Working With Ableton Clips: Ableton Live Tutorial [Part 2]

In the first Ableton Live tutorial, we went through all the basics of Ableton Live, Such as what is DAW, Ableton Live vs other DAWs, Ableton session view, Ableton arrangement view, using Live browser, Preferences etc. If you haven’t read the first part of this tutorial ie; “Ableton Live Tutorial [Part 1]: Introduction To Ableton” then you must read that before proceeding. In this part of the Ableton live tutorial, we will learn how to work with clips in Ableton live to make songs. As you know that the audio recording is fully shifted to digital domains where we use DAW software to record with computers. Most of the DAWs today has the benefit of Midi programming and clip editor. With these two tools, we can produce industry standard soundtracks sitting right under your home’s roof. All you need a good DAW, an audio interface, some good VST instruments, samples and loop libraries. Ableton Live is one of those best DAWs which have all the above features under one roof. It has a great sample and loops library, several inbuilt VST instruments, and its very easy to use. In this part, we will talk about some essential topics of Ableton Live programming, Such as,

  • Audio Clips
  • Midi Clips
  • Warping
  • Importing Audio Clips in Ableton
  • Launching Clips

So, let’s begin.

Building Blocks of Ableton Live: Clips

As you know in the audio recording world, clips are actually prerecorded sound signals. In analogue clips are recorded in magnetic and other types of media wherein the digital recording audio signal is a series of  0 and 1 numbers which are captured by mics and other input devices and stored in a storage media like a hard disk. In Ableton live we have two types of clips.

  • Audio clips
  • Midi clips

Ableton Live has a big library of Audio and Midi clips which are used to produce music in this DAW. So we can say that,

Clips are the Building Blocks of Ableton Live.

When you buy the full version of Ableton live you get more than 25GB of audio and MIDI clip library in the package. You can add external clips into the library as well. There is also a “saving and recalling preset” feature available in the Live browser where you can save your own clips and recall them whenever you want to use them.

What are Ableton Live Clips

As I told you above that Ableton live has a browser feature where all the clips, VST and effects are saved and one loads them into the arrangement editor to produce soundtracks. Clips are the prerecorded audio and Midi music and beat parts which can be reused in the sessions. You can import them into the session, manipulate as per your need and also save as a new clip into the LIve browser for future use.

Audio Clips and MIDI Clips in Ableton

There are two types of clips in Ableton Live.

  • Audio Clips
  • Midi Clips

Audio Clips – Audio clips are prerecorded sound signals stored in the computer’s hard disk and can be used multiple times. You can create those types of clips with the number of input devices such as mic, kea\yboard, guitar, drums etc. Ableton Live has a big library of prerecorded clips as well. Midi Clips – Midi clips are the sequence of commands which are a symbolic representation of musical material. You can say it a digital version of written scores. these scores are saved in .mid format in the hard disk. In DAWs, Midi clips are used to play VST instruments. You just need a Midi controller like Ableton Push 2 to play the VST instruments. By using the combination of Audio and Midi clips you can produce tremendous music tracks in Ableton within minutes. Now you are aware of what are clips and how they can help you to create great music in Ableton, its time to explore the second important and very useful feature of Ableton Live clip editing – Warping.

What is Warping in Ableton

Working with Audio Clips in Ableton Live

Importing Audio Files in Ableton

Launching Clips in Ableton Live

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