Ableton Live as Audio Sampling and Looping Software

A video I made on Sampling with Ableton Live

This is a video I made around 2 years ago. I was just tripping out on Ableton Live and realized that I can record samples of sounds I create from anything and turn them into loops that I can sequence in such an order that it will become some sort of drum beats. Of course for the video, I was just trying to sync my movements since the final song made was already prerecorded. I actually just used my point and shoot canon digital camera for shooting this video. The video was then edited in Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects. The video is actually so old (I made it two years ago), that on the credits part it leads to my Multiply site that I no longer use.

Ableton Live, being that it is called Live, is actually designed specifically to be perfect for live performances. You can trigger recordings, midi sequences, or effects instantly. You can also record or add more things to the loop while it's playing. It's really so powerful not just for electronic music artists but for many other uses. I've seen a lot of examples of videos on YouTube about how they are able to use Ableton Live in their own unique ways. Later on in this article I'm actually going to show some creative examples of how sampling and looping can really push the potential of your productions.

You don't even need to have high end specs or whatever. Of course it would be preferred to have higher processing power and memory for faster use, but other than that, with a decent sound card you'll already be able to produce a lot of great music.

Ableton Live 8, the software I use to Sample and Sequence audio
Ableton Live 8, the software I use to Sample and Sequence audio

Things you can do with Looping and Sampling

There's just so many things you can do with this. Actually, what I did for the video I made, Just recorded sounds like me clapping or tapping the table or a bottle. Then Imported these recorded audio in an instrument within Ableton Live called Impulse. This allowed me to use the sounds as drums. The bass and synth sounds were all just added using the this instrument in called operator. You'll really be able to understand all this once you try using Ableton Live. You don't even need much knowledge in music theory or whatever (but of course it is a big plus), because you can just draw on the notes that will play and when it will play.

There are also a lot of effects that come with Ableton Live. If you're a guitar player then you'll probably be familiar with most of them. Effects like phaser, reverb, delay, flanger, and many others are all available. There are also a lof of preset settings you can trip out on. They can be applied to both audio and midi tracks. It could really broaden your music production capabilities.

You're not even limited to the effects that came along with Ableton Live. You can upload VST effects or instruments like Autotune for instance. I've actually written about how to use Autotune with Ableton Live before. I also have another on audio mastering and how to use an external VST to do so.

Videos that use Looping and Sampling

There are a lot of creative ways you can use Ableton Live's capabilities at looping and sampling. This video of DubFX, I am not entirely sure if he's using Live but it's exactly the same concept. So imagine all the things you can do with this kind of capability. You can trigger loops (both prerecorded and ones you record on the spot) and effects with just a push of a button or by using midi controllers like the foot triggers he uses in the video.

I've used a lot of other softwares for making music before like FL studio, Cubase SX, Propellerhead reason, and many others.but only Ableton Live is really the one that I found so easy to use and gives me limitless capabilities. There's a lot of ad lib in my creative process of making music. I like creating things on the fly and feeling the music then just adding whatever feels right. This is why I am really able to utilize Ableton Live.

There are parts in this live performance of Imogen Heap where the camera will actually show the screen of the monitor beside her and you will see that she is using Ableton Live for her looping and sampling of her voice and for triggering them and other effects and sounds as she wishes.

This is really such a beautiful video and a beautiful song from a really creative and brilliant artist. It's really just so pleasurable to listen to. I can't even put into words what it does to my brain.

Ableton Live can really give you so much power with your music-making whether it's serious stuff or just as a hobby. This software is just really so close to my heart and I'm really so in love with it. it's really a lot like having your own orchestra at the tip of your fingers.

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