Composing & Arranging: DJing in Ableton
Welcome to composing and arranging enabled so we're gonna talk about the conception uh finalizing the the arrangement and song writing process and then taking that out and bring it back in to do mixing and remixing were performing it live um so uh first we're going to talk about deejaying with able to live and it's ah uh it's a really fun program to deejay with it's got its own advantages and some disadvantages to ongoing talk about you know, those the strength we're gonna look at, how to set up sequence with midi and with clips to get some rhythms and riffs and baselines uh laid out so that you can start writing and composing uh granite then we're going to experiment with some different combinations of those clips in the session view this is pretty much where I start when I'm making music is just kind of making a few clips and getting some rhythms and some ideas flowing, trying different combinations and once a couple things work, I take it over to the arrangement mode so we'll talk a...
bout a couple of different approaches to making music and the ones you know I'll let you know about the ones that have worked for me um have a pretty specific way um that I like to make music and uh but it's all just a series of this problem solving and it it's really any way you approach it as long as you're continuously solving problems you're you're writing music basically and answering what was previously done um so well and then we'll talk more about the actual composing and arranging process and finally in this in this segment we're going toe look a hacking genres and styles basically we're going to pull a song in and we're going to recreate some of the rhythm that and uh and sounds and it so it's a able to is really great for that because you can zoom in and get really close ok so the first section is about deejaying with mableton and the first thing we'll do is uh we're going toe we'll talk a little bit about the different warping algorithms assume we've pulled this base basil track over on the grid and it seems to be lining up and just right now I'm listening two way though it's it's pretty on time but what I'll do that go in here you know create a transient their award marker and I'm gonna give it try the warp street from work from here straight on that's not working so sometimes uh you have to do it by hand so what I'll do way just go through to the later points about a place like that ready so I'm gonna skip ahead to a later point in the track and make sure that it's still in time when we go in here e e could see there was a little bit off so I'll just undo that so I was I brought that one the beginning of that musical phrase over to the end of the thirty six bar right there on the thirty seven to make sure that that drop lines up and you can hear metrodome still going turn it up a little bit I can hear it drifting a little bit no so I might slide it over a little bit so where seems to be drifting quite a bit so I'm going toe slight it there and I'm gonna try war band from here still doesn't like that wait turned out to be a little bit toe match the original tempo of the song just skip ahead a little bit to see if it's still on time way looks like the ending of the song and it looks like it's fairly on time here and it's drifted a little bit someone I'm just gonna go through to the end of the track and six so sometimes with really broken rhythm stuff you have to go in and do some of the manual shifting on the warp markers to get it to line up so now that this is rock and I'm gonna take it over to our session view our other track bring us down a little bit about what it is I just read triggered thiss our track number two because I wanted I wanted to introduce you to stay minimal because if we can't, probably if we dropped both of these tracks at the same time, it's going to be really busy and they're not in the same key. So, you know, it's it's not going to go well, so sometimes what I'll do is just re trigger the intro or the musical phrase, or also I will break out some different musical parts of the song and create lou points. So for this for the j wicked track, I'm going to go in here, and I'm going to create a sixteen bar lou for the intro on dh looks like our start points there, okay, I'll do the same thing for the nickel luminous track it looks like stop the j we can try. So the real drop, the big drop here, theo happens at the end of thirty six parts, so what? I'll dio actually gonna lose loop it from the point in which the beat starts, so we've got a loop brace of a thirty two bars here now, so I'm gonna go over to the actually instead of just going to leave those extra those duplicated clips. So next, what I'll do is I'll take the loot brace of the j wicked track and slide it over to the next point of the song, and that gives me a chunk a huge a big musical phrase it looks like it was that's really? Only about sixteen bars and then there's there's a break there that goes to forty nine cent maybe instead I think of just leaving a sixteen bar loop I might go all the way to thirty two bars and I think what I want is to make a loop of this little breakdown section so that if it any point I want the option of sort of breaking down the track I could even start mixing in nikko check at this point, go back into the drop so I put a that went out, bring it down here way have the remainder of the trunk of the song and then I'm gonna do believe this again for this heart song I'm gonna create the last musical chunk that way our way so that whatever I'm ready e I e I can trigger it over here in the same line. So I have I have how true love going here and wave got the negro women distract coming in so what's happened is this the end? The outrage here's got sort of a more of a dance hall rhythm it's like a boom boom boom boom which is a very different group from this beginning one so instead of using the true, uh, that j wicked scott tow line up better I might choose to go back into the intro again and so what I might dio is create my own altro bye bye shortenings a loop that's that's more minimal so I could come so sam in the last segment of the song starting off in the breakdown and we'll play this final drop wait for the end of the musical phrase to do the transition which would probably be, you know, after the next sixteen bars where this blue bins currently right now cover the nickel luminous track great! I could even create the next live there you know what? That wasn't really the smoothest transition from a musical phrase standpoint, but it worked I mean, so basically you want to break up your your clips and you can rename them and trow could say first drop breakdown loop and command are we'll, uh we'll rename a clip or attract title enables an or in effect on this would be, uh final drop and then this one will be intro how show and then I just transition over with the scene lunch and you could even possibly find another you could another piece of the j wicked track that still works um that's sort of minimal breakdown could go there still e I might even use that after the final drop going to our first part so after we've got our interest sorted out and somewhat of a transition with the nico tune, I might figure out how much of that I want to loop or if I wanted to live um so go here playing back towards the tail end of this on that might be a good place for the next drop call that drop too your case at some point during the playback of this this phrasing way want to switch it wait when I contest it out that way yeah, the beats aren't lining up quite perfectly there we could we could dial it down a little bit with some work markers to get a little bit wait wait transition one more time and we can do this with a number of songs basically it's all about creating some safe intros and out trolls with loops and then breaking out if there's verses and choruses so that you can jump between him and having the distinctive song part's broken under clips so that you can transition between them whenever you want tio and that'll give you more control, I like to have a breakdown or maybe like a buildup separate so that I have the control to go in there and uh basically if we're maybe I want to skip the breakdown if if if I'm trying to build up the groove and keep the keep the dance floor going so it's all about breaking the song up so that you have the ability to create that arrangement yourself on dh that's the power of life is the ability to break it up in the chunks. So, yeah, um, yes, after you find your start points, align the musical phrases and break out the clips and break out those lips, and from there, it's really about mixing? Another thing that I like to do is sometimes I'll actually use, like, ah high pass filter for the mixing and just use a dial to adjust the frequency is like sometimes I will I don't want the kick drums to be competing as I'm introducing the next track, so I'll high pass it and it's nice to have it mapped, too. One day I'll so for example, I'll map the frequency, this one, and then I'll play other auto filter here sum up the frequency there. Wait, go in a good place to go after mix sometimes is the breakdown on then it can? Uh, we're one joke that I always make with my friend is all you need is a big riser and a huge crash for any transition to make it work doesn't matter what the changes are having so and that's it for the deejay segment.
Ableton Live is the most efficient platform for electronic music production for djs, producers and sound designers. DJ and producer, Andrew Luck will take you through some of the coolest, and most commonly overlooked, features in Ableton Live.
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