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Dear users, I have decided to phase out the posting on the forums on this website and move any discussions over to this private facebook group or join the Discord for realtime chat. I will not make the forums offline as there is a wealth of content, but posting has now been disabled. Thanks to all those who have contributed over the years, and I'll see you over on the Facebook group or Discord! -Tom

Ableton Sound Design Part 2 - Basslines

Over the next few weeks I will be creating 10 in depth videos on how to write 10 different sounding basslines. All videos and Ableton Live Project files will be available for Pro Members. 

And here is the first video for everyone. I will upload them as I make them, hope you enjoy it!

Ableton Sound Design 2 - Basslines - Bassline 1 from Tom Cosm on Vimeo.

 

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Ableton Live Video Editing

 
A bit of fun with video editing in Ableton.
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Ableton Live Quick Tips Part 3

  1. Use the Utility for fragmented gain control, then when you want to adjust the overall volume later in the mix down, you can change the volume of the whole track, even if it has volume automation.
  2. A good tip for getting more volume without clipping in a live situation, is to use the Limiter instead of the volume (or a Utility). By bringing the gain on the Limiter up above 0db, the limiter kicks in and you get a louder sound while still keeping everything in the green.
  3. Got heaps of tracks that are all being sidechained at the same by the same source?Instead of loading up multiple Compressors, set yourself up a dedicated sidechain track and feed all your single tracks into it.
  4. Instead of tuning percussion to the key of your track, load up an EQ8, add in a pole with a lot of Q and move it around until that particular pole is playing a note which is in tune with your track. Lower the Q and gain until it doesn't sound intrusive, but still gives a subtle tuning to the hits.
  5. To add more human feeling to a percussion loop, attach the frequency of a low pass filter to the velocity so that when the note hits quieter, it sounds slightly muffled.
  6. You can use the LFO of the Auto Filter to get a rhythm gating effect, just set it to a square wave shape, bring the amount up to its maximum and bring the phasing down to its minimum, it will rhythmically gate the sound.
  7. If you want a simple multiband compressor with sidechaining, use an Audio Rack with seperate chains for each band. Use an EQ8 at the start of each chain to specify the band, then put a Compressor after the band you want to be sidechained.
  8. If you need some quick strange percussive sounds, turn your mic on and record yourself being an idiot. Once you have recorded your sample, right click it and choose "Slice To New Midi Track", making sure to leave the place where it slices set on "Transients". Once done, you now have a drum rack with a whole lot of little fun hits you can place over a new Midi Clip.
  9. To give your sub bass more of a punch, use the pitch envelope. Set the start of the envelope quite high (20st to 32st), but make it quickly shoot down to the original pitch fast by having a short Decay Time.
  10. For a quick melodic build up sound, put a Reverb over your lead/chords and give it lots of Size and Decay time... then when you are ready, automate the wet/dry amount to creep up from 0% to 100% (Just make sure you bring it back to 0% at the start of the next phrase)

Ableton Live Quick Tips 3 from Tom Cosm on Vimeo.

 

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Created Something Brilliant? Keep it Fresh!

stoplisteningI'm going to share a little tip that came to me a while ago, which has really speed up the rate in which I produce ideas that I consider to be quality. It's a very simple thing, requires a little bit of self control, and may even sound a bit hard to believe, but I highly suggest you give it a go and see if you get the results too.

The tip is this, next time you've nailed something in your track to the point where you get that F#@K YEAH feeling, listen to it once or twice in it's entirety, and then keep working on adding something new to it, or move on to something else,

If you get your bassline and your kick sitting perfectly, don't sit there looping it over and over, enjoying how good it sounds. Tease yourself! Start adding some new elements (percussion or some synths etc) straight away while it still sounds super cool.

The more you listen to that loop, the less special it is going to sound to you, and that will ultimately decide how you put the rest of the elements together later on. You will be adding things to a loop that is less exciting that it actually is.

You want the people who hear your tune to be hooked when they listen, so if it sounds excellent right now, it most likely will to them too, but if you rinse it out in your ears, it will bring everything down and you will try adding new things to make it exciting again, instead of adding new things to accompany how exciting it actually is.

It's a hard thing to do.... there's nothing like sitting back and enjoying the riff you've created again and again... but save it up for the end. Chuck it on your iPod and listen to it everywhere you go once it's done.

Obviously go ahead and listen to it to try and get new ideas, but for pure listening pleasure, hold yourself back and see what happens.

Challenge!

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All I Want For Xmas

he he he

Tom Cosm - All I Want For Xmas by TomCosm

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Advanced Ableton Parameter Automation using IAC Drivers

In this video, we look at using the IAC drivers in a MIDI track to trigger various devices and to automate parameters.
 
Using this method, you can create custom midi clips that can have large amounts of automation all over your set, great for using in session view if you need some deep automation.
 
Pro Members can download the Project File in Pro Member Download Archive
 
 
 
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Ableton Racks - Assigning a Macro to both Parameter Sweep and Device On

Ableton Racks - Assigning a Macro to both Parameter Sweep and Device On from Tom Cosm on Vimeo.

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Ableton Live and IAC Drivers - Part Two

This video explains how you can keep separate recordings of the layers of the Looper in Ableton Live, by using the IAC Driver

For a more in depth run through of the IAC Driver, visit my previous video vimeo.com/8185092

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Ableton Live and IAC Drivers - Part One

This series of videos cover the use of the IAC driver (or MIDIyoke on PC) with Ableton Live to get another level or dimension of automation control.

This video shows the basics of set up, use for triggering clips, turning on parameters and automating parameters.

10 Points to whoever can call out the error I made about half way through and didn't notice to correct.

Ableton Live and IAC Drivers - Part 1 from Tom Cosm on Vimeo.

 

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10 simple but useful Ableton Live tips #2

Here is part 2 of the super simple but useful Live Tips.

 

As well as using Time Commands in the main Arrangement view, you can use them in the MIDI Editor too! This is really handy for cutting out/adding in chunks of MIDI notes while preserving everything surrounding them.
Need to free up lots of CPU? Select multiple Tracks, right click and choose “Freeze Track”, then go make a cup of tea. Live will Freeze each individual Track down into audio, removing the need to process any effects or instruments (don’t worry, you can always right click and unfreeze the track to go back to the original when you need to edit again).
To give each one of your Chains an equal amount in the Chain Selector, drag each chains Zone out so it ranges 0-127, then right click and choose “Distribute Ranges Equally”.
Turning on the MIDI Editor Preview also turns on a very easy to use step sequencer. Just push whatever note(s) you want on your MIDI keyboard (or virtual MIDI keyboard) and use the left and right arrow keys. If a note is held, when the key is pushed, it will insert a note.
Holding down the command key lets you drag slopes that change the velocity of each note selected in the MIDI Editor.
You can Freeze a track, duplicate it to a new audio Track by option + dragging, then unfreeze the original. This is really hand for doing a quick resample, just remember you can’t freeze a track if any of its effects have an active sidechain input!
In Arrangement view, holding option + command and will let you scroll/pan left and right when you click anywhere in the Arrangement.
If you are multi-track recording in Session view, make sure “Start Recording on Scene Launch” is selected in the Preferences (under Record / Warp / Launch). That way you just have to arm the right tracks and trigger a scene to start recording clips in all tracks.
You’re not restricted to grouping tracks that are next to each other. Instead of shift, hold down the command key and click on the tracks you want, then push command + g. All the tracks will be put into a neat group for you.
A few little extra assignable goodies pop up when you enter key/midi map mode (command + k and command + r). Turn the map modes on and look around, you can assign external events to move up and down Scenes, trigger the selected Scene, or even trigger the selected Clip in that Track.
 
  1. As well as using Time Commands in the main Arrangement view, you can use them in the MIDI Editor too! This is really handy for cutting out/adding in chunks of MIDI notes while preserving everything surrounding them.
  2. Need to free up lots of CPU? Select multiple Tracks, right click and choose “Freeze Track”, then go make a cup of tea. Live will Freeze each individual Track down into audio, removing the need to process any effects or instruments (don’t worry, you can always right click and unfreeze the track to go back to the original when you need to edit again).
  3. To give each one of your Chains an equal amount in the Chain Selector, drag each chains Zone out so it ranges 0-127, then right click and choose “Distribute Ranges Equally”.
  4. Turning on the MIDI Editor Preview also turns on a very easy to use step sequencer. Just push whatever note(s) you want on your MIDI keyboard (or virtual MIDI keyboard) and use the left and right arrow keys. If a note is held, when the key is pushed, it will insert a note.
  5. Holding down the command key lets you drag slopes that change the velocity of each note selected in the MIDI Editor.
  6. You can Freeze a track, duplicate it to a new audio Track by option + dragging, then unfreeze the original. This is really hand for doing a quick resample, just remember you can’t freeze a track if any of its effects have an active sidechain input!
  7. In Arrangement view, holding option + command and will let you scroll/pan left and right when you click anywhere in the Arrangement.
  8. If you are multi-track recording in Session view, make sure “Start Recording on Scene Launch” is selected in the Preferences (under Record / Warp / Launch). That way you just have to arm the right tracks and trigger a scene to start recording clips in all tracks.
  9. You’re not restricted to grouping tracks that are next to each other. Instead of shift, hold down the command key and click on the tracks you want, then push command + g. All the tracks will be put into a neat group for you.
  10. A few little extra assignable goodies pop up when you enter key/midi map mode (command + k and command + r). Turn the map modes on and look around, you can assign external events to move up and down Scenes, trigger the selected Scene, or even trigger the selected Clip in that Track.

 

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