Ableton Live Quickstart for Beginners | Brian Jackson | Skillshare

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Ableton Live Quickstart for Beginners

teacher avatar Brian Jackson, Ableton Certified Trainer

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Getting Started


    • 3.

      Installation and Authorization


    • 4.

      Getting Help


    • 5.

      Sound Setup


    • 6.

      Packs and The Browser


    • 7.

      The Session View


    • 8.

      Interface Tour


    • 9.

      Saving Your Work


    • 10.

      The Mixer


    • 11.

      Project Setup and MIDI Clips Basics


    • 12.

      Creating MIDI Drum Beats


    • 13.

      Creating MIDI Basslines


    • 14.

      Creating MIDI Chords


    • 15.

      Creating MIDI Leads or Melodies


    • 16.

      Audio Clip Basics


    • 17.

      Session View to Arrangement View


    • 18.

      Editing in the Arrangement View


    • 19.

      Intro to Transitions and Automation


    • 20.

      Creating A Rough Mix


    • 21.

      Exporting Your Song


    • 22.

      (Bonus Lesson) Watch Me Work


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About This Class

Hello and welcome!

Ableton Live Quickstart for Beginners is designed for total beginners to Ableton Live. I take you from downloading, installing, and authorizing Live all the way to exporting a finished song as a WAV and MP3. This quickstart course was created to get you making music, and is not about showing you every detail of every feature. The first half of the course is all about getting you going and learning your way around Live, and then in the second half we make a song together.

For your project you can either recreate your own version of the song or make something totally original using the skills you will learn.

Don't hesitate to use the discussions tab if you have any questions. I do my best to reply within 48 hours - often much sooner. And make sure to check out the Projects & Resources tab for downloads.

I’ve been using Live as my primary DAW since 2004, and am one of the first Ableton Certified Trainers, since 2008. You can read more about me here on Ableton’s site


You'll want to have solid computer fundamentals, such as easily navigating files and folders on your drives, and knowing your way around the settings for your OS.

Course Outline:

01 Introduction
02 Getting Started
03 Installation and Authorization
04 Getting Help
05 Sound Setup
06 Packs and The Browser
07 The Session View
08 Interface Tour
09 Saving Your Work
10 The Mixer
11 Project Setup and MIDI Clip Basics
12 Creating MIDI Drum Beats
13 Creating MIDI Basslines
14 Creating MIDI Chords
15 Creating MIDI Leads or Melodies
16 Audio Clip Basics
17 Session View to Arrangement View
18 Editing in the Arrangement View
19 Intro to Transitions and Automation
20 Creating A Rough Mix
21 Exporting Your Song
22 (Bonus Lesson) Watch Me Work

If you are totally new to music production, you should also check out this interactive site on -

Meet Your Teacher

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Brian Jackson

Ableton Certified Trainer


Brian Jackson is an internationally released electronic musician, composer, and audio engineer. He is one of the first Ableton Certified Trainers, is the author of both The Music Producer's Survival Guide (2018) and The Music Producer's Survival Stories (2014), and specializes in one-on-one training in audio engineering and music production for beginners and Grammy winners alike.


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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Welcome to able to live QuickStart for beginners. My name is Brian Jackson and I'm a music producer, audio engineer, composer, sound designer and educator from Brooklyn, New York. I'm also the author of the music producer Survival Guide, chaos, creativity and career in independent and electronic music. I'm one of the first five Ableton certified trainers on the planet since 2008. And while I do often use Pro Tools when working on sound to picture projects and logic from time-to-time when collaborating with other producers and composers. Ableton Live is my primary DAW. The one I've used to create all of my music since version four was released in 2004. I've created this course for total beginners with Ableton Live. The only prerequisites for this course, or that you will want to have solid skills with your Mac or PC, such as knowing how to locate system settings and how to easily find and manage files and folders on your computer. You don't need any music theory or music production experience. Why live? I can sum up why to use live in five reasons. Creativity, workflow, flexibility, speed, and live performance. Of course, live is named live because it was originally designed to allow musicians to perform on stage with their computer. It's now the industry standard DAW for live performances of many genres with some of the largest acts in the world using live to run their entire shows in front of massive crowds around the world. But even if you don't intend to perform with live, it's evolved into one of the most powerful and popular DAWs for music production used by musicians, producers, beat makers, and composers from almost every genre of modern music. We'll start with some general discussion of what you need to get going and then move on to setting up an account, downloading, installing, and authorizing live. The first half of this course is about learning your way around live. In the second half of the course, we'll make a simple song together using content from the core library, which is automatically installed with every version of live 11. Your project for this course is to complete a simple song that can be exported as a wave and MP3. You can either remake the song as I show you, or create something completely on your own based on what you learn. I'll mostly be on MacOS for this course, but live is nearly identical on Windows. I use Windows for a few parts of the early lessons, and I will discuss pertinent differences between live on the two operating systems. If at anytime things are moving too fast for you, you can stop and pause the lessons and try things out for yourself until you're ready to get going. Again. I've included a number of Live sets that you can download so you can follow along, check the links below. And I'll mention these projects multiple times as we move through the course. If you have any questions about the course, definitely use the discussion section below. I check in often and do my best to reply within 48 h, often much quicker. I'm also available for private lessons via video chat. Should you get stuck or simply wanting a personalized learning experience, you can reach me at info at Formlabs In the next video, which is the first proper lesson, we'll talk about what you need to get started. And I'll point you to some of my older courses just in case you only want to use Live nine or live ten for some reason. Okay, let's go. 2. Getting Started: What do you need to get started for this course? You don't need too much, really just a fairly up-to-date computer with minimally 8 gb of RAM. On MacOS, you'll want to be running at least 10.13 High Sierra or on Windows, you'll want Windows ten built 1909 or later. And this is if you're gonna be using live 11, you'll also want to make sure that you have plenty of free hard-drive space weather on your internal drive or if you have an external drive. Here's the page on Ableton site and it's also linked below. You'll ideally want some decent headphones or speakers, but most earbuds should be okay just to get you going, as long as you're careful with the volume leaving your computer. For this course, you won't need a midi controller or an audio interface, though, having the latter for controlling your listening levels is ideal. Check out the kit that I've linked to in the discussion for some equipment recommendations for beginners. Which version of live is right for you? Well, for this course you can download the 90 day fully functional demo of live 11. Sweet. Just note that each time you launch live, you'll want to make sure you have an Internet connection so that you can actually save and export. But you can use any version of live 11, including intro, standard, or sweet. If you have live light, which is only available bundled with third-party products such as many different midi controllers, you should be okay, but it does have more limitations than even intro. For this course. If you have a license for an older version, you should take advantage of the free update to light 11 via Ableton site. I've added the link down below. If you're serious about working with live, once your demo expires, you will likely want to purchase at least live standard. Live suite is essentially live standard with a ton of add-ons included. Since samples and other more advanced functionality, you can check out the full list here. On a final note before moving onto the next lesson. If you are alive ten or earlier and don't want to install the live 11 trial. You might want to check out my four-course series created in Live nine. But if you wanna do this course, you should be just fine. Though Ableton made a few major changes to one part of the interface in live 11, which I do address and a free PDF that's linked in that course. And down below here, though, you can grab the trial of live 11 for this course and keep your older licensed version on your computer. Note that to open any projects I have supplied for you to download, you will need live 11.2 or newer. Okay, so let's move on to installation and authorization. 3. Installation and Authorization: In this lesson, we're going to create an account, download the live 11 trial, and authorize it so you can save your work. If you've already completed all of these steps you still might want to watch through in case you missed any finer points. Since I'm already authorized on my Mac, I'm going to show this part and Windows ten via Parallels Desktop for Mac. That also means there's one final step that I show on Windows that I'm not going to show for the Mac install, which happens at about 2 min 30 s or so. So let's go to and click on login or register. If you already have an account, you can just login. But for now we're going to register as a new customer. Ableton has a great newsletter, so I do recommend signing up for it Here. Let's go ahead and login. And then click on your account. And you won't see any licenses yet. If you purchase live, click here in this pop-up and choose register a product. And then you'll just type in the serial number that Ableton, since you if using the free trial, your license will show up once you finish authorizing. To get the pretrial click here on try live for free, and then choose the appropriate version for your operating system and computer to download. Now, keep in mind that live 11 suite is about 2.6 gb. So depending on your internet connection, this could take a little while. We're going to do the Windows install first, and then I'll do the Mac version. So you're going to open the file, double-click on the installer, choose, Extract. Extract. It. Just can take a little while, so I'm going to fast forward. And then now we can click on the actual installer. And you're going to click through everything and agree. Again, this can take a little while, I'm going to fast forward. And now you can actually install it. Agree? And again, this could take a little while, so I'm going to fast forward and finish. And now we're going to open live 11. And because we still have our browser open in the background and we're logged in. This is going to go pretty smoothly. So keep your browser open and stay logged in. Now, just hit start your free trial and agree. And now you're ready to start using live 11 on Windows. Let's now get this installed on a Mac. So we're going to download the universal binary fast-forwarding here. I'm downloading to the desktop, but you're downloading might go to your downloads folder in your home directory. Double-click to open it. Go ahead and agree with the user license. It's going to open the disk image and then drag live 11 to the Applications folder. And then make sure that you eject the disc image. You don't want to accidentally open Live from the disk image and then go ahead and open live. And just like with the Windows, install heavy web browser open in the background and be logged in. It'll ask you to authorize and it'll go through the same steps we saw with the Windows installation. Okay, now you're ready to go. 4. Getting Help: In this lesson, you're going to learn how to get help when working in live. Let's start with the help menu in the top view. Notice all the options here. Let's select Help view. On the right of Live's interface, we can see the health view. To close it, click on the X here. Use the help menu to open it again. You can access Ableton is built-in lesson system, which is actually how I first learned live way back in 2002. You can also access the manual from down here or from the help menu. Make sure to check out Ableton is manual. It is really good. Now we'll just click on a link and then use the buttons at the bottom to navigate through a lesson. Up here at the top, the back and forward buttons are for navigating your history. And you can always get back to the start page with this Home button here. Many of the lessons have live sets that you can open to follow along. Like here when we click what's new and live 11, this is the project that opens the very first time that you launched live. At the bottom of the lessons homepage is even a lesson on how to navigate the lessons. One tip when using live, there is always and only one set open at a time. So closing the sets window actually quits the application. If you want to start a new set, just go to the File menu and choose New Live Set. Let's close the help view and move on. Able to not only gives us built-in lessons, but also a way to get information about anything that's under our pointer. On the bottom left here is the Info view. Notice how it updates as I move around the mouse to show and hide the Info view, you need to type question mark, which is Shift plus backslash. Right under the Info view is the status bar. This area won't always have something visible, but it does often give us useful information about various things that we click on Select or mouseover, e.g. the volume setting at this fader. This is easy to miss, so check it out from time to time until you get used to live a bit. That's it for this lesson, take some time to make sure you can open the manual and show hide the help and info views. In the next lesson, we're gonna look at the audio preferences to make sure you can hear the sound coming out of live. 5. Sound Setup: In this lesson, we're going to look at the Audio tab of the preferences to make sure that you can get sound coming out of live. So we're going to open the preface from the live menu and a Mac. Or if you're on Windows, go to the Options menu. Right now, we only care about the Audio tab. For driver type on a Mac, it's always gonna be core audio. Windows. You'll see a bunch of other options. Ideally, we want to use an ICO driver, but the Windows drivers should work for this course. If you don't have an audio interface that installed this driver, you can get the free osteo for all driver. I link to the page about it unable to incite below. For the audio input, you don't need any device now, for the output, it's either gonna be your computer's output or your audio interface. If you have one. For the sample rate, 44.1 K, also known as 44,100 or 48 K, which is 48,000. Either one of these is fine. They do pretty much sound the same. But the 44.1 is the old-school standard for music only projects. While 48 K is standard for anything broadcasts related. But many people just use 48 K These days for pretty much everything including myself. Most people, especially beginners, really shouldn't bother with anything higher than 48 K. The buffer setting is to balance how quickly the computer reacts to sound going in and out of your computer, and how hard the computer's CPU has to work to accomplish its many tasks. 128 or 256 should be good for now. But if your computer is sluggish, you might want to try a larger setting. And if you have one of the new insanely fast computers, you can try something lower. There is no right setting here, only what works for you and your setup. The test tone is used for a number of things. But for now, just think of it as a useful way to make sure that you are actually getting sound out of your computer. But it is also good to see what buffer works for your setup. In the next lesson, we're going to take a look at the browser and also talk a little bit about life packs. 6. Packs and The Browser: In this lesson, you're going to learn about Live's browser and a little bit about life packs. Remember that this is a QuickStart course, not a masterclass. So we're only going to cover what you really need to get going. Okay, so what's a pack? Here on Ableton site, we can see packs across the top navigation. When you click and go to that page, you'll see a ton of stuff. E to the Listed products is known as a pack, which is the format able to use this to deliver content for use with live. Packs can include anything really. Loops, samples, presets for Simpson effects, and even whole example projects. And they do vary all quite a bit. If you click into one of the packs pages, you'll also get a lot of info about the pack and some audio demos as well. Live I live in Suite comes with a lot of packs and you can install them with your trial. For this course, we're only going to use the core library so you really don't need to install anything else presently. Once installed, you'll see them here in the browser. Let's go down here to places and then click on pacs and you'll see them right next to the core library that Ableton installs the first time you launch Live. Let's now dive into the browser bit, starting at the bottom with places. Places represents the actual locations of files and folders on your hard drives. Pack shows you all of your currently installed packs, the core libraries installed by live the first time you launch it. If you scroll down, you can see the packs that are licensed with your version alive. You can download and install them from right here. But I recommend not doing that until you're up and running no earlier than towards the end of this course. If you did install some already, No worries. And you don't need to uninstall them, though. If you do ever want to delete a pack or uninstall it, you can just right-click on one. And also notice you can show the built-in lesson for each pack if you want to learn more about it. Categories is where live sorts all of the content from all the packs into categories. Here you will also find lives, built-in instruments and effects, and any third-party plug-ins you've installed. We'll come back to some of these later in the course. You do not need any plugins for this course, by the way. But if you do want to access any of the plug-ins that you already own, you're gonna go to Preferences, Plugins tab, and enable V S T on Windows or on a Mac, you can do VST and or audio unit. Then they'll show up in the browser. The first time you enable these live does have to scan all of them and it can take awhile the first time you turn them on. So just be patient. Now up here at the top, collections is how you tag your favorites from anywhere in categories or places. Let's add an effect to Favorites. Go to audio effects than unfold EQ and filters. Single click on Auto Filter and then just press the number one on your keyboard. And you should now see a red square. And now if you click up top and favorites, you'll see it there. You can actually have up to seven collections if you click on Edit, which shows up to the right of the word collections, check the box for any of the ones you want to see and you can rename them as desired. Oranges, number two, yellow number three, great number seven, et cetera. If you want to remove something from a collection, just right-click or press the associated number again, leave that collection and when you go back to it, it'll be gone. Let's talk a little bit about navigating the browser. Here in packs you can see the core library. If I click on it, I can now use the arrow keys to move up and down and open and close folders with the right and left arrow keys. When we get to a file that makes us sound the browser set up to Auto preview by default. So if we look down here, we have a waveform in a preview switched the little blue headphone. If you turn this off, you can always preview manually with the right arrow. If it's a long file and just press Escape to make it stop. Or you can jump around by clicking with the cursor that looks like a little speaker. To control the volume of the preview, we do need to jump over to the master track. We'll look at the mixer in more detail in later lessons. But for now, know that this slider controls the level leaving live when the sound is coming from a track. While this knob is used to control the browsers output volume. Dad something from the browser to attract eyeballs you have to do is drag it or double-click. Depending on what it is, libel either add it to the currently selected track or make a new track for you. Okay, so let's add a few samples from the core library. We'll go into a bunch of these things in more detail as we move through the lessons. The search feature in the browser is really useful. All you have to do is type in what you want and search for. Then you can use the categories to narrow down your search. Command F or Control F is the shortcut to jump up there by the way. So you don't confuse yourself later by accident, make sure to clear out your search. Just click on the X up here. Okay, so in the next lesson, we're gonna learn how to use loops here in the session view. And we're gonna make a little bit of music. 7. The Session View: In this lesson, we're going to play around with different loops to get a sense of one of the evil twins most notable innovations, the session view. In the next video, we're going to do a thorough tour of Live's interface. But I want to get to making some music before continuing with overview stuff and then moving on to writing our parts from scratch with Midea on the desktop in the Finder or Explorer, create a new folder and name it something useful like Ableton Quickstart course. Go to the pinned post their discussions and download the follow along Project Zip ideally to the folder that we just created. Unzip it with a right-click or double-click, and you'll see a folder with some files in it. Open the folder, Double-click on follow along a dot ALS, or you can open it from the file menu. I recommend keeping this zip file around so that you don't have to download it again if you want to start over from scratch. And we are going to use the other follow along files in subsequent lessons. Remember that you will need live 11.2 or later to be able to open these live sets. You should see what I see now. I created this set by adding various things to Tracks via the browser, as seen at the end of the last lesson, we're going to look at how I created the various midi clips as we move through the course. Now, leave live open and continue watching until it makes sense to pause. And then you can try some things out for yourself. Unlike most DAWs, live has two different ways of working and two different workspaces. Ableton calls this the session view. What we're looking at now, Session View is non-linear, meaning that you can play different parts in any order at anytime. Session view was originally designed for live performance, but it's also an amazing sketchpad for working on ideas quickly before deciding what you want to arrange and do a song. And if you hit Tab on your keyboard, we'll switch to the Arrangement view. The arrangement view is a traditional timeline approach and it is needed to arrange a composition will return to working in this view towards the end of the course. To go back to Session View, just hit Tab. Or you can also click on these selectors to switch views, but tab is much faster. Let's go over some basic terminology before we dive into the session view. Clips and track's. Clips are the basic building block of any project. They contain either audio or midi. Audio is a recording. The actual sound that we're hearing. While Midea is just data. And it tells an instrument such as a synthesizer or sampler how to make a sound returned to midi in a little more detail, a few lessons down the road. Now, tracts contain clips and the complaint back only one clip at a time. Though you can have as many tracks as you want in live standard or life sweet. Every clip in your set is on a track. Every track is in both views. And you can put clips on tracks in either one of them or both of them. Think of Session View and Arrangement View as two different inputs to the tracks. Not unlike a DJ mixer channel that can be switched between a turntable or CD player, but not both at the same time. Okay, so I'm going to launch a drum loop. And now another one. If I hit tab, you can see that the arrangement view is empty. If I stop this clip and then look at the arrangement view again, we hear nothing even though live is playing. We hear nothing because we've not put any clips on the tracks in the Arrangement View. Now don't worry, we will do that soon enough to demo how it's the same track in both views that's launched a clip again and press Tab. If I turn down this track and go back to the session view, you can see that the volume is the same in both views. Will cover the mixer in more detail. A few lessons from now. Okay, So full disclosure. At this point, I was totally confused the first time I use Live and I think pretty much everybody is. At this point. It's actually quite simple once it clicks. And it's one of those things that once you got it, you got it and you don't forget it. So just hanging in there. I promise it'll all make sense soon if it doesn't already. Alright, so this spreadsheet looking grid that we're looking at in this session view is comprised of clips, lots. A slot is like its own mini sound player with stop, play and record built-in. In the session view, it clip is either launched or it's not launched right now, only one clip is launched, as indicated by this Launch button. If I stop playback by clicking here or pressing space bar, you can see that the clip is still launched. Even though it's not playing. If I hit Spacebar again, it keeps going. Now to actually stop a clip, just launch another one on the same track or press any square on the track square, meaning stop. Or click on the stop all clips button over here on the master track. Now we don't get into recording audio or midi in this course. But for now, just notice that if my arm, this track, the empty slots changed from stop to record a square root to a circle. Now, make sure not to accidentally arm attract so you don't accidentally record something that will cause confusion later. Let's play around with these clips. Now you can mix and match clips from different tracks to find some combinations that you like. Or you can move clips around if you want to hear them at the same time. So let's create a new audio track so we can hear to drum loops at once from the Create menu. Insert audio track. You can use the right-click context menu. From the Edit menu or the context menu. Choose Rename and give it a useful name, Command R or Control R. Click and drag a clip, or you use Cut Copy Paste. What if you want to launch a whole row of clips at once? Over here on the master track, you can use the scenes. Notice that the scenes also launched the stop buttons in the empty slots. What if you don't want to clip to stop when he launched a new scene. Easy. Just remove the stop button from the edit or Context Menu and repeat to add it back. And if you want more scenes, you can create them from the Create menu or from the context menu. Now what if you like a combination of clips that you have going but they're on different scenes. We're going to use capture and insert live. We'll add a new scene below the currently selected one and copy all of the currently playing clips and keep them going. So let's rename our scene with Command R and give it a useful color via the context menu. And then we can drag it up here to the top. Okay, So one last thing before we wrap up and move on to going over the rest of the user interface. Have you noticed that when we launched and stop clips, it always happens on the beat. You can control this timing via the quantization menu. You're able to means quantizing the starting and stopping of clips and other events. Now, midi quantizing, which is a different feature. It's a bad idea to set this to none, but let's hear what happens. Okay, So you can tell that's a total train wreck. Now what about some of the other options? Okay, so that seems to be a little better. Now here's a fun trick. You can use the arrow keys on your keyboard and then hit Return to launch the play or stop and the selected clip slot. We'll see how you can give individual clips their own settings in lesson 16. So just play around and have fun, but you'll also likely want to leave the global quantization is set to one or 2 bar most of the time. Now just practice what we've covered here and just have fun playing around. If you like what you've done so far, make sure to save your life set from the file menu and put it in the folder we created at the beginning of this lesson. You'll soon learn how to capture your performance into the Arrangement view so that you can export it out as a song. 8. Interface Tour: In this lesson, we're going to take a tour around the rest of Live's interface and promise we'll return to making some music really soon. We've already looked at the health view, the browser, and the session view, and we had a super brief glimpse at the Arrangement View. Let's start with the menus, live, file, edit, create, view options, and help on MacOS, we have the usual application named menu. Here we can do the usual Mac things and most importantly, access the preferences. On Windows, you'll find the preferences in the Options menu. And remember, if you're on Windows, nearly all the key commands are identical. Except you'd hold down Control instead of Command. And Alt and Option mean the same thing, whether you're on Mac or Windows. And especially in this case when we're using live. Over here in the File menu, we see the usual things for opening, saving, and also exporting. Notice that there's no closed set option since live always has a set open and you can either open another set or quit live to close a set will go into saving in detail in the next lesson and exporting towards the end of the course. The Edit menu is full of useful commands, including the expected cut, copy, paste, duplicate, delete, and some others we've covered in the previous lesson. Notice the key commands here. Some of them are single key, key commands, which is really nice, but also be mindful about accidentally hitting them. Create is where you tell live to make something new for you, whether a new track or seen as we did in the last lesson, but also some other useful functions. The View menu is simply about what you want to see or not see, and you can show and hide the different elements of the interface from this menu. Notice how the key commands are really logically laid out. And you can also use these little triangles and circles in the corners of the interface to show and hide things. We'll explore some of the commands and the options menu when we get to relevant lessons. The help menu we've already covered in a previous lesson, the context menu is used a bit in previous lessons, but it is worth taking a minute to talk about. Since the context menu shows you different options depending on where you right-click on a Mac and you're not sure how to right-click with your trackpad or your fancy Mac mouse. You can always just hold down control while you click. Are also makes sure to check out the macOS mouse or a trackpad options in the system preferences from the Apple menu. When you right-click, sometimes you'll see a lot of options, sometimes you won't. And sometimes you'll see commands that are in the menus and sometimes you won't. For this course, we're not using any of the commands that are not found in the primary menus. Across the top we have the control bar, and this is always visible. We're not going to use all of the controls found here in this course. We'll cover each one is we need it. But let's take a quick orienting to are now. And also makes sure to use the Info view in the bottom left here when you mouse over each element. Over here on the left, we find all of the controls related to timing and tempo. To change the tempo for your entire life set, you can click and drag up and down or click and then type a value. We looked briefly at the quantization menu in the previous lesson. The middle we have a few sections. All of them are related to playback, automation recording, and also for looping when you're in the arrangement view. Over here on the right, we have controls related to midi editing, mapping, CPU, and the audio engine. The bottom pane at the interface is known as the detail view. This view shows you either the clip view or the device view. Shift plus Tab will toggle between these views just to tab toggles between the Session View and Arrangement view. The clip view shows you all the details for audio or midi clips. And the device view is where you see any audio or midi effects and any virtual instruments that generate sounds. We are definitely going to take a deeper look at the clip view, a few lessons from now, and we'll get you started with the device v2. The Mixer is for controlling all of our signals. We can see the mixer here at the bottom of the session view and over on the right when we're in the Arrangement View, we do have a full lesson coming up on the mixer and its related views right after the following lesson. So let's learn how to properly save our projects right now. 9. Saving Your Work: This lesson is all about properly saving your work and developing good file management habits from the gecko. Let's start with how able to organize as all your files and let's learn their proper terminology. Live opens up with an unsaved Untitled Set. Anything you do now is going to be stored in a temporary folder that's buried somewhere on your hard drive. So let's save before we get too much done. Ideally, you'll have a dedicated drive for your music projects, but at least make sure to create a folder in the Finder or Explorer to store all of your projects, just like we did a few lessons back, when you save for the first time liable create a new folder to contain everything for this project. Thus, the folder creates is called a project folder. In this project folder, libel create an assortment of files and folders depending on what you've been doing. At its most basic, you'll see an Ableton project info folder and one dot ALS file, which stands for Ableton Live Set. I do recommend that you leave the project info folder alone and don't accidentally save anything in there. If we look across the top alive, will see the name of the currently open set and the name of its containing project folder. And right now they're gonna be the same thing, which is totally normal. So let's say that we want to save a version of our song, which for a lot of reasons is a good idea to do from time to time. In case you want to easily backtrack to a point before you've made certain changes or mistakes. So let's now do a Save Live set S, and we're going to add V2 for version two at the end and save it. It's crucial to save this in the same project folder right now since it is the same song. Now look up top at the names. You can see that something has changed and the other has not. If we save a copy, this allows us to make a backup in the background. Unlike save as live will not open this one up. As you can see across the top, it still says V2. Now you won't really need to use save a copy for this course, but it is good to know about. So let's say that we want to start working on a new song. It's really important to make sure that we save the new set in the right location. So let's create a new live set and save it. Make sure you don't save it in an existing project folder. Now, it's not the end of the world if you do this, but once you get going with live, it can cause a lot of inconveniences, especially if you have multiple different songs in one project folder. So let's save it in the folder you created for all of your music production stuff. The option called collect all and save is very important. It will copy all audio files used in your current set to a samples folder in the project folder. We'll come back to this one again once you get to creating your own project folder for your course project. But let's look at a project folder for one of my completed compositions. In this folder, we see a number of files and folders. Two of these folders I created myself for keeping everything organized. Bounces is where I keep exported versions of the song as I work on it. And this way I can listen to them anytime without needing to open live. And z old ALS is where I keep old Save As versions to keep things neat and tidy. I added z to the beginning of the name just so it easily sorts to the bottom of the list. Live created all of these other folders as needed. And when I did a select all and save. So as long as you're mindful of where you save your files live, we'll do a good job keeping things organized for you. And if you develop good habits now, you don't have to worry about where everything is and are much less likely to lose important files. These other two options are very useful once you start using live regularly, but we're not going to cover them now. What do we do if you accidentally save a set somewhere that you can't locate and you can't find it in the Finder or you can't find it in the Explorer. So we can use the browser to locate it for us. If we go down here under places, we can see current project. Just right-click and choose Show in Finder or Explorer. If it's a set that's not open, try go into File, Open Recent, and then open it, and then use the current project right-click to locate it. In the recent set sub-menu, It's grayed out. That means that live doesn't know where it is and you either moved it, deleted it, or rejected the drive that it's on. In that case, use the search feature on your Mac or PC and then make a note of where it is and then move the whole folder into your dedicated projects folder or drive. Okay, that's it for now. In the next lesson we're going to learn about lives mixer. 10. The Mixer: In this lesson, we're gonna go over the fundamentals of lives mixer at its most basic, a mixer is simply a device that adds up signals. In a professional audio mixer or DAW like Ableton Live mixtures do a lot more than that. Let's take a look at what you need to know right now about lives mixer. Here I'm using the fall along a set. If you want to follow along. Over here on the right, we can see which aspects of the mixture are visible. The Show Hide buttons, match opsins found here in the View menu. Presently, only the controls that Ableton labels as the mixer are visible. Let's look at these and then we'll look at the other components. Each of our tracks has the exact same controls, volume, solo, mute, and pan, with the exception that midi tracks without an instrument will not have all of these until an instrument is added. To make an individual track louder or quieter. Just moved the volume slider up or down. If you want to hear only one track, click on the S to solo this track and this will mute all of the other tracks. Ableton call it the boxes with the numbers in them, track activators. But really they're usually just called mute, or in some cases, cut. Mute means that you won't hear the track's output, just like when you press mute on your phone. Or if you want to move a sound left or right in the stereo field, use the pan knob to reset a knob or slider, just double-click on it. Now, over here on the right we have the master track, which was briefly discussed in the lesson about the browser. The master track is always there and there's always only one of them in live. This is where all of the sounds from all of your tracks travel to and mixed together before leaving your computer for your headphones or speakers. Generally speaking, you don't want to change the volume on the master track when mixing. And ideally you'll use the volume control on your computer, or even better, an audio interface. But for now, feel free to use it to turn things down. It's a best practice to keep all of the levels on all the tracks from hitting red at the top there meters. But definitely avoid this clipping on the master. For your convenience, I've already added a limiter to the master track to make sure that the levels don't go too high if you're working on headphones. Let's now take a quick look at the other mics are related features and live. Starting with I0. This shows our routing options for the inputs and outputs of the tracks. We use these choosers when recording audio and midi, and also for some other intermediate and advanced uses. You can see how all of our tracks are routed by default out to the master track. By the way, you won't need to use the IO choosers in this course. Now let's jump down to the bottom. C refers to the performance impact, and it shows you the CPU usage on each track. X's for the cross fader feature, which is great when you're using live to perform on stage and can be really fun creatively, but we don't need it for this course. D here means track Delay and can be ignored most of the time and definitely can be ignored during this course. And this is for our mixer proper. S and R work in tandem and stand for sends and returns. Going into the sentence and returns isn't necessary for this course, but they can be a lot of fun and they are very useful and use all the time. So we are going to mess with them a little bit. These concepts don't click right away for many people. So don't worry here if you feel a little confused, that's totally normal. These are most commonly used for sharing reverb and delay effects, which is why Ableton has already created them for us. And the default set, return tracks are created from the Create menu and don't contain any clips, since they are only for moving audio around in the mixer. In live, sends her always paired with the returns, e.g. send a on every track, copies the signal from the track and send it to return a, same with B and so on. If you create more returns. Before wrapping up, let's set up our center and returns from scratch and add some effects from the browser. So I'm gonna delete both of these returns. And notice how the Sends also disappear. Now from the Create menu, I'm going to insert a return track and then go to the audio effects in the browser. And find reverb and the reverb folder and then drag it anywhere on the return or down here where it says drop audio effects here in the device VT. Let's repeat this process. But now let's go to delay loop and double-click on delay to add it to the return. Since return B was still selected After creating it. We could have done this shortcut before, but I wanted you to see it done both ways. Now, make sure that this dry wet parameter is set to 100% when using these Anna returned. And this is so you don't just accidentally make your unprocessed sound louder for no good reason. Now you can play around by essentially putting different amounts of reverb or delay on each track sound. And then you can turn up or down the entire effect before it goes to the master track. Along with the unprocessed dry audio from the audio and midi tracks. Spend some time getting comfortable with the controls we focused on in this lesson, and then we're moving on next. So looking at the clip view in more detail. 11. Project Setup and MIDI Clips Basics: In this lesson, we're gonna get the sounds ready for the song that we're going to make. And then we'll get into some middy basics. All of the sounds that we're gonna be using are in the core library in all versions of live 11. So you can see them in one place. I've added them to my favorites as briefly discussed in lesson six on the browser. For this lesson, we're going to use a blank new set. And you'll see two empty midi tracks into empty audio tracks. We're going to need for midi tracks right now. So let's delete the two audio tracks and create two more midi tracks. Let's set our tempo to one-fifth here in the upper left. Now use the browser search feature. Click here and then type Borussia kit for your drums. Here on the left click on drums. This category shows us all of the drum kits included with any life packs that you have installed. So let's drag board jacket to the first midi track. And now we're going to repeat this for our next three sounds, Jx, chorus base for our base. But now you'll click on sounds and categories after typing. Sound shows us all of the presets for each of lives built-in instruments, but categorized for your convenience. So you don't have to look through a bunch of list to find a specific type of preset. For the chords. We're going to use E Piano, rusty. And for our melody, we're going to use little synth piano. So we're ready to go. This project is in the folder that you already downloaded and is called follow along b. And then that way you can follow along with the rest of this lesson immediately. But when you have time, I do recommend doing these steps for yourself. Now, let's use what we set out to learn about the basics of midi clips and live. But first, what is midi? Midi stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It's a protocol that was created by a number of synth makers in the early '80s. Instruments and computers from different companies could communicate musically with each other. The most important thing to know about Midea right now is that it is just data, it is not audio. Midi itself is simply a set of instructions on how an instrument should make a sound and how it should react to incoming data. It's really powerful and it's used to control a lot of different devices in a lot of different ways. But for now, just remember that to hear a sound and live when using middy, you must have a virtual instrument loaded onto a midi track that's going to generate the sound. Fortunately, we've done this on our four tracks and we're ready to go. Double-click in the empty space of an empty slot to create a new midi clip. Then drag the Detail View up so we can see more of what's going on down here. Depending on the size of your screen, you might want to hide the IO, hide the sands, and hide the returns. We can see here what's known as a piano roll. And the name is taken from those old timey player pianos that use rolls of paper to play songs automatically. Quick to the left of the keys and drag up, down or left, right to scroll on Zoom. Notice the numbers next to the letter names. They represent which octave we're looking at. And they show us the full range of a grand piano. And then some s3 is referred to as middle C, as it is found below the treble clef and above the bass clef in sheet music. Here in the upper right, we see a little pencil. This switch toggles Draw mode on or off. The shortcut is B. Withdraw mode on to single click to create or delete notes. And then we can go to the edge of a note to resize it. To select and move notes, press B to turn off Draw mode. So let's click here and empty space to clear out any notes selections, such as the last one that we just created. Simply click on a note to drag it where you want, or Dropbox to select multiple notes and then drag them wherever you want. Or we could use the arrow keys to move selected notes up or down, left or right. And of course, delete will delete them. Withdrawal mode off. You can create and delete nodes with a double-click. Notice how all of the nodes are snapping to a grid. By default, new clips have a 16th note grid. As we can see here in the bottom right. If we want to change the grid setting, you can simply right-click and select a different value. Or from the options menu, we can use narrow or widened grid, and you can use Command E or Command E on a Mac, or of course, control under control to if you're on Windows. Right now, we have a one-bar loop. We can easily change the length over here on the left by typing in a value. Or we can click on the loop brace and then use some shortcuts. Command up, down will double or half the loop, which would be Control Up or down MPC, which just up or down. We can move the loop left or right by its length. The left and right arrow keys move it according to the grid setting, which can result in the start marker ending up in a weird location if you're not careful. So make sure to use the up and down arrow keys. Now the left and right arrow keys. But you can easily drag the start marker to where you want it, or just type in a value here on the left. And all of these controls related to the loop brace and the playback start are exactly the same in audio clips. To clear out all the notes, select all of them and delete them. And then we can start working on our Beat Command a or Control a on Windows. And then just press Delete to delete the whole clip selected up here, and then press Delete. Okay, now we're ready to move on to making a drumbeat in the next lesson. 12. Creating MIDI Drum Beats: In this lesson, we're going to make a midi drumbeat. We added this drum kit in the previous lesson. So open up that set if you want to follow along. Let's double-click here in an empty slot, and this will make a new empty midi clip. Down here in the clip view. Notice how live puts the names of the drums next to the piano notes for us. By default, this clip is 1 bar in length, as we can see over here on the left. And if we look in the bottom right or grid defaults to one 16th. So we see 16th note divisions in the piano roll. 1 bar divided by 16 is gonna give us 16th note grid. This little blue headphone icon allows us to hear a preview of the sound when we enable it, when we click on a key or touch any of the notes. Let's launch our clip, and now let's pencil and some kick drums in what's known as a four on the floor pattern, which is gonna be one kick drum at the beginning of each quarter note. And of course, if you don't want to hear the preview, turn off this button. Now, let's add some snare drums to the two and the four. And this is going to create the foundation of what's known as a backbeat rhythm. And now we're going to add that disco hi-hat pattern on every third 16th note of each quarter note. Which would also be the same as saying every other eighth note. If you hit command two to make the grid wider, you can see now that each of these is on every other eighth note. Let's delete a few of the kicks and then move a few of them around. Let's select our hi-hats by clicking on the piano key to the left, and then use the left arrow to move them over. Let's add one more hi-hat. Now, let's make a variation on this beach. Select the clip and then Command D or Control D on Windows to make a duplicate. And then go ahead and launch a new clip. Let's find a few more sounds and add some more notes. Once we've pencil in a note, you can just use the arrow keys to move it around until we find something we like. Okay, so now we have a beat that can work for a lower energy part of our songs and one that's higher energy. Let's name our new clips. And we can do that by selecting and then right-clicking or Command on Mac and Control R on Windows. A few of these drum sound are a little too loud, so let's lower their velocity. The easiest way to do this is the whole command or Alt on PC. And then just drag up or down. You'll see the little cursor change when you do this right above the note. Okay, so it takes some time to copy these beats and then play around and practice making your own drum beats. In the next lesson, we're going to add a baseline to our drums. 13. Creating MIDI Basslines: Okay, so in this lesson we're going to add a baseline to the drumbeat that we just made in the previous lesson. We could start on chords or writing a melody now, which is totally an okay way to work. And people work in a lot of different ways and start in a lot of different places. But I want to keep working on the rhythm section. The rhythm section is not just the drums and percussion, but also the base. Base essentially connects the drums to the melodic and harmonic elements of the song. So our bass instruments play notes, usually low notes, baselines are also about the groove and the song's rhythmic feel. The bass track, we're going to double-click, and this will make an empty new clip. And we're gonna make this 2 bar because you might remember that it's going to default to 1 bar. So we're just going to type two in the leftmost value right here. And let's also enable scale mode and make sure that we're in C minor. Now live shows us which notes are in our selected scale. We're going to start by penciling in the rhythm all on the same note. And we're just going to do C1 right now. And want to make sure that some of them hit with the kick, snare or high hat. Now we'll change the length of a few of them and see how the cursor changes to this little bracket thing when you go to the FDA note. And now let's move these middle three up, two semitones. So I'm going to press B to turn off Draw mode. And then I'm going to draw a box around them. And then I'm going to hit the up arrow twice. Okay, I think that sounds pretty good. Now we're going to duplicate our clip command D or Control D, and modify our copy to add two more energy. Let's see what's happening in the drumbeat at the same time. Launch B2. So I'm going to click on the base clip and then hold Shift, and then click on this drumbeat. Now let's select this last C and hold Shift and then press the up arrow. And you'll notice this is going to bump it up a full octave, which is 12 semitones. And this particular synth bass patches program to slide between overlapping notes. So I'm gonna go ahead and overlap a few of them. Make sure to name your clips. And then you're ready to add some chords in the next lesson. 14. Creating MIDI Chords: In this lesson, we're going to look at one way to go about adding chords to a song. There are a lot of ways to approach writing chords, and some people actually do this first even before writing and drumbeat. So there is no right or wrong way and only what makes the most sense for you and the type of music that you're creating. I'm gonna make this a very practical example. So we're not going to spend too much time on music theory. The goal is for you to see how quick and easy it actually can be to get a chord progression going. Now, let's stop all the clips before we get going on our chord track. Let's double-click to make a new Miniclip. And let's set it to 2 bar over here on the left. And let's launch it. And I'm also going to right-click and set our grid to quarter note. Since we already set the scale mode to C minor when doing our base libel Judas automatically. Now, make sure that we can see S3 here on the left. And now we're going to pencil in the entire C minor scale, seven notes plus the active on top. We can refer to each of these with a number that represents their position and the scale. The first, which is also known as the tonic, than the second, the third, the fourth up to the eighth, which is also known as the active. For our chord progression, we're going to do 1254. So let's delete out the third six-sevenths an octave. And then just for fun, That's select 4.5 and use reverse over here on the left. And now we're going to turn these four notes into four chords. We're going to do this by stacking 3rds on top of each other. So each chord is essentially going to be a third and a fifth stacked on top of the root note of the chord. And this is going to create what are known as triads. Triads form the basic chord structure of each scale. Enter simply comprised of every other note in the scale added on top of each scale tone. If you did middle-school band, or maybe more than that. And he learned about reading sheet music. There's ways to remember the letter names for the lines and the spaces. So something like every good Burger Deserves Fries for the lines or face, F-A-C-E. for the spaces, these letter patterns are every other one. So essentially they're patterns of thirds. And so you're going to notice that those patterns show up again and again when you build your triads. So to build them, Let's click on scale over here to hide any non scale tones. So we're only going to see the notes in C minor. And then we're just going to pencil a new note on every other line. Okay, So let's check what we have against our rhythm section. I'm going to hit B to turn off Draw mode. And then that space these out a little bit. For this last chord, I wanna go back to an eighth note grid and then I'm going to move them over a little bit. And then maybe let's select this first chord. And then I'm going to click on legato over here on the left. And let's do that again on the last one. And let's make this second chord a little longer. And now I think we should lower this d in this third chord. So let's move it down an octave and I'm going to select it and then press Shift Down Arrow. Okay, so now let's go ahead and make a duplicate. And now I'm going to deactivate the second chord and the last chord in the first one of these clips. Before wrapping up this lesson, let's do a quick check of what we have against our base. So I'm going to select the keys hold Shift and then click on base. And then over here on the left, if we double-click on the note names live, we'll zoom in so we can see all of our notes on the screen at the same time. And we're looking just to make sure that the notes and our baseline aren't going to cause us an issue with the chords that we just created. Normally the node D and C at the same time are going to be very dissonant. But in this case, our chord is fading out by the time this d hits. And a little dissonance is often a good thing and I think it sounds fine. What about the busier scene of these clips? I think this one sounds okay too. So this type of baseline allows us to get away with some things that wouldn't work if our bass notes were more sustained and less staccato. And we're always hitting notes in the chord while riding along the route of the scale will make variations of all these clips. Once we start arranging in a few lessons from now. And now, let's rename these clips so they make sense. So I think we're good to move on to writing a lead in the next lesson. 15. Creating MIDI Leads or Melodies: In this lesson, we're going to write a higher pitched melodic part to act as a lead. Now, a lot of times the lead, the melody are not the same thing. The melody is the part of the song that you can hum or sing along to, sometimes called the hook. Simply stated, a lead is what's out in front to grab your attention. And in this case, we're going to write a melody that acts like a lead, so they can be the same thing. Now, everyone goes about writing these kinds of lines in different ways. Often they're composed on a guitar or keys by improvising a bunch of ideas while the rest of the song plays. And then going with one of those ideas as a starting point, we're going to make one from the cords we made in the previous lesson. And the lead track, Let's make a new empty clip next to the busier clips. Let's make our clip 2 bar long and then set our grid to eighth note. Let's pencil in C, E flat, G, and then E-flat on every other grid lines. And now let's play around with some of their lengths and timing. If I Alt, drag this a flower, I can make it into another note. I'll make this a G. And then maybe I'll use the up and down arrow keys to play around with this for a second. I actually like the tension created by moving into F. Now let's duplicate the entire loop using the duplicate button over here on the left. Now, ineffective melody usually has a two-part structure, or this is one of the basic ways to think about it. So the first part is like a call, and the second is like a response. Moving the middle three here down an octave sounds pretty good, but now the f is weird. Let's move it around. What the down arrow key. Okay, I like it on the B-flat. Let's leave it right there. Now, what does this sound like if we move this whole performance up an octave? And a good and easy way to do this is to try using the pitch midi effect. Over here on the left in the browser we see midi effects. And I'm going to click on the triangle next to pitch and drag plus 12 onto the lead track. Okay, Well, let's turn it off, but let's leave it there for now in case we think it might be a good idea to use later. To get back to the clip. You just double-click on any clip or on the Clip View Selector down here in the bottom right, I prefer Shift Tab. And seems like maybe we're good to move on. So in the next lesson we're going to add some audio loops to our sketch. 16. Audio Clip Basics: In this lesson, we're going to take a brief look at audio clips and also enable tins Warp features from the zip you already downloaded a few lessons back, open follow along, see if you want to follow along. I added these audio files by dropping them onto audio tracks or into the drop area. And I made sure not to put them on midi tracks by accident. All of these loops are from the core library. Down here in the clip view, we have all the controls for controlling playback and loot position and loop length. Just like with midi clips. To the right, we have the Audio tab with the number of parameters for adjusting how our audio sounds. Gain is really useful. We can adjust the crypts volume independent from the mixer volume. I use this all the time. Many loops are normalized to maximum level, so turning them down a bit is really a good idea. Pitch allows us to transpose our audio. In this case, I've pitched this base loop up by seven semitones so that it plays back the note C instead of the note F, as indicated in the filename. The divide by two and times two buttons do have practical uses, but are also just great for fun, especially when trying out different warp modes and messing around with the pitch. Speaking of warp, over here, we can see that warp is enabled and it's usually enabled by default. Warping audio and live as a deep topic. And for some users, what got them into live in the first place when no other DAW could do it live allowed us to do. Let's check out the basic starting with this regulatory loop. Notice that if I change the global tempo, the clip follows along and the pitch doesn't change. Also notice how many of these clips were created at different tempos as found in the name. Yet they all play in sync and in time. But what if I turn off work? Notice how this clip now ignores any tempo changes and loop becomes disabled. And it's pretty easy to end up with a train wreck on our hands by doing this. So check out what happens when I mess with the pitch. This is pretty much how audio behave before warping came along. If you slowed things down, the pitch went down. If he raised the pitch, it went faster the same way a turntable or cassette deck would have worked. There are a lot of uses for unmarked audio, but when working with loops and wanting to sync together audio that was created at different tempos. Work really is the only way to go. When we turn more back on, you'll also need to re-enable the loop. Now let's use this basically have to check out the modes to fine tune how the audio sounds when we change its tempo or pitch. With warping, we have different modes. These are different algorithms that are optimized for different types of sounds. Beats for drums and percussion, tones for notes, and texture for textures. We pitch acts like a turntable. So when you change the tempo, the pitch changes. Notice that we can't transpose our clip in this mode since the pitch is controlled by the tempo. Complex and complex pro, or in all versions of live 11, but are not available in older versions of live light or intro. These modes generally sound best on sounds that have a combination of beats and tones. Or when transposing tone type sounds such as vocals or this basically, they are more CPU intensive and don't always sound better than the other modes. But in this case, Complex Pro sounds best since I've transposed this clip up. Note that if the clip is playing back the audio file at close to its original tempo and not transposed. You likely won't hear much, if any, difference between the different modes. Let's talk about warp markers. Okay, So I'm going to duplicate this hi-hat cliff and then set the loop to 1 bar. We can also change the timing of parts of a clip by adding and moving around warp markers. To create or delete a warp marker, you just double-click. These little lines were alive, has detected a transient or onset of a sound are good recommendations as places to create new markers, especially with any sound that's progressive. But they are just recommendations. Just click and drag the markers until you like what you hear. But makes sure to pin down the audio if you want to move this section without affecting audio to its left or right, think of this like a rubber band and thumb tacks. Now, if you're on repeat mode, you'll also notice that the pitch changes. This lesson was just a brief introduction to warping and live. You should take some time to just play around and experiment with all the clip features we've explored in this lesson and in the previous one. In the next lesson, we're going to look at how to move your clips from the session view into the Arrangement view so we can start arranging and finishing our song. 17. Session View to Arrangement View: Okay, So you're getting really close to completing this course. In this lesson, we're going to record our performance from the session view into the Arrangement view. But first let's walk through how I have this setup and you can use the follow along d live set if you want to follow along. I deleted one of the tracks with a synth loop that just didn't fit with this song. And then notice how I have everything well organized, color-coded and named the tracks, the clips, and the scenes. I changed the colors with a right-click. And then I use Command R to add or change names. I played around with the clips in this set, and then you use capture and insert from the Create menu. As discussed in lesson seven about the session view. For this kind of song, I want to make sure that it's easily arranged in four-bar increments. So I'm going to change the quantisation to 4 bar. And sometimes it even make sense to use 8 bar for this, but 4s is a good one to start with. This way, I don't have to do a lot of counting when I performing to the Arrangement View. Now if you're doing something more chopped up sounding or experimental, you should use whatever makes the most sense for the type of music that you're working on. First, I want to change your preference before we perform. Now, we don't actually have to open the preferences for this one. We just wanted to right-click on the arrangement record and make sure that there is no checkmark next to start playback with record. Now stop all clips. Double-click on the stop to make sure we're at bar one and then turn on arrangement record. If we had not turned off that preference live would've just started playing right away. Okay, So now I'm going to launch each scene right after the previous one starts. And then notice how I can just switch back and forth by hitting tab while this is happening. So what you're looking at and what you're hearing, don't have to be the same thing. I hit Spacebar to stop Playback, tab to switch views, and then spacebar to play. Okay, so why am I not hearing anything? Well, you can see how everything's kind of grayed out here. And that's because lives still things were working in session view. But this isn't easy thing to deal with. So I'll just click on this orange button, which is known as the Back to Arrangement button. And this tells live to play whatever is in the arrangement, whether I put something in there or not. So it might be silent or it might have your song. And this will also stop all clips in the session to you immediately. If I switch back to the session view, notice that none of the clips are launched and basically lived at a musical copy and paste for us. So at this point, think of Session view as continuing backups of your clips. The ones in the two views are not connected, they're copies. And also session when you becomes useful as our mixer view. Okay, so now is a good time to save or save as. And then we'll pick up right where we left off here in the next lesson. 18. Editing in the Arrangement View: In part one of this two-part lesson, we're going to make sure that you can navigate the arrangement view and then look at some basic editing techniques for finishing up a song. So let's start where we left off in the last lesson. But before we dive into making changes, let's first make sure that you can navigate playback and also make sure you can always see what you want to see at any given time, anywhere in live, that you see the pointer change into a magnifying glass is where you can click and drag to zoom in and out and also scroll left and right or up and down. This includes the overview which you can show and hide from the view menu and the area directly below it, the beat time ruler. To zoom out all the way. Click on the W button over here on the right. Or if you turn off your computer midi keyboard, just press W. And H will optimize the height of all the tracks. When working in the arrangement view, you really probably don't need the computer midi keyboard on and it does block a lot of the key commands, so I recommend just turning it off right now. If you are zoomed in and want live to follow along, you can enable follow. Though, I rarely if ever use this feature. To start playback from any location. You can use the scrub area below the beat ruler when you see the little speaker. This will occur according to our quantization setting. So I usually set it back to 1 bar after recording from session into arrangement. And sometimes they even set it to none, depending on what I'm doing. Notice that when we hit the Spacebar to stop. And then again to start, it goes back to the beginning. This little blue triangle and this vertical line tell us where the arrangement insert marker is, which is where playback will start from to move it all is we have to do is click somewhere on the grid or select a clip. Now I can check out another part of the song with the scrub area and then start back where I selected the clip. Now let's look at the loop brace. It behaves much like the one in the clip view, but this is for the whole song. Appear you can see there's number fields and they work the same way as in the clip view. We have one for the loop start. And then here these are for the loop length to lupus section of the song. You can just drag around the loop race. You can also make a selection and then Command L or Control L on a PC. Just like in the QlikView. And one selected, we can use the exact same shortcuts. You can use the up-down arrow keys to move it left or right by its length. And command up or Command down to double or half it. And of course that would be Control up, down on Windows. The loop race is an easy way to make timeline selections. Just stop and then start playback as needed. Okay, so you can follow their unfold tracks with these buttons. Hold Alt to do them all at once. Can also drag up and down to change the track heights. When you see the pointer here. If you want to move a clip, you put the cursor here towards the top of it where the name is, and then you'll see a hand. Now towards the end of the clip, you'll see that the cursor changes into a bracket and you can drag left or right to change the length of the clip. And if we want to split a clip, we're gonna put the cursor on the grid below the clips name area. So you don't want to see the hand, do you want to see the normal cursor? And then you just choose split from the Edit menu, which is Command E or Control E on Windows. Or select a range. Then move the cursor up until you see your hand and just drag it where you want. We can also do this to make a copy instead of moving it, hold down Option or Alt to make the copy. So I recommend going back over this section a few times and practice these techniques until they make sense. Okay, let's look at how to make some variations of the clips that we recorded in from Session View. So I have beat one selected and I'm going to press Z to zoom the width, and then z again to zoom the height. Then if I look down here, of course we started out with a one-bar loop. And if you look, we have these little hash marks here and this is showing me where the loop is actually happening. So notice if I change this, it deletes it on all of them. So I just want to change it, maybe in the first 2 bar. So I'm going to click here Command E to split. And now whatever I do is only going to affect the first 2 bar there. So I'm going to deactivate all of the high hats in the first 2 bar. And then maybe I really only want this shaker sound here on the second time it happens. So I'm going to consolidate these. Command J or Control J on Windows. And now I'll just press zero to deactivate the first one here. And I'm going to press X to zoom all the way out again. So let's say I want the last notes of the song to be this chord. And again, I can see that this is looping after 2 bar. I'm gonna go to the edge here and just drag this out. So I get that first chord from here. Then W to zoom all the way out. So you can go into any clip that you brought over from session view and separate the loop or use some of the techniques we just talked about, where I could make a selection like this command E. And now if I change this one part here, it's not going to change everything else. So there you go. Some ways to make some variations of your existing clips. Now, what if we want to make big changes to our song? Because of course we just used 4 bar when we record it in over here. So our songs pretty short right now. And so the easiest way to make big changes to the whole song is with what are known as time edits, which are found in the Edit menu or via the context menu on the loop race. So let's go ahead and use duplicate time to extend our song. And notice that as I'm doing this, it doesn't only duplicate the clips that I selected, but it also pushes everything over to the right for us. These time edits are not just for the selected clip there for the whole range of time. Now what if I want to delete some time? Select a range, click on the clip, and then I can choose Delete time, and it collapses everything back to the left for us. Now, what if we want some empty time? To do this? We're gonna go to the Create menu and choose Insert silence. Now this is a lot like a time at it, but technically it's not because it's found in the Create menu, but it seems to work the same way. Just remember you have to go to the Create menu and this is gonna be Command I or Control I. And now you just make a selection and hit that and you'll see what it does. And what if I want to type in a certain length of time? I can just make sure I don't have a selection. And then I can hit Command I and type in what I want. Now, once we have a basic arrangement going, it's really useful to have some labels for the different parts. For this, we can use what are known as locators. And this is a pretty simple process. All you have to do is hit the set button. And the insert marker tells live where to put the locator. So I'm gonna put a few of these in. And then we're going to rename them. You can right-click on them. And also you can use Command or Control R to rename them. In the next lesson, we're going to look at how to create some transitions. And then we're going to have a look at automation. And then after that, we're going to start talking about creating a rough mix. 19. Intro to Transitions and Automation: In this lesson, we're gonna look at transitions and automation to add more interest to your composition. So let's start where we left off. Let's make a transition sound with a reverse crash cymbal, which we can find in the core library, samples. One shots symbol. Or you can just use the search and search for crash or for symbol. We want to put our transitions on their own tracks so we can just drop it here or we can create a new audio track first. And we can use plus or minus to zoom in or out. Let's reverse our sound so it builds up into the next part. You can simply press R as long as the computer midi keyboard is off. Or down here in the clip view, you can click on reverse under the clip gain and pitch settings. And now we're going to drag it so it ends right before our next section comes in. You might want to turn off the grid to get it right where you want. Okay, So let's make another transition sound using this base loop that we have in the intro. Now, option drag to bring it over here, zoom in with the plus key, reverse it with R. And then I'm going to change its length. And I'm going to line it up. Again. You can use plus or minus to zoom in or out. And then let's make a copy of our reverse cymbal holding option. And then let's drag it over later in the song. This is a situation where a copy and paste would probably be easier. Let's now automate something. Automation is kinda like a little robot in the background that changes perimeters for you when you want something to change. So let's start by painting something around in the stereo field from left to right. We want to enter automation mode with this button or you can just press a. We also want to make sure that automation arm is enabled up here in the control bar. Then I'm just going to hit Record and move pan around. Notice the red dot here on the tracks pan control. And notice how it's also moving around if we switch over to the session view. Now if we move this parameter, it's going to gray out. And that's because it's just temporarily been disabled to re-enable overwritten automation. Right-click and choose here. Or for the whole project, use the global re-enable Automation button up top in the control bar. So let's grab the Auto Filter from audio effects and automated filter sweep. And now let's automate the send to the delay return is this part ends to help smooth this transition. If you're not happy with your automation, you can just record it again. Or sometimes it's easier just to edit these breakpoints. So you want to size the track to taste. And then we can single click to create or delete the breakpoints, or just select a range and delete a whole bunch of them at the same time. Or withdraw mode on, you can draw in based on your grid settings. And if you want to draw freehand, disable Snap to Grid from the options menu or from the right-click to see automation for any parameter, just single click on that parameter. Delete all of the automation on a track. Right-click in the area below the choosers, this empty little area right here, and then you can choose one of the clear Envelope options. Okay, so let's exit automation mode. Now there is a lot more to automation, but this should be enough just to get you going. In the next lesson, we're going to have a look at what's known as a rough mix, which means that you're getting really close to finishing your composition. 20. Creating A Rough Mix: Let's do a quick rough mix. Now, a proper full mixdown would include using EQ compression and usually a bunch of other processing. But for now we're just gonna do a basic rough mix so nothing is way too loud or way too quiet. And we can do everything from right here in the arrangement view. But sometimes it's nice to see the mixer in full detail. So I often use Session View as my mixer view. Let's make sure the overview is visible. And then you can drag it down to make it bigger. And we can do some basic navigation of our song from here. And then I like to drag the mixer up so we have more resolution on the feeders and meters. The first step is gonna be to balance the volumes and make sure that nothing is clipping, especially the master track. Adjust your sense to taste. And then makes sure to listen through a few times and don't look at the screen. I always have a notebook out and make notes as I listened. And then I'll dive back in and make the changes. And finally, we're going to add a limiter on the master track. This step is just so your song doesn't sound too quiet or isn't clipping your main output. We do this step a lot while wanting to listen to works in progress. But it is not generally a good practice once you know how to properly mix that song. And to adjust the limiter, we're going to find the loudest or densest part of the song. And then I'm going to slowly turn the gain up until I start to see something happening on the meter here on the right. If for some reason you need to trim this down, it means you need to go back up to the mixer and pull back the volume faders on the individual tracks. You don't want to have to be turning this down because that would mean you're probably clipping somewhere on the master track, even if you don't see red on the meter. Now what we're gonna do is collect all and save. The CBG option is like normal Save, but additionally, it allows us to make sure that all of the audio file is used in the set, are copied into our project folder so we don't accidentally lose any files. And for right now, I recommend using the default settings, which has the top three options set to yes. This will copy files from any location on any hard drive, except for the files from the factory packs. In this case, I'm only using files from the core library, so I'm not worried about losing any of them. That being said, when I'm done with the project and I want to archive it, I also set this option to, yes. Okay, so in the next lesson we're going to look at how to properly export your arrangement so that you have a wave and an mp3 of your finished composition. 21. Exporting Your Song: In this lesson, we're gonna make sure you export your song properly. If you open up, follow along e from the zip you downloaded previously. You can see in here a version of our song with some additional arranging and mixing completed. The bonus lesson shows me working on our session after the rough mix lesson to turn it into follow along ie. In the File menu, you'll see export audio, video. Now, different DAWs use the same terms to mean different things and some use different terms for the same process when referring to generating a file from the output of their mixer. Pro Tools and logic call it bounce. Some call render as ableton did some versions ago. Thus YR is in the key command and some call this process Export As able to int currently does. The most important first step is to make sure you have the correct start, position, and length. We can see that it's going to start at birth 31 and only going to render for 4 bar. If the renderer doesn't start at the beginning for some reason, hit Cancel. Then just double-click on the Stop button in the Control bar to make sure it goes to 111. The correct length can sometimes be a little tricky for life to get right if you have any sound that continues beyond the end of the last clip, often this will be reverb delays or release of different scents. Sounds. Accidentally chopping off the tail of our song isn't easy mistake to make. The best solution is to use the loop brace to input the render link for us. Though, you can just drag the loop around until you think it's correct. I'm going to show you a foolproof method that'll help if you're struggling with this part. These steps can be accomplished in a different order. But I'm going to show you what I think is the most straightforward for beginners. Click anywhere and then select all from the Edit menu or just hit Command a. Then loop selection from the Edit menu or context menu, which is Command L. Now make sure loop is off and zoom in a little near the end of the song. We're going to listen to the last few bars and keep an eye on the master track's volume meter. And then we're going to hit stop when the sound is all gone. Now just drag the end of the loop to the time you see no more level on the meters zoom out so you can see your whole arrangement. I'm going to use w. If you have an empty bar to at the beginning, adjust the loop is needed. Click on the loop race to select everything. Now we can export our song Shift Command R. Notice that the numbers here match the loop start and length numbers in the control bar. There are a lot of options here. We only need a few of them. For rendered track, we just want to pick the default which is the master track. And that's gonna be the output of our full mix into one file. Make sure all of these other options are off. If you didn't use a limiter as we discussed, you can enable Normalize, but either way, that's really not a big deal. I personally never use normalized when I'm exporting a song. For the sample rate, generally you want to leave it where it is, but if in doubt, 4041 or 48 are gonna be fine. I usually have to deliver files at 48 K, So I leave it here and change it to 4041 later if I need it. And that would be during the mastering process. Pcm stands for pulse code modulation, and really just means it's the full quality uncompressed file. To keep it simple, just use these settings and you can learn all the technical stuff later if you're interested. So you can see here I've picked wave 24-bit and rectangular or no dither is pretty standard at this point. I always like to have an MP3 around to you, but this is optional. Now click Export and make sure to save it into the project folder. I often like to listen to my export and mixes and then go back in and make revisions later. Alright, congratulations, you've made it through the whole course. And now you can either recreate what I've shown you how to make, or you can start working on your own project, making your own song using the skills that you've learned. 22. (Bonus Lesson) Watch Me Work: Alright, so this is a bonus lesson that's just going to show me working on follow along d After the rough mix lesson to turn it into follow along E, I'm not going to be talking through most of this though. I will jump in and a few spots to explain what I'm doing. And I do use a few features that we didn't cover. So you might be able to pick up a few things if you're ready to move on tasks, the skills you learned through the first 21 lessons. I just recorded myself working for about an hour and then added in this commentary as I watched back through. Right now I'm just cleaning up the drum rack so it's easier for me to do some additional mixing on the individual drum sounds instead of just on the whole drum kit. And here I'm going to do what's known commonly as side chaining, which is going to be ducking the base when the tickets. And now I'm going to work on making some variations of the clips that we started with in session view by deactivating some notes and messing around with some of the performances to add more variation. And we need some crafts symbols on some of the downbeats. So I'm going to find one and put it on its own track. So it's easier to move around instead of trying to add it into the existing drum rack. Now I'm going to work on the intro a little bit. Here I'm actually about to make a little bit of a mess for myself that I will have to clean up later. So just be careful when you option drag things that they go where you want them to go. Not every idea that you try actually works out. And sometimes you just have to undo it and then see what mess you may have made for yourself. Now I'm just gonna kinda be checking to see what I did and making sure that all the start markers are in the right place. Sometimes you can bump into happy accidents when you make these kinds of mistakes and you'll find a cool rhythm or grew that you wouldn't have planned on otherwise. And now I realized that I need to make some more variations of some of the parts. And here's where I'm actually about to make a workflow mistake. I shouldn't have turned full on here even though it's Vida would help. And I'm actually going to fumble around here for a little bit before I realize that I'm not really getting the results that I want. After a frustrated myself a little bit, I'm going to turn fold off and figure out what I'm actually trying to accomplish here. Probably should have just drag the whole clip view up. So I had a bigger view of all the midi notes and could see the note names. Instead of trying to work in the little small section down below. And here I'm spending a little bit of time on the very end of the song. So it feels wrapped up in that the song is over. And now I'm just going to rebalance delimiter at the end since I did a bunch of mixing and changed some of the parts. Now there's a lot more that can be done to this song, but in pretty decent shape now. And while this isn't a full final mixdown by any means, and it would still need to be mastered. The arrangements in decent shape. And it gives you a good idea on the types of things you can do to make a song feel more finished and not just a sketch.