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Power App: Automate Ableton Live's Tempo Based on Clip Tempo

April 11, 2011
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Automate Live’s tempo based on clip tempo

OBJECTIVE: Adapt Live’s tempo to the native tempo of designated clips.

BACKGROUND: There are several ways to adjust tempo in Ableton, but one is automatic, and works only in Arrangement view: Defining a clip as a Master clip turns off warping for that clip, but causes all other clips to warp to its tempo.

1_Ableton1 Click on Arrangement view—you can’t set clips to Master mode in Session view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2_Ableton2 Make sure EXT sync is disabled, or this technique won’t work. If necessary, set a default tempo for when no master clip is playing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3_Ableton3 Select the clip whose native tempo should serve as the project’s tempo while the clip is playing, then click on the Clip Overview tab.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4_Ableton4 Click on the Show/Hide Sample Box button to show the Sample Box. Below the Warp button, click on Slave so it indicates Master.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5_Ableton5 With multiple Master clips, tempo will be set by the currently-playing, lowest-placed Master clip in the Arrangement view. In this screen shot, the clip on the left is not a master clip, so it will play at the default tempo. When playback hits the blue Master clip, the tempo will change to 133.33 bpm. When playback reaches the orange Master clip, the tempo will shift to 100 bpm because the orange clip will then be the lowest, currently-playing Master clip. When the orange clip finishes playing, the blue Master clip will again set the tempo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips

• Step 4: Warp must be enabled.

• Step 5: Note the small red square in the tempo field’s upper left, which indicates that tempo is being automated.

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