I was sitting there, trying to figure out how to create a better workflow in Ableton Live 8 when by accident I created a situation that will indeed save me hours of work when sitting down to arrange a song, or even do remixes and DJ Sets (this will work in 9 as well).
I had to post this, so that anyone who uses Ableton can either go ‘duh!’ or ”OMG!!!’. But the fact is, it is a an extreme time saver, so worthy of teaching it to the world of Ableton users.
Let’s get right into it, shall we??
1. Create a MIDI Track and choose the VSTi synth or drum machine you love best. I am personally going to do this with multiple plugins, but you can start with just one. once you have it, pick your favorite patch, something you won’t mind always starting off with. This can be your favorite bank for example. Also, feel free to add an Arpeggiator, EQ, Delay, or whatever you may want to have loaded up with this plugin (I recommend you turn them off after loading them in).
2. Create Empty Midi Clips. You do this by double clicking in the clip area. Live defaults to a one bar clip. You can change the length of these clips in the clip properties. In my example below, I created several types, named them, color-coded them, and set them up ready to be recorded.
3. Name the track. As you can see, mine was named Purity, because that’s the plugin I happen to have loaded (I plan on doing this with all of my favorite set-ups). Now to the left of your clips are your folders and favorite presets. Click on any of the Camera Icons and create a folder in it. I named mine ‘Synth Rack 2013’ for example. Now all you do is drag the entire track you made into that folder, and Live will save it. Not just that, it saves it with your bank, effects settings, and the various clips!
Now anytime I work on a new song, I just reach for that ‘Purity’ preset, and my synth, bank and clips are loaded in.. and the best part? If I decide to use a different plugin, that’s ok. I just drag it over the track name and Live will replace it. I can then save it to a new preset.