To get deeper into understanding Live’s groove engine, you have to be clear on what’s inside the groove files in the Library. Fortunately, that’s really easy. Just grab a groove out of the browser, drag it into the Session view and drop it into a MIDI track.

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Yup. It’s just a MIDI clip.

Take a look inside and you’ll see something like this:

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The groove is a simple rhythmic pattern using only the note C1. (If you don’t see the notes when you first look, just hit the Fold switch.)

In this case, we see the template for a simple swing pattern – every other 1/16th note is delayed. If you look at a groove such as Tambourim…

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You’ll see somthing a bit more complicated:

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Not only are there velocity variations, you’ll see that some of the notes are shifted to the left so they are early or “ahead of the beat” which is an aspect of Samba’s sexy aggression.