In this excerpt from the exclusive Ableton Cookbook email list Video Q&A, I covered a cool MIDI Routing tip for any Ableton MIDI effect that will let you take even more advantage of these effects; in this case, I used the arpeggiator effect.
The traditional signal chain in Ableton goes from the MIDI clip to a MIDI effect and then into an Instrument or Instrument Rack, where the MIDI information is interpreted and output as audio. This means that, if you press record on a MIDI Clip that has an effect on it, you’ll get a recording not of the affected MIDI signal, but of the unaffected MIDI signal. If you want to capture these affected MIDI events, you are going to have to do some MIDI routing. In this video, I show you how this is done!
Text explanation after the jump.
MIDI Routing in Ableton
The first step is to take what was once one track and essentially divide it into to two: Create another MIDI Track (Cmd+Shift+T) and name it “MIDI CLIP” and then (and this is very important) drag whatever MIDI effect you’re using into the new track.
Now, move the unaffected MIDI clip into the newly minted MIDI CLIP track. Now this track should only contain a MIDI clip and a MIDI effect.
Select the original track’s name from the “MIDI To” drop down menu. If you can’t see it, it can be found by pressing Alt+Cmd+I.
Make sure that the original track’s monitor mode is set to “In.” This is always going to be the case when an external signal is coming into the track.
Now, you should be able to play the clip in the MIDI CLIP track and hear it playing the MIDI instrument in the original track.
Now, arm the original track and press play on the MIDI Clip. A new clip should be recording in the original track, recording the MIDI notes as they come out of the arpeggiator. I like to change the parameters of the arp while the clip is recording so the changes are recorded.
I like to then copy and past these patterns together to make new patterns. Pretty cool, huh?
P.S. This is excerpted from a QA video for the members of the Ableton Cookbook email list. If you want your questions answered in one of these videos, sign up for the email list. You’ll also get a discount on the Clip Module, for sale on Dec. 2 at 8am, Central Time!