Just here to share my experiences and my tips to approaches to music with anyone willing to listen.

Recording tips ableton _ Looping on the FLY with guitar

One of the cool things about ableton I always find is it awesome appraoch at arrangeing music. The fact that it has 2 different ways at looking at creating your songs make it awesome for music arrangements. I always fire up ableton when I am laying out tracks, or loops, or samples. I want to show you one cool tip today that I use for creating my guitar pieces, when I need to jam out a song. Wether it writing or recording covers. With this writing I will work you through one of the ways in which i create my music. Loops on the fly. All in realtime to get that live jam happening. We all know when we get in the grove we dont have time to stop and setup the track and get our piece right. This will help alot.

1. Open ableton and get your backtrack setup. Wether its a bassline, jamtrack, midi drums, loop etc...Set up your scenes, different section in your songs, or different backtrack loops you will be jamming over. For example, when writing songs, I will setup and intro, verse, chorus,bridge and then outro scenes generaly. It wont be finished backtracks, just loops to get creative juices flowing. Then what you want to do is open up as many "audio" tracks as you want loops. Basically this gets your desktop setup for your jam. Then set you monitor to "in" on your first audio track. This is going to be your instrument reference. Main track. The rest will hold your recorded loops.

2. On each of the seperate tracks you going to want to set "audio from" to your instrument track in the drop down menu. YOu dont need to monitor theese channels. since youll be using reference track. The go ahead and Ctrl + click record button to arm all your loop tracks. Almost ready to jam out some loops.

3. Now what you want to do is assign triggers for each track to record on the fly. Grab any type of midi device, or anything with programmable buttons. Ableton work with keyboard keys or midi button which can be assinged to any function of ableton. I use my cheap trigger finger for this. It perfect for guitar or bass looping on the fly. It has 16 squares, good enough for up to 16 loops on the fly. What you need to do is click the MIDI button in top right of ableton, near the cpu meter. Or key button if setting up keyboard map mode. Now youll see a rectangle with a tringale inside it just above the audio from drop down. Click on this and then press the button which you want to map to, in my case 1st pad on the trigger finger. Do this assiging each button on each track with its own map control.

4. Now set the midi controller, in my case trigger finger, on ground. Hit the play button on backtrack loop. Now start jamming away, when you feel you wanna record, simply touch 1st pad with your foot. Viola, recording, touch it again and it stop recording on the fly, right on the measure! how cool! WAnna do second? Hit the 2nd pad on trigger finger, recording again, touch it twice and stops on measure once again. Do this as many time as needed. Changing scenes when neede, and start all over again without stopping. The scene play buttons can even be mapped, to change scenes without stopping as well...

4 a. Thoose of you with detierious tapping toes could try using keyboard on the floor....ehehehe :P And im sure there are better midi controller would compliment this approach... trigger finger is just one of the controller i do have that worked best. Make use of them all right?

5. Ill make this a step so people don't get wrong idea. This is not a song production technique. This is a jamming out loops or licks whatever you wanna call it. Arrnagement appraoch. And just ONE way out of many in which I write my music. What I do when im done jamming out all my loops, is collect the wav samples, and use them where ever I need. Wether its starting a new ableton project and doing the final mixdown, or importing the loops into PT. Lets face it, if were going 16 loops in series, without stopping it get cluttered, but its a GREAT on the fly solution to
catch thoose moments we sometimes say, "it wasn't recording?!!?!!?!"
Last edited by nynejoe at Dec 6, 2009,