while turning it to the left moves the pickup closer. Note that the sound becomes more overdriven as the pickup approaches the tine.

23.4.6

Global Section

The Global section contains the parameters that relate to the overall behavior and performance of Electric.

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385

The Volume knob sets Electric's overall output level.

The Voices chooser sets the available polyphony. Since each voice that's used requires additional CPU, you may need to experiment with this chooser to nd a good balance between playability and performance, particularly on older machines.

The Semi and Detune controls function as coarse and ne tuners. Semi transposes the entire instrument up or down in semitone increments, while the Detune slider adjusts in increments of one cent (up to a maximum of 50 cents up or down).

Stretch simulates a technique known as stretch tuning, which is a common modi cation made to both electric and acoustic pianos and is an intrinsic part of their characteristic sound. At 0%, Electric will play in equal temperament, which means that two notes are an octave apart when the upper note's fundamental pitch is exactly twice the lower note's.

But because the actual resonance behavior of a vibrating tine or string differs from the theoretical model, equal temperament tends to sound wrong on pianos. Stretch tuning attempts to correct this by sharpening the pitch of upper notes while attening the pitch of lower ones. The result is a more brilliant sound. Negative values simulate negative stretch tuning; upper notes become atter while lower notes become sharper.

P Bend sets the range in semitones of pitch bend modulation.

23.5

External Instrument

The External Instrument device is not an instrument itself, but rather a routing utility that

The External Instrument.

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386 allows you to easily integrate external (hardware) synthesizers, ReWire devices and multitimbral plug-ins into your projects. It sends MIDI out and returns audio.

The two MIDI To choosers select the output to which the device will send MIDI data. The top chooser selects either a

physical MIDI port , a

ReWire slave

destination or a multitimbral plug-in. If you select a MIDI port (for use with an external synthesizer), the second chooser's options will be MIDI channel numbers. If you've chosen a ReWire slave such as Reason as your routing target, the choices will be the speci c devices available in the slave project:

If another track in your set contains a multitimbral plug-in, you can select this track in the top chooser. In this case, the second chooser allows you to select a speci c MIDI channel in the plug-in.

The Audio From chooser provides options for returning the audio from the hardware synth, plug-in, or ReWire device. If you're routing to a hardware synth, use this chooser to select the ports on your audio interface that are connected to the output of your synth. The available choices you'll have will depend on the settings in the

Audio Preferences .

If you're routing to a ReWire slave, the Audio From chooser will list all of the audio channels available in the slave. Select the audio channel that corresponds to the instrument to which you are sending MIDI. If you're routing to a multitimbral plug-in on another track in your

Live Set, the Audio From chooser will list the auxiliary outputs in the plug-in. Note that the main outputs will be heard on the track that contains the instrument.

The Gain knob adjusts the audio level coming back from the sound source. This level should be set carefully to avoid clipping.

Since external devices can introduce latency that Live cannot automatically detect, you can manually compensate for any delays by adjusting the Hardware Latency slider. The button

ReWire Options Shown in the Routing Choosers.

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387 next to this slider allows you to set your latency compensation amount in either milliseconds or samples. If your external device connects to Live via a digital connection, you will want to adjust your latency settings in samples, which ensures that the number of samples you specify will be retained even when changing the sample rate. If your external device connects to Live via an analog connection, you will want to adjust your latency settings in milliseconds, which ensures that the amount of time you specify will be retained when changing the sample rate. Note that adjusting in samples gives you ner control, so even in cases when you're working with analog devices, you may want to ne tune your latency in samples in order to achieve the lowest possible latency. In this case, be sure to switch back to milliseconds before changing your sample rate. Any latency introduced by devices within

Live will be compensated for automatically, so the slider will be disabled when using the

External Instrument Device to route internally. Latency adjustments when routing to ReWire devices will probably not be necessary, as most ReWire-enabled programs also compensate automatically. But if you feel that something is off in the timing of your set, try adjusting this slider.

Note: If the

Delay Compensation

option is unchecked in the Options menu, the Hardware

Latency slider is disabled.

For more detailed information about routing scenarios with the External Instrument device, please see the

Routing and I/O

chapter.

23.6

Impulse

Impulse is a drum sampler with complex modulation capabilities. The eight drum samples

The Impulse Instrument.

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388 loaded into Impulse's sample slots can be time-stretched, ltered and processed by envelope, saturation, pan and volume components, nearly all of which are subject to random and velocity-based modulation.

23.6.1

Sample Slots

Drag and drop samples into any of Impulse's sample slots from the Browser or the Session and Arrangement Views. Alternatively, each sample slot features a Hot-Swap button for

hot-swapping samples . Loaded samples can be deleted with your computer keyboard's

or

Delete key.

Imported samples are automatically mapped onto your MIDI keyboard, providing that it is plugged in and acknowledged by Live. C3 on the keyboard will trigger the leftmost sample, and the other samples will follow suit in the octave from C3 to C4. Impulse's eight slots will appear labeled in the

MIDI Editor's key tracks

when the Fold button is active, even if the given key track is void of MIDI notes. Mapping can be transposed from the default by applying a

Pitch device , or it can be rearranged by applying a

Scale device .

Each of the eight samples has a proprietary set of parameters, located in the area below the sample slots and visible when the sample is clicked. Adjustments to sample settings are only captured once you hit a new note they do not affect currently playing notes. Note that this behavior also de nes how Impulse reacts to parameter changes from clip envelopes or automation, which are applied once a new note starts. If you want to achieve continuous changes as a note plays, you may want to use the

Simpler .

Slot 8's parameters also include a Link button, located in the lower left corner, which links slot 8 with slot 7. Linking the two slots allows slot 7's activation to stop slot 8's playback, and vice versa. This was designed with a speci c situation in mind (but can, of course, be used for other purposes): Replicating the way that closed hi-hats will silence open hi-hats.

Each slot can be played, soloed, muted or hot-swapped using controls that appear when the mouse hovers over it.

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389

23.6.2

Start, Transpose and Stretch

The Start control de nes where Impulse begins playing a sample, and can be set up to

100 ms later than the actual sample beginning. The Transp (Transpose) control adjusts the transposition of the sample by +/- 48 semitones, and can be modulated by incoming note velocity or a random value, as set in the appropriate elds.

The Stretch control has values from -100 to 100 percent. Negative values will shorten the sample, and positive values will stretch it. Two different stretching algorithms are available:

Mode A is ideal for low sounds, such as toms or bass, while Mode B is better for high sounds, such as cymbals. The Stretch value can also be modulated by MIDI note velocity.

23.6.3

Filter

The Filter section offers a broad range of lter types, each of which can impart different sonic characteristics onto the sample by removing certain frequencies. The Frequency control de nes where in the harmonic spectrum the lter is applied; the Resonance control boosts frequencies near that point. Filter Frequency can be modulated by either a random value or by MIDI note velocity.

23.6.4

Saturator and Envelope

The Saturator gives the sample a fatter, rounder, more analog sound, and can be switched on and off as desired. The Drive control boosts the signal and adds distortion. Coincidentally, this makes most signals much louder, and should usually be compensated for by lowering the sample's volume control. Extreme Drive settings on low-pitched sounds will produce the typical, overdriven analog synth drum sounds.

The envelope can be adjusted using the Decay control, which can be set to a maximum of

10.0 seconds. Impulse has two decay modes: Trigger Mode allows the sample to decay with the note; Gate Mode forces the envelope to wait for a note off message before beginning the decay. This mode is useful in situations where you need variable decay lengths, as is the case with hi-hat cymbal sounds.

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23.6.5

Pan and Volume

Each sample has Volume and Pan controls that adjust amplitude and stereo positioning, respectively. Both controls can be modulated: Pan by velocity and a random value, and

Volume by velocity only.

23.6.6

Global Controls

The parameters located to the right of the sample slots are global controls that apply to all samples within Impulse's domain. Volume adjusts the overall level of the instrument, and

Transp adjusts the transposition of all samples. The Time control governs the time-stretching and decay of all samples, allowing you to morph between short and stretched drum sounds.

23.6.7

Individual Outputs

When a new instance of Impulse is dragged into a track, its signal will be mixed with those of the other instruments and effects feeding the audio chain of the track. It can oftentimes make more sense to isolate the instrument or one of its individual drum samples, and send this signal to a separate track. Please see

the Routing chapter

to learn how to accomplish this for Impulse's overall signal or for Impulse's individual sample slots.

23.7

Latin Percussion

Latin Percussion is a multisampled library of acoustic percussion instruments from the worlds of Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and African music. Developed in collaboration with e-instruments, the collection consists of multi-articulation kits and instrument group presets, programmed as

Drum Racks

for easy editing and performance possibilities. In addition to the instruments,

Latin Percussion comes with a collection of Live Sets that contain carefully programmed MIDI patterns in a variety of traditional styles.

The full version of Latin Percussion is not included with the standard version of Live, but is a special feature available for purchase separately.

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23.7.1

Latin Percussion Installation

Latin Percussion is installed separately from the main Live installation. To install, drag the

Latin Percussion Live Pack into the Live application window, either from your operating system or from Live's Browser.

After you have installed Latin Percussion, you will need to authorize it. Further details can be found at the Ableton website

2

.

23.7.2

Accessing the Latin Percussion Presets

After installation, the Latin Percussion presets are accessed through Live's Device Browser, in exactly the same way as Live's other built-in instruments. You will nd them in the

Latin

Percussion

folder within the

Drum Rack

folder. Latin Percussion presets are therefore loaded just like any other device, by dragging a preset from the Browser into an empty MIDI track.

The Latin Percussion Kit presets load a complete collection of instruments. Individual instrument groups are available in the

preset folders

.

23.7.3

Modifying the Drum Racks

All of the Latin Percussion presets are conveniently mapped to

Macro Controls

for greater expression. These include controls for tuning, room ambience and volume envelope.

From the Drum Rack's

Pad View , you can easily replace individual instruments or instrument

groups within the kit. For example, to swap one set of congas for another, use the Browser

2 http://www.ableton.com/authorize

Preset Folders.

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392 to navigate to the selected conga preset folder. Then drag the entire folder to the Drum

Rack's pad view. This will replace all of the currently loaded conga components, leaving all other pads alone. You can also unfold these preset folders to access individual instruments within.

Latin Percussion also includes a collection of

Live Sets , which are installed to your Library's

Clips folder. These Sets load clips that combine MIDI notes and a percussion kit that you can use as a starting point for your own creative work.

23.8

Operator

Operator is an advanced and exible synthesizer that combines the concept of frequency modulation (FM) with classic subtractive and additive synthesis. It utilizes four multi-waveform oscillators that can modulate each other's frequencies, creating very complex timbres from a limited number of objects. Operator includes a lter section, an LFO and global controls, as well as individual envelopes for the oscillators, lter, LFO and pitch.

With the release of Live 8, Operator has been dramatically overhauled with powerful new features. Despite this, the interface is mostly unchanged, and presets and Sets that were made with earlier versions of Operator are fully compatible with this update.

The full version of Operator is not included with the standard version of Live, but is a special feature available for purchase separately.

The Operator

Instrument.

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23.8.1

General Overview

The interface of Operator consists of two parts: the

display

surrounded on either side by the

shell

. The shell offers the most important parameters in a single view and is divided into eight sections. On the left side, you will nd four oscillator sections, and on the right side from top to bottom, the LFO, the lter section, the pitch section and the global parameters.

If you change one of the shell parameters, the display in the center will automatically show the details of the relevant section. When creating your own sounds, for example, you can conveniently access the level and frequency of all oscillators at once via the shell, and then adjust each individual oscillator's envelope, waveform and other parameters in its display.

Operator can be folded with the triangular button at its upper left. This is convenient if you do not need to access the display details.

Each of Operator's oscillators can either output its signal directly or use its signal to modulate another oscillator. Operator offers eleven prede ned

algorithms

that determine how the oscillators are connected. An algorithm is chosen by clicking on one of the structure icons in the global display, which will appear if the bottom right (global) section of the shell is selected. Signals will ow from top to bottom between the oscillators shown in an algorithm icon. The algorithm selector can be mapped to a MIDI controller, automated, or modulated in real time, just like any other parameter.

Operator Folded.

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Typically, FM synthesis makes use of pure sine waves, creating more complex waveforms via modulation. However, in order to simplify sound design and to create a wider range of possible sounds, we designed Operator to produce a variety of other waveforms, including two types of noise. You can also draw your own waveforms via a partial editor. The instrument is made complete with an LFO, a pitch envelope and a lter section. Note that lots of classic FM synthesizers create fantastic sounds without using lters at all, so we suggest exploring the possibilities of FM without the lter at rst, and adding it later if necessary.

Operator will keep you busy if you want to dive deep into sound design! If you want to break the universe apart completely and reassemble it, you should also try modulating Operator's controls with

clip envelopes

or

track automation .

Operator's Global

Display.

23.8.2

Oscillator Section

Oscillator A's Display and Shell Parameters.

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Built-in Waveforms

The oscillators come with a built-in collection of basic waveform types sine, sawtooth, square, triangle and noise which are selected from the Wave chooser in the individual oscillator displays. The rst of these waveforms is a pure, mathematical sine wave, which is usually the rst choice for many FM timbres. We also added Sine 4 Bit and Sine 8

Bit to provide the retro sound adored by C64 fans, and Saw D and Square D digital waveforms, which are especially good for digital bass sounds. The square, triangle and sawtooth waveforms are resynthesized approximations of the ideal shape. The numbers included in the displayed name (e.g., Square 6 ) de ne how many harmonics are used for the resynthesis. Lower numbers sound mellower and are less likely to create

aliasing

when used on high pitches. There are also two built-in noise waveforms. The rst, Noise

Looped, is a looping sample of noise. For truly random noise, choose Noise White.

User Waveforms

The User entry in the Wave chooser allows you to create your own waveforms by drawing the amplitudes of the oscillator's harmonics. You can also select one of the built-in waveforms and then edit it in the same way. The small display next to the Wave chooser gives a realtime overview of your waveform.

When your mouse is over the Oscillator display area, the cursor will change to a pencil.

Drawing in the display area then raises or lowers the amplitudes of the harmonics. As you adjust the amplitudes, the Status Bar will show the number of the harmonic you're adjusting as well as its amplitude. Holding and dragging will constrain horizontal mouse movement, allowing you to adjust the amplitude of only one harmonic at a time.

You can switch between editing the rst 16, 32 or 64 harmonics via the switches to the right of the display. Higher harmonics can be generated by repeating the drawn partials with a gradual fadeout, based on the settings in the Repeat chooser. Low Repeat values result in a brighter sound, while higher values result in more high-end roll-off and a more prominent fundamental. With Repeat off, partials above the 16th, 32nd or 64th harmonic are truncated.

The (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu on the harmonics display offers options for editing only the even or odd harmonics. This is set to All by default. The context menu also

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396 offers an option to toggle Normalize on or off. When enabled, the oscillator's overall output level is maintained as you draw additional harmonics. When disabled, additional harmonics add additional level. Note that the volume can become

extremely

loud if Normalize is off.

You can export your waveform in .ams format to the Library/Samples/Waveforms folder via an option in the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu. Ams les can be imported back into Operator by dragging them from the Browser onto one of the oscillator's display areas.

Ams les can also be loaded into

Simpler

or

Sampler .

Hint:

Both the built-in and user waveforms can be copied and pasted from one oscillator to another using the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

More Oscillator Parameters

The frequency of an oscillator can be adjusted in the shell with its Coarse and Fine controls.

An oscillator's frequency usually follows that of played notes, but for some sounds it might be useful to set one or more oscillators to xed frequencies. This can be done for each individual oscillator by activating the Fixed option. This allows the creation of sounds in which only the timbre will vary when different notes are played, but the tuning will stay the same. Fixed Mode would be useful, for example, in creating live drum sounds. Fixed Mode also allows producing very low frequencies down to 0.1 Hz. Note that when Fixed Mode is active, the frequency of the oscillator is controlled in the shell with the Frequency (Freq) and

Multiplier (Multi) controls.

Operator includes a special Osc<Vel control for each oscillator that allows altering frequency as a function of velocity. This feature can be very useful when working with sequenced sounds in which the velocity of each note can be adjusted carefully. Part of this functionality is the adjacent Q (Quantize) button. If this control is activated, the frequency will only move in whole numbers, just as if the Coarse control were being manually adjusted. If quantize is not activated, the frequency will be shifted in an unquantized manner, leading to detuned or inharmonic sounds (which very well could be exactly what you want...).

The amplitude of an oscillator depends on the Level setting of the oscillator in the shell and on its

envelope , which is shown and edited when the Envelope display is visible. The

envelopes can also be modi ed by note velocity and note pitch with the Vel and Key parameters available in the Envelope section of each oscillator's display.

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397

The phase of each oscillator can be adjusted using the Phase control in its display. With the

R (Retrigger) button enabled, the waveform restarts at the same position in its phase each time a note is triggered. With R disabled, the oscillator is free-running.

As explained

earlier

oscillators can modulate each other when set up to do so with the global display's algorithms. When an oscillator is modulating another oscillator, two main properties de ne the result: the amplitude of the modulating oscillator and the frequency ratio between both oscillators. Any oscillator that is not modulated by another oscillator can modulate itself, via the Feedback parameter in its display.

Aliasing

Aliasing distortion is a common side effect of all digital synthesis and is the result of the nite sample rate and precision of digital systems. It mostly occurs at high frequencies. FM synthesis is especially likely to produce this kind of effect, since one can easily create sounds with lots of high harmonics. This also means that more complex oscillator waveforms, such as Saw 32, tend to be more sensitive to aliasing than pure sine waves. Aliasing is a two-fold beast: A bit of it can be exactly what is needed to create a cool sound, yet a bit too much can make the timbre unplayable, as the perception of pitch is lost when high notes suddenly fold back into arbitrary pitches. Operator minimizes aliasing by working in a high-quality Antialias mode. This is on by default for new patches, but can be turned off in the global section. The Tone parameter in the global section also allows for controlling aliasing. Its effect is sometimes similar to a lowpass lter, but this depends on the nature of the sound itself and cannot generally be predicted. If you want to familiarize yourself with the sound of aliasing, turn Tone up fully and play a few very high notes. You will most likely notice that some notes sound completely different from other notes. Now, turn Tone down and the effect will be reduced, but the sound will be less bright.

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23.8.3

LFO Section

398

The LFO in Operator can practically be thought of as a fth oscillator. It runs at audio rates, and it modulates the frequency of the other oscillators. It is possible to switch LFO modulation on or off for each individual oscillator (and the lter) using the Dest. A buttons in the LFO's display. The intensity of the LFO's modulation of these targets can be adjusted by the Dest. A slider. The LFO can also be turned off entirely if it is unused.

The Dest. B chooser allows the LFO to modulate an additional parameter. The intensity of this modulation is determined by the Dest. B slider.

The LFO offers a choice of classic LFO waveforms, sample and hold (S&H), and noise.

Sample and hold uses random numbers chosen at the rate of the LFO, creating the random steps useful for typical retro-futuristic sci- sounds. The noise waveform is simply bandpassltered noise.

Tip:

FM synthesis can be used to create fantastic percussion sounds, and using the LFO with the noise waveform is the key to great hi-hats and snares.

The frequency of the LFO is determined by the LFO Rate control in the shell, as well as the low/high/sync setting of the adjacent LFO Range chooser. The frequency of the LFO can follow note pitch, be xed or be set to something in between. This is de ned by the

Rate<Key parameter in the LFO's display. With the R (Retrigger) button enabled, the LFO restarts at the same position in its phase each time a note is triggered. With R disabled, the

LFO is free-running.

The overall intensity of the LFO is set by the LFO Amount control in the shell. This parameter scales both the Dest. A and B amounts and can be modulated by note velocity via the

Operator's LFO

Parameters.

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE display's Amt<Vel control. The LFO's intensity is also affected by its

envelope .

399

23.8.4

Envelopes

Operator has seven envelopes: one for each oscillator, a lter envelope, a pitch envelope and an envelope for the LFO. All envelopes feature some special looping modes. Additionally, the lter and pitch envelopes have adjustable slopes.

Each oscillator's volume envelope is de ned by six parameters: three rates and three levels.

A rate is the time it takes to go from one level to the next. For instance, a typical pad sound starts with the

initial

level -inf dB (which is silence), moves with an

attack

rate to its

peak

level, moves from there to the

sustain

level with a

decay

rate, and then nally, after note-off occurs, back to -inf dB at the

release

rate. Operator's display provides a good overview of the actual shape of any particular envelope and lets you directly adjust the curve by clicking on a breakpoint and dragging. The breakpoints retain their selection after clicking, allowing them to be adjusted with the keyboard's cursor keys, if desired.

Hint:

Envelope shapes can be copied and pasted from one oscillator to another in Operator using the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu.

As mentioned above, the lter and pitch envelopes also have adjustable slopes. Clicking on the diamonds between the breakpoints allows you to adjust the slope of the envelope segments. Positive slope values cause the envelope to move quickly at the beginning, then slower. Negative slope values cause the envelope to remain at for longer, then move faster at the end. A slope of zero is linear; the envelope will move at the same rate throughout the segment.

With FM synthesis, it is possible to create spectacular, endless, permuting sounds; the key to doing this is

looping envelopes

. Loop Mode can be activated in the lower left corner of the display. If an envelope in Operator is in Loop Mode and reaches sustain level while the note is still being held, it will be retriggered. The rate for this movement is de ned by the

Loop Time parameter. (Note that envelopes in Loop Mode can loop very quickly and can therefore be used to achieve effects that one would not normally expect from an envelope generator.)

While Loop Mode is good for textures and experimental sounds, Operator also includes Beat and Sync Modes, which provide a simple way of creating rhythmical sounds. If set to Beat

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400

Mode, an envelope will restart after the beat time selected from the Repeat chooser. In Beat

Mode, the repeat time is de ned in fractions of song time, but notes are not quantized.

If you play a note a bit out of sync, it will repeat perfectly but stay out of sync. In Sync

Mode however, the rst repetition is quantized to the nearest 16th note and, as a result, all following repetitions are synced to the song tempo. Note that Sync Mode only works if the song is playing, and otherwise it will behave like Beat Mode.

Note:

To avoid the audible clicks caused by restarting from its

initial level

, a looped envelope will restart from its

actual level

and move with the set attack rate to peak level.

There is also a mode called Trigger that is ideal for working with percussive sounds. In this mode, note off is ignored. This means that the length of time a key is held has no effect on the length of the sound.

The rates of all the envelopes in Operator can be scaled in unison by the Time control in the global section of the shell. Note that beat-time values in Beat and Sync Modes are not in uenced by the global Time parameter. Envelope rates can be further modi ed by note pitch, as dictated by the Time<Key parameter in the global section's display. The rate of an individual envelope can also be modi ed by velocity using the Time<Vel parameter. These modulations in conjunction with the loop feature can be used to create very, very complex things...

The pitch envelope can be turned on or off for each individual oscillator and for the LFO using the Destination A-D and LFO buttons in its display. The intensity of this envelope's modulation of these targets can be adjusted by the Dest. A slider and the envelope can be turned off altogether via the switch in the pitch section of the shell.

Like the LFO, the pitch envelope can modulate an additional parameter as chosen by the

Dest. B chooser. The intensity of this modulation is determined by the Amt. B slider and the main Pitch Env value.

The pitch and lter envelopes each have an additional parameter called

End

, which determines the level the envelope will move to after the key is released. The rate of this envelope segment is determined by the release time.

Tip:

If the pitch envelope is only applied to the LFO and is looping, it can serve as another

LFO, modulating the rate of the rst. And, since the envelope of the LFO itself can loop, it can serve as a third LFO modulating the intensity of the rst!

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23.8.5

Filter Section

401

Operator's lters can be very useful for modifying the sonically rich timbres created by the oscillators. And, since the oscillators also provide you with the classic waveforms of analog synthesizers, you can very easily build a subtractive synthesizer with them.

The lter section offers 14 different lter types including multiple varieties of lowpass, bandpass, highpass and notch lters. The 12 and 24 dB modes refer to the amount of attenuation. The 24 dB modes attenuate the ltered frequencies to a much greater degree than the 12 dB types, and are commonly used in the creation of bass patches. The SVF

(state-variable lter) modes are 12 dB types but with a different architecture. They will self-oscillate as their resonance is increased. The Ladder modes have 24 dB slopes and are based on the lters found in some classic analog synthesizers.

The Envelope and Filter buttons in the lter section's display area toggle between showing the lter envelope and its frequency response. Filter cutoff frequency and resonance can be adjusted in the shell or by dragging the lter response curve in the display area. Filter frequency can also be modulated by the following:

ˆ note velocity, via the Freq<Vel control in the lter's display

ˆ note pitch, via the Freq<Key control in the lter's display

ˆ

lter envelope , via the Envelope control in the lter's display.

ˆ

LFO , done either by enabling the Dest. A FIL switch in the LFO's display, or by

setting Dest. B to Filter Freq.

Tip:

The (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu on the Frequency knob contains an entry

Operator's Filter Section.

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402 called Play by Key.

This automatically con gures the lter for optimal key tracking by setting Freq<Key to 100% and setting the cutoff to 466 Hz.

The lter's signal can be routed through a waveshaper, whose curve type can be selected via the Shaper chooser. The Drive slider boosts or attenuates the signal level being sent to the waveshaper, while the overall balance between the dry and processed signals can be adjusted with the Dry/Wet control. With this set to 0%, the shaper and drive parameters are bypassed.

23.8.6

Global Controls

The global section contains parameters that affect Operator's overall behavior. Additionally, the global display area provides a comprehensive set of modulation routing controls.

The maximum number of Operator voices (notes) playing simultaneously can be adjusted with the Voices parameter in the global display. Ideally, one would want to leave this setting high enough so that no voices would be turned off while playing, however a setting between

6 and 12 is usually more realistic when considering

CPU power .

Tip:

Some sounds should play monophonically by nature, which means that they should only use a single voice. (A ute is a good example.) In these cases, you can set Voices to 1.

If Voices is set to 1, another effect occurs: Overlapping voices will be played legato, which means that the envelopes will not be retriggered from voice to voice, and only pitch will change.

A global Volume control for the instrument can be found in the global section of the shell, and a Pan control is located in the global section's display. Pan can be modulated by note pitch or a random factor, using the adjacent Pan<Key and Pan<Rnd controls, respectively.

The center of the global display allows for a wide variety of internal MIDI mappings. The

MIDI controllers

Velocity, Key, Aftertouch, Pitch Bend

and

Mod Wheel

can be mapped to two destinations each, with independent modulation intensities set via the Amount sliders. Note that Time<Key and pitch bend range have xed assignments, although both modulation sources can still be routed to an additional target. For more information about the available modulation options, see

the complete parameter list .

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23.8.7

Glide and Spread

403

Operator includes a polyphonic glide function. When this function is activated, new notes will start with the pitch of the last note played and then slide gradually to their own played pitch. Glide can be turned on or off and adjusted with the Glide Time control in the pitch display.

Operator also offers a special Spread parameter that creates a rich stereo chorus by using two voices per note and panning one to the left and one to the right. The two voices are detuned, and the amount of detuning can be adjusted with the Spread control in the pitch section of the shell.

Tip:

Whether or not spread is applied to a particular note depends upon the setting of the Spread parameter during the note-on event. To achieve special effects, you could, for instance, create a sequence where Spread is 0 most of the time and turned on only for some notes. These notes will then play in stereo, while the others will play mono. (Note: Spread is a CPU-intensive parameter.)

The pitch section also contains a global Transpose knob.

Operator's Pitch Section.

23.8.8

Strategies for Saving CPU Power

If you want to save CPU power, turn off features that you do not need or reduce the number of voices. Speci cally, turning off the lter or the LFO if they do not contribute to the sound will save CPU power.

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404

For the sake of saving CPU resources, you will also usually want to reduce the number of voices to something between 6 and 12, and carefully use the Spread feature. The

Interpolation and Antialias modes in the global display can also be turned off to conserve

CPU resources.

Note that turning off the oscillators will not save CPU power.

23.8.9

Finally...

Operator is the result of an intense preoccupation with FM synthesis and a love and dedication to the old hardware FM synthesizers, such as the Yamaha SY77, the Yamaha TX81Z and the NED Synclavier II. FM synthesis was rst explored musically by the composer and computer music pioneer John Chowning in the mid-1960s. In 1973, he and Stanford University began a relationship with Yamaha that lead to one of the most successful commercial musical instruments ever, the DX7.

John Chowning realized some very amazing and beautiful musical pieces based on a synthesis concept that you can now explore yourself simply by playing with Operator in Live.

We wish you loads of fun with it!

23.8.10

The Complete Parameter List

The function of each Operator parameter is explained in the forthcoming sections. Remember that you can also access explanations of controls in Live (including those belonging to

Operator) directly from the software by placing the mouse over the control and reading the text that appears in the

Info View . Parameters in this list are grouped into sections based

on where they appear in Operator.

Global Shell and Display

Time

This is a global control for all envelope rates.

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Tone

Operator is capable of producing timbres with very high frequencies, which can sometimes lead to aliasing artifacts. The Tone setting controls the high frequency content of sounds. Higher settings are typically brighter but also more likely to produce aliasing.

Volume

This sets the overall volume of the instrument.

Algorithm

An oscillator can modulate other oscillators, be modulated by other oscillators, or both. The algorithm de nes the connections between the oscillators and therefore has a signi cant impact on the sound that is created.

Voices

This sets the maximum number of notes that can sound simultaneously. If more notes than available voices are requested, the oldest notes will be cut off.

Retrigger (R)

When enabled, notes that are enabled will be retriggered, rather than generating an additional voice.

Interpolation

This toggles the interpolation algorithm of the oscillators and the LFO. If turned off, some timbres will sound more rough, especially the noise waveform. Turning this off will also save some CPU power.

Antialias

This toggles Operator's high-quality antialias mode, which helps to minimize high-frequency distortion. Disabling this modes reduces the CPU load.

Time<Key

The rates of all envelopes can be controlled by note pitch. If the global

Time<Key parameter is set to higher values, the envelopes run faster when higher notes are played.

Pitch Bend Range (PB Range)

This de nes the effect of MIDI pitch bend messages.

Pan

Use this to adjust the panorama of each note. This is especially useful when modulated with clip envelopes.

Pan<Key (Key)

If Pan<Key is set to higher values, low notes will pan relatively more to the left channel, and higher notes to the right. Typically this is used for piano-like sounds.

Pan<Random (Rnd)

This de nes the extent to which notes are randomly distributed between the left and right channels.

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Modulation Targets

These modulation targets are available as MIDI routing destinations in the global display, and also as modulation targets for the LFO and pitch envelope.

Off

Disabled this controller's modulation routing.

OSC Volume A-D

Modulates the volume of the selected oscillator.

OSC Crossfade A/C

Crossfades the volumes of the A and C oscillators based on the value of the modulation source.

OSC Crossfade B/D

Crossfades the volumes of the B and D oscillators based on the value of the modulation source.

OSC Feedback

Modulates the amount of feedback for all oscillators. Note that feedback is only applied to oscillators that are not modulated by other oscillators.

FM Drive

Modulates the volume of all oscillators which are modulating other oscillators, thus changing the timbre.

Filter Frequency

Modulates the cutoff frequency of the lter.

Filter Q

Modulates the resonance of the lter.

Filter Envelope Amount

Modulates the lter's envelope intensity.

Shaper Drive

Modulates the amount of gain applied to the lter's waveshaper.

LFO Rate

Modulates the rate of the LFO.

LFO Amount

Modulates the intensity of the LFO.

Pitch Envelope Amount

Modulates the intensity of the pitch envelope.

Volume

Modulates Operator's global output volume.

Panorama

Modulates the position of Operator's output in the stereo eld.

Tone

Modulates the global Tone parameter.

Time

Modulates the global control for all envelope rates.

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Pitch Shell and Display

Pitch Envelope On

This turns the pitch envelope on and off. Turning it off if it is unused saves some CPU power.

Pitch Envelope Amount (Pitch Env)

This sets the overall intensity of the pitch envelope. A value of 100% means that the pitch change is exactly de ned by the pitch envelope's levels.

A value of -100% inverts the sign of the pitch envelope levels.

Spread

If Spread is turned up, the synthesizer uses two detuned voices per note, one each on the left and right stereo channels, to create chorusing sounds. Spread is a very

CPU-intensive effect.

Transpose

This is the global transposition setting for the instrument. Changing this parameter will affect notes that are already playing.

Pitch Envelope Rates<Velocity (Time<Vel)

This parameter exists for lter, pitch, LFO and volume envelopes. It is therefore listed in the

section on envelopes .

Glide (G)

With Glide on, notes will slide from the pitch of the last played note to their played pitch. Note that all envelopes are not retriggered in this case if notes are being played legato.

Glide Time (Time)

This is the time it takes for a note to slide from the pitch of the last played note to its nal pitch when Glide is activated. This setting has no effect if Glide is not activated.

Pitch Envelope to Osc (Destination A-D)

The pitch envelope affects the frequency of the respective oscillator if this is turned on.

Pitch Envelope to LFO (Destination LFO)

The pitch envelope affects the frequency of the

LFO if this is turned on.

Pitch Envelope Amount A

This sets the intensity of the pitch envelope's modulation of the oscillators and LFO.

Pitch Envelope Destination B

This sets the second modulation destination for the pitch envelope.

Pitch Envelope Amount B

This sets the intensity of the pitch envelope's modulation of the secondary target.

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Filter Shell and Display

Filter On

This turns the lter on and off. Turning it off when it is unused saves CPU power.

Filter Type

This chooser selects one of 14 lter types, including a variety of lowpass, highpass, bandpass and notch lters. The lter names imply the part of the spectrum they affect. A notch lter passes everything apart from its center frequency and is more audible with low resonance settings. The 24 dB lter modes attenuate the ltered frequencies to a much greater degree than the 12 dB modes. The Ladder and SVF lters provide additional lter architectures.

Filter Frequency (Freq)

This de nes the center or cutoff frequency of the lter. Note that the resulting frequency may also be modulated by note velocity and by the lter envelope.

Filter Resonance (Res)

This de nes the resonance around the lter frequency of the lowpass and highpass lters, and the width of the bandpass and notch lters.

Envelope / Filter Switches

These switches toggle the display between the lter's envelope and its frequency response.

Filter Frequency<Velocity (Freq<Vel)

Filter frequency is modulated by note velocity according to this setting.

Filter Frequency<Key (Freq<Key)

Filter frequency is modulated by note pitch according to this setting. A value of 100% means that the frequency doubles per octave. The center point for this function is C3.

Filter Envelope Rates<Velocity (Time<Vel)

This parameter exists for lter, pitch, LFO and volume envelopes. It is therefore listed in the

section on envelopes .

Filter Frequency<Envelope (Envelope)

Filter frequency is modulated by the lter envelope according to this setting. A value of 100% means that the envelope can create a maximum frequency shift of approximately 9 octaves.

Shaper

This chooser selects the curve for the lter's waveshaper.

Drive

This boosts or attenuates the signal level being sent to the waveshaper.

Dry/Wet

This adjusts the balance between the dry signal and the signal processed by the waveshaper.

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LFO Shell and Display

LFO On

This turns the LFO (low-frequency oscillator) on and off. Turning it off when it is unused saves some CPU power.

LFO Waveform

Select from among several typical LFO waveforms. Sample and Hold

(S&H) creates random steps, and Noise supplies bandpass- ltered noise. All waveforms are band-limited to avoid unwanted clicks.

LFO Range

The LFO covers an extreme frequency range. Choose Low for a range from

50 seconds to 30 Hz, or Hi for 8 Hz to 12 kHz. Sync causes the LFO's rate to be synced to your Set's tempo. Due to the possible high frequencies, the LFO can also function as a fth oscillator.

Retrigger (R)

When enabled, the LFO restarts at the same position in its phase each time a note is triggered. With R disabled, the LFO is free-running.

LFO Rate (Rate)

This sets the rate of the LFO. The actual frequency also depends on the setting of the LFO Range and the LFO Rate<Key controls.

LFO Amount (Amount)

This sets the overall intensity of the LFO. Note that the actual effect also depends on the LFO envelope.

LFO to Osc (Destination A-D)

The LFO modulates the frequency of the respective oscillator if this is turned on.

LFO to Filter Cutoff Frequency (Destination FIL)

The LFO modulates the cutoff frequency of the lter if this is turned on.

LFO Amount A

This sets the intensity of the LFO's modulation of the oscillators and lter.

LFO Destination B

This sets the second modulation destination for the LFO.

LFO Amount B

This sets the intensity of the LFO's modulation of the secondary target.

LFO Envelope Rates<Velocity (Time<Vel)

This parameter exists for lter, pitch, LFO and volume envelopes. It is therefore listed in the

section on envelopes .

LFO Rate<Key (Rate<Key)

The LFO's frequency can be a function of note pitch. If this is set to 100%, the LFO will double its frequency per octave, functioning like a normal oscillator.

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LFO Amount<Velocity (Amt<Vel)

This setting adjusts modulation of the LFO intensity by note velocity.

Oscillators A-D Shell and Display

Osc On

This turns the oscillator on and off.

Osc Coarse Frequency (Coarse)

The relationship between oscillator frequency and note pitch is de ned by the Coarse and Fine parameters. Coarse sets the ratio in whole numbers, creating a harmonic relationship.

Osc Fine Frequency (Fine)

The relationship between oscillator frequency and note pitch is de ned by the Coarse and Fine parameters. Fine sets the ratio in fractions of whole numbers, creating an inharmonic relationship.

Osc Fixed Frequency On (Fixed)

In Fixed Mode, oscillators do not respond to note pitch but instead play a xed frequency.

Osc Fixed Frequency (Freq)

This is the frequency of the oscillator in Hertz. This frequency is constant, regardless of note pitch.

Osc Fixed Multiplier (Multi)

This is used to adjust the range of the xed frequency. Multiply this value with the value of the oscillator's Freq knob to get actual frequency in Hz.

Osc Output Level (Level)

This sets the output level of the oscillator. If this oscillator is modulating another, its level has signi cant in uence on the resulting timbre. Higher levels usually create bright and/or noisy sounds.

Envelope / Oscillator Switches

These switches toggle the display between the oscillator's envelope and its harmonics editor.

16/32/64

These switches set the number of partials that are available for user editing.

Osc Waveform (Wave)

Choose from a collection of carefully selected waveforms. You can then edit them via the harmonics editor.

Osc Feedback (Feedback)

An oscillator can modulate itself if it is not modulated by another oscillator. The modulation is dependent not only on the setting of the feedback control but also on the oscillator level and the envelope. Higher feedback creates a more complex resulting waveform.

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Osc Phase (Phase)

This sets the initial phase of the oscillator. The range represents one whole cycle.

Retrigger (R)

When enabled, the oscillator restarts at the same position in its phase each time a note is triggered. With R disabled, the oscillator is free-running.

Repeat

Higher harmonics can be generated by repeating the drawn partials with a gradual fadeout, based on the settings in the Repeat chooser. Low Repeat values result in a brighter sound, while higher values result in more high-end roll-off and a more prominent fundamental. With Repeat off, partials above the 16th, 32nd or 64th harmonic are truncated.

Osc Frequency<Velocity (Osc<Vel)

The frequency of an oscillator can be modulated by note velocity. Positive values raise the oscillator's pitch with greater velocities, and negative values lower it.

Osc Freq<Vel Quantized (Q)

This allows quantizing the effect of the Frequency<Velocity parameter. If activated, the sonic result is the same as manually changing the Coarse parameter for each note.

Volume Envelope Rates<Velocity (Time<Vel)

This parameter exists for lter, pitch, LFO and volume envelopes. It is therefore listed in the

section on envelopes .

Osc Output Level<Velocity (Vel)

This de nes how much the oscillator's level depends upon note velocity. Applying this to modulating oscillators creates velocity-dependent timbres.

Osc Output Level<Key (Key)

This de nes how much the oscillator's level depends upon note pitch. The center point for this function is C3.

Envelope Display

Envelope Attack Time (Attack)

This sets the time it takes for a note to reach the peak level, starting from the initial level. For the oscillator envelopes, the shape of this segment of the envelope is linear. For the lter and pitch envelopes, the shape of the segment can be adjusted.

Envelope Decay Time (Decay)

This sets the time it takes for a note to reach the sustain level from the peak level. For the oscillator envelopes, the shape of this segment of the envelope is exponential. For the lter and pitch envelopes, the shape of the segment can be adjusted.

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Envelope Release Time (Release)

This is the time it takes for a note to reach the end level after a note-off message is received. For the oscillator envelopes, this level is always -inf dB and the shape of the segment is exponential. For the lter and pitch envelopes, the end level is determined by the End Level parameter and the shape of the segment can be adjusted. This envelope segment will begin at the value of the envelope at the moment the note-off message occurs, regardless of which segment is currently active.

Envelope Initial Level (Initial)

This sets the initial value of the envelope.

Envelope Peak Level (Peak)

This is the peak level at the end of the note attack.

Envelope Sustain Level (Sustain)

This is the sustain level at the end of the note decay. The envelope will stay at this level until note release unless it is in Loop, Sync or Beat Mode.

Envelope End Level (End)

(LFO, Filter and pitch envelopes only) This is the level reached at the end of the Release stage.

Envelope Loop Mode (Loop)

If this is set to Loop, the envelope will start again after the end of the decay segment. If set to Beat or Sync, it will start again after a given beat-time.

In Sync Mode, this behavior will be quantized to song time. In Trigger mode, the envelope ignores note off.

Envelope Beat/Sync Rate (Repeat)

The envelope will be retriggered after this amount of beat-time, as long as it is still on. When retriggered, the envelope will move at the given attack rate from the current level to the peak level.

Envelope Loop Time (Time)

If a note is still on after the end of the decay/sustain segment, the envelope will start again from its initial value. The time it takes to move from the sustain level to the initial value is de ned by this parameter.

Envelope Rates<Velocity (Time<Vel)

Envelope segments will be modulated by note velocity as de ned by this setting. This is especially interesting if the envelopes are looping.

Note that this modulation does not in uence the beat-time in Beat or Sync Modes, but the envelope segments themselves.

The lter and pitch envelopes also provide parameters that adjust the slope of their envelope segments. Positive slope values cause the envelope to move quickly at the beginning, then slower. Negative slope values cause the envelope to remain at for longer, then move faster at the end. A slope of zero is linear; the envelope will move at the same rate throughout the segment.

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Attack Slope (A.Slope)

Adjusts the shape of the Attack envelope segment.

Decay Slope (D.Slope)

Adjusts the shape of the Decay envelope segment.

Release Slope (R.Slope)

Adjusts the shape of the Release envelope segment.

413

Context Menu Parameters

Certain operations and parameters in Operator are only available via the

(Mac) context menu. These include:

(PC) /

Ctrl

Copy commands for Oscillators

The (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu of the oscillator's shell and envelope display provide options for copying parameters between oscillators.

Envelope commands

The (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu for all envelope displays provide options to quickly set all envelope levels to maximum, minimum, or middle values.

Harmonics editor commands

The (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu for the harmonics editor can restrict partial drawing to even or odd harmonics and toggle normalization of an oscillator's output level. There is also a command to export the waveform as an .ams le.

Play By Key

This command, in the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu for the lter's

Freq control, optimizes the lter for key tracking by setting the cutoff to 466 Hz and setting the Freq<Key to 100%.

23.9

Orchestral Strings, Brass, Woodwinds and Percussion

Orchestral Strings, Brass, Woodwinds and Percussion are high-quality orchestral sample libraries created in collaboration with SONiVOX. These multi-gigabyte collections are carefully multisampled at a variety of velocities and with a number of articulations.

These products are not included with the standard version of Live, but are special features available for purchase separately.

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23.9.1

Installation

The orchestral libraries are installed separately from the main Live installation. To install, drag the relevant Live Packs into the Live application window, either from your operating system or from Live's Browser.

After you have installed the libraries of your choice, you will need to authorize them. Further details can be found at the Ableton website

3

.

23.9.2

Using the Orchestral Presets

After installation, the orchestral instruments are accessed through Live's Device Browser, in exactly the same way as Live's other built-in instruments. You will nd them as categorized presets within the

Instrument Rack

folder. These instruments are therefore loaded just like any other device, by dragging a preset from the Browser into an empty MIDI track.

The presets are available in Full and Lite versions, allowing you to choose the right balance of delity and polyphony for your needs. The Lite versions reduce CPU, RAM and disk requirements by reducing the number of zones and sample layers used. Both the Full and

Lite presets use 24-bit multisamples. Additionally, you can Hot-Swap between different quality levels of the same preset and any Macro edits you have already made will be preserved after the swap.

There are also LE Packs available for each library which contain very ef cient versions of the instruments suitable for sketching out ideas. The LE instruments are all composed of 16-bit sample les.

All of the orchestral presets are conveniently mapped to

Macro Controls

for greater expression.

Each instrument is available in

Solo

and

Section

presets which contain all available articulations. Additionally, each instrument's articulation is available as a separate preset.

In the multi-articulation presets, the various articulations are separated into individual chains in the Rack. You can switch between them in real time via the Articulation Macro control.

3 http://www.ableton.com/authorize

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23.10

Sampler

415

Sampler is a sleek yet formidable multisampling instrument that takes full advantage of Live's agile audio engine. It has been designed from the start to handle multi-gigabyte instrument libraries with ease, and it imports most common library formats. But with Sampler, playback is only the beginning; its extensive internal modulation system, which addresses nearly every aspect of its sound, makes it the natural extension of Live's sound-shaping techniques.

The full version of Sampler is not included with the standard version of Live, but is a special feature available for purchase separately. Sampler users who want to share their presets with all Live users can convert their work to

Simpler

presets. To do this,

(Mac) on Sampler's title bar and choose the Sampler -> Simpler command.

(PC) /

Ctrl

Getting started with Sampler is as easy as choosing a preset from the Device Browser. Like all of Live's devices, Sampler's presets are located in folders listed beneath its name. Presets imported from third-party sample libraries are listed here, too, in the

Imports

folder.

Once you have loaded a Sampler preset into a track, remember to arm the track for recording

(which also enables you to hear any MIDI notes you might want to play), and then start playing!

The Sampler Instrument.

23.10.1

Multisampling

Before going on, let's introduce the concept of

multisampling

. This technique is used to accurately capture the complexity of instruments that produce dynamic timbral changes.

Rather than rely on the simple transposition of a single recorded sample, multisampling

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416 captures an instrument at multiple points within its critical sonic range. This typically means capturing the instrument at different pitches as well as different levels of emphasis (played softly, moderately, loudly, etc.). The resulting

multisample

is a collection of all the individually recorded sample les.

Sampler is designed to let you approach multisampling on whatever level you like: You can load and play multisample presets, like those from Ableton's

Essential Instrument Collection

2

, import multisamples from third-party vendors, or create your own multisamples from scratch.

Importing Third-Party Multisamples

To import a third-party multisample, navigate to the le in Live's File Browser and doubleclick to import it into the Live Library.

(Note that AKAI-formatted CD-ROMs require one step before this can be done please see the next section.)

Importing will create new Sampler presets, which you can nd in the Device Browser under

Sampler/Imported. Live automatically brings up the Device Browser to show the new presets, ready to drag in, sort, rename or delete.

Note that some multisample les will be converted to

Instrument Rack

presets that contain several Sampler instances used to emulate the original more accurately.

For all multisample formats except Apple EXS24/GarageBand and Kontakt, Live will import the actual audio data into the Library, where they will appear as new samples (found under

Samples/Imported). This means the new Sampler presets will work regardless of whether the original multisample le is still around.

To import Apple EXS24/GarageBand and Kontakt multisamples, Live will create new Sampler presets that reference the original WAV or AIF les. This means that removing the original

WAV or AIF les will render the new Sampler presets useless. Live's File Manager offers the option to

collect and save these external samples into the Library .

Mounting AKAI Multisample CDs

To import multisamples from AKAI-formatted CD-ROMs, you rst have to mount the CD-

ROM so that Live can see its contents. This is only necessary because the legacy AKAI

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417

CD format cannot be processed by the operating system like standard CD-ROM formats, which are mounted automatically upon inserting and can be browsed as usual with Live's

File Browser. Here are the steps:

1. Insert the AKAI-formatted sample CD.

2.

On a Mac,

click on the title bar of Live's File Browser and select All Volumes.

On a PC,

navigate Live's File Browser to the Workspace by clicking on the Browser's title bar and selecting Workspace.

3. Click on the Browser item found at the bottom named Find Sample CDs...

4. Double-click the item that appears to import the CD's contents.

23.10.2

Sampler's Tabs

Once you begin working with Sampler, you will notice that its features are organized categorically into tabs, accessed from Sampler's title bar. In addition to serving as an organizational aid, each tab has LEDs that indicate if there is modulation information in the corresponding area. We will get to know Sampler by examining each of these tabs.

Sampler's Tabs in the

Title Bar.

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23.10.3

The Zone Tab

418

Clicking on the Zone tab toggles the display of Sampler's Zone Editor, which offers a handson interface for mapping any number of samples across three types of ranges.

The Zone Editor opens in its own dedicated view, directly above the Track View. When used in conjunction with Sampler's other tabs, this layout greatly accelerates the creation and editing of multisamples.

On the left side of the Zone Editor is the sample layer list, where multisamples are organized.

All of the individual samples belonging to a multisample are shown in this list, where they are referred to as

layers

. For complex multisamples, this list can be quite long. Pressing

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) within the sample layer list opens a context menu that offers a variety of options for sorting and displaying the layers, distributing them across the keyboard and various other sample management and housekeeping options.

The rest of the view is occupied by one of three editors that correspond to the sample layers: the Key Zone Editor, the Velocity Zone Editor and the Sample Select Editor. These editors can be horizontally zoomed by pressing a context menu with sizing options.

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) within them to bring up

Auto Select (Auto)

As MIDI notes arrive at Sampler, they are ltered by each sample layer's key, velocity and sample select zones. With Auto Select enabled, all sample layers that are able to play an incoming note will become selected in the sample layer list for the duration of that note.

Zone Fade Mode (Lin/Pow)

These buttons toggle the fade mode of all zones between linear and constant-power (exponential) slopes.

The Key Zone Editor.

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419

Zone Editor View (Key/Vel/Sel)

These buttons toggle the display of the Key Zone, Velocity

Zone and Sample Select Editors.

The Sample Layer List

All samples contained in the currently loaded multisample are listed here, with each sample given its own layer. For very large multisamples, this list might be hundreds of layers long!

Fortunately, layers can be descriptively named (according to their root key, for example).

Mousing over a layer in the list or a zone in the zone editors will display relevant information about the corresponding sample in the Status Bar. Selecting any layer will load its sample into the

Sample

tab for examination.

Key Zones

Key zones de ne the range of MIDI notes over which each sample will play. Samples are only triggered when incoming MIDI notes lie within their key zone. Every sample has its own key zone, which can span anywhere from a single key up to the full 127.

A typical multisampled instrument contains many individual samples, distributed into many key zones. Samples are captured at a particular key of an instrument's voice range (known as their

root key

), but may continue to sound accurate when transposed a few semitones up or down. This range usually corresponds to the sample's key zone; ranges beyond this zone are represented by additional samples, as needed.

By default, the key zones of newly imported samples cover the full MIDI note range. Zones can be moved and resized like clips in the Arrangement View, by dragging their right or left edges to resize them, then dragging them into position.

Zones can also be faded over a number of semitones at either end by dragging their top right or left corners. This makes it easy to smoothly crossfade between adjacent samples as the length of the keyboard is traversed. The Lin and Pow boxes above the sample layer list indicate whether the zones will fade in a linear or exponential manner.

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Velocity Zones

420

Velocity zones determine the range of MIDI Note On velocities that each sample will respond to. The timbre of most musical instruments changes greatly with playing intensity. Therefore, the best multisamples capture not only individual notes, but also each of those notes at different velocities.

The Velocity Zone Editor, when toggled, appears alongside the sample layer list. Velocity is measured on a scale of 1-127, and this number range appears across the top of the editor.

The functionality of the Velocity Zone Editor is otherwise identical to that of the Key Zone

Editor.

The Velocity Zone Editor.

Sample Select Zones

Each sample also has a Sample Select zone, which is a data lter that is not tied to any particular kind of MIDI input. Sample Select zones are very similar to the

Chain Select Zones

The Sample Select

Editor.

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421 found in

Racks , in that only samples with sample select values that overlap the current value

of the

sample selector

will be triggered.

The Sample Select Editor, when toggled, appears alongside the sample layer list. The editor has a scale of 0-127, similar to the Velocity Zone Editor. Above the value scale is the draggable indicator known as the sample selector.

Please note that the position of the sample selector only determines which samples are available for triggering. Once a sample has been triggered, changing the position of the sample selector will not switch to a different sample during playback.

23.10.4

The Sample Tab

The playback characteristics of individual samples are set within the Sample tab. Most of this tab is dedicated to displaying the waveform of the currently selected sample. Mousing over the waveform will display relevant information about the sample in the Status Bar. It is important to keep in mind that most of the values in this tab re ect the state of the currently selected sample only. The Sample chooser always displays the current sample layer's name, and is another way to switch between layers when editing.

The RootKey, Detune, Vol and Pan parameters add basic per-sample mixing tools for quick assembly and tweaking of multisamples.

Reverse

This is a global, modulatable control that reverses playback of the entire multisample. Unlike the Reverse function in the Clip View, a new sample le is not generated.

Instead, sample playback begins from the Sample End point, proceeds backwards through the Sustain Loop (if active), and arrives at the Sample Start point.

The Sample Tab.

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422

Snap

Snaps all start and end points to the waveform zero-crossings (points where the amplitude is zero) to avoid clicks. As with Simpler, this snap is based on the left channel of stereo samples, so a small Crossfade value may be necessary in some cases to completely eliminate clicks.

Sample

Displays the name of the current sample layer, and can be used to quickly select from among the sample layers of the loaded multisample.

Root Key (RootKey)

De nes the root key of the current sample.

Detune

The sample tuning can be adjusted here by +/- 50 cents.

Volume

A wide-range volume control, variable from full attenuation to a gain of +24 dB.

Pan

Samples can be individually panned anywhere in the stereo panorama.

Sample Playback

All of the following

sample-speci c

parameters work in conjunction with the

global

volume envelope (in the Filter/Global tab) to create the basic voicing of the Sampler instrument. If you are unfamiliar with how envelopes work, you will nd that they are well documented in

Operator's

Envelopes

section .

All time-based values in this tab are displayed in either samples or hours:seconds:milliseconds, which can be toggled using the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu on any of their parameter boxes.

Samples in this context refer to the smallest measurable unit in digital audio, and not to the audio les themselves, which we more commonly refer to as samples.

Sample Start

The time value where playback will begin. If the volume envelope's Attack parameter is set to a high value, the audible result may seem to begin some time later than the value shown here.

Sample End

The time value where playback will end (unless a loop is enabled), even if the volume envelope has not ended.

Sustain Mode

The optional Sustain Loop de nes a region of the sample where playback will be repeated while the note is in the sustain stage of its envelope. Activating the Sustain

Loop also allows the Release Loop to be enabled. This creates several playback options:

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423

No Sustain Loop

Playback proceeds linearly until either the Sample End is reached or the volume envelope completes its release stage.

Sustain Loop Enabled

Playback proceeds linearly until Loop End is reached, when it jumps immediately to Loop Start and continues looping. If Release Mode is OFF, looping will continue inside the Sustain Loop until the volume envelope has completed its release stage.

Back-and-Forth Sustain Loop Enabled

Playback proceeds to Loop End, then reverses until it reaches Loop Start, then proceeds again towards Loop End. If Release Mode is OFF, this pattern continues until the volume envelope has completed its release stage.

Link

Enabling the Link switch sets Sample Start equal to Loop Start. Note that the Sample

Start parameter box doesn't lose its original value it simply becomes disabled so that it can be recalled with a single click.

Release Mode

Whenever the Sustain Loop is active, Release Mode can also be enabled.

OFF

The volume envelope's release stage is active, but will occur within the Sustain

Loop, with playback never proceeding beyond Loop End.

Release Enabled

When the volume envelope reaches its release stage, playback will proceed linearly towards Sample End.

Release Loop Enabled

When the volume envelope reaches its release stage, playback will proceed linearly until reaching Sample End, when it jumps immediately to Release Loop and continues looping until the volume envelope has completed its release stage.

Back-and-Forth Release Loop Enabled

When the volume envelope reaches its release stage, playback will proceed linearly until reaching Sample End, then reverses until it reaches

Release Loop, then proceeds again towards Sample End. This pattern continues until the volume envelope has completed its release stage.

Sustain- and Release-Loop Crossfade (Crossfade)

Loop crossfades help remove clicks from loop transitions. By default, Sampler uses constant-power fades at loop boundaries. But by turning off Use Constant Power Fade for Loops in the menu, you can enable linear crossfades.

(PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context

Sustain- and Release-Loop Detune (Detune)

Since loops are nothing more than oscillations,

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424 the pitch of samples may shift within a loop, relative to the loop's duration. With Detune, the pitch of these regions can be matched to the rest of the sample.

Interpolation (Interpol)

This is a global setting that determines the accuracy of transposed samples. Be aware that raising the quality level above Normal will place signi cant demands on your CPU.

RAM Mode (RAM)

This is also a global control that loads the entire multisample into RAM.

This mode can give better performance when modulating start and end points, but loading large multisamples into RAM will quickly leave your computer short of RAM for other tasks.

In any case, it is always recommended to have as much RAM in your computer as possible, as this can provide signi cant performance gains.

23.10.5

The Pitch/Osc Tab

The Modulation Oscillator

Sampler features one dedicated modulation oscillator per voice, which can perform frequency or amplitude modulation

(FM or AM)

on the multisample. The oscillator is fully featured, with 21 waveforms, plus its own loopable amplitude envelope for dynamic waveshaping. Note that this oscillator performs modulation only its output is never heard directly. What you hear is the

effect

of its output upon the multisample.

The Pitch/Osc Tab.

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425

The Pitch Envelope

The pitch envelope modulates the pitch of the sample over time, as well as of the Modulation

Oscillator, if it is enabled. This is a multi-stage envelope with Initial, Peak, Sustain and End levels. The time needed to travel between the levels is determined by the Attack, Decay and

Release settings. The values of the envelope parameters can be adjusted via the sliders, or by dragging the breakpoints in the envelope's display. Clicking on the diamonds between the breakpoints allows you to adjust the slope of the envelope segments. Positive slope values cause the envelope to move quickly at the beginning, then slower. Negative slope values cause the envelope to remain at for longer, then move faster at the end. A slope of zero is linear; the envelope will move at the same rate throughout the segment.

23.10.6

The Filter/Global Tab

The Filter

Sampler features a polyphonic lter with an optional integrated waveshaper. The

Morph

(M12 and M24) and

SVF

lter types can morph continuously from lowpass to bandpass to highpass to notch and back to lowpass. Naturally, lter morphs can be

automated .

Classic 24 dB lowpass, bandpass and highpass modes are also available, but these cannot be morphed.

The lter's cutoff frequency can be modulated over time by a dedicated lter envelope, which works similarly to the envelope in the Pitch/Osc tab.

The Filter/Global Tab.

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426

Four different curves can be chosen for the waveshaper, and its overall intensity can be controlled with the Amount slider. In addition, the signal ow direction can be adjusted with the button above the waveshaper area. With the triangle pointing up, the signal passes from the shaper to the lter. With the triangle pointing down, it passes from the lter to the shaper.

The Volume Envelope

The volume envelope is global, and de nes the articulation of Sampler's voices. Up to 32 voices are available simultaneously from each instance of the device. Voice retriggering can optionally be enabled by activating the Retrigger button to the right of the Voices chooser.

23.10.7

The Modulation Tab

The Filter/Shaper Order

Button.

The Modulation Tab.

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427

The Modulation tab offers an additional loopable envelope, plus three LFOs, all capable of modulating multiple parameters, including themselves. Each LFO can be free running, or synced to the Live Set's tempo, and LFOs 2 and 3 can produce stereo modulation effects.

LFO Attack (Attack)

This is the time needed for the LFO to reach maximum intensity. Use this, for example, to gradually introduce vibrato as a note is held.

LFO Retrigger (Retrig)

Enabling Retrigger for an LFO will cause it to reset to its starting point, or initial phase, on each new MIDI note. This can create hybrid LFO shapes if the LFO is retriggered before completing a cycle.

LFO Offset (Offset)

This changes the starting point, or initial phase of an LFO, so that it begins at a different point in its cycle. This can create hybrid LFO shapes if the LFO is retriggered before completing a cycle.

LFO Rate < Key (Key)

Also known as

keyboard tracking,

non-zero values cause an LFO's rate to increase relative to the pitch of incoming MIDI notes.

LFO Stereo Mode (Stereo)

LFOs 2 and 3 can produce two types of stereo modulation:

Phase

or

Spin.

In phase mode, the right and left LFO channels run at equal speed, and the

Phase

parameter is used to offset the right channel from the left. In spin mode, the

Spin

parameter can make the right LFO channel run up to 50% faster than the left.

23.10.8

The MIDI Tab

The MIDI tab's parameters turn Sampler into a dynamic performance instrument. The MIDI controllers

Key, Velocity, Release Velocity, Aftertouch, Modulation Wheel, Foot Controller

and

Pitch Bend

can be mapped to two destinations each, with varying degrees of in uence.

The MIDI Tab.

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23.11

Session Drums

428

Session Drums is a multisampled library of acoustic drumkits recorded by Chocolate Audio.

The collection consists of both

stereo

and

multimic

presets, programmed as

Drum Racks

for easy editing and performance possibilities.

The stereo presets are production-ready kits, carefully processed to re ect modern production techniques while keeping CPU and memory usage to a minimum. These kits come in both Full (24-bit) and LE (16-bit) versions.

The multimic presets provide maximum exibility. Each instrument is recorded with multiple microphones and with minimal processing. The individual drum chains contains samples of both the original instrument (either from a close or internal mic, depending on the drum) and its bleed into a variety of additional open microphones. Each of these levels can be mixed independently.

For maximum realism, each drum chain contains carefully programmed MIDI effects that switch between related samples automatically as notes are retriggered. This eliminates the machine gun effect common to sampled drum libraries.

The full version of Session Drums is not included with the standard version of Live, but is a special feature available for purchase separately.

23.11.1

Session Drums Installation

Session Drums is installed separately from the main Live installation. To install, drag the

Session Drums Live Packs into the Live application window, either from your operating system or from Live's Browser.

After you have installed Session Drums, you will need to authorize it. Further details can be found at the Ableton website

4

.

4 http://www.ableton.com/authorize

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429

23.11.2

Accessing the Session Drums Presets

After installation, the Session Drums presets are accessed through Live's Device Browser, in exactly the same way as Live's other built-in instruments. You will nd them as categorized presets within the

Drum Rack

folder. Session Drums presets are therefore loaded just like any other device, by dragging a preset from the Browser into an empty MIDI track.

The presets are arranged into Stereo and Multimic folders in the Browser. Complete kits and individual drums are listed in separate folders in each section.

23.11.3

Mixing the Drums

Because the Session Drums presets are organized as Drum Racks, the individual instruments can be

mixed alongside tracks

in the Session mixer. Additionally, the multimic presets include three

return chains

, which also appear in the mixer and can be mixed independently:

ˆ

Snare Bottom

this chain controls the level of the ambient vibration of the snares for each instrument

ˆ

Overhead

controls the level of the stereo overhead mics

ˆ

Room

controls the level of the stereo room mics

For both the stereo and multimic kits, each drum's close or internal mic is shown as a channel in the Session View mixer.

23.11.4

Modifying the Drumkits

All of the Session Drums presets are conveniently mapped to

Macro Controls

for greater expression. The speci c mappings differ between the stereo and multimic presets, although all presets include the following two:

ˆ

Hihat Pedal

this Macro adjusts the openness of the hihat. This is primarily a control for use by keyboard players; if you have an electronic drumkit with a hihat pedal that sends CC4 data, this will control hihat openness automatically.

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ˆ

Velocity Sensitivity

this Macro adjusts the dynamic range of the drumkit. As you turn up this control, the kit will play louder at high velocity and softer at low velocities.

In the stereo presets, the additional Macros control tuning and decay times for the individual drums in the kit. In the multimic presets, they control the ambience and room characteristics of the return chains in the Drum Rack.

From the Drum Rack's

Pad View , you can easily replace individual instruments within the kit.

For example, to replace a snare drum with one from another kit, use the Browser to navigate to the folder of the desired kit's snare presets. Then drag the entire folder to the Drum

Rack's pad view. This will replace all of the currently loaded snare components, leaving all other pads alone. Because Ableton's drum collections share common note mappings, this works when swapping between any instruments in the Session Drums or

Drum Machines

libraries.

You can also easily replace single instrument components via Live's hot-swap functionality.

To exchange only a single tom, for example, click on its pad's Hot-Swap button. Live will automatically list all matching presets in the Browser, allowing you to chose another tom. Of course, if you would like to replace the tom with another kind of instrument, you can simply navigate to another folder and make your selection there.

Session Drums also includes a comprehensive collection of

Live Clips , which are installed to

your Library. Loading a Live Clip to an empty MIDI track loads a combination of MIDI notes, a drum kit and custom effects that you can use as a starting point for your own creative work.

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23.12

Simpler

431

Simpler is an instrument that integrates the basic elements of a sampler with a set of classic synthesizer parameters. A Simpler voice plays a user-de ned sample section, which is in turn processed by envelope, lter, LFO, volume and pitch components.

Presets created in Simpler can be converted for use in

Sampler , and vice-versa. To do

this, (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on Simpler's title bar and choose the Simpler -> Sampler command. In this way, presets created in Simpler can be further edited with Sampler's extended functionality.

The Simpler Instrument.

23.12.1

Sample View

The Sample View displays the sample waveform. Samples can be dragged into Simpler either directly from the Browser, or from the Session or Arrangement View in the form of clips. In the latter case, Simpler will utilize only the section of the sample demarcated by the clip's start/end or loop markers. Samples can be replaced by dragging in a new sample, or by activating the integrated

Hot-Swap button .

Note:

When playing instruments from Ableton's

Essential Instrument Collection 2 , Simpler

runs in

Multisample Mode

. The Sample View has no function in this mode.

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432

23.12.2

Sample Controls

Simpler plays a speci c region or loop of the sample, as determined by a group of sample controls.

The Start and Length controls work together to specify where Simpler begins and ends its sweep of the sample. As the name implies, Start de nes where sample playback starts.

The sample will play for the length de ned by the Length parameter. Both parameters are de ned as a percentage of the whole region, so setting start to 25 percent and length to

50 percent, for example, will start playback 1/4 of the way through the sample and stop playback at the 3/4 mark (using 50 percent of the sample).

Samples are played by Simpler as one-shots or as loops, depending on whether or not the

Loop switch is active. When looping is active, the Loop control dictates the length of the loop, starting from the end of the playing sample. Simpler will play the rst instance of a looped sample beginning with the Start point, then continue playing only the loop region.

When the sample's start or end points are moved, Simpler will try to preserve the loop length for as long as possible by automatically adjusting the Start, Loop and Length settings.

It is possible for glitches or pops to occur between a looped sample's start and end points due to the discontinuity in waveform amplitude (i.e., the sample's loudness). The Snap switch will help mitigate these by forcing Simpler's loop markers to snap to

zero-crossing

points in the sample (points where the amplitude is zero). Note: Snapping is based on the left channel of stereo samples. It is therefore still possible, even with Snap activated, to encounter glitches with stereo samples.

The transition from loop end to loop start can be smoothed with the Fade control, which crossfades the two points. This method is especially useful when working with long, textural samples. By default, Simpler uses constant-power fades. But by turning off Use Constant

Power Fade for Loops in the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu, you can enable linear crossfades.

23.12.3

Zoom

Quite often, one starts with a longer region of a sample and ends up using only a small part of it. Simpler's Sample view can be zoomed and panned just as in other parts of Live drag

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE vertically to zoom, and drag horizontally to pan different areas of the sample into view.

433

23.12.4

Envelope

Simpler contains three classic ADSR envelopes, as seen in most synthesizers, for shaping the dynamic response of the sample. Volume-, lter frequency-, and pitch modulation are all modi able by toggling their respective buttons in the envelope section.

Attack

controls the time in milliseconds that it takes for the envelope to reach its peak value after a note is played.

Decay

controls the amount of time it takes for the envelope to drop down to the

Sustain

level, which is held until the note is released.

Release

time is the amount of time after the end of the note that it takes for the envelope to drop from the Sustain level back down to zero.

The in uence of envelopes on pitch and lter cutoff can be decided using the envelope amount (Env) controls in each of these sections.

23.12.5

Filter

The Filter section offers classic 12 dB or 24 dB lowpass, bandpass and highpass lters, as well as a notch lter, each of which can impart different sonic characteristics onto the sample by removing certain frequencies from the waveform. The most important parameters are the typical synth controls Frequency and Resonance.

Frequency

determines where in the harmonic spectrum the lter is applied;

Resonance

boosts frequencies near that point.

The best way to understand the effects of these controls is simply to play with them!

The Frequency parameter can be modulated by an LFO, note velocity and an envelope each of which have an amount control in the Filter section. The Key (tracking) control allows for shifting the lter's frequency according to note pitch.

23.12.6

LFO

The LFO (low-frequency oscillator) section offers sine, square, triangle, sawtooth down, sawtooth up and random waveforms. The LFO run freely at frequencies between 0.01 and

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434

30 Hz, or sync to divisions of the Set's tempo. LFOs are applied individually to each

voice

, or played note, in Simpler.

The Key parameter scales each LFO's Rate in proportion to the pitch of incoming notes. A high Key setting assigns higher notes a higher LFO rate. If Key is set to zero, all voices'

LFOs have the same rate and may just differ in their phase.

The LFO will modulate the lter, pitch, panorama and volume according to the setting of the LFO amount controls in each of these sections.

The time required for the LFO to reach full intensity is determined by the Attack control.

23.12.7

Glide and Spread

Simpler includes a glide function. When this function is activated, new notes will start from the pitch of the last note played and then slide gradually to their own pitch. Two glide modes are available: Glide, which works monophonically, and Portamento, which works polyphonically. Glide is also adjusted with the Glide Time control.

Simpler also offers a special Spread parameter that creates a rich stereo chorus by using two voices per note and panning one to the left and one to the right. The two voices are detuned, and the amount of detuning can be adjusted with the Spread control.

Tip:

Whether or not spread is applied to a particular note depends upon the setting of the Spread parameter during the note-on event. To achieve special effects, you could, for instance, create a sequence where Spread is zero most of the time and turned on only for some notes. These notes will then play in stereo, while the others will play mono.

23.12.8

Pitch, Pan, Volume and Voices

Simpler plays back a sample at its original pitch if the incoming MIDI note is C3, however the

Transpose control allows transposing this by +/- 48 semitones. Pitch can also be modulated by an LFO or pitch envelope using the amount controls in this section. The pitch envelope is especially helpful in creating percussive sounds. Simpler reacts to MIDI Pitch Bend messages with a sensitivity of +/- 5 semitones. You can also modulate the Transpose parameter with clip envelopes and external controllers.

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435

The Voices parameter sets the maximum number of voices that Simpler can play simultaneously. If more voices are needed than have been allocated by the Voices chooser, voice stealing will take place, in which the oldest voice(s) will be dropped in favor of those that are new. For example, if your Voices parameter is set to 8, and ten voices are all vying to be played, the two oldest voices will be dropped. (Simpler does try to make voice stealing as subtle as possible.)

Panorama is de ned by the Pan control, but can be further swayed by randomness or modulated by the LFO.

Finally, the output volume of Simpler is controlled by the Volume control, which can also be dependent upon note velocity, as adjusted by the Velocity control. Tremolo effects can be achieved by allowing the LFO to modulate the Volume parameter.

23.12.9

Strategies for Saving CPU Power

Real-time synthesis needs lots of computing power. However, there are strategies for reducing CPU load. Save the CPU spent on Simpler by doing some of the following:

ˆ

Turn off the Filter if it is not needed.

ˆ

Use lter types that are less CPU-intensive when possible. A lter's CPU cost correlates with the steepness of its slope LP24 requires more CPU than LP12.

ˆ

Turn off the LFO for a slightly positive in uence on CPU.

ˆ

Stereo samples need signi cantly more CPU than mono samples, as they require twice the processing.

ˆ

Decrease the number of simultaneously allowed voices with the Voice control.

ˆ

Turn Spread to 0% if it is not needed.

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23.13

Tension

436

Tension is a synthesizer dedicated to the emulation of string instruments, and developed in collaboration with Applied Acoustics Systems. The synthesizer is entirely based on physical modeling technology and uses no sampling or wavetables. Instead, it produces sound by solving mathematical equations that model the different components in string instruments and how they interact. This elaborate synthesis engine responds dynamically to the control signals it receives while you play thereby reproducing the richness and responsiveness of real string instruments.

The full version of Tension is not included with the standard version of Live, but is a special feature available for purchase separately.

Tension features four types of excitators (two types of hammer, a pick and a bow) an accurate model of a string, a model of the fret/ nger interaction, a damper model and different types of soundboards. The combination of these different elements allows for the reproduction of a wide range of string instruments. Tension is also equipped with lters, LFOs and envelope parameters that extend the sound sculpting possibilities beyond what would be possible with real-world instruments. Finally, Tension offers a wide range of performance features, including keyboard modes, portamento, vibrato and legato functions.

The Tension Instrument.

23.13.1

Architecture and Interface

It is the vibration from the

string

which constitutes the main sound production mechanism of the instrument. The string is set into motion by the action of an

excitator

which can be

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE

437 a hammer, a pick or a bow. The frequency of the oscillation is determined by the effective length of the string, which is controlled by the nger/fret interaction or

termination

. A

damper

can be applied to the strings in order to reduce the decay time of the oscillation.

This is the case on a piano, for example, when felt is applied to the strings by releasing the keys and sustain pedal. The vibration from the string is then transmitted to the

body

of the instrument, which can radiate sound ef ciently. In some instruments, the string vibration is transmitted directly to the body through the bridge. In other instruments, such as the electric guitar, a

pickup

is used to transmit the string vibration to an ampli er. In addition to these main sections, a

lter

section has been included between the string and body sections in order to expand the sonic possibilities of the instrument.

The Tension interface is divided into two main tabs, which are further divided into sections.

The

String

tab contains all of the fundamental sound producing components related to the string itself:

Excitator

,

String

,

Damper

,

Termination

,

Pickup

and

Body

. The

Filter/Global

tab contains the

Filter

section, as well as controls for global performance parameters. Each section (with the exception of String and the global Keyboard section) can be enabled or disabled independently. Turning off a section reduces CPU usage.

23.13.2

String Tab

The String tab contains the parameters related to the physical properties of the string itself, as well as the way in which it's played.

The Excitator Section

Tension's Excitator

Section.

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438

The modelled string can be played using different types of excitators in order to reproduce different types of instruments and playing techniques. The excitator is selected using the Type chooser, and the choices available are

Bow

,

Hammer

,

Hammer (bouncing)

and

Plectrum

.

Bow

- this excitator is associated with bowed instruments such as the violin, viola or cello.

The bow sets the string in sustained oscillation. The motion of the bow hair across the string creates friction, causing the string to alternate between sticking to the hair and breaking free.

The frequency of this alternation between sticking and slipping determines the fundamental pitch.

The Force knob adjusts the amount of pressure being applied to the string by the bow. The sound becomes more scratchy as you increase this value. The friction between the bow and the string can be adjusted with the Friction control. Higher values usually result in a faster attack. Velocity adjusts the speed of the bow across the string. Finally, the Vel and

Key sliders below these three controls allow you to modulate their behavior based on note velocity or pitch, respectively.

Hammer

and

Hammer (bouncing)

- these two excitator types simulate the behavior of soft hammers or mallets. Hammer models a hammer that is located below the string and strikes it once before falling away. This type of mechanism is found in a piano, for example.

Hammer (bouncing) models a hammer that is located above the string and is dropped onto it, meaning that it can bounce on the string multiple times. This playing mode can be found on a hammered dulcimer, for example.

The mass and stiffness of the hammer are adjusted with the (surprise) Mass and Stiffness knobs, while Velocity controls the speed at which the hammer is struck against the string. As with the Bow excitator, these three parameters can be further modulated by note velocity and pitch by adjusting the Vel and Key sliders. The behavior of the hammer is further controlled by the Damping knob, which adjusts how much of the hammer's impact force is absorbed back into the hammer. It is somewhat analogous to the Stiffness parameter, but instead of controlling the stiffness of the hammer's surface it adjusts the stiffness of the virtual spring that connects the hammer to the mass that powers it. As you increase the Damping amount, the interaction between the hammer and string will become shorter, generally resulting in a louder, brighter sound.

Plectrum

- a plectrum or pick is associated with instruments such as guitars and harpsichords. It can be thought of as an angled object placed under the string that snaps the

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE

439 string into motion.

The Protrusion knob adjusts how much of the plectrum's surface area is placed under the string. Lower values results in a thinner, smaller sound, as there is less mass setting the string into motion. The Stiffness, Velocity and Damping knobs behave similarly to the

Hammer mode. Protrusion, Stiffness, Velocity and Position can be modulated by velocity or note pitch via the Vel and Key sliders.

The Position knob is applicable to each excitator model, and speci es the point on the string where the excitator makes contact. At 0%, the excitator contacts the string at its termination point, while at 50% it activates the string at its midpoint. The behavior is a bit different if the Fix. Pos switch is enabled, however. In this case, the contact point is xed to a single location, rather than changing as the length of the string changes. This behavior is similar to that of a guitar, where the picking position is always basically the same regardless of the notes being played. On a piano, the excitator position is relative - the hammers normally strike the string at about 1/7th of their length - and so is best modelled with Fix. Pos turned off. The excitator's position can additionally be modulated by velocity or note pitch, via the

Vel and Key sliders.

The Excitator section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name. With it off, the string can only be activated by interaction with its

damper . (If both the Excitator and

Damper sections are disabled, nothing can set the string in motion - if you nd that you're not producing any sound, check to see that at least one of these sections is on.)

Please note that the Excitator section's parameters work closely together to in uence the overall behavior of the instrument. You may nd that certain combinations of settings result in no sound at all, for example.

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE

The String Section

440

The vibration of the string is the main component of a stringed instrument's sound. The effective length of the string is also responsible for the pitch of the sound we hear.

The theoretical model of a resonating string is harmonic, meaning that the string's partials are all exact multiples of the fundamental frequency. Real-world strings, however, are all more or less inharmonic, and this increases with the width of the string. The Inharm slider models this behavior, causing upper partials to become increasingly out of tune as its value increases.

The Damping slider adjusts the amount of high frequency content in the string's vibration.

Higher values result in more upper partials (less damping). This parameter can be modulated by note pitch via the <Key slider to its right.

The Decay slider determines how long it takes for the resonating string to decay to silence.

Higher values increase the decay time. The <Key slider next to Decay allows decay time to be modulated by note pitch.

The Ratio slider sets the ratio of the decay time of the string's oscillation during note onset and release. At 0%, the time set by the Decay slider sets the decay time for both the onset and release of the note. As you increase the Ratio, the release time decreases but the onset decay time stays the same.

Tension's String Section.

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE

The Vibrato Section

441

The Vibrato section uses an LFO to modulate the string's pitch. As with all of Tension's parameters, the controls in this section can be used to enhance the realism of a stringed instrument model or to create something never heard before.

The two most important parameters in this section are the Rate and Amount sliders. Rate adjusts the frequency of the pitch variation, while Amount adjusts the intensity (amplitude) of the effect.

The Delay slider sets how long it will take for the vibrato to start after the note begins, while

Attack sets how long it takes for the vibrato to reach full intensity (as set by the Amount knob).

The <Mod slider adjusts how much the modulation wheel will affect the vibrato intensity.

This control is relative to the value set by the Amount knob.

The Error slider introduces unpredictability into the vibrato, by introducing random deviation to the Rate, Amount, Delay and Attack parameters.

Tension's Vibrato

Section.

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The Damper Section

442

All string instruments employ some type of damping mechanism that mutes the resonating string. In pianos, this is a felt pad that is applied to the string when the key is released. In instruments such as guitars and violins, the player damps by stopping the string's vibration with the ngers. Dampers regulate the decay of strings but also produce some sound of their own, which is an important characteristic of a string instrument's timbre.

Although a damper functions to mute the string rather than activate it, it is somewhat analogous to a hammer, and shares some of the same parameters.

The Mass knob controls how hard the damper's surface will press against the string. As you increase the value, the string will mute more quickly.

The stiffness of the damper's material is adjusted with the Stiffness control. Lower values simulate soft materials such as felt, while higher values model a metal damper.

Note that very high Mass and Stiffness values can simulate dampers that connect with the string hard enough to change its effective length, thus causing a change in tuning.

The Velocity control adjusts the speed with which the damper is applied to the string when the key is released, as well as the speed with which it is lifted from the string when the key is depressed. Be careful with this parameter - very high Velocity values can cause the damper to hit the string extremely hard, which can result in a very loud sound on key release. Note that the state of the Gated switch determines whether or not the Velocity control is enabled.

When the Gated switch is turned on, the damper is applied to the string when the key is released. With Gated off, the damper always remains on the string, which means that the

Velocity control has no effect.

Tension's Damper

Section.

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443

The Mass, Stiffness and Velocity parameters can be further modulated by note pitch, via the sliders below.

The stiffness of the damper mechanism is adjusted with the Damping knob, which affects the overall amount of vibration absorbed by the damper. Lower values result in less damping

(longer decay times.) But this becomes a bit less predictable as the Damping value goes over 50%. At higher values, the mechanism becomes so stiff that it bounces against the string. This in turn reduces the overall amount of time that the damper is in contact with the string, causing an increase in decay time. The best way to get a sense of how this parameter behaves is to gradually turn up the knob as you repeatedly strike a single key.

The Position knob serves an analogous function to the control in the Excitator section, but here speci es the point on the string where the damper makes contact. At 0%, the damper contacts the string at its termination point, while at 50% it damps the string at its midpoint.

The behavior is a bit different if the Fix. Pos switch is enabled, however. In this case, the contact point is xed to a single location, rather than changing as the length of the string changes. The damper's position can additionally be modulated by velocity or note pitch, via the Vel and Key sliders.

The Damper section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name.

The Termination Section

The Termination section models the interaction between the fret, nger and string. On a physical instrument, this interaction is used to change the effective length of the string, which in turn sets the pitch of the note played. The physical parameters of the nger are

Tension's Termination

Section.

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE

444 adjusted with the Fing Mass and Fing Stiff knobs, which set the force the nger applies to the string and the nger's stiffness, respectively. The Mass amount can be additionally modulated by velocity or note pitch via the sliders. The stiffness of the fret is modelled with the Fret Stiff parameter.

The Pickup Section

The Pickup section models an electromagnetic pickup, similar to the type found in an electric guitar or electric piano. The only control here is the Position slider, which functions similarly to this parameter in the Excitator and Damper sections. At 0%, the pickup is located at the string's termination point, while at 50% it is under the midpoint of the string. Lower values generally result in a brighter, thinner sound, while higher values have more fullness and depth.

The Pickup section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name.

Tension's Pickup Section.

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE

The Body Section

445

The role of the body or soundboard of a string instrument is to radiate the vibration energy from the strings. The body also lters these vibrations, based on its size and shape. In some instruments, such as guitars, the body also includes an air cavity which boosts low frequencies.

The body type chooser allows you to select from different body types modelled after physical instruments.

The body size chooser sets the relative size of the resonant body, from extra small (XS) to extra large (XL). In general, as you increase the body size, the frequency of the resonance will become lower. You can further modify the body's frequency response with the Hi Cut and Low Cut knobs.

The decay time of the body's resonance can be adjusted with the Decay knob. Higher values mean a longer decay.

The Str/Body knob adjusts the ratio between the String section's direct output and the signal ltered by the Body section. When turned all the way to the right, there is no direct output from the String section. When turned all the way to the left, the Body section is effectively bypassed.

The Body section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name.

The lonely Volume knob to the right of this section sets the overall output of the instrument.

This knob is replicated on the Filter/Global tab.

Tension's Body Section.

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446

23.13.3

Filter/Global Tab

The Filter/Global tab contains the lter parameters for the instrument, as well as global controls.

The Filter Section

Tension's Filter section features a highly con gurable multi-mode lter that sits between the

String and Body sections. In addition, the lter can be modulated by a dedicated envelope generator and low-frequency oscillator (LFO).

The lter's chooser allows you to select the lter type. You can choose between 2nd and

4th order low-pass, band-pass, notch, high-pass and formant lters.

The resonance frequency of the lter is adjusted with the Freq slider, while the amount of resonance is adjusted with the Res control. When a formant lter is chosen in the chooser, the Res control cycles between vowel sounds. The Freq and Res controls can each be modulated by LFO, envelope or note pitch via the sliders below. Note that the LFO and

Env sliders have no effect unless the Envelope and LFO subsections are enabled.

The Envelope generator is a standard ADSR (attack, decay, sustain, release). This section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name.

The attack time is set with the Attack knob. This time can also be modulated by velocity via the Vel slider below the knob. As you increase the Vel value, the attack time will become increasingly shorter at higher velocities.

Tension's Filter Section.

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447

The time it takes for the envelope to reach the sustain level after the attack phase is set by the Decay knob.

The Sustain knob sets the level at which the envelope will remain from the end of the decay phase to the release of the key. When this knob is turned all the way to the left, there is no sustain phase. With it turned all the way to the right, there is no decay phase. The sustain level can be additionally modulated by velocity via the Vel slider below the knob. Higher values result in an increased sustain level as the velocity increases.

Finally, the release time is set with the Release knob. This is the time it takes for the envelope to reach zero after the key is released.

The LFO subsection provides an additional modulation source for the lter. This section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name.

The waveform chooser sets the type of waveform used by the LFO. You can choose between sine, triangle, rectangular and two types of random waveforms. The rst random waveform steps between random values while the second uses smoother ramps.

The Delay knob sets how long it will take for the LFO to start after the note begins, while

Attack sets how long it takes for the oscillator to reach its full amplitude.

The LFO's speed is set with the Rate knob. The switches below this knob toggle the Rate between frequency in Hertz and tempo-synced beat divisions.

The entire Filter section can be toggled on or off via the switch next to its name.

CHAPTER 23. LIVE INSTRUMENT REFERENCE

Global and Keyboard Parameters

448

The remaining section contain all of the parameters that adjust how Tension responds to

MIDI data, as well as controls for performance parameters such as tuning and portamento.

The Keyboard section contains all of Tension's polyphony and tuning parameters. The Voices chooser sets the available polyphony, while Priority determines which notes will be cut off when the maximum polyphony is exceeded. When Priority is set to High, new notes that are higher than currently sustained notes will have priority, and notes will be cut off starting from the lowest pitch. Low Priority is the opposite. A setting of Last gives priority to the most recently played notes, cutting off the oldest notes as necessary.

The Octave, Semi and Tuning controls function as coarse and ne tuners. Octave transposes the entire instrument by octaves, while Semi transposes up or down in semitone increments.

The Tuning slider adjusts in increments of one cent (up to a maximum of 50 cents up or down).

The pitch bend modulation range in semitones is set by the P. Bend slider.

Stretch simulates a technique known as stretch tuning, which is a common tuning modi cation made to electric and acoustic pianos. At 0%, Tension will play in equal temperament, which means that two notes are an octave apart when the upper note's fundamental pitch is exactly twice the lower note's. But because the actual resonance behavior of a vibrating tine or string differs from the theoretical model, equal temperament tends to sound wrong on pianos. Increasing the Stretch amount raises the pitch of upper notes while lowering the pitch of lower ones. The result is a more brilliant sound. Negative values simulate negative stretch tuning; upper notes become atter while lower notes become sharper.

Tension's Global and

Keyboard Parameters.

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449

The Error slider increases the amount of random tuning error applied to each note. Try very high values if you would like to relive your experiences from junior high school orchestra.

The Unison section allows you to stack multiple voices for each note played. The switch next to the name toggles the section on or off.

The Voices switch selects between two or four stacked voices, while Detune adjusts the amount of tuning variation applied to each stacked voice. Low values can create a subtle chorusing effect, while high values provide another good way to approximate a youth orchestra. Increasing the Delay amount adds lag before each stacked voice is activated.

The Portamento section is used to make the pitch slide between notes rather than changing immediately. The effect can be toggled on and off via the switch next to its name.

With Legato enabled, the sliding will only occur if the second note is played before the rst note is released.

Proportional causes the slide time to be proportional to the interval between the notes.

Large intervals will slide slower than small intervals. Disabling this switch causes the slide time to be constant regardless of interval.

The Time slider sets the overall speed of the slide.

The Volume knob sets the overall output of the instrument.

23.13.4

Sound Design Tips

At rst glance, Tension's modular architecture may not seem so different from what you're used to in other synthesizers; it consists of functional building blocks that feed information through a signal path and modify it as it goes. But it's important to remember that Tension's components are not isolated from one another; what you do to one parameter can have a dramatic effect on a parameter somewhere else. Because of this, it's very easy to nd parameter combinations that produce no sound at all. It's also very easy to create

extremely

loud sounds, so be careful when setting levels!

When programming Tension, it may help to think about the various sections as if they really are attached to a single, physical object. For example, a bow moving at a slow speed could perhaps excite an undamped string. But if that string is constricted by an enormous damper, the bow will need to increase its velocity to have any effect.

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To get a sense of what's possible, it may help to study how the presets were made. You'll soon realize that Tension can do far more than just strings.

23.14

The Essential Instrument Collection 2

The boxed version of Live 8 ships with the Essential Instrument Collection 2, a multi-gigabyte library of meticulously sampled instruments created in cooperation with SONiVOX,

Chocolate Audio and Puremagnetik.

Note

The Essential Instrument Collection 2 is not included with downloadable purchases.

Download customers can choose, however, to have the Live 8 box including the Essential

Instrument 2 Collection shipped to them later for an additional fee

5

.

23.14.1

Essential Instrument Collection 2 Installation

The Essential Instrument Collection 2 (EIC) is installed separately from the main Live installation. The various instruments on the EIC DVD are grouped into separate Live Packs that can be installed as needed. To install Live Packs, drag them into the Live application window, either from your operating system or from Live's Browser.

After you have installed the EIC Live Packs, you will need to authorize them. Further details can be found at the Ableton website

6

.

23.14.2

Accessing The EIC Instruments

After installation, the EIC instruments are accessed through Live's Device Browser, in exactly the same way as Live's other built-in instruments. You will nd them as categorized presets within the

Instrument Rack

folder. EIC instruments are therefore loaded just like any other device, by dragging a preset from the Browser into an empty MIDI track.

5 http://www.ableton.com/shop

6 http://www.ableton.com/authorize

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451

The EIC presets are available in Full and Lite versions, allowing you to choose the right balance of delity and polyphony for your needs. The Lite version reduces CPU, RAM and disk requirements by reducing the number of zones and sample layers used. Both the normal and Lite presets use 24-bit multisamples.

There is also an EIC LE Pack available which contains very ef cient versions of the EIC instruments suitable for sketching out ideas. The LE instruments are all composed of 16-bit sample les.

All of the EIC presets are conveniently mapped to

Macro Controls

for greater expression.

23.14.3

The Included Instruments

The following multisampled instruments are included:

ˆ

Acoustic Keyboards

Grand Piano, Harpsichord, Celesta

ˆ

Electric Keyboards

E-Piano MK 1, B3 Jazz Organ, B3 Rock Organ

ˆ

Orchestral Strings

Solo Strings (legato): Double Bass, Cello, Viola, Violin; Ensemble

Strings (legato, pizzicato)

ˆ

Orchestral Brass

Solo Brass (legato): French Horn, Bass Trombone, Tuba (Eb),

Trumpet; Ensemble Brass (legato, staccato)

ˆ

Orchestral Woodwinds

Solo Woodwinds (legato, legato vibrato): English Horn, Bassoon, Clarinet, French Oboe, Concert Flute, Alto Sax; Ensemble Woodwinds (legato)

ˆ

Plucked Instruments

Harp ( ngers), Jazz Upright Bass, P-Bass ( ngers, picks), Six-

String Nylon Guitar (tones, chords), Strat Clean (tones, chords)

ˆ

Mallets

Glockenspiel (hard mallets), Xylophone (hard mallets)

ˆ

Voice

Mixed Choir (ahh, ohh)

ˆ

Drum Machine

one drum machine, selected from the

Drum Machines

add-on product

ˆ

Acoustic Drum Kit

one stereo multisampled drum kit, selected from the

Session

Drums

add-on product

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452

Special Features of the Guitar and Bass Banks

The EIC's guitar instruments have additional banks for single-key chords with strumming, and the PBass instrument has a similar bank for down- and up- strokes played with a pick.

In all cases, lower octaves play down strums, while upper octaves play up strums.

453

Chapter 24

Max for Live

Max for Live,

an add-on product co-developed with Cycling '74, allows users to extend and customize Live by creating instruments, audio effects, and MIDI devices. Max for Live can also be used to extend the functionality of hardware controllers and even modify clips and parameters within a Live Set.

In addition to providing a comprehensive toolkit for building devices, Max for Live also comes with a collection of pre-made instruments, effects and tutorials. These can be used just like Live's built-in devices and can also give you ideas for your own device building projects. Please note that this content will only be available after Max is installed and authorized.

24.1

Installing and Authorizing Max for Live

In order to use Max for Live, you must install Live 8.1 (or newer) and Max 5.1 (or newer).

Max is available as a download from Cycling '74's website

1

.

Like all Ableton add-ons, Max for Live must be authorized before it can be used. The chapter

1 http://www.cycling74.com

CHAPTER 24. MAX FOR LIVE

454 on

authorizing Live

contains more information about this process, and in-depth instructions can be found at the Ableton website

2

.

If you've installed Max to somewhere other than the default location, you will rst need to point to it in Live's File/Folder Preferences:

Once authorization is complete and Live has found the Max application, Max for Live should be ready for use. At this point, the Max content will begin to install into your Live Library.

The Path to the Max

Installation.

24.2

Using Max for Live Devices

Max for Live comes with a collection of instruments and effects which are ready for use.

Max for Live devices appear in the

Max Instrument

,

Max MIDI Effect

and

Max Audio Effect

sections of Live's Device Browser.

Many of these devices also come with their own presets, which are similar to

Live's device presets

but with one important difference: because a Max device can be stored outside of

Live's Library, it is important to make sure that any presets that refer to this device remain associated with it.

If you save a preset for a Max device that is outside of the Library, Live will try to maintain the necessary le references by copying the Max device into the Library and saving the preset based on this copy. If the referenced Max le is then moved or renamed, however, these le associations may be broken. If this happens, you can use Live's

File Manager

to x the problem.

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To avoid these issues, we recommend always storing Max devices and their presets in the same folder. Live's Library is the preferred location.

24.3

Editing Max for Live Devices

Max devices (or patches ) are constructed of

objects

that send data to each other via virtual cables. An empty Max Audio Effect, for example, already contains some of these elements: the

plugin~

object passes all incoming audio to the

plugout~

object, which then passes the audio on to any additional devices in the chain.

A Max Device and its

Presets in the Device

Browser.

A Default Max Audio

Effect.

CHAPTER 24. MAX FOR LIVE

456

To load an empty Max device, drag a

Max Instrument

,

Max MIDI Effect

or

Max Audio Effect

from the Device Browser into your Set.

What a Max device actually does depends on the objects that it contains, and the way in which they're connected together. The area where you work with Max objects is called the editor (or patcher ), and can be accessed by pressing the

Edit

button in the Max device's title bar.

The Edit Button for a

Max Device.

This launches the Max editor in a new window, with the current device loaded and ready for editing.

After editing, you should save your Max device before you use it in Live. This is done via the

Save or Save As commands in Max's File menu. Saving an edited device will automatically update all instances of that device that are used in your current Live Set. If you choose Save

As, you will be asked whether or not the new version should update only the device that was originally opened for editing or all instances of the device in the Set.

The default location when saving a Max device is the folder in the Library that corresponds to the type of device being saved. We recommend always saving Max devices to this default

A Default Max Audio

Effect in the Patcher.

CHAPTER 24. MAX FOR LIVE

457 location.

Note: unlike Live's native devices, Max devices are

not

saved inside Live Sets, but rather as separate les.

24.4

Max Dependencies

As mentioned earlier, there are some special le management considerations when creating presets for Max devices. Additionally, Max devices themselves may depend on other les

(such as samples, pictures, or even other Max patches) in order to work properly. In this case, you may want to use Live's

le management tools

to collect all of these dependencies into a single place, particularly if you want to share your Max devices.

One way in which Max for Live helps to deal with external dependencies is by allowing you to

freeze

a Max device. A frozen device contains all of the les that are needed to use it.

Note that freezing of Max devices is

not

the same as Live's

Freeze Track

command.

To learn more about freezing, and about how Max deals with managing dependencies for its own les, we recommend reading the built-in Max documentation.

24.5

Learning Max Programming

To help you learn more about building and editing Max devices, Cycling '74 provides comprehensive documentation and tutorials built into the Max environment. To access this documentation, select Max Help from the Help menu in any Max window. There is also a

Max for Live Help entry in the same menu.

Max for Live also comes with a number of Lessons which provide step-by-step tutorials for building a variety of Max devices. These Lessons are available from Live's Help View, which can be accessed from Live's Help menu.

458

Chapter 25

MIDI and Key Remote Control

To liberate the musician from the mouse, most of Live's controls can be

remote-controlled

with an external MIDI controller and the computer keyboard. This chapter describes the details of mapping to the following speci c types of controls in Live's user interface:

1.

Session View slots

Note that MIDI and computer key assignments are bound to the slots, not to the clips they contain.

2.

Switches and buttons

among them the Track and Device Activator switches, the Control Bar's tap tempo, metronome and transport controls.

3.

Radio buttons

A radio button selects from among a number of options. One instance of a radio button is the

crossfader assignment section

in each track, which offers three options: The track is assigned to the crossfader's A position, the track is unaffected by the crossfader, or the track is affected by the crossfader's

B position.

4.

Continuous controls

like the mixer's volume, pan and sends.

5.

The crossfader

, the behavior of which is described in detail in the

respective section

of the Mixing chapter.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

25.1

MIDI Remote Control

459

Live can be controlled remotely by external MIDI control surfaces, such as MIDI keyboards or controller boxes. Live also offers dedicated control via the

Akai APC40 ,

Akai APC20

and

Novation Launchpad .

Before we explain how remote control assignments are made and implemented, let's rst make the distinction between MIDI remote control and a separate use of MIDI in Live: as the input for our MIDI tracks. Let's suppose that you are using a MIDI keyboard to

play an instrument

in one of Live's MIDI tracks. If you assign C-1 on your MIDI keyboard to a Session

View Clip Launch button, that key will cease play C-1 of your MIDI track's instrument, as it now belongs solely to the Clip Launch button.

MIDI keys that become part of remote control assignments can no longer be used as input for MIDI tracks.

This is a common cause of confusion that can be easily resolved by observing the Control Bar's

MIDI indicators .

Before making any MIDI assignments, you will need to set up Live to recognize your control surfaces. This is done in the MIDI/Sync tab of Live's Preferences, which can be opened with the keyboard shortcut

Ctrl

,

(PC) /

,

(Mac).

25.1.1

Natively Supported Control Surfaces

Control Surfaces are de ned in the table at the top of the MIDI/Sync tab. Up to six supported control surfaces can be used simultaneously in Live.

Open the rst chooser in the

Control Surface

column to see whether your control surface is supported natively by Live; if it is listed here, you can select it by name, and then de ne its MIDI input and output ports using the two columns to the right.

If your controller is not

Setting Up Control

Surfaces.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

460

listed here, don't fret it can still be enabled manually in the next section,

Manual Control

Surface Setup .

Depending on the controller, Live may need to perform a preset dump to complete the setup. If this is the case, the

Dump

button to the right of your control surface's choosers in the Live Preferences will become enabled. Before pressing it, verify that your control surface is ready to receive preset dumps. The method for enabling this varies for each manufacturer and product, so consult your hardware's documentation if you are unsure. Finally, press the

Dump button; Live will then set up your hardware automatically.

Instant Mappings

In most cases, Live uses a standard method for mapping its functions and parameters to physical controls. This varies, of course, depending upon the con guration of knobs, sliders and buttons on the control surface. These feature-dependent con gurations are known as

instant mappings.

Within Live's built-in lessons, you will nd a

Control Surface Reference

that lists all currently supported hardware, complete with the details of their instant mappings. Lessons can be accessed at any time by selecting the Help View option from the View menu.

Note:

You can always

manually override

any instant mappings with your own assignments.

In this case, you will also want to enable the Remote switches for the MIDI ports that your control surface is using. This is done in the MIDI Ports section of the MIDI/Sync Preferences tab, and is described in the

next section .

Instant mappings are advantageous because the control surface's controllers will automatically reassign themselves in order to control the currently selected device in Live.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

461

In addition to following device selection,

natively supported

control surfaces can be locked to speci c devices, guaranteeing hands-on access no matter where the current focus is in your Live Set. To enable or disable locking, (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on a device's title bar, and then select your preferred controller from the Lock to...

context menu. You'll recognize the same list of control surfaces that you de ned in the MIDI/Sync Preferences.

By default, the instrument in a MIDI track will automatically be locked to the control surface when the track is armed for recording.

Control Surfaces Can

Follow Device Selection.

A hand icon in the title bar of locked devices serves as a handy reminder of their status.

Getting Hands-On:

Control Surfaces Can Be

Locked to Devices.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

462

Note: Some control surfaces do not support locking to devices.

This capability is indicated for individual controllers in the

Control Surface Reference

lesson. Select the Lessons option from the View menu to access Live's built-in lessons.

25.1.2

Manual Control Surface Setup

If your MIDI control surface is not listed in the MIDI/Sync Preferences' Control Surface chooser, it can still be enabled for manual mapping in the

MIDI Ports

section of this tab.

The MIDI Ports table lists all available MIDI input and output ports. To use an input port for remote control of Live, make sure the corresponding switch in its

Remote

column is set to On. You can use any number of MIDI ports for remote mapping; Live will merge their incoming MIDI signals.

When working with a control surface that provides physical or visual feedback, you will also need to enable the Remote switch for its output port. Live needs to be able to communicate with such control surfaces when a value has changed so that they can update the positions of their motorized faders or the status of their LEDs to match.

To test your setup, try sending some MIDI data to Live from your control surface. The Control

Bar's

MIDI indicators

will ash whenever Live recognizes an incoming MIDI message.

Once your controller is recognized by Live, you have completed the setup phase (but we recommend that you take the time to select a

Takeover Mode

before you leave the

Preferences behind). Your next step will be

creating MIDI mappings

between your control surface and Live. Luckily, this is a simple task, and you only need to do it for one parameter at a time.

De ning Control

Surfaces Manually.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

25.1.3

Takeover Mode

463

When MIDI controls that send absolute values (such as faders) are used in a bank-switching setup, where they address a different destination parameter with each controller bank, you will need to decide how Live should handle the sudden jumps in values that will occur when moving a control for the rst time after switching the bank. Three takeover modes are available:

None

As soon as the physical control is moved, its new value is sent immediately to its destination parameter, usually resulting in abrupt value changes.

Pick-Up

Moving the physical control has no effect until it reaches the value of its destination parameter. As soon as they are equal, the destination value tracks the control's value 1:1.

This option can provide smooth value changes, but it can be dif cult to estimate exactly where the pick-up will take place.

Value Scaling

This option ensures smooth value transitions. It compares the physical control's value to the destination parameter's value and calculates a smooth convergence of the two as the control is moved. As soon as they are equal, the destination value tracks the control's value 1:1.

MIDI Controller

Takeover Mode.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

25.2

The Mapping Browser

464

All manual MIDI,

computer keyboard

and

Macro Control

mappings are managed by the

Mapping Browser.

The Mapping Browser is hidden until one of the three mapping modes is enabled. It will then display all mappings for the current mode. For each mapping, it lists the control element, the path to the mapped parameter, the parameter's name, and the mapping's

Min

and

Max

value ranges. The assigned Min and Max ranges can be edited at any time, and can be quickly inverted with a (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu command. Delete mappings using your computer's or

Delete key.

Note that

Instant Mappings

are context based and are not displayed in the Mapping Browser.

Their mapping structure can be displayed while working in Live by choosing the Lessons option from the View menu and then opening the

Control Surface Reference

lesson.

The Mapping Browser and Selector.

25.2.1

Assigning MIDI Remote Control

The MIDI Map Mode

Switch.

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465

Once your remote control setup has been de ned in the MIDI/Sync Preferences, giving MIDI controllers and notes remote control assignments is simple:

1. Enter MIDI Map Mode by pressing the MIDI switch in Live's upper right-hand corner. Notice that assignable elements of the interface become highlighted in blue, and that the Mapping Browser becomes available.

If your Browser is closed,

Ctrl Alt

B

(PC) /

Alt

B

(Mac)

will open it for you.

2. Click on the Live parameter that you'd like to control via MIDI.

3. Send a MIDI message by pressing a keyboard key, turning a knob, etc., on your

MIDI controller. You will see that this new MIDI mapping is now listed in the

Mapping Browser.

4. Exit MIDI Map Mode by pressing the MIDI switch once again. The Mapping

Browser will disappear, but you can always review your mappings by entering

MIDI Map Mode again.

25.2.2

Mapping to MIDI Notes

MIDI notes send simple Note On and Note Off messages to Live's interface elements. These messages can produce the following effects on controls in Live:

ˆ

Session View Slots

Note On and Note Off messages affect clips in the slot according to their

Launch Mode settings .

ˆ

Switches

A Note On message toggles the switch's state.

ˆ

Radio Buttons

Note On messages toggle through the available options.

ˆ

Variable Parameters

When assigned to a single note, Note On messages toggle the parameter between its Min and Max values. When assigned to a range of notes, each note is assigned a discrete value, equally spaced over the parameter's range of values.

Hint:

Session View slots can be assigned to a MIDI note range for chromatic playing: First play the

root

key (this is the key that will play the clip at its default transposition), and then,

while holding down the root key

, hold one key below the root and one above it to de ne the limits of the range.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

466

25.2.3

Mapping to Absolute MIDI Controllers

Absolute MIDI controllers send messages to Live in the form of absolute values ranging from 0 to 127. These values lead to different results depending on the type of Live control to which they are assigned. A value message of 127, for example, might turn the Volume control on a Live track all the way up or play a Session View clip. Speci cally, MIDI controller messages from 0 to 127 can produce the following effects on controls in Live:

ˆ

Session View Slots

Controller values 64 and above are treated like Note On messages.

Controller values 63 and below are treated like Note Off messages.

ˆ

Switches

For track activators and on/off buttons in devices, controller values that are within the mapping's Min and Max range turn the switch on. Controller values that are above or below this range turn it off. You can reverse this behavior by setting a Min value that is

higher

than its corresponding Max value. In this case, controller values that are outside of the range turn the switch on, while values inside the range turn it off. For all other switches (such as transport controls), controller values 64 and above turn the switch on, while controller values below 64 turn it off.

ˆ

Radio Buttons

The controller's 0...127 value range is mapped onto the range of available options.

ˆ

Continuous Controls

The controller's 0...127 value range is mapped onto the parameter's range of values.

Live also supports pitch bend messages and high-precision ( 14-bit Absolute ) controller messages with a 0...16383 value range. The above speci cations apply to these as well, except that the value range's center is at 8191/8192.

25.2.4

Mapping to Relative MIDI Controllers

Some MIDI controllers can send value increment and value decrement messages instead of absolute values. These controls prevent parameter jumps when the state of a control in

Live and the corresponding control on the hardware MIDI controller differ. For example, imagine that you have assigned the pan knob on your control surface to the pan parameter of a track in Live. If the hardware control is panned hard right, and the Live control is panned hard left, a slight movement in a hardware pan knob that sends absolute values would tell

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

467

Live to pan right, causing an abrupt jump in the track's panning. A pan knob sending relative messages would prevent this, since its incremental message to Live would simply say, Pan slightly to the left of your current position.

There are four types of relative controllers: Signed Bit, Signed Bit 2, Bin Offset and Twos

Complement.

Convention (Mode)

Relative (Signed Bit)

Relative (Signed Bit 2)

Relative (Bin Offset)

Relative (2's Comp.)

Increment

001 064

065 127

065 127

001 064

Decrement

065 127

001 064

063 001

127 065

Each of these are also available in a linear mode; Some MIDI encoders use acceleration internally, generating larger changes in value when they are turned quickly. For control surfaces that are not natively supported, Live tries to detect the controller type and whether acceleration is being used or not.

You can improve the detection process by moving the relative controller slowly to the left when you make an assignment. Live will offer its suggestion in the Status Bar's mode chooser, but if you happen to know the relative controller type, you can manually select it.

Live will do the following with relative MIDI controller messages:

ˆ

Session View Slots

Value increment messages are treated like Note On messages.

Value decrement messages are treated like Note Off messages.

ˆ

Switches

Increment messages turn the switch on. Decrement messages turn it off.

ˆ

Radio Buttons

Increment messages make the radio button jump forward to the next available option. Decrement messages make it jump backward.

ˆ

Continuous Controls

Each type of relative MIDI controller uses a different interpretation of the 0...127 MIDI controller value range to identify value increments and decrements:

Please consult the documentation that came with your MIDI controller if you need further information on relative MIDI controllers.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

468

Relative Session View Navigation

Notice that you can make not only

absolute mappings

to individual slots and scenes, but also

relative mappings

to move the highlighted scene and operate on the highlighted clips.

In both MIDI Map Mode and

Key Map Mode , a strip of assignable controls appears below

the Session grid:

4 3 1 2

1. Assign these buttons to keys, notes or controllers to move the highlighted scene up and down.

2. Assign this scene number value box to a MIDI controller preferably an endless encoder to scroll through the scenes. For details, see the previous section on

Relative Map Modes .

3. Assign this button to launch the highlighted scene. If the Record/Warp/Launch

Preferences' Select Next Scene on Launch option is checked, you can move successively (and hopefully successfully!) through the scenes.

4. Assign these buttons to launch the clip at the highlighted scene, in the respective track.

Relative Session mapping is useful for navigating a large Live Set, as Live always keeps the highlighted scene at the Session View's center.

The Relative Session

Mapping Strip.

Mapping to Clip View Controls

The

Clip View

displays the settings for whichever clip happens to be currently selected, but it will also display the settings of multi-selected clips. To avoid unpleasant musical surprises, it is important to remember that creating remote control mappings for any control in the

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL

469

Clip View interface could potentially affect

any

clip in the Live Set. For this reason, we recommend mapping Clip View controls to

relative MIDI controllers

to prevent undesirable jumps in parameter values.

25.2.5

Computer Keyboard Remote Control

Creating control surface assignments for your computer keyboard is straightforward:

1. Enter Key Map Mode by pressing the KEY switch in the upper right-hand corner of the Live screen. Notice that the assignable elements of the interface become highlighted in red when you enter Key Map Mode. The Mapping Browser will also become available. If the Browser is hidden, you will want to show it at this point using the appropriate View menu command.

2. Click on the Live parameter that you wish to assign to a key. Remember that only the controls that are shown with a red overlay are available for mapping.

3. Press the computer key to which you wish to assign the control. The details of your new mapping will be displayed in the Mapping Browser.

4. Leave Key Map Mode by pressing Live's KEY switch once again. The Mapping

Browser will disappear, but your mappings can be reviewed at any time simply by entering Key Map Mode again.

Keyboard assignments can produce the following effects in Live:

ˆ

Clips in Session View slots will be affected by mapped keys according to their

Launch

Mode settings .

ˆ

Keys assigned to switches will toggle switch states.

ˆ

Keys assigned to radio buttons will toggle through the available options.

Please be sure not to confuse this remote control functionality with Live's ability to use the computer keyboard as a

pseudo-MIDI keyboard

that can generate MIDI notes from

The Key Map Mode

Switch.

CHAPTER 25. MIDI AND KEY REMOTE CONTROL computer keystrokes for use with instruments.

470

471

Chapter 26

Using the APC40

The APC40 (Ableton Performance Controller) is a dedicated controller for Ableton Live, codesigned by Ableton and Akai Professional

1

. This chapter will help you set up your APC40, and introduce its capabilities.

26.1

Setup

Once the APC40 has been powered on and connected to your computer's USB port, you will need to select the APC40 in Live's Preferences. The APC40 is one of Live's

natively supported control surfaces , so setup is quite easy:

1. Open Live's Preferences from the Live menu in OS X, or the Options menu in

Windows;

2. Go to the MIDI/Sync Tab;

3. Select the APC40 preset from the Control Surface chooser. Then select the port that the APC40 is connected to in the Input and Output choosers:

1 http://www.akaipro.com

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

472

26.2

Clip Launch Matrix

The APC40's matrix of buttons gives you physical access to the clips in your

Session View .

The matrix has 40 three-color buttons arranged in a ve-scene-deep-by-eight-track-wide grid. The color-coding system lets you know exactly what is happening in each clip, and directional controls let you move around inside your Session View.

Setting Up The APC40.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

473

Pressing a Clip Launch button triggers the clip in the corresponding clip slot in Live. If the track is armed to record, pressing the button records a new clip.

The buttons in the matrix light up in different colors so you know what's going on:

ˆ

Amber: this slot contains a clip.

ˆ

Green: this clip is playing.

ˆ

Red: this clip is recording.

Many aspects of the Live interface are replicated in the APC40. You can stop all music in a track with its Clip Stop button and re horizontal lines of clips with the Scene Launch buttons. Stop All Clips does just that.

The controller tells you what's going on in the software, but, importantly, the software also re ects what's happening on the controller. The clip slots currently being controlled by the

Session View Clip and

Navigation Controls.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

474

APC's button matrix are shown in Live with a red border.

The directional arrows and Shift button increase the scope of the eight-by- ve grid:

ˆ

Pressing Up or Down moves you up or down one scene at a time. Hold the Shift button while hitting Up or Down to move ve scenes up or down.

ˆ

The Left and Right arrow keys move you left or right one track at a time. Hold the Shift button while hitting Left or Right to move eight tracks at a time.

26.3

Session Overview

The APC40's Session Overview lets you navigate through large Live Sets quickly without looking at your computer screen. Hold down the Shift button and the matrix zooms out to reveal an overview of your Session View. In the Session Overview, each clip launch button represents a ve-scene-by-eight-track block of clips, giving you a matrix of 125 scenes by

64 tracks. Hit a button to focus on that section of the Session View. For example, hitting the Shift button and then pressing the button in row three, column one will put the focus on scenes 11-15 and tracks 1-8. Furthermore, while Shift is held, each scene launch button represents a block of 25 scenes (if they are available in your Set.)

In the Session Overview, the color coding is a little different:

ˆ

Amber: indicates the currently selected block of clips, which will be surrounded by the red border in the software.

ˆ

Green: there are clips playing in that block of clips (though that may not be the block of clips selected).

ˆ

Red: there are no clips playing in that range.

ˆ

No color: there are no tracks or scenes in that range.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

26.4

Mixer Section

475

The APC40 features eight tracks, each with its own fader, solo/pre-cue, activator and record arm buttons. A Master fader controls the master volume and a Cue Level knob controls

cue volume , so you can pre-listen to a clip or the metronome without your audience hearing it.

You can shift these eight tracks around the Session View using the directional controls. Press the right or left arrows to move incrementally, one track at a time. Hold the Shift button and press the right or left arrows to jump in blocks of eight tracks at a time.

Mixer Controls.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

26.5

Device Control

476

The APC40 features eight endless dials and four control buttons that

map to your devices automatically

for exibility and speed on stage or in the studio.

The Track Selection buttons route the eight endless encoders to the rst device or Rack on that track, with LED rings to automatically show you the levels on the selected parameter.

Four buttons below the dials give you additional control options. Clip/Track lets you switch between viewing the devices on a track or the properties of a track's clip in the currently selected scene. Device On/Off turns the currently selected device on or off. Device Left and

Device Right (indicated by two arrows) shift you one step sideways along a track's device chain.

Some effects or virtual instruments have more than eight parameters. When holding down

Device Controls.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

477 the Shift button, these eight buttons let you select eight banks of eight device parameter controls. For more information, see the Control Surface Reference Lesson.

26.6

Transport and Global Buttons

Live's Play, Stop and Global Record buttons are all easily accessible, and four global buttons access Live's functions, cleaning up your screen view onstage and freeing you from the mouse in the studio:

ˆ

Detail View opens and closes the

Clip/Track View , so you can see more of your clips.

ˆ

Record Quantization lets you toggle

input quantization

between 'none' and the last selected quantization setting.

Transport and Global

Controls.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

ˆ

MIDI Overdub lets you

overdub

on a MIDI clip.

ˆ

Metronome turns the

metronome

on and off.

478

26.7

Track Control

The Track Control section covers pan settings or send levels for whichever eight tracks are currently selected. It consists of eight endless dials with LED rings and four buttons: Pan,

Send A, Send B and Send C.

The buttons let you select what the encoders are controlling, while the encoders control the amount or depth of the pan or send levels.

Track Controls.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

26.8

Tempo Control

479

Tap Tempo and Nudge Left/Right buttons are essential for live performance, helping you to stay in sync with turntables, other musicians or a live band, and correct timing issues quickly.

As you hit the

Tap Tempo

button once every beat, the tempo of the Live Set will follow your tapping.

You can also use tapping to count in: If you are working in a 4:4 signature, it takes four taps to start song playback at the tapped tempo.

On stage and in the studio, you may nd yourself in situations in which you need to adjust to sources that aren't locked to one tempo, such as live musicians or turntables. You can use the

Nudge

buttons to temporarily speed up or slow down Live's playback to match what you hear.

Tempo Control.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

26.9

Crossfader

480

The APC40's replaceable crossfader is an essential DJ control, and is also handy for controlling effect, volume and modulation curves.

In Live, you can set any track as an A or B destination, and then

crossfade

between the A and B selections.

Normal wear and tear can render a crossfader obsolete. The APC40's crossfader is fully replaceable from the bottom of the device, so you can extend the lifetime of this already durable unit.

Crossfader.

CHAPTER 26. USING THE APC40

26.10

Customizing the APC40 Controls

481

You can change the assignment of all of the knobs, faders and buttons on the APC40 by enabling the Remote switches in the MIDI/Sync Preferences, as described in the section on

manual control surface setup .

Now, by entering Live's

MIDI Map Mode , you can override the pre-assigned functions of all

of the APC40's knobs, faders and buttons. The eight Track Control knobs can be assigned in four banks, which can be switched with the buttons below them. Likewise, the Device

Control knobs can be assigned in eight banks by holding down Shift while pressing one of the eight buttons below these knobs.

Tip:

If you have overridden the APC40's default mappings with manual mappings, you can easily switch back to the defaults by deactivating the Remote switch of the APC40's input port. Activating the switch again will re-establish your manual mappings.

Setting Up The APC40

For Custom

Assignments.

26.11

Combination Mode

The APC40 controller becomes even more powerful when combined with additional APC40s or the

Akai Professional APC20 .

When you connect more than one APC unit to Ableton Live, the controllers will automatically work in Combination Mode. You can use up to six total APC20s or APC40s side by side. The topmost controller selected in your preferences will control tracks 1-8, the second controller selected will control tracks 9-16, and so on. When an APC40 and an APC20 are connected at the same time, the APC20's buttons will default to Track Selection, and its faders will default to volume, allowing swift access to an expanding array of clips and tracks.

482

Chapter 27

Using the APC20

The APC20 (Ableton Performance Controller) is a dedicated controller for Ableton Live, codesigned by Ableton and Akai Professional

1

. This chapter will help you set up your APC20, and introduce its capabilities.

27.1

Setup

Once the APC20 has been powered on and connected to your computer's USB port, you will need to select the APC20 in Live's Preferences. The APC20 is one of Live's

natively supported control surfaces , so setup is quite easy:

1. Open Live's Preferences from the Live menu in OS X, or the Options menu in

Windows;

2. Go to the MIDI/Sync Tab;

3. Select the APC20 preset from the Control Surface chooser. Then select the port that the APC20 is connected to in the Input and Output choosers:

1 http://www.akaipro.com

CHAPTER 27. USING THE APC20

483

27.2

Clip Launch Matrix

The APC20's matrix of buttons gives you direct access to the clips in your

Session View .

The matrix has 40 three-color buttons arranged in a ve-scene-deep-by-eight-track-wide grid. The color-coding system lets you know exactly what is happening in each clip, and directional controls let you move around inside your Session View.

Setting Up The APC20.

CHAPTER 27. USING THE APC20

484

Pressing a Clip Launch button triggers the clip in the corresponding clip slot in Live. If the track is armed to record, pressing the button records a new clip.

The buttons in the matrix light up in different colors so you know what's going on:

ˆ

Amber: this slot contains a clip.

ˆ

Green: this clip is playing.

ˆ

Red: this clip is recording.

ˆ

No color: this slot is empty.

Many aspects of the Live interface are replicated in the APC20. You can stop all music in a track with its Clip Stop button and re horizontal lines of clips with the Scene Launch buttons. Pressing Shift and any of the Clip Stop buttons stops all clips.

The controller tells you what's going on in the software, but, importantly, the software also

Session View Clip and

Navigation Controls.

CHAPTER 27. USING THE APC20

485 re ects what's happening on the controller. The clip slots currently being controlled by the

APC's button matrix are shown in Live with a red border.

The cursor controls allow you to navigate around the Session View:

ˆ

Pressing Up or Down moves you up or down one scene at a time.

ˆ

The Left and Right arrow keys move you left or right one track at a time.

27.3

Session Overview

The APC20's Session Overview lets you navigate through large Live Sets quickly without looking at your computer screen. Hold down the Shift button and the matrix zooms out to reveal an overview of your Session View. In the Session Overview, each clip launch button represents a ve-scene-by-eight-track block of clips, giving you a matrix of 125 scenes by

64 tracks. Hit a button to focus on that section of the Session View. For example, hitting the Shift button and then pressing the button in row three, column one will put the focus on scenes 11-15 and tracks 1-8.

In the Session Overview, the color coding is a little different:

ˆ

Amber: indicates the currently selected block of clips, which will be surrounded by a border in the software.

ˆ

Green: there are clips playing in that block of clips (though that may not be the block of clips selected).

ˆ

Red: there are no clips playing in that range.

ˆ

No color: there are no tracks or scenes in that range.

27.4

Transport and Global Buttons

Live's Play, Stop and Global Record buttons are all easily accessible, while MIDI Overdub lets you

overdub

on a MIDI clip.

CHAPTER 27. USING THE APC20

486

27.5

Mixer

The Mixer section gives you control of your mix, as well as all soloing, pre-cueing, muting, pans, sends and more. The APC20 features eight tracks and a master fader, all of which can be expanded with the Session Overview. A Cue Level knob controls

cue volume , so you

can pre-listen to a clip or the metronome without your audience hearing it.

You can shift these eight tracks around the Session View. Press the right or left buttons to move incrementally, one track at a time. In the Session Overview, you can jump in blocks of eight tracks at a time.

Transport and Global

Controls.

CHAPTER 27. USING THE APC20

487

The Vol, Pan, Send A, Send B, Send C, User 1, User 2 and User 3 buttons provide additional control possibilities, by re-assigning the eight faders to the selected function. Selecting Pan, for example, lets you use the eight faders to control track pan setting.

To change the functionality of the faders, simply hold down the Shift button and select the parameter you want to control. The selected parameter bank will light up red, showing you that it's selected. When you release the shift button, the faders will remain locked to the corresponding function.

The user banks let you use Live's MIDI Map Mode to customize what the banks of faders control. Try mapping tempo or the global groove amount to your faders.

The Master fader works as a master fader in all modes.

Mixer Controls.

CHAPTER 27. USING THE APC20

27.6

Note Mode

488

Pressing the Note Mode button changes the functionality of the clip launch matrix. When

Note Mode is on (i.e., when the button is lit), the buttons on the grid send MIDI notes instead of controlling Live's Session View.

27.7

Combination Mode

The real power of the APC20 comes through when you combine it with additional APC20s or the

Akai Professional APC40 .

When you connect more than one APC unit to Ableton Live, the controllers will automatically work in Combination Mode. You can use up to six total APC20s or APC40s side by side. The

Note Mode Button.

CHAPTER 27. USING THE APC20

489 topmost controller selected in your preferences will control tracks 1-8, the second controller selected will control tracks 9-16, and so on. When an APC40 and an APC20 are connected at the same time, the APC20's buttons will default to Track Selection, and its faders will default to volume, allowing swift access to an expanding array of clips and tracks.

490

Chapter 28

Using the Launchpad

The Launchpad is a dedicated controller for Ableton Live, co-designed by Ableton and

Novation

1

. Launchpad has 64 square-shaped pads and 16 round buttons, all of which are pre-con gured to integrate perfectly with Live. This chapter will help you set up your

Launchpad, and introduce its capabilities.

28.1

Setup

Once the Launchpad has been connected to one of your computer's USB ports, you will need to select the Launchpad in Live's Preferences. The Launchpad is one of Live's

natively supported control surfaces , so setup is quite easy:

1. Open Live's Preferences from the Live menu in OS X, or the Options menu in

Windows;

2. Go to the MIDI/Sync Tab;

3. Select the Launchpad preset from the Control Surface chooser. Then select the port that the Launchpad is connected to in the Input and Output choosers:

1 http://www.novationmusic.com/

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

491

Setting Up The

Launchpad.

28.2

Launchpad's Four Modes

The row of buttons on the top of Launchpad includes four directional arrow buttons to navigate through the Session View, and four mode buttons which switch between Session mode, User mode 1, User mode 2 and Mixer mode. These modes are explained in more detail below.

Launchpad's Mode

Buttons.

28.3

Session Mode

In Session Mode, the Launchpad's matrix of pads gives you physical access to the clips in your

Session View . The matrix has 64 three-color pads arranged in a eight-by-eight grid. The

color-coding system lets you know exactly what is happening in each clip, and directional controls let you move around inside your Session View.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

28.3.1

Launching Clips

492

Launchpad Session

Mode Button.

When Launchpad is chosen as an active control surface, a ring appears on the Session View in Live to indicate which clips are currently controlled by the pad matrix. This ring is red if

Launchpad is enabled in the rst of Live's six control surface choosers. Each chooser has a different colored ring, allowing you to assign multiple Launchpads at the same time.

The directional arrows and the Session button increase the scope of the eight-by-eight grid:

ˆ

Pressing Up or Down moves you up or down one scene at a time. Hold the Session button while hitting Up or Down to move eight scenes up or down (bank shifting).

Session Mode.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

493

ˆ

The Left and Right arrow keys move you left or right one track at a time. Hold the

Session button while hitting Left or Right to move eight tracks at a time (bank shifting).

Pressing a Clip Launch pad triggers the clip in the corresponding clip slot in Live. Hitting an empty clip slot in a track that is not armed will stop the clip playing in this track. If the track is armed to record, pressing the button records a new clip.

The buttons in the matrix light up in different colours so you know what's going on:

ˆ

Amber: this slot contains a clip.

ˆ

Green: this clip is playing.

ˆ

Red: this clip is recording.

You can also re horizontal lines of clips (Scenes) with the buttons on the right hand side of

Launchpad.

28.3.2

Session Overview

Session Overview.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

494

The Launchpad's Session Overview lets you navigate through large Live Sets quickly without looking at your computer screen. Hold down the Session button and the matrix zooms out to reveal an overview of your Session View. In the Session Overview, each pad represents an eight-by-eight block of clips, giving you a matrix of 64 scenes by 64 tracks.

Hit a pad to focus on that section of the Session View. For example, hitting the Session button and then pressing the pad in the third row in the rst column will put the focus on scenes 17-25 and tracks 1-8. Furthermore, while session is held, each scene launch button represents a block of 64 scenes (if they are available in your Set.)

In the Session Overview, the color coding is a little different:

ˆ

Amber: indicates the currently selected block of clips, which will be surrounded by the ring in the software.

ˆ

Green: there are clips playing in that block of clips (though that may not be the block of clips selected).

ˆ

Red: there are no clips playing in that range.

ˆ

No color: there are no tracks or scenes in that range.

28.4

User Modes

The User modes allow the grid of 64 buttons plus the 8 vertical system buttons to be freely assigned to any parameter in Live. Alternatively, if no assignments have been made then note data will be sent from the 64 button grid in a layout designed to work well with the

Drum Rack device (starting from note C1).

When User 1 is selected, Launchpad can be used to play note data into Live's MIDI tracks (if no custom MIDI assignments have been made.)

When User 2 is selected, Launchpad does not send note data by default. This mode is ideal for doing extensive MIDI customization or programming

Max for Live

patches.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

495

28.4.1

Customizing the Launchpad Controls

You can change the assignment of all of the Launchpad's controls by enabling the Remote switches in the MIDI/Sync Preferences, as described in the section on

manual control surface setup .

Now, by entering Live's

MIDI Map Mode , you can override the pre-assigned functions of all

of the Launchpad's controls.

Tip:

If you have overridden the Launchpad's default mappings with manual mappings, you can easily switch back to the defaults by deactivating the Remote switch of the Launchpad's input port. Activating the switch again will re-establish your manual mappings.

Setting Up The

Launchpad For Custom

Assignments.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

28.5

Mixer Mode

496

Launchpad's Mixer mode gives you access to essential mixing controls in Live: volume, pan, sends, clip stop, track activation, solo and record/arm. The directional arrows to change the focus of the ring are still accessible in Mixer mode.

Launchpad Mixer

Buttons.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

28.5.1

Mixer Overview

497

This is the view displayed when pressing the Mixer button. It provides an overview of the main mixing controls in Live.

The top four rows of pads indicate the status of track volume and track pan, as well as sends

A and B, for each track:

ˆ if the parameter is at its default value, the pad is dimmed

ˆ if the parameter is NOT at its default value, the pad is fully lit. Hitting the pad will instantly set the parameter to its default value (0 dB for volume, center for pan, 0 for sends).

The bottom four rows of pads and the bottom four buttons on the right provide direct access to key controls for each track:

ˆ pads in the stop row will stop the clip currently playing in this track

ˆ pads in the trk on row will mute this track (the pads turn off)

ˆ pads in the solo row will solo this track

Launchpad Mixer

Overview.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

ˆ pads in the arm row will arm this track

The bottom four buttons on the right provide additional control for each track:

ˆ the stop button will stop all clips currently playing

ˆ the trk on button will mute all tracks (all pads turn off)

ˆ the solo button will un-solo all soloed tracks

ˆ the arm button will un-arm all armed tracks

28.5.2

The Volume Page

498

Press the vol button to enter the Volume page.

In the Volume page, all eight pads of a column turn into a track volume fader . The pads have the following values in dB, from bottom to top: -inf, -48, -24, -18, -12, -6, 0, +6.

All pads below (and including) the selected value light up in full brightness to indicate the fader position.

Launchpad Volume

Page.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

28.5.3

The Pan Page

499

Press the pan button to enter the Pan page.

In the Pan page, all eight pads of a column turn into a track panorama knob for the selected track, with left at the bottom and right at the top. The pads have the following values, from bottom to top: 50L, 30L, 15L, center, center, 15R, 30R, 50R. The pan control is centered when the two pads in the middle are fully lit.

Launchpad Pan Page.

CHAPTER 28. USING THE LAUNCHPAD

28.5.4

The Send Pages

500

Press the snd A or snd B button to enter a Send page.

In the two Send pages (for Send A and Send B), all eight pads of a column turn into a send knob for the selected track. The pads have the following values in dB, from bottom to top: -inf, -48, -24, -18, -12, -6, 0, +6. All pads below (and including) the selected value light up in full brightness to indicate the knob position. The behavior of this page is similar to the Volume page.

Launchpad Send Page.

501

Chapter 29

Synchronization and ReWire

29.1

Synchronizing via MIDI

The MIDI protocol de nes two ways to synchronize sequencers, both of which are supported by Live. Both protocols work with the notion of a sync

master

, which delivers a sync signal that is tracked by the sync

slave(s)

.

ˆ

MIDI Clock. MIDI Clock works like a metronome ticking at a fast rate. The rate of the incoming ticks is tempo-dependent: Changing the tempo at the sync master (e.g., a drum machine) will cause the slave to follow the change. The MIDI Clock protocol also provides messages that indicate the song position. With respect to MIDI Clock, Live can act as both a MIDI sync master and slave.

ˆ

MIDI Timecode. MIDI Timecode is the MIDI version of the SMPTE protocol, the standard means of synchronizing tape machines and computers in the audio and lm industry. A MIDI Timecode message speci es a time in seconds and frames

(subdivisions of a second). Live will interpret a Timecode message as a position in the

Arrangement. Timecode messages carry no meter-related information; when slaving

Live to another sequencer using MIDI Timecode, you will have to adjust the tempo manually. Tempo changes cannot be tracked. Detailed MIDI Timecode preferences

CHAPTER 29. SYNCHRONIZATION AND REWIRE

502 are explained

later in this chapter . With respect to MIDI Timecode, Live can only act

as a MIDI sync slave, not a master.

29.1.1

Synchronizing External MIDI Devices to Live

Live can send MIDI Clock messages to an external MIDI sequencer (or drum machine). After connecting the sequencer to Live and setting it up to receive MIDI sync, turn the device on as a sync destination in Live's MIDI/Sync Preferences.

The lower indicator LED next to the Control Bar's EXT button will ash when Live is sending sync messages to external sequencers.

Choosing a MIDI Slave for Live.

29.1.2

Synchronizing Live to External MIDI Devices

Live can be synchronized via MIDI to an external sequencer. After connecting the sequencer to Live and setting it up to send sync, use Live's MIDI/Sync Preferences to tell Live about the connection.

When an external sync source has been enabled, the EXT button appears in the Control

Bar. You can then activate external sync either by switching on this button or by using the

External Sync command in the Options menu. The upper indicator LED next to the EXT button will ash if Live receives useable sync messages.

Setting up Live as a MIDI

Slave.

CHAPTER 29. SYNCHRONIZATION AND REWIRE

503

When Live is synced to an external MIDI device, it can accept song position pointers from this device, syncing it not only in terms of tempo but in terms of its position in the song. If the master jumps to a new position within the song, Live will do the same. However, if the

Control Bar's Loop switch is activated, playback will be looped, and song position pointers will simply be wrapped into the length of the loop.

The External Sync

Switch.

29.1.3

MIDI Timecode Options

Timecode options can be set up per MIDI device. Select a MIDI device from the MIDI/Sync

Preferences' MIDI Ports list to access the settings.

The

MIDI Timecode Frame Rate

setting is relevant only if MIDI Timecode is chosen from the MIDI Sync Type menu. The MIDI Timecode Rate chooser selects the type of Timecode to which Live will synchronize. All of the usual SMPTE frame rates are available. When the

Rate is set to SMPTE All, Live will auto-detect the Timecode format of incoming sync messages and interpret the messages accordingly. Note that you can adjust the Timecode format that is used for display in the Arrangement View: Go to the Options menu, and then access the Time Ruler Format sub-menu.

The

MIDI Timecode Offset

setting is also only relevant if MIDI Timecode is chosen from the Sync Type menu. You can specify a SMPTE time offset using this control. Live will interpret this value as the Arrangement's start time.

29.1.4

Sync Delay

The

Sync Delay

controls, which are separately available for each MIDI device, allow you to delay Live's internal time base against the sync signal. This can be useful in compensating for delays incurred by the signal transmission. The Sync Delay for a speci c MIDI device appears as you select the MIDI device from the MIDI/Sync Preferences' MIDI Ports list. To adjust the delay, have both Live and the other sequencer play a rhythmical pattern with

CHAPTER 29. SYNCHRONIZATION AND REWIRE

504 pronounced percussive sounds. While listening to the output from both, adjust the Sync

Delay control until both sounds are in perfect sync.

29.2

Connecting via ReWire

Live supports the

ReWire

interface for connecting with another ReWire-compatible audio program running on the same computer.

The ReWire technology, developed by

Propellerhead Software

, provides ReWire-compatible programs with:

ˆ common access to the audio hardware;

ˆ shared transport functionality;

ˆ synchronization to audio word clock and song positioning;

ˆ exchange of audio streams.

The programs in a ReWire connection play distinct roles: The

ReWire master

accesses the audio hardware and provides mixing facilities; the

ReWire slave(s)

have no direct link to the audio hardware, but instead send their audio output into the Master's mixer.

Common ReWire master applications are Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, Digital Performer, Sonar and Max/MSP. Common ReWire slave applications are Reason, Rebirth, Storm,

Project 5 and Max/MSP. Live can act as both a ReWire master and slave.

Note that the ReWire protocol itself does not consume much CPU power. However, as expected, running two audio-intensive programs on the same computer requires more resources than running a single program.

Adjusting Sync Delay.

CHAPTER 29. SYNCHRONIZATION AND REWIRE

505

29.2.1

Running Live in ReWire Master Mode

The step-by-step procedure for sending MIDI to and receiving audio from a ReWire slave program is presented in the

routing chapter .

29.2.2

Running Live in ReWire Slave Mode

In ReWire slave mode, Live can both receive MIDI from, but also send audio to the master application. All of Live's MIDI tracks are accessible to the master application as destinations for MIDI signals, and all of its audio tracks and MIDI tracks containing instruments are accessible as audio sources.

If you have not used Live yet, please launch Live so that it can install its ReWire engine in your system.

Live will run in ReWire slave mode if it detects a running ReWire master application upon startup. Therefore, always start the ReWire master application rst, and then start Live.

Likewise, you will rst have to quit Live, then the ReWire master application.

Live's operation in ReWire slave mode differs from the usual operation in some regards:

ˆ

Live will not have direct access to the audio interfaces; audio input/output is handled by the ReWire master application. No audio input will be available to Live.

ˆ

The sample rate is determined by the host application rather than by Live.

ˆ

External synchronization will be disabled (synchronize to the ReWire master application instead). Live will not send sync or controller messages to the MIDI output. Controlling

Live via MIDI is still possible.

ˆ

Live will not act as a ReWire master application. For instance, you cannot run Rebirth as a ReWire slave of Live while Live is running as a ReWire slave of Cubase. You can, however, run both Live and Rebirth as ReWire slaves of Cubase at the same time.

ˆ

Time signature and tempo will be determined by the settings in the ReWire master application. If your Live Set contains any tempo or time signature changes, they will be ignored.

CHAPTER 29. SYNCHRONIZATION AND REWIRE

506

29.2.3

More on ReWire

You can nd tutorials on connecting Live to speci c ReWire master programs at the Ableton tutorial website

1

.

The Ableton FAQ website

2 is the rst place to go if you encounter ReWire-related problems.

If you cannot seem to nd an answer there, please contact the Ableton support team

3

.

1 http://www.ableton.com/tutorials

2 http://www.ableton.com/faq

3 http://www.ableton.com/support

507

Chapter 30

Computer Audio Resources and

Strategies

Real-time audio processing is a demanding task for general-purpose computers, which are usually designed to run spreadsheets and surf the Internet. An application like Live requires a powerful CPU and a fast hard disk. This section will provide some insight on these issues, and should help you avoid and solve problems with running audio on a computer.

30.1

Managing the CPU Load

To output a continuous stream of sound through the audio hardware, Live has to perform a huge number of calculations every second. If the processor can't keep up with what needs to be calculated, the audio will have gaps or clicks. Factors that affect computational speed include processor clock rates (e.g., speed in MHz or GHz), architecture, memory cache performance (how ef ciently a processor can grab data from memory) and system bus bandwidth the computer's pipeline through which all data must pass. For this reason, many people involved with pro audio use computers that are optimized for musical applications.

CHAPTER 30. COMPUTER AUDIO RESOURCES AND STRATEGIES

508

Fortunately, Live supports multicore and multiprocessor systems, allowing the processing load from things like instruments, effects and I/O to be distributed among the available resources. Depending on the machine and the Live Set, the available processing power can be several times that of older systems.

If you are working on a multicore or multiprocessor system, you will want to enable support for it in the CPU tab of Live's Preferences.

The Control Bar's CPU meter displays how much of the computer's computational potential is currently being used. For example, if the displayed percentage is 10 percent, the computer is just coasting along. If the percentage is 100 percent, the processing is being maxed out it's likely that you will hear gaps, clicks or other audio problems. Note that the CPU meter takes into account only the load from processing audio, not other tasks the computer performs (e.g., managing Live's user interface).

Audio calculations have the highest priority in Live. Therefore, even if the CPU shows a high percentage of processor usage, the audio stream should remain uninterrupted. However, non-critical functions (such as screen redraws) might slow down because these tasks are handled only when the audio processing lightens up a bit.

The CPU Load Meter.

30.1.1

CPU Load from Multichannel Audio

One source of constant CPU drain is the process of moving data to and from the audio hardware. This drain can be minimized by disabling any inputs and outputs that are not required in a project. There are two buttons in the Audio Preferences to access the Input and Output Con guration dialogs, which allow activating or deactivating individual ins and outs.

Live does not automatically disable unused channels, because the audio hardware drivers usually produce an audible hiccup when there is a request for an audio con guration change.

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30.1.2

CPU Load from Tracks and Devices

Generally, every track and device being used in Live incurs some amount of CPU load.

However, Live is smart and avoids wasting CPU cycles on tracks and devices that do not contribute anything useful.

For example, dragging devices into a Live Set that is not running does not signi cantly increase the CPU load. The load increases only as you start playing clips or feed audio into the effects. When there is no incoming audio, the effects are deactivated until they are needed again. (If the effect produces a tail, like reverbs and delays, deactivation occurs only after all calculations are complete.)

While this scheme is very effective at reducing the average CPU load of a Live Set, it cannot reduce the peak load. To make sure your Live Set plays back continuously, even under the most intense conditions, play back a clip in every track simultaneously, with all devices enabled.

30.1.3

Track Freeze

Live's Freeze Track command can greatly help in managing the CPU load incurred by devices and clip settings. When you select a track and execute the Freeze Track command, Live will create a sample le for each Session clip in the track, plus one for the Arrangement.

Thereafter, clips in the track will simply play back their freeze les rather than repeatedly calculating processor-intensive device and clip settings in real time. The Freeze Track command is available from Live's Edit menu and from the (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) context menu of tracks and clips. Be aware that it is not possible to freeze a

Group Track

; you can only freeze tracks that hold clips.

Normally, freezing happens very quickly. But if you freeze a track that contains an

External

Audio Effect

or

External Instrument

that routes to a hardware effects device or synthesizer, the freezing process happens in real-time. Live will automatically detect if real-time freezing is necessary, and you'll be presented with several options for managing the process. Please see the section on

real-time rendering

for an explanation of these options.

Once any processing demands have been addressed (or you have upgraded your machine!), you can always select a frozen track and choose Unfreeze Track from the Edit menu to change

CHAPTER 30. COMPUTER AUDIO RESOURCES AND STRATEGIES

510 device or clip settings. On slower machines, you can unfreeze processor-intensive tracks one at a time to make edits, freezing them again when you are done.

Many editing functions remain available to tracks that are frozen. Launching clips can still be done freely, and mixer controls such as volume, pan and the sends are still available. Other possibilities include:

ˆ

Edit, cut, copy, paste, duplicate and trim clips;

ˆ

Draw and edit mixer automation and mixer clip envelopes;

ˆ

Consolidate;

ˆ

Record Session View clip launches into the Arrangement View;

ˆ

Create, move and duplicate Session View scenes;

ˆ

Drag frozen MIDI clips into audio tracks.

When performing edits on frozen tracks that contain time-based effects such as reverb, you should note that the audible result may be different once the track is again unfrozen, depending on the situation. This is because, if a track is frozen, the applied effects are not being calculated at all, and therefore cannot change their response to re ect edited input material. When the track is again unfrozen, all effects will be recalculated in real time.

Frozen Arrangement View tracks will play back any relevant material extending beyond the lengths of their clips (e.g., the tails of Reverb effects). These frozen tails will appear in the Arrangement as crosshatched regions located adjacent to their corresponding clips.

They are treated by Live as separate, temporary clips that disappear when unfrozen, since the effect is then calculated in real time. Therefore, when moving a frozen clip in the

Arrangement, you will usually want to select the second, frozen

tail

clip as well, so that the two remain together.

A Frozen Arrangement

Track with a Reverb Tail.

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For frozen Session clips, only two loop cycles are included in the frozen clip, which means that clips with

unlinked clip envelopes

may play back differently after two loop cycles when frozen.

The samples generated by the Freeze Track command are stored in your temporary recording folder until you save your Live Set, at which point they are moved to the following

project folder

sub-directory: Samples/Processed/Freeze. Please note that freeze les for tracks that contain an External Instrument or External Audio Effect will be discarded immediately when unfreezing.

You can also decide to

atten

frozen tracks, which completely replaces the original clips and devices with their audible result. The Flatten command is available from the Edit menu.

Besides providing an opportunity to conserve CPU resources on tracks containing a large number of devices, the Track Freeze command simpli es sharing projects between computers. Computers that are a bit low on processing power can be used to run large Live Sets as long as any CPU-intensive tracks are frozen. This also means that computers lacking certain devices used in one Live Set can still play the Set when the relevant device tracks are frozen.

30.2

Managing the Disk Load

A hard drive's access speed (which is related to, but not the same thing as rotational speed) can limit Live's performance. Most audio-optimized computers use 7200 RPM or faster drives. Laptops, to save power, often use 5400 RPM or slower drives, which is why projects on laptops usually have lower track counts. The amount of disk traf c Live generates is roughly proportional to the number of audio channels being written or read simultaneously.

A track playing a stereo sample causes more disk traf c than a track playing a mono sample.

The Disk Overload indicator ashes when the disk was unable to read or write audio quickly enough. When recording audio, this condition causes a gap in the recorded sample; when playing back, you will hear dropouts.

The Disk Overload

Indicator.

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Do the following to avoid disk overload:

ˆ

Reduce the amount of audio channels being written by choosing mono inputs instead of stereo inputs in the Audio Preferences' Channel Con guration dialog.

ˆ

Use

RAM Mode

for selected clips.

ˆ

Reduce the number of audio channels playing by using mono samples instead of stereo samples when possible. You can convert stereo samples to mono using any standard digital audio editing program, which can be called up from

within Live .

513

Chapter 31

Audio Fact Sheet

Prior to the release of Live 7, much of Ableton's development effort was focused on carefully and objectively testing Live's fundamental audio performance. As a result of this testing, we have implemented a number of low-level improvements to the audio engine. We have also written this fact sheet to help users understand exactly how their audio is (or is not) being modi ed when using certain features in Live that are often misunderstood, as well as tips for achieving the highest quality results.

As mentioned above, the focus of our research has been on objective (that is, quanti able and measurable) behavior. We make no claims about what you can

hear

because we can't possibly predict the variables that make up your listening environment, audio hardware, hearing sensitivity, etc. Furthermore, this paper makes no claims about how Live compares to other audio software. Rather, it is a summary of measurable facts about what Live actually

does

under various conditions.

31.1

Testing and Methodology

As of this writing, every version of Live is subjected to a suite of 473 automated tests that cover every aspect of Live's functionality. We add additional tests as we add features, and

CHAPTER 31. AUDIO FACT SHEET we will never release an update unless it passes every test.

514

31.2

Neutral Operations

Procedures in Live that will cause absolutely no change in audio quality are referred to as

neutral operations

. You can be sure that using these functions will never cause any signal degradation. Applying neutral operations to audio that was recorded into Live ensures that the audio will be unchanged from the point of analog-to-digital conversion. Applying neutral operations to les imported into Live ensures that the imported audio will be identical to the les saved on disk. Applying neutral operations to les being exported from Live ensures that the quality of your output le will be at least as high as what you heard during playback.

The list of neutral operations found below is provided primarily as an abstract reference; while all of these operations are, in fact, neutral, it is important to remember that each of them may (and almost certainly will) occur within a context that also contains non-neutral operations. For example, running an audio signal through an effects device is a non-neutral operation. So any neutral operations that occur after it will, of course, still result in audio that is altered in some way. Even a gain change is, technically, non-neutral.

Neutral operations include:

31.2.1

Undithered Rendering

The

Export Audio/Video

command renders Live's audio output to a le on disk. Rendering is a neutral operation under certain conditions:

ˆ the sample rate of the rendered le is the same as that set for the audio hardware in

Live's Preferences.

ˆ no non-neutral operations have been applied.

Live's rendering performance is tested by loading three types of unprocessed audio les

(white noise, xed-frequency sine waves and sine sweeps) in 16-, 24- and 32-bit word lengths and rendering these to output les, also with varying bit resolutions. Phase cancellation testing of the original and output les shows the following:

CHAPTER 31. AUDIO FACT SHEET

515

ˆ rendering to a le with the same bit depth as the original results in complete phase cancellation.

ˆ rendering to a le with a higher bit depth than the original results in complete phase cancellation.

ˆ rendering to a le with a lower bit depth than the original results in the smallest amount of distortion possible within a 32-bit system.

31.2.2

Matching sample rate/no transposition

Playback of an unstretched audio le in Live is a neutral operation, provided that the le's sample rate is the same as that set in Live's Preferences and that the le is played back without transposition. This is veri ed by cancellation tests of rendered output. Please note that playback in this context refers only to the audio within Live, prior to the point at which it reaches your audio hardware.

31.2.3

Unstretched Beats/Tones/Texture/Re-Pitch Warping

If the tempo of a Clip is the same as the tempo of the Set, that clip will play back unstretched.

In this case, if the

Warp mode

of the Clip is set to Beats, Tones, Texture or Re-Pitch (but not

Complex or Complex Pro), playback will be neutral. Any Warping caused by changing the

Set's tempo is non-permanent, and audio that plays back unwarped at a given tempo will always play back unwarped at that tempo, even if the tempo is changed and then changed back. For example, if you've recorded some tracks at 120 BPM, but then decide you'd like to slow the tempo down to record a particularly dif cult solo passage, the original tracks will play back neutrally again after returning the tempo to 120 BPM. Only the recording made at the slower tempo will be stretched. Please note that

grooves

work by modifying the positions of Warp markers. This means that playback of audio clips with groove applied will be non-neutral even at the original tempo.

The neutrality of unstretched clip playback is veri ed by performing cancellation tests on rendered output.

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516

31.2.4

Summing at Single Mix Points

Since version 7, Live uses double precision (64-bit) summing at all points where signals are mixed, including Clip and return track inputs, the Master track and Racks. Mixing in Live is thus a neutral operation for signals mixed at any single summing point. This is tested by loading pairs of 24-bit les (white noise and xed-frequency sine waves and their phaseinverted complements), adding the pairs together eight times and rendering the output as

32-bit les. All tests result in perfect phase cancellation.

Please note that, while 64-bit summing is applied to each

single

mix point, Live's internal processing is still done at 32-bit. Thus, signals that are mixed across multiple summing points may still result in an extremely small amount of signal degradation. This combination of 64-bit summing within a 32-bit architecture strikes an ideal balance between audio quality and CPU/memory consumption.

31.2.5

Recording external signals (bit depth >/= A/D converter)

Recording audio signals into Live is a neutral operation, provided that the bit depth set in

Live's Preferences window is the same or higher than that of the A/D converters used for the recording. In this context, neutral means identical to the audio as it was delivered to

Live by the A/D converters.

31.2.6

Recording internal sources at 32 bit

Audio that is recorded via internal routing will be identical to the source audio, provided that the recording was made at 32 bits. To ensure neutral recordings of plug-in instruments and any audio signals that are being processed by effects plug-ins, internal recording at 32 bits is recommended. Please note, however, that if the source audio is already at a lower bit depth, internal recording at that bit depth will also be neutral (assuming that no effects are used); internally recording an unprocessed 16 bit audio le at 32 bits will not increase the sound quality.

The neutrality of internal recording is veri ed using cancellation tests.

CHAPTER 31. AUDIO FACT SHEET

517

31.2.7

Freeze, Flatten

When tracks are

frozen , the audio les that are created are 32 bit, which ensures that they

will not be lower quality than the audio heard prior to freezing. But there are some special cases involving Freeze that result in non-neutral behavior and should be noted:

ˆ

Frozen Arrangement View tracks can include audio material that extends beyond the end of the clip itself, such as reverb tails and delay repetitions. Frozen Session View tracks, however, are always exactly two loop cycles long, so any audio that extends beyond two loop cycles during un-frozen playback will be cut off after freezing.

ˆ

Time-based effects like reverbs and delays are processed in realtime for unfrozen clips, so stopping playback during a reverb or delay tail will allow the tail to continue. In contrast, frozen tails are rendered as audio, and so will stop abruptly during playback.

ˆ

Any parameter automations are rendered as part of the audio le for frozen Arrangement View clips. Frozen Session View clips, however, take a snapshot of all parameter values at the Arranger's 1.1.1 position and retain them for the duration of the frozen clip. This is analogous to the behavior with unfrozen clips; when playing normal clips in Session View, any Arrangement automations are punched out until the Back to

Arrangement button is pressed.

ˆ

Frozen clips are always played back with Warp on and in Beats mode, which means they are subject to the same non-neutral behavior as any other Warped audio les.

ˆ

Any devices with random parameters (e.g., the Chance control in the Beat Repeat device) will no longer exhibit random behavior after freezing. This is because, as with time-based effects, the random values that were in place at the moment of freezing will be rendered as part of the new le, and will thus no longer be calculated in real-time.

Please note that the Flatten command replaces any original clips and devices with the audio les created by freezing. When using this command, it is important to keep in mind the special cases above what you hear after freezing is exactly what you will get when attening, so if the results are not to your liking, be sure to unfreeze and make any necessary changes to device parameters before invoking the Flatten command.

This procedure is tested by rendering the output of an audio track and comparing it to the frozen audio from the same track via phase cancellation to ensure that the les are identical.

CHAPTER 31. AUDIO FACT SHEET

518

31.2.8

Bypassed Effects

Bypassed effects in Live are removed from the signal ow. This is true for both Live's built-in effects devices and third-party VST and AU plug-ins. Consequently, audio at the output of a bypassed effect is identical to the audio at the input. Please note, however, that effects devices with parameters that inherently require delay (e.g., the Look Ahead settings in Compressor) will still introduce this delay when bypassed, in order to maintain automatic delay compensation with the rest of the project. In most cases, the effects of this behavior will be completely inaudible.

The neutrality of bypassed effects is tested by loading one instance of each of Live's effects devices into an audio track, deactivating them, and then rendering the output of the track.

The rendered le is then compared to the rendered output of the same track with no loaded devices. Phase cancellation testing of the two les con rms that they are identical.

31.2.9

Routing

The

routing

of signals within Live is a neutral operation. The signal at the routing destination will be identical to the signal at the routing source. It is important to note that Live's exible routing architecture allows for a variety of scenarios, including routing from before or after any track's effects or mixer and tapping the output of individual sample slots within the

Impulse instrument. In these cases, it is likely that the signal heard at the output point will be different from the signal heard prior to routing, because it has been tapped before reaching the end of its original signal chain.

31.2.10

Splitting Clips

Clips which are already neutral will remain neutral after

splitting . Splitting only affects

playback position within the sample, and has no effect on the sample data itself. Playback across a split boundary is seamless and sample-accurate.

The neutrality of clip splitting is tested under a variety of conditions:

ˆ splitting unwarped clips with loop on and off;

ˆ splitting warped but unstretched clips with loop on and off;

CHAPTER 31. AUDIO FACT SHEET

519

In all cases, output is rendered and compared with the output of an unsplit version of the same source. Phase cancellation testing of the two les con rms that they are identical.

31.3

Non-Neutral Operations

Procedures in Live that will cause a change in audio quality are referred to as

non-neutral operations

. Users can be guaranteed that using these operations will cause at least some change to the signal. Applying non-neutral operations to les imported into Live ensures that the imported audio will differ from the les saved on disk. Applying non-neutral operations to les being exported from Live ensures that what you hear during realtime playback will be different from what will end up in your new le.

Non-neutral operations include:

31.3.1

Playback in Complex and Complex Pro Mode

The algorithms used in the

Complex

and

Complex Pro

Warp modes use an entirely different technology from the algorithms behind Beats, Tones, Texture and Re-Pitch modes.

Although the Complex modes may sound better, particularly when used with mixed sound les containing many different kinds of audio material, they are never neutral not even at the original tempo. Because of this, and because of the increased CPU demands of these algorithms, we recommend using them only in cases where the other Warp modes don't produce suf cient results.

31.3.2

Sample rate conversion/transposition

Sample rate conversion (during both real-time playback and rendering) is a non-neutral operation. Playback of audio les at a sample rate that is different from the rate set in

Live's Preferences window will cause signal degradation. Transposition is also a form of sample-rate conversion, and thus also results in non-neutral behavior.

To minimize potential negative results, it is recommended to do sample rate conversion as an of ine process in another application. Once the samples have been converted to the

CHAPTER 31. AUDIO FACT SHEET

520 sample rate that you plan to use in Live, the les can be imported without any loss of quality.

Rendering audio from Live with a sampling rate other than the one that was used while working on the project is also a non-neutral operation, and may result in a loss of sound quality. It is recommended to always render using the original sampling rate, and then convert the rendered le using a dedicated mastering application that is optimized for these kinds of CPU-intensive, of ine tasks.

While we recommend that you use a high-quality of ine tool for sample rate conversion, we recognize that one of Live's core features is its ability to pitch-shift and warp audio in real time. For this situation, it is necessary to make a trade-off between CPU performance and precision. We recommend the use of the

Hi-Q

button for any clips which undergo transposition in a given Set. The algorithm behind the Hi-Q switch was rewritten for Live 7, and now results in considerably lower distortion than in previous versions.

31.3.3

Volume Automation

Automation of volume level results in a change in gain, which is necessarily a non-neutral operation. But certain implementations of automation envelopes can result in audible artifacts, particularly if the envelopes are not calculated at a fast enough rate. Since Live 7, volume automation curves are updated for each audio sample, resulting in extremely low levels of distortion.

31.3.4

Dithering

Whenever rendering audio to a lower bit depth, it is a good idea to apply dithering in order to minimize artifacts. Dithering (a kind of very low-level noise) is inherently a non-neutral procedure, but it is a necessary evil when lowering the bit resolution.

Please note that Live's internal signal processing is all 32-bit, so applying even a single gain change makes the resulting audio 32-bit as well even if the original audio is 16- or 24-bit.

Dither should never be applied more than once to any given audio le, so unless you are mastering and nalizing in Live, it is best to always render at 32-bit and avoid dithering altogether.

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521

31.3.5

Recording external signals (bit depth < A/D converter)

Recording audio signals into Live is a non-neutral operation if the bit depth set in Live's

Preferences window is lower than that of the A/D converters used for the recording. This is not recommended.

31.3.6

Recording internal sources below 32 bit

Audio that is recorded via internal routing will lose quality if the recording is made at a bit depth below 32 bits. To ensure neutral recordings of plug-in instruments and any audio signals that are being processed by effects plug-ins, internal recording at 32 bits is recommended. Please note, however, that if the source audio is already at a lower bit depth, internal recording at that bit depth will also be neutral (assuming that no effects are used); internally recording an unprocessed 16 bit audio le at 32 bits will not increase the sound quality.

31.3.7

Consolidate

Consolidating clips

in the Arrangement View creates new audio les, which are non-neutral in comparison to the original audio data. Speci cally, the new les will be normalized, with their clip volumes adjusted to play back at the same volume as heard prior to consolidation.

Normalization is a gain change, which is a non-neutral operation. Also, the new les will be created at the sample rate and bit depth set in Live's Preferences window, which may differ from those in the original audio les.

31.3.8

Clip fades

When Create Fades on Clip Edges is enabled in the Record/Warp/Launch Preferences, a short (up to 4 ms) fade is applied to the clip start and end to avoid clicks at the clip edges.

These declicking fades can also be applied to Session View clips via the

Clip Fade

button.

Additionally, Arrangement View clips have

editable fades and crossfades . Applying any of

these fade options is a non-neutral operation.

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522

31.3.9

Panning

Live uses constant power panning with sinusoidal gain curves. Output is 0 dB at the center position and signals panned fully left or right will be increased by +3 dB. In order to minimize this volume change, it may be helpful to narrow the overall stereo width before doing extreme panning. This can be done via the Width control in the Utility device.

31.3.10

Grooves

Under most conditions, playback of a warped clip that is at the same tempo as the Set is a neutral operation. However, if a

groove

is applied, playback will be non-neutral at any tempo.

31.4

Tips for Achieving Optimal Sound Quality in Live

For users looking to achieve optimal audio quality in Live, we have provided a list of recommended practices and program settings.

ˆ

Decide which sample rate to use for a project prior to beginning work, rather than changing the sample rate while working on the project.

ˆ

Record audio into Live using high-quality hardware components (audio interface, cables, etc.) and at the highest sample rate and bit depth your interface and computer will support.

ˆ

Avoid using samples that are at different sample rates within the same project. If you want to work with such les, we recommend that you rst convert them to the sample rate set for your audio interface in an of ine application that is optimized for this task.

ˆ

For all audio clips, disable both the Warp and Fade options in the Clip View.

ˆ

Do not adjust the Transpose and Detune controls for any clips.

ˆ

Always render at 32-bit and at the sample rate set for your audio interface. If you need audio les at a different sample rate and/or bit depth, we recommend that you

CHAPTER 31. AUDIO FACT SHEET

523 convert your rendered les in an of ine application that is optimized for these tasks, rather than in Live.

Please note that these practices, while ensuring optimal audio quality, disable some of Live's functionality in particular, stretching and synchronization.

31.5

Summary and Conclusions

Ableton wrote this paper in order to help users understand exactly how audio is affected when performing various procedures in Live. Our focus has been on functions that have proven over the years to cause confusion or uncertainty, and the list of both neutral and non-neutral operations presented here is necessarily incomplete.

We encourage you to refer to this paper if you have any questions about the functions discussed, but we also encourage you to contact us

1 if you have additional questions that we haven't answered. Live is a product, but it is also an ongoing process, and one that bene ts greatly from user input.

1 [email protected]

524

Chapter 32

MIDI Fact Sheet

In conjunction with our work on the audio engine, Ableton has spent additional effort analyzing Live's MIDI timing and making improvements where necessary. We wrote this fact sheet to help users understand the problems involved in creating a reliable and accurate computer-based MIDI environment, and to explain Live's approach to solving these problems.

Note: the MIDI timing issues discussed in this paper are generally not applicable to users with high-quality audio and MIDI hardware. If you have already invested time and money into optimizing these factors in your studio, and are not experiencing problems with MIDI timing, you probably do not need this information.

32.1

Ideal MIDI Behavior

To understand how MIDI works within a digital audio workstation (DAW), it is helpful to introduce some common terms and concepts. A DAW must be able to accommodate three distinct MIDI-related scenarios:

1)

Recording

refers to sending MIDI note and controller information from a hardware device (such as a MIDI keyboard) into a DAW for storage. An ideal recording

CHAPTER 32. MIDI FACT SHEET environment would capture this incoming information with perfect timing accuracy in relation to the timeline of the song as accurately as an audio recording.

2)

Playback

refers to two related scenarios when dealing with DAWs. The rst involves sending MIDI note and controller information from the DAW to a hardware device such as a synthesizer. The second involves converting stored MIDI information into audio data within the computer, as played back by a plug-in device such as the Operator synthesizer. In both cases, an ideal playback environment would output a perfect reproduction of the stored information.

3)

Playthrough

involves sending MIDI note and controller information from a hardware device (such as a MIDI keyboard) into the DAW and then, in real-time, back out to a hardware synthesizer or to a plug-in device within the DAW. An ideal playthrough environment would feel as accurate and responsive as a physical instrument such as a piano.

525

32.2

MIDI Timing Problems

The realities of computer-based MIDI are complex, and involve so many variables that the ideal systems described above are impossible to achieve. There are two fundamental issues:

1)

Latency

refers to inherent and consistent delay in a system. This is a particular problem in a DAW because digital audio cannot be transferred into or out of an audio interface in real time, and must instead be buffered. But even acoustic instruments exhibit a certain degree of latency; in a piano, for example, there is some amount of delay between the time a key is depressed and the time the hammer mechanism actually activates the string. From a performance perspective, small latency times are generally not a problem because players are usually able to adapt the timing of their playing to compensate for delays as long as the delays remain consistent.

2)

Jitter

refers to inconsistent or random delay in a system. Within a DAW, this can be a particular problem because different functions within the system (e.g.,

MIDI, audio and the user interface) are processed separately. Information often needs to be moved from one such process to another when converting MIDI

CHAPTER 32. MIDI FACT SHEET data into a plug-in's playback, for example. Jitter-free MIDI timing involves accurate conversion between different clocks within the system's components the MIDI interface, audio interface, and the DAW itself. The accuracy of this conversion depends on a variety of factors, including the operating system and driver architecture used. Jitter, much more so than latency, creates the feeling that MIDI timing is sloppy or loose.

526

32.3

Live's MIDI Solutions

Ableton's approach to MIDI timing is based on two key assumptions:

1. In all cases, latency is preferable to jitter. Because latency is consistent and predictable, it can be dealt with much more easily by both computers and people.

2. If you are using playthrough while recording, you will want to record what you

hear

even if, because of latency, this occurs slightly later than what you

play

.

Live addresses the problems inherent in recording, playback and playthrough so that MIDI timing will be responsive, accurate and consistently reliable. In order to record incoming events to the correct positions in the timeline of a Live Set, Live needs to know exactly when those events were received from the MIDI keyboard. But Live cannot receive them directly they must rst be processed by the MIDI interface's drivers and the operating system. To solve this problem, the interface drivers give each MIDI event a

timestamp

as they receive it, and those are passed to Live along with the event so that Live knows exactly when the events should be added to the clip.

During playthrough, a DAW must constantly deal with events that should be heard as soon as possible, but which inevitably occurred in the past due to inherent latency and system delays. So a choice must be made: should events be played at the moment they are received (which can result in jitter if that moment happens to occur when the system is busy) or should they be delayed (which adds latency)? Ableton's choice is to add latency, as we believe that it is easier for users to adjust to consistent latency than to random jitter.

When monitoring is enabled during recording, Live adds an additional delay to the timestamp of the event based on the buffer size of your audio hardware. This added latency makes it possible to record events to the clip at the time you

hear

them not the time you

play

them.

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527

For playback of hardware devices, Live also generates timestamps that it attempts to communicate to the MIDI interface drivers for scheduling of outgoing MIDI events. Windows

MME drivers cannot process timestamps, however, and for devices that use these drivers,

Live schedules outgoing events internally.

Even during high system loads that cause audio dropouts, Live will continue to receive incoming MIDI events. In the event of audio dropouts, there may be timing errors and audio distortion during playthrough, but Live should still correctly record MIDI events into clips. Later, when the system has recovered from the dropouts, playback of these recorded events should be accurate.

32.4

Variables Outside of Live's Control

In general, timestamps are an extremely reliable mechanism for dealing with MIDI event timing. But timestamps are only applicable to data within the computer itself. MIDI data outside of the computer can make no use of this information, and so timing information coming from or going to external hardware is processed by the hardware as soon as it arrives, rather than according to a schedule. Additionally, MIDI cables are

serial

, meaning they can only send one piece of information at a time. In practice, this means that multiple notes played simultaneously cannot be transmitted simultaneously through MIDI cables, but instead must be sent one after the other. Depending on the density of the events, this can cause MIDI timing problems.

Another issue that can arise, particularly when working with hardware synthesizers from the early days of MIDI, is that the

scan time

of the device may occur at a relatively slow rate.

Scan time refers to how often the synthesizer checks its own keyboard for input. If this rate is too slow, jitter may be introduced.

Of course, any such timing problems present at the hardware level may be multiplied as additional pieces of gear are added to the chain.

Even within the computer, the accuracy of timestamps can vary widely, depending on the quality of the MIDI hardware, errors in driver programming, etc. Live must assume that any timestamps attached to incoming MIDI events are accurate, and that outgoing events will be dealt with appropriately by any external hardware. But both situations are impossible for

Live to verify.

CHAPTER 32. MIDI FACT SHEET

32.5

Tests and Results

528

Our procedure for testing the timing of incoming MIDI events is represented in the following diagram:

Live

MIDI Clip

MIDI Source

MIDI

Splitter

MIDI-to-Audio

Converter

Audio Clip

MIDI Input Test

Con guration.

The output of a

MIDI Source

(a keyboard or other DAW playing long sequences of random

MIDI events) is fed to a zero-latency hardware

MIDI Splitter

. One portion of the splitter's output is recorded into a new MIDI clip in Live. The other portion is fed to a

MIDI-to-Audio

Converter

. This device converts the electrical signal from the MIDI source into simple audio noise. Because the device does not interpret the MIDI data, it performs this conversion with zero-latency. The converter's output is then recorded into a new audio clip in Live. In an ideal system, each event in the MIDI clip would occur simultaneously with the corresponding event in the audio clip. Thus the difference in timing between the MIDI and audio events in the two clips can be measured to determine Live's accuracy.

In order to assess MIDI performance under a variety of conditions, we ran the tests with three different audio/MIDI combo interfaces at different price points, all from well-known manufacturers. We will refer to these interfaces as A, B and C. All tests were performed with a CPU load of approximately 50% on both OS X and Windows machines, at both 44.1 and

96 kHz and at three different audio buffer sizes, for a total of 36 discrete test con gurations.

Windows:

ˆ

Interface A: The maximum jitter was +/- 4 ms, with the majority of the jitter occurring at +/- 1 ms.

ˆ

Interface B: For most of the tests, the maximum jitter was +/- 3 or 4 ms. At 96 kHz and 1024 sample buffer, there were a small number of events with +/- 5 ms of jitter.

CHAPTER 32. MIDI FACT SHEET

529

At 44.1 kHz and 512 sample buffer, occasional events with +/- 6 ms occurred. In all cases, the majority of the jitter occurred at +/- 1 ms.

ˆ

Interface C: For most of the tests, the maximum jitter was +/- 5 ms. At 96 kHz and 512 sample buffer, there were a small number of events with between +/- 6 and 8 ms of jitter. At 44.1 kHz and 1024 sample buffer, there were a small number of events with jitter as high as +/- 10 ms. In all cases, the majority of the jitter occurred at +/- 1 ms.

OS X:

ˆ

Interface A: At 44.1 kHz and 1152 sample buffer, jitter was fairly evenly distributed between +/- 4 and 11 ms. For all other tests, the maximum jitter was +/- 5 ms. In all tests, the majority of the jitter occured at +/- 1 ms.

ˆ

Interface B: For most of the tests, the maximum jitter was +/- 4 or 5 ms. At 44.1 kHz and 1152 sample buffer, there was a fairly even distribution of jitter between +/- 2 and

11 ms. In all cases, the majority of the jitter occurred at +/- 1 ms.

ˆ

Interface C: In all tests, the maximum jitter was +/- 1 ms, with most events occurring with no jitter.

We also performed a similar procedure for testing the timing of outgoing MIDI events, as represented in the following diagram:

Live

MIDI Clip

MIDI-to-Audio

Converter

Audio Recording

(another instance of Live)

Audio Clip

MIDI Output Test

Con guration.

In all cases, the output tests showed comparable results to the input tests.

CHAPTER 32. MIDI FACT SHEET

32.6

Tips for Achieving Optimal MIDI Performance

530

In order to help users achieve optimal MIDI performance with Live, we have provided a list of recommended practices and program settings.

ˆ

Use the lowest possible buffer sizes available on your audio hardware, thereby keeping latency to a minimum. Audio buffer controls are found in the Audio tab of Live's

Preferences, and vary depending on the type of hardware you're using. For more information, see the Lesson Setting Up Audio I/O.

ˆ

Use a high quality MIDI interface with the most current drivers in order to ensure that

MIDI timestamps are generated and processed as accurately as possible.

ˆ

Do

not

enable track monitoring if you are recording MIDI while listening directly to a hardware device such as an external synthesizer (as opposed to listening to the device's audio through Live via the External Instrument device). Likewise, disable track monitoring when recording MIDI data that is generated by another MIDI device (such as a drum machine). When monitoring is enabled, Live adds latency to compensate for playthrough jitter. Therefore, it is important to only enable monitoring when actually playing through.

ˆ

The DirectMusic architecture on Windows allows outgoing MIDI events to be scheduled by the operating system rather than scheduled by Live alone, so performance may differ depending on whether or not you're using MME or DirectMusic mode. If you experience timing issues, we recommend switching to the other mode. This is set in the

MIDI Ports list

in the MIDI/Sync Preferences.

Selecting the MIDI Port

Type (Windows).

CHAPTER 32. MIDI FACT SHEET

32.7

Summary and Conclusions

531

Ableton wrote this paper in order to help users understand a variety of related topics:

ˆ the inherent problems in computer-based MIDI systems;

ˆ our approach to solving these problems in Live;

ˆ additional variables that we cannot account for.

As mentioned before, the best way to solve MIDI timing issues in your studio is to use the highest-quality hardware components available. For users of such components, all software

MIDI systems should perform with no noticeable issues. For users with less-than-optimal hardware, however, Live still offers an additional degree of accuracy by minimizing jitter, but at the expense of a small amount of additional latency.

We encourage you to refer to this paper if you have any questions about Live's approach to

MIDI timing, but we also encourage you to contact us

1 if you have additional questions or concerns that we haven't addressed.

1 [email protected]

Chapter 33

Live Keyboard Shortcuts

33.1

Showing and Hiding Views

Toggle Full Screen Mode

Toggle Session/Arrangement View

Toggle Track/Clip View

Hide/Show Detail View

Hide/Show Info View

Hide/Show Browser

Hide/Show Overview

Hide/Show In/Out

Hide/Show Sends

Hide/Show Mixer

Open the Preferences

Windows

F11

Macintosh

Ctrl F11

F12

Ctrl Alt

F12

?

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

,

Alt

Alt

Alt

Alt

Alt

L

B

I

O

S

M or or

Ctrl

Ctrl

?

or

F12

Alt

L

F12 or

,

Alt

Alt

Alt

Alt

Alt

B

I

O

S

M

532

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

533

Close Window/Dialog

Windows

Esc

Macintosh

Esc

33.2

Accessing Menus

Under Windows, you can access each menu by pressing

Alt menu (

Alt

F and the rst letter of the for File, for instance). While a menu is open, you can use:

ˆ

ˆ to navigate the menu items; to open the neighboring menu;

ˆ

Return to choose a menu item.

33.3

Adjusting Values

Decrement/Increment

Finer Resolution for Dragging

Return to Default

Type in Value

Go to Next Field (Bar.beat.16th)

Abort Value Entry

Con rm Value Entry

Windows

Ctrl

Delete

0

..

9

.

,

Esc

Return

Macintosh

0

..

9

.

,

Esc

Return

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.4

Browsing

534

In addition to the shortcuts shown here,

editing shortcuts

can also be used in the Browser.

Windows Macintosh

Scroll Down/Up

Close/Open Folders

Set Selected Folder as Browser Root

Load Selected Item from Browser

Preview Selected File

Activate Browser Search Mode

Jump to Search Results

Return

Return

Click

Ctrl or Double-

Return

F

Return

Return

Click or Double-

Return

F

33.5

Transport

Play from Start Marker/Stop

Continue Play from Stop Point

Play Arrangement View Selection

Record

Back to Arrangement

Activate/Deactivate Track 1..8

Windows

Space

Space

Space Ctrl

F9

F10

F1

..

F8

Macintosh

Space

Space

Space Alt

F9

F10

F1

..

F8

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.6

Editing

535

Cut

Copy

Paste

Duplicate

Delete

Undo

Redo

Rename

Select All

Windows

Ctrl X

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

C

V

D

Delete

Ctrl

Z

Y

Ctrl

R

A

Macintosh

X

C

V

D

Z

R

A

Z

By holding down an additional modi er key, some of the above commands can also be applied to:

Windows Macintosh

Clips and Slots Across all Tracks

Time Across all Tracks

The Selected Part of the Envelope

Alt Alt can be used to move from one track or scene to another while renaming.

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.7

Loop Brace and Start/End Markers

536

The loop brace and start/end markers must rst be selected before any of the following commands will apply to them.

Move Start Marker to Position

Nudge Loop Left/Right

Move Loop By Loop Length

Halve/Double Loop Length

Shorten/Lengthen Loop

Select Material in Loop

Windows

Click

Ctrl

Ctrl

Click Loop Brace or

Ctrl

L

Macintosh

Click

Click Loop Brace or

L

33.8

Session View Commands

See also the

editing commands .

Launch Selected Clip/Slot

Select Neighbouring Clip/Slot

Select all Clips/Slots

Copy Clips

Add/Remove Stop Button

Insert MIDI clip

Insert Scene

Insert Captured Scene

Move Nonadjacent Scenes Without

Collapsing

Drop Browser Clips as a Scene

Windows

Return

Arrow Keys

Ctrl

A

Ctrl

Ctrl

Drag

E

Ctrl M

Double-Click Slot

Ctrl

I

Ctrl

Ctrl

I or

Macintosh

Return

Arrow Keys

A

Alt

Drag

E

M

Double-Click Slot

I

I or

Ctrl

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.9

Arrangement View Commands

537

The shortcuts for

zooming ,

snapping/drawing

and

loop/region settings

also work in the

Arrangement View. See also the

editing commands .

Split Clip at Selection

Consolidate Selection into Clip

Create Fade/Crossfade

Loop Selection

Insert Silence

Pan Left/Right of Selection

Unfold all Tracks

Scroll Display to Follow Playback

Windows

Ctrl E

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

J

Alt

L

Ctrl

Ctrl

Alt

Ctrl

F

Macintosh

I

Alt

F

Unfold button

Alt

E

J

Alt

L

I

Alt

F

Unfold button

F

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.10

Commands for Tracks

See also the

editing commands .

Insert Audio Track

Insert MIDI Track

Insert Return Track

Rename Selected Track

While Renaming, Go to next Track

Group Selected Tracks

Ungroup Tracks

Show Grouped Tracks

Hide Grouped Tracks

Move Nonadjacent Tracks Without

Collapsing

Arm/Solo Multiple Tracks

Add Device from Browser

Windows

Ctrl

T

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Alt

R

T

T

Ctrl

Ctrl

+

-

Ctrl

G

G

+ arrow keys

Ctrl

Click

Double-Click

Macintosh

T

Alt

R

T

T

G

G

+

-

+ arrow keys

Click

Double-Click

538

33.11

Commands for Breakpoint Envelopes

The shortcuts for

zooming ,

snapping/drawing

and

loop/region settings

also work in the

Envelope Editor and Arrangement View. See also the

editing commands .

Finer Resolution for Dragging

Enable Dragging Over Breakpoints

Windows

Ctrl

Macintosh

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.12

Key/MIDI Map Mode and the Computer MIDI

Keyboard

Toggle MIDI Map Mode

Toggle Key Map Mode

Computer MIDI Keyboard

Windows

Ctrl

M

Ctrl

Ctrl

K

K

Macintosh

M

K

K

539

33.13

Zooming, Display and Selections

Zoom In

Zoom Out

Drag/Click to Append to a Selection

Click to Add Adjacent

Clips/Tracks/Scenes to Multi-Selection

Click to Add Nonadjacent

Clips/Tracks/Scenes to a

Multi-Selection

Follow (Auto-Scroll)

Pan Left/Right of Selection

Windows

+

-

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

F

Alt

Macintosh

+

-

F

Alt

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.14

Clip View Sample Display

The shortcuts for

zooming

and

loop/region settings

also work in the Sample Display.

Quantize

Quantize Settings...

Move Selected Warp Marker

Select Warp Marker

Scroll Display to Follow Playback

Move Clip Region with Start Marker

Windows

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

U

Ctrl

F

U

Macintosh

U

F

U

540

33.15

Clip View MIDI Editor

The shortcuts for

zooming ,

snapping/drawing

and

loop/region settings

also work in the

MIDI Editor.

Quantize

Quantize Settings...

Scroll Editor Vertically

Scroll Editor Horizontally

Copy Note

Change Velocity From Note Editor

Add/Delete Note in Edit Mode

Move Insert Marker to Beginning

Move Insert Marker to End

Scroll Display to Follow Playback

Move Clip Region with Start Marker

Windows

Ctrl U

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Drag

Alt

Drag

Double-Click

Home

End

Ctrl

F

U

Macintosh

U

Alt

Drag

Drag

Double-Click home end

F

U

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.16

Grid Snapping and Drawing

Toggle Draw Mode

Narrow Grid

Widen Grid

Triplet Grid

Snap to Grid

Fixed/Zoom-Adaptive Grid

Bypass Snapping While Dragging

Windows

Ctrl B

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

1

2

3

4

5

Alt

33.17

Global Quantization

Sixteenth-Note Quantization

Eighth-Note Quantization

Quarter-Note Quantization

1-Bar Quantization

Quantization Off

Windows

Ctrl

6

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

7

8

9

0

Macintosh

B

1

2

3

4

5

Macintosh

6

7

8

9

0

541

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.18

Working with Sets and the Program

New Live Set

Open Live Set

Close Live Set

Save Live Set

Save Live Set As...

Quit Live

Hide Live

Export Audio/Video

Export MIDI le

Windows

Ctrl N

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

O

W

S

Ctrl

Ctrl

Q

S

Ctrl

Ctrl

R

E

Macintosh

N

O

W

S

S

Q

H

R

E

542

33.19

Working with Plug-Ins and Devices

Show/Hide Plug-In Windows

Open Second/Multiple Windows with

Plug-In Edit Button

Open Mac Keystroke Plug-In Window with Plug-In Edit Button

Group/Ungroup Devices

Activate/Deactivate All Devices in

Group

Click to Append Devices to a Selected

Device

Load Selected Device From Browser

Windows

Ctrl

Ctrl

Ctrl

Alt tor

Return

Click

Alt

P

Macintosh

G

Device Activa-

Alt tor or Double-

Return

Click

Alt

G

P

Device Activaor Double-

CHAPTER 33. LIVE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

33.20

Using the Context Menu

543

A context menu is available in Live for quick access to many commonly used menu items.

To access the context menu, (PC) /

Ctrl

(Mac) on the part of the interface where you would like to execute a particular command. It is worth noting that Live's context menu may sometimes contain applicable settings from the Preferences. You should change these options with care, as they will affect not only the currently selected item but the general settings of the program.

Some commands

only

appear in the context menu. Among these are: the Create Folder,

Analyze Audio, Search In Folder, Close All Folders and Refresh commands from the

Browser ;

the special grid marker commands for directing

Auto-Warp ; detailed options for zoom-

adaptive and xed

grid line width ; and copying and pasting for

Operator's

envelopes and oscillators.

544

Index

A

Ableton e-mail addresses sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

technical support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

web addresses

FAQs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

506

tutorials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

506

webshop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

Adaptive Grid options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

Add/Remove Stop Button command . . . .

95

agr les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

groove feature

Amp effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

277

tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

279

Analog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

357

ampli ers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

363

architecture and interface . . . . . . . . . .

358

envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

364

lters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

362

global parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

366

LFOs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

365

noise generator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

361

oscillators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

359

analysis les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

43

storing clip settings in . . . . . . . . . . . . .

112

analysis of les batch processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

Analyze Audio command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

APC20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

482

APC40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

471

Arm Recording button . . . . . . . . . . . .

187 ,

199

Arpeggiator effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

346

and grooves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

348

Arrangement . . . . . . .

see

Arrangement View

Arrangement Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

74

Arrangement Position elds . . . . . . . . . . . . .

76

Arrangement View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

73

and copying to Session . . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

and Session View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

grid snapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

insert marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

looping in the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

navigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

74

recording new clips in the . . . . . . . . .

200

scrub area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

Arrangement View selector . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

asd les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

analysis les audio clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

clips audio effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

devices

INDEX

545

Audio Fact Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

513

neutral operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

514

non-neutral operations . . . . . . . . . . . .

519

testing and methodology . . . . . . . . . .

513

tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

522

audio les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

samples audio interface setup . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Audio

Preferences,

see

routing

Audio Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7

audio tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

tracks

Audio Units Plug-ins, using . . . . .

see

devices authorization . . . . . . . . . .

see

copy protection authorizing Live more than once . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

Auto Filter effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

280

Auto Pan effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

282

Auto Select . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

235

Auto-Hide Plug-In Windows preference

220

Auto-Open Plug-In Custom Editor preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

220

Auto-Warp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

126

Auto-Warp Long Samples preference . .

120

Automatic Rescan on Each Search . . . . . . .

35

automation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25 ,

251

and grid lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

255

drawing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

254

editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

255

overriding/reactivating . . . . . . . . . . . .

252

recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

251

Automation Control chooser . . . . . . . . . . .

254

B

Back to Arrangement button . . .

beat-time ruler

16 ,

96 ,

Beat Repeat effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

252

283

and Arrangement editing . . . . . . . . . . .

74

and editing envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . .

267

and editing MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

137

in the MIDI Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

138

Beats Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

131

Bit Depth preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

207

bookmarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

breakpoint envelopes .

see

automation,

see

clip envelopes

Browser . . . . . . . . . .

see

File Browser,

see

Live

Device Browser,

see

Plug-In Device

Browser browsing les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

31

C

Cabinet effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

285

tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

286

Capture and Insert Scene command . . . . .

95

chains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Device Chains

Check for Updates command . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1

choke groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

242

Chord effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

350

Chorus effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

287

Clip Activator switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

102

Clip box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

Clip Color chooser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

102

Clip Envelope Control chooser . . . . . . . . .

259

Clip Envelope Device chooser . . . . . . . . .

259

clip envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26 ,

258

and changing note pitch . . . . . . . . . . .

261

and changing note volume . . . . . . . .

262

as LFOs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

269

changing clips for . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

264

creating long loops with . . . . . . . . . . .

268

for MIDI controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

266

INDEX

546 general editing of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

258

imposing rhythm with . . . . . . . . . . . . .

269

loop/region settings for . . . . . . . . . . .

266

mixer control modulation with . . . . .

264

scrambling beats with . . . . . . . . . . . . .

262

unlinking from clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

267

using for fade-outs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

266

Clip Fade switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

113

Clip Gain slider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

111

Clip Groove chooser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

103

Clip Launch button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

90

Clip Name eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

102

Clip Nudge buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

104

Clip Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

99

for zooming/scrolling . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

106

Clip Quantization chooser . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

157

Clip Record button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25 ,

202

Clip Signature elds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

103

Clip Stop button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

90

adding/removing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

Clip Update Rate preference . . . . . . . . . . .

117

Clip View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

98

and playing the Arrangement . . . . . . .

76

and remote control mapping . . . . . .

468

scrub area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

108

Clip View boxes selector

101 ,

136 ,

155 ,

258

clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

adding fades to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82 ,

113

arranging/editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

81

as templates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

264

audio clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

clip multi-selections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

99

crossfading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82

deactivating/muting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

102

editing MIDI notes/velocities . . . . . .

135

importing from les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

in Arrangement View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

81

in audio/MIDI tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

16

in Session View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

90

Live Clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

51

MIDI clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

renaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

102

reversing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

114

saving les on export . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

saving settings for . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

112

setting properties of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

98

Close All Folders command . . . . . . . . . . . . .

33

Collect Files on Export . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

Collision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

369 architecture and interface . . . . . . . . . .

369

Global section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

378

LFOs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

376

Mallet section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

370

MIDI tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

377

Noise section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

371

Resonators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

372

sound design tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

379

color scheme . . . . . . . . . .

see

Skin preference

Complete Fragmentary Bar command . . .

79

Complex Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

133

Complex Pro Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

133

compressed audio les . . . . . . . .

see

samples

Compressor effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

289

and sidechain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

292

tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

293

Computer MIDI Keyboard button . . . . . .

168

Computer MIDI Keyboard option . . . . . .

168

Consolidate command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

87

context menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

543

Control chooser . . .

see

Automation Control chooser,

see

Clip Envelope Control chooser

INDEX

547 control surfaces and takeover mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

463

instant mappings for . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

460

locking to devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

461

manual setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

462

natively supported . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

459

copy protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10

Corpus effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

294

count-in for recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

206

Count-In preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

206

CPU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

507

CPU Load meter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

508

CPU Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7

Create Analysis Files preference . . . . . . . . .

44

Create Folder command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

40

Cropping audio clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

115

MIDI clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

148

crossfader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22 ,

192

and remote control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

194

automating the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

195

crossfades for clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

521

in Operator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

406

in Sampler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

423

in Simpler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

432

in the Arrangement View . . . . . . . . . . .

82

Cue Out chooser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

196

cue points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

locators cueing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

195

Cut Time command in the Arrangement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

86

in the MIDI Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

144

D

Decoding and Web Cache preferences . .

42

Delay Compensation option . . . . . . . . . . .

227

Delete All Time Signature Changes command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

Delete Automation command . . . . . . . . . .

252

Delete command and devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

213

and envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

260

and tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

190

in the Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

40

Delete Fragmentary Bar Time command

79

Delete Locator button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

Delete Locator command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

Delete Time command in the Arrangement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

86

in the MIDI Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

144

Delete Time Signature Change command

78

Demo Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13

Detune eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

111

Device Activator switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

213

Device Chains and slicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

245

extracting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

250

internal routing points for . . . . . . . . .

172

signal ow in Racks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

230

with Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

236

Device chooser . .

see

Clip Envelope Device chooser,

see

Fades/Device chooser devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

19

compensating for delays . . . . . . . . . .

227

presets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

214

the Live audio effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

277

the Live instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

357

the Live MIDI effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

346

the Max Audio Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

453

the Max Instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

453

the Max MIDI Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

453

INDEX

548

E using Audio Units Plug-ins . . . . . . . . .

using Live devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

using plug-in devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

using VST Plug-ins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Double/Halve Original BPM buttons . . .

124

Draw Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and drawing MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

with clip envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Draw Mode command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Drum Machines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Drum Racks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

loading multiple samples . . . . . . . . . .

Pad View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Duplicate Time command in the MIDI Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dynamic Tube effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

226

211

217

223

dither . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

in the Arrangement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

116

254

136

261

254

380

241

243

243

298

,

86

144

Edit menu commands and automation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

252 ,

256

and exporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

45

and MIDI notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

141

and return tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

192

and scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92

and tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

189

in the Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

with Clip Stop buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

with clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

102

with devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

213

with scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

Edit switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

111

effect chains . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Device Chains effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

devices

EIC . . . . .

see

Essential Instrument Collection

Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

381

architecture and interface . . . . . . . . . .

382

damper section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

383 fork section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

383

global section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

384

mallet section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

382

pickup section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

384

Envelope Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100 ,

258

envelopes . . . . . . . . .

see

automation,

see

clip envelopes

Envelopes box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100 ,

258

EQ Eight effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

299

EQ Three effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

301

Erosion effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

302

Essential Instrument Collection . . . . . . . . .

450

Exclusive Arm/Solo preference . . . . . . . . .

187

Export Audio/Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

Export MIDI Clip command . . . . . . . . . . . . .

50

exporting audio . . .

see

Export Audio/Video exporting video . . .

see

Export Audio/Video

External Audio Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

external sync . . . . .

F

see

303

and real-time freezing . . . . . . . . . . . . .

509

and real-time rendering . . . . . . . . . . . . .

47

External Instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

385

and multi-timbral plug-ins . . . . . . . . .

182

and real-time freezing . . . . . . . . . . . . .

509

and real-time rendering . . . . . . . . . . . . .

47

and ReWire devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

171

MIDI synchronization

Fades/Device chooser . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82 ,

253

FAQs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Ableton

INDEX

549

File Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

31

opening Sets with the . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13

le management . . . . . . . . .

see

Manage Files command

File Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

60

File Type preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

207

File/Folder Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7

and VST Plug-ins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

223

Filter Delay effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

304

Fixed Grid command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

Fixed Grid options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

FLAC les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

samples

Flanger effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

306

Fold button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

140

Follow Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

158

Follow command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75 ,

106

Follow switch . . . . . . . . . . . .

75 ,

106 ,

122 ,

139

fragmentary bars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

Freeze Track command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

509

Frequency Shifter effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

307

tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

309

Full Screen Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8

I and MIDI editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

141

and time signature markers . . . . . . . . .

79

in editing clip envelopes . . . . . . . . . .

269

working with the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

groove feature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

103 ,

149

Groove Pool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

150

group slots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

91

Group Tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

190 ,

see

tracks

H hard disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

CPU

Hard Disk Overload indicator . . . . . . . . . .

511

High Quality switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

112

hot-swapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

40

and device presets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

215

and grooves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

149

and Impulse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

388

and Simpler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

431

G

Gate effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Gate Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

grid and Session recording . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Grain Delay effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Grain Flux eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Grain Size eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Grain Size knob . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

310

156

Global Quantization chooser . . . . . . . . . . . .

201

311

132

132

132

and Arrangement editing . . . . . . . . . . .

and envelope drawing . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

85

255

I/O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

routing

importing les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39

importing projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

64

Impulse instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

387

and individual outputs . . . . . . . . . . . . .

390

and MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

388

lter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

389

global controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

390

Link button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

388

pan and volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

390

sample slots and controls . . . . . . . . . .

388

saturator and envelope . . . . . . . . . . . .

389

Start, Transpose and Stretch . . . . . . .

389

Info View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

insert

INDEX

550 effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

211

instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

211

plug-ins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

217

track . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

189

Insert Audio Track command . . . . . . . . . . .

189

insert marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

Insert MIDI Clip command . . . . . . . . . . . . .

135

Insert MIDI Track command . . . . . . . . . . . .

189

Insert Return Track command . . . . . . . . . .

192

Insert Scene command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

Insert Silence command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

87

in the MIDI Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

144

Insert Time Signature Change command

78

instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

devices

K

Key Map Mode switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Key/MIDI In Indicator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Key/MIDI Out Indicator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

keyboard shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

L

469

170

170

532

Language preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

latency

and the External Audio Effect . . . . . .

303

Latin Percussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

390

Launch box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100 ,

155

Launch Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

156

Launchpad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

490

Legato Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

158

lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5

Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29 ,

61

migrating from older versions . . . . . . .

63

repairing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

64

Library Location preference . . . . . . . . . . . . .

63

Library Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7

Limiter effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

313

Link/Unlink Envelope switch . . . . . . . . . . . .

267

Live Clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

51

Live Device Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8 ,

211

Live Packs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

61

Live Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

56

and device presets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

60

and Live Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

56

packing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

Live Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13 ,

52

changing le references . . . . . . . . . . . .

55

exporting and importing . . . . . . . . . . . .

52

saving the default template . . . . . . . . .

54

locators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

Lock Envelopes command . . . . . . . . . . . . .

256

Lock Envelopes switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

256

Look/Feel Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

loop brace in the Arrangement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

with clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

109

Loop Selection command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

Loop Start/Punch-In Position elds . . . . . .

80

Loop switch

Clip View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

108 ,

267 ,

268

Control Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

80

with MIDI clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

140

Loop To Next Locator command . . . . . . . .

78

Loop/Punch Region Length elds . . . . . . .

80

Loop/Region controls . . . . . . . . . . . . .

107 ,

109

and clip envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

267

with MIDI clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

140

Loop/Warp Short Samples preference . .

120

Looper effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

314

feedback routing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

318

INDEX

551

M

Macro Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

230

Macro Map Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

247

Manage Files command and changing le references . . . . . . . .

55

and collecting external les . . . . . . . . .

67

and collecting external samples . . . . .

68

and nding unused les . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

and importing projects . . . . . . . . . . . . .

64

and locating missing les . . . . . . . . . . .

64

and packing Live Projects . . . . . . . . . . .

70

and project management . . . . . . . . . . .

60

managing les . . . . . . . . . . .

see

File Manager

Mapping Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

464

mapping to MIDI/keys . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27 ,

458

and recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

207

Master Out chooser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

196

Master track . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

191

Max for Live . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

453

Maximum Cache Size preference . . . . . . . .

42

Metronome switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

205

MIDI exporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

50

quantizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

144 ,

206

sending bank/program changes . . .

117

MIDI clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

clips

MIDI controllers . . . . . . . .

see

control surfaces

MIDI Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100 ,

135

and drawing MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

136

and drawing velocities . . . . . . . . . . . . .

146

and grid lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

141 ,

143

and recording MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

203

and step recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

204

creating and editing notes . . . . . . . . .

141

editing velocities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

145

loop/region settings for . . . . . . . . . . .

140

MIDI note stretch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

147

navigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

137

note-off velocity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

147

rearranging notes in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

141

MIDI effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

devices

MIDI Fact Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

524

MIDI les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

and time signature changes . . . . . . . . .

80

MIDI interface setup . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

routing

MIDI Map Mode switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

464

MIDI Ports list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

167

MIDI Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7

MIDI synchronization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

501

MIDI Timecode Frame Rate preference

503

MIDI Timecode Start Offset preference

503

MIDI Track In Indicator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

170

MIDI Track Out Indicator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

170

MIDI tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

tracks

Minimum Free Space preference . . . . . . . .

42

mixer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21 ,

185

Mixer Section selector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

186

modulation . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

clip envelopes monitor mix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

192

monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

165

monitoring through Live . . . . . . . . .

see

Audio

Preferences

MP3 les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

samples

Multiband Dynamics effect . . . . . . . . . . . . .

319

interface and controls . . . . . . . . . . . . .

321

theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

320

tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

323

Multicore/Multiprocessor Support . . . . . .

507

Multiple Plug-In Windows preference . .

220

Multisampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

415

muting . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Track Activator switch

INDEX

552

N

Narrow Grid command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

New command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

52

Next Locator button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

normalizing rendered audio . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

Note Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

136

Note Length effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

351

Notes box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

Nudge buttons . . . .

see

Clip Nudge buttons

O clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

102

of ine clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Orchestral Percussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Orchestral Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Orchestral Woodwinds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

64

Ogg les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

samples

Open/Open Recent command . . . . . . . . . .

52

Operator instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

392

algorithms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

393

aliasing and Tone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

397

AMS les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

395

and CPU resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

403

envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

399

lter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

401

Glide and Spread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

403

global controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

402

layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

393

LFO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

398

MIDI modulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

402

oscillators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

394

parameter list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

404

user waveforms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

395

Orchestral Brass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

413

413

413

413

Original BPM eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

116 ,

124

Overdrive effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

325

Overdub Switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

201 ,

203

Overdubbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

203

P packs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pan quick-chooser button buttons

see see

Live Packs

Pan control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

187

quick-chooser

Parent Folder item . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

33

Paste Time command in the Arrangement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

86

in the MIDI Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

144

pencil tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Draw Mode

Phaser effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

326

Ping Pong Delay effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

327

Pitch Bend quick-chooser button . . . . . . .

see

quick-chooser buttons

Pitch effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

352

Play button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

plug-ins, using . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

devices

Plug-In Buffer Size preference . . . . . . . . . .

223

Plug-In Con gure Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

221

Plug-In Device Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

218

Plug-In Device Browserselector . . . . . . . .

218

Plug-In Edit button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

220

Plug-In Unfold button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

219

pre-listening samples . . . . . . .

see

previewing

Pre/Post switches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

192

Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

and recording clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

207

Preserve chooser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

131

presets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

214

converting Sampler to Simpler . . . . .

415

INDEX

553

converting Simpler to Sampler . . . . .

431

Defaults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

216

for speci c Live Projects . . . . . . . . . . . .

60

saving with les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

Preview switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37 ,

137

Preview Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37

Preview Volume knob . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

205

previewing in the Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37

in the MIDI Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

137

Previous Locator button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

processor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

CPU projects/project management . . . . .

see

Live

Projects

Punch-In/Out switches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

201

Q quantization

Quantize menu command . . . . . . . . .

quick-chooser buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

R command for audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

command for selected MIDI notes .

for clip launching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

for MIDI notes during recording . . .

130 ,

Racks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Auto Select option . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chain List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

mixing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

routing tap points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

130

144

157

206

144

259

229

235

234

components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

232

creating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

231

Macro Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

230 ,

247

248

175

236

RAM Mode switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

114

Random effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

353

Re-Pitch Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

132

Record button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

96

Record Quantization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

206

Record/Warp/Launch Preferences . . . . . . . . .

7

recording and remote control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

207

audio and MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

198

automation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

251

overdubbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

200 ,

203

punch-in/punch-out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

200

resampling the Master output . . . . .

172

step recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

204

with count-in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

206

recording an Arrangement . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

96

recording automation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

251

Redux effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

329

registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Ableton remote control . .

see

mapping to MIDI/keys

Rename command in the Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

40

with clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

102

with locators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

with plug-ins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

225

with tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

189

Repeat Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

156

resampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

172 ,

see

recording

Rescan Plug-Ins preference . . . . . . . . . . . .

218

Resonators effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

330

return tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21 ,

191

Reverb effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

331

Diffusion Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

333

Early Re ections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

332

Global Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

332

Input Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

331

INDEX

554

S

Output . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Reverse button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ReWire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Live as master . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Live as slave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

tutorials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

recording

see

routing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ableton

REX Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ring modulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23

and external MIDI in/out . . . . . . . . . .

and recording MIDI as audio . . . . . .

,

and computer keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and external audio in/out . . . . . . . . . .

and instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and layering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and post-effects recording . . . . . . . . .

and ReWire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and sidechain inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

between tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

for creating submixes . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

with external synthesizers . . . . . . . . . .

333

114

504

170

505

133

307

164

168

166

167

179

184

176

177

170

183

172

178

169

sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Ableton

Sample box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100

sample collections .

see

Essential Instrument

Collection

Sample Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

100 ,

106

Sample Editor preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

55

Sampler instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

415

Filter/Global tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

425

importing samples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

416

Key Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

419

MIDI tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

427

Modulation tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

426

Pitch/Osc Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

424

Sample Select Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

420

Sample tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

421

Velocity Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

420

Zone tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

418

samples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

collecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

67

destructive editing . . . . . . . . . . . . .

55 ,

111

nding unused . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

high-quality interpolation . . . . . . . . . .

112

of ine/missing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

64

played from RAM Mode . . . . . . . . . . .

114

replacing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

55

reversing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

114

saving with clip settings . . . . . . . . . . .

112

time-warping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

120

working with . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

42

Saturator effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

334

Save a Copy command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

52

Save As command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

52

Save command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

52

Save Current Set as Default button . . . . . .

54

Save Default Clip button . . . . . . . . . . .

43 ,

112

Scale effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

354

Scene Launch button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

91

Scene Select eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

468

Scene Up/Down buttons . . . . . . . . . .

207 ,

468

scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15 ,

91

and MIDI/key mapping . . . . . . . . . . . .

468

editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

202

scrubbing playback in the Arrangement View . . . . . . . . . . .

75

in the Clip View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

108

Search button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

INDEX

555

Search In Folder command . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35

searching in the File Browser . . . . . . . . . . . .

34

rescan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35

Select Loop command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

84

and clip envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

259

and exporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

45

Select Next Scene on Launch option . . . .

92

Select Next Scene on Launch preference

468

Select on Launch preference . . . . . . . . . . . .

95

Send controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21 ,

192

Session Drums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

428

Session View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

89

and Arrangement View . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

clip grid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

94

copying to Arrangement . . . . . . . . . . . .

97

recording an Arrangement . . . . . . . . . .

96

recording audio in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

201

Session View selector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

Set 1.1.1 Here command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

127

Set Locator button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

Set Locator command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

Set Song Start Time Here command . . . . .

78

sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Live Sets shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . .

see

keyboard shortcuts

Show/Hide Plug-In Windows command

220

shuf e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

groove feature

Simple Delay effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

336

Simpler instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

431

and CPU resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

435

envelope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

433

lter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

433

Glide and Spread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

434

LFO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

433

Multisample Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

431

Pan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

435

sample controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

432

T

Sample View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Transpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Voices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Zoom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

site or secondary licenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Skin preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

slicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Snap to Grid command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Solo in Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Solo switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Solo/Cue Mode switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

sound les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

submixing

see

samples

Spectrum device . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Split button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Split command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Start Recording on Scene Launch . . . . . .

start/end markers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

step recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Stop All Clips button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Stop button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

creating submixes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sync In Indicator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sync Out Indicator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

synthesizer MIDI setup . . . . . . . . .

see

431

434

434

435

432

11

6

245

85

195

187

196

337

136

87

202

107

204

97

75

178

with Group Tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

190

swing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

groove feature

Sync Delay preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

503

169

169

routing

Takeover Mode preference . . . . . . . . . . . . .

463

Tap Tempo button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

119

with warping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

129

technical support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

INDEX

556 tempo and scene names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92 ,

96

automating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

257

MIDI mapping ranges . . . . . . . . . . . . .

257

nudging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

119

setting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

118

tapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

119

Tempo eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

105 ,

118

Tempo Nudge buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

119

Temporary Folder preference . . . . . . . . . .

207

Tension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

436 architecture and interface . . . . . . . . . .

436

Body section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

445

Damper section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

442

Excitator section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

437

Filter section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

446

Global and Keyboard parameters . .

448

Pickup section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

444

sound design tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

449

String section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

440

Termination section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

443

Vibrato section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

441

Texture Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

132

Time Ruler Format option . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

503

time signature and scene names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92 ,

96

time signature changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

Toggle Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

156

Tones Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

132

Track Activator switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

187

Track Delay control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

197

Track Delays selector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

197

track meter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

187

Track Status eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

93

Track title bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

189

Track View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

209

tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

U

activating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

audio and MIDI in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

automation in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

compensating for device delays . . .

devices in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

exporting les with . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

grouping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

in Arrangement View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

in Session View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

inserting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

mixer controls in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

muting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

numbering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

renaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

resizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

return tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

returns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

the Master track . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

unfolding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82 ,

84 ,

Transient Envelopes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Transient Loop Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Trigger Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

tutorials . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Ableton,

see

15

187

16

253

197

209

68

190

81

91

189

185

187

189

189

189

191

21

191

253

131

131

75

Transpose quick-chooser button . . . . . . . .

see

quick-chooser buttons

Transposition knob . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

111

156

Triplet Grid command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

lessons

Undo command and Arrangement editing . . . . . . . . . .

140

and automation editing . . . . . . . . . . .

252

and recorded clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

201

INDEX

557 and recording MIDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

206

Unfold Track button . . . . . . . . . . . .

82 ,

84 ,

253

Unfreeze Track command . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

509

unlocking the program

see

copy protection updates . .

see

Check for Updates command

Use Audio Units preference . . . . . . . . . . . .

226

Use Plug-In Custom Folder . . . . . . . . . . . . .

223

Use VST Plug-In System Folders . . . . . . . .

223

User Account/Licenses Preferences . . .

7 ,

10

Utility effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

339

V

W

Variable Bit Rate les . . . . . . . . . .

View menu commands

Returns option . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

21

views, working with . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

,

samples

Velocity Amount eld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Velocity Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

186

see

,

157

136

Velocity effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

355

video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

270

and warp markers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

273

clip view . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

273

exporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

importing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

270

in the Arrangement View . . . . . . . . . .

271

matching sound to video . . . . . . . . . .

274

trimming tricks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

275

window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

272

Crossfader option . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

186

In/Out option . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21 ,

164 ,

186

Mixer option . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21 ,

186

191

Sends option . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21 ,

186

Track Delays option . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

186

view selector buttons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8

View menu commands,

see

view selector buttons

Vinyl Distortion effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

340

Vocoder effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

341

tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

343

Volume control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

187

Volume quick-chooser button . . . . . . . . . .

see

quick-chooser buttons

VST Plug-ins, using . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

devices

VST Plug-In Custom Folder button . . . . .

223

Warp ... BPM From Here command . . . .

129

Warp As ...-Bar Loop command . . . . . . . .

128

Warp From Here (Start At ...) command

129

Warp From Here (Straight) command . . .

129

Warp From Here command . . . . . . . . . . . .

129

Warp Markers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

121

and transients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

122

pseudo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

122

saving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

123

saving settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

112

Warp Mode chooser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

130

Warp Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

130

Warp switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

105

warping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

120

longer pieces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

126

manipulating grooves . . . . . . . . . . . . .

125

multiple clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

129

odd-length loops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

125

straight loops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

124

tempo master/slave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

121

uncut loops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

124

webshop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

see

Ableton

Widen Grid command . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

INDEX

Z

Zoom Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

Zooming in Arrangement View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

74

in Clip View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

106

558

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