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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Mar-16 > Pitch and transposition in Ableton Live

Pitch and transposition in Ableton Live

In the first of a new series of in depth tutorials for Ableton Live, Martin Delaney shows you where to find some all-important controls relating to pitch and transposition for audio and MIDI, and explains how to use them…

Ableton Live Live In Depth Part 1

Today, we’re talking about pitch and transposition, and how to manipulate them in Ableton Live. But we’re not talking about the musical theory involved, as much as looking at the Live tools that let us interact with these important musical principles.

With some people, there’s still an idea that Live is weak at MIDI programming – and it is, if you’re looking for the familiar tools from Cubase or Logic. Ableton Live isn’t so much about MIDI programming in a way you’d recognise from programming with other DAWs – it’s more about using dynamic control, automation and MIDI effects. And because… well, because Live is Live, we can exercise a huge amount of real-time control with audio samples as well, just as easily as working with MIDI. Because these tools let us be more spontaneous, and can be accessed mostly through hardware controllers, rather than being based on drawing with a mouse, they are equally useful for improvisation, performance and composition.

Live’s transposition and pitch controls are primarily creative tools, meaning you use them to create noticeable sonic effects, with the MIDI plug-ins and within the software instruments. However, they also serve very practical purposes, such as the new Tuner device, and the way that the Pitch MIDI effect device can help you to shift the root of a song to better fit with a certain vocalist’s range, for example.

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About MusicTech

The new issue of MusicTech is on sale Thursday February 18th and this month we’re bringing you the ultimate modular synth masterclass! We explain (in detail) how to build your own system. Also this month we’ve got a preview of Yamaha’s Montage synth, a look back at NAMM 2016 and brand new reviews and tutorials.