Ableton Live – assignment 4

See previous posts about the lockdown that occurred in spring 2020 and how I used the time spent at home to study Ableton Live 10 at a well known music education institution. Below are my comments on assignment 4, which asked us to do a short composition. This was part of the introductory lessons, and I appreciate the idea to work as much as possible on creating music as the best way to get to know Ableton.

I tested Simpler by feeding it with vocal samples that I extracted from a CD with the award winning Finnish female choir Philomela. The first sample is a clean take of a solo female voice. Thereafter I play this sample, loaded in Simpler, through my MIDI keyboard. I can then make a short polyphonic section as the Warp function in Simpler transposes the sample and retains the sample length. I use 2 more segments from that CD which I load into separate instances of Simpler. One is a rhythmic vocal pattern, the other is a full choir phrase that functions as a climax by its intensity. Both of the latter are segments that I highlighted in each sample, warped, and aligned to a duration of 2 and 4 bars, respectively. For drums, I picked a wave file with the drum intro for Deep Purple’s tune, Body Line, played by Ian Paice. I turned that into MIDI, and to my surprise Ableton suggested an electronic drum kit for that. I replaced the electronic kit with Memphis studio kit, and shifted around some of the MIDI events to a more appropriate key/sound. I was quite surprised by how Ableton retains Paice’s groove and feel when played on another MIDI kit. Great stuff! The percussion, by the way, is grabbed from the intro to Rollling Stones’ Sympathy for the devil. Wave file to MIDI conversion again. I have a Steinberg UR242 audio card. I activated the Hi-Z button and recorded my Fender Jazz bass and my Tokai Stratocaster electric guitar on 2 separate tracks. I used the Amplitube 3 plug in and dialed in the preset Wah Rotary Solo from the Jimi Hendrix bundle for my guitar solo. For the bass I chose a Phat Vintage Bass preset. I aimed for a 70s vibe to go with the Purple & Stones groove. My arrangement consists of ideas worth a 5 minute piece compressed down to 1:00, and may sound a little abrupt.

Ø. Kvinge

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