Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)
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Old 23-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
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Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

Hello, ye gods of IDMF

So I've been messing about with music production for a while now, as a natural extension to DJing, but its only in the last couple of months since I acquired Ableton Live that I've started to get serious about it. I'm having serious difficulty, though, wrapping my head around the actual process of composing with Ableton. With the few half-arsed attempts at tracks I made using FL Studio, I would try to literally write out the entire track using the piano roll, layer by layer, note by note, but I gather that this is an extremely awkward and inefficient way to compose electronic music, and one that doesn't translate at all well to Ableton's setup. I'm starting to get my head around the idea of clips, scenes and loops, and I can compose short little drum, synth and melody loops, but as to putting them all together into a coherent 8 or 9 minute track... I'm totally stumped. Any pointers would be hugely appreciated. I'm mainly interested in minimal techno/minimal house and the wonkier ends of dubstep, if that helps.

P.S. Also, can anyone give me any tips on sound synthesis using Ableton's Operator? I understand that its a very powerful piece of software, but right now it's a closed book to me.

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Old 23-01-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

Hi [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
,

There are plenty of tutorial videos about that on youtube. Personally I learned Ableton with Tom Cosm' tutorials. There are already some very nice ones for free ([Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
) and if you sign in as Pro Member (very cheap), you'll find complete courses on all the subjects you mention.

A lot better, but more expensive are Quantize Courses ([Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
). There are some free tutorials there and the online courses are pure gold!

Hope this help,

Regards,

Luc

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Old 23-01-2012, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

Thanks for the tip! I'm having serious issues with my internet connection at the moment (just loading these forums takes forever), so unfortunately Youtube videos are not a possibility in the foreseeable future, hence why I came on here looking for some more traditional text-based advice... although I realise that its almost impossible to tell someone how to do this, and far easier to just show them.
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Old 23-01-2012, 11:02 PM   #4
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipstreamer View Post
but right now it's a closed book to me.
How is the manual a closed book?

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Old 23-01-2012, 11:26 PM   #5
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

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Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
How is the manual a closed book?
Not to mention the shitload of inbuilt tutorials Ableton has; [hint:check the help menu]

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Old 24-01-2012, 08:37 AM   #6
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipstreamer View Post
I'm starting to get my head around the idea of clips, scenes and loops, and I can compose short little drum, synth and melody loops, but as to putting them all together into a coherent 8 or 9 minute track... I'm totally stumped. Any pointers would be hugely appreciated.
It seems as if you're trying to create a track in Session view, which is mainly for performing & generating ideas. Switch over to Arrangement:

...and you'll have your typical linear time-line view.

Quote:
P.S. Also, can anyone give me any tips on sound synthesis using Ableton's Operator? I understand that its a very powerful piece of software, but right now it's a closed book to me.
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If internet is a problem - internet cafe & download some operator tutorials from youtube. I'm not suggesting that you won't get any tips here - it's just that it's a huge topic and it might help if you knew what you wanted to use it for (Drum synthesis, Bass, Pads etc) and had covered some of the basics yourself.

Last edited by scyn; 24-01-2012 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 26-01-2012, 05:56 AM   #7
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipstreamer View Post
Hello, ye gods of IDMF

So I've been messing about with music production for a while now, as a natural extension to DJing, but its only in the last couple of months since I acquired Ableton Live that I've started to get serious about it. I'm having serious difficulty, though, wrapping my head around the actual process of composing with Ableton. With the few half-arsed attempts at tracks I made using FL Studio, I would try to literally write out the entire track using the piano roll, layer by layer, note by note, but I gather that this is an extremely awkward and inefficient way to compose electronic music, and one that doesn't translate at all well to Ableton's setup. I'm starting to get my head around the idea of clips, scenes and loops, and I can compose short little drum, synth and melody loops, but as to putting them all together into a coherent 8 or 9 minute track... I'm totally stumped. Any pointers would be hugely appreciated. I'm mainly interested in minimal techno/minimal house and the wonkier ends of dubstep, if that helps.

P.S. Also, can anyone give me any tips on sound synthesis using Ableton's Operator? I understand that its a very powerful piece of software, but right now it's a closed book to me.
Hey man. I was an FL Studio user who switched to Live months back.I was in the same boat as you. Don't sweat it, seriously. It takes time to get used to. Just stick with it. Spend a good chunk of time by looking up tutorials on Youtube and then bookmarking them for future reference.

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Old 27-01-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

When you have an idea for a track start making clips and get the rough ideas down. Make the drum beat, all the different sounds and stuff you want in the track. Then go over to arrangement and start laying out the track how you want it. After that you go in and make changes so the track doesn't get to repetitive, add effects and so on. In the end do the finishing mix and master.

Atleast something like this is how my workflow is.
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Old 27-01-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

The beautiful thing about ableton is there isn't one way to do anything! The more you play with it and become familiar with it the more ways you find out how to do things. I dont know if I have produced more that 3 songs with the same approach to composition!

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Old 27-01-2012, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

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Originally Posted by sythetic future View Post
The beautiful thing about ableton is there isn't one way to do anything! The more you play with it and become familiar with it the more ways you find out how to do things. I dont know if I have produced more that 3 songs with the same approach to composition!
So true, there are so many oppertunities. Find a way you like
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:51 PM   #11
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

I am using every version of Ableton live Suite since years, i love the performance it is getting especially in the version 9
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:52 PM   #12
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

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I am using every version of Ableton live Suite since years, i love the performance it is getting especially in the version 9
There are much more modern Live threads 'round these parts
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Old 04-03-2018, 01:43 PM   #13
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Re: Yet another "help me" thread (Ableton Live)

Instead of painting notes in piano roll editor, you can play them while recording and quantise afterwards.

Or you play them step by step. Arm the track for record, click the headphone/prelisten-button and place the cursor to the start of the piano roll editor so the cursor is at the beginning, play a note and hold it and press the right cursor Key. The cursor then advances to the next step and the note is being painted into the editor. Then play the next note holding and press right cursor button aso....

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