Tag: Ableton Live

Ableton Live field recorder

Apply envelopes and effects to ambient sounds to create “music”

Start with the sound of an orchestra warming up, traffic, sea lions, or any field recording – then apply global envelopes to shape the sound over time.

updated 4/19/2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 9.39.41 PM

Based on a tutorial by Sonic Academy: http://reactivemusic.net/?p=2431

Local file is in Ableton teaching examples: dummy clips band recorder 11-08b (under dummy clips example project) This version uses ambient traffic sounds.

A version with a high-school band horsing around is in: dummy clips band recorder3z

The actual set will be posted here – eventually…

Rough description:

This project is an effects processor made with dummy clips – it has a simple hip-hop drum track.


  • press ‘p’ to shut off speakers in dummy clip audio tracks (to prevent feedback in recording)
  • press cmd-comma (for config) to turn input device on
  • arm the “field recording” track and record a clip
  • press cmd-comma  (for config) and turn off input device to prevent feedback during playback)
  • press p to turn back on speakers in dummy clip tracks (so you can hear playback)
  • double click the new recorded clip, highlight section you want to keep and do crop clips.
  • press warp
  • <ctrl>click on the clip name and choose: slice to new MIDI track
  • Select bars or half notes
  • Select: Slice to single sample (Live 8)
  • A new track will get created with all the midi slices.
  • In the sampler device, select the zone tab, click on a slice and the press <ctrl>a to select all slices
  • Then in the Sample tab, turn on looping with one of the ->-> thing buttons under sustain mode.
  • disable (mute) the original field recording track
  • route the audio of new midi sliced track to the beat enveloper track – you’ll be playing this track with a Midi keyboard.
  • As long as you keep the field recordings and Midi slices out of the first row, you can start the music by doing a scene launch in the first row.
  • launchpad can be used to trigger the dummy clips

(edit) you may want to just delete the example clip that slice to midi makes because it will totally screw everything when you try to play it.

sound effects from here http://www.pachd.com/sounds.html

Using multiple Midi channels per track with Max for Live


Apparently there is a limitation on sending more than one Midi channel from a track


This presents an issue for receiving osc and splitting it to various instruments…

(update) What I’ve been trying to do is set up a generalized way to trigger midi from web data. Currently getting the web data via processing, sending OSC messages to max for live (or max).

Once the OSC gets to m4l, I use an m4l device in a track which receives all the osc messages then sends them off on new upd ports using [updsend] – for example a separate port for what would normally be a separate midi channel.

Then I have another m4l receiver which you can set the appropriate port number to get the channelized data stream and scale it to midi notes.

[edit – need link to sample live set]

update – the “internet sensors” project shows some easier ways to do the translation of internet API to OSC”




Ableton – special effects, slowing down the master track


Essentially the process is to copy a section of the master track into sampler, then slow it down by applying a pitch bend envelope.

I made a Live set example of this with the chorus from Justin Bieber’s “baby”

Steps: (in arrangement view)

  1. record a section of the master track into a new audio track
  2. On a midi track, select the region you are working with and make a new midi clip (shift cmd M)
  3. drag the audio from your newly created track into the instrument area for your midi track. This creates a simpler instrument
  4. right click simpler and select “simpler to sampler”
  5. Make a one note midi clip using C3 (ie, playing Midi note C3 causes the entire audio clip to play)
  6. In sampler, increase pitch bend width to maximum
  7. Apply a pitch bend envelope to the midi clip

Some miscellaneous keyboard shortcuts:

Shift tab – alternates from instrument view to clip view

shift transpose – octaves

hold down option key to duplicate clip by dragging



Ableton slice to midi

Sample an entire song

  • drag song from itunes into an audio clip slot
  • warp it
  • collect and save, so you get your warped sample in your project folder
  • right click on the audio clip select slice to new midi track
  • use single sampler preset
  • In sampler, select all zones, then turn on looping
  • Play with a MIDI keyboard. This will be the most fun thing you ever did.

Local Files:

Ableton teaching examples

(There is an example with Shining Star by EWF)