<----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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<----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by ColdMbrace » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:45 pm

So, as the subject implies, I am woefully ignorant where to go next now that I've purchased the software. I went to an Ableton intro workshop a few months ago but was not in a position to purchase the software at that time. I have had it for about a week or two now, and all I have are a few manuals that I can make little sense of, and quite a bit of expensive equipment just sitting in my studio collecting dust. Short backstory: I spent the first...ah...majority of my music career thinking I was never good enough, taking lessons and practicing for ridiculous amounts of time each day, and never got around to recording any of my original stuff, and was only ever in just a few bands. I was too busy *living* like a rock star to actually *be* a rock star.

All that said, I am now older, ironically far more creative than I ever was - which blows my mind - but I have no idea how to get all my song ideas on digital. I'm not ignorant about computers, but I never bothered to learn about how MIDI works, much less actually plugging my guitar into my audio interface device (an M-Track) and actually recording anything. At the moment, all I care about is getting my stuff on digital, so at the very least, my daughter will have something by which to remember me. My legacy, if you will.

I am at this point trying to record a classical piece I wrote via a condenser mic and a nylon string guitar, and another song I wrote that I played at my niece's funeral that has been surprisingly well received. That particular song I was wanting a simple drum track over it, but I can't seem to make it happen. The one that I can make play is too fast and I have no idea how to change the tempo.


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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by ColdMbrace » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:51 pm

Oh, and to be clear, just speak to me as if I had never plugged a guitar into an amplifier...because the last time I did, THERE WAS NO INTERNET...if that tells you anything. I have been playing guitar steadily for almost 30 years and I couldn't play five songs from beginning to end that I didn't write. That should tell you how up to date I am on music recording technology. Please don't assume I know any terms, lingo or basic knowledge. I don't. If you're talking about a guitar, I could probably school YOU...but that isn't where my ignorance lies...ahem.

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by Angstrom » Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:00 pm

You might consider hiring a local person to come in and mentor you into a workflow which suits you.

One thing about working digitally which is very different from the old tape methodology is - everyone winds up with a different workflow.

Everyone works differently. A hiphop producer, a trance musician, a rock guy, a soundtrack artist, all work differently.

It can take a while to find the simplest route for you. Don't get too distracted into the technology. It may be that a Push with the most basic setup and a couple of mics pointing at your amp cabinet is your quickest route to making some actual music.

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by mrgrim3 » Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:08 pm

theres a little box on the top left when you start ableton says 120 by default it is the global bpm you can change it slower to match your recording and then do the drums

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by [jur] » Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:00 pm

There's all you need in Live's Help menu. The manual of course, but also a lot of integrated (and interactive) lessons. You can do all of them in 2 hours, and you'll then know how to use Live deeply enough.
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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by Division Monarchy » Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:05 pm

You obviously have quite a learning curve ahead of you. If you have no clue as to what MIDI is, then that is a place to start. Basic MIDI you should understand for being able to change the tempo of the drums is quite simple. First understand that MIDI is not sound, it is only musical data which tells what note was played when and how hard it was played and for how long (that's the basic). So let's say you have a kick on note C2 and your snare on D2, Ableton will record what you play in a MIDI sequence. From there you can adjust the tempo in the upper left window. Remember to use the metronome. Hopefully some of that makes sense, but I would recommend some online courses like Lynda or MacProVideo that could explain the basics of working with audio on a computer. It's all simpler that what it may seem like at first. Just try not to overthink it.

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by Davo » Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:15 pm

1. Don't panic. Live is a huge and complicated program but you don't need to learn it all in order to record your guitar. Give yourself time, take it in small steps and if you get frustrated then just take a break and come back to it later. If you persist then you will learn to do what you want and it will be great!
2. Read the overview chapter of the manual so you know in outline how the whole program works.
3. Do the built-in lessons, especially the ones about setting up your sound card. From memory this also tells you how to record your guitar. This will tell you about scary sounding things like latency and buffers, but Don't Panic. Come back and ask more specific questions if you get stuck.

Good luck, Dave.

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by [art] » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:23 am

One of Lives big features is a thing called "Warping".. In most cases its set to be on by default (check Lives preferences/options) ... But it essentially makes audio elastic and stretchable to any tempo you choose. Tempo mistakes are also fixable.

To create Drums, if you're starting out, use the Impulse device. It comes with every version of Live.

If I was you I'd put the Metronome on, Record in your guitar part, and then create drums after that.

Better yet just get a real drummer to jam along with you and record that at the same time to save all the headaches.

But yes I agree with Angstrom, find a local Ableton guru and get them to help you out.

Only so much help you can give over the internet.

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by prebentious » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:22 pm

While live it's a wonderful and amazing too, if you're on a Mac, if strongly recommend starting with garage band. It's much more straight forward and simple. You can graduate to live later on

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by Mister Natural » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:27 pm

Cold - fellow traveler guitarist here

Give yourself permission to learn LIVE slowly. Read that sentence again.
As Davo mentions above, it's a complicated / complex bit of code. It's gonna take a while for you to get comfortable - but it's totally worth the journey. Hell, I'm almost 9yrs in here and I still don't know half of what this software is capable of. But, I have a lot of fun putting pieces together for my "legacy"; as you put it.
Think small at first - like a 4 track recorder. One strip for your GTR, one for your voice(or second GTR if you don't sing), one track for a bass instrument and the final track for a drum machine(which LIVE's Impulse is a terrific emulation).
The manual looks overwhelming as it's a thick as a bible but it's really very well written and a great step by step process to learn. Ableton has some uTube videos on getting started, as well : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtE5hjF8Hb8
This is an older site that still is valid : http://abletonlife.com/ableton-live-qui ... ide-part-1

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by Shift Gorden » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:20 pm

Hello mate!

There's a ton of great content on YouTube, mate...and it's free!

I have really enjoyed Point Blank London's content - their formal online classes are also absolutely top notch.

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Re: <----Utterly Ignorant Ableton User

Post by abpm » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:48 am

First of all, this is awesome and inspiring to read. God speed on your journey to creativity!

First thing I'd recommend is watching as many YouTube tutorials as you possibly can. There are some great introduction videos that will surely help you.

Second of all, I recommend finding a workshop next to you (there are actually many Ableton communities around the world). As an alternative, find someone to collaborate with. When I was first starting out it was good to have a collaborator to bounce things off of.

Finally, the wonderful thing about Ableton Live is that it is an extremely intuitive program to use so long as you have a bit of patience. As the gentleman above said, it IS a complex program in that it has so many functions under the hood. However, it is actually a very simple and straightforward piece of software. Eventually you'll find that whatever you want to do, it's actually super simple and easy to accomplish.

Don't forget about: ableton.com/answers

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