May 22, 2013

Ableton Live 9 + Push in a Hardware Studio

While it seemed obvious that Ableton Live 9 would power my studio as well and flexibly than its predecessor (with some improvements), there were some items back in the announcement for Ableton Live 9 and its accompanying hardware curiosity that left me with questions. As a hardware synth loving kind of a guy, my first and most immediate questions revolved around the level of integration with external instruments. In the months that have passed, I have acquired the Push controller and answered these questions for myself. Over the next few weeks, we will be doing some videos to show you how to duplicate the more interesting uses for plugins and external instruments we have been finding while working with Ableton Push, as well as digging up more ways to use Push as a tool for creative performance.

In this video, I am simply creating using my own startup template, which is built to give me instant access to my favorite hardware synths. In this template, I have an Ableton Drum Rack that is wired to control my Elektron Machinedrum, which is then sent in via audio on an adjacent channel. This allows me to take advantage of Push’s very visual step sequencing environment while using my favorite hardware drum machines. (More on how to wire that up for yourself in an upcoming video.) Then I have External Instruments set up for my Arturia MiniBrute, Moog Slim Phatty, Gaia SH-01, DX 100 and TX81z with some favorite patches called up and effects I typically use with the units at the ready. This allows me to open Live and just start pecking out melodies and beats.

Which is pretty much what I do in the video. This was actually my third run through, where I just came up with a progression, and played it across multiple instruments three times. On the third time, I returned to previous parts I had written and played them out. This is the cliff’s notes version of a process I have been playing with for writing a lot of variations early in the creative process. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more demo and how to videos for both Live 9 and Ableton Push. Ask any questions you have in the comments below.