Can I automate groove parameter changes?


I need a Midi-Clip to slowly start swinging and then play straight again.

This is what i tried (Session View):

For the groove I added "Swing 8-99.agr" to the Clip.

I selected the clip, got my track ready to record Midi, clicked the session record button and the automation arm.

While the Clip plays I increase the timing parameter in the Groove Pool from 0-100%

No Automation recorded.

Is there another way to add swing over time?

I'm using Ableton Live 9 Full Suite 

Thank You


YAEDON 5 years ago | 0 comments

2 answers

  • michael.j.mclaughlin20
    240 answers
    270 votes received
    1 vote


    I do not think this is possible. Grooves are just applied to single midi clips. 

    However, a possible alternative could be to chop up the midi clip in say 1 bar clips, then to apply different amounts of the same groove to the various pieces of the midi clip.

    For example, if you had a 4 bar loop and you did not want to have the groove come in until the second bar, and have it kind of become less apparent in the 3rd bar, and eventually be just like the first bar when you get to the 4th bar... read that again to make sure you got that.

    You can cut the (4 bar) clip up into 4 equal 1 bar length clips, apply the groove to the second clip, and then apply the group with more quantization or timing, or less randomization, whatever would be needed to make the groove less apparent... Just an idea.

    If you don't like that idea, you can just look at what a 100% swing is, and just slowly move each midi note to match that groove after you take the beat grid lines off by pressing command or control + 4.

    Hope this helps

    5 years ago | 0 comments
  • pishposh86
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    This has always annoyed me, that you can automate the global groove amount, which in turn affects the depth of Timing, Random and Velocity according to the values they're set at…but that's it. I mean it's bad enough that only the global groove is automatable, but that master parameter doesn't even effect the depth of Quantize, which in my opinion is the most important of all of them, not to mention the fact that you would expect that those four parameters could be independently automated IN THE FIRST PLACE.


    Anyway, sorry, on to the constructive part. Crap, I wish I had seen your reply back when you posted it, because I've long since found a workaround for this issue, at least with respect to MIDI clips (as well as warped audio clips if you don't mind the finalization-drawback of resampling and possible audio degradation from the latter). It sucks that there's no workaround in a performance situation for mapping those local parameters I mentioned to a controller, but for studio tracks, namely applied to MIDI clips, this works rather well:


    Instead of doing what michael.j.mclaughlin20 described in a MIDI clip, where there's no gradient to the introduction of swing/groove elements (only a change in value as fine as what you chop up which in many cases, aside form being time-consuming, it will be apparent to the listener that the timing of the change in the desired parameter value sounds quantized to a resolution that is the size of the clip "chops"). So what you do is add a blank MIDI track with the MIDI input coming from the MIDI track that you wish to have the (local) groove parameter(s)' changing with a gradient over time. Arm record on the new MIDI track (with maybe a metronome count-in enabled so you can get your cursor in position, granted your recording button isn't mapped to a key/controller) and after you begin recording, gradually change the desired parameter with your mouse over time as you wish - the changes in timing/velocity will be recorded in the new MIDI clip :)


    Now the only issue here is that if your original goal was to record the changes of multiple parameters, you can't use that newly recorded MIDI clip (after of course selecting and enabling on it the same groove from the pool that you used as a source for that new MIDI clip with the parameter gradient) to repeat the same process, now with a different parameter, and get the same result as if you took the original clip and recorded the gradual change two or more parameters at the same time as opposed to just one: the new positions/velocities of the notes from that first recording you did will be getting further adjusted in the second recording according to the groove template's properties… sorry for the detail, you probably got the point already :)


    Now that's not to say that the unpredictable results of "grooving the newly grooved clip" (ha, my apologies, I really I wish I could just say "swing" or "quantization template" instead of "groove", but as you know the former two already mean separate things in the context of this feature in Live) aren't desirable. It's just a shame that you can't get a predictable result concerning a parameter gradient with more than one parameter simultaneously.


    By the way, if you own a jog-wheel (such as a Griffin Power Mate - I own three), it's really handy for making smooth (smoother than the trackpad/mouse at least) value changes while recording, i.e. mapping up/down to the jog-wheel and rotating it while the parameter's value box is selected. 


    Anyway, you may have figured all this out already anyway, but if not, hope it helps!! :)

    1 year ago | 0 comments

You need to be logged in, have a Live license, and have a username set in your account to be able to answer questions.

Answers is a new product and we'd like to hear your wishes, problems or ideas.