The Launch Panel & Follow Actions
In this video we will look at the launch panel and follow actions.
These controls can be used to affect the launching behavior of our Ableton Live clips. This opens up a lot of creative options to us for using Live for Live performance whilst being able to add a lot of probability and controlled randomization into our sets. This may be used just to get our creative juices flowing and jam new ideas, or it may be to allow us to create ever-changing textures for sound and light installations – The possibilities are endless.
We have a few different launch modes:
Trigger mode is the most conventional launch mode where clicking or pushing a clip slot will trigger the clip.
Gate will play the clip but only for as long as you keep the clip slot pushed down (either with a midi controller or your mouse).
Toggle acts like an on/off switch. clicking once to turn on, then again to turn off.
Repeat is our favourite mode, repeat allows you to hold down the note (or mouse) to make the clip repeat itself based on the clip quantization value, when you let go it then triggers the clip as usual. When setting the quantization values to tight settings such as 1/16ths or 1/32ths you can get some really interesting playability which would be great for a finger drummer or live performer. When this is coupled with follow actions it becomes even more powerful. (more on follow actions very soon).
Next up we have legato mode…
We then have legato mode, this allows us to play clips sequentially without having to play them all from the start, so if we fire off a second clip halfway through the first. it will continue to play from the same position.
The legato mode will depend on the clips quantization settings, so usually you will want these settings low (1/16th) or off completely. because if a clip is 1 bar long and your quantization is set to 1 bar you will not actually notice the effect. If you are still struggling to understand legato mode, our best way to describe it for you DJs out there is that it is very similar to ‘flux mode’ on Native Instruments Traktor software, and ‘slip mode’ on Pioneer CDJs. it allows the playback to continue as normal whilst you jump through different clips.
Clip Quantization Settings
Next, we have the clip quantization settings. These can be set to the global quantization (in the top left of the software) or the quantization can be set on an individual clip basis. This allows us to launch clips out of time with one another, which if done right, can help break down the structure of our looped sections whilst keeping them both musical and in time.
it can also be used to add syncopation into our music by launching one-shots and loops at unusual beat values such as launching a one-shot on the 3rd 16th of a 2 bar loop as opposed to right at the very first beat. Once again this quantisation function works best when a selection of clips and tracks are using different values and in combination with follow actions and legato mode. It is all about experimentation to find combinations that work.