Getting Started with Ableton Live 11 - Music Production Basics | Ben Rowlands | Skillshare

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Getting Started with Ableton Live 11 - Music Production Basics

teacher avatar Ben Rowlands, Professional Musician and YouTuber

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (1h 7m)
    • 1. Introduction - Aims and Objectives of this Course

    • 2. Audio Interface Setup - Preferences

    • 3. MIDI Keyboard Setup - Preferences

    • 4. Session View vs Arrangement View - Choosing a Workflow

    • 5. Browser

    • 6. (New in Live 11) Take Folders - Vocal and Audio Comping Explained

    • 7. Working with MIDI Clips and Instruments

    • 8. Recording and Editing Audio Tracks

    • 9. Audio and MIDI Effects

    • 10. Creating a Rough Mix for a Song Demo

    • 11. Performance - Final Track

    • 12. More Skillshare Classes Coming!

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About This Class

I will take you on a step by step process with me, during my song creation process inside of Ableton Live 11. Along the way, I will showcase a variety of key Ableton Live 11 Features. So you can begin to learn the programme while building a short and simple track. 

This class will explore various Ableton Live Techniques, including keyboard shortcuts! I will show you how to Record Audio, work with MIDI Tracks, add Audio Effects to enhance your performances and setup Ableton Live correctly inside the preferences. 

We will take a detailed look at how to use the new Take Folder feature, introduced in Ableton Live 11. This has to be my favourite feature, which helps increase your productivity and workflow! Combining Take Folders and Comping can help achieve a more polished studio sound! 

Let's have fun creating music and learning Ableton Live 11! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Ben Rowlands

Professional Musician and YouTuber


Ben Rowlands is an up and coming YouTuber with over 3,000,000 Views and 20K Subscribers. Educating people about the power of Live Looping through tutorials, product reviews and live performances. 

Ben is a Professional Musician with BA (Hons) in Music Industry Practice. Through his experience of performing live shows as a one man band over many years, supporting acts such as Frank Turner and KT Tunstall. Ben pushes his equipment to the max! Providing him with unique and unconventional knowledge.

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1. Introduction - Aims and Objectives of this Course: Hey, what's up? Hope you have a fantastic day and welcome to my Ableton Live 11 basics course. In this class, I will take you behind the scenes into my music production workflow. Using live 11, we will create a song from the ground up, which will allow me to demonstrate a variety of features inside of Ableton Live to help you get started. Inside of this program, we will take a look at recording audio, working with midi tracks, audio effects, midi effects, and much more. We will take a look at a brand new feature to live 11, which is take folders and how you can use those within your workflow. And to finish, I will show you how to do a rough mix and master of your track, which is perfect for a demo. 2. Audio Interface Setup - Preferences: So the first thing I would like to show you is a basic introduction to the Ableton Live 11 interface. At first, I just want to talk you through some of the key features inside of Ableton Live 11 so you can become familiar with the program. Then we will proceed onto some more practical demonstrations inside of the software, such as recording instruments and actually piecing together a little bit of a song. Now the filming of this course coincides perfectly with some tasks that I need to achieve in my personal life. For some upcoming YouTube videos, I do need to create some background music to make the videos a little bit more interesting and to demonstrate some products that I'm reviewing. So this course, we will actually go through the process of me creating these little mini songs. So you can see the process of creating music inside of Ableton Live 11. So the first thing we need to do is head into our preferences and setup our audio interface and our midi keyboard. This will obviously allow us to hear all of the sounds we're creating inside of Ableton Live through our speakers and also record any audio and use our midi keyboard to play any piano parts, synthesizes, drums, whatever it is you are recording. Now the RF, few different ways to access the preferences. The first way on Windows is to just simply go to Options and go down to Preferences here. And this will open up our Preferences tab. Or you could use the shortcut Control and comma to just go straight to the preferences and it a bit quicker. Now the way you access the Preferences on the Mac OS is slightly different, but the interface is exactly the same. So once you're inside in the preferences, you want to head over to the Audio tab and we want to set up our audio device. Now if you are on a Mac computer, you just simply need to select core audio as the actual driver type. And then you can choose your audio interface that you have connected via USB for either the input device or the output device. Now in today's example, I'm using the native Instruments complete audio six audio interface. I've used this for years. Fantastic audio interface sounds really good and set this up on Windows. It's slightly different. Now you can see inside of this driver type menu, we've got a few different options. We've got Asiago or ASCO, and we also have an MI slash Direct X. Now by default, whenever I have it up, able to live fresh on a fresh install, it's usually chosen the driver type as NMI Direct X, and this does work. However, it has a very hideous amount of latency. So if you're trying to record any form of audio into your timeline, it's going to be virtually impossible. So you want to change the driver type on a Windows PC to be as EEO AS I0. This will give you the best results in terms of latency and performance out of your audio interface. Once you've chosen the driver type, you can then choose your audio device. Now as I said, I'm using the native Instruments, complete audio six, my audio interface. I've used this for years. It sounds fantastic and performs great. So I just choose they're simply inside of the audio device drop-down menu. Make sure you've installed the drivers, sometimes Windows 10 installed and automatically, so that saves you a little bit of time. But make sure you've installed all of the correct drivers and you can choose that within this menu. Now the next thing is we can customize is the channel configuration. Now we can configure the input devices and also the output devices. Now what's happening here is, depending on how big or small your audio interface is inside of this channel configuration. We can determine which inputs are activated and which inputs are deactivated. Now this is perfect if you are maybe using able to live in a live performance situation. So you need the program to be as reliable as possible and you need to reduce the CPU load on your computer. So if you've got maybe an old MacBook that isn't too powerful compared to MacBooks in the modern era, you may want to reduce the amount of devices you have selected within the input configuration. Because the more you activate within this menu, just by simply selecting them, the more load you will add to your CPU. And it explains that here as well. If you want a bit more of a detailed explanation. So basically what you can do inside of the input configuration to make the super-simple, whatever inputs you are using, you can just simply disable them to reduce the CPU load on your machine, to just increase the reliability on your actual computer if it isn't too powerful. So for example, when I'm using able to live on stage during a performance, I often use my MacBook from 2014. Now this MacBook is well beyond its shelf-life. It crashes all the time, runs really slow. Sounds like an airplanes taking off when all the fancy going through and ramping up. So to make sure that that does not crash and it still works to the best performance that it can. I switch off any inputs that I'm not using to reduce that CPU load on the computer. So for example, I may only be using inputs 12 as a stereo connection. So I only need to activate inputs 12 as a stereo input. So if I click okay, inside of this drop-down menu, I can now only select inputs 12 as a combined connection making this audio channel stereo. So if I maybe using a node keyboard, a role in the keyboard that has a left and right stereo connection. That's all I need to do for those connections it's plugged into. Now, if I'm using inputs, 34 is mono connections, so I need those to be separate. I will select 34 as mono and click. Okay, and now inside of this drop-down menu, you can see I can choose input 3 on its own. And then on this drop-down menu, I could choose input for on its own. So for example, these may be used for a guitar or bass guitar, even a microphone input, because they only need to have a single connection and they don't require stereo in my particular setup. Now because I'm using my super powerful computer inside of my studio, I'm just going to turn all of them on just for simplicity. So whenever I'm creating music inside of this little drop-down menu here, I have instant access to stereo inputs, mono inputs, whatever ab required just to save myself some time. And you could do the same output configuration. You can choose particular one just by clicking on them to deactivate them. Or you can just leave them all active, like IM for today's video. Now the next settings that we can customize for our audio interface is the buffer size and the sample rate. Now, depending on what you choose within these parameters, will determine the amount of latency you get from your audio interface. Now if you have a super expensive, super powerful state of the art audio interface, a lot of the time you can really crank up the settings and still have a fantastic latency results. But usually those interfaces are very expensive. Now if you're just an average consumer like myself with just a bog standard sort of audio interface, we may need to dial back some of these settings to make sure that your latency is manageable when you're actually using the device. Now if you're on Windows, you would just go into this hardware setup menu here, and it will boot up these little audio processing menus you to change the sample rate. You could change the process buffer size. So for example, if you're working with a lot of media, you could increase this to get better midi performance, but then that would increase the latency for audio. So I just have this sort of set around these 384 region. You could set it to about to 56 for like a happy medium across the board on everything. And I also have my sample rate set to unite 16 kilohertz. Now this may seem a bit weird because I've a lot of the time people have it set to 444100 and all that type of stuff. Now, I have a lot of new guitar amplifier processes that are like 32-bit and have 96 kilohertz sample rate. So to get the maximum amount of detail out of these products, when I'm doing YouTube demonstrations, I've set it to that sample rate just to ensure I'm capturing the most information that I can. And also, interestingly, something I noticed was when I set the sample rate to be 96, the overall latency actually reduced. So for example, if you set it to 44, you can see the latency has increased on the input here and the output latency. And then if we increase effective thing you can see it decreases actually, that was another reason why I said it's slightly higher because it just allowed me to keep it down to the lowest latency possible. 3. MIDI Keyboard Setup - Preferences: So now let's move on and sets up our midi device. Now I'm going to set up a midi keyboard. Now a midi keyboard doesn't have any form of sounds built-in to the keyboard itself. All it is doing is acting as an input device. So whenever you play a chord or a note on your midi keyboard that is sending data via the USB cable into Ableton Live. And it will trigger the correct sample according to whatever value you selected on the keyboards. If you played an F no, it would then trigger and F note on a piano sound, violin sound, or whatever, had chosen that sound to be. So you'll want to head into the link tempo and midi tab. And there's two ways you can set up a midi keyboard. You can see we've got the control surface option here, or we have the midi ports. Now you have a dead basic midi keyboard that just simply has piano keys on it and didn't have anything else other than that, all you need to do is just go to your midi ports, look for the name of the device. In this example, I'm using the key lab essentials and you just want to select these boxes here. This one of actually turn on the track and also turn on the remote. And this allows you to use it as an input device inside of Ableton Live. Now if you have a very fancy midi keyboard that's got lots of different dials on it. It's got drum pads, track faders. It's called transport controls, that record play stop or that type of stuff. Then you'll want to set that up as a control surface to maximize the functionalities and the mappings on the actual keyboard itself. So it just does it by default. So you go to your control surface and you can see inside of here, we have a whole load of different brands. You'd go Elise, you've got a tutorial like I just demonstrated here. We've got native instruments, we've got novation, pretty much any midi keyboard brand. You'll probably be able to find it inside of here if you own one. So you can see in this example, I have the key lab essentials chosen here because I'm obviously using the otorrhea key lab essentials 49 keyboard. So this just allows me to choose the template for able to live as intended by the manufacturer inside this drop-down menu. And then choose my input device, which is obviously Korea QLab essentials. I choose my output device, which is obviously the authority of QLab essentials. And now this keyboard is fully him up and ready to use inside of Ableton Live as intended by the manufacturer is when they sold me this keyboard and said it was compatible with Ableton Live. This just saves you a lot of time from actually mapping it yourself inside of the midi tab here. And just like mapping all of the different buttons to do different things, it means it's just going to do it by default straight away and save you a lot of time. 4. Session View vs Arrangement View - Choosing a Workflow: Now there are two different types of workspaces inside of Ableton Live that you can utilize depending on your preferred workflow within the software. Now the two I'm referring to, Arrangement View and click View. Now by default, when you boot up Ableton Live, you will see the clip view, which is what I have on the screen right now. And this allows you to obviously create midi clips, audio clips, and you can trigger these almost like little samples. This is perfect. If you're using able to live on stage, you can trigger different samples during your performance. Create a bit of a quick arrangement, trigger different scenes down here for different parts, verse, chorus and all that type of stuff. And it's also fantastic for sketching out ideas. You can record a track and you could record something into this track like a guitar riff, a vocalic, and then you can play that back. And then you could build a bass drum track of behind that and start sketching out a bit of an idea before you then commit to creating that as a song and a bit of an arrangement going and get your ideas down quickly. That's a great way for you to use clip view. Now I use clip view all of the time when I'm performing live on stage because it's the best view for that intended purpose as well, because I'm triggering samples, triggering different effects and things that I've set up. But if you are using Ableton Live for music production, you're going to want to use Arrangement View. Now you can switch over to Arrangement view just by clicking this little button here. And this will switch you over to Arrangement View. And likewise you can click this one to switch you back to clip view. Or alternatively you can just simply click Tab on your keyboard. And that will switching between the two workspaces in just a click of a button. Super-duper fast. Now you can combine the two workspaces together when actually creating a project which is fantastic. So for example, you could record something into track one here. You could record a little clip and then you could click and hold, just literally click on it and drag it. Then click Tab and you could drag this into arrangement view. And then you could obviously snippet up, loop it whenever you're trying to do within the track. So there are great ways to combine the two workspaces together when you are using the software. Now for this particular course, we are predominantly going to use the arrangement view because this is the most traditional digital audio workstation workflow. If you've ever used stuff like GarageBand, logic, any other type of program, this will be the timeline view you're used to. So everything will be recorded horizontally inside of the arrangement view, very traditional to other digital audio workstations. Instead of it being in this vertical format that we have inside of Clip View. Now inside of arrangement view to the right-hand side of our channel strips, we do have all of the information for each track individually. So for example, on this audio track here, we have our options for meeting it. So we can mute this track. We can solo this track. So this is the only audio we would here. So if we were trying to piece out a particular section and listen for a mistake or listened to a particular part we've played. This would isolate this track individually on its own. We obviously have our record, Amber, and we can toggle that on and off. We can turn the track down and we can tell just by clicking and dragging up and down. We can also append to the left and right just by clicking and dragging to the left, the dragging to the right. And then we can double-click to reset that to the sensor. Lots of different options that we can tweak here for our channel strip. And these also exist inside of the clip. You just click tab. You can see at the bottom of each channel strip, we have the exact same options. We can pan left and right. We can turn the track up and down. We can solo it, we can mute it, we can record army. We have monetary do in order to choose the input source. Everything that we could do inside of arrangement view we can also do down here. Now what I like to do is I like to track and record all of my paths in arrangement view. And when it comes to you a bit of mixing and mastering. I like to use clip view, just far easier to use because you have all of your tracks located in this vertical format. You can visually see where the track faders are. You can visually see where the panning is of each track. And it just allows you to quickly switch between each track a lot faster when it comes to sort of messing about with the EQ in effects down here. So that's something to think about when using the two workflows, I recommend using the arrangement view for recording and this clip view for mixing and mastering your track. Because that works for me when I've been using able to live. 5. Browser: So I now want to explore the Ableton Live browser. Now inside of the browser, we can take a look at all of the different midi effects, audio effects, midi instruments, a variety of different things we can apply to our channel strips. So for example, we have this blank midi track here. If we use the shortcut Control Alt B, this will bring up our browser. Or alternatively, you can just click this little arrow. And inside of here you can see we have all of our sounds, our drum racks, our instruments, audio effects, midi effects, even Max for Live. If you have the sweet version of Ableton Live. And we even have some predetermined clips here that have got some premade drum samples, chord progressions, different types of things like that. Now what you can do is, for example, go into this instrument tab here, and you have a variety of different things you can choose from. You've got different, like pianos, synthesisers, all sorts of different sounds that you can insert. So what we'll do is we'll go down to this electric tab here and go down to piano in keys. And what you can do is you can actually sample each sound individually. So you can just click on it down here and click the little headphone. And it will allow you to sample each sound that you want to hear. And then once you're happy with the sound of the keyboard, you can just click and drag it onto your midi track of choice that you want to use it with. And you can now see that our very first midi channel has now became our electric piano basic sound. Double-click on this channel strip. You can see all of the different plug-ins that are now Butadiene. We've got all of the different sounds, have got little amplifier sound here, and we can manipulate all of the different parameters to tweak the sound, however, we like. Another way you can use the browser is for audio effects. So we can go inside the audio effects here, and you can choose stuff like compression inside of here. So we've got Dynamics go down to a compressor and you can choose some presets. So if you're maybe not too confident and know what parameters are best suited for you. A great place to start is often with a preset, see how it sounds and then tweak it from there. Or you can just simply drag it straight in onto your track. So we'll drag it directly on this audio track here. We've now got our compressor. We can adjust the threshold or just the output, and then we can change the ratio, all the sorts of different things you would require a need to tweak in order to compress your audio. Now we can delete this by just clicking on the plug-in that we've added. And it is by clicking backspace for the Delete key. And that will remove that of our effects chain. So if you maybe added it, didn't do what you wanted it to do or you don't require it anymore, can just delete it off and it will disappear. Now something that's really cool inside of the browser that really allows you to customize it and tweak it to make it a little bit faster to use it is you can create your own collections of sounds, plugins, effects. You can access them at a click of a button. So you can see at the moment, in order to access the different categories, we have to go into the predetermined categories. So you go into your sounds, you go up two strings, you browse through them, you preview them in and you drag them in onto your channel strip, which works perfectly fine, allows you to explore the whole library within Ableton Live. But if you've got a certain amount of sounds that you're using, maybe you're recording an EP or an album, and you're using a fixed set of presets and sounds to make sure it has a bit of a coherent sound across the whole body of work. You'll want to create a collection. So let's say for example, we want to use this little violin. So the string sounds we've selected here, you can right-click on the sound you want to use and you can label it. So you can see, we can label it a particular color. Now you can see this little red one is called Favorites. So if we click favorites, this will go into our collections folder down here. So we click on this favorites tab and you can now see the strings have been added to my favorites folder. And same is true for the effects. We can go to dynamics and add a compressor. That's something you're going to use all of the time. Same with VQ. If we have a look for EQ and filters, go down to the H band, one is my favorite one, Favorite it. And now we go to our collections. You can see we have our EQ, we've got our violin sound, and we also have our compressor. And you can create your own folders as well. Now you can create multiple collections and you can rename them depending on what is contained within it. So for example, we could go to the drum section and let's say we wanted to make a folder full of my favorite drum sounds so we can go 800 eight kick, quite like this sound here. I like the sound of the 800 eight kit, and I can choose blue, so I'll select the blue. You can see this is now being chosen within this collection. However, it has not appeared within my collection. So you may think you've done something wrong or this feature isn't working correctly. Well, it's really cool. You can just simply click Edit. This will allow you to pick and choose which colors you want to appear. So for example, we obviously want our blue to now appear. We'll select that click Done and blue is now appeared. So I can click here and you can see I've got my favorite drum kit. I've got my 800 eight core kit. Now obviously calling it blue isn't really a great way of organizing collections, so you can just simply click on it and click Control R. This will allow you to rename it and we can call this drum kits. And then from this point now, we can go back to our drums and add even more junkets to our little blue folder. And now we can have them all located in one place. So this once again, allows you to have much faster access to the things you use very frequently within your projects. Now there are a few extra things you should know about the browser. You can search in it. Let's say for example, you want a violin, violin in the little search bar. And there you go. We can drag and drop this in and create a violin channel. Now if you're looking for a particular collection of sounds and you cannot find them, you can go over to Ableton website and download additional pacs. So if you click this little packs button here and go down to able since website, this will take you directly to your account if you are logged in on your web browser and you can have instant access to additional packs that are included with your license. So if you bought Ableton Live light, Ableton Live standard or the suite, this will determine the amount of packs you have available to you within your own account. For example, inside of Ableton Live some brand new packs are these ones by Spitfire audio. You got the brass quartet, you've got the string quartet as well, lower down here, along with a new piano and keyboard. Now these are some that I'm probably going to download because the Spitfire audio, they sound really good. It's something I'm probably lacking within my actual collection of sounds. So inside of here, you can download these additionally if you require. And this is something I really like about Ableton Live. Instead of having to download everything in one big, massive 200 gigabyte folder, you can go and pick and choose what packs are relevant to you within the genre of music, you're actually trying to create. 6. (New in Live 11) Take Folders - Vocal and Audio Comping Explained: So now that we've spent the time to set up our able to live software. We can now move on and begin with actually creating our very own track. Now I have moved into a different room and I'm now on a Mac computer. Long story why? But we can continue exactly the same. Now what I have currently got loaded in on my computer is the default Ableton Live 11 sort of demo project. This sort of basically shows off the power of Ableton Live and exactly what the software can do. Now there's some really cool new features inside of here that we can take a look at. You will also have access to this folder inside of your Ableton Live projects by default. And then we can move on to actually creating our own track. So a brand new feature in Ableton Live is the brand new comping previously inside of Ableton Live if you needed to record multiple takes of the same instrument. So multiple vocal takes, multiple audio takes, you unfortunately would have to just continuously keep duplicating the same track that you are using. And then you would just rename it to be a take two and then you would rename it to be to take three, et cetera. It's very tedious, very, very irritating. However, now we just undo that by doing Command Z. We now have copies take lengths. So if we do the shortcut Control Alt key on a Mac, we use Option Command U. This will open up our take lengths. So you can see here we have got three takes of this particular solo vocal performance. Now before we take a look at this, Let's actually hear the tracking action as a whole and this is what it sounds like. So that is a pretty cool sounding check that really shows the potential of Ableton Live. Now what you may have heard is the vocal performance was very pristine, sounding really well performed. And that's because they have used multiple takes and COPD that together to capture a perfect studio performance. So if we expand out those take folders, you can see exactly what I'm talking about here. In the first section of the vocal performance, they've used take two. And then in the second half they use that take one over here, and then they've used there, take one, then the views take three throughout the entire performance to get the best bits going. So if we just solo this track by clicking S, We've now solid it. We will hear the sorted choppiness of these takes. We've got take two standards on my window fan or stolons. And let's say just to make him look at me. Again, I want to take one again. If I learned my lesson, that's a possibility. His doorway and on the same take. Yeah, how that suddenly jumps there. That's because we've switched takes. If we just expand this out is by zooming in here, we'll just zoom into this take ln, and we can just expand this take just by dragging like this. You'll now here we've got a different, totally different segues is how it was sounding. And if we chose to expand out this take and made this a hole. So you can hear how abrupt that is sounding, especially going from take, want to take three here. It's pretty obvious that that's a different take. So that's why they clearly used the beginning of take one here. And then halfway through to a slightly better sung portion of that tape, since I've transitioned over to using able to live at this comping feature has been a huge time-saver, both from actually getting in tracking the parts that you want to record. But when it actually comes to editing it, It's been ten times quicker. Additionally, on top of this, it reduces the amount of load on your CPU because unlike in the previous version of Ableton Live 10, where you would have to have maybe ten of the exact same audio track duplicated to do ten different takes. You can now do all of that on one instance of an audio track and do as many takes as you wish. So before we move on from this take feature, let's take the time to tidy up this vocal performance and get it sounding a little bit better. So we've got take one over here, standards. And we've got take one there. So we can actually just cut this. We could just cut this up because we don't really need that breath. If you don't want it, you may like the breath, but I don't get excited that up a little bit anxious and make him look at me again. Try again if I. So let's actually listened to the second take here. So the cool thing about the take folders is you don't have to select the portion that you actually want to listen to light we currently have been doing by using this little tool here, you can actually just demo it. So we're going to demo take two in its entirety. Hear me. Hello, take three. Demo, take one. Again, try again. So let's go ahead and use take three for this example. Currently we have got take one selected over here, and we can easily trim this as much be light because it's already selected. Now you may be wondering how can we choose take three. So if I just grab the mouse and just select it and then click Enter on the keyboard. This will then choose take three as my final take. So we've now got take to go into take three, then back to take one over here. So it's really easy to do. You just actually select the portion you want and then click Enter, click and drag with the mouse click Enter, and you can start chopping up the audio as much as you like. So this is how it's running now, Cara, again, you can see how it's chopped between others takes quite abruptly because we haven't spent the time to tidy it up. Now something that's really important to know about editing audio is the in and out points that you can set. Now obviously, we've taken a look at how we can do different takes like this and get the perfect performance. But so far the crossover between the takes has been quite abrupt. Well, on the end of each clip, you can adjust the sort of fade between those clips, which will sort of help you get a much smoother transition between the two audio waves that you are chopping between. So for example, if we were to, in this point here, I have a cut suddenly. Instead of it being dead abrupt, we could take this little crossfade and just expanded out, reduce its volume, increase its volume to make it be a bit smoother when you're going from take one to take two. Another way to use this is just for the start of an audio track. If you don't include a fade in on audio, it can sometimes have a click sound like and then the audio will begin. So you need to have it almost start from 0 and fade into the point where you want it to be. An example of this would be if we just there, move this clip out the way, and I just expand this out and we take a listen, I can hear it fades in. I can make it really long. How the audio is now fading. And if we remove that, starts straight away, but it has that sort of clicky sound because it's very abrupt and sudden. We expanded out. It's a slow fading and we can also adjust the fade time with this middle. Yeah, pull it down, slower, increase it by pulling it up. And the nice thing about able to live is the actual waveform responds in real-time, unlike some other DAWs, that doesn't happen. So I'm going to undo this and put it back to where it was at. Now this vocal track here, that, that, that noise, we don't need that breath. That's actually very jarring to the actual performance. So we could either delete this or we could sort of fade it in. So it's less abrupt. That's something that you can do here. So you, for example, could fade it in. So it's not as, not as much in your face. Now if your audio is joined. So you can see currently this audio is split because we are across two different takes. But if your audio is joined like this, you may be wondering, how can I delete this part without deleting this entire clip? As you can see. Well, if you click on to the actual timeline and then do Command E, this will add a cut bank straight occur onto that takes so now this is separate to this. So we can just delete that out, add a nice fade in. And now it sounds a lot cleaner. They just got it straight onto the heights are going. I don't know where instead of having I don't know when that is much, much cleaner. So that was an example of how you can access and use the cropping tool for vocal takes and any other form of audio that is now available inside of Ableton Live to help you save time and get that perfect performance. 7. Working with MIDI Clips and Instruments: It's now time for us to start creating our very own performance inside of able to live. I've now created a new project. Nothing's inside of here, just the default layout. You will be able to access that easily just by being a new project. And the first thing I want to start with is the midi track. So we've got two midi tracks over here, and I really want to add some form of jumps using the browser, we have a few different options when it comes to creating jumps. We could just simply add a drum rack kit and just drag and drop onto a midi channel. Or we could use clips pool. Now inside of here, a variety of different presets, chord progressions, drum beats that you can explore news. So let's just take a listen to this sort of kick Pop kids over here. So I'm going to actually type in a rock. I'm going to type rock into here because I want to sort of rock drumbeat and we'll take a listen to what we've got here. Let's go for this classic dead obvious. I could have programmed this myself, but we'll go for this. So it's nice and easy. So we're going to drag and drop this onto any midi channel over here, and it will boot in our kit. Now currently we are inside of Session view with all of our clips, you can see I've got my little preset here. We must classic rock beat that I can now play along to you. Now I wanted to actually create the song inside of Arrangement View. So I'm just going to click and hold on this clip click Tab and switch over to this second view, and I'll just drag and drop it in. So we've got that in perfectly fine. Disclose a little play button to sync them backup. And we have got our classic rock B. Now I'm just going to add duplicate this a couple of times in my timeline just by doing Command D, get that duplicated. And I can just track to it and I can make adjustments later on. Now when it comes to adjusting a midi clip, you can create them from scratch. So you could, for example, just click and draw on the timeline, then right-click. And you can just insert empty midi clip. You see that there, or you can do the shortcut Shift Control N or Command M rather on a Mac. So now we've got an empty midi clip that we could actually program inside of if we wanted a different sort of a b. So the nice thing about the Ableton Live and native drums that are actually inside of the software. It actually tells you what each party is because we've got a drum rack. It tells you what note is currently mapped to, which, which, rather which sample is currently mapped to which note? It's got our kick step. Loads of cool things. So I've just click this little headphones button over here just to solo and actually hear what we're playing inside of the clip. Because by default this is turned off. And you can't actually hear what you're doing in the clip, which is quite annoying, especially if you've used other software like Logic Pro X that allows you to preview the audio. When you first switch softwares that can be quite irritating. Now to actually draw in midi notes, you want to click B on your keyboard. You can see I've got this pencil tool. You can see the pencil tools now appeared. If I click B again, it goes back to a standard mouse cursor. Well, with the pencil tool, we can draw in our midi notes. So I'll just zoom in slightly here and I can just drawing my kick. So I'm just going to afford you the floor. This might be for like sort of a breakdown section. So we'll just go four to the floor for a couple of bars. And we'll see how it sounds. It's in the wrong place. So there we go. Now if you make a mistake when drawing a note like I just did and you put it in the wrong place, you can click on the note a second time and it will just simply remove it dead, dead easy. Or alternatively, you could go back to your mouse tool by clicking B and just delete. You've got both those options. Now if you are working with their Midea codes and you need them to be longer, you can expand your midi note out. You can shorten it. What have you sought? A neat, but we might take a look at that in a moment. So I've got this sorted kick drum going on. Now made a mistake when adding the instruments for the first few beats. It's way too slow. It's just way too slow. I want it to be false the floors, I want it to be like the second part over here. So instead of going back in and joining in the notes, which is pretty easy process, what I'll do is I'll just click and drag, select them all and delete it by clicking backspace. And I'm going to just grab this section and I've already done. And I will use the Option key on Mac or Alt on Windows. And I'll just duplicate it by clicking and dragging. So that's copying and pasting it. And then I can just grab these two notes here and just do a Command D, just to repeat that section, super easy. Now I can just refine it as needed. So now we've got the correct beat going, got this fall to the floor as I wanted. Now currently this is sounding extremely robotic. We've just got the exact same midi note being repeated multiple times at the exact same velocity, velocity. So we are going to need to change the velocity of each midi note to give it a bit more of a humanized field. So my preferred way of doing this is just going down to the velocity tab over here and expanding it out. So we'll zoom in, just get a bit of a better view. And what we'll do is we will just simply start adjusting the velocity of each node, can just click, drag it down for softer and increasing for a harder play. So just sort of get that sort of human error going where it's not exactly the same every single time. And that would be pretty cool since all you gotta do is just mess about taking it like this. Now, if you want to do a interesting build, maybe got like a snare roll or something and you want it to go from low to high. You can see just manually draw that in and get asana low to high buildup. That sort of crescendo. Or you can select multiple notes at the same time and get the pencil tool we used earlier by clicking B and just draw in the patent that you actually want. So you can have that low to high effect. First narrowly, whatever it is you're doing. So that's a pretty nice way to do it. Also a much quicker way of doing the notes individually as well like we previously did. You can just select them all. Click B and just draw a straight line for the sort of flow you're looking for. And then fine tuning. In particular areas where you made a mistake by just going back to the regular mouse tool. So this clip we've created is a little bit too long. I don't require it to be this long because it's going to be a pretty repetitive loop. So we're going to just close out that little panel. And we're going to go up here and click Command E to chop the clipping half. And we'll just delete the second part. So now we've just got this little sort of Bali going on over here. In fact, we could even shorten it further, so we dropped that down command E and delete that out. So now we've got our main drumbeat. And then we've got maybe breakdown section that we may wish to use in a bridge. So now that we've taken a look at how you can use middy and create midi clips inside of Ableton Live. And we have created our drumbeat. We can now proceed onto recording the audio inside of able to live. So I now want to show you the process of recording audio. And what I'm going to record is my guitar. So I'm going to use this device over here, which is a digital guitar amplifier. I've got this really directly into my audio interface with a left and right guitar lead cable. And I'll now talk you through how we can record this audio into our Arrangement view. 8. Recording and Editing Audio Tracks: So back into Ableton Live and I want to record my audio onto this track down here. So we're going to click command R to rename this, and I'll call this guitar chords. We'll click Enter. So currently, this digital amplifier I'm using is plugged into input 1 and 2. So it's sending out a stereo signal into my audio interface. So I want to record both of those inputs directly onto the same channel, just for simplicity when it comes to editing it. So if we take a look here at our Ableton Live channel strip, we want to change out our input. Then I want this to be input 12 on my audio interface, so it's recording both of those inputs simultaneously. We also need to record on this track. We can just simply click on the Record button here, or you can use the shortcut on your keyboard, just see, just click the legacy and that will record I'm your track. So we've got it record armed. Now if I play something on my guitar, you'll see nothing right now is coming through because hear anything, but it is sort of flashing up over here so something is happening. So what we need to do is we need to change the monitoring mode and we just need to simply set this to be auto. And now I'll get TA will come through correctly. Before I go ahead and actually record anything into Ableton Live, I usually like to just play along with the backing track just to get a feel of the structure and ensure that the tempo is set correctly. So I've just sort of how to play through with the current drumbeat. And it's feeling okay. I may wish to increase the tempo ever so slightly. So I'm actually going to head into our control bar over here and we're going to increase the tempo to maybe 135. Let's see how that feels. Yeah, I'm liking how that is now sounding. That is sounding pretty, pretty cool. While we're up at the control bar adjusting the tempo, I want to make sure that my metronome is turned on for recording, so I'll have a click track to play along too. Now if your metronome sound is either cutting through or you just don't like it. You can click down on the little drop-down icon here. And you can change the metronomes settings so you can change the sound of it to be click. So we've got this more of a subdue sounding one. You've got wood. You've got a more classic sound, or you just got the standard classic as we get in Ableton Live by default, a lot of people don't like this click, but I find it perfectly fine. You also can set up a counting, which is very, very helpful. Now by default this is set to none. So basically, as soon as you start recording, it will just start recording straightaway from that particular point you have chosen, but you can select the metronome to have a counting. So it can have a one-bar count in two by counting or for bus. So for example, if we set this to be one bar and we click Record. I'll give you that little 1234 and then start recording. So this is pretty useful for recording things, something to be aware of. If you are using the record counting, make sure you leave a little bit of space before the actual stop point where you're recording will begin. Because for example, if we just set this to be one bar, we do a record count. And I play. The problem you may have is this, the audio gets cut off at the beginning. So listen to this. Just sort of jump straight in and there's no way to expand this back outwards. Whereas if we were to maybe stop the record here, we now have got this little bit of wiggle room. So for example, I know there's a little bit late, but we've got this wiggle room on the starting of the audio for that first note, if just in case you don't play bang on the warning, you play early, just so you've got that wiggle room to be aware of. So we can now go ahead and actually take a look at recording audio into Ableton Live 11. Now I'm going to be using an electric guitar for this part, and I'm going to play along with the drumbeat we just created. Now for the electric guitar tones, I'm using this new digital modeling device that I'm currently doing, a video on, which is the neural code cortex. So I need to create a bit of a backing track, just showcases device. And that's what we're going to do right now, enabled to life. I'm now ready to go ahead and record my audio. We set our inputs correctly. We have set the record on our track and we have named it. So I'm going to go ahead and click record. So the first guitar part is recorded. Let's take a listen. So that's sounding pretty cool. So I actually want to double-check this to get a really huge sounding guitar parts. I'm going to do Command D to duplicate this track. And I'm just going to delete this out. And I'm going to recall the exact same guitar part again, but on a second channel. So I'm just going to disable the record and enable it down here. And we'll go ahead and do that. So we're going to pan one guitar part to left among guitar parts the rights to get this sort of effect. That sounded nice and wide. Now it's sounding really, really cool. I think I want to start to tidy up the slide though. On the second pot, it's a little bit early, so we'll recall that again. Think it was a bit late that side. Let's have a listen. Now it was perfect, so we've got that now. So we're now going to utilize the coping feature that I showed you earlier. So if you just close out this browser by using the shortcut Command Option B. And that will close that out. And we'll now open up our show, take lunch space and a shortcut here. So we obviously want this slide of this final topic that we did. We want it to just join in with those Gita code. So if we just solo this by clicking S and listen to that. Actually doesn't sound too bad. Maybe just extend that attack, but it sounded fine straight away, least in the headphones. So you can see how we've used this comping feature to join two tables together to sort of cheat a little bit to save us having to recall that whole section again. And that will do perfectly fine for what I need for this sort of rough backing track. So now we have recorded our rhythm guitar chords for both the left and right ear. I'm now going to go ahead and create another audio track for the lead guitar part. And the main riff of these hook to show another preset that's available on this unit. First thing I wanna do is I want to change out the preset on this unit that I'm using. And I'm just going to manipulate the guitar tone a little bit, reduced the base of tad increase the mid and the treble, so it cuts ever so slightly and through the mix, nice and clear. So that's what we're going to do for the guitar tone. And we'll go ahead and we will create a new tracks. We'll just duplicate that, delete that, delete that out, rename it to be a guitar solo. And we will reset the census and obviously disable the solo on that truck. So on this particular guitar patch that I have all my new record cortex, I've got a bit of delay coming in, which sounds really cool. But what I need to do is I need to make sure that this delay is in time with our projects. So right now we're at a 120, sorry, a 135 ppm. So we need to set this so they're in time with what we're actually doing. So we get some nice results. Click Done. So that's sounded pretty cool. So now let's go ahead and record that onto our track. So I made a little bit of a mistake that towards the end of what I was just seeing some improvised guitar playing. So I'm going to drop back in and just sort of tidy it up a little bit. So note that up. Again. Do. So what we'll do is we'll take it from the start of the arpeggio runtime and we'll do a dropping. So I'll set the metronome to have a one-bar count in and we'll utilize that feature 234. I think that should do so let's listen to that now. So what we'll do is we'll use our audio take lanes again and we will join these two takes up when we hold that long note around this sort of region here. So if we just listened back to this, take that note there will drop into this tank here. You can already notice that that's happening. We'll close out our audio tech lines. And we will just sort it, tidy that up a little bit. Solo it just to make sure it's clean. And we'll just add a fade out. And fade out here. And to fade out here. And we will close out the drums. We don't need the drums. 30 seconds is long enough for this intro sequence song that I need to create for this video. Demoing it is product. So we can start to tidy this up and move on to the next stage. 9. Audio and MIDI Effects: So the next step I like to take when creating music inside of Ableton Live, once I've recorded by audio and I'm happy with all of the midi parts and things like that. I'll head on into the effects panel and start adding audio effects. So if we open the browser backup either by just clicking this little icon here or using the shortcut Option Control B, or rather Option Command B on Mac. You will see we've opened the browser back up inside of here we've got a panel called audio effects and a panel called midi effects. So midi effects are things you'll put on like arpeggiate is a variety of different things. I, pitch affects scales, if you will, maybe not too good at the keyboard, you can put a scale on and it will fix the, all the white keys to just be Dorian, Phrygian, whatever mode you may select to help you get a particular sound. But I primarily want to focus on the Audio Effects, as these are the ones I use most frequently when I use Ableton Live. So inside of the audio effects, we have got all sorts of different things. We've got EQs, we've got compressions, we've got reverbs, delays, all the types of things you would like to use to sort of enhance the performance is you've already done. Now so far, all of our audio we have recorded doesn't have any effects applied to it. Now none of these send and return tracks are being utilized. It's completely jive. The only affects you're hearing from the guitar effects processing unit of which I am demonstrating. Now what I wanted to is to get sort of a nice sound coming out of this unit. Altogether. I want to add a bit of reverb to the drum tracks, give it a bit more presence. And in order to achieve this and to keep the CPU usage as low as possible, I'm going to use send and return tracks. Now these are added by default inside of Ableton Live, you've got a reverb and delay. Every time you open up a fresh set, you can insert extra ones just by right-clicking and clicking this option here. But inside of here we have got a reverb. And obviously you can add your own reverb inside of the effects panel just by clicking on that category and dragging and dropping it in. So you just drag and drop that in. Or you could use some of the presets found in here. So I'm actually going to use a preset for this. I'm going to delete out the ones already on our effects panel. I'm going to use a whole reverb. I'm going to go for the ballad reverb out of the whole presets. I like whole reverbs, the product, my favorite type, nice big space to them. So I'm going to solo our drum track. Where is it at? Right here. So I'm going to solo our drum track and on send and return a, I now have a reverb. So if we just play away, click the metronome off and we increase this dial here. You can here. This is now adding lever. And it's controlling the amount of reverb. Now inside of the reverb panel, we can adjust all sorts of different things that decay time. So like the size of the reverb, I'll just double-click disorder, reset that. So when it comes to adjusting your decay time, you can either just click and drag on this slider here to increase it or decrease it. You can double-click on it to reset it back to its default value. Or you can actually type in this box here, a value that your likes light to a 100 and that will set it to 200 milliseconds. For example, it would be very short. Now I'm just going to set it back to around disorder three area. So it's got a bit of length three. It can increase the size if we listen back to it. So that's sort of the space that's being created for that back to 0. You can mess about with the high. So it only affects different regions of the actual EQ. If you just want the sort of the highs to be affected, all that type stuff. Anyway. So I'm just going to leave that as default. You can switch on and off with this button here if you wish. If you've maybe got a couple loaded in and you're trying to find out which one you prefer the sound off. That's a nice way to try that out. I'm going to go back to the ballad reverb as it sounds all right, for what we need. If you decide you no longer require an effect on your effects chain, you can just simply click on it and delete it out like that, and it will go back to whatever is left on there. Now you can add multiple effects to your effects chain. So if you want to maybe add a compressor EQ, you can add all sorts. So for example, you could also drag and drop yourself and EQ, my favorites, the band, just drag and drop that on there. You could cut out the lows if you want it to sort of tidied up a little bit, if it's sounding a little bit messy. If you just want a bit more clarity. As you can hear that. It's going to turn that off for now. Another common effect I use very frequently is the compressive. Most of the time I use EQ, compression and reverb. I'm pretty simple when it comes to editing my audio enabled to life. So what I really like to use is a EQ just inside of the eight band here. Just going to drag and drop that onto this track. And I'm also going to add a compressor. So we're going to go to dynamics, go to compressor, and use presets here if you want to show what you're doing, but i'll, I'll just throw a compressor in. I'm not going to give you it's super in-depth tutorial on how you use these. But usually if I'm just doing a quick sort a YouTube video, I will just crank up that low cut so it just remove some of the mood. Boost that kick ever so slightly. And I'd like to maybe increase that and increase the Q level. And I'll just slide around and listen for any sort of harsh frequencies. Don't like the sound off. Like that one right there. And then I'll just reduce the game. Introduced again. I've slide just to, just to clean it up so there's no nasty harmonics there. Like do that a couple of times. Now I actually quite like the sound of that frequency. So instead of cutting it like I just did over here, I'm actually going to enhance this one. Just a tad will make it a little bit wider because I quite like the sound of that particular frequency. So you don't always have to cut things out. Like I just demonstrated that you can boost things as well if you do like the tonality of something. And then when it comes to the compressor, there's loads of different ways you can use a compressor. But a very vaguely with this one, the threshold basically controls the amount of compression. So if you listen here. The greater I increase that threshold, the more compressed it becomes an AC signified here by this sort of slapping, this shows how heavy the effect in the compression is being applied. I guess usually apply this very, very minimal just to get a slightly tighter feel, can mess about with the attack and release over here. I might actually slow down that attack just a tad, so it's pretty snappy. And I'll just leave it at that. I'm not doing anything too fancy here today that will take ages. So now this is what we have got. We've got our compressed drums and we also have our gets us. Now for the guitars, I am going to EQ them, and I am going to EQ them. Although I'm demoing a product, I like to a tad of EQ because you go into do that anyways, you're going to either add EQ on a mixing console or in the studio yourself. So it's not like it's inaccurate of what's going to happen. So when it comes to E queuing the guitars works slightly different the way we're going to use the eight band. Now previously we were boosting and cutting the lower frequencies. Whereas this time, I don't want to boost the lower frequencies because it will adjust the guitar tone too much. So we need to change the shape, the shelf size or the shape, shelf type rather. So we'll click here. And this gives us different shapes for the EQ band. Now I'm going to go for this one here. That will give us a cut. But without the boost, obviously we cannot our own bruce by actually adding it in and it won't do it by natural. I won't do it naturally rather. But I just want to sort of cut out a bit of the muddy frequencies because if you look on the graphic BEQ, we've not got much tone here that there's a bit of rumba. So we just want to tidy that outlet, just center this a bit so that it better hearing over for now. And I'll do the same process as well. With the tube. I'll just listen for some nasty frequencies like that one right there. Drop it down. Same here. And I'm just going to add a bit of sparkle to the end by increasing the highest frequency. So this is what we got now for this guitar. And this is it. And this is it back on just very subtly to saw a tightening it up. And I'm going to actually copy this onto the other gets up because both of the guitars are identical, same tone, same preset, saying guitar and nothing has changed. So I'm just going to click Control or Option, sorry, Also option. And I'm just going to drag this, drag this over to this other band here. And you can see we now have got a copy in a duplicate of the exact same thing. Now I'm not going to add any compression into Ableton Live for these guitar parts because I want this gets amplified speech, natural sounding as possible for the intended use case of this track we are creating as it's demoing the sounds of this unit. 10. Creating a Rough Mix for a Song Demo: So now let's move on to mixing inside of Ableton Live. Now I'll probably do a more detailed in-depth course at a later date, actually talking about mixing and mastering inside of Ableton Live. But for now, let me show you what I do to quickly mix and master things inside of Ableton Live. So I prefer to use the session view rather than using the arrangement view for mixing and mastering. I just find it's a much quicker process. You have access to all of your faders for turning stuff up and down, adding a delay reverb or whatever. It's much faster and you can see what everything is doing on the actual track itself. So what we need to do is we're just going to sort of play is track will come up with rough mix already the drum cell way too loud because they have compression on and none of the other parts do. If everything else was compressed with it, it will be a different story, but it isn't. So to be just your track levels, you just need to click and drag on the track fader. You can pull it down and you can also pull it up. Now if you want to adjust two tracks at the same time, you can just click and hold shift on the tracks. And you can adjust multiple tracks exactly the same. So for example, if you've maybe found the perfect balance between you'll get tall pots and your vocals or whatever. And they need to just be turned up a little bit too much the drums or turn down a bit too much the drums, instead of individually moving each slider like this and trying to basically start from scratch. You can select them at the same time, which is very nice and easy to use because we've got such simple arrangement and track going on here. We don't really need to do too much. We just need to make sure that jumps out too loud. And this guitar licks solo can be heard over the top of everything. So let's have a listen and mess around. So I've had to listen to the track and I want to focus in on these guitar pots. So by default, when you click solo, it only allows you to solo one track at a time, which isn't much use. But if you hold Command on a Mac and just click the S button, this will allow you to select multiple tracks simultaneously. So now all we will hear other guitar playing together. So that's a decent balance in the headphones on my right. Now, if I was using my studio monitors, be more accurate. But let's take a listen with the drums him. So I'm just going to turn the jumps down to 0 and I will introduce them. So by doing this, it allows us to find where the drums sit naturally if we just saw to start with it where it was, move the up and down, we would feel it was always too quiet. So by fading it in like I just did that, it allows you to feel when the jumps sit correctly within the mix. So I feel like the kind of air right now maybe just needs to be turned up ever so slightly so to do finer adjustments with your theta, if you don't want to move your mouse dead delicately, you can use the up and down arrow key on your keyboard. So on your keyboard here of see you've got the up and down arrow key. Well, if you click this, this will allow you to go up on the feta and down on the failure you can see right there. So that's a nice way to sort of adjust things on a more detailed level. So I'll just go to maybe do it by two clicks just to get it slightly lighter. Let's have a listen. There you go. We have created a very basic track, but for what I intend to do with this tract, it is pretty much perfect. It showcases the guitar tones. We've got dead simple drumbeat just to support that, something I may add is potentially a bass part, either using this unit in particular or just using some midi bass just to sort of fill out that space behind the guitars. But overall, we have created our very first track inside of Ableton Live. I've showcased a variety of different features along the way, and I hope it has helped you sort of understand how the software works when you are creating music from scratch. 11. Performance - Final Track : Hi, everyone. 12. More Skillshare Classes Coming!: I hope you enjoyed this Ableton Live 11 basics course. If you did, please consider leaving a review and make sure you're following me here on Skillshare. I have got lots of other classes on a variety of different topics that may be of interest to you. But if you want to see any of my future Ableton Live 11 classes and you don't want to miss them. Following me is the best solution. But as always, thank you so much for watching. I beam bam Roland's and I will see you in the next bond.