So, I found a couple of ways to solve my first challenge.
For context: I wanted to mix three videos. The crossfader makes some of this easy: One is overlayed all of the time, while I want to switch between the other two in the background (for now at least).
The challenge I had yesterday was: how do I program/finetune/monitor the fades/switches between the two background videos without having to restart the whole 5 minute tune all the time?
This challenge is, to be fair, more of a preproduction one. So, I take it, not really something Ebo is built for. But Ebo can help to simplify this workflow quite a bit compared to what I was doing before (Premiere and After Effects), with the added upside that I can take this on the road later and mix it up with ease.
On to what I’m doing now. It’s most about leveraging Ableton’s native functionality wrt clips, so might be old news for most of you, but new to me.
I have now 4 tracks. One with the finished, mixed audio, and three tracks with eClips. I have 3 videoclips with 4:40 length.
1. Legato mode
Super basic for switching quickly between videos live. I place the two alternating clips on the same track, switch on the Legato Launch mode in the Launch panel. When playing the scene, I can alternate between/launch the two background clips, and they will keep the position. Legato makes the clip inherit the play head from the previous playing clip. This was news to me yesterday. This is more akin to what you could do with Live’s native video functionality, just quicker.
2. Follow actions
With Follow actions, you can pretty much emulate an arrangement view in the session view. It takes a couple of minutes to set up (and might be a nightmare to change things later, idk yet ) but it’s quite powerful. Follow actions are versatile, but here I use it to launch the next clip in the track after X bars.
My clips are 102 bars. I clone them 26 times, increase the start position by 4 bars for each new clone, and set all clips’ Follow action to play next clip after 4 bars.
Hey presto - now I can finetune changes in each 4 bar section without having to play the damn thing from the beginning.
I’m sure there’s other smart tricks out there. But if anyone is a noob like me, this might be useful.