Category: push

Ableton Live 10 – Overcoming the recording blockage with „Capture“


On November 2nd Ableton Live 10 was announced and will be available to the public from early 2018. The full update features countless new improvements, a sharp new 60 frame look, some brandnew devices and even a spectacular wavetable synth – plus it has tons of workflow improvements, such as the longly begged for ability to group-in-groups. But there is one new feature, that i immediatly fell in love with, as soon as i first got an early beta version of Live 10 a couple of months ago: „Capture“.

What is Capture?
We all have encountered the phenomenon of mentally choking, as soon as the „red light“ turns on. While playing around with ideas, you might find something you like (a beat, a bassline or chord progression) and then want to record it – but as soon as you try to make the recording, you cannot reproduce the exact, original idea. This is where Capture comes into place. In Version 10, Live is constantly monitoring, i.e. memorising all Midi notes played into the programm with a computer keyboard, Ableton Push or whatever inputting controller you use.


How to use Capture?
It’s actually really simple: just play music and don’t worry about preparation and the eventual pressure of recording. If you start a new set, song or project in Ableton Live 10, you now don’t have to priorly decide on a tempo, turn on the metronome and then start recording. No, all you do is play. The necessety to define a tempo up front was something i always didn’t like; especially since Ableton brought us Push, it seemed kind of counterproductive to the actual concept of the controller being an integrated musical instrument. Now you can just jam beats or other ideas and whenever you are am happy with what you played, simply click the „Capture“ Button next to Live’s Transport or press [Record] + [New] on Push. Live will create a new, looped and timed-up clip, which contains the Midi-Notes, that you have played since you selected that track and record-armed it, respectively turned it’s monitor to „in“.


A few rules with Capture.
Even though Capture is really easy to use – to fully benefit from the feature and don’t get confused with the results, let me quickly explain Capture’s behavior a bit more in detail:

– To make Capture define the global set tempo by a captured clip, simply play the notes – while Live’s transport is not running. Capture will define the tempo of the set as it interpretates the input.
– When adding another captured clip to the track or set, Capture will then interpretate this clip and again adjust the global tempo, if Live’s transport is not running.
– Opposed to Live’s transport running: Here, Capture will not set a new global tempo to the set, but stay where the tempo was set last.
– Capure will deliver the best results, if you play one more note landing on „one“ after your x-bar-long idea.
– Capture’s range of tempo-analyzing lays between 80 and 160 bpm. If you are looking for a faster or slower tempo, you will need to adjust it afterwords.
– If your first clip has a length of f.e. four bars, Live 10 will assume, that the next clip on another track that you are jamming in, will also be four bars long. If that second clip differs in lenghts, you will have to adjust it to your needs.
– You can always tell, if Capture still has something memorised by looking at the Capture button: if it’s greyed out, Capture’s memory is empty, if it is white, it indicates „press me and i will create a new clip or overdub.“
– Yes, Capture also allows overdubbing: if none of the clips in a track are playing, a new capture will create a new clip in that track containing that last jam-idea. If a clip in that track is playing while you are jamming, it will add those new notes to the playing clip.
– If you have f.e. jammed on track 1, but did not make use of the memorised notes by pressing either Live’s Capture Button or [Record] + [New] on Push, and then jam on track 2 and do capture that idea, the previous idea on track 1 will be deleted from Capture’s memory. This means, Capture will only remember what you played on a track as long as you do capture it before you capture another idea on another track.

Those „rules“ feel logical and one gets used to the mechanics of Capture quickly. In my workflow the use of Capture is implemented already and i hardly ever go „old school“ and press „record“ to lay down a spontanious idea.
Capture is a groundbreaking new feature in Ableton Live 10, which significantly supports the Idea of spontanious music-creation and helps to eliminate the known phenomenon of „red-light-anxiety“.

* Capture will be available for all Ableton Live 10 users, from Live Intro to Live Standard and to Live Suite.

* Note: Ableton Live 10 is still in beta at the time of this blogpost, features may differ in detail at final release.

why ableton loop 2015 was rad – a little review






last weekend ableton held their first summit under the name “loop” . three days of workshops, panels, discussions, concerts and personal encounters, all around the main topic of “making music”.
  the summit was located at the impressive event location radialsystem v, a former industrial building transformed into a cultural center right at the river spree, close to where the berlin wall used to be. right after entering and getting registered, everybody’s warm vibe, coming from sheer happiness to be there, mutual respect and the desire to unprejudicetly communicate with everybody was felt. i am only pointing this out, since this is not always the case at meetings of  the so called “creative branches”.

the only panel-talk at day one of the summit featured no one less than robert henke,
 who was eloquently introduced by ableton’s dennis desantis. henke, musician and artist (monolake), co-founder of ableton (1999) and creator of the mighty granulator, entertained and informed the crowd in the main hall with profound whisdom and fun anecdotes on his career and on the topic “success = failure” – and all that while he was suffering from a serious flew.
as with every evening at loop, there were concerts connected to the event to be seen,  james holden & camilo tirado kicked it off at babylon cinema, amongst other acts.
Robert Henke Dennis DeSantis Loop 2015

day two started just as ensouled as the first one ended. again and again participants needed to make decisions, which of the workshops, discussions etc. one wanted to attend next. and cleverly, things were organised in a way, that mass-movement of people to the same events was avoided, so that at all times there were plenty of people outside the building at the riverside to meet and get to talk to. luckily, berlin was gentle and gave us sunny and warm weather all weekend long.
Linn Schmitt Loop 2015

Stephan Schmitt Loop 2015
around lunch time for example i attended a true all-star-panel, featuring some of the most visionary instrument- and software-designers in the world: roger linn, creator of the first sample-based drum machine (linn lm-1) and akai’s iconic mpc workstation, stephan schmitt, founder of native instruments and creative mind behind modular software instrument reaktor, carla scaletti, creator of kyma sound design language and gerhard behles, ableton’s ceo, who in the mid 1990’s  was the other half of monolake, henke’s  band, mentioned earlier. super interesting to listen to those people discuss their stories and ideas.
obviously it’s simply impossible to describe all the events i attended in detail here – those, who could not paricipate the summit in person should keep an eye on in the near future;  it was communicated, that since all events were recorded in audio and video, they will be published sometime soon. 
Holly Herndon Loop 2015

Young Guru Loop 2015
not only as an artist i’ve had a long time relationship with ableton, since six years i am also a certified trainer. saying that, it was extra special to meet up with 30 other fellow ct’s at the ableton headquarters on saturday night for beer & pizza after the official part of loop had ended for the day. meeting some of the boys and girls in person, who were flown in from all over the world, for the first time, after exchanging information with them for years in our closed social media group, was just awesome. names became faces became characters – what a fun evening.  and when then, later on that night, this unique group of people were each handed a device of ableton’s new mega controller push 2 prior the official launch, my day was just perfect. xmas in november.







on sunday, after too little sleep, the last day of loop started early for me – with a workshop, that i have especially been looking forward to: “on and off the grid – acoustic drummers and electronic music”. although one of my favourite creative fellow drummers, zach danziger from new york, was one of three guests on the stage, i have to say, this was the only round of loop i was really disappointed with – and from what  i’ve heard from others who were there, i was’nt the only one feeling that way. due to karma-reasons, i will not go into detail here. those, who are interested in the causa, should make up their own opinion by watching the event’s video broadcast when it will be published on the ableton website some time soon. it surely had nothing to do with zach. 
Fun Loop 2015
after some more inspiring workshops, conversations and establishing contacts, it was now time for the final showdown. and that came like a bomb. while ableton had carefully avoided to make loop a brand-presenting self-show-off event, and instead successfully put the focus on “music making” in general during the whole weekend, gerhard behles and his leading team eventually presented the magical news of the company: push 2. live 9.5. link.

Sampling Push 2 Loop 2015

Sounds Push 2 Loop

Gerhard Behles# Loop 2015this final keynote was highly emotional, and that was not only for the mindblowing technological news which were presented to the aweing audience, but especially for the unique social path that the company has decided to take:
 the “trade your push 1 for a push 2 unit and get 30% off the price and we will donate all returned push 1 units to underpriviliged schools and students around the planet (including a full live license) ” simply blew me and the rest the audience away. 
that was a rad, unforgettable moment.
 even though i knew about all that before the event, it was overwhelming to feel the crowd’s respect and love for this decision. gerhard himself  was obviously deeply touched recieving this kind of reception.
 one can watch the whole final workshop here, although the atmosphere in the room is hard to recreate on a screen.

to me, ableton loop 2015 in berlin and everything around it, was one of the greatest and most beautiful experiences of my recent life. i am happy and proud to be a part of the ableton family.