Last time, we looked at some of the easy ways to get creative with clips. Following on from there, we’re now going to look in more depth and detail at Follow Actions and automation. Check out more from our lazy guide withpart 1, part 2andpart 3.
For extra clip variation, it’s time for Follow Actions. These might seem fairly complex at first but, believe us, they are a lazy person’s dream feature! They essentially allow you to trigger clips in a more random way to bring lots of variation to a tune. In our example, we’re going to have variations of a clip all within the same track and we’ll use Follow Actions to determine how they are played.
For this tutorial, we’ll use them on an audio clip to create a variation in beats. You’ll see that you never need to think of Live as a straight looping tool ever again, as your loops are suddenly creatively transformed into very varied beats!
First, we need to follow some of the clip edits we have already covered – that is, repeating and copying clips into the same track and changing the start and end points so that we home in on certain parts of the percussion loop. We are essentially cutting out half-bar chunks of the loop to play individually and using Follow Actions will determine just how. So we get four additional but different clips, all from the same initial audio clip and all on the same track.
Now select Follow Actions in the clip area. You then go through all five of your clips and select an Action for each i.e. what happens after it plays. You can play another at random, or the next or previous clip – you have a choice of nine in total. This creates a completely new playback version of your original loop but importantly for our purposes here, it doesn’t sound looped!
In our final part of the Lazy Guide to Ableton Live we’ll take a look at clip automation.