Automating Pitch Change / Transposition of an Audio Clip in Ableton Live

This is one of those fundamentals of Ableton Live that you should definitely know about since it allows an incredible level of flexibility with changing the nature of a baked in audio clip over time.

If you want to automate the transposition of an audio clip, first you’ll need to double click on it so that the clip view opens up at the bottom of Live’s interface. Here’s what that looks like:

The clip settings in Ableton Live

The clip settings in Ableton Live

If you haven’t already, be sure to click on the little “E” button (you can see it in the image above at the lower left) in order to open the clip envelopes button. A “clip envelope” is like any other envelope in sound design: It alters a setting over time.

Tip: Make sure that “Warp” is enabled on the clip or you won’t be able to do the next step!

Next, set the drop-down menus in the Envelopes pane to match this screenshot:

Envelopes section in the clip settings

Envelopes section in the clip settings

The first option in the top dropdown box will give you the choice of either modulating the mixer settings (volume, pan, etc.) or clip settings such as transposition. The second dropdown will give you all the choices of clip-specific settings that you can change.

Now you can use the red breakpoint line that has been overlaid on the waveform to change pitch over time in semitone increments:

Clip envelope modulation using breakpoints in Ableton Live

Clip envelope modulation using breakpoints

That will do it for today’s quick tip post. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

 

Automating Pitch Change / Transposition of an Audio Clip in Ableton Live by

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3 Responses to “Automating Pitch Change / Transposition of an Audio Clip in Ableton Live”

  1. MatthewSeptember 2, 2014 at 1:53 am #

    Thanks for this Nick, very useful.

  2. ShaneDecember 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Short and to the point. I won’t have figured it out on my own lol. Thanks

  3. Tom ClarkeJanuary 7, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    Thank you

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