Music Production in Ableton Live 9: Part 8 - Using Ableton for Live Performance | Tomas George | Skillshare

Music Production in Ableton Live 9: Part 8 - Using Ableton for Live Performance

Tomas George, Music + Audio Production Instructor

Music Production in Ableton Live 9: Part 8 - Using Ableton for Live Performance

Tomas George, Music + Audio Production Instructor

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8 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Welcome to this Class

    • 2. Audio Effects Rack

    • 3. Saving Audio Effect Racks and Performance Controllers

    • 4. Follow Action

    • 5. Launch Mode

    • 6. Ableton Controller - APC40 MK2

    • 7. Performance Tips

    • 8. DJing in Live Tips

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About This Class

In this 8th class of my Ableton Live series, we look at using Ableton Live 9 for Live performance.

This class includes lectures about the Audio Effects Rack, Performance Tips, Ableton Controllers, Using Ableton Live for DJing and More!

Meet Your Teacher

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Tomas George

Music + Audio Production Instructor


Hi, Tomas here. I'm a UK Music Producer, Audio Engineer and Composer I've been producing and writing music now for over ten years. 

I have a MMus Masters Degree in Music Production and a BA(Hons) in Music Composition.

I really enjoy creating and editing all types of music, but I especially love teaching it online.


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1. Welcome to this Class: Hi there. It's Thomas George, and welcome to this music production in able to live nine party class where we're going to be looking at using able to live for live performance. So this classes for anyone that wants to learn how to use able to live to actually create a live show. So in this class, we're going to look at the audio effects rack. We're then going to look at follow action launch mode, the A P C 40 mark to AC I, able from controller on, then going to give you some performance tips on, then deejaying in able to life tips. So this is a part eight class. If you're brand new to able to live, I do recommend checking out the over classes. First, however, you can always skip these. If you're comfortable using able to life and you want to class, that's going to teach you how to use able to life for live performance. So join me in the first lesson. We're going to be looking at the audio effects rack 2. Audio Effects Rack: hi. In this lecture, we're going to have a look at audio effects racks, so this basically allows us to have Iraq, but this time for audio effects. So there's two ways we can do this. We can actually drag this onto our audio instruments, and then we will get on effects right here. Then we can inset in certain audio effects into here, and they'll be surrounded by this effects rack. The more common way, however, is to actually grab a few effects, and then we can slap them all. Command a and then hit command and G. This will actually put these in on effects rack looking at the effects right here we have all different presets. We have ant simulation mixing or mastering modulation, arrhythmic and performance on D. J. But for now, let's just build a blank one. So I've actually just dragged in this audio loop. I'm just going to play this now, going to add on some effects onto this. Let's try a delay. So let's go to simple delay. Let's odds. Let's add some overdrive as well. Okay, so let's just let these come on, Jay. And now it's in on effects. Rack we can open up the effects right by hitting this button here with the MIDI effects rack. We had velocity and key in the order effects. We just have chain. So this will basically just give us this chain here. So we have one here that says Chain. We can always create another chain, too. We can rename these chains, but let's just start off with one chain so we can extend this. It goes from 0 to 1 to seven. And when we play this now, it will actually have the delay on the overdrive. That's just play this clearly Hear the average life and change the delay type. We can also drag these into the chain so the first chain has the overdrive. So let's rename this overdrive. The second Shane has nothing on the third chain has delay. Let's rename the 3rd 1 Delay the 2nd 1 We can actually drag in another instrument if we want less. Just drag in. Flander. They're okay with chained them all. So the 1st 1 is over. Dr. Let's move this to say, 64. We can also fade this in and out. Second Shane, which is flan Gia, If lunge. Have this say here quite tricky to me of these little ones here. And we could have this cross fades the Fed on that's have delay. I'm not going to have it starting on zero because it might be quite good if we map this to a fader or a dial. So if we bangle the way back to the starts, it will be completely dry at the moment. I'm just going to do this with my mouse. I'm going to play this clip and you'll hear the overdrive, the flanges and the delay. Also, some of the cross fades just going to create now. Okay, so it's going to start after I and notice it completely turns off when it goes to zero. We actually need to make a new chain. So let's hit command. Great chain this. I'm actually going to have nothing in that's just have this here, But it was still play when I had nothing there. It'll it had no information to actually play off. So there we go. So now it's dry. A cross fade Magassa will delay nice off lunch. Now this will add overdrive. Just going to find another lupas. Well, Let's find more of a beat. Okay, that'll do. So this is over driven, then? This has the flan job, and this has to delay. And this is dry. We can also map this to a MIDI controller. Okay, so right now I got a MIDI cable, plugged them when I hit a note or move the dial, you can see this orange or yellow block flash. So this is an oxygen 25. It's just a small midi keyboard, and it has a few different buttons and dials on it, too. So to map this, it's really easy. Well, we have to do is hit commander them and then select style here that I've moved one of the knobs on this midi keyboard, then hit commander them. I'm going to move this north now, and you can see this orange dial moving along. I'm also going to map this launch button. So when the hit commander them click this and there's actually a play button on this keyboard, okay? And they're going to map the stop as well. So this here to the stop button. That's it. So we can see on here. We've got chain selector, clip, stop onslaught to said Commander them. And now I'm going to play this one, my m audio oxygen. I can stop this of the stop button. Let's play it again and I'm going for the change. Select on here. So for live performance, this could be really useful that I could bang this all the way to the end of this dry last up again. 3. Saving Audio Effect Racks and Performance Controllers: So for the different audio effects racks, we can actually go through and save these. It'll save in our audio effects. Right? So cool this test. Then when we go on user library, it's under presets on all the effects. Well, the effects racks. So let's just go back to the audio effects. Just going to get rid of this. Let's go to the audio effects rack again. We're just going to have a look at some of these presets. Performance and D j is quite interesting. One got a few different ones that could be really useful. I like this one, that deejay Master channel. So we can actually bang this on the Master Channel. So now we have equal Oh, he committed a coup. High frequency shift reverb amount reverb. Okay, rack dry, wet on rack volume. So I'm just going to play this loop and then go on the Master Channel. This won't just affect this lead this effect, everything is the mustard. So here we can affect the mid and the high mukul. So map, this is well, so if we go to command em on this cable, for example, actually have eight different knobs, so The easiest thing to do here is to really just map Thies to the different knobs. All I'm doing is clicking on one, moving the next knob and just going through on just moving the knob slightly and then it will map. It's really straightforward. It doesn't necessarily have to be dials or knobs. We can actually map thes two keyboard keys as well. That's quite simple. I just hit command them to close that. And now I'm just going to play this kick. Let's have a look at this. So for live, this could be quite useful. If you just want to take out the lower of everything, bring it back in. Made of estate there actually linked the Ikuo with the frequency shift on the fourth knob. So let's go into the mapping. Let's have a look at this 1 16 20 e que high isn't right. I'm just going to sell it this again. And now I'm going to be the third knob. There we go. So if you make a mistake, you can easily just go in here, find out which one it is and correct it so we can easily just go in and fix this. So even the fared knob, the fourth nub fifth of 67 on the eighth. So they all moved around. Just going to play this loop again. This will effect absolutely everything that's playing. So this is quite good for D. Jane. Really, You just want to quickly knocks him. For now, you can bring it back off at the void. More look at the low end. Look at the high, so it's a bit like having a natural deejay mixer. We've got free band the Q, and you can add certain effects to everything. Okay, let's have a look at a couple more. Fade to Grey is a really popular one. Let's just direct this onto this channel. It's literally just one knob. I'm going to map this to on up on this midi keyboard. Let's just delete this. Hit this. We have enough Never go. Let's play on. Explain one of those so has kind of a filter on a delay. Then we can play their sleep. Bring it back in really easy, cheeky way of actually mixing between songs. Obviously, it probably makes something a bit better. Them a distorted synth line Onda kick drum, but you never know. So if we press this button here, we can see it's geeky free. And when we move, this changes the frequency down here. It's a low in the high on the ping pong. DeLay also changes the feedback on the dry wet, and that's basically what this fade to Grey does. There are a few more presets here. I suggest going through and actually just working out what this stuff does, but I actually prefer going in and making your own. But there's fate. A great is a very popular one and also a free band. EQ you you could use on the Master. Let's just do that so we don't need to use this presets Weaken just going audio effects than to go on Yuki free. Bang this on the Master. Then there were gay. We can link this up 20 dials that we might have on our controller, and then this will just act as eu que. I would recommend personally getting a MIDI cable that has dials or knobs, Um, and also a few favors. The one I'm using now is the M audio Oxygen 25. It's quite useful. It's just them. Few actives keys and then it's got several different dials. Knobs. I also use a pc 40 mark two, which I personally think is really great for live performance because you've got loads of different knobs and dials on. We've got those little buttons we compress. I just plug this in now. Actually, no show you what it does. And then when we plugged the same you get this red box that appears on it links up to the different keys on here. So if impress key and it will link this slip, press the one above Metrolink. This clip on these clips kind of a gold color on on the a p. C. This also links up to a gold color so color Wiesel links up, which is really great also has a low these failures and knobs and dials on this a B switch which is really useful in the few other things which could be really handy. Another one who used is the push to There's a whole section all about the push to this is probably the best midi controller for able 10. In my opinion, I personally prefer the A PC market to for life performance but I think the push to is incredible for writing music, but you can actually use them both together so you could use their push to for creating the beats on the fly on a PC for launching these and add on effects. Or you could do all on the push if you prefer. I've also got this little mini M audio key stage of 32 which I use more for composing when I'm traveling. But this can actually be quite useful to go alongside even the push to or the A P C. If you want few keys, you don't look around a really big midi keyboard if you want to use able to him to perform or two D. J with, I'd recommend having a look at a few different MIDI controllers. There is the launch key and the launch pad, which have had a very good also. But I personally used a PC. The push to on the oxygen 25. So thank you for watching this lecture. I hope you found useful and I'll see you in the next one 4. Follow Action: Hi. This lecture is all about follow actions. So what I've done is I've just found a load of different drum samples and I've just dragged them into here and let's have a look at this loop. So by defaults, this loop will just go around around around. So when it gets to the end, it will just loop again. But we can do something called follow. So if we using this for life performance, we could have it play a different loop straight after. So we could actually trigger this on our medic E board or we could just have it set up. So it goes round around and round, and we can actually create it. So it has a few different random things going on. So the way we do this is we hit this Elberton here, This will bring up the launch section. Then we have these free different things here. The 1st 1 is how long? So this is bar beat and 16th note. The second row is what we want it to do. So we have stuff like stop play again previous next, first, last any, which means it can play any of the clips again, including the one that just played or over, which means it can play any of the clips again, apart from the one that just played then we have this fared row here, which is how often so we can set up to so we could have previous on then next. And this works like odd. So if this is one on one, there's a 50% chance that it will play the previous or a 50% chance that will play the next . So let's just select all of these and have this for all of these. So follow. Do you remember was previous and then next on one one. Okay, so let's go through all these and we can see that they all have the same follow action. So I'm just going to play this loop here, and then there's a 50% chance it will play this one or this one. Let's blame this one is going back down again, so this can be handy for life if you just want to set this go in going down. So let's actually change all of this. I'm gonna change this to every two beats. Okay? So every two beats it will play the next one. Notice, though, actually goes back to the start of the loop. If you wanted to play every two beats, so beat one and two, but we won't be free and four from the next sleep, we can actually slept this the Lagardere button. Then this will play beat one of two off the first loop, and then the next loop will play beat free and four, So this could make it sound a bit smoother. You can also recalled this into the arrangement if we wish. So this is actually recording into the arrangement. Stop this, and that's just Suman. But here we go. This is just recorded so we could use this to actually create our own leaps water. Create a mash up of all different loops, and we could go in the arrangement view and chops, therefore, remove it around. It doesn't necessarily have to be exactly the same. That's how we recorded it, so we could use this as a compositional tool. Also, we could get some quite interesting beats that wouldn't normally think of. I would normally use this as a performance tool. However, we can just set this go in and just leave a few loops coming. This can be great for sound effects or weird pads on. You can have a kind of random element to performance, especially if you have this set up on any or other that you might not necessarily do without this. So you can add a bit of spontaneity to performance, which can be quite interesting, too. 5. Launch Mode: Hi. In this lecture, we're going to have a look at different launch modes. So I've just dragged in a few loops here. I'm just going to play these now, so you know what the different loops are? So say this loop is playing and I hit the play button doesn't actually really do anything. We can change this in their launch mode, though. So if I click on this clip and we hit this Al here, this will open up the launch mode. So we have a few different ones. We have trigger gate toggle on. Repeat. So the launch murdered is basically what happens when we launch a clip. The default is trigger. So if we hit the play button, it will play the clip on. If we hit the play button again, it weren't really doing the thing. So if we change this to gate so then if we play the loop, it will stop at the quantum ization amount. So at the moment, it's set to global. We can change it here. Global will basically mean it link up to whatever it says here. So it will stop after one bar. So let's just play this and then it stops. So let's change the quantity ization, too. 1/4 notes It will stop after 1/4 note, so this could be useful for one hits or sound effects. Where you want to play the loop on. Just leave it and you'll know it. Go off after a bar or after a course note. Or however long the clippers. Then we have Tuggle, so this is a really useful for life performance. So we play it, and then when we hit it again, it will stop at the quantum ization of Matt. So let's change this to on 16th. Then we play. This can be great for live performance. So you just bashed the loop on and then you can just bash it off again. It's really simple. And then we have repeats. Repeat is a really fun on. It basically means when we're holding the loop down, it will repeat at the start of the loop. Right now it's set toe 1/16 note so it will play the 60 now ran around way. Let go. It will carry on playing loop again. You have to count when you do this, however, or weren't always coming at the right point, we can change the quantum ization amount to, say one course note. This one's really fun for live. You can create some really interesting buildups of this. We also have Lo Gatto mode here, and this will only work on trigger and toggle. So this basically means it will carry on playing through the loop. So let's just toggle on and say We play the loop and we have Lo Gatto on toggle on both of these clips. And let's switch this to one court notes on. When I play one on, I switch it to the next loop, it will carry on. Go through the beats that we go. 1234 I'll just show you that. You could see that actually triggered around here didn't go back to the start. So it continues. The loot flowing set means salute doesn't go back to the start. It carries on through the bar. Okay, so that's basically the launch modes for life performance. Like I said, these could be quite useful, especially the toggle for live performance on the repeat mode 6. Ableton Controller - APC40 MK2 : Okay, As promised, we're going to have a look at the A P C 40 mark two. So this is a performance controller designed by Akai on the sole purpose really is for life performance with able to life. I personally think this is a fantastic controller. I do use a few of the controllers use the push to on also the oxygen 25. But I do like the A p C 40 for life performance. Best The push to is fantastic for composing on the oxygen's great if you just want a small keyboard, just a bashing a few keys. But for life on tables in life, I would go to the A P C 40 mark to first. You'll notice this small red box around here so this actually matches up to the buttons on the A P. C. On a lot of stuff, automatically matches and moving this dial here. This is just one of the dial's on the A P. C. On these buttons actually link up. In the previous lecture, we looked at launch mode and changed this to repeat so I could just repeat this really easily and just bash the button in on the A P. C. I'm unstoppable flips with stuff or clip, but and below you can use this alongside the push to also and you can use it alongside of a MIDI controllers. So you don't just have to use the A P. C. You can use it of lows of other controllers to which is really handy and going down to this X again have this baby switch which automatically links up. We don't even have to turn them on here, actually links up on the controller so you can see I'm turning this to a and B on off on this truck activators that link up lows of stuff that automatically link. So we also have thes eight dials we can use, and above each track we actually have a pan dial, but I don't actually uses for Pan. I use this for master effects, so I have the master affects above because in a club really pan stuff too often, but I would use the master effects all the time. Then I have these eight dial's for separate effects for each track. It's quite simple. To use a PC, you just have to learn how to map stuff, so it's really easy to map stuff like before we just hit command them to map. But the A P C automatically maps a lot of this already, but you can go in and customize your own map ings in your own sounds. Look, people actually upload their own templates online so you can search for other people's templates. I used a guy called Dave one else template for quite a while. His stuff was pretty cool. He's kind of ah mashup D J and his templates really useful. I know. He offers a free download off that online, so have a search for him. Dave were now, Yeah, this is just a quick overview of the A P C 40. Obviously, if you have one yourself, I would go in an experiment on media map it to customize it for yourself. Really? Because she might sets the foot different to what I do. So just go through and just really test trial and error. And if you don't have a PC 40 don't worry, you can do a lot just unable to also, But I do recommend to get in some kind of midi control that that has a few dials or knobs. Then if you do want to perform with live is called ableto live. So a huge chunk of this is really for life performance, which you don't really want to ignore. So thank you for watching this lecture on. I'll see you in the next one. 7. Performance Tips: Hi. In this lecture, we're going to have a look at a few different performance tips for using able to life for life performance. So I've just dragged in a few baselines under some drum parts here as well. We have certain things like the launch mode, like we went through earlier, so you could do stuff like the repeat. We can change this to the global amount. What? We can change the quantum ization amount down here. So let's change this to 1/16 notes so we can actually create a new audio track and record this Then we can have this new performance recorded in. I'm going to change this to repeat old you do have to kind when you're doing this. So let's go to Crate on and set audio track or use the shortcut command T. I'm just going to record in this drum part. So we go from audio from and then free, which is the drum part. We can rename this if we wish as well to drums. I'll just call this one Base Command are to rename. Okay, lets just on this, then just hit record and it's going to record in the information from here, you can see it's changed the drums already. And if we solo this on a nom this, it's just played in the stuff we just played. We can go in here, move this around on warps and of these. So we could even do this on the fly whilst were actually performing some going toe arm. This is well on. So this, then I'm just going to record this drum part in and then drag it to this drum channel. Right you can. Then we can actually drag this over so you can create a new scene by hitting command and I and just drag this in here, right? You can see here it's actually playing in the drum part that we recorded. So that's one tip you can use for life. It can actually record in parts on the fly. Let's just do that again. This time we're going to turn after the Metro name and then we're going to change the mention home to none. Because we wouldn't want this count in life. It wouldn't sound very good, to be honest. Okay, then we're going to play this in stop this clip. Then he commanded I track the scent so we can do it all on the fly without actually having to stop our performance again. We can record another part that can be quite useful. Just dragging the new parts, re recording on the fly on making new beats whilst er actually performing life. So when performing live, you really wanted just look at your controller rather than just looking ableto you can do it all on your laptop. You don't necessarily need a controller like a PC or a push or a launch key or launchpad, but it can really help, especially for life performance. So I'd recommend having a look at different controllers if you haven't already got one. Another. Performance Tip is having effects on the master, so there's a few different ones you can use. I personally like using the free band EQ you. So let's just go on Yuki free and drag it in the Master Channel on this way. If we're playing the loop, the Master Channel, we could just affect everything on the fly. This is the easy way of actually changing the EQ you. It's a bit like a D J mixer. We have the free Bandy Q base middle and high. You can just do this on affect it really easily. We go down here, we also see a small X. If we hit this, this will open up A and B, so this is similar to a deejay turntable. So we have two tracks the left track on the right track, and this controls are left on the right. So if we hit play now, it will just play the drums. If we drag this over, it would just play the based on in the middle, but will play both. You can map this to a MIDI controller easily. ABC actually has this automatically map. Next. We're going to have a quick look at that. A PC market to this is the life performance controller that I use and I strongly recommend it if you want to use able to for, like, performance. So I hope these tips helped. They were basically recording on the fly, adding effects to the Master Channel and also this total switch here where you can control the A on the bay. So thank you for watching this lecture. Like I said in the next lecture, we're going to have a look at the ABC 40 mark two controller 8. DJing in Live Tips: Hi. This lecture is all about deejaying in able to life able to life can be a fantastic tool for D. J, as well as producing and making your own music. In a previous lecture, I talk about audio effects racks. That's something that I would definitely go back and look out if you haven't already looked at it. This is basically where we can assign several different effects on the $1 or one knob on the deejay controller, so there's loads of different controllers we can use. What have talked about previously quite a lot is the A P C 40 mark to I'd have a look at that to start with, and you can always incorporate more controllers into a live performance. So of the effects rack, we could have a fader where, for example, on one side of the fader, it could be a flounder in the middle. It could be delayed and on the right could be reverberated on. Then we can cross fade between these different effects. There's also software called mixed in Key, So if you're going to use other people samples and D. J. Really, you want to do something called harmonic mixing mixed in key will basically give us a number system, so we know which keys matched together. If those two clips and they don't match harmonically, we can always change the tuning off one of the clips. We can do this in the sample mode and able to just go to transpose and transpose the clip. I would also have a look at mastering each of these clips to the volume levels and EQ. You are the same because if you're deejaying life and you play one song and it's really loud or really quiet or to Basie or to Tremblay, the crowds aren't really going to appreciate that, so make sure their levels are very similar. A good idea to do also is to actually just mix in a few keys. Not too many. Then, if you're just matching in a handful of keys, these keys can easily modulate between each other. So what you can do is transpose your clip so they only really go in these few keys. I'll have a look at the software called Mixed in Key and then also have a look at this key wheel, and this will tell you basically which keys fit in with each other. We can also color match keys, so the colors that blend well together will also blend well harmonically, so this will actually help you make smooth transitions a mix between the different songs. Of course, there's all different effects that can help you mix. So have a look at the presets for ableto lives. Effects rack on this one call fate a gray, which is a really simple, easy way of mixing two songs together. Of course, everyone has their own techniques for mixing, so the best thing to do is really to experiment and try and find your own mixing style when organizing your clips and able to life. I believe it's a good idea to have the different clips together. So, for example, you could have a track with drums, maybe two or free of drums and then base and then vocal samples and maybe pads and effects so you can quickly see what is what in your project. Another good idea is to label your tracks so you can quickly know what you need to find fast when you're playing two clips at the same time. Also, be careful with the eq you You don't really want too much bass from both of the tracks. Same time because this can create clashing or muddy sound. So that's just a few tips for using able to life for deejaying. Of course, the main one is to go in experiment and try stuff out for yourself.