How to smoothly make tempo changes in Session View?

I know about the Lanch Tempo in a scene name... But how YOU actually do it in a live set?


n-light 6 years ago | 1 comment

5 answers

  • mcbpete
    203 answers
    233 votes received
    5 votes

    There's a third party (but free) plugin for Ableton called ClyphX ( )

    If, for example, you labelled a dummy clip -

    [ID] BPM RAMP 64 150

    It's gently increase or decrease (depending on the current BPM) the target tempo to 150bpm over the course of 64 beats

    Here's an example of some of the additional stuff it does -

    (if the video doesn't appear and you're using Chrome, click the 'Load Unsafe Script' symbol that appears on the right of the web address bar)


    3 years ago | 2 comments
  • RobinHunt
    2 answers
    17 votes received
    4 votes

    It is possible to do this in Ableton, EVEN in absolute BPMS (like going from 120.00 to 140.00) I wanted to use this option because I play in a band in which we have songs ranging from about 60 to 180 bpm. On some songs we wanted to do smooth tempo changes and this is how I did it:

    First you need a third party program which enables you to send midi out of ableton directly into ableton again. On a mac this is easy, it already has a program built in to do this. (On a PC you would need MIDI YOKE) This is how you activate the mac program:

    1) go to audio MIDI setup

    2) show MIDI window and open IAC driver

    3) give the device a name like "TEMPO CHANGE" and click on the "Device is online" button

    Now you have a software midi bus on which you can send midi info out of ableton back into ableton. On PC do this with MIDI YOKE

    Now open Ableton,

    1) go to preferences, Midi/Sync, and you will see the MIDI in and output ports "TEMPO CHANGE"

    2) click on both the in/output bus track and remote buttons so that they all are yellow.

    3) go to the session view in ableton and create a midi track, select under "MIDI to" the "TEMPO CHANGE bus 1" choose a channel of your own desire, its smart to use a bus which none of your other midi devices are using.

    4) create a midi clip, (double)click on the midi clip, click on the yellow 'e' button (for envelopes)

    5) now at Envelopes choose MIDI ctrl and a CC number of your own choiche. Now draw an envelope right in the envelop drawing screen. Go for instance from 0 to 127 so you got a nice straight diagonal line. Start the midi clip by pushing the play button and stop it with using the space bar. (this is important, because clip needs to be "armed")

    6) now go into the midi edit mode ("command m" or on pc "ctrl m")

    7) click on the bpm number (right from the TAP button), make sure you click on the whole number (120) and not on the two digits right from it

    8) push the space bar and now you should see that the tempo gets an automation mark, go out of the MIDI edit mode. Now press the space bar again, you should see that the tempo changes drastically! (it should go from 20 to 999)

    9) because I want to automate in absolute BPMS I needed to limit the scale. Go back into MIDI edit, go to midi mappings (by clicking on the grey arrow just under the EXT button in the up left corner)

    10) now you see the automation of the tempo with the channel and CC info. Now change your "Min" value to the slowest of your songs with some extra 'room' for future songs. I recommend 60, which is pretty slow. Change to "Max" to 187: (60 (or whatever you use) + 127 = 187). (the number of 127 is important because with midi you have 128 steps to choose from!)

    11) go out of MIDI edit, press space and voila, now you see your bpms go up from 60 to 187 in only whole BPM values. So what now if my song is below or over the choosen scale (lets see my song is 200) then I would say just choose 100 bpm for the song so that the song is then double time. You also can double up the scale in "midi mappings": min=60, max= (60+254)= 314 The thing is that you would only have even BPMS. (60, 62,64 etc)



    3 years ago | 0 comments
  • edm Ableton staff
    14 answers
    39 votes received
    3 votes

    One hack I've used it to have a range of scenes with different tempos but with the play buttons removed from all the empty clip slots (just select them, then hit Cmd + E). I can then use these to move from tempo to tempo, in time, without interfering with what's playing.

    6 years ago | 1 comment
  • Robbie Bubble
    1 answer
    2 votes received
    2 votes

    Sorry to be posting a link, but on Jon Margulies (Hobotech) has compiled awesome tips on how to make smooth and precise BPM changes using Midi Macro Clips. It is a very elegant method. Start reading at "Midi Macro Clips" and read until "Round Number Tempo Madness - on ice". You will be delighted.

    I prefer this method to manually mapping global tempo to a MIDI controller as it gets tedious to be turning a knob through a 16 bar transition.

    6 years ago | 1 comment
  • headquest
    1 answer
    0 votes received
    0 votes

    It is possible to map the global tempo to a MIDI controller and simply dial in the tempo changes smoothly in real time. This can be done separately for the bpm and the fine tempo setting, so you can have larger or smaller changes depending on what you wish for.

    Launches scenes with launch tempo in the scene name still overrides this allowing precision tempos when you select a scene.

    6 years ago | 0 comments

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