Get Musical with Ableton Live’s MIDI Devices

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How many times have you opened a new Ableton Live Set and started pondering the blank slate of an empty Session View window, wondering where or how to begin. With practically infinite options, and perhaps little-to-no music theory knowledge, coming up with fresh chord progressions, basslines or melodies to begin a project with can be a pretty daunting task.

However, with some clever use of some simple tools it’s possible to make Live do some of that hard work for you. With this two-part video series by Certified Trainer Thomas Glendinning, aka ELPHNT, shows you how.

Firstly, using only basic MIDI devices and some well thought-out signal routing in Live, you will be able to generate an endless stream of chord, bass and melody ideas – with total control over the rhythm and harmony. Sit back, and watch the musical ideas take shape…

In order to spawn more complex variations and ideas, in Part 2, we are introduced to Note Length, Velocity, Effect Racks and Follow Actions – all of which together form an impressively powerful generator of musical ideas. Check it out below and make sure to download the template Live Set to follow along.

Bonus track

Now that you’ve laid the foundations of your track, why not breathe some more life into your MIDI clips with Dennis DeSantis’ One Thing tip.

Keep up with ELPHNT on his website, Facebook and YouTube.

Noisegate is an Australian based collective of working musicians, producers, DJ’s, and live audio professionals.

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