Click & Pad Independence
on Monday, October 26, 2015 - 12:51am
  • Contributor
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 12:51am

This may be a simple question but I am curious to know how folks are running a click and drone pad out of Ableton at the same time. The only way I know how to do it is to set the looped pad .wav file to the bpm of the song you want to play and then send Ableton's click out to your ears. The problem with this arrangement is that as soon as you start and stop the pad - the click also starts a stops - they're synced together. I'd like for them to be independent - to bring in the pad, and then at some future point start the click and stop it again when I'm doing with the song but keep the pad going for filler. Any ideas how to accomplish this? Thanks.

  • Contributor
  • Ninja
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 5:35am

In this response, I'm assuming two things:
1. You're using Session View
2. You're dealing with midi tracks (not audio)

Create a dummy clip for your metronome along with your drone (pad) in a neighboring track. If you use the launch scene button (usually found on the far right) both will fire in sync. If you want to stop the drone, but keep your metronome clicking, simply use the square button below that clip. Don't use the space bar or the transport control since they're global and will stop everything.

That button is a stop button. This will stop the drone, but keep the click looping. If at any time you want to add the drone in again, just click that drone clip's play button (small triangle) and they'll be in sync.

Here's a video on how to set up a dummy clip for your metronome...|

Helpful tip:
Midi map that stop button to a key on your keyboard or a midi pedal and you won't have to touch the mouse to accomplish the start/stop.

  • Contributor
  • Ninja
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 5:42am

Also, here's a video by Kristian Ponsford on how to set up his template (for sale on his web site) with midi mapping to make things more hands free and run clicks with pad sounds. You don't have to buy his template to get your own methods and ideas for your situation, but if you do you will save yourself a lot of time.

  • Contributor
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 7:37am

Thanks Nelson. Your assumptions were correct. This is how I have tried to accomplish this objective in the past. I also use Kristian's template and it's great - a huge time saver!

Anyhow, for some reason I've never thought of just stopping the pad clip... silly me. However, your recommendation is kind of backward to how I'd ideally like it to work. I'd actually like to bring in the pad first and then add the click - not the other way around.

And while we're at it - do you know how to change Ableton's factory click sounds? It's an annoying click to me and I'd like to change the beats and accents to something that feels more musical. Do you know how'd accomplish this?

Thanks again!

  • Contributor
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 8:43am

JP, the simple answer, is to NOT use Ableton's global click. Create a click track to your liking and you can have any sound you want in it. :::You only need to create one track, at one BPM::: Let me explain:

Create a track at 120 BPM, set Ableton's tempo to 120 BPM, add the track to your session view (It's important to keep the bpm in Ableton the same as any track's tempo when you import to keep things aligned.) then warp it. Now, with Ableton's global click set to off, you can adjust the BPM in Ableton for the song, and your click track will always stay in tempo. If you'd like a video on how to do this, I think I can come up with one, or perhaps make it, time allowing.

The scenario this will give you is the ability to play or trigger other pads over MIDI, and start and stop the click at your leisure, using any sound that is pleasing to you and your band's ear.

  • Contributor
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 1:32pm

Hi Ed! Thanks for your feedback. That's an interesting solution. Thanks also for offering up a video but I think I can figure that out. I'm going to try it! If I encounter any problems I'll let you know. Thanks again!

  • Contributor
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 1:45pm

Sure, It's how I do it, and It allows you to pan the click to the left or right real easily too. Alternatively, if you have a click from a multitrack you've downloaded, you can just use that sound, just be sure it loops properly, and put it on repeat in session view. That way you don't have to create the click track. P.S. - Make sure you set the tempo correctly before you put the song in the sequencer. If your click track is 74BPM natively and you drag that into your session while the tempo of the session is at it's default 120, things aren't going to line up correctly, and warp won't warp correctly. keep the tempo matched to the BPM the click track file was created in when importing, then warp, then change the tempo. Oh, and I make it a habit of naming the file like this: Click-Soft-80.wav or Click-Harsh-120.wav

  • Contributor
Monday, October 26, 2015 - 1:57pm

So - to make sure I'm understanding this correctly - if I'm using Kristian Ponsford's template for a master session file - are you saying that I would change Ableton's click tempo within that master session file (where all my multitracks are stored) prior to importing the click loop to match it's original tempo? After warping it, I can then change the bpm back to the 120 default setting in the master file and everything will work correctly? I need all the other multitracks to keep working right!