Wulf's Webden

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Ableton on

My copy of Ableton Live has been rather underused for a couple of years. Sometime soon I’ll need to decide if I’m going to upgrade to version 10, as the version 9 copy I have will stop working when I upgrade my macOS install. One of the factors in that might be how tomorrow morning’s experiment goes.

I know that I’m going to be down at least one musician and possibly more at church tomorrow morning as a result of responses to COVID-19. That has prompted me to do some more experimenting with ambient background patches and this time I dusted off Ableton. Fairly soon I figured out the basics again and I think that I’ve now got it safely set up to feed some ‘drone’ patches into my Helix LT.

I’ve arranged things so that I’ve got a couple of fairly open chords in all the keys I’m using for the songs in the service. These are sus2 chords (eg. E F# B) and a variant where the second note is pushed an octave higher (eg. E B F#), both of which work against all the chords I’ll be using. I could do that with the chord generator in the Helix but Ableton looks to have several advantages. I can easily switch to a different chord and I’ve also set a pulse track, which combined with the tempo setting, will help me change to suitable speeds for the different songs.

The set up feeds the output from Ableton to one of the returns on the Helix and there is a volume pedal at the end of the chain so I can adjust the blend and mute it (without taking my hands off the guitar) if things start to sound screwy.

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