Ableton Push 2 and Live 9.5

Ableton Push 2 and Live 9.5 is here!!

Exciting times are here!  Not only has Ableton released the Ableton Push 2, but also a new software update, Ableton Live 9.5.  This is an overview of some of the newer features of this awesome device.  The Ableton Push 2 has a number of cosmetic and ergonomic upgrades as compared to the original Push.  Most notable is a larger Full Color Display, which provides more in-depth feedback and control over Ableton Live.

Ableton Push 2 Display

Physically a number of controls have been moved for better ergonomics and feel on the Ableton Push 2. The Master Volume knob has been moved away from the main macros, which will help to avoid accidentally adjusting the Master Volume.

Ableton Push 2 Master Volume

The octave controls are now where the navigation button used to be, which is really handy when playing instruments.  Also the navigation Ableton Push 2 Octave button has been moved closer to the add track, add device and browse buttons; which is nice because you can now also use the nav button to navigate the browser when in browse mode.

The Master button will now toggle between the master bus and last selected track.  Both the mute and solo select buttons have been moved to the left next to an additional button, Stop Clip.  When you hold down the Stop Clip button, you can then use the row of buttons just below the display to stop the clip in its corresponding track. Holding down shift and then pressing stop clip will stop all clips.

Just below the Mute, Solo, and Stop Clip Buttons, a Convert button has been added. The convert button will change the current clip or instrument into a different format.  This means that when you record an audio clip and then press Convert on the Ableton Push 2, it will convert the audio clip into Simpler.  After doing some editing in Simpler, you can press the Convert button again to convert the Simpler clip into a drum rack.Ableton Push 2 Convert

The User Mode button is now on the top right, this will be nice for people using user scripts or custom mapping, because you can quickly locate the button and switch in and out of user modes.   Next to the User button, a Setup button has been added.  In Setup mode, you can quickly switch between scene and clip workflow, adjust the brightness, and adjust the feel of the pads, using 3 levels of control sensitivity, gain, and dynamics.  This will help you really dial in your personal feel on the pads.  Everyone has their own preferences, and now it is easier than ever to make the pads respond exactly how you want.

The USB input has been recessed which will prove to be a more reliable connection.  Ableton Push 2 feels a little light but still very solid.  Besides the new layout and the new buttons, you will find the real power of the Ableton Push 2 when you dive in and start working with Ableton Live.

In Clip Mode, you can now see the wave form of audio clips, and have access to a number of clip controls including zoom and loop position. You can even change the Warp modes without touching the mouse.

The Ableton Push 2 workflow with Simpler also allows for editing without the mouse.  You can press Add Device,  use the navigation pad to select A sample, choose between 3 different modes, change the warping, and much more; all without leaving your device.  With the new full color menu screen, there are a lot of features you can work with straight from the Ableton Push 2.  This allows for a much more fluid workflow, as you’re not having to go from device to keyboard and back again.

Ableton Live 9.5 Simpler

With Ableton Push 2, you can now open and close racks and grouped tracks by pressing the button below the display that corresponds to the group or rack.  It’s as easy as that.  Pressing the Mix button will allow you to quickly adjust volumes, pans and sends;  and pressing the Device button will give you access to the devices.

When the device is selected and you press the same button again, you will be in Full Device Mode.  The buttons above and below the display will be dedicated to the selected device, so you can easily change banks and modify all the parameters in the device.  Press the button named for the device, which is located on the top left, to exit the Full Device Mode.  You will still have access to whichever bank was last selected, plus be able to navigate your set.

Ableton-Push-2-Angle

As you can see, the buttons are developed to be self explanatory and intuitive.  This really allows for a smooth workflow and a pleasurable production experience.  This is just a small example of what the new Ableton Push 2 can do.  With the improved layout and powerful features, this really does need to be the next addition to your production arsenal.  Once you see how well this has improved the music making experience, you will wonder how you ever managed without it.  Welcome to the new standard, brought to you by the Ableton Push 2.

For more information and to download live 9.5 or purchase Ableton Push 2 go to the Ableton website. https://www.ableton.com/

Check out some of my Videos on Youtube Channel, I get into some of the features of the Ableton Push 2 and Live 9.5.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7uTKC4Mrimtr2_5WFSktlQ

Read more

Time Signature Sub-Division

 

Beat Basics: Sub-Division, Making Time Signature Work For You

As we know, the time signature defines the count for each measure.  The count is like a palette of options, and the measures are like a canvas, ready to be created with.  Sub-division is what gives us the rhythm.  It is the color spectrum on the palette.

Sub-division is the breaking down of the count into smaller counts.  These smaller counts create the rhythm of the beat.  Also, they add up to equal the time signature, i.e. the overall count.  There are many ways to sub-divide with any given meter.  (Meter is another name for the time signature)

Let’s have an example.  We’ll use 7/8, which as we learned in the last Beat Basics article means a count of 7 eighth notes in each measure.  First, let’s break it down this way: 1-2  1-2  1-2-3,  1-2  1-2  1-2-3.  Three groupings of eighth notes that equal up to 7.  Hand clap on the 1 of each group to get a sense of the rhythm that is created by this sub-division: 1-2  1-2  1-2-3, 1-2  1-2  1-2-3, 1-2  1-2 1-2-3.  Notice the rhythm?  This is used in Turkish, Arabic, and some Latin music.

Another way to breakdown 7/8 is: 1-2  1-2-3  1-2, 1-2  1-2-3  1-2.  Do you see the difference between the two sub-divisions?  They have a different emphasis, and the count makes a different rhythm, even though they are both still in the same time signature.  7/8 can also be broken down as: 1-2-3  1-2  1-2,  1-2-3  1-2  1-2.  This creates yet another type of rhythm.  Any combination of eighth notes can be used, as long as they add up to 7, each one creating a different feel.  Even this unusual one works: 1  1-2-3  1-2-3,  1 1-2-3  1-2-3,  1  1-2-3  1-2-3.  Try clapping that one, it almost has a broken record feel as it comes back to the beginning of the rhythm.

We’ve looked at 7/8, let’s try a different time signature to further emphasize the point.  This time we’ll use 9/8.  The most common form of 9/8 is this: 1-2-3  1-2-3  1-2-3, 1-2-3  1-2-3  1-2-3.  This gives a triplet feel to the count.  Here is another way to do it:  1-2  1-2  1-2-3  1-2,  1-2  1-2  1-2-3  1-2.  There’s a big difference between the two, but they are both using the same time signature.

Do you see the value of knowing sub-division?  It opens up a whole new range of musical expression.  Knowing how to break down a time signature into different rhythms allows one to create with a whole range of different feels.  Not only does sub-division effect the rhythm and movement of a song, but it also significantly effects the melodic and chordal structure of the song.  The melody will be written based upon the rhythm of the music.  Rather than sticking to the standard 4/4 beat of most music, sub-dividing adds a whole variety of possibility.

Once one masters sub-dividing, one can then begin to create music that switches time signatures multiple times throughout a song.  This adds a great depth to what one can create.  The possibilities are indeed endless.  Hopefully this helps further your understand of time signature and rhythm.  The next installment of beat basics will cover Syncopation.  In the meantime, start counting and experimenting!

Ableton Live Certified Trainer

Click here For information
about private lessons, webinars, and classes on Ableton Live and more

Read more

Time Signature and Beat Basics

Today we’ll be covering one of the prime aspects of creating music.  Before one considers song structure, harmony, or melody, one must start with the fundamental element, the beat.  This is what lays the foundation, and the layers of the song come from there.  To properly understand what makes a beat, it is important to know the correct terminology and concepts.  Music is a language, and when one knows the terms, ideas can be communicated to other musicians.  We will cover time signature, measures, phrases, beat counts, and also what they look like on the music page.  Knowing this will help line up different drums to match the rhythm, for example.

A note is the time measure of a sound in how it relates to the music.  To make a rhythm, one puts notes together into beats.  A beat is made up of one or more notes.  Try counting 1-2-3-4, while tapping your toe along with it.  Each one of these numbers is considered a beat.  In a four count like this, when the note and the beat are the same length, the note is called a 1/4 (quarter) note.  It is also called this because this note/beat is 1/4 of a measure, typically.  A measure is made up of beats, in our current example there are 4 beats in a measure.

Now lets look at some other note lengths.  If we kept the beat the same, 1-2-3-4 (one measure), but doubled the amount of notes (making there be 8), having two notes per beat, these notes would be called 1/8th (eighth) notes.  One note is 1/8th of the measure long.

We could double the notes again, still keeping four beats per measure.  This would make us have four notes per beat, 16 in total.  These notes are called 16th (sixteenth) notes, also because there are 16 of them per measure.

This is the basically how the count works, however measures are not limited to 4 beats.  How does one know what a measure is worth in a song?  This is dictated by what is called the time signature.  The time signature controls the overall count of a song, saying how many beats are in a measure and what notes to use to make up the beats.

Let’s break down what it means when someone says a song is in 4/4 time.  The bottom 4 means each beat is worth a 1/4 note, and the top 4 means there are 4 of these 1/4 notes in a measure.  If we change it to 3/4 for example, there are 3 beats in a measure.  You get the idea.

It gets tricky when we change the bottom number to say an 8.  Let’s look at the 6/8 time signature.  The 8 on the bottom shows that the beat is using 1/8th notes, and the 6 says there are six in a measure.  We will delve further into other time signatures in future blogs.  4/4 is the typical time signature is most music.

The final term to know is what is called a phrase.  A phrase is a group of measures.  Usually a phrase will be four, eight or sixteen measures long.  Phrasing is what is used to make a verse, chorus, and other aspects to constructing a song.  When one has the time signature, puts the beats into measures, groups the measures into phrases, a song is born!  Hopefully this was helpful in understanding the fundamental concepts for creating music.  With this understanding, you can work with other musicians and also better construct your music.

Ableton Live Certified Trainer

Click here For information
about private lessons, webinars, and classes on Ableton Live and more

Read more

Using and Recoding Automation in Ableton Live 9

Using and Recording Automation in Ableton Live 9

This Ableton Instruction video by Ableton Live Certified Trainer Jimmy Allison is about using and recording automation in Ableton Live 9. Automation is a very handy tool that can be utilized for both production and performance. New to Ableton Live 9 is the ability to record Automation directly into Live’s session view clips. You can also move clips between session view and arrangement view while maintaining the automation . This video also contains a tips for over dubbing Automation with the Ableton Push and a workflow tip involving using automation on the Ableton utility effect.

 

Over Dubbing Automation in Arrangement view with Ableton Push

This is video is just a quick video to show you how to overdub Automation in Ableton Live using Ableton Push. It can be a bit tricky but basically you need to set the input to non on the track so that the Ableton Push does not arm the track when you select. If the track is armed and you try to record Automation int0 Live’s arrangement view you will also overdub the midi clip. This is a just a quick video demonstrating how to set up Ableton Live’s Arrangement View for overdubbing automation with the Ableton Push.

Jimmy Allison is an Ableton Live Certified training offering private and group lesson online and in the Austin, TX area. Taking private lessons is one of the most cost effective ways of attaining your goals. The lessons will be focused on you and your needs which will greatly reduce your learning curve. Learn at your pace and on your own time. Highly specialized training from an instructor with over 7 years of experience teaching and countless years producing and performing music. Feel free to send a message and receive more info about Ableton Training

Ableton Live Automation

Read more

Side Chain Compression in Ableton Live

What is Side Chain Compression

 

Side Chain Compression enables you to have the compressor react from a separate signal then the one that is being compressed. In essence one signal will be ducking under the other. There are a few different uses of side chain compression. One of the classic uses is when A radio DJ and some Club DJ’s talks over a song that is playing. Wen the DJ talks there is a ducking effect on the music. This effect is automatic so the DJ does not have touch the volume fader when talking. Another classic use is the pumping effect that is common in a lot of EDM music. Every time the kick drum hits the side chain compressor reacts and creates A pumping effect on the other elements of the song. Most commonly the Bass but EDM producers usually pump the synths and pads to. There is also a way to use the side chain compressor so that sculpts the destination audio just a little but so that the source audio can stand out in a subtle way. A great example if this to keep the kick drum and bass form competing for the same space. you can side chain the bass to the kick drum, set a fast attack, fast release, and a lower ratio then you would for the pump effect. In the mix you wont notice the bass ducking but you will notice the kick having a little more punch. I tend to side chain each individual element of my mix to my kick drum, including my sends. I do this with fineness so that you do not hear any pumping in the mix you just hear a phat punchy kick drum. This technique can be used with any thing that you want to slightly stand above your mix. Some other examples are vocals as the source to compress a guitar or synth, in Jazz music you can set the side chain compressor on the lead instruments so it will stand above the others, when you want a lead guitar or synth to have more presence during the solo without having to turn it up, and much much more.

 

Read more

Dropping Samples on Ableton Drum Rack

 

I was having a conversation the other day with my producer friend Levi Witt aka DRRTYWULVZ. He was talking about how annoying it was when dropping samples onto a drum rack and then having to adjust the release value of every simpler. Levi likes to have the release value short so he can control the length of the sample with the note length in Ableton Live’s midi clip view. I then mentioned A really awesome feature in Ableton Live 9 often over looked, User defined defaults. In previous version of Live you could right click/CMD click on the title bar of any Ableton Live device and save the current device as default. You can of course still do that in Live 9 and more.

First grab a default Simpler from the Ableton Live Instruments under Categories in you Live 9 browser. You can get a default simpler by dragging the folder called Simpler into a midi track. All built in Ableton Live Devices provide a default patch in this manor.

Loading Ableton Default Simpler

 

Read more

Intro to Ableton Live Looper

Intro to Ableton Live Looper using the KMI Softstep foot controller

This Ableton Live video is an Intro to Ableton Live Looper and some bonus content about using the Keith Mcmillen Instruments Softstep foot controller. Live looping is a lot of fun and a great way to perform or enhance a performance. With the technology available today you can be a one man band and carry way less gear. This Intro to Ableton Live Looper video will help get you started and teach you the basic fundamentals of live looping with Ableton Live. There are a lot of different workflows and techniques to live looping. I personally am a Live Looper and I have trained many people how to use Ableton Live for live looping. Some of my students started from scratch while others came from a hardware looping back ground. Learning how to live loop can seem like a dark art only mastered by wizards of a the sacred order but it is not that difficult after you master the fundamentals that this Intro to Ableton Live Looper video will cover. The next stage is to learn and decide on how you want to perform. My biggest advice is to think about what you want to do and how you want to do it. Write it down, then make it happen. I’m an Ableton Live Certified Trainer and Live Looping is actually one of my many specialties. feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.
Check out all the Ableton Live Tutorial Videos Here

 

Ableton Live Certified Trainer

Read more

Ableton Live Tutorial Video using Sofstep X and Y

Ableton Live Tutorial Video How to use Keith Mcmillen Instruments Softstep X/Y Controls

In this Ableton Live tutorial video you will learn how to program the Keith Mcmillen Instruments Softstep Editor to create an X/Y control of two parameters in Ableton Live. The KMI Softstep is a very versatile midi foot controller that can do many different functions. As well as the X/Y controls on each pad you could also program any of the softstep pads to do Pressure, toggle, trigger, double trigger, hold, and various other ways of interaction with the KMI Softstep pads. In all honesty there are not any midi foot controllers on the market that even come close to the flexibility and durability of the KMI Softstep Midi foot controller. You can even control midi hardware with out a computer if you purchase the optional KMI Midi Expander. The Midi Expender provides midi i/o that can be used to connect the Softstep to midi hardware standalone or with a computer. Thank you for watching I’m an Ableton Live Certified Trainer feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. You can also make any Ableton Live Video Tutorial Requests.
Check out all the Ableton Live Tutorial Videos Here

Ableton Live Certified Trainer

Read more

Drum Programing with Ableton Live

Drum Programming With Ableton Live

This tutorial is a introduction to midi drum programing using Ableton Live and Drum Racks. To start off we will be making a basic 1 bar drum loop, and then quickly expand the basic drum loop to dynamic 32 bar drum pattern.

The first thing we need to do is open Ableton Live and load a drumrack into a midi track.

To load a drum rack Open the live browser, select the live devices, open the instrument folder, open the drum racks folder, open the kit folder, and select a drum kit.

basic_drum_programing_tutorial_1

Read more

Don’t Forget To Pack!

black_abl_logo_72dpiAbleton Live Packs

I have noticed a good number of my Ableton Students do not realize that they are missing some amazing content that is included with their Ableton Live Purchase. This content is called Ableton Packs. To get you packs go the https://www.ableton.com/ .

Be sure to Log in to your Account, and the click “Your Packs” which you can get to from the “your account” drop down menu,
or by clicking the Packs link and selecting “Your Packs” from the first drop down menu. What Live Packs you can download will depend on what version of Ableton Live you purchased.

I hope this help some new users get what they paid for :)

Read more

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match