How to create polymeters and automate tempo and time signature in Ableton Live

Free your productions from the shackles of 4/4.

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As creatures of habit, we often stick to the things we know when making new music. It might be using the same set of instruments or effects, or the same time signature and tempo. We might find, however, that a whole world of creative possibilities and interesting potential lay outside of 4/4 and 120bpm. And, although it’s by no means a modern technique, altering these values throughout a song can be easily achieved in Ableton Live.

In this tutorial, Liam O’Mullane shows you how to swiftly deploy tempo and time signature changes into your Arrangement View. You’ll also learn how to make the same changes in your Session View, and understand ways in which to make these changes on-the-fly during a live performance. Liam also shows you how to create polymeters, which have the potential to make your tracks more musically fascinating.

Other lessons in our Ableton Live Tutorials series so far include:

Those of you who already know Live inside and out, but are looking to explore other DAWs may want to check out our Logic Tips Series, following a similar pattern to this course.

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