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Ableton Mac users

#1
Hello.

Right, in a decision to change my working style and open some (possible) new doors i want to have a look at using ableton in the studio. For years i have been using typical sequencers from cubase, to cubase vst then to logic. I still use a lot of hardware, recording loops out from logic through my desk and fx then back into logic. I also use my sampler a lot.

I've watched videos and all that on ableton but i still don't really understand how i would use it. I'm not really intending to use it for performance at the moment. I know people love it, so why? would it work with my dusty analog gear? Or is it more for precise digital sounding stuff? How the hell do you do beats in it???

Thanks
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#2
its basically like cubase but it looks different. it has pretty much the same midi editing just presented in a more streamlined way.

dunno about external gear but i would assume its pretty much the same.

download the demo?
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#3
To make beats you can use a Drum rack (which is a bit like looking at battery), you then need to create a midi clip, which you can use for programming... There are some built in drum racks to give you an idea

For external stuff, use the External Instrument, or the External effect devices, this allows you to set up ins and outs for these effects/instruments. you can then save it into your library so you can just drop it in when you need it.

The I/O stuff is really easy to set up and pretty flexible...

One of the main differences to cubase/logic etc, I guess, is the session view, which allows you to create scenes of clips for jamming out ideas... and is what most people I know use for performing their 'live' sets

if you have any more questions I can have a go at answering.
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#4
The one big ball ache I've found - and if anyone can help me here I'd be grateful - you can't draw MIDI notes on a clip at anything other than the default length. So you draw the notes you want, then go to each one and resize.

Certainly the case on v5 and v7.

I love the way Ableton works other than that, and would probably switch full time if I could work that out.
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#5
In response to what you're using Frax, not sure why you'd want to switch from Logic unless you're wanting a new way of working and the ability to jam and mess around with audio "in the box" in the way Ableton does so well.

From my use, the way you control midi devices won't differ much and essentially you'd be sidestepping a touch.
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#6
Yeah basically i'm interested in trying it out in terms of work flow and stagnation. I know i suffer a lot from getting distracted by programs 'getting in the way' and i've heard ableton revolutionises that.
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#7
I use it exclusively. Mainly because I can use one program to produce, perform and DJ with. It does lack some minor workflow features that you'd be used to with other DAWs but it really comes into play when used with MIDI controllers. Automate everything. Create your own fx racks and make macro controls. Go nuts.

Anyway, for beats, drag a break to an audio channel, create and drag warp markers where you want them, then Slice To New MIDI Track. No Recycle needed. If you select midi notes, you can right-click for a context menu and select Stretch Notes (to resize a phrase while preserving the notes relative distances).

Session view lets you try out different ideas on the fly - halve or double the tempo of a clip, transpose it, draw or record envelopes, move and resize loops.

Also with external gear, you can send Program Change messages from MIDI clips so particular phrases will always use the right patches.
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#8
Wilshy Wrote:The one big ball ache I've found - and if anyone can help me here I'd be grateful - you can't draw MIDI notes on a clip at anything other than the default length. So you draw the notes you want, then go to each one and resize.

Certainly the case on v5 and v7.

I love the way Ableton works other than that, and would probably switch full time if I could work that out.
If you just use the normal cursor instead of the pen tool, it should work. Double click to enter a note and hold down on the second click and drag to the desired length. Also hold down apple (or Ctrl on PC) while dragging for unquantised note ends.

I just tried this to be sure. I'm in version 8 but I'm pretty sure it's always worked this way. Pen tool blows.

EDIT - I take that back. Pen tool is good for drawing stepped automation. But I wouldn't use it to draw in notes.
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#9
DJFracture Wrote:Yeah basically i'm interested in trying it out in terms of work flow and stagnation. I know i suffer a lot from getting distracted by programs 'getting in the way' and i've heard ableton revolutionises that.

i think it helps a bit.. i really like the way you can have everything on one screen and not really need to fuck around organising your windows or everything, and its visually less distracting than cubase or logic, that at times look like you're fucking a spreadsheet or something. the desing of live is lot more coherent and just does what you need it to.

if you work only itb its great for resampling (drag a clip to a folder on your disk in the inspector to the left, then drag it into the ableton sampler.. bam! there it is!) or saving little clips/ideas along with all the AU/fx settings to use somewhere else. if you mainly use external gear that might not work so well but its still easier to work with imo.
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#10
Lephrenic Wrote:
Wilshy Wrote:The one big ball ache I've found - and if anyone can help me here I'd be grateful - you can't draw MIDI notes on a clip at anything other than the default length. So you draw the notes you want, then go to each one and resize.

Certainly the case on v5 and v7.

I love the way Ableton works other than that, and would probably switch full time if I could work that out.
If you just use the normal cursor instead of the pen tool, it should work. Double click to enter a note and hold down on the second click and drag to the desired length. Also hold down apple (or Ctrl on PC) while dragging for unquantised note ends.

I just tried this to be sure. I'm in version 8 but I'm pretty sure it's always worked this way. Pen tool blows.

EDIT - I take that back. Pen tool is good for drawing stepped automation. But I wouldn't use it to draw in notes.

You've almost made my day. It works! Double click is a bit annoying but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

Thanks mate!
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#11
i do use ableton for djing but never got into it for writing tunes. easy to come up with a great loop but harder (for me) to get an arrangement together. keep going back to try now and again but always fall back on cubase. any tips for getting a good loop into a full tune ?
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#12
i moved onto ableton some months ago, and it's helped wonders for writing.
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#13
I thought you were a Renoise user Cube?
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#14
Paradigm X Wrote:i do use ableton for djing but never got into it for writing tunes. easy to come up with a great loop but harder (for me) to get an arrangement together. keep going back to try now and again but always fall back on cubase. any tips for getting a good loop into a full tune ?

Have you tried using follow actions in session view?

It allows you to, for example, automatically cycle through clips on a given channel.

I would have thought once you swith to arrange view it was pretty much the same as cubase though...
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