I'm coming from FL Studio, where you create "Patterns" (similar to clips) to drop into the "Playlist" (arrangement) view.

In FL Studio, if you modify the notes in a pattern, all instances of that pattern—wherever they may be throughout the song—get modified too. To circumvent that, e.g. to make a one-off modification like a drum fill, you'd have to create a new pattern. (And there's a Make Unique feature that converts an instance into its own pattern.)

In Ableton though, it seems that clips I drag from the clips view into the arrangement view are completely "orphaned" from their source. In fact even duplicated clips in the arrangement view do not seem to have any relation to one another. The arrangement view in Ableton feels more like a canvas you have to repaint all over if you decide to change a clip.

I don't have a problem with that—in fact I like it. My question is about whether the following workflow is correct or there's a better way:

  1. I create a drum loop in the clips view.
  2. I drag it over into the arrangement view.
  3. I duplicate it 16 times, let's say.
  4. Oops, I want to change the velocity on one of the Tom hits.
  5. I go back to the clip and edit that velocity.
  6. I drag it over again.
  7. I duplicate it 16 times again.

It feels like a lot of work to edit the velocity on a single Tom hit. Is that just because I'm coming from a different paradigm in FL Studio? Or am I missing a better workflow?

Side Question: Am I correct to understand the clips view as a collection of clip "templates"?

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming you are talking about MIDI clips since you mentioned "notes".

If the drum loop clips happen to be all next to each other, then instead of copying and pasting the clip multiple times, you can do the following:

Setup your clip as a loop. enter image description here Hover your cursor over the clip in the track over the top right edge until the cursor changes to a bracket "]". enter image description here Click and drag the edge of that clip to resize it and have it repeat itself for as long as you need it to. enter image description here Now you still have only one clip even though it is being repeated.

There are no alias clips in Ableton Live so if you need to have the same clip in two places that are not next to each other then you will end up with two separate clips. Most people just work with it that way. Some people, however, use a MaxForLive commercial addon called Alias Clips. Based on the users comments the addon works well like alias clips but there is one issue that some people consider important which is that it doesn't have "undo" functionality. Regardless of that, the one issue that stops me from buying this addon is that the only way to pay for it is by going to an unsecure page (no https). As you may know, it is risky to make payments in an unsecure page because any hacker can view all of the data from the transaction, including credit card, name on card, etc. Even with that risk, other people have taken the risk and purchased it (but not me). This is where the device is mentioned at the MaxForLive page. https://maxforlive.com/library/device.php?id=2748#19382

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.