Since I spent the last couple of days talking about creating a hand-claps Instrument Rack, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about how I go about saving this sort of instrument as a preset. You may recall that I recently spent some time talking about effect presets and how I store them in their own folder outside of the Live Library. My instrument presets also go in a special folder, but its a different one than the effects: The Sounds Project.

Here’s what it looks like in my Browser:

Picture 14

What you see above is a standard Ableton Project folder with a bunch of subfolders within it for different types of sounds. In the “ClapSnareRim” folder, you’ll see that a “sound” can consist of a sample (i.e. Linn1 #024), a preset (SloppyClap.adg) or a Live Set (GoodBeat.als).

It took me a while to figure this out, but it makes a lot of sense. While I’m making music, I only think in terms of sound, not the way the sound is getting created. In other words, when I think “Kick Drum”, sometimes the solution is an Operator preset, sometimes it’s an Instrument Rack with a variety of layers, and sometimes it’s a raw sample that I like. That’s why I keep them all together.

Now, the answer to a couple of questions you may have…

First, why are some sounds .als files? The reason is that sometimes when I’m completing a track, I’ll search through it to see if there are any new sounds I want to save. Sometimes the sound is being created by more than one track and the easiest way to save the sound is to export the tracks as a new Live Set.

Second, why a Sounds Project instead of a regular folder? The answer here is deals specifically with presets such as SloppyClaps which depend on a set of sample files. Because I’m using a Project folder, Live will automatically import all of the necessary sample files into the Project for me so they never get lost.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at some of the step-by-step for making this all work.