Today’s Ableton Live tutorial is all about keeping your arrange view neat and uncluttered. After moving, splitting, and rearranging clips on the timeline, it can start looking pretty messy. This gets especially bad when you’ve shifted the start point of a clip to overlap either the start or end of a natural loop or phrase.
While this messiness is OK while you experiment with changing the phrase, when it comes time to start laying out the structure of the entire track a messy arrangement view can wreak havoc with your organization, leading to mistakes in copying clips and notes to other parts of the song. Since arrangement is generally agreed upon to be the most challenging part of completing a track, why make it harder on yourself than it needs to be?
For instance, if you try to copy a clip that doesn’t start at an easily identifiable beginning of a phrase, there’s a good chance you might accidentally paste that clip at the wrong start position in what is supposed to be an identical phrase further on in the composition.
All of these mistakes are even easier to make when you’re zoomed out and looking at your piece from a bird’s eye perspective. From here, any mistakes you make in selecting ranges in the timeline will be an order of magnitude harder to identify. If you take the time to visually organize the chaos that you created during a rush of creativity with the simple “consolidate” command that I illustrate in the video below, your arrangement will be much easier to pull off successfully.