Ableton Live for Hip-Hop, Part 2

In part 2 of this 4 part series on producing Hip Hop in Ableton Live, G. W. Childs explains the process and shows how to build the initial loop. Stay tuned for part 4 in this series coming soon!  

In the last article, we focused on the basics of what Ableton has to offer Hip-Hop artists in terms of the overall features, as well as importing audio, and turning the audio in to loops. In this article, I'd like to continue our foray in to Ableton loops, while also having a good look at Ableton's interface. 

Recording Loops

Remember how easy it was to bring in that audio, in the last tutorial, and turn it in to a loop? Without a doubt, that's one of the many functions that makes Ableton a lot of fun to work with. But, what we haven't talked about at all is what it's like to actually record your own loops in Ableton. 

This is actually one of the best parts of Ableton, because loop recording, arranging, and creation are, from the beginning, the biggest features of all for Ableton. In fact, you can actually start your song by simply recording loops, edit those loops, arrange those loops and produce those loops without ever having to work with a linear arrangement window if you don't want to. 

The ability to work this way is made possible by the first way of looking at Ableton, in terms of program views: the Session View.

The Session View

You'll notice that this view is predominantly made up of a grid, with regular mixer pots, and faders below. Granted, there's more in this picture, but lets keep it simple for the moment. Inside each grid box, you'll notice that there are small squares. And, in one of the grid rows, or tracks, you'll notice that I still have that loop, or clip from the last tutorial. It's the small, yellow box with the green arrow. This is how all loops appear within the Session View.  

You'll also notice on track three, labeled Rain Bass, there is a record arm button, in red, enabled. Because of this, in the grid column descending from the Rain Bass title, instead of squares, there are circles. 

So, squares, circles, and green arrows, what does it all mean? Glad you asked!

  • Squares (Clip Stop Button) = Stop buttons, which appear at the base of each column, and in empty squares.
  • Green Arrows (Clip Launch Button) = Play buttons, that appear only on clips, and in what are known as Scene launch buttons on the far right of the session view, labeled as '

Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like Lu... Read More


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