I’ve been a faithful user of Ableton Live since version 3, and have had the pleasure of watching its features evolve over the years. During my learning process, I have picked up various tips, tricks and ideas which have helped me evolve into the live laptop musician that I am today.
As I discovered each one of these ideas, my workflow increased quite significantly, so my hope is that you can at least discover one thing in this guide that will spark something similar.
I will update this guide as frequently as I can, hopefully one a day for the next 10 days. Once completed, it will be available for download as a PDF with images and all the fancy bits.
The reason I opted to publish these one by one, is so that I can gather feedback from you and other users in the comments section, so that they can be included in the final PDF document, as I am sure there is always something I have missed.
So, if you find something new in these tutorials please feel free to post the link around to others who might benefit also. If you already know some of these techniques, I encourage you to elaborate deeper in the comments section so the final free product can be as useful as possible.
I look forward to see how this project goes!
Ten Essential Ableton Live Tips & Tricks
1. Follow Actions
A quick and easy way to automate what happens when a clip finishes playing so you can shift your focus away from the mundane task of constantly triggering clips, and moving on to something more creative.
2. Send Channels
Using send/return channels to group specific effects that can be accessable to any track that is playing audio, saving CPU power and using effects in new interesting way.
Programming parameters of effects so they move themselves along with the audio, freeing up valuable time and allowing the same clip to have many different styles of playing.
4. The Stop Button
Adding and removing the stop button on blank clips, not only to help with the progression through the tune but also to create special scenes that can be used to stop groups of clips at your command.
5. Routing Audio
Using empty audio channels to group together similar audio tracks, so effects can be applied to specific sounds (all of the percussion etc.) rather than individual tracks, cutting down CPU and opening up new doors for effect automation such as dummy clips.
6. Advanced Quantization
Utilizing Ableton’s various methods of Quantizing clips, and notes within the piano roll, allowing real time recording of MIDI clips as well as qantizing loops outside of the global settings.
7. Audio Racks
Chaining up various effects and assigning parameters to Macro knobs to create custom built machines that create outside the square effects
8. Audio Racks within Audio Racks
Stacking chains of effects within chains of effects to create an infinite amount of possible machines that can do some very interesting functions
9. Dummy Clips
Using Dummy Clips to create audio-less loops that modulate effects in sync with the music, so you can create a pool of handy automation clips ready to mash up your sound
10. Assigning MIDI and Keys
Attaching key commands and MIDI controls to various aspects of Ableton Live, so you can utilize all the previous tips without looking like you are emailing your mum on stage.
Have I missed anything important? Leave a comment in the comments section below and we will put those ideas here.