Ableton Live 9: Six Follow Action Tips

If you've never used Ableton Live's Follow Actions before then be prepared to have your mind blown with these 6 ways to use them by Ableton Certified Trainer, Noah Pred.  

Did you know you can program instructions into Live's Session view clips that will tell those clips to play for a specified period of time before playing another carefully specified clip'"or a randomly selected one? In this tutorial, we'll explore six exciting usages of Live's under-utilized but highly powerful follow actions for use in both performance and production.  

Configuring Clips for Follow Actions

First thing you need to know is that follow actions can only be programmed to control a group of clips on a single track. What do I mean by a group of clips? A group of clips are vertically contiguous'"in other words, direct neighbors above and below one another, not separated by an empty clip slot. In the picture below, we have two groups of clips on a single audio track: the purple clips are in one group; below, separated by an empty clip slot, the blue clips constitute a separate clip group. Before going further, it's worth mentioning that follow actions behave identically for MIDI clips as they do for audio clips.

Two clip groups on an audio track.

Two clip groups on an audio track.

Now that we've got these clips organized into groups, we can set about configuring our follow actions. It's important to set these up before any clips in the group have been triggered, or the follow actions may not take hold as expected. In theory, you could set follow actions up on the fly so long as you haven't triggered any of the clips in question yet, but as you'll see, it's advisable to set them up in advance.

A clip's follow action properties are located in the launch panel of a clip's settings: in a clip's detail view, click the 'L'

Noah Pred is a Canadian record producer, sound designer, technologist, DJ, and Ableton Certified Trainer living in Berlin, Germany. Releasing dozens of records and touring extensively since the '90s, he currently teaches a wide variety of techniques for stage and studio at the BIMM Institute. For more information, please visit: http://... Read More


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