Tag Archives: Ableton

Ableton introduce their bitesize creative tips series “One Thing”.

It seems to be the season for tutorial videos at the moment, although Ableton have chosen to move in a slightly different direction with theirs.

Any artist can suffer from a lack of inspiration at some point and the videos in this Ableton bitesize series are designed to help kick-start your creative process, and in this respect share the same common goals as the popular ’74 Creative Strategies for Electric Music Production book they put out a few years back. 

The series launches with 13 videos and promises to bring you a new one each month to help keep you inspired in the studio with technical tips as well as broad creative strategies, there’s something that should strike a chord with beginners and experienced musicians alike. 

Check out the Ableton “One Thing” series here.

All things Ableton @ Scan.

Ableton updates Live to 9.7

Abletons ever popular Live sequencer and performance tool gets it’s 9.7 release free update this morning to registered users.

The main new addition is an update to Simpler, adding new slicing modes (Beat, Region, Manual) to the instrument. Also noteworthy is the improvements that have been made when syncing using Ableton link as well as a whole slew of improvements to integration of both generations of the Push controller.

Full Ableton Live 9.7 Release Notes.

The performance above shows off some of these new features, with a guided walk through of how they were applied in the performance below.

9.7 Release Notes

Improvements and feature changes:

  • New Simpler Slicing modes (Beat, Region, Manual) are now available.
  • As a consequence of the new Simpler features, Live Sets created with this version cannot be opened with previous versions anymore.
  • The beat time of connected apps in a Link session will be aligned when starting Live’s playback with Tap Tempo or via Looper.
  • Updated manual, lessons and info text translations.

Bugfixes:

  • Live would crash when canceling a freeze action, if this was performed on a previously frozen and flattened Clip.
  • Live would crash at startup if the preferences were corrupted.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when using the ‘x2’, ‘:2’, or “Warp As” controls in Simpler, if there was no sample present.
  • Fixed a crash which might occur when creating a time selection on Group tracks in Arrangement View.
  • Live would crash when exporting a MIDI file on Windows.
  • Live would crash when converting a Simpler to a Drum Rack if certain Control Surfaces were enabled.
  • When resizing the left edge of a frozen Clip to the left, audio would still begin playback from the Clip’s former start position.
  • When converting Simpler to Sampler, the Sample Start marker would be visually misplaced.
  • The signal of send for grouped tracks would be doubled (+6dB), if the track’s output was routed to Master and the respective Return track ‘Pre/Post’ toggle was set to Pre.
  • When dragging unwarped Clips over the section of a song where the tempo was automated from a low value to a higher one, Clips stored in the clipboard would appear after the dragged Clip.
  • When running Live as a ReWire slave on a Mac, it would consume 100% of the CPU load after launching Live as a slave for the second time.
  • Converting an Audio Clip from Looper to MIDI would cause the Clip to assume a grey color.
  • When resizing a Clip past its limit, the dragged edge would behave erratically when it was not on a grid position or when the grid was disabled with a modifier.
  • When resizing Live horizontally, the positioning of Max Device windows would not adjust correctly.
  • When exporting audio from Looper, the resulting Clips would inherit the wrong color.
  • Live might run into issues when writing files to disk on Windows, if the file path contained non standard unicode characters.
  • Using 3 APC 40 units in ‘Combination Mode’ would cause LEDs on the APCs to flash erratically.
  • Some audio clips from the Core Library would open in the wrong tempo.

Changes for Push:

  • The new Simpler Slicing modes are available on Push 1 and 2.
  • It is now possible to set the color for Tracks, Clips and Drum Rack pads from Push 2.
  • It is now possible to adjust the Input and Output routing and the Monitoring state from Push 2. This is accessible via Track Mix Mode, where a dedicated ‘Input & Output’ button is added.
  • Introduced a third layout for Drum Racks and Simpler’s Slicing mode, which enables triggering the currently selected pad / Slice with 16 pre-defined velocities. This is a Push 2 only feature.
  • When transport is active, a progress bar on the Push 2 display indicates the playback phase for each of the currently playing Clips.
  • Added a visual feedback for the count-in on the Push 2 display.
  • The Push Record button now takes into account Live’s focus on Arrangement and Session View. If the focus is on Arrangement View, the Session Record button will trigger Global Recording, while the Shift + Record button will trigger / stop Session Recording. The logic is reversed when focused on Session View.
  • Session Record and Arrangement Record are now independent from each other.
  • By default, Fixed Length now respects the Launch Quantization setting. Its previous behavior can be toggled on via the ‘Phrase Sync’ option in the Fixed Length menu. This works with Push 1 and 2.
  • Different sensitivities are in place for the Push 2 pad matrix, depending on the function of the pads in the current layout. This is specifically aimed at avoiding inadvertently changing the loop selector while playing Drum Rack pads.
  • It is now possible to delete the currently selected Clip in Arrangement via Push.
  • It is now possible to duplicate Clips in Arrangement from Push.
  • When the focus is set to Arrangement View, ‘New’ is not available on Push anymore.
  • Improved the matching between pad and display colors on Push 2.
  • Improved the matching between Live and Push 2 colors.
  • On Push 2, the color white in Live is translated as yellow, since white is used to indicate selection.
  • The intensity of the LEDs on in the lower display buttons has been dimmed for Push 2, to create more contrast against the currently selected track.
  • Improved the performance when moving the Session Ring horizontally with Push.
  • Minor visual improvement for the ‘Cancel’ button in the ‘Convert’ menu or when entering the browser via ‘Add Track’. Additionally, the ‘Close’ button has been removed from the ‘Scales’ menu. Push 2 only.
  • On Push 2 display, Simpler’s playhead and loop markers are now the same height as the loop indicator.
  • Flag markers for Simpler and Audio Clips are now properly outlined on the Push 2 display.
  • The fade-in and fade-out visuals on Simpler are now represented differently from Loops on Push 2.
  • Page Left/Right buttons are now available in the Step Sequencer for Simpler in Slice mode.
  • The Push 2 firmware has been updated to 1.0.60. This version allows to automatically adjusts the LED white balance for units produced in the factory from November 2015. Also, this delivers a new pad algorithm that improves the sensitivity of Push pads when playing with wrist pressure. It also contains a fix for cases where Push 2 buttons might double-trigger, and improves the stability of the MIDI data sent from the Push encoders.

Push Bugfixes:

  • When recording multiple clips at the same time, triggering one clip would cause also the other ones to stop recording.
  • Live would crash when enabling the Push 2 Control Surface script on some systems. As a result of the fix, some display functions of Push 2 still won’t work. Improved the error logging to find out more about this issue.
  • The Push 2 display process would not start on Windows, if non-standard unicode characters were contained in the user profile name.
  • When muting or unmuting a track while in Mix Mode with Push 2, the state color of the track’s meters would only update if its peak level changed.
  • Pressing Record on Push would stop a Clip if the Clip Launch Mode was set to “Toggle”.
  • When changing Layout, the Step Sequencer page would reset.
  • The step sequencers might malfunction when odd time signatures were in use.
  • When step-sequencing a Clip in Arrangement View, the playhead would not be shown on Push 2.
  • When a Drum Rack or Instrument Rack was frozen, it was still possible to edit the Chain’s mix parameters.
  • If the selected Clip was in Arrangement View, Push 2 would not display its content in Clip View.
  • The Clip length would not be displayed in Clip View, when performing a recording with Fixed Length.

Ableton Products @ Scan

Novation Launchpad S – Brighter, Faster, Universal

Novation Launchpad S: It’s Bigger, It’s Brighter, and it’s getting us excited!!!!!

Hear Ye! All you Fleet-fingered Ableton Live users, a new King cometh etc.

Yep, it’s here…….

Novation Launchpad S

The no.1 Live controller: now brighter, faster and universal

Launchpad S is an update to the best-selling grid controller for Ableton Live: the Novation Launchpad. The 64 tri-colour pads can launch loops and clips, trigger drums and samples, and also control effects, volumes, mutes, solos and more. Launchpad S can do all this but has vastly brighter LEDs, a significantly faster refresh rate and is now plug and play with other software such as FL Studio. It also now works with iPad!

lp2For those of you not familiar with the original Launchpad, it was about the most comprehensive way of manipulating Ableton Live’s particular way of working.

It was especially designed for launching loops/clips and triggering effects as well as getting full mixer control including volume, effects sends, pan, mute, solo and track arm. The grid can also trigger drums and one-shot samples. A second user mode allows users to freely assign pads to control other software parameters.

 

So what’s new!!!!

KEY FEATURES

64-button music software controller Launch loops/clips, trigger drums and samples, and control effects and volumes.

Brighter, faster and works with more software Launchpad S is an update to the best selling original Launchpad.

Comes with Ableton Live Launchpad Edition Feature-packed version of Ableton Live lets you create music straight out of the box.

Plug and play with FL Studio and other software Now including custom software control overlays in the box.

Now supports iPad Launchpad S connects to iPad® with the Apple Camera Connection Kit — no drivers required!

New #1 iPad music app Trigger loops and remix on the fly with just a Launchpad S and your iPad

Create and perform anywhere Launchpad S is bus powered, even from an iPad, so you don’t need to connect it to mains power!

Launchpad S comes with the Launchpad Edition of Ableton Live, so you can start making music straight away. It also comes with custom overlays for using other grid-based music software such as FL Studio.

 

PLUS:

Novation has developed a Launchpad iPad app that enables loop triggering and effects from your iPad, independent of Ableton Live. Launchpad S can be connected to, and powered by, an iPad using a standard Camera Connection Kit. The app features a 1GB sample pack of brand new hand-picked loops curated by Loopmasters, ranging from drum samples to artist packs across a variety of modern genres……

This superb little box of tricks will retail at £149.99 and should be available from the middle of April………

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/novation-launchpad-s-controller

http://uk.novationmusic.com/midi-controllers-digital-dj/launchpad

 

Breakdown of Ableton Live 9’s features: Suite,Standard or Intro?

Ableton 9 Webcast
After our debut Webcast on Saturday 16th March (click here to go to archived video) We’ve had lots of questions about the new features and what is the best version to buy.

I’ll break down the key features and provide some ideas of how/why you would use them.

Intro, Standard or Suite?

For those new to Ableton live:

▪ It comes in three editions: Intro, Standard and Suite.
▪ Standard and Suite have additional features, Instruments, Packs and Effects.
▪ Intro is exceptional value and a great introduction to Ableton’s main features.
▪ Suite is aimed at the producer who needs a wealth of sounds and virtual instruments.

All of the versions have the unique Session View for quick, intuitive composition, flexible performance and improvisation. This is the screen that can be used for Djing and Live performance.

 

These features are common to all the versions:

▪ Multitrack recording up to 32-bit/192 kHz
▪ Nondestructive editing with unlimited undo
▪ Powerful MIDI sequencing of software and hardware instruments
▪ Advanced warping and real-time time-stretching
▪ Group tracks
▪ VST and Audio Unit support
▪ Time signature changes
▪ Multiple automation lanes
▪ Track Freeze
▪ Automatic plug-in delay compensation
▪ MIDI remote control instant mapping
▪ MIDI output to hardware synths
▪ MIDI Clock/sync
▪ ReWire
▪ Multicore/multiprocessor support
▪ WAV, AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC file support.

Live Suite

This is the full studio version of the software, the main differences here are the inclusion of some great virtual instruments including:

• Analog – a virtual analog synthesizer
• Collision – physical modeling instrument based on mallet percussion sounds
• Electric – a classic electric piano emulation
• Operator – versatile synth that combines both FM and subtractive synthesis
• Sampler – virtual sampling instrument with multisample playback and sound design.
• Tension – a physical modeling string-based sythesiser

Audio effects exclusive to Suite are:
• Amp – a virtual guitar amplifier great for emulating the sounds and characters of classic amps
• Cabinet – a speaker cabinet simulator modeled on five classic guitar cabinets
• Corpus – simulates the acoustic properties of resonant objects such as pipes, membranes and tubes.

These features alone help to justify the price difference, they are powerful audio tools that help you to create manipulate pretty much any sound. I must admit that at first glance they don’t ‘look’ impressive, but that is part of the whole concept of Live, its what goes on ‘under the hood’.
These instruments don’t place too much demand on your processor, graphically they are minimalistic but use your ears and you will be kindly rewarded!

Audio to MIDI

In the web cast (link at the top) I demonstrated the use of the new Audio to Midi features; these are exclusive to Standard and Suite. Anyone who has used or seen these features will know how incredibly useful they are.

Other workstations do have this functionality but it’s not as accessible as it is in Live.
Having this feature allows you infinite possibilities for sound sources and grooves.

Too many to go into here perhaps! One idea would be to use your voice as a sound source, imagine beat boxing the rhythm track, singing the bass-line and melody and then layering tones to make complete chords?

This is surely a great feature that many existing users are very pleased to see included.
Sample-based artists can use the groove or melodic/harmonic content from any recording this allows you to re-invent your entire sample library.

All the features mentioned above are very useful and integral to what makes Ableton 9 so versatile. Of course these features are reflected in the price:

• Ableton Live 9 Suite £559.00 inc VAT (click here to go to product page )

• Ableton Live 9 Standard £339.00 inc VAT (click here to go to product page)

• Ableton Live Intro £79.00 inc VAT (click here to go to product page

So why buy Ableton Live Intro then?

At £79.00 what do you actually get?
Well surprisingly still a great deal! Intro is a great title for this product as this is exactly what it is.

If you’ve never used Ableton before then this is a great place to start, the features that have made the program popular are included here:

• The Session View, this is the “jam” screen where samples/midi clips can be triggered in real time either as individual clips or as horizontal “scenes”
• Any performance on the Session view can then be recorded in real time onto the arrangement view (similar to Cubase,Logic etc)
• Sample warping is included, Ableton analyses each sample allowing you to change the tempo of the song in real time and all the samples will follow with out changing pitch. This is a very fast way to experiment with material from different genres/tempos and have no restrictions.
• Re-Wire is included – So if you cant pull yourself away from Cubase,Reason,Logic or whatever you use, then Ableton will happily run alongside any of these programs in Slave or Master mode. Many producers use their plug-ins from Cubase or Logic but run Ableton alongside for its excellent audio and MIDI tools.

Overview 

If you want to harness the full power of Ableton Live, then Suite is definitely the one for you, with over 3,000 sounds you can use all of the instruments, packs and effects and have a fully functional studio package. If you don’t need all of the extra plugins and effects then Standard does have most of the technical features such as Audio to Midi, unlimited tracks etc. This is probably a good choice if you already have a good collection of 3rd party plug-ins or a vast sample library.
Intro is best for beginners or those already loyal to another DAW, the good thing here is that you can always upgrade and unlock the other features when you are ready.

If you want to see a features comparison chart click here to go to Ableton’s site

Hope that makes things a little clearer! Look out for more Ableton Live 9 videos soon on the Scan Pro Audio You Tube channel.

In case you missed them, here are some I made outlining some of the simple but really effective features using Ableton Live 8:

Introduction and Overview
Building an Instrument Rack
Using MIDI devices Scale and Random
Using the MIDI arpeggiator
Managing your Screen and Layout

A Quick First Look at The Electrix Tweaker

Tweaker – Live Performance Controller for Ableton, Traktor and Serato.

Today at Scan we were given an exclusive chance to quickly have a bash with the new Tweaker by Electrix, a Live Performance Controller for Ableton, Traktor and Serato.

As three of us on the Pro Audio team use each one of those programs we were all keen to have a go.

Firstly I tried setting it up with the Ableton overlay and to make this change  you lift off the fader pots and switch the overlay which can then be quickly put in place.

The first most noticeable aspect of the controller is its build quality. It’s clearly aimed at the live user in clubs/on stage, the casing is very robust and will definitely take some wear and tear expected from regular gigging.

For installation, all I needed to do was to download the Ableton script/template from the Electrix website. The device is plug and play for both Windows and Mac and on starting up Ableton, Tweaker could be seen in the Midi device list and was ready to use.

Have a look at the video to see Simons first impressions and look out for a more function and feature based video soon.

Electrix TweakerAll Electrix Hardware At Scan

Ableton Push

Two announcements from the Ableton camp today and whilst we were expecting the Ableton 9 announcement the Ableton Push one has caught us and I’m sure most other people rather by surprise.

So we have what looks like a hybrid of the Akai APC series and another Ableton endorsed controller the launchpad, with this controller being designed for Ableton by the aforementioned Akai. The video demo shows off how tactile the unit is and the well tested colour co-ordination being used allows quick and easy triggering of all parts of your track allowing you to quickly build up your songs in the studio and manipulate them easily when playing out live.

Ableton on the Push:

Push is a new instrument that solves an old problem: how to make a song from scratch.With hands-on control of melody and harmony, beats, sounds, and song structure, Push puts the fundamental elements of music making at your fingertips – and it fits in a backpack alongside your laptop.

Push uses the power of Ableton Live running on your computer which provides Push with a comprehensive collection of instruments and effects.

All of your sounds are ready to be played, tweaked, and personalized. Fine-tune parameters in your instruments and effects using Push’s touch-sensitive encoders and see everything from Push’s display.

Improvise and play with song structure, capture all of your musical ideas and quickly duplicate and create variations which you can then trigger, re-arrange, and create new combinations.

Capture everything you play with Push’s unique recording workflow. Overdub new notes or create variations of phrases, moving quickly between your song materials with just a few buttons. After you’ve created ideas, switch to another mode to try them out in various combinations.

When you’re ready to get into arranging, detailed editing, and exporting your finished song, switch from Push to your computer to find your music already laid out in Ableton Live – the software that was powering your work the whole time. Push gives you the best of both worlds for making music: inspiring hardware for hands-on control at the beginning, and full-featured music creation software for fine-tuning the details at the end.

Ableton Push use shot

Ableton push front

For more on the Ableton Push

Ableton Products @ Scan

 

Ableton Live tutorials

Whether completely new to Ableton Live or even a regular user, check our You Tube channel for a series of tutorial videos from Simon.

Looking at getting the most out of Live’s built in plug-ins, building instrument/drum racks and general tips of how to keep creating music, Simon takes you through all this and more in easy to follow videos.

The first of the videos is an introduction and overview, look below for other more specific tutorials.

More videos will be added soon but for now have a look here:

Questions and suggestions for other tutorials are welcome, do let us know!

Check out Ableton products at Scan

 

Ableton Live 8.4 Beta Enables 64 Bit support (At Last!)

Finally, Ableton come out with a 64 bit version, (Well, Almost… its still a beta) why not go and try it out for yourselves.

What They Say……….

 

We are pleased to announce the beta version of Live 8.4, featuring native 64-bit support. With 64-bit support, Sets in Live 8 can now accommodate much larger memory usage, and third-party plugins that support 64-bit. Registered Live 8, Suite 8, Live Intro or Live Lite 8 users can download the beta now.

Download the beta

The 64-bit version of Live works with PCs running Windows Vista/7/8 (64-bit) and with Intel-Macs running OS X 10.5 and up. The 64-bit version of Live 8 does not support Max for Live, video, or The Bridge. We are currently working with our partners to add support for these features.

Learn more about the benefits and limitations of 64-bit Live 8

The release version of Live 8.4 will be available later, as a free update for registered Live 8, Suite 8, Live Intro or Live Lite 8 users.

Ableton – "Beat the Clock" Remix Competition

Ableton Beat the Clock remix Competition

Remix and Win a Trip to Berlin With Ableton And Sound Cloud.

 

For the next two weeks Ableton & Soundcloud are running their “Beat the Clock” remix competition with loads of great prizes including a 4 night stay in Berlin.

About the “Beat The Clock” Competition

Ableton has teamed up with SoundCloud and collaborated with some of our favorite artists for this very special contest. A free Live Pack featuring sounds from atmospheric pop titan M83, indie electronic stars Junior Boys, and LA beatmaker Nosaj Thing is available to all Live users from May 14th through May 28th. Use these loops, stems and presets to create a new, original track.

One catch: you only have 24 hours to create and submit your work.

The countdown starts with your download. Get your creative juices flowing and show us what you can do in just one day. After all entries have been submitted, the SoundCloud community and the artists themselves will choose the best tracks. Prizes include a trip to Berlin, Ableton Suite with free upgrades for life, five years of a SoundCloud Pro Plus account and more.

Don’t own a version of Ableton Live 8 yet?

Here are 3 options for you to get Ableton Live 8 and participate:

  • Get a free 30-day trial of Ableton Live. It comes with the full feature set.
  • Until May 31st 2012, all SoundCloud users can get a free Ableton Live Lite 8 serial number. To claim your free Live Lite license, head to Ableton Live in the SoundCloud App Gallery, and click “Get This App”. Once you’ve signed up with Ableton, you’ll instantly be granted your free license.
  • If you own an older version of Ableton Live, upgrade to Live 8 before May 31st and get 5 free months of a SoundCloud Pro account.

Prizes

1st prize winner receives:

  • Round trip to Berlin for two people including the following: Hotel stay for 4 nights, visits to the Ableton and SoundCloud headquarters, and a session with Ableton’s Lead Product Specialist
  • Ableton Suite with free upgrades for life
  • 5 year SoundCloud Pro Plus account
  • 1 Akai APC40

2nd + 3rd prize winners receive:

  • Ableton Suite with free upgrades for life
  • 5 year SoundCloud Pro Plus account
  • 1 Novation Launchpad

4th-10th prize winners receive:

  • Session with an Ableton Certified Trainer in your city or online training from one of our partners
  • 1 year SoundCloud Pro Plus account

For more information on this contest, as well as the full entry guidelines click here.

Ableton At Scan

Native Instruments F1 Controller & Traktor 2.5

Native Instruments F1 Controller & Traktor 2.5

So, waaay back at the start of NAMM week, we got the first teaser vid of the new Native Instruments Traktor F1 remix controller, which was tipped to be called the X2.

Well, now it’s offically surfaced its actually the Traktor Kontrol F1, but the feature set seems pretty much as predicted.
The unit will ship along with Traktor 2.5 software, which brings in the “Remix Deck” functionality. The NI CEO introduced the device by saying

“So those of you that like Ableton but actually didn’t feel that it’s quite a DJ product, this is it. We take the whole production clipping aspect right into a DJ application, and these pads light up in just the same color as the cells in the Remix Decks.”

Well, it certainly seems to deliver exactly that, and here’s a Vid of DJ Shiftee putting it though its paces (once the mc shuts up!)

Here’s a hi-res image of the controller

Lets take a look from the top down then…..

First thing to notice is the four filter knobs, i’d presume at this point that they would control the same hi/low pass filter thats found on the S4, though of course with these controllers, you can assign them to any parameter in the software to suit your workflow.

 

Next up are the faders, presumably preset to volume, so perfect for doing some manual fades.

 

 

 

Then we get down to the control buttons, sync will lock all of the samples loaded to the master tempo, and the QUANT(ize) button will make things lock to beat, so they are come in tempo perfect (the same as ableton) and i expect that the dial will also be able to change the quantize resolution to bar, quarter note etc.

Capture and size we still know nothing about,  but you can definatly reverse samples so, thats probably what the reverse button is for.

 

As you can see from the buttons, there is no “trigger everything in a line” button, like you find on the ableton controllers, but with four fingers, you should be able to trigger things quite easily, so i cant see that being any great loss. The stop buttons at the bottom are a nice touch too, so that you can easily stop using the decks and go back to regular dj’ing.

 

 

The Native Instruments Kontrol F1 will be available from at the end of May and will retail at £199, including the Traktor Pro 2.5 Software.

For More Information On the F1 Controller From Native Instruments

The Native Instruments F1 Controller At Scan