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Dubspot instructor, Ableton Certified Trainer, and electronic musician Thavius Beck returns with a brand-new season of Did You Know? We launched the series back in January, and for eight consecutive Mondays, Thavius shared invaluable production advice, tips, tricks, and techniques and examined some of the less explored and slightly hidden features in Ableton Live.
Hello everyone, and welcome to Season Two of my Dubspot video tutorial series, Did You Know? For those of you who are new to the series, these videos focus on exploring some of the lesser known features of our beloved piece of software, Ableton Live.
In this particular video, we will be exploring a feature that I myself very recently learned about (thanks Pat Cupo!) called Stretch MIDI Notes. The Stretch MIDI Notes feature allows the user to take a selected group of MIDI notes and stretch their duration, a lot like how you are able to stretch warped audio. You can either lengthen or shorten the duration of the selected notes, and even better is that you don’t have to select every single note in the clip in order to start stretching… that way you can stretch the timing of the kicks and hi-hats without altering the timing of the snares for instance. All you need to do is select a note (or several, or all notes) in your MIDI clip, then right click in the clip, and at the bottom of the contextual menu you will see Stretch MIDI Notes!
Now as cool as a feature as this may be, if we can’t find a practical usage for it then it doesn’t really do us much good, right? Well I try to find a practical use for nearly everything… haha! The real gem in this tutorial video is learning how we can record ourselves stretching the MIDI notes in real time to the Arrangement view, consolidating the clips we end up with, quantizing the notes to our liking (not necessarily at 100% so we can retain some characteristics of that looser stretched timing), and bringing that new clip back into our Session view. By doing that, we turned a one-bar loop into something much more varied and interesting.
If you ever work with MIDI in Live, you might find this video pretty interesting. Have fun experimenting!