How To Use Ableton & external gear for Playing Live
You are here because you have watched Ben Böhmer's tutorial for PML breaking down the live setup he uses in all of his shows. If you are new to using Ableton or the Session View in particular, then Attilas video (link above) will help you understand exactly what Ben does inside Ableton and how you can recreate his setup.
If you want to be able to build your own custom live setup, then check back soon for a complete Session View Masterclass!
Ben Böhmer's Setup
Ben uses a combination of analog and digital gear to be flexible, to be able to act in the moment every night and to create unique versions of each track every time he plays them.
But what is playing "live"? Playing live means to be able to affect every aspect of a song on the go and basically "recompose" your own track every time you play it. Ableton Live is perfect to do that.
1) Ableton Live
As a software Ben uses Ableton Live, because it gives freedom and customisability. Inside Ableton we work in the Session view to launch clips and scenes.
Ben has a default file that he starts putting together his live set with (which you can download with the New Production Pack).
Usually his tracks are separated into at least 8 elements:
- Kick drum
Each channel is controllable with the Xonek2 controllers.
His main controller for Ableton Live is the Allen & Heath Xonek2. To be able to control all parameters, 3 of these are linked together with a total of 12 channels. These controllers are very solid and built to play intense live shows. For his shows Ben does not use all knobs and faders, since usually there are not too many effects on the different channels.
Ben: "I don’t go crazy on effects. In Ableton I use audio effects (EQ, Filter), send effects (Reverb & Delays), and a sum compression, EQ and limiter on the master channel."
3) Korg Minilogue
Ben Böhmer: "Although this little synth can also produce analog synthesis, I only use it as a MIDI controller when playing live. For me it has the perfect set of knobs and faders to control my most used VST plugin - the u-he DIVA. During a live show I play existing melodies, improvise to existing material or send melodies via MIDI. This is probably the instrument that comes closest to what most people think of playing live music."
4) Eventide Space Pedal
Ben Böhmer: "This pedal lets me control one of the best sounding reverbs wherever I need it. That way I can trigger and control many different parameters at the same time."
5) Akai Midimix
Ben uses the Midimix literally as a loop machine - with 8 drum loops running active in the back at all times. That way he can bring in an additional snare, his signature open hi hats or a drumroll to create some extra tension in the moment.
Do you want to produce music like Ben and set up your own live sets? Then check the links below!
Produce like Ben Böhmer
Check out the all new Ben Böhmer Deep Melodic Production Pack. You will get instant access to 5 new Ableton Template Files in the style of Ben, 1 Drum Sample Pack and the Default Live Performance Ableton File to start building your own live sets!
>>> GO TO Ben Böhmer Vol. 2 - New Production Pack
What you are getting:
✓ 5 new Ableton Project Files
✓ 1 Drum Sample Pack
✓ 1 Default Live Performance Ableton File
✓ Ableton Session View explained (Ben's Project in detail)
✓ Ben Böhmer explains how he plays live
✓ Exclusive live performance by Ben
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