August 01, 2013  

Freddy’s Tech Tips 011: Chromatically Triggering Clips

As with everything in music, it is often the simplest things that work best. This trick is easy to set up yet the results can be astonishing. In Ableton’s session view, you can assign your clip to a chromatic range and trigger it at various pitches to create a distinctive House feel.

All you will need is an audio clip and a controller that sends MIDI notes, like piano keys or even your Launchpad user mode 2. If we combine this with a quick clip quantization and a different trigger mode, we get a playable clip that will give you surprisingly creative effects.

Here is how it is done:
1. Crop your clip at the right location. For vocals, that would be a clear, punchy word. Ensure that the starting point is clean and tight.
2. Enter the mapping mode: This Cmd+M (Mac) OR Ctrl+M (PC)
3. Click onto the clip first and then press the “root” note on your controller. This doesn’t need to match the actual pitch of your sample, as it is an arbitrary note. Now, while holding that note, go and press the same note an octave higher and an octave lower.
4. You will notice that all the notes have been listed on the clip as potential triggers. You can now let go of the root note.
5. Open the Launch box of the clip using the L icon at the very bottom left hand-side of the clip view and change its trigger mode to “repeat” and its quantize setting to 1/8 or 1/16.

That’s it you are good to go. Play around with the keys and work out the ones that match the key signature of your tune. All that left to do is to record your live triggering into the arrangement using the “arrangement record button” in your transport bar.

You can then edit the clip further in arrangement view and consolidate the lot!

This works great on vocals but as always; you should experiment with any material and see for yourself.

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