Clip color conventions

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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maylortaylor
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Clip color conventions

Post by maylortaylor » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:13 pm

I'm very interested in hearing what you have to say about this topic. I have experimented with various coloring conventions but in my 2 years of Ableton use i have still not picked my own convention. Bear in mind that i use Session View + live midi manipulation/playing mainly.

Some of the ones I have tried are:

- all clips in a particular 'song' colored the same
--This is so i can stack songs in session view and quickly know that i'm in one song and where the next one begins

- highlighting (making a different color than the others in the song) the clip so i know that the particular clip is important in some way (modulate it, overdub it,etc)

- I also have played around with making all my bass clips one color (blue), my keys clips (orange), leads (another color), drums (yellow), etc etc
-- this one seems to be the direction i want to go


I'm just asking this to hopefully hear your ides and get a topic started about how we all use the coloring to help us visually inside Live

chapelier fou
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by chapelier fou » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:50 pm

i've been playing with custom midi controllers to launch clips for years now. They had colored buttons and i used to color my clips in the same colors.
Basically, per track, Red/Orange/Green/Yellow/Red/Orange/Green/Yellow as this pattern is really good for not mixing up things with a quick look. And is reproducible on launchpads.
But i just got push, i might change my habits. But still, one track, one color.
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maylortaylor
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by maylortaylor » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:04 pm

chapelier fou wrote:i've been playing with custom midi controllers to launch clips for years now. They had colored buttons and i used to color my clips in the same colors.
Basically, per track, Red/Orange/Green/Yellow/Red/Orange/Green/Yellow as this pattern is really good for not mixing up things with a quick look. And is reproducible on launchpads.
But i just got push, i might change my habits. But still, one track, one color.
That makes sense and is something i do now.

The tracks are all color coded. Such as Bass(blue), Keys(green), Lead(orange), Audio Files(purple), Midi drums(yellow)

but that is for each separate track. I'm more concerned with each individual clip.

Here is an example of something i've pondered:

'downtempo, slow motion, chill' clips will be a light color. So if the song has a chill bass line intro, highlight this in a light blue color. Then as the song progresses, and the more intense part comes, highlight this bass clip in a heavy blue

make sense? and if so...is that smart?

chapelier fou
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by chapelier fou » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:25 pm

it's smart if you think it is !
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iMac 27" Retina i5 3,2 GHz OS 10.11.3 L10.0.1 M4L.

maylortaylor
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by maylortaylor » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:45 pm

chapelier fou wrote:it's smart if you think it is !

I suppose so. Whatever works for you is best.

I hope this thread starts to fill in. I really am interested in hearing others view points.

su
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by su » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:16 pm

I've always thought the columns in the color picker grid represented color families. So I sometimes use a different column of colors for each track. It's visually appealing, seems to distinguish between tracks somewhat and distinguishes between clips within a track. There also seems to be a kind of saturation gradation from top to bottom of the color grid, so picking colors in order also seems to help. But I sometimes have a hard time figuring out which column I'm using for a track. :wink:

oblique strategies
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by oblique strategies » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:04 am

I use colour to indicate type:

For traditional composed music
Blue = bass
Greens = drums
Yellow = percussion
Purples = synths
Orange = acoustic instruments: strings, horns, piano
Off-White = vocals
etc.

For Dark Ambient music
Green = environmental
Pink = dialog
Yellow = rhythm
Orange = pre-recorded music (any kind from Classical to Reggae to Electronica)
etc.

Sub-categories are variations on the main category colour:
Light Teal = environmental processed through effects
Dark Pink = dialog processed through effects

For DJing:
I've tried colour-coding genres of music, but tend to just leave clips orange.

For information:
Red = problem
White = information

Martin Gifford
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by Martin Gifford » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:53 am

maylortaylor wrote:Bass(blue), Keys(green), Lead(orange), Audio Files(purple), Midi drums(yellow)
I like that colour scheme. I'll try it. But I prefer Red for Drums.

I definitely find keeping all the same kind of tracks a similar colour and near each other helps a lot in arrangement view. And I name as many things as possible. Especially on a laptop when clip view obscures the main screen so easily. I wish clip view would disappear more easily more often - like a preference setting.

stuartm
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by stuartm » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:32 pm

My scheme for electronic music:
(I colour the scribble strips for my mixer-like MIDI controller in the same way)

Dark Brown = bass
Light Brown = other low frequency tonal elements

Red = key drums, i.e. kick, hat, snare
Purple = other drums, percussion etc.

Dark Green = small, but driving / continuously running synth elements
Light Green = other small synths, arpeggio lines

Dark Blue = (large) pads with melodic contribution
Light Blue = background pads, ambient

Yellow = mono-leads, hooks, "topping"
Orange = chords, stabs

Grey = FX, Vocals etc.

White = notes, remarks, ideas

re:dream
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by re:dream » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:37 pm

I want animated colours. Pulsating colours at the BPM for drums, strobing colours for scintillating leads...

sporkles
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by sporkles » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:41 pm

I have automatic clip colour enabled and change colour when I change a duplicated clip. E.g. if I have a 4 bar clip that I duplicate and then change, I also change the colour, but normally, I just pick a completely random colour to differentiate the clip from the original clip.

piZMo
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by piZMo » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:17 pm

You are all wasting your time. Christopher Walken does all my clip colouring while i sleep, its much more efficient, and he knows exactly the right colours for each clip, he is a pro at it and his rates are quite reasonable. Give him a call you won't regret it.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=75357

sporkles
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Re: Clip color conventions

Post by sporkles » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:28 pm

That reply warrants an Ableton Forum Kung-Fu Master Award.

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