Clyph X Part II: 3 Useful Live Performance Functions:
In the last post I explained some basics about ClyphX and how to set it up. I just want to point out 3 more interesting ways to use it.
Tempo Ramps: Tempo ramps, meaning shifting the tempo over a certain number of bars are easy to do in Ableton’s Arrangement view, but really difficult to do by mapping a controller to the global tempo window in Session View. I personally find it hard to use a knob with the global tempo accurately. (Except the Push knob which is great). I can do this easily with ClyphX though.
To do so, I simply write “[ID] BPM 100 ; BPM RAMP 8 200” To break this down: [ID] tells Ableton that this will be a ClyphX command, BPM 100 sets the starting BPM, BPM RAMP 8 200 means that the bpm will shift over 8 beats to 200 bpm. The first number is the number of bars and the second is what the tempo will move to.
Here’s a video example of a tempo ramp:
Open/Close Group Tracks: I use the Ableton Push a lot as a live performance tool and with the Push, you can only see 8 tracks at a time, for example if you are adjusting levels. If you have a group track that you open up, the Ableton Push will show all of the tracks within the group and bump a couple of your other tracks off the display. Before I got into ClyphX, this drove me nuts because there was no way to open and close a group without using a mouse. But ClyphX allows you to do this with a simple push of a button from a controller.
To do so, write: [ID] 2/FOLD. To break this down: [ID] tells Ableton that this will be a ClyphX command. 2/ selects the track number that you want to open and close. FOLD is the command for opening and closing a group.
Here’s a video example of opening a group track:
Next/Previous Clip In A Track: In my live set, I limit myself to using 8 simple one to four bar drum loops and 8 breakbeats. Everything else I create live. The Push has two views – Note and Session and sometimes when I’m jamming in note mode, I want to switch up the loop. With the Push, that would mean that I would have to leave note mode, which is like the keyboard and go to session to trigger the clip. This would interrupt whatever I’m playing. With ClyphX, you can, with a single button, move down the clips in the track and with another button, go back.
To do so, write: [ID] 2/PLAY >. To break this down: [ID] tells Ableton that this will be a ClyphX command. 2/ selects the track number that you want to open and close. PLAY > means play the next clip. To play the previous clip, use the command: PLAY <.
Here’s a video example of using the ‘next clip’ option:
Another piece of advice that’s changed a little since my last post. When setting up a ClyphX dummy clip, set the Quantization to None and the Launch Mode to Gate. That way, you can hit the clip once and have it do its function, but it will stop as soon as you release it rather than continuously looping.
Here’s a short video on how to set up a ClyphX dummy clip:
Dan FreeMan (CØm1x) is an artist/producer/Ableton Certified Trainer based in Brooklyn, NY. He’s the director of the Brooklyn Digital Conservatory, a platform that brings some of the best artist-instructors in the US to production schools globally. He directs NYC’s largest Ableton User Group and is on the faculty of New York University’s Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music. He consults for artists and bands seeking to integrate laptops with live instruments and may be contacted here.