Part of the reason I’m taking this challenge on is that I really don’t like working in Ableton. I don’t know enough to have some fun with it. So if I force myself to use it every day and just play with ideas, outside of a pressurised environment, that might help.
Yesterday I didn’t do a huge amount. Start small. All commands I use will be for Mac OS, just an FYI.
- Opened Ableton (!)
- Preferences (cmd+,)
- Look and feel
- Changed background colour from the default to DISCO (way nicer)
- Buffer size from 32 samples to 64 under Latency
- This improves response time
- Never collect files on export if I want my laptop’s memory to survive this (saves a bunch of storage in your system)
- Record, Warp, Launch
- Changed file type from AIF to WAV format
- Default warp mode to Complex
- Built a few MIDI tracks to test out some sounds (scrolled through the list until I found something I liked)
- Prepared Piano2 Harmonics
- Harp3 Release
- Kit-Core Borja (drums)
I used this video, which will probably keep me going all week, because it is an hour of solid gold content:
This sounds minimal, and it is. This is what I could get done in 15 minutes or so. I also procrastinated all day to do this, in that I have certain tasks that have to happen before certain cutoff times. I need to practice violin before 11pm, even though I’ve never once received a noise complaint. I need to make sure I get groceries for the week, make calls to fit people into time zones, plan for the week ahead.
Drink about 15 years of coffee.
I will say that changing colours on an interface, even though it feels like a silly cosmetic change, does make a difference. It’s similar to the principle that you should always spend your money on good shoes and a good mattress, as you’ll be in either at any stage in time, and you should be comfortable.
I committed to 15 minutes a day because once I open the program, I spend that amount of time anyway making bleeps and bloops. Yesterday I started drawing with MIDI in pen mode to make a small hook. Something that might come in after the break in my next planned track. Too early to share, I think. But still. Funky colours make it a little more encouraging.