Mapping a track to Ableton

The track I decided to map to Ableton was my track ‘Shadow’ as there’s a large number of different elements which in a performance setting would be hard for me to perform without something such as Ableton and rather than just having a backing track.

I exported all my different channels from my Logic file as audio files and saved them in a folder called ‘shadow stems’.

I then imported these audio files into a folder I made in Ableton. I selected the files and dragged them into an audio channel in arrangement view. I had a lot of problems at this point as some of my audio files had imported and been set to the wrong tempo. I realised I had not turned the ‘auto warp long samples’ setting off in preferences.

I selected all the tracks and having altered the global BPM to 85, I clicked the warp button which then altered all tracks to match the global BPM. I also went through the tracks deleting any blank tracks that had been imported.

I then began to segment the tracks according the different sections and used the loop brace to help me split the sections. Having the individual section selected I was then able to drag them into session view and create a scene of clips out of this section of my track which meant I was able to individually trigger clips from that section and play around with my track a lot more.

I then created a new midi channel and dragged a guitar sound onto to the channel. I then tried creating an instrument rack by grouping the guitar sound with another sound (synth).

This meant I could layer as many instruments as I wanted and play them together or I could control which instruments would be triggered with different parts of my keyboard. I also had a go at applying some audio fx to the individual instruments.


I also had a go at creating an audio effects rack.  I dragged two different audio effects onto one of my audio clips and grouped them (I used the Flanger and reverb audio effects on the bell clip of my track). I then wanted to map particular aspects of my effects onto one of the macro controllers so I could manipulate the audio clip during performance with just one control rather than having to alter lots of different elements with a lot of different controls.

Screenshot 2017-05-21 22.53.40
I created an audio effect rack with the Flanger and reverb effects on my audio clip. 
Screenshot 2017-05-21 22.56.07
I mapped some specific features of both audio effects onto the Macro controller 1 which would mean I could alter these effects all at once very easily during a performance. 

I played around with the minimum and maximum figures for each mapped element and reduced the maximum amount of decay time and wetness on the reverb as my bell sound became too saturated at the point of distortion if I turned the macro controller 1 up too much.

Finally I experimented with the Simpler. I created a new midi track and dragged the simpler onto it. I then took my audio clip of the bells and dragged that into the simpler. When I clicked on the slice tool, it then split the clip at all the transients and immediately let me play the same piece of audio but with my keyboard chromatically.

Screenshot 2017-05-21 23.14.00

I’d love to perform one of my songs such as ‘shadow’ implanting the use of audio racks and the macro controllers along with using the simpler to map some of my more complex parts onto a keyboard quite simply. It creates so much scope for more experimentation with performance it’s exciting. It’s also such an opportunity to bring some more life and character to parts of a song, which although might sound good on a recording, might need some more oomph in a live setting.


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