How to Use Ableton Live for Worship Multitracks
Ableton Live is a powerful and easy to use software that works well when you want to play multitracks live with your worship band. The Ableton program is a great DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) because it’s reliable and uses very little computer power. In this blog you're going to learn the ins-and-outs of using Ableton live on a Sunday (or any day) to play worship tracks with your church band. I cover the difference between arrangement & session views, how to identify instruments and set up out puts, how to set your tempo, master, make a timeline and more. You'll also learn how to get a free Ableton live template.
Other DAWs require more attention on your computer which could be riskier when you're playing a live worship set at your church. You’d hate for your computer to fail the moment you need your worship multitracks the most (trust me, I’ve been there)!
Ableton is also is a fully functional DAW which means you can fully record, create and edit audio. Because of these functionalities, you can even use Ableton to create your own multitracks. The best way to fully utilize Ableton's capabilities is through taking the Custom Multitracks Masterclass course where you'll learn everything you need to know to make a Custom Multitrack.
The first step to using Ableton Live as a DAW for playing your multitracks through is to decide which view to utilize.
Ableton has 2 main views that you can play your multitracks through:
Arrangement View OR Session View
Let's dive into the features and pros and cons of arrangement vs session view.
1. Arrangement View Features:
Arrangement View allows you to see an entire timeline of a set
You can powerfully utilize locators to customize your sets and flow in between songs
We prefer using arrangement view so we will show you how to use the benefits of arrangement view, although session view is equally as useful.
Easy for church media and sound volunteers to use and view
Allows you to plan for spontaneous worship moments or prayer moments
Gives you more control over the tracks (Fading in and out, controlling individual stems, and more)
With greater customizability comes greater margin for error - such as putting locators in the wrong place or stems in the wrong place
You have to drag in drop stems in every week and it therefore takes more time to manage each worship set
2. Session View Features:
Allows you to see the stems but the focus is on the “Master” section. When you press “play” on the master section it fires all of the tracks listed in that row.
For large worship teams with full bands, this is a simple way to manage simple multitracks
You can create a master session file every Sunday so you don’t have to drag and drop tracks every week
Limitations to customizing your worship set's flows
You can't edit roadmaps or sets once the stems are loaded
Doesn’t let you control spontaneous worship moments well