Week 2

Download: If you didn’t complete the Week 1 coursework, no worries, just download this Project to continue the course from Week 2:


Coursework:

  1. Review Audio & MIDI:

2. If you have a MIDI controller, connect it to your computer to use it for recording MIDI. In the Ableton Live Help menu, click Help View and it will appear on the right. Open the MIDI Controllers lesson at the bottom and follow the instructions.

3. Find Instruments in the Browser and try Method 1 to create a MIDI Clip: Double click an empty Clip Slot on a MIDI track to create a Clip and draw in some notes by double-clicking on the Clip.

4. Try Method 2 to create a MIDI Clip: Activate the ‘Computer MIDI Keyboard’ button and the Track’s ‘Arm Recording’ button. The Clip Stop buttons on that Track will turn into Record Buttons. Click a Record Button, play notes on your computer keyboard and press space bar to stop recording when you’ve finished.

4. Choose Instruments and record Clips to go with your beats from last week, e.g. a baseline + a melody. If you can, record at least 6 clips – they could be 3 clips + 3 variations, or all totally different. Use a controller if you have one, or your laptop keyboard. Edit the Clips and listen to the differences. If you’re stuck for ideas, try recording while listening to music, copying something you like, or singing what you want first, then re-creating it with MIDI. You can also try adding random MIDI notes to a MIDI Clip without looking – a great technique to overcome perfectionism and creative blocks!

5. Edit your Clips:

Extension 1:

Try overdubbing: activate the Session Record button (the hollow circle) and play a Clip which already has MIDI notes in it. Record in more MIDI notes by playing your keyboard.

Extension 2:

Check out these videos for more goodness relevant to this week’s session!

Troubleshooting:

  • If you record a MIDI clip and the sound changes unexpectedly:
    • This is probably because you changed the Instrument in the track. The MIDI notes are just the instructions (not the actual sound), so if you change the Instrument, the recorded notes will play this new sound.
    • To avoid this, create a new Track for each new Instrument.
    • If you double-click anything in the Browser, it will be inserted into the selected Track. This is a common reason why students change the Instrument on a Track by mistake.
  • If you can’t hear the MIDI notes when you press on your keyboard:
    • Make sure the Computer MIDI Keyboard is activated.
    • Open the In / Out section and change the Monitor to In or Auto.
  • Ableton Live has unlimited undo, so you can go back as many times as you like!

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