FR: Overwrite clips (pseudo linked/alias clips)

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live

Do you want linked/alias clips?

Yes
16
80%
No
0
No votes
Not bothered (might use if available)
4
20%
Don't know
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 20

Scoox
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

FR: Overwrite clips (pseudo linked/alias clips)

Post by Scoox » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:06 pm

Linked clips enable convenient editing of clips that repeat throughout a project. Edit any one clip and the changes are automatically applied to all the other linked clips, also known as instances. It's easy to see how this would extremely useful when producing electronic music genres.

Cubase, FL Studio, Logic, Reaper, Studio One and maybe other DAWs too implement this; surprisingly, Ableoton Live—the most popular DAW among electronic music producers—doesn't.

Below is a mock-up of what this might look like in a future release. Before I post the full details of how this would work, I invite fellow forum members to try and guess by looking at the mock-up, which hopefully is self-documenting (hint: it's very similar to the way grooves and the Groove Pool work):

Image

Below is the same image with a few indicators to highlight the new features. Red means 'check this out' and blue indicates a relationship between two things:

Image

Lastly, a couple of extra clip context menu commands to manage linked copies:

Image

Feel free to speculate and comment. Cheers!
Last edited by Scoox on Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:17 am, edited 3 times in total.

miyaru
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:08 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by miyaru » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:46 pm

I voted not bothered, but to be honoust the idea is more then OK........let's do it in the next update! :D
Greetings from Miyaru.

Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Live Suit 10, Push2, Reason Suite 11, Presonus Eris E8, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Korg R3, NI Massive, Rob Papen's Predator 2, Sonarworks Reference 4 and Scaler.

Scoox
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:16 am

miyaru wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:46 pm
I voted not bothered, but to be honoust the idea is more then OK........let's do it in the next update! :D
The idea is that by default clips are unlinked, so if you are not bothered you simply ignore it and Live works just like it always did, this way everyone is happy.

Clips are unique by default. Users can explicitly add clips to the Pool to make them available for linking. I refer to pool clips as 'source clips', and linked clips in Session and Arrange view as 'instances'. So in a project you could have mainly unlinked regular clips and four or five source clips that you use throughout your project. Clips can be unlinked at any time if you want edits un apply only to a specific clip instance.

Just curious, wouldn't you use this if you had it? Maybe you don't use grooves but being able to change the groove in one place and have it propagate to all clips that use that groove saves a ton of time, instead of having to apply the groove un each clip one by one, or select-delete-duplicate each time. The same idea would work well for other clip attributes.

miyaru
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:08 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by miyaru » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:41 am

Yes, how you explain it, I would use it - you are right!!!!
Greetings from Miyaru.

Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Live Suit 10, Push2, Reason Suite 11, Presonus Eris E8, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Korg R3, NI Massive, Rob Papen's Predator 2, Sonarworks Reference 4 and Scaler.

Lokan
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:22 pm

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Lokan » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:13 pm

+1
alt+d in blender does linked duplicate. so, providing a similar shortcut will be handy

jonljacobi
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by jonljacobi » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:08 am

I have no issue with linked clips, however, I don’t really want to see a clip pool or anything so pervasive. Just create a linked clip and break the link if you later want to make it independent.

Scoox
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:13 pm

jonljacobi wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:08 am
I have no issue with linked clips, however, I don’t really want to see a clip pool or anything so pervasive. Just create a linked clip and break the link if you later want to make it independent.
I really appreciate your comment. That could work as long as the right-click menu provides the command to select all linked clips. I suppose a keyboard shortcut would be needed to 'Paste Linked' and linked clips would have a small indicator on them to make them look different from non-linked (regular) clips, which I forgot to include in my mock-up.

Your solution is definitely simpler and I wouldn't have a problem with it. Having said that that, the clip pool has one big advantage, which is that you can audition different source clips in context simply by selecting a different source from the source picker drop-down (see mock-up), the exact same way as grooves work. A best-of-both-worlds solution would be to automatically add the clip to the pool as soon as its 'pasted as linked'. Clips would have to be deleted manually from the pool—maybe I should include a 'Select All Unused' button in the pool, plus an indicator to show which clips are being used (for example, an asterisk). Once selected, you'd just hit Delete un get rid of them.

In my opinion a clip pool isn't particularly pervasive, not any more than the groove pool. It can be hidden anyway just like the groove pool. When linked clips are created using the 'Paste Linked' method to create instances of an existing clip, the clip pool doesn't even need to be shown at all, it would just be sitting in the background ready for that extra bit of functionality if and when required.

Scoox
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:28 am

I'm really curious about other users' workflow. How much stuff do you actually duplicate in your projects that would call for linked clips?

Coming from FL, I am used to working with linked clips but FL Studio incorrectly assumes users need linked clips most of the time and so all clips in FL are linked by default. This is not true, based no my personal experience and the various included demo projects. The process of un-linking a clip in FL is inconvenient, and you have to remember to do it otherwise you might affect other parts of the project. Also, all clips in FL look the same, whether unique or not. Conversely, Live assumes linked clips are completely useless so it omits this feature altogether. Unique clips by default and the 'paste linked' command would be perfect IMO.

jonljacobi
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by jonljacobi » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:17 pm

Once upon a time I did this, but something about things being exactly the same started bugging me almost immediately. Now if I copy I invariably alter or re-record so that the material better fits whatever point in the song it occurs in. I have zero desire for this feature but can see the utility in it for live work.

Scoox
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:48 pm

jonljacobi wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:17 pm
Once upon a time I did this, but something about things being exactly the same started bugging me almost immediately. Now if I copy I invariably alter or re-record so that the material better fits whatever point in the song it occurs in. I have zero desire for this feature but can see the utility in it for live work.
I could be wrong but I still think you would find a place for this feature in your workflow, as long as it's properly implemented. Say you have a clip you have used throughout your project, and you decide you want to experiment with different notes/velocities/automation and you find something that works better. Naturally, you'd want to update all the clips—certainly not just the one clip! At the moment you have to delete all the old clips, one by one, and replace them with the new one, rather than just change one clip and hear the edits in context as you make them. Another use of alias clips is repeating automation e.g. volume envelope ducking etc, quite useful for electronic music producers.

Note that the default behaviour would still be for clips NOT to be linked, in other words, even if this feature was implemented, Live by default would continue to work the way it works now, so people who don't need linked clips would simply pretend the feature didn't exist. To make a linked clip users would have to consciously make a linked copy. IMO that's a reasonable compromise.
Last edited by Scoox on Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jonljacobi
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by jonljacobi » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:23 pm

I suppose, but I like to keep things simple, organic, and variable. I’m simply happier with the results when I don’t shortcut the creative process. I’m not espousing this for everyone, just myself. If Ableton implements linked clips and it helps folks, that’s great. I was just responding to the query.

Scoox
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:23 pm

jonljacobi wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:23 pm
I suppose, but I like to keep things simple, organic, and variable. I’m simply happier with the results when I don’t shortcut the creative process. I’m not espousing this for everyone, just myself. If Ableton implements linked clips and it helps folks, that’s great. I was just responding to the query.
That's cool, all opinions count. PS: Just edited my previous post, it was kinda garbled.

georgeharker
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by georgeharker » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:07 pm

Please please implement this. It’s really laborious and error prone to make edits to the clips and have to replace them.

Allured
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:01 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Allured » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:11 am

Here are simple alias clips implemented through midi remote scripts. Bonus: From session view, you can automatically add scenes to arrangement view.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxy7kJWmYKU

Scoox
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 am

Re: Linked/alias clips finally coming to Live!

Post by Scoox » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:44 am

Allured wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:11 am
Here are simple alias clips implemented through midi remote scripts. Bonus: From session view, you can automatically add scenes to arrangement view.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxy7kJWmYKU
Are you the author of those scripts? That's a very clever solution! It could be called "pseudo-alias clips": unlike proper alias clips, which propagate edits immediately to all instances of the clip, using this solution you edit a clip first and later press a button/key to propagate the changes to all other clips with the same name. To prevent a clip from being updated, you simply rename it. I would say most people would find this easier to wrap their head around than a clip Pool, and it's probably a lot easier for Ableton to implement. It's genius!

Furthermore, using this approach there could be an option to create the illusion of proper alias clips by propagating changes to like-named clips automatically whenever an edit takes place, but now that I know this is possible, I probably wouldn't want this to be automatic.

This is by far the best solution I've seen so far to this problem, better than any DAW's. I would add a couple extra commands:

1. A command to select select all clips that have the same name
2) A command to "Propagate last edited to selection": This copies the last edited clip to all clips that are currently selected (even if the clips names are different).

Using the second command, users could edit a clip (the 'last edited clip'), then select a bunch of clips anywhere in the project by ctrl+click (e.g. select 2 clips in Session View and 3 in Arrange View), run the command and bam! all the clips are updated. The beauty of this solution is that it does not require a clip Pool since any clip can be copied to any other clip, so it's less likely to result in clips changing all over your project without you noticing, which is the main drawback of true alias clips.

So, in summary, these are the commands needed, which would be available from a single clip's context menu and via keyboard shortcuts:
  • Propagate clip: Copies clip to all other clips with the same name*
  • Autoname clip: Not sure this is really needed**
  • Select all clips with same name
  • Propagate last edited to selection
(*) If multiple clips are selected, the context menu doesn't show these actions.
(**) If the selected clip doesn't have a name, either pop-up a warning to prompt the user to first name the clip (maybe even with a small text box where the name can be entered directly in the pop-up) or just don't show these actions in the context menu (less user-friendly though).

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