About Song Sketch
Song Sketch is a song structure editor for Live
Song Sketch works with: Ableton Live 10 Suite or Live 10 Standard with Max For Live 8 as an add-on license. Mac OS Catalina, Mojave, Windows 10. We are currently testing Song Sketch on earlier Mac OS, contact us for more details. firstname.lastname@example.org
Song Sketch for Live is a Max For Live device dedicated to managing song structure. Kick-start song arrangements by quickly turning your loops into tracks, testing different options, and customising settings and structure. Use Song Sketch to create a starting point for a track, or as a fun way to learn about arrangement techniques.
Arranging in Song Sketch
Song Sketch is a song structure editor for Live. As such, Song Sketch makes it possible to work and experiment with arrangements separately from your musical elements. In Song Sketch, you can load and edit different arrangement templates and apply them to your music. In this way, you can work on alternative arrangements for the music that you are composing.
Song Sketch comes with a set of arrangement templates (called Sketches) in different genres and styles. Song Sketch includes four libraries with a total of 48 templates in the genres of Hip Hop, House, Techno and Pop. Additional libraries can be imported and new sets of templates will soon be available as add-ons.
Using arrangement templates
Applying various arrangement templates enables you to quickly test your loops in a full length song. You can also customise the arrangements, for instance by swapping parts to apply the template to your loops in different ways, or by editing the length and placement of the different parts of your song.
Any work you do in Song Sketch can be saved as a new arrangement template. You can also create your own templates from scratch and share them with others.
The Song Sketch standard workflow takes you from loops to a full track in four steps:
- Prepare your loops
- Select a Sketch (arrangement template) to apply to your loops
- Customise by editing and swapping the different parts of the arrangement
- Place on the arrangement view
Start with your loops
Both audio and midi clips can be used and the loops/clips can be of different length.
Select a Sketch
A Sketch (arrangement template) can have up to 16 parts, each of which can be applied to one of your loops. When you select a Sketch, Song Sketch matches the different parts of the arrangement to the names of your loops.
Edit and swap
You can customise the arrangement by editing where in the song the different parts of the arrangement will be played. You can also swap the parts to change which of your loops they will be applied to.
Place to arrangement view
Press the “To Arr” button to place your song structure on the arrangement view. You now have a starting point for a full track.
Create your own templates
Song Sketch includes some additional features which give you even more flexibility when working with your song structure.
The multiple scenes feature enables you to use more than one version of a clip throughout the song. For instance, you can use different chord progressions in choruses and other sections.
Some Song Sketch arrangement templates include automation effects. Automation effects are example effects with the purpose to give a “preview” of your song idea.
A Sketch Rack is included in Song Sketch. It is a standard Ableton Live effect rack with some stock Ableton effects that are useful for arrangement purposes, such as filter and volume. The arrangement templates in Song Sketch can be set to control the knobs in the Sketch Rack and thereby automate effects in arrangements.
Song Sketch visualises arrangements and makes it easy to learn arrangement techniques used in different genres. Using and experimenting with different arrangements in Song Sketch will help you get up to speed with understanding various arrangement principles and tricks for different styles of music.