Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
The seven days of Ableton Live 9- Friday 1st March: 4 days to go
Given the ease with which you can throw audio and MIDI loops together and have them instantly sync to the current tempo and the way you can adjust the key with the turn of a knob, it’s not surprising that Ableton Live very quickly became the darling of the 4/4 electronic dance music producer. Live’s session view provided a quick and easy way of jamming with loops and ideas to get the creative juices going at the start of the production process before moving to sequencing in the arrangement view.
Of course, the software isn’t called Live for nothing, and that same session view has really been a game changer for performing EDM live. Whether you start with a blank template and create new compositions from scratch, set up a rough template of loops for jamming, or arrange sets of samples and stems from your productions in well-organised scenes, Ableton Live’s session view is the place to do it.
In addition to just firing off pre-recorded audio clips, you can use Live as the centrepiece of a more complex system, integrating external hardware as your setup grows. There is an interesting interview with Max Cooper describing his setup and, in the following video, Saytek uses Ableton Live with an APC40, as well as a Roland MC-909, Korg KP3, Redsound Soundbite and Pioneer DJM-800:
So, as you can hopefully see, Ableton Live and your laptop don’t just have to remain in the studio for production, you can take your sounds to the stage with as minimalist or as complex a setup as you care to put together (and carry about…).
One thing you will probably want to do though, is have some quick and easy hands-on control for triggering clips and tweaking effects. Depending on how you plan to play, you may not need a keyboard, but pads, faders and knobs are always handy. With Ableton Live 9 and Push on the way, the boundaries between studio and stage may become even more blurred, and we look forward to seeing how people end up using it on stage.
Creating macros for adjusting several effects at once using Live’s effects racks is very useful for playing live. To go along with the eightKNOBS plugin rack we recommended earlier in the week, we’ve put together this straightforward one knob rack for creating breakdowns. Combining reverb, delay, a high-pass filter, a bit of bit crushing and some gain reduction to make that drop really hit when it comes back in, turn this knob slowly to the right to build the tension, then very quickly to the left to release it.