Ableton Live Tips w/ Thavius Beck: ‘Did You Know’ Pt 13 – Quickly Changing Octaves + Transposing

Dubspot instructor, Ableton Certified Trainer, and electronic musician Thavius Beck returns with a brand-new season of Did You Know? We launched the series back in January, and for eight consecutive Mondays, Thavius shared invaluable production advice, tips, tricks, and techniques and examined some of the less explored and slightly hidden features in Ableton Live. In the latest installment of the series, Thavius shows how to quickly transpose and shift octaves by simply holding Shift + Arrow Up (to go up an octave) or Shift + Arrow Down (to go down an octave).

Hello everyone! This week’s installment of Did You Know? is about another tiny tip that some of you may already know. For those of you who don’t this can be a very helpful shortcut when you need to Transpose something up or down an octave, whether it’s notes inside of a MIDI clip or the sound in an audio clip.

By simply holding SHIFT while using your arrow keys to go up or down, you can transpose (or move notes) one octave at a time. The reason I find this so useful is that you can add a lot of depth and layers to an individual track by duplicating it and transposing the duplicate down an octave or two. This allows you to layer an audio or MIDI clip with another instance of itself that is playing the exact same notes (thus completely in tune) but just at a lower pitch. There are times I have made entire songs out of just one or two clips that were duplicated numerous times and played at different octaves.

This works in the majority of Live’s instruments as well. Just locate the Transpose box or knob in your instrument of choice and do the same thing (hold SHIFT and arrow either up or down). This behavior doesn’t work in Analog however, most likely because there is an octave knob right next to the semitone knob.

It’s a tiny tip, but probably one of the things I use most often. That and my custom Slice to MIDI Presets, but that’s an entirely different video. See you next week! – Thavius Beck

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