For some time, I’ve been using a fantastic keyboard shortcut in Ableton Live called Insert Captured Scene. It has the potential to save you a lot of time and allow you to further enhance your zen-like ability to create and sequence on the fly.
Let me talk a little about an approach I often use to create a new phrase (say for a verse) then create variations of the phrase without stopping playback.
- I create a Live set with basic instruments – you know, drums, bass, pad etc…
- I then lay a bass or drum track down with the metronome running
- At this point, I switch off the metronome and use the new track as a rythmic reference
- I’m now free to select different tracks and start laying down other parts within the scene
The illustration below shows the end result of this process with a scene made up of 5 clips in 5 tracks.
Now I want to create a variation of the scene with tracks 1,2, and 4. However, I want to do this instantly without stopping the sequencer or having to drag clips to a new scene. By pressing Ctrl-Shift-I on a PC, or Command-Shift-I on a Mac, the selected clips in the current scene are instantly copied to a new scene and the scene begins to play.
Give it a try. I think it might change the way you work within Live.