Arranging workflow with midi clips in Live

I am trying to figure out my main obstacle since making music on hardware boxes: arrangements.

Before, when I produced ITB, my workflow always has been to create grooves and loops and then arranging by mostly muting/unmuting and add a lot of automation.
Now I use the OT, AR, AK and DN, and still all my songs consist of 1 pattern each. When I play, all I do is muting and tweaking.

The biggest problem with this is that I only have 2 hands, and it is very difficult to make big changes at once. So everything I play is basically a slowly evolving structure.

I wanted to take my arrangements by the balls and start making different patterns, but this actually limites a lot of my workflow (except for the DN which has pattern mutes).

Since I have a hybrid setup, with Ableton Live as audio mixer (for some general processing and side chain compression duties), I started creating midi clips in ableton that contain the mute states for all the track on the Elektrons. And so I can create various midi clips for my song structure.

So in session view of ableton I have a midi channel for every track. I created a midi clip with CC’s for mute ON, and one with mute OFF.
Now I can drag and drop a whole arrangement in session view with all mute states. Since all the newer boxes share the same CC for mute, it is an easy drag and drop… and I can easily put more CC’s in there, for example to create a drop where a lot of different parameters change at the same time.
Because I make the midi clips very long, the parameters will change only when launching the clip. after launching I can tweak anything without jumping back…

I just started playing around with this, but I am very very exited and happy because finally I found a way to be able to make some arrangements in a way that serve my workflow.
It is a perfect way to combine arrangement and jamming/improvisation. And since I make a lot of songs in 1 project, for playing live, it saves a lot of patterns to put songs in 1 project :slight_smile:

I wanted to share this for those who relate to my workflow and might be inspired by this, and also for anyone who relates to share your ways of working and inspiring me

3 Likes

If you have Max for Live and are interested in using pattern changes…

Not to throw a wrench in what you’re doing. It seems like you have a method that’s working for you.

Nice!!! I don’t have max for live, but If I have extra cash some day, I might get it just for this…
My chain is syncing pattern changes well, but this will simplify things in a nice way :slight_smile:

1 Like