Need help getting into the sessionview workflow

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Tortoise
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:48 am

Need help getting into the sessionview workflow

Post by Tortoise » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:29 am

Hi, i'm a new user of Ableton, just bought Ableton 7.

I've been struggling quite a bit in finding a good workflow.
I guess it'll take a while to un-train myself from what I've done in other DAWs to get to the music, coming from writing/recording in Cubase & Logic.
The music i'm doing is mostly singer-songwriter stuff, which is very arranged, with usually lots of tracks and time changes.

Arrange View is pretty similair of course, but it's the session view that I really what made me interested in Ableton. I understand thewhole concept, but would love to hear tricks and tips from others how to use the Scenes & Launching etc.

So guys, can anyone share their ideas how to actually GET INTO the session view workflow?

If tried hard to find video resources, or tutorials for song writing in session view.

Anything is helpful.
Cheers. T.

jamos
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 9:16 pm

Post by jamos » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:38 am

did you look at the tutorials on this site ? im sure theres a great overview of working in session view, watch all of these ....

http://www.ableton.com/movies

8O
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Post by 8O » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:38 am

Hi,

To get you started there are a couple of intro videos at http://www.ableton.com/movies - e.g. the Improvising with Loops video is a really nice place to start.

There's also a whole chapter devoted to Session view in the manual.

And googling Ableton Live Session View will get you loads of useful info and videos.
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mkelly
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Re: Need help getting into the sessionview workflow

Post by mkelly » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:40 am

Tortoise wrote:So guys, can anyone share their ideas how to actually GET INTO the session view workflow?
Hit Tab

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I got some videos from one of the online training places and found them to be quite helpful explaining session view and what it's capable of doing. I can't remember the name of the place - it was some "1 month pass" that I got a voucher for (maybe from an Ableton promo).

Here's an idea though. Nine Inch Nails have a few songs out there in Ableton format for remixing. One of them ("Only" I think it was) has the song laid out in session and I found it very educational to play about with.

Edit: the "Y34rz3r0r3mix3d" CD came with a bonus DVD containing all the tracks from Year Zero in Abe format as well. Not sure that they used session view though.

Edit 2: The Only Abe file is available to download from remix.nin.com - only problem is you need to register. When you do so, log in, go to "Mix", then go to "Download multi-tracks".
Also - have a look round the forum here - some kind souls post up remixable fies from time to time and might be a useful introduction to session view.
Last edited by mkelly on Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tortoise
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Post by Tortoise » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:00 am

Thanks guys. I've seen the "improvising with loops" movie + watched some other tutorials covering the seesion view. But what i'm interested in knowing more about is how other songwriters who not particularly are improvising electronic musicians.

What's mostly new to me is how to work with scenes. I've found that it's not possible to program scenes to automaticly play in a certain order, right? And this is bit hard for me personally to get a grip on how to solve this when some scenes are very short, it gets confusing to manually lanuch the scenes. Will it be better to mostly work with the "launch clip following"?

I guess a combination of working in arrangemnt view and session view is what will be best for me?

But i'm just curious to hear from other more traditional singer songwriters (not electro) how to start thinking, and basically get rid of the Logic/Cubase DAW approach.
Here's an idea though. Nine Inch Nails have a few songs out there in Ableton format for remixing. One of them ("Only" I think it was) has the song laid out in session and I found it very educational to play about with.
Great! i will definatly check this out right away!
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jamos
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Post by jamos » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:22 am

When working in scences coming from a song writers perspective look at it as a place to store all your clips of audio that can be arranged later, its for experimenting with different peices of audio that normally you wouldnt play together as you would have recorded it in the normal linear fashion. You can build up all the layers of you music using clips and scenes and then once you have a song structure built you can arrange the song in arrangement. Once you grasp the ease of song writing in session view you wont go back !

Tortoise
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Post by Tortoise » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:38 am

You can build up all the layers of you music using clips and scenes and then once you have a song structure built you can arrange the song in arrangement.
Thanks. I understand the concept of scenes and clips in session view. And i totally understand that it's a awesome way of improvising with loops, and later do the arrangement.

What i'm hinting at is, how do you approach the seesion view in the best way, if you already have the whole arrangement in your head? I usually get the whole song structure finsihed before i start recording. Then afterwards I play around.

For instance if I start by recording the whole song Intro/Verse/Chorus/Vers2 etc.
with vocals and guitar. Then afterwards when it's time to try out drum parts and everything else, i'm wondering which is then the best was of approaching it?

Is it to start by recording the idea in Arrangement view, then to "slice" up the different parts and import them into session view? One for each new scene?

Hope my thoughts makes sense.

So, If anyone would like to share how your workflow look like for songwriting like this it I think it would be really useful to get started.
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pepezabala
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Post by pepezabala » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:30 am

when you have a complete closed song structure, and you don't want to trigger scenes, then it would be more appropriate to use arrangement view.

If you ever feel the urge to have certain parts of your arrangement available in session view for jamming, then you can just copy them back into session view and play with them there.

But if you want to work on an arrangement, then use the arrangement view.

Hehe, that's why they have those names, isn't it? Session - arrangement.

Tortoise
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:48 am

Post by Tortoise » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:42 am

when you have a complete closed song structure, and you don't want to trigger scenes, then it would be more appropriate to use arrangement view.

If you ever feel the urge to have certain parts of your arrangement available in session view for jamming, then you can just copy them back into session view and play with them there.
Yeah, that sounds logical. So I get it, basically what you're doing is using Session for play around and improvise and the Arrangement is for the whole song structure.

Thanks for clearing this out, because i was trying to make the arrangement in session view by using the Launch - Next + triggering scenes, And it was a mess.

Follow up question then:
If you've started working in the arrangement view and the structure is there, and then you want to go into session view and try out ideas for a certain part, and also make new recordings. How do you usually do that in the best way, without running the risk of overwriting or losing stuff that's been arranged in the arrangement view?
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jamos
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Post by jamos » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:51 am

stuff will only record into the arrangemnt from session if the main record button is armed. If you want to just play the session then set the markers in the arrangement to an empty space with the loop button on, this will allow you to play in session view again without playing arrangement at the same time.......also theres a button that lights up at the top to tell you that you are playing both arrangement and session , to play arrangement on its own you have to make sure this button is not on or you will hear clips playing at the same time...these are just my methods and not nessesaraly the best way of working. You should be able to build an arrangement in the session view also, it just take time to get your head around it mate.

also

RTFM :twisted:

Tortoise
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Post by Tortoise » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 am

If you want to just play the session then set the markers in the arrangement to an empty space with the loop button on, this will allow you to play in session view again without playing arrangement at the same time.......
Perfect, thanks. Actually i have RTFM alot, so i know all about the other stuff you mentioned :wink: i was just interested in tips like the one you mentioned above, to get a better and quicker workflow.
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jamos
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Post by jamos » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:26 am

no worries mate ...the whole flicking between the two views is cofusing as shite to start with.

Tortoise
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Post by Tortoise » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:24 pm

no worries mate ...the whole flicking between the two views is cofusing as shite to start with.
Yeah, after some hours though it's really starting to making sense. Session view is perfect for trying out ideas, and I find the arrangement view perfect as laying out the ideas from scratch, even better than Logic.

Although, I do miss the Logic plug-ins for Guitar/Bass amp + the Piano in Ableton is horrible. So i think I will go into Logic for all the electric Guitar and Piano recordings.

Is it possible to use the Logic AU plugs in Ableton? Guess not...
Does anyone have recomennedations of good sounding Guitar Amp plugs and Piano instruments that's not to hard on the CPU?
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webslave
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Re: Need help getting into the sessionview workflow

Post by webslave » Wed May 06, 2009 2:07 pm

I've been using Ableton for a while and have the same problem - for songwriting when is it good to use session view. I'm much the same as the original poster in that often the structure / chord structure comes first before adding what needs to be added. The grid nature of the session view makes certain things hard to do or less natural, like leading up to choruses.

Reading this thread it appears that a hybrid of arrange and session view may be a way to try out new ideas, probably more for repeating motifs like drums etc. than vocals and melody parts.

Tortoise
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:48 am

Re: Need help getting into the sessionview workflow

Post by Tortoise » Wed May 06, 2009 2:22 pm

webslave wrote:I've been using Ableton for a while and have the same problem - for songwriting when is it good to use session view. I'm much the same as the original poster in that often the structure / chord structure comes first before adding what needs to be added. The grid nature of the session view makes certain things hard to do or less natural, like leading up to choruses.

Reading this thread it appears that a hybrid of arrange and session view may be a way to try out new ideas, probably more for repeating motifs like drums etc. than vocals and melody parts.
Hi. Yes, After some months with Ableton, the way I work is pretty straightforward only using the arrangeview. But then occasionally i use the session view if I got a certain section of the song, where I wan't to experiment with the length and just drag-and-drop loops until something unexpected might come out of it. Anyway, I like working with Ableton for a few reasons:

- the easy way of changing the BPM and the key for the song! Which is a lot more time taking in Cubase, Logic etc. It's perfect for the first demo sketches.
- the easy way of locating and prewieving loops and samples.
- and last a lot of good instruments (and quite good plugs...) in Ableton Suite.

Ableton has become the program i use to record and arrange demos.

However, I still find Cubase and Logic to be better for more serious tracking and mixing whenever i want to make a proper recording.
And even after working in Cubase/Logic i tend to go back into Ableton and try out the session view from time to time, to change or try out different drums and instruments. So even if it has taken a little time to get used to it, i'm totally happy with Ableton.
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