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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Ableton Live 10 > FROM STUDIO TO STAGE


Every producer should experience playing their music in front of an audience – it’ll transform the way you think about your own sounds. But there are challenges in moving from studio to stage, so let Martin Delaney take you through it.…

Working on music in the privacy of the bedroom, small studio, or coffee shop is one thing, but taking it to the stage can be a bit of a culture shock. After playing just one gig, your perceptions about gear, music and maybe even your artistic ambitions will change, as you process the input from new experiences. Even if you’re a committed studio rat and not really interested in playing live at all, I’d still nag you to try it at least once, you have a lot to learn and nothing much to lose – wear a mask if you’re feeling shy! The most important thing is to commit to doing it. The decision will be followed by creative and practical challenges, but relax, there’s nothing you can’t handle.


The time has to come to plan and play your first-ever live gig, or the first with a new band or new setup. It could even be a situation where you’re not playing, but helping somebody else to do it. There are probably common things we all want from playing live, such as fun, exposure, recognition, building an audience and to get a new perspective on our studio work. It’s the loudest we’ll ever hear our music played, at the opposite end of the scale from listening to it on iPhone speakers. Furthermore, standing in front of an audience while your music is playing is a true test of your faith in your own work. There’s really nowhere to hide, sonically speaking. What we aren’t going to do with this piece is give you a full step-by-step ‘how to’ about getting ready for a live gig. That’d be impossible, unless everybody who reads this is playing the same set with the same gear and the same people at the same venue. But we want to spark some ideas and get you motivated and give you some useful tools. It’s similar to gear recommendations – almost


01 You’ve got a finished Ableton Live tune that you want to use in a live performance. Currently, it’s laid out in traditional style, an arrangement going left to right on the screen. Ableton Live has some great tools to help us get this jam-ready and out of the frozen zone
02 Before continuing, archive your original project; we don’t want to destroy your final mix! Use the File/Save Live Set As… command to make a new version and give it a unique name, then File/Collect All and Save to round up all samples needed into the new project folder.
03 On to the actual content. Reduce your track count to a manageable number, by submixing and resampling to new audio clips if necessary, or using group tracks, or using Freeze/Flatten to convert MIDI clips to audio so you can more easily combine and rearrange them into different tracks mid-set.
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About MusicTech

70 Pro Tips - A huge array of tips and tricks for all stages of music production. Interview: Emre Ramazanoglu - The musician, engineer and songwriter who has worked with the stars. Workshops: Live 10: Beginner's Guide to Live - Create a song from scratch Live 10: Workflow Additions - Martin Delaney explores the improved Arrangement View in Live 10 and other workflow updates MIDI Routing And Recording - A look at some fundamental and sophisticated routing techniques