The User Interface


Ableton Tips and Tricks


Lesson Info

The User Interface

So the way that we have been discovering these audio effects and also bringing in some samples already is through the browser so mableton organizes all of your presets into this sounds category and there's a drum specific category confined it all eleven of the instruments thirty three audio effects seven many effects plus racks so you can combine them your max for live plug ins all of your audio units and v s people against like third party stuff such as serum or circle or massive or any of these soft sense that you might want to use or other you know plug ins like waves or what have you, um you can save clips and your clips folder um and then there's also a a samples holder of mostly of sounds that you've recorded in your project now you khun there's also able to impacts what you're you can basically del mode and a lp file which is a compressed version of a sample kit in a project file and able to dot com has tons of these sound packs and I it's there and lots of them are great um so ...

it'll it'll story or pacs here there's also your user library and these air your user I defined presets and that kind of thing um you can if you want to browse, you're the stuff that you've saved you can do it through here now one thing I would like to know is that the core library where the default grooves and clips and stuff live is actually inside of pacs no so if you want to go explore your your grooves maybe drop those then teo to generate a middie file or apply them to, um an audio file you can do that through the packs folder and then you can actually add folders here I have my samples folder here and you can actually you know you're listening to the splatter preview you can preview the sounds here insuring that honor off sometimes I will give you a click to preview sometimes that'll just automatically generate back so and you can add any folders that you want tio just like a finder or whatever in the browser I'd like to leave that on by default you can adjust the output the volume of the output on the bright by the master fader here on the queue up and if you have got a sound card with multiple outputs you can actually do ah appreciator listen or a preview of the items in the browser or your tracks also like just like a deejay would with a mixer you can you can change this from solo tio two pfl or pre fader listen so that you can actually get a preview of your incoming sounds or audition something that you're you're riffing on before you bring it into the mix so you can adjust that headphone volume over there all right? Oh, yeah one more thing I wanted to talk about in the browser actually is that you can you can do something called a hot swap and the advantages of doing a hot swap here I'll just go over to this operator sound me zoom in here and just loop it and sold it we're still in house territory it sounds like changer bpm backto one seventy and wait okay, we also have area there's our original sound so original base lead so I'm like I'm not sold on this this patch I want to try something else I can go down too hot swat moon hee will actually let me let me try out different sounds but will also to all over the settings and operator the same so if you've got some things some stuff assigned or modulating that you don't want to change but you maybe want to just try us indifferent presets hot swap is a good option for that you can also, uh hot swap waves that air stretched out over the entire track. Um it's it's really nice for swapping instruments or audio files okay, so another thing you can do is you can actually drag and drop audio and middie back into your brother say I wanted to save this this mini clip I could go to my user library and I could just drag it in here, drop it and save it so I got to say basic, bouncy base and now that clip lives there and if I ever want to use it later, boom and I recommend doing this as much as possible because it's all about creating these sort of modular building blocks that l save you time and keep you from doing things over and over again and it's really handy after you finished a bunch of music and you're ready to start developing a live set to have all these building blocks and instruments and stuff that you've created and saved and then you can just sort of piece things together and you can define your own sound of things that you've made so you can also drag groups of audio clips back and alive too. So if I select uh basically I have have a bunch of drum brakes here that air triggering these sorties have follow actions, so and we'll actually go into how those work as well um and and our advanced techniques class or course I should say so you can actually take this group of clips, drag it and drop it into any of these folders that you want and save him there and so the way that it saves that is unable to life set and then it has all of your clips and if you want to reintroduce it into another project, you can just drag these clips and it still retains all those follow actions and you can just use him again so uh dragon drop creatures are all really nice you can delete presets that you've created from within the browser as well are if you want to take something out to all right so moving right along that takes us over to the mixer and one thing that I like to do when I'm working is bring up the mixer so by default there aren't any role values you just kind of get a channel are a mess a visual sort of average of the output level, right? But when you bring it up it will actually give you ah peak level and you can see that value changing as we play this sound and as that value changes uh you know that over the course of the song that value will change will be peaks and valleys so it's really handy for mixing toe have that and I like to keep it open while I'm working uh usually what? I'm I'm working in uh the arrangement view writing a song if I want if I'm I'll be bouncing back to session to manage the volume a little bit and when I do that it's really nice to have this part expanded so you can do that by just mousing over this line here above the fader and we'll give you that the new cursor and that new cursor will have that sort of dynamic peak value readout you can also watch it on your master channel which is you know, part of where you want to be part of what you want to be aware of as you're mixing and making making your music you know, a lot of people they separate the mixing and the creation process completely and then I understand that approach and like when you're making electronic music though it's very much about the mix and the sound design and how that all fits together uh relates to each other so um you know it's going toe you know if you're doing that cell of music then you'll probably be being attention as well s o in the mixer session here uh so to show that so if we go over to the right these are all of our show and hide views in the little one that has the m is the one for the mixer so and then mexico have a peak value we have the value that the fader is set at and it gives us the decibel value there's a left right so you can pin left or right a track on off and then either a solo or if you have multiple output set up that will be your pfl but and you can arm the pfl that was that's actually a group tracks so on a normal track they'll be also be an armed button for recording so any time you want to record onto a track you'll need to push this button to arm it and if you can you can record into yourselves in session moat or you can record an arrangement with the transport controls at the top okay, so you can also hide your sins or show your sons and returns in the section I'm going to minimize the mixer because we have a lot of sense on this track it looks like there's uh nine sends labeled a through j and then here's a return bus to gonna hide those sentence and you'll notice that there's still cells here in the return bus but there's no you can't actually put clips in here for automation but you can't automate from within your clips from even automate what what you send into which sends you go to you um you can create automation lanes and arrangement view for the send in return bus as well. So if I wanted to go to one of my return effects and say and automate that I could control, click and show automation in new lane and that'll little pop it up for us and show us that automation we're gonna go there's no automation to show for that I don't see it oh yes ok so um in this show and hide info pain this is also where we found the track delay earlier there's also a cross fade feature in a bolton so you're going to sign these two air b if they're not assigned anything that go to both a and b so this is cool if maybe you have a big group of of tracks or maybe you have ah uh accompany arrangement that you're working with on on on cross fit a and you you've got some maybe some inputs or sense soft sense or other clips other loops and stuff that you're triggering and on a group of channels on cross maybe you can cross made over fully eh get up prefigure listen an audition stuff in your headphones or um before you bring that in so the cross later could be really useful for doing that also it could be really useful if you're just uh maybe you're comparing the loudness of a couple songs in the mastering process and you can just go back and forth day give it the old a b so um yeah cross fade can be can be really useful sometimes okay so going up to the top right and this is these are our status modes so basically I'm just gonna pop and feel pain upon their um this is the draw mode which can be toggled with be like it'll take you back you've seen me heading command b or b to bounce back and forth between the pencil in the mouse cursor which is usually used for selection um you can also manually click it there's uh so this this little keyboard actually turns on the ability to play notes with your keyboard say you're just say around a boat and going to canada you know you want to want to make some beats on your laptop or whatever with your headphones you can totally use the keyboard there and you'll just talk all that on uh the key allows you to map uh numbers on letters to different values and able to just kind of like many mapping on dh you can assign you know different functions to those many map mode and the keyboard shortcut for the key commands this command k if you want to just use the keyboard shark the middie many mapping is super easy and ableto you can just you can essentially you can click it or you can hit command em if you wantto modulate you know the volume of this you can just go over to your many controller touch the control that you want to map and then now you you're on it um to make something to make sure of in your preferences for midi so there's a mini tab here your preferences whatever the controller is that you're trying to matt make sure that remote is switched on and uh you want you want to make sure that both um remote and track are switched on if you want to record automation a lot of times you might be getting note messages from the many controller but if the mapping is not working it's because of the remote isn't on uh there's also a cpu meter here and it's pretty accurate and it's it's nice to have an indication uh especially if you're performing live or working unless that you're like ok, I'm hitting fifty percent here I need to be careful about how many effects that introduce or maybe I can come up with an alternate sub mix routing that where I can utilize the same effect twice in one place or whatever uh well so hard disk overload and then there's also many track in and out lights here so if it's if it's sending many there it'll show you that you're getting you know it also works with okay all right so the next one over in the counter clockwise from from our status bar there is the looping and punch and punch out section essentially this gives you the start point of your loop in the end point it's really easy to make loops we did earlier you just highlight the area that you want to let loop or you can select the clip itself and then hit command l and it'll create a loop brace around that loop um if you're say you're working in this track and you want a little bit of a lead in, but, um you, um you want a little bit of a lead in, but you don't want to start recording from that point, you just want to punch in, you can set the punch in point and the punch out point, and it'll be that whatever your area that's highlighted there and you can start recording and once once that hits the highlighted segment of that, it will record in just that place. So this and it's right now are luke brace and our punch and punch out it's set toe eighty one bar anyone the first beat in the first sixteen of bar anyone, and it looks like it's the duration right now, it's twenty four bars starts to eighty one and ends at one of the five so the value it doesn't show triple digits. It looks like so where it's up here, it's showing the twenty four oh no, I'm sorry, the length is twenty four bars and then on the left that just shows the start point. It doesn't show the end point. Ok, so the next one over is our transport controls basically there is a re enable automation and automation arm and these enable recording automation into clips after you know either while you're performing a clip in session mode or after you've recorded it so you can continue to record the automation until you're happy with it basically there's also an overdub teachers so you can either you can choose to either, uh, record over notes and delete them or are at additional notes so if you want to just do some comping are additional company, you might want to use the overdub future and then there's record, stop, stop will take your play had all way back to the very beginning of the song play, and this is your status burrito this is follow, so it actually shows if you want a more granular view and you wanted to follow the sequence, it will actually show, uh, you can, you know, get his granular is note for note if you want or even smaller, and that leaves us to the last section of the interview user interface that we're going to talk about today and, um, in this section, you'll find this is a there's ah, we'll start from the left, a tap tempo button uh there's, actually there's this is also the sink and indicators, so you've got a hardware device like a ah groove machine or something like that and you want that to be the master clock that controls ableto that'll tell you, if that's working and you can set that here uh, this will tap tempo if you wanted to tap it and you can set the bpl automatically. Uh, these are nudge controls. So basically, if it's just like, on a deejay scenario, if you were to push the record forward or slow it down, it would pick up at the same speed it was playing out before. But if you were to shift the pitch tile, that would change the tempo. This is like pushing the record or slowing it down. Basically, if you're trying to maybe your beat mixing into a deejay or a different artist that it's come to start your set and the tempo is almost there, maybe there are bpm off. You can nudge it up to sort of, uh, fix it in the mix. This next one is the time signature and then a metro gnome like you can you can basically run the metrodome in the metrodome will actually play that will go to the whatever your headphone output is set to you so you can actually run a metro gnome in just the headphones if you have a different master out signal. S oh, there's also of nice feature enable tinkled file manager and what that does is it, I'll tell you like if you're say you're running some files on an external hard drive if you open a project up and you don't have that hard drive connected it's going to say hey, these files are missing so maybe don't remind you to plug in your hard drive if it does, you can just say search and it'll actually um you can actually set the folder and it'll find the files and it'll plug him into the places where they were missing if you also plugged the hard drive in and rebuild the project, it'll it should work at that time to um and if may be another scenario is if you were to move files around and remove your sample holder or something like that it can search your hard drive and it works pretty well and you just basically select replace all files so the preferences dialogue will be the last part of the user interface so there's a look and feel right now I've got some kind of I've modified this sort of non iq I pre set for more of a purple hue or purple tone just adjusted the brightness and there's the color intensity or you can and shifted hugh so this is this is a fairly new thing toe toe look you can you can set all kinds of things like localization information like your you can change the language and um there's difference they're different kinds of following behaviors and um gets super deep so there's there's looking feel audio you can set your inputs and your output device you get very specific with which inputs and outputs you want to use you can also set the resolution or the sample rate something you want to consider basically you just want to work as high as you're a cz you possibly can as high as your computer can handle running lots of tracks and effects that's the simple right you want to work out and you probably want to be consistent with whatever it is that you whatever it is whatever the sample rate that you record at uh you want to, uh bb rendering at that same sample right? Okay. And there's also some tests tone features if you if you're, uh if you want to test out your your cpu usage you can run the test stone and you can bring up your cpu usage and if you can shift that tone without hearing any clicks, pops or artifacts then that means that it can. Your computer will work well at this sample rate there at this buffer size. Um so the next is mittie you can set up your control surfaces and your many imports are many your many devices your many controllers whether it's inputs and outputs are also in this instance I have an icy basically have a virtual minibus aiken route many messages out of able to back into a bolton you can set default file folders and you'll need to set up our scan for your third party plug ins, and those will show up in your category there's also some some library management settings and some different record and warp, uh, settings here. So by default, I set my my files coming in to pitch because I like that resolution, and I try to work with the pitch warping algorithm as much as possible, and you can define that here. It's just set to re pitch um, right now it says, I'm recording at sixteen bit recording audio sixteen bit, but my bump that up to twenty four of a one bar countin so whenever I trigger, I'm stopped and I trigger a clip or I start something and started recording an arrangement view it gives me a one bar click in one, two, three, four and then I'm recording and you can set that up to four bars here, you can record it any other way over a f f doesn't really matter, and you could also set some of the army setting the arming functionality here. Uh, the arming, fortunately, basically works that if you click tow arma track, will it turn off the other tracks on and one setting will make it so that when you turn it on and I'll turn the other ones off once the other setting basically makes so that when you click another, it just adds the number of tracks recording. So, basically, if you're working by yourself, you're just recording one thing at a time. You want to have it, and the the normal setting. If your record, if your multi tracking a band or something like that, then you have in the other one. Ok. And you can also define your default launch muds and here, which normally the one for the one that will trigger loops is is just the trigger. When can enable your multi cross it processor support in cpu and then there's? Also, your you're able from live license information and that's it for the user interface and our introduction to the foundations of able from life.

Class Description

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.

In Ableton Tips and Tricks, Andrew will walk you through sound design using Ableton Instruments, mastering both Sampler and Simpler to bring real-world audio samples into your production. You’ll also learn about some of the less intuitive features of Session View including, Impulse, Clip Launching and Slice to MIDI.

If you're a new Ableton user and are ready to start using the platform like a pro, Andrew Luck's tips and tricks will help you brush up on those next-level skills.