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Live 12 Piano Roll: Top 9 Drum Programming Updates

Live 12 is an incredible update - and the biggest part of it is the newly improved Piano Roll. Now it's an incredible tool for creating rhythmic patterns - especially with the updated Drum Rack. From the huge set of rhythm-oriented updates, we’ve picked our top 9. These techniques can significantly improve your drum programming workflow in the new edition of Ableton. Let’s get started!

1. Chopping notes on grid

This technique is great for creating regular rhythms - for example for hi-hats. To use this function, you can right click a chosen MIDI note and select “Chop notes on grid”. The same option is available through keystrokes: Ctrl + E (Windows) or Cmd + E (Mac).


2. Chop with drag

Slicing MIDI notes is now also possible by dragging the mouse. In order to use it, hold E (Windows & Mac) and drag through the MIDI note.


3. Drag to create evenly spaced notes

Another way of creating MIDI note slices is using the shortcut E + Ctrl (Windows) or Alt + E (Mac) and dragging up the note. The order of pressed keystroke is important on Windows and won’t work in reverse: Ctrl + E doesn’t enable this option, but slices the note at the current line position instead (the same option works via Cmd + E on Mac).


4. Velocity editing: Ramp

A great new option that makes velocity editing easier is the Ramp feature. At the bottom of the new Piano Roll, you can find two new parameters. These are simply starting and end velocities. After selecting multiple MIDI notes, you can create linear velocity changes by adjusting the starting and end velocities. This is a useful alternative solution to the “draw velocity” feature (enabled with the B key).


5. Join notes feature

Now you are able to join multiple MIDI notes by selecting and hitting the keystroke: Ctrl + J (Windows) or Cmd + J (Mac).


6. Time Warp

The Live 12 Piano Roll has a completely new feature called Time Warp. Its X-Y graph allows you to shift around selected notes in time. It allows you complex and precise timing edits, which wouldn’t be otherwise possible through MIDI manipulation.


7. Rhythm Generator

One of the most innovative features in Live 12 is the built-in Rhythm Generator. It allows you to create custom MIDI patterns based on parameters like Steps, Pattern selection and Density. With this feature, you can easily create complex MIDI patterns you wouldn’t have otherwise came up with.


8. Extend notes to highlighted time range

You now also have the option to merge a selection and fill selected time range with the single MIDI note. It’s possible by the following keystroke: Ctrl + Alt + J (Windows) or Cmd + Option + J (Mac)


9. Updated Quantization

Quantization options are now available through a separate tab in the Piano Roll. MIDI notes now react dynamically to the changes, allowing for more precise and easier quantization.


See Also:

Top 10 Features in the Live 12 Update

Live 12 Piano Roll: Top 7 Melody & Chords Writing Features



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