Two Minute Ableton Live Tip #46- Quickly Map Root Notes in Sampler
Here’s a quick tip that has sped up my workflow while building instruments with Ableton Live’s Sampler.
Setting a Sample’s Root Note in Sampler
For a sample to play back at the correct pitches across the keyboard, you have to tell Live what note the recorded sample is playing. Once you enter this note in Sampler’s Root parameter, C3 will play back as C3, D2 as D2, and so on.
Speeding Up the Process
While you can manually change the Root parameter by dragging up and down or typing in the note on the keyboard, this becomes a grueling process when working on extremely large sets of instruments. The faster way is to simply Option-Click on the Key Zone Editor within Sampler. That’s the part with in the image above with the green bars across the keyboard. Option-Click on the correct note and it will change instantly.
After you do that for each sample, click on the sample names (to the left of the Key Zone Editor) and select them all by pressing CMD-a (CNTRL-a on Windows). Then right-click and select “Distribute Ranges Around Root Key.” Live will set the key zones for each sample automatically. That’s much faster than dragging the ends of those tiny green Zone bars.
A Little Goes a Long Way
This might seem like a tiny tip, but while building the JUNO-106 Ableton Live Pack, I built 81 instruments, each with 8 samples. So if I saved myself 1 minute per instrument (which is probably a conservative estimate), I saved almost an hour and a half of my life!
If you can find a few techniques that save you a few minutes here or there (like making default templates and device presets or using browser shortcuts), you might find yourself with much more time to make music. It might not be that you don’t have enough time, you just might not be making the most of it. As Ben Burnes said on the Music Production Podcast, budget your time like money. Just as a few dollars saved here and there add up to new piece of gear in your studio, minutes and seconds add up to making more music.