Recently a customer sent an email asking how to use our MIDI loops in Ableton Live. This is really easy to do but there are a few things you should know. In this post, I'll briefly cover the basics on loading and playing MIDI files, the Session and Arrangement windows, loading a kit and the Live Browser.
For an in-depth discussion by a certified Live trainer, please watch the video below. We used version 9 for the video but the current version operates much the same way.
Using MIDI Files In Ableton Live
Importing and playing MIDI files or 'clips' into Ableton only requires 2 steps. Those steps are:
1. Drag a file from the Live "Browser" Window into either the Session or Arrangement window. To view the Session or Arrangement windows, select your choice from the "View" menu.
The image below shows the Session view with some MIDI files loaded.
2. Add a drum kit to play the files. To do this, you can simply drag a kit onto the track and you're ready to go!
The image below shows the Arrangement view with a kit loaded.
Playing a File
To play a MIDI file in Session view, press the triangle shaped icon on the left side of the clip.
The image below shows the location of the Session view "play" button for a clip.
In the Arrangement window, you'll find controls for play, stop and record near the top of the screen. Play is the triangle-shaped button and stop is shaped like a square.
Using the Live Browser
You can store MIDI files in your Live User Library "Clips" or "Grooves" folders. Then you can access them through the Browser window. You can quickly access thousands of files and drag them into your Live project.
For example, you could store our entire Mega Pack in the "User Library\Grooves" folder giving you access to all the files from one location. We include MIDI loops mapped for Live Session drummer in each pack.
To view the Browser, select "Show Browser" from the View menu.
That's all there is to it. Again, for an in depth look at using MIDI in Live, please watch the video above. It covers drum racks, our file naming, MIDI editing, the Arrangement and Session windows and more.
As always please contact us if you have additional questions.