Abelton tutorial – warp markers

Ableton tutorial #1 warp markers.

This is the most important and the best thing about abelton – they are called warp markers.
I’m gonna tell you what they are all about, and I’m gonna tell you how you can use them to your advantage.

fire up abelton.


Importing Audio

next thing to do is to drag and drop a music file into abelton –
I’m gonna use one of my own tunes for this, its called untitledioioio.mp3 =P but it can be any song you want.

when you drag the file into ableton you end up with a screen looking like this


Creating Tracks

the file I just dragged in is the green square.

if you click the play button (the little triangle) it will play the song. to get the song to stop, click on any of the tiny little squares on the screen.

ok, now, right click on the part that says ‘Drop files and devices here’
and click insert audio track.


Deleting tracks

you now have another audio track to put more tracks on.
right click on the midi track and delete it, we dont need it just now.
you can add the same audio to this track, or another song if you wish.
i just right clicked the untitledioio box and did copy, then right clicked on the new audio track and did paste.


now, click on the first audio track that you imported.
at the very bottom of the screen, in the right hand corner youll notice that it says
1-audio , next to it is a squiggle, this is your audio track, click on the squiggle (waveform if you must use the correct term, but I prefer squiggle, its a better word).


Zooming and Scrolling

this view has a lot of cool things, but the one that we will be concentrating on just now is called the warp marker.

you see the little numbers above the waveform? they are where the program thinks that the bars (or measures) start.
if you move your mouse over the top half of the waveform then the pointer turns into a magnifying glass, this enables you to zoom in and out, and also to scroll
its kinda fiddly at first, but you get used to it after 5 mins.
just click on the wave and, with the button still clicked, move the mouse towards the screen to zoom in and away from the screen to zoom out, move form left to right to scroll.

Ableton Tutorial

so, zoom in to the start of the first bar.
if your lucky it has recognised it correctly. usually it doesnt.
click and drag the marker numbered 1 (it should be in yellow) to the start of the first transient.


this means that when the tune plays the start is correct.

on the left of the waveform is a small grey button that says loop.
click it, itll turn yellow, this means that the loop feature is enabled.


play the loop you just created. it will loop forever, it might not be very good, but you have just made a loop.


now, make sure that all your warp markers are in the correct place –
to do this just double click on the marker at the top and move it. once they are all done your loop is set.


thats it for warp markers. have a play with them. see what cool stuff you can do.

the next tutorial will be about making an actual song out of what you have by recording parts, looking at some effects and effect automation and how to export your masterpiece =)

Leave a Reply