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LinkedIn Learning

Performing with Ableton Live: On Stage with St. Vincent

via LinkedIn Learning


Daniel Mintseris, keyboard player and programmer for St. Vincent, shares his onstage setup, his tips for working with Ableton Live, and insights from his long musical career.

Daniel Mintseris has been touring with critically acclaimed musician St. Vincent for over three years. With Ableton Live, he's able to direct the entire show from his keyboard and laptop. In these exclusive videos, he explains what it takes to run your own world-class production with Ableton.

First, Daniel provides a tour of his setup, starting from his keyboard riser—the hub of communication on stage. With Ableton and a series of MIDI controllers, he's closely connected to all the other instrumentalists. Then he demonstrates the process of building a show file and creating sound presets for every song. Daniel also explains how to use the Drum Kit as a MIDI controller for drum sounds, and how to make program changes on the downstage Moog and guitar stations. Finally, in our interview with Daniel, he closes down the course with insights on what it's like to be a musical director, and how he balances technology and musicianship to bring ideas to life.


  • Welcome
  • What you should know before watching this course
  • Using the exercise files
1. Keyboard and Ableton Live Setup
  • Keyboard and MIDI station
  • Software overview
  • Ableton Live set layout
2. The Basics: Click Track and Count-Off
  • Preparing to use a click
  • Creating click tracks
  • Count-off and starting pitch
  • In-ear monitors
3. Keyboard Presets
  • Creating a song preset in an Instrument Rack
  • Switching sounds within the song preset
  • Using clip automation to switch sounds
  • Adding songs in nested Racks
  • Using a macro to conserve CPU and select song presets
  • Automating presets at song start
4. The Drumset as a MIDI Controller
  • Drums and electronics
  • Ableton drum presets
5. Remote Control from Ableton Live
  • Guitar stations and Moog bass
  • Changing external instrument presets
  • Program change automation with Max for Live
6. Playback
  • When playback is necessary: Preparing audio stems
  • Importing playback audio
7. Working with the Ableton Show File
  • Audio routing
  • Set navigation
8. Keeping Things in Check
  • Line-check file
  • Backup system
9. Technology and Technique
  • From humble beginnings to St. Vincent's technical brain
  • Bringing ideas to life with Ableton Live
  • Technology as an extension of musicianship
  • Next steps

Taught by

Daniel Mintseris

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