Groove Quantizing in Ableton Live

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Groove Quantize Tips for Ableton Live. Ableton Live has lots of ways to make your clips groove. The tips below explain how to do the following:

  • Add swing to clips or an entire song
  • Set the default swing for clips
  • How to compose without snapping notes or clips to the grid.

All you need to follow this tutorial is Ableton Live. Read on to learn about using swing in Ableton Live.

Adding Swing to a Song

Adding swing to clips is pretty easy in Live. Click the Global Groove Amount box in the top left beside the metronome button. Click and drag the box up to around 30 for a medium swing. Optionally, you can type in the amount of swing you want with your keyboard. Each clip must be set to swing on 8th notes, 16th notes, or 32nd notes. So, if you already have a song and you want all of your clips to swing on 16th notes:

  1. Click in the timeline area in Arrangement View.
  2. Press Ctrl + A to select all your clips
  3. Press Shift + Tab to show the Clip View
  4. Select Swing 16 under the Groove section.

Setting the Default Swing

Another useful groove trick is to setup your clips to automatically swing on 16th notes. This is helpful because Live defaults to swing on 8th notes. This doesn’t sound right for most kinds of dance music and makes previewing drum loops sound bad. When the swing is set to 16th notes then your drum loops will sound right when you audition them. To set your clip default groove settings:

  1. Click Options->Preferences
  2. Click the Defaults tab
  3. Click Swing 16 in the drop-down box beside Groove

Sequencing Off the Grid

You can get your audio clips and MIDI notes to groove right by turning off the grid when writing funky sections. While in the timeline or piano roll editor, press Ctrl + 4 to toggle the grid. In the piano roll editor you can leave the grid on and press Alt after clicking a note to drag it off of the grid. This trick will turn off grid snapping for that note. This is really useful if you just want a few notes to be unquantized.

Try using these tips to write funkier drums and jazzier melodies. If you have any feedback, please post a message in the SonicTransfer Forums. Click here to visit the SonicTransfer Forums.