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Ableton - Creating a Song, from Scratch

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  • Ableton - Creating a Song, from Scratch

    OK you Ableton Loop pros ...

    I'm so used to linear recording ... so need some help here on creating full song files.

    I'm working on "Glorious" by Martha Munizzi ... for starters, I need:
    1 - a click track
    2 - a cool percussion loop
    3 - my piano track (I would play this live, but for tracking purposes)
    4 - horn track
    etc.

    OK - so this is the "old" way that I'd be used to doing this. I'd open up ProTools and record the piano part from beginning to end. Then, I'd record the horn track, from beginning to end, etc.

    I realize I can "do it that way" in Ableton - but then I'd just have one long clip for each part ... and not really have "scenes".

    So - my question is ... how do you go about making the clips. I suppose I could MIDI record the piano part for the "Intro", stop, then create a new clip for "Verse 1", etc ...

    That seems so disjointed - dunno if I can even play it that way where it sounds smooth.

    Am I going about it wrong - can you give me a good idea on how to start, etc?

    Thanks in advance,
    Fred
    Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
    blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

    Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
    www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
    www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

  • #2
    Hey Fred,

    I didn't realize it, but I posted the same question in a different way.

    Last Sunday, we were without a drummer, so I took this as a nudging from the Holy Spirit to begin to learn how to do it. I couldn't figure out the "Live" part of Ableton, so I just made mp3's. What can I say, I had to do something. My piano player ran them from my iPod.

    So, what I am trying to say is, I am also very interested in learning how to do the "Live" part of Ableton Live.

    Rob

    Comment


    • #3
      So, clearly - we need HELP!
      Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
      blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

      Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
      www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
      www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

      Comment


      • #4
        Ok,

        Here's the nuts and bolts of setting up a song on Ableton. At least this is what I do and I use Abelton in worship each week. I have a korg Pa1xPro professional arranger so I record all the background music in one pass. I do the intro, verse, chorus, bridge etc. just one time through. I usually record it on Cakewalk then save it as an mp3, since this loads superfast. I then upload the song in Abelton. You have to set up Abelton exactly to the same tempo as the wav file you made. This way the tracks line up measure by measure.

        Finally, once you have the song uploaded and tempo set, you simply right click in the first measure. so that the beginning of the first measure has an orange line running up and down and a little orange triangle at the top of the track. You then click on the "set" button to the right. (You have to be in the linear mode, not the horizontal mode.) When you click set a black triangle appears above the track. Right click on this and choose "rename." You can then call this point Intro, Verse, Bridge, etc. You will then click on the button that says "key" in the right hand tool bar at the top. once it turns orange you can press any key to trigger that point. I usually assign my intros to the "Q" key on my keyboard. (For cue). I always press that before the song starts to make sure it starts at the beginning of the song. I then select each point and mark them with 1, 2, 3, etc. I can then write the number that corresponds to the verse, bridge, etc. on my music so i know how to cue them.

        Once that is done, you need to click on file then "Save Live Set As..." then name the song. That's all there is to it. Now, anytime you want to go back to a verse, bridge, etc. just press that key within the last measure of the current part of the song and at beat 1 of the next measure it will automatically jump to that place.

        Hope this helps.

        Jeff

        Comment


        • #5
          Jeff,
          That helps a lot ... I've heard several others setup things that way, too ... I guess what I'm missing is, it seems like very few people (is there anyone) are actually using Ableton's actual recording and built-in instruments, etc. I was thinking it would've been nice to actually "track" the song in Ableton, etc ... use their instruments, etc.
          Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
          blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

          Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
          www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
          www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

          Comment


          • #6
            You would probably just have to get into the abelton manuals and read it. I don't need to do that because all the parts are played for me in one pass on the Korg. I usually record on my Korg D16-XD multi-track then transfer them into Cakewalk to mix down to an mp3.

            Good luck,

            Jeff

            Comment


            • #7
              I actually use the Ableton instruments. The session drums package is fantastic. Check out my latest for "Famous One" (Willow Creek Arrangement). That's the Ableton's "Rock Organ." I also use Dimension Pro.

              Comment


              • #8
                Rob,
                Awesome - can you walk us through the process of creating that in Ableton - like, did you record the entire song in one pass, per instrument, and then quantize it to bars/beats and chop it up in parts (w/ markers)?, etc?
                Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
                www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
                www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

                Comment


                • #9
                  The creation of a piece on Ableton is pretty much the same as any recording tool. The power, I think, comes from the ability to switch from loops to your arrangement so quickly.

                  My most recent process (it changes each time), was to record the loops for the drums, assemble the loops into the arrangement view, and then start adding things. Adding of elements can be done in the clip/loop view or directly in the arrangement view. You can also set your loops or clips up into scenes that you can run as a group, and then record those to your arrangement view (or cut and paste).

                  The instruments are great in ableton as well. I also have Cakewalk's dimension pro, but a lot of the time it's easier to just use Ableton's. I also have Operator, which is an analog synth. I haven't gotten a hang of that yet. If anybody can explain how to get started learning it, that would be great.

                  Next time I do a song, I'll take notes and publish them here for anybody who is interested.

                  -Rob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm extremely interested - that would be great. I've been purchasing songs from InteractiveWorshipLive.Com - and I notice, in the one view (where it's not linear, but the colored rectangular squares?), that's not even used at all.
                    Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                    blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                    Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
                    www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
                    www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You're paying $50 per song? And you bought Ableton too? WOW! Maybe I should start selling my stuff? How does my track compare?

                      Have you watched the videos on ableton.com? That's how I got started.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey,
                        I don't have many songs (lol) ... what I love about IWL is that they are mostly made up the actual artists' multi-tracks ... so, they literally pull the multi-tracks from the record labels, lease them, and put them on .... and the Ableton session isn't just a single loop w/ click - you get everything in the multi-track format, bgv's, all the original guitars (yeah, even Lincoln Brewster's original guitar stuff), etc.
                        Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                        blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                        Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
                        www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
                        www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How could I have not known about IWL? I know that Northpoint has been doing some stuff like this too, but this is the first I've heard about IWL.

                          I'm doing some research for my future (hopefully) purchase of a Macbook and Ableton for using loops to fill in some of the personnel gaps I have on a couple of teams from time to time. I was just planning on recording them and using them that way, but IWL sounds interesting.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            David,
                            IWL definitely can save you some time. I just finished a loop for Martha Munizzi's "Glorious" - it's just piano, horns, and congas, but fills out the rest of the song nicely.
                            Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                            blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                            Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
                            www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
                            www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Original master sessions is what appeals to me about IWL.

                              Comment

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