How to use Trigger 2 in Ableton Live

This article will go over three different workflows for using Trigger 2 in Ableton Live: 

  1. Inserting Trigger directly on the source track and using the mix knob
  2. Duplicating the source track and inserting Trigger
  3. Using MIDI


1. Inserting Trigger directly on the source track and using the mix knob

The simplest workflow for using Trigger in Live, is to insert Trigger 2 directly on the track with the audio you wish to trigger samples from. 

Open a new project and insert a new Audio track. From the Live Menu bar at the top of your screen, go to Create → Insert Audio track (Or hit ⌘+T). Then load the source audio you wish to use on that track. 

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Next, locate and select your track with the source audio (in either Session or Arrangement View) and a cell will appear at the bottom that says "Drop Audio Effects Here". This is where we will load Trigger 2.

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Pull up your Browser section (on left-hand side), then locate Trigger 2 by either searching for "Trigger 2" or finding it under the "Plug-ins" category. With your source audio track selected, drag Trigger 2 to where it says "Drop an Instrument or Sample Here". 

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Trigger 2 will now appear in the cell. Users can open/close the plug-in by hitting the Wrench icon. 

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Users can then use the Mix knob in the Trigger plug-in to control the blend between the source audio, and the Trigger samples. 

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2. Duplicating the source track and inserting Trigger


Select your source audio track. Then hit ⌘+D to create a duplicate track and audio file. Then insert Trigger 2 on the duplicate track but not the original. 

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With this method, users can process their added samples, separately from the source audio. Users will want to make sure the Mix knob in the Trigger plug-in is set to 100%, with this method.

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3. Using MIDI

Users can also use Trigger 2 with MIDI data. Start by creating a new MIDI track. From the Live Menu bar at the top of your screen, go to Create → Insert MIDI track (or hit ⌘+⇧+T). Then create a new empty audio track, that doesn't contain any audio clips. 

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Next, insert Trigger 2 on the empty audio track. Open your Trigger 2 plug-in, and go to the "Settings" tab. Make sure "MIDI In" is checked. Then select the note that you wish to use to write MIDI data. 

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Go to the MIDI track now. Set the output of the MIDI track to your audio track with Trigger. Then from the drop-down menu that appears, select "1-Trigger 2".

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Now users can write MIDI data on their MIDI track, and the notes will play samples from the Trigger 2 plug-in on the audio track. Be sure to write in the midi note that you selected in your Trigger settings. 

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NOTE: Using sends/returns to Trigger is not recommended as this can cause discrepancy in the triggers.  Also, having Trigger on a Return track removes a lot of possibilities for editing, such as cutting out a drum fill or a loud crash cymbal that may be falsely triggering a snare or kick in Trigger 2.

By instead duplicating the source track and inserting Trigger (Method 2), this opens up a lot more dynamic options.

For example, with this method, users can separate a low level snare hit that may not have made it through the trigger threshold and gain up that section. 

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Or, you can cut out an entire piece of audio that is not supposed to be triggered. 

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