1. Think about how you can reduce distractions while making music: turning off notifications, making Live full-screen and setting aside dedicated time to make music should help. Learning the keyboard shortcuts also saves a lot of time!
2. Review the Clips you have so far. If you want more material to work with, there are loads more sounds in the free Packs from Ableton – see this video for how to install Packs.
3. Arrange all the Clips in Scenes. Name and colour your Clips, Tracks and Scenes. Group your Tracks to keep your Project tidy and manageable.
4. Add Audio Effects to Return Tracks and use the Track Sends. Remember that when you’re using Effects on Return Tracks, you should always have the wet / dry knob (bottom right of the Device) set to 100% wet. This is because we use the Send knob to determine how wet we want the sound. When you use Effects directly on a Track, use the wet / dry knob to control the amount of Effect you want.
5. Add Effects to your Tracks. Remember that Audio Effects go on Audio Tracks, while MIDI Effects go on both Audio and MIDI Tracks. Live will automatically put MIDI Effects before Instruments, and Audio Effects after Instruments. In class, we added two MIDI Effects before an Instrument: Arpeggiator and Chord. You can see your Effects in the Detail View.
6. Practice Key Mapping, and if you have a controller, do some MIDI Mapping:
7. Check that you have the Chop + Swing Pack in your Browser – we’ll need it for next session. The video above explains how to install Packs.
Watch Liina’s video on How To Create Audio Effect Rack Presets and then create an Audio Effect Rack. Map some of the parameters to Macros. If you have a controller, MIDI Map your controller’s knobs to the Macros. Warning – the second half of this video may be a too advanced for you at this stage, so just watch as far as you want and avoid entering confusion territory!
If you’re producing with vocal recordings, check out Liina’s free Audio Effect Rack created especially for this purpose: