Ableton Tutorial: Beats & Melodies

Beats & Melodies: This tutorial walks the brand new Live user through the basic steps of creating Beats and Melodies by utilizing the MIDI Note Editor and a MIDI Controller with Ableton Live. Part 4 of a new series featuring Ableton’s lead clinician Huston Singletary. This tutorial walks the user through recording MIDI notes for drums and piano using Live’s MIDI Clips in Session View.

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In this tutorial we’ll take a look at using MIDI with Abelton Live, specifically creating beats and melodies. MIDI is data (sent via a controller) that tells Live’s built in instruments what notes to play, when, and how loud. Live’s MIDI instruments turns this data into sound and today we’re going to learn how to use MIDI to create beats and melodies in Live. Let’s start with some drums. We’ll open our browser with a CTRL ALT B on a PC or command ALT B on a Mac. Next click on the second circle from the top to show Live’s built in instruments and effects. Open the instruments folder and then unfold the drum rack. I’ll choose this drum rack preset, drag it into a MIDI track. Now that we have a kit loaded up, let’s draw in a beat in our MIDI note editor down below. Double click in an empty clip slot on the MIDI track. If needed click, hold, and scroll with your note ruler to find the drum sounds you want to use. The double click directly in the editor below to create drum hits. Now watch the clip to hear the result. Now instead of double clicking it’s often more convenient to use the pencil tool to draw in MIDI notes. Press control B on a PC or command B on a Mac to do so. Again, scroll down with your note ruler. Now let’s draw in some notes with our pencil tool. We’ll activate the clip. Now add some additional notes. Let’s draw in some snare.


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