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Session View. AUTOHELM ABLETON | Manualzz


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.



Session View Clips


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.



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.


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




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


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


(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) /


(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


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


+ / 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.



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.


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




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


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

Arrangement clips being played appears.

... Playing the



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


(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


(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.




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.


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



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.



Recording Sessions into the Arrangement


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



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


The Arrangement


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.



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



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