Ableton Live Insider Tips – Play a MIDI Clip Tonally with a MIDI Keyboard (Video Tutorial)

In the latest episode of the 'Ableton Insider Tips' you learn how you can play a MIDI clip tonally with a keyboard and therefore transposing it on the fly. I also show you a little trick to keep it harmonic.

Anything to ask or add? Let me hear it.

More Ableton Live Insider Tips.

By |2017-12-15T19:29:46+00:00May 20th, 2013|Ableton Live Tutorials|7 Comments

About the Author:

Madeleine Bloom is a musician, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer from Berlin. She studied Electroacoustic Music at the Franz Liszt Conservatory. In the last few years she's worked as a technical support for Ableton and has helped countless people with her in-depth knowledge of Ableton Live, various other music apps as well as audio engineering.


  1. MTC May 20, 2013 at 16:18 - Reply

    Hey, another very useful tips for making more organic compositions between mid & audio clips… It’s brighten a solid grey sky in Paris today. Thanks Madeleine and waiting for next… TschüB

  2. Pianomeng June 8, 2013 at 17:29 - Reply

    Great little tutorials – keep ’em coming

  3. Jammæn June 15, 2013 at 15:02 - Reply

    Hey Madeleine, thanx alot for your tipps! I tried this one, but… do you know a solution not only to play the sample per midi, but also to RECORD the midi? Because of the sample in the slot, the channel is an audio-channel. So, i think (and tried) it cannot receive midi. The only way i found, is, to record midi in a midi channel, play it out on hardware-midiport, and lt this midiport control the sample in the slot. Do you know any other way?

    Second question :)) … Is there any way to control the pitch-knob in the sampleslot-parameter with keyboard? If possible, one would be able to play maybe a vocal sample like melondyne-effect: timing like warped, but pitch changing like played on keyboard.

    I am using Live since version 1.5 But… i am learning from you! :))
    Thank you very much for your answer, your work, your tipps! Like 2 see you again on musotalk!

    • Madeleine June 21, 2013 at 18:55 - Reply

      You can of course still record MIDI into the mapped MIDI clip as the input is still a MIDI input, only the output is audio once you’ve added an instrument. Just beware of the key range you’ve mapped onto the clip. These notes will trigger the clip in the respective key, but make no sound any longer.

      If I understand your second question correctly, then check out the tutorial for audio clips. The clip will be triggered with each defined key though. Otherwise you could map Transpose to the modulation wheel of the keyboard or another continuous controller. If both solutions might not be what you want, I’m sure a Max for Live patch could help.

      I’m certain you’ll be able to see me on musotalk again. ;)

  4. Cesar March 6, 2016 at 15:57 - Reply

    Excellent tutorial. I want to be able to play block chords rhythmically by holding various notes on my keyboard. I have only been able to play them repeatedly by using chord trigger style in Live arpeggiator. But I want to play a custom rhythmic sequence not just play chords repeatedly. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  5. Mark March 22, 2018 at 11:31 - Reply

    Hi Madeliene
    Greetings from Australia…
    There use to be a function in Cubase very early on called IPS phrase synth. Im not sure if Im reiterting Cesars post, but you could eg just define a monophonic custom ‘clip’ wtih various parameters eg key (and a whole world more) and holding 1 key down would emulate what you have done in the vid. However holding down intervals or chords created a polyphonic output using the sample clip as the template for each held note…with the possibility that each held note created its own start point in the sequence. What is the best way to achieve this behaviour?

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