‘Rise & Fall’ – A foray into Ableton Live

For one of my more recent modules studying at Point Blank we were asked to compose a song (or a number of songs) in Ableton and then film ourselves performing the composition live. I’ve not had much experience with the software before, although I have friends who love its workflow. One thing I found especially pleasing is the amount of flexibility the software offers, and the possibilities for creative live performance.

After I’d created a few basic clips in session view most of my time was spent mapping MIDI controls to an Alesis V25 keyboard controller, setting up TouchOSC on my iPad and adding additional sounds, loops and effects and such until I thought there was enough to perform. The video below is an edited version of my actual assignment upload, performed live and filmed from a couple of different angles.

Overall I was very pleased with this assignment, and was a little astonished at how much control I could achieve with relatively little external hardware. I managed to play a synth / pad / mallet combo throughout the piece, and bring in clips and scenes using TouchOSC. I also triggered some clips ‘freehand’ using the pads on my Alesis V25, and controlled a number of parameters in the software using its 4 controller knobs – linked to multiple controls at a time.

I’m new to Ableton but already having a lot of fun! The next step will be to create a live set, of a number of songs all in one, with the option for creative and flexible ‘remixing’ on the fly!

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